The Northern Isles cruise was a great 14 day tour of Nordic country and history in Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Shetland Island and Scotland. The cruise had 5 full days in Iceland, longer than most tours. My husband and I went early to tour Copenhagen/Sweden. Copenhagen has so many wonderful things to see you could easily spend 5 days just in that site alone. We took a fjord cruise and shopped in Bergen. We went on the troop wall tour in Ålesund, highly recommend. We booked a private tour to reduce the price. Seydisfjordur was a lovely town with colorful buildings. We took a tour to the interior part of Iceland’s Eastland. Next came Akureyri with the huge Godafoss waterfall and the really interesting Laufas Museum of a Church and preserved sod house. In Isafjordur, we took a tour with a local to Flateyri with a waterfall and the most amazing views of lupine flowers all over the county side and hillsides. The guide has rested eider down for the over 10000 ducks on his land. Then there were 2 days in Reykjavík with an Super Golden Circle tour and a city tour with the historic open air museum the next day. Lerwick and the Shetland Island was amazing, taking a small bus tour with a local, seeing the southern part of the island with amazing views, the Croft House museum, Scalloway museum with 5000 year old ruins and Sumburgh Head with Lighthouse and Puffin lined cliffs. Last stop was Inverggordon/Inverness, Scotland with a tour of Loch Ness, Culloden Battlefield, Clava Cairns and Inverness shopping. Many’s memories, any pictures. A cold was going around the ship and we both picked it up, luckily near the end of the cruise.
The on ship experience was very peaceful. They had great EXC tour specialist that gave information. The shows did vary, some were not as interesting. They did have three large music venues to attend, we found we enjoyed some of the music days better, especially the five piece Ensemble at the Lincoln center room. The in room dining with always great with fresh food and came quickly. The main dining room, the food was very good and non-gala nights. The Lido market had a variety of food that was just fine. We ate once at the Pinnacle Grill, you can eat lunch there for only $10. This was a really good restaurant. I recommend purchasing the unlimited laundry, you can bring less clothing. We purchased drink cards of $250 rather than a higher price drink package. At the end of the cruise the money left on the gift card was applied to your account. Embarking and disembarking went very easy. We took a morning tour with airport transfer to the airport on the last day.
We were able to upgrade to a Veranda Suite. Loved the larger bathroom with 2 sinks! There was lots of storage space, we didn’t even use it all. We were in midship and the sailing was extremely smooth. Our stewards were outstanding, meeting any needs we had. He was friendly, happy, and looked out for us the whole two weeks. The free in room breakfast was great for days when you needed to leave early for an excursion. We chose the unlimited laundry which was great, filling up the bag every evening with our clothing. It works so well I could have brought less clothing. This ship had been renovated and the furnishings in the room were clean and nice. There was a very large wall TV that you had easy access to all the information on the ship and even your ongoing ship account. They cleaned the carpets one day, giving us advanced notification and it did not present a problem. It was great to know Holland America works to keep things fresh and clean.
The hop on hop off bus tour in Copenhagen gave us in overview and chance to see many of the highlights including two castles, Tivoli, and the Citadel.
Took a fabulous tour with Shetland mini bus tours of the South Island. This local guide was very knowledgeable showing us many of those off the track beautiful sites, two museums, ruins over 5000 years old, the lighthouse with cliffs filled with puffins.