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Excursions and how you liked or disliked them


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3 hours ago, Snit13 said:

Can someone who has completed Iceland Cruise or who is currently cruising please tell me if the following excursions are 100 % WALKING tours?  

 

Akureyri  :  Panoramic Akureyri

 

Seudisfjordur :  Seydisfjordur on Foot ( sounds like all walk and no ride)

 

Djupivogur:  Cultural Sights of Djupivogur  (  says stroll which means walk to me)

 

I have read and reread all of the excursion descriptions included and optional and am having difficulty finding excursions I will be capable of enjoying.    Unfortunately my Lumbar Spine decided to act up again and walking or standing for long periods of time limit my ability to do most of the excursions.  I did book the 3 I asked advise about but don't want to take a space from someone else if I can't do the walk.

Thanks for any advice or suggestions.

Grace

 

 

 

 

 

 

I haven't been to Iceland yet, but I've done a little research on the 3 stops you mention.  So I'm just guessing at things here, but here goes: I believe the Panoramic Akureyri excursion would be part coach ride but certainly some walking, since you'd be taken by coach to the Botanic Gardens.  I would hope there would be somewhere inside the Gardens where you could do just a little bit of walking and then sit until the group comes back out.  I would ask the excursion folks on Viking about this, and then ask your guide while on the coach.  I'm guessing the coach stops at the church, which is rather striking on the outside, and apparently has a nice interior, and the group goes inside.  Ordinarily I'd say you would likely be able to stay on the bus then, but with Covid Delta concerns, I suppose it's possible that wouldn't be allowed.  But if not, perhaps you could sit inside, or outside somewhere. 

 

Seydisfjordur: I would guess this would be mostly or all by foot, perhaps while listening to a lot of talk by the guide.  As far as I can tell, to walk to the Blue Church via the "rainbow street" that everyone photographs takes maybe 15 minutes from where the ship docks, without stopping to check out the various buildings along the way to the church.  (There are a couple cruises where it sounds like you are going to tender in this port, though, so I'm not sure where the tender would drop you or how that would affect the distances involved.)  I would guess that it may be possible to do a bit of the tour with the group and then wait for them to return to a particular spot.   But that would be something that I'd again want to check with the Viking excursion person and Icelandic tour guide about.  

 

For Djupivogur, I believe it's about a 15 minute walk from the ship to the "Eggs at Merry Bay" which everyone photographs.  I can see the tank that's mentioned in the excursion description (and people have liked a lot!) on Google Earth and it is indeed near by.  And the Bones & Stones craft store is on the way to the eggs.  Langabud is very close to where ships dock.  

 

In general, I've found guides on Viking tours to be fairly good about not walking too fast for slow walkers, or leaving people behind. And you may be using a Quiet Vox with ear bud/headphones, so even if you're lagging behind a little, you'll at least be able to hear what's being said.  

 

I would not hesitate to take up a slot on any of the included excursions.  You don't need to feel guilty about it.  My spouse, who sometimes sits some things out, usually goes along even if he can't do or see as much as I can.  He feels it's certainly better than staying on the ship most of the time.  But that was in pre-Covid times, so I can't say for sure how that might work for you.

 

But as I said, I haven't actually been on these excursions yet, so these are just my thoughts....hopefully someone else can give you a better idea of what's involved on those 3 excursions you mention. 

Edited by IWantToLiveOverTheSea
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5 hours ago, Snit13 said:

Can someone who has completed Iceland Cruise or who is currently cruising please tell me if the following excursions are 100 % WALKING tours?  

 

Akureyri  :  Panoramic Akureyri

 

Seudisfjordur :  Seydisfjordur on Foot ( sounds like all walk and no ride)

 

Djupivogur:  Cultural Sights of Djupivogur  (  says stroll which means walk to me)

 

I have read and reread all of the excursion descriptions included and optional and am having difficulty finding excursions I will be capable of enjoying.    Unfortunately my Lumbar Spine decided to act up again and walking or standing for long periods of time limit my ability to do most of the excursions.  I did book the 3 I asked advise about but don't want to take a space from someone else if I can't do the walk.

Thanks for any advice or suggestions.

Grace

 

 

 

 

 

 

Panoramic Akureyri is a bus ride with 2 stops - a ski resort with panoramic views and the Botanical Garden.  We were there July 6 and it might have been the peak of bloom season - it was glorious! 

 

Cultural Sights of Djupivogur is a walk with one stop to sit and listen to a very good singer.  Some of the walk was on paved road and some on unpaved.  I wouldn't recommend it considering the diffculties you're having.  

 

I also wouldn't recommend Nature of Djupivogur .. It's a very poor value and even though it's ostly a bus ride the stops are pretty lame.  

20210706_104146.jpg

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I would like to thank both of you for your prompt replies.  I still have 30 days to get better with PT twice a week and another epidural next week.  I will do what I can and enjoy adding another country/culture to my long list of adventures. I have been a travelholic since my teen years...many moons ago.

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, azjoy said:

Panoramic Akureyri is a bus ride with 2 stops - a ski resort with panoramic views and the Botanical Garden.  We were there July 6 and it might have been the peak of bloom season - it was glorious! 

 

Cultural Sights of Djupivogur is a walk with one stop to sit and listen to a very good singer.  Some of the walk was on paved road and some on unpaved.  I wouldn't recommend it considering the diffculties you're having.  

 

I also wouldn't recommend Nature of Djupivogur .. It's a very poor value and even though it's ostly a bus ride the stops are pretty lame.  

 

Agree with above. Cultural Sights of Djupivogur had a poor guide for us but was worthwhile if only to hear the singer's mesmerizing arias inside the darkened tank lit only by candles. Could have sat listening for hours. Eggs worth seeing although I had to rush my photos as a loaded Russian? tour bus unloaded with a horde of passengers scrambling to climb on the eggs. :)
Take this included and hope your guide is not the boring former NYC actor.
Nature of Djupivogur .. "It's a very poor value" Agreed. Stops at a quite nice waterfall overlook and then at a farm/resort/trailer park with nice meadow views. NOT worth the $$ though. 
Daughter & granddaughter walked the ~6miles to & from the black sand beach. Said it was not particularly scenic along the way.

Edited by philw1776
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Thanks for all who have posted on the excursions - special thanks to Peregrina651 for accessibility info. My husband and I will be taking our Moms on this cruise later this month.  My Mom will be traveling with her walker - which helps her walk faster.  She'll be using that plus walking sticks for shorter distances. Been trying to find information on which 'easy' and 'moderate' excursions have pathways that can accommodate a walker.  All insights and suggestions appreciated!

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Received advisory from Viking this morning.  Only Viking-operated tours will be allowed and no independent exploration permitted.  Fortunately all of our bookings for Jupiter August 31 are Viking.

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On 7/23/2021 at 6:40 PM, IWantToLiveOverTheSea said:

Vok Baths didn't sound fabulous to me when i researched them.  Basically I couldn't find much about them, and then found a few pictures which didn't make them look all that fabulous.  But I did see a review of them, and copied this info in case I decided to try something different:

(I've paraphrased):

 

Seydisfjordur: Vok Baths: drive up mountain with amazing view of ship in valley, wind way down to valley.  Viking rented entire place so never felt crowded. Had 2 buses, spaced nicely apart, beautiful facility, clean private showers, large dressing rooms with lockers that lock. It was cool as there were 3 pools different temperatures, 2 of which designed as infinity pools to look like part of lake.  Had stairs like in a pool so could ease yourself into lake or just jump right in.  Had swim up type bar with drinks for purchase (credit card bracelet?)  Also sauna room outside, then go out to cold rain water shower. Tea & water when done. But drive.... Beautiful, lots of snow still high up, too many waterfalls to count.

What do you mean by "credit card bracelet"?

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15 hours ago, CruiserDoc said:

What do you mean by "credit card bracelet"?

I would presume it’s similar to the one we had had Blue Lagoon.  When you check in, they give you a bracelet that gives you entry, locks and opens a locker, and records any purchases you make.  When you get ready to leave, you “tap” out and if you owe anything, the gates won’t open until you have paid your balance. 

B705B6FF-990B-42D2-B915-DB4B90E190B0.jpeg

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OK, I'm back from Jupiter, so I'll post about my likes/dislikes: 

Reykjavik: Took Through the Lens.  Learned a lot about Iceland from the photographer/guide while on the bus between 4 or 5 stops to do photography.  Didn't hear much about photography, but guide made it very clear you could ask him once we were at a stop.  With 20 or 25 people it's hard to do much instruction.  You go to the Reykjanes Peninsula, which has a lot of lava, black sand beaches, an area like Yellowstone in the U.S., and a lighthouse located near a cliff with lots of birds.  All of this was fairly accessible, but like most things in Iceland, it did require some walking, including over rather rocky surfaces.  But you could do as little or as much as you wanted as long as you made it back to the bus on time.  There was about 30-45 minutes for each photo stop, a little more for lunch in Grindavik, a fishing village.  Food was typical - soup, fish, boiled potatoes, maybe some slaw. We had to climb a fire escape to get to lunch - for social distancing/separation from Icelanders!  That was a first.  I felt tour was quite worth it, and I have some pretty good pictures as a result. But if you're really looking to learn photography, this may not be for you.  On the other hand, if all you have is limited experience and a cell phone with camera, you'll probably end up with some nice pictures.

 

Spouse took included tour in Reykjavik.  He said it was ok; nothing special, but at least easy, with little walking.

 

In Isafjordur I took the Vigur Island tour.  Walk about 2 minutes across harbor to get on a boat.  I sat outside in the back for photography.  Guide inside boat was giving info, but I couldn't hear her outside, so part of the time, I stood by the door.  The folks inside seemed a bit close together for MY liking, but in the end I tested negative for Covid, so I guess it was OK.  Vigur was a great tour, as others have reported.  But it was August 6th or so and the puffins weren't as easily photographed as I had envisioned.  It took me about 20 minutes of just waiting for one to land on the rocks behind the tiny windmill. I gave up cake and coffee but finally one came, with fish, and stayed for several minutes. Guide (Felicity Aston, I believe) was great, and apparently was first woman to cross Antarctica solo.  You see other birds, how eider down is processed,  and learn a lot.  But the puffin photography was difficult.  Perhaps it was too late in the season, or mid-morning is past their fishing time; not sure.  But the tour is well worth it.  There are some rocky areas to walk, though, and there's the possibility of being divebombed by curious terns (kittiwakes?)   In the afternoon I took the included tour, going to the small but interesting/scenic Maritime Museum in Bolungarvik.  I felt it was worthwhile.  Spouse went on the Turf Farm excursion and liked it but was not overwhelmed by it.  But he was recovering from a medical problem and wanted something easy, so it fit the bill.  If anyone wants specific info about it, I can ask him for more information. 

 

In Akureryri I took the Natural Treasures excursion and liked it a lot.  We were taken to at least 3 or 4 places in the Lake Mvatn area.  You'll see a pseudo-crater (rootless crater - lots of slow uphill walking to get to it, though), view of lake, walk a good winding path through the lava castles of Dimmuborgir, and go to some smelly but colorful pools of mud.  Knats were horrible at Dimmuborgir, take netting for your head or swat away.  I believe there was a short time for souvenir shopping at Dimmuborgir. We also made a stop at Godafoss waterfall - pretty impressive. I forget what the lunch stop was like, but probably soup, bread, fish, potatoes.  That seems typical. My husband did the Godafoss & Icelandic Farm Life excursion.  He loved Godafoss, though it took a lot of walking, and liked the Farm.

 

In Seydisfjordur, I wanted to see puffins, so took the Footsteps of the Elves excursion.  Before the puffin stop, there were several interesting and scenic stops, plus lunch.  But the highlight for me was the puffins - right there practically in front of me, on cliffs, near holes where they had their young.  There is some step climbing to do, plus it was somewhat crowded with other locals or non-Viking visitors, but easy to get into place for viewing/photography. As my excursion ticket warned, there was a lot of driving on this excursion.  But it was scenic driving, and we didn't drive for hours and hours at a time, so it was OK.   Lunch was good.  I probably have notes on the lunches in each place, but don't remember many specifics right now. If it matters to you, ask!  I think my husband did the World War II, War Museum and Maritime Museum excursion in Seydisfjordur.  He likes that kind of thing, so he liked the excursion.  But he didn't feel it was fabulous.   

 

In Djupivogur, I did the zodiac ice lagoon trip.  I had never been in a zodiac, or close up to ice, so I loved it, and felt it was worth the money I paid for it.  The boats hold 10 very comfortably, are not fast, scary, or hard to get into, and have a rope down around the edges in case you want to hold on.  The guide was great; we learned a lot about ice!  You can take a camera or phone without fear of it getting wet.  There's a walk down (and then back up) to the boat; wear good shoes and take it easy coming back up.  The vendor provides a warm coat and vest, with no place to leave clothing unless you take it to the bus.  So don't overdress. It was sunny so I didn't wear anything on my head or hands. It's not particularly cold on the water.  It was a great experience, but doing it in rain might be different.  Lunch was at the boat location; the usual (fish, etc.)  I believe only Viking people were there, and we ate in small groups, basically formed based on where we sat on the bus. I was at a small table with 2 others. The drive is kind of long but (as usual), the scenery was quite good.  And the guide provided a lot of narration on the way which was pretty interesting.  

 

My husband took the day off, sleeping late, doing laundry, and going to a lecture. He loves doing things on the ship.

 

In Heimaey I took the included Snapshots coach tour.  It was good, though a little shorter than I expected.  But Heimaey island is not a big place, so I'm not sure what else I expected to see!  The guide was a local teacher, animated and informative. All of the Iceland guides seem to like to tell personal stories, which is kind of nice, assuming they're true!   The rest of the Snapshots tour was free on your own touring of the Eldheimer Museum, which is pretty impressive and sobering.  Then a shuttle bus was provided outside to take you back to the ship.

 

In the afternoon we did the 3:45 or thereabouts Wildlife of Heimaey boat tour, meeting on the pier.  We put on life jackets and then walked about a block to a nearby pier to wait for the boat to be ready for us.  This was for the 3:45 excursion, and the wait was a bit annoying.  But the trip around the island was fun, with the boat going into the front of two colorful caves, and bird viewing of birds and Elephant rock.  I was kind of expecting more after seeing people's comments about the excursion.  But in general, it was what I'd consider a good though not fabulous tour.  But we were late getting on the boat, and late getting on Jupiter after tendering,  so I was not impressed with the vendor's performance.  Viking likes things to run smoothly and on time, and this wasn't accomplished.   

 

All in all, I found Viking's excursions to be of good value.  The coaches were clean and well maintained, all with a mid-coach door for faster entry/exit, and a few with a bathroom for ER use.  We never rode for more than an hour and a half (tops) before stopping for a bathroom/stretch break.  The guides were quite good, and all spoke good to great English without heavy accents. I learned a lot about Iceland, and had fun too.  I tired of fish and soup for lunch, but no big deal.  There wasn't much time for shopping, but that's OK for me.  There was a good amount of physical activity involved, but I gather that's not unusual in Iceland. 

 

If you have specific questions, just ask. 

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Going to post some pictures, just to give an idea of the boats, buses, scenery, etc. on the excursions I took.  Here are a couple from Isafjordur, Vigur Island and then the included tour that went to Bolungarvik Maritime Museum. I may also post a few ship pictures, or pictures of the ship in the ports.

_MG_3978 Ship traveled to beaut Isafjordur think - northwest Iceland.JPG

_MG_3994 Isafjordur view fr ship of Vigur pier red bldg etc.JPG

P1030576.JPG

_MG_4020 approachingvigurisland (2).JPG

_MG_4037.JPG

_MG_4080 Sticksuptoavoiddivebombing.JPG

_MG_4202 BolungarvikMaritimeMuseum.JPG

_MG_4228 Drankwaterfromthislocalwaterfallstreamincltourbolung.JPG

_MG_4212 Maritimemuseumguidewhook.JPG

P1030574.JPG

P1030579 VikingJupiterSudahofn (2).JPG

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Pictures from Seydisfjordur.    A couple of these pictures are simply from the ship (Jupiter).  It's a pretty town.  Everyone loves the rainbow street and the Blue Church.  I went on the "Elves" tour. Picture of steps give you an idea of what's involved walking/climbing wise.  It may be too late to be of use, though, as puffins may be gone or leaving by now (Aug. 18).  But it was a great excursion if a person wanted to see puffins close up. 

20210807_190038 ORIG seydi ship&mtns kinda diff.jpg

_MG_4423 Twinwaterfallsfrombackofship.JPG

_MG_4448.JPG

_MG_4424 (2).JPG

_MG_4597Viewofstepstoseepuffinscloseup.JPG

_MG_4657 (2).JPG

20210807_160122 ORIG Rainbow street one more.jpg

seydi swimmers dinner timephonepic.jpg

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2 hours ago, IWantToLiveOverTheSea said:

It may be too late to be of use, though, as puffins may be gone or leaving by now (Aug. 18). 

We saw a few puffins today on the Skalanes Nature Center excursion, all in the water.  The cliffs there were full of Northern Fulmars, wherein a week or two ago, I understand, they were full of puffins.  Our guide was the director of the Center, and was very informative in regard to the wildlife and plant life of the region.

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This is a very helpful topic.  Question:

If you had to pick only one, which would it be ... Golden Circle or Northern Iceland's Natural Treasures.

 

We sail on the 21st and are signed up for both excursions but wondering if we should cancel one to limit exposure.  Just want to prioritize.

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13 minutes ago, hikingfan said:

This is a very helpful topic.  Question:

If you had to pick only one, which would it be ... Golden Circle or Northern Iceland's Natural Treasures.

 

We sail on the 21st and are signed up for both excursions but wondering if we should cancel one to limit exposure.  Just want to prioritize.

Go a day or two early and “do” the Golden Circle on your own with a private tour/driver or one of the many offered by Reykjavik tour companies.

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10 minutes ago, hikingfan said:

This is a very helpful topic.  Question:

If you had to pick only one, which would it be ... Golden Circle or Northern Iceland's Natural Treasures.

 

We sail on the 21st and are signed up for both excursions but wondering if we should cancel one to limit exposure.  Just want to prioritize.

 

That is one really tough choice.

 

Golden Circle gives you: meeting of the tectonic plates, a very large waterfall and a geyser with other geothermal happenings.

 

Northern Iceland gives you: a not quite as large waterfall, geothermal hot springs, a lava labyrinth and pseudo-crater.

 

Both give a scenic drive to and fro.

 

However, as simply a timing thing, in case Covid changes the course of your your cruise, there may be an advantage to choosing the an earlier tour over a later tour.

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16 hours ago, Peregrina651 said:

 

That is one really tough choice.

 

Golden Circle gives you: meeting of the tectonic plates, a very large waterfall and a geyser with other geothermal happenings.

 

Northern Iceland gives you: a not quite as large waterfall, geothermal hot springs, a lava labyrinth and pseudo-crater.

 

Both give a scenic drive to and fro.

 

However, as simply a timing thing, in case Covid changes the course of your your cruise, there may be an advantage to choosing the an earlier tour over a later tour.

Thank you, Peregrina.  Yes, Day 4 (Akureyi) does seem to be the "hottest" day for a breakthrough positive covid test.  Leaning toward Golden Circle.  Haven't heard if any positive test results hit that early in the itinerary (Day 2).

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10 hours ago, hikingfan said:

Thank you, Peregrina.  Yes, Day 4 (Akureyi) does seem to be the "hottest" day for a breakthrough positive covid test.  Leaning toward Golden Circle.  Haven't heard if any positive test results hit that early in the itinerary (Day 2).

I thought the issue on the Jupiter was traced back to a bus on the ‘Golden Circle’ tour.  Can anyone confirm that?  And what tour the issue on the Sky was traced back to?    Thanks!

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The Black Sand Beach ATV and Lava Tube tour out of Reykjavik was our favorite!  So much fun on the ATVs and the Lava Tube was extremely cool.  HOWEVER, it is very demanding going into the tube, lots of rocks and very unstable footing.  There was a member of the shore excursion staff on the tour with us and we were talking about the fact that the tour is classified as "Demanding" but she said that she would make the recommendation that it be upgraded to VERY Demanding.  There was one guy who, as soon as he saw the path, went back and sat in the office and another woman who only made it about a third of the way and had to stop.  

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