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Iceland's Natural Beauty General - 2022


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my thanks to all the suggestions.. right now, I am just hoping that shores excursions will not open up    while we are traveling or in an inaccessible place. 

 

It is encouraging that for NanciEA the process only took 13 minutes, not 13 hours...!!! 

 

 

If we are unable to do this ourselves,  I plan to have a drafted email for my TA... and see what he does... I do have a list of everything we want, including first choice and second choices, I just have to make sure that the excursion is offered and I have to figure out the time frame. Thumbs down to our TA in general... 

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35 minutes ago, IWantToLiveOverTheSea said:

 

If you're traveling with someone else, and have two devices to use, I suppose you might want to set up a second MVJ so each of you can book at the same time. 

 

 

 

I don’t believe you can do this unless you are traveling under separate booking numbers. You can’t both be in MVJ at the same time on the same booking number.

 

I was hoping we could do this because our ShoreEx for Malta are scheduled for June 27 and we will be on our land tour in Iceland. We’re planning to study up on what we want using hotel wi-fi, then book with my cell phone.

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My sailing's shorex have not opened yet, but to be prepared, I inquired with Viking yesterday to find out whether it's okay to call or if we must use MVJ.  I was curious if having booked the cruise with a travel agent made a difference (I'm a Viking newb but know that other lines won't speak to you directly if you booked via TA).

 

The rep replied that shorex should be booked using MVJ by either the guest or the guest's travel agent.  He said that Viking CSRs are not supposed to be booking excursions for guests.

 

But we know that it's worked for others on this thread previously.  So I'm not sure I should even mention it – don't want to worry people!  Maybe the reps helped with shorex previously only because of the website issues?  Or maybe what I was told was inaccurate.

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Not to change the subject (shorex are critical – especially for these sailings!) but another question for the group…

 

Many of us are running under the assumption that on (now not June 15 but) July 1, Iceland's testing-and-quarantine-on-arrival requirement will be lifted.  I've read some are planning to hit the Blue Lagoon or take other tours on Day 1 before joining the Viking bubble.

 

If taking this approach, and independent Reykjavik exploration time was on the agenda, do you think one could drop bags at the ship midday, but then not actually board (read: "join the bubble") until later?

 

Not trying to flout the rules.  Just want to work within the system.  Thoughts?

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6 minutes ago, johnnyswitzerland said:

My sailing's shorex have not opened yet, but to be prepared, I inquired with Viking yesterday to find out whether it's okay to call or if we must use MVJ.  I was curious if having booked the cruise with a travel agent made a difference (I'm a Viking newb but know that other lines won't speak to you directly if you booked via TA).

 

The rep replied that shorex should be booked using MVJ by either the guest or the guest's travel agent.  He said that Viking CSRs are not supposed to be booking excursions for guests.

 

But we know that it's worked for others on this thread previously.  So I'm not sure I should even mention it – don't want to worry people!  Maybe the reps helped with shorex previously only because of the website issues?  Or maybe what I was told was inaccurate.

Johnny, don't worry yourself.  In the eight years I have booked Viking for myself and a multitude of clients, I've NEVER experienced such a variety of answers from the phone-in personnel. I've NEVER experienced such (hopefully temporary) chaos from Viking itself.  CHAOS! Don't misunderstand, I love the product and still promote it.  It's just that  I've learned to trust a couple of experienced Viking phone agents and to contact them directly.  

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1 hour ago, IWantToLiveOverTheSea said:

f you're traveling with someone else, and have two devices to use, I suppose you might want to set up a second MVJ so each of you can book at the same time. 

 

Not do-able. Only one person can be in the booking at a time.   We even have to log out of MVJ to let Viking in.

 

1 hour ago, IWantToLiveOverTheSea said:

If you don't get an excursion you want, see Peregrina's comments above about what to do

 

Write tellus@vikingcruises.com. Tell them how disappointed you are that there is no space left on xyz cruise and ask them when they will be adding more seats. In the meantime, keep checking MVJ.  Seats on tours come and go without notice.

 

Some shorex have very limited capacity and cannot be added to. (Anything with small boats or ATVs for example.

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More on excursions!  Those who like to read useless info, out of curiosity I checked to see what excursions are sold out on my 8/3 cruise almost a week after the window for booking opened.  It's just one cruise, so take it with a grain of salt.  Here's what I found: 

 

Reykjavik

Snapshots included excursion 9:30 sold out, 4 others open

Reykjanes all 3 times open

Horseback both times open

Through the Lens both times open

Golden Circle both times open

Whales  1 offered, open

Blk Bches Lava Tunnel 1 offered, sold out

 

Isafjordur

Isafj & Bolung included 8:30 sold out, 8:45 open

Kayak all 3 sold out

Litlibaer Turf Farm 9 & 1:30 sold out, 8:30 & 1:00 open

ATV all 3 sold out

Dynjandi Waterfall 1 offered, open

Vigur Island both 2 sold out

 

Akureyri

Panoramic included all 5 times open

Waterfall of the Gods both times open

Natural Treasures both times open

Whales - unable to check, spouse & I have excursions/conflicts 

Husavik Baths - unable to check 

 

Seydisfj

On Foot included 8 offered, 5 sold out (mostly AM), 3 open in afternoon

Skalanes all 3 sold out

Footsteps both open

Panoramic Drive Wartime Museum both open

Vok Baths only 1 offered, sold out

 

Djup

Cultural Sights included - first 8 sold out, 10:30 & 3:45 open

Scenic East Island all 4 times open

Halsar Hike 1 offered, open

Nature of Djup 1:30 sold out; other 3 open

Nature Walk Blk Bches one offered, sold out

Ice Lagoon Zodiac, both sold out

 

Heimaey

Snapshots included - first 2 sold out, 11:30 through 3:45 slots open

Heimaey on Foot included - first 2 sold out, 11:45 & 12:15 open

Extension - Eldfell - both times sold out

Beluga both sold out

ATV 3 sold out, 1 open

Wildlife Boat both times sold out

RIB all 3 times sold out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

I found  it!  And printed it to a pdf which I will download to my phone.

 

Remember, everyone, that everything for our Iceland booking will disappear from MVJ when we board. We will not have access to it during the cruise. If there is anything we want to save from MVJ, we have to do it before we leave home. Besides the calendar, I downloaded some of the pictures.

Do you have the Viking Voyager app? Will only work while traveling but is the go to source from Viking when on the water. If MVJ disappears the V Voyager app is what you want!

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2 hours ago, johnnyswitzerland said:

Not to change the subject (shorex are critical – especially for these sailings!) but another question for the group…

 

Many of us are running under the assumption that on (now not June 15 but) July 1, Iceland's testing-and-quarantine-on-arrival requirement will be lifted.  I've read some are planning to hit the Blue Lagoon or take other tours on Day 1 before joining the Viking bubble.

 

If taking this approach, and independent Reykjavik exploration time was on the agenda, do you think one could drop bags at the ship midday, but then not actually board (read: "join the bubble") until later?

 

Not trying to flout the rules.  Just want to work within the system.  Thoughts?

I was told by a tellus@Viking rep that yes we could do this - that Viking would be gad to hold them at the port, but that they could not take them aboard ship until we actually checked in and joined the bubble.  I have no idea what the port facilities are like at Reykjavík,  but presumably the luggage would be under cover. 

 

Now, the usual disclaimer here - that's what I was TOLD  - what you actually experience might be totally different!

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1 hour ago, IWantToLiveOverTheSea said:

More on excursions!  Those who like to read useless info, out of curiosity I checked to see what excursions are sold out on my 8/3 cruise almost a week after the window for booking opened.  It's just one cruise, so take it with a grain of salt.


Thanks for doing this research!  Was “Heart of the Glacier” not offered at Reykjavik?  It’s honestly very hard to keep track of all of these excursions.

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4 hours ago, johnnyswitzerland said:

Not to change the subject (shorex are critical – especially for these sailings!) but another question for the group…

 

Many of us are running under the assumption that on (now not June 15 but) July 1, Iceland's testing-and-quarantine-on-arrival requirement will be lifted.  I've read some are planning to hit the Blue Lagoon or take other tours on Day 1 before joining the Viking bubble.

 

If taking this approach, and independent Reykjavik exploration time was on the agenda, do you think one could drop bags at the ship midday, but then not actually board (read: "join the bubble") until later?

 

Not trying to flout the rules.  Just want to work within the system.  Thoughts?

 

In a number of ports you can often find a local hotel or baggage service that will provide secure stowage for bags, for a small fee, while you explore the city.

 

Have only been to Reykjavik in transit, never embarkation/disembarkation, so have never had a requirement to research if it is available. From memory, the Cruise Terminal is at the edge of town and once you leave the main road, is a rather industrial type area, so may have to look for options downtown.

 

In most ports, the baggage is handled by the local longshoremen. The chance of Viking customer service reps knowing specific details, is highly remote, as most ports are different. With Vancouver Port, right next to the city, it is fairly common for pax to drop bags about 09:30, when they start accepting them, then about face and return to town.

 

That was pre-COVID, will this still be possible post-COVID??? If booking a Blue Lagoon trip, to save having issues at the port, it might be best to research for a service providing short term secure storage. Good luck.

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14 minutes ago, id4elizabeth said:

I was told by a tellus@Viking rep that yes we could do this - that Viking would be gad to hold them at the port, but that they could not take them aboard ship until we actually checked in and joined the bubble.  I have no idea what the port facilities are like at Reykjavík,  but presumably the luggage would be under cover. 

 

Now, the usual disclaimer here - that's what I was TOLD  - what you actually experience might be totally different!

Too risky for me... Baggage storage and handling is under control of the port until it is placed on the ship. Every port is different and the rules change by the minute. One port they would take our luggage but we were not allowed to leave the terminal, another they only took your luggage one hour before your scheduled embarkation, some ports had lockers. Another thing to keep in mind is even though we will be in port overnight it is possible the terminal and embarkation may close relatively early (union rules).

Did  Tellus know how long the hold was or did they assume you were going to drop your luggage off and run across the street to pick up snacks?

 

We usually arrange for a transfer + a few hours with a car service and adjust the itinerary as time and weather permit.

 

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, azdrydock said:

Too risky for me... Baggage storage and handling is under control of the port until it is placed on the ship. Every port is different and the rules change by the minute. One port they would take our luggage but we were not allowed to leave the terminal, another they only took your luggage one hour before your scheduled embarkation, some ports had lockers. Another thing to keep in mind is even though we will be in port overnight it is possible the terminal and embarkation may close relatively early (union rules).

Did  Tellus know how long the hold was or did they assume you were going to drop your luggage off and run across the street to pick up snacks?

 

We usually arrange for a transfer + a few hours with a car service and adjust the itinerary as time and weather permit.

 

I had asked about our situation which was drop off luggage around 8 am and be back for check in around 3 pm.  She told me we could do this but in the end it sounded too iffy for us so we are renting a car at the airport (Blue Car Rentals) going to the Sky Lagoon and storing the luggage in the trunk while there.  Then driving around town a bit, dropping car off downtown and taxi (with luggage) to cruise port.

 

After all the contradictory info we've been given by Viking pre-cruise on other issues, we decided to play it safe (although costlier) and keep the luggage in a rental car.

Edited by id4elizabeth
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5 minutes ago, id4elizabeth said:

I had asked about our situation which was drop off luggage around 8 am and be back for check in around 3 pm.  She told me we could do this but in the end it sounded too iffy for us so we are renting a car at the airport (Blue Car Rentals) going to the Sky Lagoon and storing the luggage in the trunk while there.  Then driving around town a bit, dropping car off downtown and taxi (with luggage) to cruise port.

 

After all the contradictory info we've been given by Viking pre-cruise on other issues, we decided to play it safe (although costlier) and keep the luggage in a rental car.

Don’t know how much the car is costing, but we are doing the same thing but have a private transport from KEF to BL then to ship.  Cost for up to four is $295 so probably more than what your car is costing?  Can you share how much the car is costing?

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27 minutes ago, Heidi13 said:

 

In a number of ports you can often find a local hotel or baggage service that will provide secure stowage for bags, for a small fee, while you explore the city.

 

Have only been to Reykjavik in transit, never embarkation/disembarkation, so have never had a requirement to research if it is available. From memory, the Cruise Terminal is at the edge of town and once you leave the main road, is a rather industrial type area, so may have to look for options downtown.

 

In most ports, the baggage is handled by the local longshoremen. The chance of Viking customer service reps knowing specific details, is highly remote, as most ports are different. With Vancouver Port, right next to the city, it is fairly common for pax to drop bags about 09:30, when they start accepting them, then about face and return to town.

 

That was pre-COVID, will this still be possible post-COVID??? If booking a Blue Lagoon trip, to save having issues at the port, it might be best to research for a service providing short term secure storage. Good luck.

Blue Lagoon has a luggage storage service on site. 

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36 minutes ago, Clay Clayton said:

Don’t know how much the car is costing, but we are doing the same thing but have a private transport from KEF to BL then to ship.  Cost for up to four is $295 so probably more than what your car is costing?  Can you share how much the car is costing?

About $250 USD for the car including insurance, but it's only the two of us - don't think that matters though  We did get a mid-sized car - automatic transmission (stick shift was cheaper).  We will have to add the cost of the taxi from downtown rental drop off to cruise port, so seems like about a wash.

 

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10 hours ago, MarkTapley said:


Thanks for doing this research!  Was “Heart of the Glacier” not offered at Reykjavik?  It’s honestly very hard to keep track of all of these excursions.

Heart of the Glacier is not shown on MVJ for the Aug. 3 cruise.  I'm not sure what people are seeing for other sail dates. 

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1 hour ago, johnnyswitzerland said:

Thank you, @id4elizabeth, @Heidi13@azdrydock, and @Clay Clayton for the useful info and ideas.  And thank you, @IWantToLiveOverTheSea for compiling that excursion data one week on.  As usual, this thread does not disappoint!

I'm not sure if this is accurate, or even helpful, but I saw or read something which indicates that Europcar and Enterprise may have locations at the port, or at least perhaps rent cars to people there.  And there is a city bus that goes close to the port (but possibly requiring local money or use of an app).  I'm not sure about the taxi situation.  Reykjavik doesn't seem big on taxis.   

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, id4elizabeth said:

About $250 USD for the car including insurance, but it's only the two of us - don't think that matters though  We did get a mid-sized car - automatic transmission (stick shift was cheaper).  We will have to add the cost of the taxi from downtown rental drop off to cruise port, so seems like about a wash.

 

Yep…so I won’t be changing my plans. Especially since I suspect I’ll be having trouble staying awake so having a driver will feel safer. 😂

Edited by Clay Clayton
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Great weather in Iceland today.  Isafjordur temp is 40F at noon, wind gusts to 42 mph, 80% chance of snow this afternoon and nighf.  Akureyri temp is 35F at noon, winds to 20 mph, 88% chance of rain then snow.  Reykjavik is 44F with a 98% chance of rain.  Djupivogur is 37 F, wind gusts to 35 mph, 1-3 inches of snow expected.  More the Land of Ice not fire today.

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5 minutes ago, TayanaLorna said:

Great weather in Iceland today.  Isafjordur temp is 40F at noon, wind gusts to 42 mph, 80% chance of snow this afternoon and nighf.  Akureyri temp is 35F at noon, winds to 20 mph, 88% chance of rain then snow.  Reykjavik is 44F with a 98% chance of rain.  Djupivogur is 37 F, wind gusts to 35 mph, 1-3 inches of snow expected.  More the Land of Ice not fire today.

We can't predict specific weather more then a day or do so out but we can watch patterns and deduce what the weather might be.  Currently there is a 993 millibar low pressure offshore just SW of Iceland moving NE.  The 985 millibar low pressure system currently off the Canadian Maritimes is following in the same pattern.

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9 hours ago, Clay Clayton said:

Blue Lagoon has a luggage storage service on site. 

Yes, and it works well!  In February 2020 we flew in around 6:30 AM, got on the Blue Lagoon bus from the airport with our luggage, had a 8 or 8:30 AM ticket to enjoy the Blue Lagoon.  The attendant gave us our ticket in exchange for our luggage (cost, around $6 each piece; we had a suitcase and/or a backpack), and off we went, enjoying the  Blue Lagoon and lunch afterwards.  We took a bus back to the Icelandair Reyjavik Natura Hotel around 1PM and checked in.  What a great way to start off a vacation and shake off the jet lag cobwebs!  

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