Iceland is a beautiful country that embraces gorgeous landscapes, magical waterfalls, mystical hiking trails, gigantic mountain heights, volcanoes, glaciers, clear blue sky, and the crystal clear ice caves. It has various attractions that grab the attention of travelers, hikers, campers, explorers, and adventure enthusiasts from every nook and corner of the world. The European country is known for its rhythmic natural surrounding. The country looks incredible in every season and embraces an altogether different beauty. The eye-captivating visuals are magical and exciting as you explore the country even more via road or through hiking.
Iceland is surrounded by hot springs, waterfalls, thermal spas, and the magical northern lights. The incredible sight is pleasurable and picturesque, that offers a memorable experience for a lifetime. There are several ways to travel to Iceland; people find taking a flight as the cheapest and safest option. But there are many who love driving through the incredible landscapes, mountains covered under white snow and luscious green forests. And, then comes a set of people who find traveling to Iceland via cruise as one of the most exciting and thrilling experience.
Why Cruise Ship?
There are many ways to travel to Iceland, but a cruise ship is one of the best and loved ones for traveling. The voyage is in itself brought so many things to keep the adrenaline high and rushing. Many people do not feel comfortable traveling through a flight; some people fear height while others feel claustrophobic. Many people also book the cruise trip to Iceland as a part of a larger cruise tour around the Nordic countries in Europe. At the same time, the cruise offers a lovely ambiance and enough legroom for you to relax and enjoy the pretty sites.
It offers a sense of relaxation and satisfaction throughout the journey. The phase journey is the destination suits entirely while cruising. A cruise vacation is a popular fun activity that a lot of people enjoy, and traveling to Iceland means the bonus of experiencing both a cruise holiday and the incredible beauty of the northern country. The sheer thrilling experience is breathtaking and reminds you of all the good things.
What’s better than breathing fresh air and witnessing the rhythmic water waves? Probably nothing. The natural surrounding and ambiance are perfect for enjoying an enthralling holiday. The incredible ports and beaches in Iceland add to your voyage in a much positive way. You just have to sit back and experience the best this nature has to offer to mankind.
Ports and Harbours in Iceland - the most common
There are around eighteen ports in Iceland, including the busiest and most beautiful port located in the capital city, Reykjavik. Cruise unleashes an opportunity to witness the country by traveling to different ports. Each port uncovers another incredible and stunning side of the northern country. Some of the ports are:
Reykjavik is the heart of Iceland with great attractions, hospitable natives, and two stunning harbors. It is the center of the tourist industry and a hub of great cultural and historical richness. The two harbors are Miðbakki, which is also known as the Old Harbour, and Skarfabakki, the New Harbour. The port has access to the bus ride and rental car, which means you can conveniently reach your desired destination after getting to the capital city. It is also close to kids’ favorite attractions, the family park, Húsdýragarðurinn zoo, and the Laugardalslaug swimming pool.
Since many cruises only stop in Reykjavik for a limited amount of time, it can be hard to find guided tours that will take you to the locations that are on the top of your Iceland bucket list. We therefor recommend that you book a private tour for your stay in Reykjavik. When booking a private tour, you can have your private guide waiting for you at the harbor when your cruise arrives. The guide can take you to wherever you want in the time frame that you have before you have to be back at your cruise in the evening. Choose between sightseeing the city of Reykjavik, going to the Golden Circle, the South Coast, the Blue Lagoon or Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Just make sure to let your guide know beforehand what time you need to be back at the cruise, and he will organize your day.
Akureyri embraces one of the most beautiful harbors in the country. Akureyri is known as the capital of northern Iceland. It embraces various botanical gardens and incredible Nordic architecture. When visiting Akureyri, you can explore this small city, or take a private tour to Lake Myvatn and Goðafoss waterfall. Akureyri is a also the perfect place for a whale watching tour as well.
Ísafjörður is one of the largest harbors in the Westfjords and also among the busiest in Iceland. Most cruises that visit Iceland stop at Ísafjörður. Visitors love traveling to or stopping by this historically rich harbor. You can have a great time visiting the Icelandic Maritime Museum located in an old house in Isafjordur. If you have more time for your day in Ísafjörður, you might want to take the guided tour to Dynjandi waterfall, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. If you do not have a full day, but would still like to experience some adventures in Ísafjörður, a kayaking tour along the magical fjords are highly recommended. Remember that you need to book all your tours in advance because they usually get fully booked.
If you love watching dancing dolphins and joyous whales, then this port is for you. Husavik is a beautiful town located in north Iceland, close to Akureyri and Lake Myvatn. It is often named the whale watching capital of the world, since whale watching tours from Húsavík are considered to be the best ones. You can also go on puffin tours from here. Don’t forget to go to the GeoSea sea baths after your whale watching experience in Húsavík.
Seyðisfjörður village has one of the oldest ports in East Iceland that is connecting cruise ships and ferries. If you are arriving in Seydisfjordur via cruise, then you’ll get to experience traditional Nordic village, having homes made of colorful woods with scenic snow-covered mountains in the backdrop. Seyðisfjörður is considered by many, travelers and locals, to be the most beautiful village in Iceland. Walk around the town, grab a pizza at Skaftfell restaurant and adore the numerous waterfalls that you can find in this fjord.
Stykkishólmur is one of the most stunning and charming towns of Iceland that is home to incredible landscape, swimming pools, golf courses, and Nordic homes. This port is located on Snaefellsnes Peninsula. In Stykkisholmur you can also find some of the best sea food restaurants in Iceland. You can enjoy the sheer wealth of beautiful landscapes while stopping at the port during your voyage. If you have more time, we recommend that you drive to Kirkjufell mountain. Kirkjufell is one of the famous mountains in Iceland, and one of the most photographed mountain in the world.
Smaller Ports and Harbors in Iceland
Akranes is located close to the capital city, Reykjavik, and embraces some of the best outdoor recreational facilities. The port offers a perfect opportunity for fishing as it sets the ideal example of a fishing port. It is a well-known passing stop for tourists traveling to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula. If you have a couple of hours in Akranes, we recommend that you go to Guðlaug geothermal baths that are located by the seaside.
Eskifjörður port offers a perfect way to explore the rich and diverse culture of Iceland. It shares a proud connection with the mesmerizing sea as it is located to the north of Djupivogur. You will be thrilled to experience the old fisherman’s hut, Maritime museum, and cultural center. Eskifjorður features some of the beautiful and incredible hiking and biking trails in Iceland.
Vesturbyggð - Westfjords
It embraces two small ports, Patreksfjorður and Bildudalur. If you love exploring the unexplored that you should definitely include visiting these ports in your itinerary. These small ports are located in remote areas of Westfjords that feature Iceland’s beautiful and breathtaking landscapes.
The uncovered natural ambiance and magical surroundings make this the most aesthetically appealing corner of Iceland. This port offers an excellent opportunity for fishing and exploring the lakes of Melrakkasletta. If you are on a cruise ship and stopped by Raufarhofn, do visit Europe’s most powerful waterfall, Dettifoss, and horse shapes canyon Asbyrgi.
Vestmannaeyjar or Westman Islands are islands situated on the southern part of Iceland. It is magical to sail into Vestmannaeyjar, probably a sighting that you have never seen before. It is an unexplored place with a unique and incredible landscape, volcanoes, and trails. It usually has lesser tourists so you can enjoy a peaceful time amid breathtaking natural surroundings.
Siglufjordur is a trading harbor and one of the oldest since the medieval ages. You will love the native culture and picturesque scenery of this northernmost town of Iceland. It is one of the most significant towns of Iceland that embraces gigantic mountains, waterfalls, and trails.
Still, Confused? Browse Through Some of our Tips and Info
It is normal to get confused about whether to travel or not by cruise to Iceland. But there are plenty of reasons that will convince you to try out cruising to Iceland like;
- Cruising along with glaciers and fjords: You read that right. Cruising unleashes the opportunity to witness some of the most incredible glaciers and fjords of Iceland. The awe-inspiring scenic beauty offers a magical experience. Your voyage will be double up with fun and excitement as you pass by majestic fjords near the Akureyri port and gigantic glaciers in Vatnajokull.
- No Rush: Not many people travel to Iceland with a cruise, which means you don’t have to wait in queues to get into your cruise as you do at the airports. You can peacefully enjoy your voyage without any rush or a large number of tourists. Fewer people also mean that you have enough space to freely move around in the cruise while enjoying the magical ambiance of the northern country.
- Breathtaking Water Galore: Iceland is home to some of the most beautiful and stunning looking waterfalls. If you think Gullfoss in the Golden Circle is the most famous for all, then you’re wrong because cruising will unleash the most incredible waterfalls other than the popular ones. The cold weather and frequent rains create the perfect ambiance to enjoy these magical and rhythmic waterfalls. You can have a glimpse of Godafoss waterfall on your day in Akureyri.
- Explore the Capital City: Reykjavik is a fantastic city representing the rich and diverse culture and beauty of Iceland. If you’re cruising and passing by some of the most stunning ports and harbors, then do visit Reykjavik, which embraces the largest harbors. There is so much to do in this city that you would love to spend your time here. You can explore the active volcano, Blue Lagoon, and the Golden Circle. You can also visit the Thingvellir National park, which is declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
- Meet New People: Cruising means traveling to different ports and harbors, which allows you to meet and know different people. The welcoming and hospitable nature of the Icelandic people will help you see the country better.
- Know the Culture: You’re traveling and experiencing the grandeur of the beautiful country, allowing you to know the culture and tradition better. Visiting different ports and harbors means knowing new things each time you stop by these incredible places.
- The Food: No one can miss out on trying some of the best local food in Iceland. You can taste fresh seafood while stopping by ports known for their fishing pools. You wouldn’t get fresh seafood like Iceland anywhere else. Every nook and corner of Iceland is entrenched in flavorful and delicious food that you should try.
- Out of the World Scenic Beauty: Imagine traveling through some gigantic mountains, vicious volcanoes, rhythmic rivers, and mystical waterfalls. Sounds interesting, right? This is what you can experience while cruising to Iceland. The picturesque landscapes and scenic beauty attract thousands of tourists every year.
- Movie Locations: If you’re both a travel and movie fanatic, then cruising to Iceland is your thing. You get to witness some of the best locations featured in web series like Game of Thrones while passing by the magical ambiance of the European country. You can plan your itinerary according to see some of these beautiful locations.
Few Things to Remember
It is essential to plan your cruise journey keeping in mind the season. If you’re planning to take a cruise ship to Iceland, summer is the ideal season because of the freezing conditions in winter. The pleasant summer weather will allow you to explore some of the best sites in Iceland. Do remember summer is the peak season for tourists to travel to Iceland, so make sure to book everything well in advance to avoid experiencing a rush. The ideal months for cruising start from June till September.
Remember, you cannot predict the weather of Iceland, so no matter how you’re traveling or in which month or season, do pack essentials for winters. Also, do follow the safety standards of a cruise ship to avoid unwanted accidents. If you’re traveling with your kids, keep the safety tubes and other accessories near you to be prepared for any situation.
Try to remain in contact with the cruise staff to know the information related to the real-time situation, ports you’re passing by, and famous landmarks that are coming in your way, and weather conditions. Stay informed throughout your journey while enjoying the best nature has to offer. Besides the beautiful landscapes’ tremendous visual appeal, you will get to experience a different culture onboard. Cruise ship journeys are more prolonged than flight journeys due to various stops and steady speed. So, make sure to pack along with all the necessary items you would require on your adventurous voyage.
If traveling via a cruise ship is on your bucket list, check it by traveling to Iceland. There is no better place than Iceland that can provide you with the most memorable cruising trip. The adventurous trip will allow you to have a great time appreciating the incredible and distinctive beauty of nature, along with offering peace of mind. Iceland is a place that embraces the best of nature, and you need a reasonable amount of time to experience and absorb its beauty that can only be possible with a cruise trip. So, drench yourself with the beautiful ambiance, great aesthetic appeal, and magical experience of visiting Iceland through a cruise ship.