When arriving by ship to Reykjavik it is important to be aware of the wide range of possibilities this destination has to offer. Exciting tours leaving from the pier can take you to lava fields, waterfalls, hot springs, glaciers, volcanoes and geothermal spas. It all depends on how much time you are willing to spend and how long the ship stays in port.
There is of course the city itself which offers perhaps a surprising amount of things to do, museums, art galleries, landmarks and a history going back to the first viking settlers in the 9th century. Reykjavik was the main base of operations for the allied forces during WW2 in Iceland which was strategically of tremendous value due to its geographical location in the Middle of the North Atlantic. The last part of the 20th century saw a music scene rise in the city which exploded onto the international stage and in its wake we have seen the birth of various music festivals and vibrant creative scene.
The Golden Circle Iceland is a unique tour which takes you to the National Park and Rift Valley of Thingvellir where two tectonic plates drift apart, lava and moss create an amazing environment where vikings held their high council of Althing and Game of Thrones shot a few scenes. On to The Great Geysir hot spring area where steam rises from various types of geothermal pools and Europe’s only erupting geyser Strokkur shoots every few minutes columns of steam into the air. Then there is Gullfoss Waterfall, a majestic two-stepped waterfall situated in glacial river flowing from Iceland’s second largest glacier Langjokull and considered to be one of the jewels of this country. Numerous add ons can be made on this tour, such as visiting The Fridheimar geothermal organic tomato green house (amazing bloody maries), relaxing at The Fontana geothermal spa, an excursion into The Lava Tunnel a lava tube in one of the vast lava fields of Hellisheidi, and snowmobiling on Langjokull Glacier, all dependending on how much time you have.
The Blue Lagoon and The Reykjanes Peninsula. A visit to the unique and wonderful Blue Lagoon is one of the highlights of any journey to Iceland. Bathing in its healing waters hoping to look ten years younger and washing away most of your sins in the process. To make more of your day at the Blue Lagoon the rest of the peninsula is quite a geological wonder and well worth a few stops at the beautiful Kleifarvatn Lake, the steaming mud pools at Seltun, the powerful Gunnuhver hot spring, The Bridge Between Continents and all in all experiencing the great lava fields and otherworldly landscapes of Reykjanes.
The options are quite many and it might be a good idea to a little research and find out what sparks your interest the most.
Iceland and especially Reykjavik have become popular destinations for cruise ships. When arriving via cruise ship it is essential to have some things in mind:
Check and verify your timings well. Your ship may leave at 5 PM for example but require you to be back at 4 PM. Same applies to departures. If you want to be sure and safe we recommend private tours. Like that we can adjust the schedule to your needs. In case of delays your driver can hurry or even better take some more time for you if you are right on time.
There are 3 main Piers used by cruise ships when reaching Iceland´s capital. We offer pick up from all three, just let us know where you will be arriving:
Miðbakki or the old harbour which is located Downtown right next to Harpa concert hall. It is used by smaller ships since it does not have the capacity for larger ships. Among these are for example the ships going whale watching. Here you do not have the pier but also a few small and very cosy seafood restaurants. You also can admire one of two locomotives which used to operate in Reykjavik until 1928. So this harbour is worth a visit. You can for example visit it during the Hop on Hop off.
Skarfabakki which is the main pier for cruise ships. It has a terminal building and a lot of space.
Sundabakki is used on days with a lot of arrivals and usually only used by cargo ships.