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ICELAND LAND OF ICE AND FIRE CRUISE JUNE 2017 Embarkation Our first time with Cruise and Maritime Voyages. There was a bus provided from Cork by JMG but we made our own way to Dublin Port. Having had experience of long chaotic embarkation procedures in the past we found this so simple. On board in 15 minutes . We were warmly greeted by staff and were escorted to our cabin and our bags arrived 5 minutes later. Everyone was given a time of embarkation which made it run much smoother. Our cabin 6129 - superior twin inner. Perfect location mid ship so equidistant to everywhere really. Great also for those who are not great rough sea travellers. We were next to the Fan room so expected the noise from that and had read people complaints in reviews in reference to this.. We heard a lot of people complain of this on this cruise but we did not notice it at all and I would be a very light sleeper. Our first time having an inside cabin without windows. Room very spacious. Most comfortable bed I have ever slept in. Adequate wardrobe space. Ensure suitcases are not too high to enable them to fit under bed - adhere to measurements given in pre cruise documentation. Shower room very spacious and retracting line in shower should you wish to do some washing. Plenty of shower and shampoo available in dispensers but if you are fussy bring your own. We did and found the smell of the shower gel very sweet flowery scent which I personally didn't like. Hair dryer adequate as a travel hairdryer would be. Two different amp sockets on wall so use higher voltage one to get better power. Bring an adaptor with you as sockets are European- two prong. Cannot fault the ship it being an older ship. Every feature was better than expected - cleanliness, staff, spacious public rooms, lovely theatre, open decks, etc. Nothing was too much trouble for their very peasant and well-trained staff. A very affordable holiday. We will certainly .cruise with them again. DINING We had requested an early sitting . We were allocated to the Waldorf Restaurant at the sitting of 17.45 . Late sitting was at 20.15. The other restaurant Kensington had sittings at 18.15 and 20.30 We liked the early sitting especially on days at sea. On our days ashore if late back we preferred to head to Raffles Bistro on our return. People at the late sitting didn't appear to leave the restaurants until after 10.30 which I would consider late. Food at Waldorf was lovely and staff so friendly. Raffles Bistro - typical buffet style perhaps not as good a selection as on bigger ships but very tasty and have to say we ate too much. We also chose Raffles for breakfast and enjoyed the delicious omelettes at the Egg station. The Bistro always packed for lunch especially on days at sea but you would always get a seat. Good selection of teas and coffee at the drink station . If you wanted a hot chocolate you had to pay for it. Drinks packages were available at £17 a day. Not great drinkers and not sure how we would be with some rough seas possible we didn't bother with this and bought a drink whenever we felt like one. Overall drinks very reasonable . Oh we did try a cocktail package - 10 cocktails for £29.99 which was fine. Bars were spacious with different entertainment at each venue. ENTERTAINMENT Singer in Taverners Pub was not the best but we made the most of it. Loved the classical music in Hampton Bar by two very talented musicians and a lovely venue. Pianist in Sinatra's lounge also very good. Evening shows - two shows 1930 and 2100. some of the shows unremarkable though enthusiastic singer, dancers and comedians. Some shows better than others. From Russia with Love particularly stands out - excellent. Morgan Lee Jones comedian. Enjoyed the formal nights. Mixed attire. Men in suits or tuxedos. Women in evening gowns, cocktail dresses or elegant day dresses. Whatever you are comfortable with. Enjoyed talks and lecture held during the day. Some excellent speakers - Cliff Jones in particular was amazing and the auditorium packed for all of his lectures. Also John Riley lectures on photography very good. Photographers following you everywhere especially if on tours. some people were very rude to them - they are only doing their job and were lovely young people. no harm browsing through the photos. We actually bought a few and they looked after us well having not bought a photo package. PORTS OF CALL Just a note that on other cruises that we were on the ship provided maps of the city or port that was being visited but not on the Magellan on this cruise. We had printed maps out before we left home and researched each port as we had not booked excursions except for one. Hint: Take down number of the ships emergency contact number on the daily programme and take it with you just in case you run into difficulty or run late. LIVERPOOL. Berthed at Liverpool Cruise Terminal a short walk to the city. Taxi rank adjacent to the exit of the cruise terminal. Tourist office located at the Albert Dock Visitor Information Centre. We firstly walked into the city and headed for the Cavern on Mathew Street - synonymous with the Beatles. Victoria Square nearby and Eleanor Rigby statue. Hop on hop off bus stop just outside terminal. We availed of this later on in the day ( £8 each. )Took about an hour to complete the full tour without getting off. We actually ended up going back to the ship for something to eat and a rest and headed back out again. We had a fantastic guide Chris . Recommend it. At the stop for the Metropolitean Cathedral which is an interesting building our guide recommended visiting the Philharmonic Dining Rooms - a listed building - one of the most ornate buildings in Liverpool - with exquisite interior - lovely for a glass of wine , a local ale or something to eat. And of course there is shopping for anyone interested! Got a wonderful send off from Liverpool with singing from the Mersey Choir and Beatles Puppets. DAY AT SEA A little rough as one can expect in the North Sea - it didn't bother us but some people were affected. Must recommend the Physiotherapist /Massage therapy in the Spa Centre. Rado gave us an excellent talk and a lot of people attended for a free consultation. Prices very reasonable and packages available. LERWICK SHETLANDS Tendered - so keep this in mind if reduced mobility and want to go ashore. Must say that the ship staff were fantastic assisting anyone who needed help. Tours were offered by the ship. We had arranged our own tour at this port. www.shetlandminibustours.co.uk . Shetland Minibus Tours is run by Grant Redfern, an experienced and independent Shetland tour guide who was born and grew up on the Shetland Islands. Offering minibus (8 seats) tours the length and breadth of the Islands. There were 6 on our tour. We had the tour booked for 9.00 as the ship was in very early. But the first tender for independent travellers was supposed to be at 9.15. We approached Staff at reception desk the night before and they kindly sorted us out. South mainland tour - EXCELLENT TOUR - we were able to travel to places that the bigger buses were unable to get to and were able to leave an attraction whenever we wanted to at our own pace. Weather wet and foggy but Grant our guide would go to where the weather was brighter. We visited Scalloway Castle, Croft house Museum, St Ninians Isle, Carols Shetland Ponies, Jarlshof, and Sumburgh Head - the highlight being the puffins visible at close proximity. Got to spend a little time in the town and worth a stroll around. Great selection of pubs , restaurants and shops. Don't forget to buy some Puffin Pooh or some lovely puffin toys available among other souvenirs at the tourist office near the pier. The locals love to stop and have a chat . If you decide not to do a tour there is a nice walk to the Knab along the shore line. KOLLAFJORDUR FAROE ISLANDS Magnificent scenery cruising into Kollafjordur. Not much to see or do around Kollafjordur itself unless you like to hike a little . Again we did not book a tour here. We had checked with the cruise company if there would be a bus provided to Torshavn and they replied that possibly so but that they could not confirm it until we were onboard the ship. Shuttle buses supplied but limited in number ( 3 ) so obvious queues . we waited 20 - 25 minutes and the journey to Torshavn which is lovely in itself took about 20 minutes- very much shortened by travelling through the long tunnel . Torshavn a delightful cosy little town - Bus stopped near the Fortress and Lighthouse and a short walk to the centre and to the old parliament - Tignanes area - Lovely little churches worth visiting and cemetery worth a visit and narrow streets to wander around. It was a Sunday so unfortunately for many people the shops were closed. There was a lovely little supermarket where one could get a nice cup of coffee or tea and cakes and staff very friendly. The young people working there were interested in where we came from and showed us the Faroese notes and we were able to get some as a souvenir. Lovely little cafe Paname Cafe was opened. There was just one little gift shop opened on the day. Tourist information centre in centre of town with toilet facilities. There is a local bus service - red town buses free to travel on which travels around the immediate town area if you wanted to see around the area without having to walk its an option. Amazing scenery cruising out of the fjord SEYDISFJORDUR ICELAND Yet another beautiful journey through the fjord - numerous waterfalls streaming down the volcanic cliffs visible on all sides. A tiny little village easy to walk around - short distance from where we were berthed. First stop a walk to the beautiful waterfall that we could see on arrival. Ground was wet and slippery in parts . Further along the road a walk to Tvisongur Sound Sculpture located on the mountain side. Tvisongur is a site-specific sound sculpture by German artist Lukas Kühne and is located on a mountainside above the town of Seydisfjordur. Again good walking shoes recommended.. About a 20 minute walk along a path across from the fish factory just outside of the village.. The work is built of concrete and consists of five interconnected domes of different sizes. The heights of the domes are between 2 and 4 meters and they cover an area of about 30 square meters. Each dome has its own resonance that corresponds to a tone in the Icelandic musical tradition of five-tone harmony, and works as a natural amplifier to that tone. Nice views from here also. The picturesque Bláa Kirkjan ( Blue Church) is one of the historic timber buildings in town. There are several other walks - a walk to Fjardarsel Hydro Plant about a half hours walk from the town. Take a short walk along by the river bank which is lovely. Purchased my stamps for postcards here in the supermarket as post office closed by the time I got to it. Also bank link at supermarket to get some Krona. Credit cards acceptable everywhere but its handy to have a few krona for public toilets - generally charge 200 - 300 Krona for toilet facilities. Shops opened selling souvenirs and Kaffi Lara - El Grillo Bar nice for a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and a snack or a local beer. One of our favourite ports of call. AKUREYRI Yet another magnificent fjord journey to here. A 5 to 10 minute walk to centre. We recommend travelling on the free of charge local city buses. Route 5 and 6 the most interesting and gives you a feel for the town. Lots of museums to visit. Lots of souvenir shops for you to browse in. Botanical gardens small but interesting and also visit to the churches. Nice little cafes. Home to the northernmost golf course in the world for those interested. ISAFJORDUR ICELAND Tendered here. Collect your tender tickets at the Taverners Pub when you are ready to go and they announce the boat departures - then head to the gangway. Called into the tourist information near the pier and they were very helpful and got a map with self guided walks. About a 5 minute walk to the town centre. A very small town . We liked it here - liked the remoteness . Small botanical Garden here also..We walked out of town climbing up on the avalanche blocking barrier walls great views over the town and fjord. Two churches to visit a tiny catholic church and the other Ísafjarðarkirkja a modernist church's altarpiece that has over 100 doves, each one made by a local during a group art-making project. Lovely little bakeries on the street Gamia Bakard and also Bakarinn bakery cafe. There is bar also if you fancied a drink. Visited the supermarket here and got a few items to bring home - actually a nice souvenir is some hand ground sea salt from the area presented beautifully and some delicious Icelandic sweets especially the liquorice ones coated in coconut and chocolate - went down a real treat with workmates and not that expensive compared to other items. REYKJAVIK Overnight here. Tourist visitor centre at pier - maps of city available. Good selection of souvenirs available and post box , last opportunity to send postcards. Phone internet and toilet facilities here. We weren't sure until week before that we were able to go on cruise so had not tours booked and by the time we got to book many were gone. Had thought about the Golden Circle and Blue Lagoon combined tour but that was booked out - we did manage to book the Golden Circle tour for the second day - our last day. So our first day we had a late start. It is tiring after all the ports of call. We got the hop on hop off bus from the pier. €35 can use it for 2 days. We gave ours away to tow people that we met on the ship. Takes one hour to do full circle. We got off at Hallgirmskirkja Church. €8 to go in the elevator to top of tower and we thought worth it for the views. timing is everything we had visited the church first but it was then closed for an hour or two as there was a concert. Downhill to centre of town there is a nice cafe - Kaffitar on Bankastraeti which offers coffee refills among other drinks and nice sandwiches and cakes. For those interested there is I know !! a Christmas Shop on Laugavegur street the main shopping street - some beautiful ornaments - again a nice souvenir. Some more expensive than others. In the evening we actually walked into Reykjavik from Skarfabakki cruise quay were we were berthed - a 4.3 mile walk ( 50 minutes with stops along the way. ) along the shoreline path passing through Laugarnes - a quarter that contains a historic site probably where the first settlement was situated. Continue along until you come to Harpa the concert hall - worth a look inside. The local buses no 16 runs to the cruise terminal op to 19.99hrs and the no16 runs some of the way with a short walk - the bus driver would tell you where to get off. I think it worked out about € 3 to 4 for the bus one way. Bus station quite central Last day we took The golden Circle tour with the ship. An early start meeting point outside the visitor centre. Comfortable buses. Excellent tour guide. busy schedule - over 8 hour day. A little walking involved. The main stops - Hervagerdi ( where earthquake hit ) Geyser, Thingvellir and Gulfoss and Perlan on return.. Lunch included at Hotel Geyser which was lovely and catered for those of us that had dietary issues of didn't eat fish!! Amazing scenery - again weather not the best and cold. But that is what you can expect when you travel here so be prepared. A long day. I can see why those who had combined tour with Blue Lagoon were shattered as they had another 2 - 3 hours. Recommend splitting and doing on different days. Speaking with other passengers who had booked tours at each port of call especially the local area tours - they were disappointed and regretted not going independently. We were glad that we had booked the tour on the last day as it was followed by two days at sea so we could recover. Weather a little better on return journey so able to get out on deck - people availing of the pool area. Watch out for wonderful wildlife, birds and whales. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed this cruise, for us it was the destination and we had no great expectations of the ship itself but it surprised us on all aspects. This cruise is available again next year we understand and we would do it all over again.

Would do it all again - above our expectations

Magellan Cruise Review by cumba68

13 people found this helpful
Trip Details
ICELAND LAND OF ICE AND FIRE

CRUISE JUNE 2017

Embarkation

Our first time with Cruise and Maritime Voyages.

There was a bus provided from Cork by JMG but we made our own way to Dublin Port.

Having had experience of long chaotic embarkation procedures in the past we found this so simple. On board in 15 minutes . We were warmly greeted by staff and were escorted to our cabin and our bags arrived 5 minutes later.

Everyone was given a time of embarkation which made it run much smoother.

Our cabin 6129 - superior twin inner.

Perfect location mid ship so equidistant to everywhere really. Great also for those who are not great rough sea travellers.

We were next to the Fan room so expected the noise from that and had read people complaints in reviews in reference to this.. We heard a lot of people complain of this on this cruise but we did not notice it at all and I would be a very light sleeper.

Our first time having an inside cabin without windows. Room very spacious. Most comfortable bed I have ever slept in. Adequate wardrobe space. Ensure suitcases are not too high to enable them to fit under bed - adhere to measurements given in pre cruise documentation. Shower room very spacious and retracting line in shower should you wish to do some washing.

Plenty of shower and shampoo available in dispensers but if you are fussy bring your own. We did and found the smell of the shower gel very sweet flowery scent which I personally didn't like.

Hair dryer adequate as a travel hairdryer would be. Two different amp sockets on wall so use higher voltage one to get better power. Bring an adaptor with you as sockets are European- two prong.

Cannot fault the ship it being an older ship. Every feature was better than expected - cleanliness, staff, spacious public rooms, lovely theatre, open decks, etc.

Nothing was too much trouble for their very peasant and well-trained staff. A very affordable holiday. We will certainly .cruise with them again.

DINING

We had requested an early sitting . We were allocated to the Waldorf Restaurant at the sitting of 17.45 . Late sitting was at 20.15.

The other restaurant Kensington had sittings at 18.15 and 20.30

We liked the early sitting especially on days at sea. On our days ashore if late back we preferred to head to Raffles Bistro on our return.

People at the late sitting didn't appear to leave the restaurants until after 10.30 which I would consider late.

Food at Waldorf was lovely and staff so friendly.

Raffles Bistro - typical buffet style perhaps not as good a selection as on bigger ships but very tasty and have to say we ate too much.

We also chose Raffles for breakfast and enjoyed the delicious omelettes at the Egg station. The Bistro always packed for lunch especially on days at sea but you would always get a seat.

Good selection of teas and coffee at the drink station . If you wanted a hot chocolate you had to pay for it.

Drinks packages were available at £17 a day. Not great drinkers and not sure how we would be with some rough seas possible we didn't bother with this and bought a drink whenever we felt like one. Overall drinks very reasonable . Oh we did try a cocktail package - 10 cocktails for £29.99 which was fine.

Bars were spacious with different entertainment at each venue.

ENTERTAINMENT

Singer in Taverners Pub was not the best but we made the most of it.

Loved the classical music in Hampton Bar by two very talented musicians and a lovely venue. Pianist in Sinatra's lounge also very good.

Evening shows - two shows 1930 and 2100. some of the shows unremarkable though enthusiastic singer, dancers and comedians. Some shows better than others. From Russia with Love particularly stands out - excellent. Morgan Lee Jones comedian.

Enjoyed the formal nights. Mixed attire. Men in suits or tuxedos. Women in evening gowns, cocktail dresses or elegant day dresses. Whatever you are comfortable with.

Enjoyed talks and lecture held during the day. Some excellent speakers - Cliff Jones in particular was amazing and the auditorium packed for all of his lectures. Also John Riley lectures on photography very good.

Photographers following you everywhere especially if on tours. some people were very rude to them - they are only doing their job and were lovely young people. no harm browsing through the photos. We actually bought a few and they looked after us well having not bought a photo package.

PORTS OF CALL

Just a note that on other cruises that we were on the ship provided maps of the city or port that was being visited but not on the Magellan on this cruise.

We had printed maps out before we left home and researched each port as we had not booked excursions except for one.

Hint: Take down number of the ships emergency contact number on the daily programme and take it with you just in case you run into difficulty or run late.


LIVERPOOL.

Berthed at Liverpool Cruise Terminal a short walk to the city.

Taxi rank adjacent to the exit of the cruise terminal.

Tourist office located at the Albert Dock Visitor Information Centre.

We firstly walked into the city and headed for the Cavern on Mathew Street - synonymous with the Beatles. Victoria Square nearby and Eleanor Rigby statue.

Hop on hop off bus stop just outside terminal. We availed of this later on in the day ( £8 each. )Took about an hour to complete the full tour without getting off. We actually ended up going back to the ship for something to eat and a rest and headed back out again. We had a fantastic guide Chris . Recommend it.

At the stop for the Metropolitean Cathedral which is an interesting building our guide recommended visiting the Philharmonic Dining Rooms - a listed building - one of the most ornate buildings in Liverpool - with exquisite interior - lovely for a glass of wine , a local ale or something to eat.

And of course there is shopping for anyone interested!

Got a wonderful send off from Liverpool with singing from the Mersey Choir and Beatles Puppets.

DAY AT SEA

A little rough as one can expect in the North Sea - it didn't bother us but some people were affected.

Must recommend the Physiotherapist /Massage therapy in the Spa Centre.

Rado gave us an excellent talk and a lot of people attended for a free consultation. Prices very reasonable and packages available.

LERWICK SHETLANDS

Tendered - so keep this in mind if reduced mobility and want to go ashore. Must say that the ship staff were fantastic assisting anyone who needed help.

Tours were offered by the ship. We had arranged our own tour at this port.

www.shetlandminibustours.co.uk .

Shetland Minibus Tours is run by Grant Redfern, an experienced and independent Shetland tour guide who was born and grew up on the Shetland Islands. Offering minibus (8 seats) tours the length and breadth of the Islands.

There were 6 on our tour. We had the tour booked for 9.00 as the ship was in very early. But the first tender for independent travellers was supposed to be at 9.15. We approached Staff at reception desk the night before and they kindly sorted us out.

South mainland tour - EXCELLENT TOUR - we were able to travel to places that the bigger buses were unable to get to and were able to leave an attraction whenever we wanted to at our own pace. Weather wet and foggy but Grant our guide would go to where the weather was brighter. We visited Scalloway Castle, Croft house Museum, St Ninians Isle, Carols Shetland Ponies, Jarlshof, and Sumburgh Head - the highlight being the puffins visible at close proximity.

Got to spend a little time in the town and worth a stroll around. Great selection of pubs , restaurants and shops. Don't forget to buy some Puffin Pooh or some lovely puffin toys available among other souvenirs at the tourist office near the pier. The locals love to stop and have a chat .

If you decide not to do a tour there is a nice walk to the Knab along the shore line.

KOLLAFJORDUR FAROE ISLANDS

Magnificent scenery cruising into Kollafjordur. Not much to see or do around Kollafjordur itself unless you like to hike a little .

Again we did not book a tour here. We had checked with the cruise company if there would be a bus provided to Torshavn and they replied that possibly so but that they could not confirm it until we were onboard the ship. Shuttle buses supplied but limited in number ( 3 ) so obvious queues . we waited 20 - 25 minutes and the journey to Torshavn which is lovely in itself took about 20 minutes- very much shortened by travelling through the long tunnel . Torshavn a delightful cosy little town - Bus stopped near the Fortress and Lighthouse and a short walk to the centre and to the old parliament - Tignanes area -

Lovely little churches worth visiting and cemetery worth a visit and narrow streets to wander around. It was a Sunday so unfortunately for many people the shops were closed. There was a lovely little supermarket where one could get a nice cup of coffee or tea and cakes and staff very friendly. The young people working there were interested in where we came from and showed us the Faroese notes and we were able to get some as a souvenir. Lovely little cafe Paname Cafe was opened. There was just one little gift shop opened on the day. Tourist information centre in centre of town with toilet facilities.

There is a local bus service - red town buses free to travel on which travels around the immediate town area if you wanted to see around the area without having to walk its an option.

Amazing scenery cruising out of the fjord

SEYDISFJORDUR ICELAND

Yet another beautiful journey through the fjord - numerous waterfalls streaming down the volcanic cliffs visible on all sides.

A tiny little village easy to walk around - short distance from where we were berthed.

First stop a walk to the beautiful waterfall that we could see on arrival. Ground was wet and slippery in parts .

Further along the road a walk to Tvisongur Sound Sculpture located on the mountain side. Tvisongur is a site-specific sound sculpture by German artist Lukas Kühne and is located on a mountainside above the town of Seydisfjordur. Again good walking shoes recommended.. About a 20 minute walk along a path across from the fish factory just outside of the village.. The work is built of concrete and consists of five interconnected domes of different sizes. The heights of the domes are between 2 and 4 meters and they cover an area of about 30 square meters. Each dome has its own resonance that corresponds to a tone in the Icelandic musical tradition of five-tone harmony, and works as a natural amplifier to that tone. Nice views from here also.

The picturesque Bláa Kirkjan ( Blue Church) is one of the historic timber buildings in town.

There are several other walks - a walk to Fjardarsel Hydro Plant about a half hours walk from the town. Take a short walk along by the river bank which is lovely.

Purchased my stamps for postcards here in the supermarket as post office closed by the time I got to it. Also bank link at supermarket to get some Krona. Credit cards acceptable everywhere but its handy to have a few krona for public toilets - generally charge 200 - 300 Krona for toilet facilities.

Shops opened selling souvenirs and Kaffi Lara - El Grillo Bar nice for a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and a snack or a local beer.

One of our favourite ports of call.

AKUREYRI

Yet another magnificent fjord journey to here.

A 5 to 10 minute walk to centre. We recommend travelling on the free of charge local city buses. Route 5 and 6 the most interesting and gives you a feel for the town. Lots of museums to visit. Lots of souvenir shops for you to browse in.

Botanical gardens small but interesting and also visit to the churches. Nice little cafes. Home to the northernmost golf course in the world for those interested.

ISAFJORDUR ICELAND

Tendered here.

Collect your tender tickets at the Taverners Pub when you are ready to go and they announce the boat departures - then head to the gangway.

Called into the tourist information near the pier and they were very helpful and got a map with self guided walks. About a 5 minute walk to the town centre. A very small town . We liked it here - liked the remoteness .

Small botanical Garden here also..We walked out of town climbing up on the avalanche blocking barrier walls great views over the town and fjord.

Two churches to visit a tiny catholic church and the other Ísafjarðarkirkja

a modernist church's altarpiece that has over 100 doves, each one made by a local during a group art-making project.

Lovely little bakeries on the street Gamia Bakard and also Bakarinn bakery cafe. There is bar also if you fancied a drink.

Visited the supermarket here and got a few items to bring home - actually a nice souvenir is some hand ground sea salt from the area presented beautifully and some delicious Icelandic sweets especially the liquorice ones coated in coconut and chocolate - went down a real treat with workmates and not that expensive compared to other items.

REYKJAVIK

Overnight here.

Tourist visitor centre at pier - maps of city available. Good selection of souvenirs available and post box , last opportunity to send postcards. Phone internet and toilet facilities here.

We weren't sure until week before that we were able to go on cruise so had not tours booked and by the time we got to book many were gone. Had thought about the Golden Circle and Blue Lagoon combined tour but that was booked out - we did manage to book the Golden Circle tour for the second day - our last day.

So our first day we had a late start. It is tiring after all the ports of call.

We got the hop on hop off bus from the pier. €35 can use it for 2 days. We gave ours away to tow people that we met on the ship. Takes one hour to do full circle. We got off at Hallgirmskirkja Church. €8 to go in the elevator to top of tower and we thought worth it for the views. timing is everything we had visited the church first but it was then closed for an hour or two as there was a concert. Downhill to centre of town there is a nice cafe - Kaffitar on Bankastraeti which offers coffee refills among other drinks and nice sandwiches and cakes.

For those interested there is I know !! a Christmas Shop on Laugavegur street the main shopping street - some beautiful ornaments - again a nice souvenir. Some more expensive than others.

In the evening we actually walked into Reykjavik from Skarfabakki cruise quay were we were berthed - a 4.3 mile walk ( 50 minutes with stops along the way. ) along the shoreline path passing through Laugarnes - a quarter that contains a historic site probably where the first settlement was situated. Continue along until you come to Harpa the concert hall - worth a look inside.

The local buses no 16 runs to the cruise terminal op to 19.99hrs and the no16 runs some of the way with a short walk - the bus driver would tell you where to get off. I think it worked out about € 3 to 4 for the bus one way. Bus station quite central

Last day we took The golden Circle tour with the ship.

An early start meeting point outside the visitor centre. Comfortable buses. Excellent tour guide. busy schedule - over 8 hour day. A little walking involved. The main stops - Hervagerdi ( where earthquake hit ) Geyser, Thingvellir and Gulfoss and Perlan on return.. Lunch included at Hotel Geyser which was lovely and catered for those of us that had dietary issues of didn't eat fish!! Amazing scenery - again weather not the best and cold. But that is what you can expect when you travel here so be prepared.

A long day. I can see why those who had combined tour with Blue Lagoon were shattered as they had another 2 - 3 hours. Recommend splitting and doing on different days.

Speaking with other passengers who had booked tours at each port of call especially the local area tours - they were disappointed and regretted not going independently.

We were glad that we had booked the tour on the last day as it was followed by two days at sea so we could recover.

Weather a little better on return journey so able to get out on deck - people availing of the pool area. Watch out for wonderful wildlife, birds and whales.

Overall we thoroughly enjoyed this cruise, for us it was the destination and we had no great expectations of the ship itself but it surprised us on all aspects.

This cruise is available again next year we understand and we would do it all over again.
cumba68’s Full Rating Summary
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Akureyri
    AKUREYRI
    Yet another magnificent fjord journey to here.
    A 5 to 10 minute walk to centre. We recommend travelling on the free of charge local city buses. Route 5 and 6 the most interesting and gives you a feel for the town. Lots of museums to visit. Lots of souvenir shops for you to browse in.
    Botanical gardens small but interesting and also visit to the churches. Nice little cafes. Home to the northernmost golf course in the world for those interested.
    View All 68 Akureyri Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Akureyri Cruise Port Review
  • Lerwick
    LERWICK SHETLANDS
    Tendered - so keep this in mind if reduced mobility and want to go ashore. Must say that the ship staff were fantastic assisting anyone who needed help.
    Tours were offered by the ship. We had arranged our own tour at this port.
    www.shetlandminibustours.co.uk .
    Shetland Minibus Tours is run by Grant Redfern, an experienced and independent Shetland tour guide who was born and grew up on the Shetland Islands. Offering minibus (8 seats) tours the length and breadth of the Islands.
    There were 6 on our tour. We had the tour booked for 9.00 as the ship was in very early. But the first tender for independent travellers was supposed to be at 9.15. We approached Staff at reception desk the night before and they kindly sorted us out.
    South mainland tour - EXCELLENT TOUR - we were able to travel to places that the bigger buses were unable to get to and were able to leave an attraction whenever we wanted to at our own pace. Weather wet and foggy but Grant our guide would go to where the weather was brighter. We visited Scalloway Castle, Croft house Museum, St Ninians Isle, Carols Shetland Ponies, Jarlshof, and Sumburgh Head - the highlight being the puffins visible at close proximity.
    Got to spend a little time in the town and worth a stroll around. Great selection of pubs , restaurants and shops. Don't forget to buy some Puffin Pooh or some lovely puffin toys available among other souvenirs at the tourist office near the pier. The locals love to stop and have a chat .
    If you decide not to do a tour there is a nice walk to the Knab along the shore line.
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  • Liverpool
    LIVERPOOL.
    Berthed at Liverpool Cruise Terminal a short walk to the city.
    Taxi rank adjacent to the exit of the cruise terminal.
    Tourist office located at the Albert Dock Visitor Information Centre.
    We firstly walked into the city and headed for the Cavern on Mathew Street - synonymous with the Beatles. Victoria Square nearby and Eleanor Rigby statue.
    Hop on hop off bus stop just outside terminal. We availed of this later on in the day ( £8 each. )Took about an hour to complete the full tour without getting off. We actually ended up going back to the ship for something to eat and a rest and headed back out again. We had a fantastic guide Chris . Recommend it.
    At the stop for the Metropolitean Cathedral which is an interesting building our guide recommended visiting the Philharmonic Dining Rooms - a listed building - one of the most ornate buildings in Liverpool - with exquisite interior - lovely for a glass of wine , a local ale or something to eat.
    And of course there is shopping for anyone interested!
    Got a wonderful send off from Liverpool with singing from the Mersey Choir and Beatles Puppets.
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  • Golden Circle
    REYKJAVIK
    Overnight here.
    Tourist visitor centre at pier - maps of city available. Good selection of souvenirs available and post box , last opportunity to send postcards. Phone internet and toilet facilities here.
    We weren't sure until week before that we were able to go on cruise so had not tours booked and by the time we got to book many were gone. Had thought about the Golden Circle and Blue Lagoon combined tour but that was booked out - we did manage to book the Golden Circle tour for the second day - our last day.
    So our first day we had a late start. It is tiring after all the ports of call.
    We got the hop on hop off bus from the pier. €35 can use it for 2 days. We gave ours away to tow people that we met on the ship. Takes one hour to do full circle. We got off at Hallgirmskirkja Church. €8 to go in the elevator to top of tower and we thought worth it for the views. timing is everything we had visited the church first but it was then closed for an hour or two as there was a concert. Downhill to centre of town there is a nice cafe - Kaffitar on Bankastraeti which offers coffee refills among other drinks and nice sandwiches and cakes.
    For those interested there is I know !! a Christmas Shop on Laugavegur street the main shopping street - some beautiful ornaments - again a nice souvenir. Some more expensive than others.
    In the evening we actually walked into Reykjavik from Skarfabakki cruise quay were we were berthed - a 4.3 mile walk ( 50 minutes with stops along the way. ) along the shoreline path passing through Laugarnes - a quarter that contains a historic site probably where the first settlement was situated. Continue along until you come to Harpa the concert hall - worth a look inside.
    The local buses no 16 runs to the cruise terminal op to 19.99hrs and the no16 runs some of the way with a short walk - the bus driver would tell you where to get off. I think it worked out about € 3 to 4 for the bus one way. Bus station quite central

    Last day we took The golden Circle tour with the ship.
    An early start meeting point outside the visitor centre. Comfortable buses. Excellent tour guide. busy schedule - over 8 hour day. A little walking involved. The main stops - Hervagerdi ( where earthquake hit ) Geyser, Thingvellir and Gulfoss and Perlan on return.. Lunch included at Hotel Geyser which was lovely and catered for those of us that had dietary issues of didn't eat fish!! Amazing scenery - again weather not the best and cold. But that is what you can expect when you travel here so be prepared.
    A long day. I can see why those who had combined tour with Blue Lagoon were shattered as they had another 2 - 3 hours. Recommend splitting and doing on different days.
    Speaking with other passengers who had booked tours at each port of call especially the local area tours - they were disappointed and regretted not going independently.
    We were glad that we had booked the tour on the last day as it was followed by two days at sea so we could recover.
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  • Torshavn
    KOLLAFJORDUR FAROE ISLANDS
    Magnificent scenery cruising into Kollafjordur. Not much to see or do around Kollafjordur itself unless you like to hike a little .
    Again we did not book a tour here. We had checked with the cruise company if there would be a bus provided to Torshavn and they replied that possibly so but that they could not confirm it until we were onboard the ship. Shuttle buses supplied but limited in number ( 3 ) so obvious queues . we waited 20 - 25 minutes and the journey to Torshavn which is lovely in itself took about 20 minutes- very much shortened by travelling through the long tunnel . Torshavn a delightful cosy little town - Bus stopped near the Fortress and Lighthouse and a short walk to the centre and to the old parliament - Tignanes area -
    Lovely little churches worth visiting and cemetery worth a visit and narrow streets to wander around. It was a Sunday so unfortunately for many people the shops were closed. There was a lovely little supermarket where one could get a nice cup of coffee or tea and cakes and staff very friendly. The young people working there were interested in where we came from and showed us the Faroese notes and we were able to get some as a souvenir. Lovely little cafe Paname Cafe was opened. There was just one little gift shop opened on the day. Tourist information centre in centre of town with toilet facilities.
    There is a local bus service - red town buses free to travel on which travels around the immediate town area if you wanted to see around the area without having to walk its an option.
    Amazing scenery cruising out of the fjord
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