We chose this cruise for two reasons, firstly we wanted to visit the west of Greenland and this is the only ice-strengthened (double hull) cruise ship that we know of and secondly it was extremely good value for money.
We were slightly hesitant about choosing Marco Polo as we had heard passengers on other cruise ships say that wouldn't travel on her (on further questioning about their experience it mostly seemed that they had never travelled on her but were going by what 'other people' had told them). I would now say to those people that they are missing a great experience.
Our choice is for smaller, older ships and Marco Polo is definitely this. She sits well in the water in rough seas, is immaculately clean and appears to be well maintained with no obvious maintenance work going on during our 3 week trip. The food was very good with choices for everyone and some of the meals were excellent - we had no complaints at all. The crew and staff were friendly, efficient and helpful and our room steward, Jose, waiter Iqbal and excursion staff Susan and Lena were absolutely excellent. Our cabin was a twin porthole cabin on deck five and it was absolutely fine - people didn't seem to care on this ship what deck you were on! There was no kettle in the cabin, which we missed - if you have a cabin with window rather than portholes then apparently you do get a kettle.
This cabin was fine. Two portholes and comfortable beds. Adequate shower room. Desk and further chest of drawers. Good wardrobe space. No kettle!
Stopped here for other cruisers to embark. Berth is quite a way out of the town, but adjacent to the Station. With hindsight we should have taken the bus or train into the town as other people had enjoyed this - we just walked to Morrisons!
This was an excellent port. Loved the excursion to Skara Brea. Kirkwall itself was lovely with a cathedral and good range of independent shops - lots of local jewellery available.
Interesting port to visit and worth being on deck for the approach as there are often whales in the fjord (if right time of year). Berth walkable to town centre. Interesting cathedral and nice walk past here to botanical gardens. Famous ice cream shop about 20 minutes walk out of town but we went to Valdis in the main street - yummy!
We had booked in advance a whale watching trip with Elding and it was very good - can recommend.
Have visited Reykjavik before and done the normal excursions so this time we walked from the ship (berth about an hour's pleasant walk along coast or £18 return on shuttle bus provided by port) to the harbour area. Harpa cultural centre is a good stop for film on Iceland, shopping, free wi-fi and free toilets (not always the case in Iceland!). Harbour area is interesting with several museums/galleries and interesting eating places (including my favourite Valdis ice cream opposite maritime museum!)