7 Reykjavik Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

Our third Crystal cruise did not disappoint. We went from Iceland to the fjord of Norway to Copenhagen, and I would highly recommend this route as it was spectacular in every way, and the Crystal Serenity was simply the best. Impeccable ... Read More
Our third Crystal cruise did not disappoint. We went from Iceland to the fjord of Norway to Copenhagen, and I would highly recommend this route as it was spectacular in every way, and the Crystal Serenity was simply the best. Impeccable service, cuisine, facilities, entertainment- there cannot be a better cruise line than this. I am a customer service expert, so I have high standards and Crystal surpassed every expectation. Every single item of cuisine at every single meal or snack was exceptional. They even had a wonderful variety of sugar-free and gluten-free treats which were most welcome for those of us with dietary restrictions. The staff handled all that with ease and a smile. Every single staff member from the gangplank to the crew to the waiters to the stewardesses were delightful and the best you will ever experience. Really marvelous service. The entertainment was way beyond what I was expecting, and there were informative lectures and movies, and so much more. They even had the astronaut who rescued the Hubble Space Telescope giving talks. Very impressive. They imported a number of special guests performers, and the in-house artists were all world class too. The excursions, while expensive, and extra, were ll top notch and absolutely beautiful. The fjords are astonishing and spectacular. The ship has been nicely refurbished and is spacious, bursting with every possible amenity, planet of space. There is so much to do, or not do, that every taste will be satisfied. The spa and fitness center were excellent and spacious. The cabin was ample and the double sink in its bathroom was a nice touch. the bathroom was sizable, and I could even stand up n the show and in 99% of the ship even though I am 6'-8"/203cm tall. We loved having a verandah and could have sat out there all day and never left and been very happy (thanks to the free and wonderful room service). Of course, there was some internet spottiness above the Arctic Circle and in the fjords, but it's still miraculous to even have internet on the high seas. It turned out to be a minor inconvenience, but was better than our last Crystal cruise on the Symphony, but that was before their remodel and internet upgrade. I would HIGHLY recommend Crystal Cruises for any route, and I would very much recommend Iceland and the Norwegian Fjords as destination- really exceptional and awesomely beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
How many other small ship cruise lines provide these cabin offerings? If you're looking for a small ship cruise line, Windstar Star Pride should be a ship to consider. The 'standard' cabins are BIG in comparison to ... Read More
How many other small ship cruise lines provide these cabin offerings? If you're looking for a small ship cruise line, Windstar Star Pride should be a ship to consider. The 'standard' cabins are BIG in comparison to others. Additionally plenty of space for ALL of your clothes. Having a sitting area with two chairs and a couch is a benefit. For relaxing. For morning breakfast. The boat offers many places to relax. Up at the bow in the yacht club. In the aft in one or two different lounges. The food is very very good. Quality offerings especially at dinner time. Fresh fish. Fresh vegetables. Great flavor combinations. Yummy desserts. And the wine pairings are perfect. Best of all is the staff/crew. Everyone is well trained in genuine service with a genuine smile. Not stuffy at all. The crew talent show shouldn't be missed. It brings a very big smile. There is a very concerted attempt for the crew to get to know passengers. By name. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
My wife and I recently went on the Le Soliel expedition cruise entitled The Saga of Erick the Red from July 17—29. The trip started in Iceland and spent most of the time combing the Greenland coast up to Kangerlussuaq. We were both ... Read More
My wife and I recently went on the Le Soliel expedition cruise entitled The Saga of Erick the Red from July 17—29. The trip started in Iceland and spent most of the time combing the Greenland coast up to Kangerlussuaq. We were both impressed with the level of service on the ship. The housekeeping as immaculate, the meals were wonderful, and the entertainment was enjoyable, and the ship staff was friendly and helpful. We are looking forward to spending another cruise with Ponant. Unfortunately, one serious drawback to the trip was the quality of the expedition staff (known as naturalist guides). The expedition leader, Florence, was over-matched in her role, and appeared to provide little actual leadership to her guide staff. While all the naturalist guides seemed to be good people, essentially they provided little real guiding. We were usually dumped onto land and were on our own to “use our imagination” as the expedition leader would say. The naturalist guides would simply spread out and watch as passengers walked around, often aimlessly and confused. Here are some examples to illustrate my point: • There was no emphasis on wilderness ethics. The Arctic growing season is short and plant life is precious, yet the expedition leader, Florence, and her staff made very little effort to educate the visitors on how to behave in these wild places and how to best preserve them. Passengers would be wearing big rubber boots designed specifically for mud and muck, yet would trample over delicate flora to avoid wet areas on the trails. • Naturalists were frequently unable to answer the most basic questions about the flora, fauna, geology, or history of a landing site. A naturalist guide should have at least a general knowledge of the natural and human history of an area to be visited, and should have a guidebook to help them answer questions, yet frequently, we got the “I don’t know” response or an outright mis-identification. • One hike we went on was a disaster. My wife and I were one of the first off the ship but we waited over an hour until the all passengers unloaded before the hike started. When it did, nearly 200 passengers all crammed along the same narrow trail, and received no guiding input on the hike. Instead of one enormous group, why not divide the passengers up among the guides and go on more manageable smaller group hikes? • The Viking sites were special but the expedition leader and her naturalist guides were not located at the actual ruins where they could identify the ruins and give historical background. In fact, the first Viking site we landed at, many passengers had no idea where the ruins were located and when we finally saw the 1,000 year-old ruins we had no idea what we were looking at. Passengers even found they had wandered right over one of the Viking long houses, not realizing where the ruin was. • Frequently, naturalist guides were taking pictures as their own personal hobby instead of helping passengers. • The naturalist guides’ PowerPoint presentations on the landing sites were of marginal use. Some of the information presented on the Vikings was superficial and incomplete. We talked to passengers who were on other Ponant expeditions and they said their previous experiences with the naturalists guides was must better. Perhaps we just hit a dud on this expedition. With that said, despite the poor guiding, we enjoyed the rest of the experience enough that we will try another Ponant cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
No doubt about it , this is a trip of a life time . The itinerary allows one to have a very in-depth exploration of Iceland----- its history , culture , wild-life and scenery . And the crew and the scientific resource persons on board ... Read More
No doubt about it , this is a trip of a life time . The itinerary allows one to have a very in-depth exploration of Iceland----- its history , culture , wild-life and scenery . And the crew and the scientific resource persons on board cannot be better. However , because of the rough open sea around Iceland and the fact that the ship often had to sail in rough water during dinner , I have to miss 4 dinners out of the 9 evenings. And I am not the only one--- half of the 8 people in my group vomited at least once or had to take motion-sickness medication at some stage. The ship even had to put up ropes in the corridor to allow people to hang on to as they walk to dinner/lunch. So ,if you are prone to sea-sickness , this is not a ship for you . Another thing that I never realize , nor was I able to obtain any information prior to booking is that the people in the lower cabins at the back ( stern) of the boat will suffer from terrible engine noise . We were in the 300 level ( one deck below the reception) , and the noise in our cabin was so terrible that I had to raise my voice just talking to my wife whenever she was more than 10 feet away. And it was simple not possible to turn on any quite music in the cabin. Mercifully , the noise was constant and after awhile , one sort of got used to it and every night, sleep would eventually come after a initial irritating phase. On the other hand , my friends who were at the same level but had cabins near the front( bow) of the boat , experienced very minimal engine noise throughout the day . If someone had reviewed that before , I would have chosen my cabin more wisely . I just could not understand why no one has even mention that in any past review. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
For the money, my recent cruise to Greenland and Canadian Arctic was a bit of a let down. First, we were misdirected at the Reykjavík airport and the bus actually left without us! And did the same to at least one other person. The ground ... Read More
For the money, my recent cruise to Greenland and Canadian Arctic was a bit of a let down. First, we were misdirected at the Reykjavík airport and the bus actually left without us! And did the same to at least one other person. The ground tours were ok but very rushed, and they paraded us around Iceland for 6 hours or so after arriving at 6am from a 5-hour flight. The parting lunch was abysmal, and the restaurant was so crowded the food buffet was mostly inaccessible. I finally found a seat and a tour rep asked me to move so a couple could sit together! Then no one had any idea how the luggage would be retrieved by us at the airport going to Greenland, but clearly told us it was solely our own responsibility. Wow. The cruise itself was great, but again, there was a complete lack of organization by the expedition crew. And most, but not all, expedition crew were really very unfriendly and downright arrogant. The leader even rushed me along into the zodiac leaving an island, and I was one of the fast ones. Another one mocked me for not getting out of the way quick enough so he could photograph a site without people in it. Also, why does the staff get to sit in the first-class seats to and from Greenland/Iceland? And on the ship, while everyone occupied the bow area to photograph interesting animals, the best spots were taken by the Nat Geo photographers. They are PAID to be there, while the guests paid for the experience. Surely we should have access to the very front first. Back in Iceland, the same disorganization continued. Where are the bags?, no one knows, come down at 9am to ID your bag, then the story changes. The very high price is supposed to, in part, avoid these types of things. But apparently not. The ship itself was very clean and pleasant. Her crew was excellent. The food was not bad, but gets repetitive after a while. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We cruised around Iceland over eleven days, stopping at small ports and islands, sometimes twice in a day, and enjoying rubber boat trips to bird cliffs, etc. Absolutely no problems over embarkation and disembarkation, and the transfers ... Read More
We cruised around Iceland over eleven days, stopping at small ports and islands, sometimes twice in a day, and enjoying rubber boat trips to bird cliffs, etc. Absolutely no problems over embarkation and disembarkation, and the transfers from/to the airport were on time and trouble-free. The ship was compact - 121 passengers in all - yet had all that we needed in terms of facilities, including a training room and outdoor jacuzzi for those who wished. The cabin was equally compact, but the double bed was superbly comfortable and the en-suite entirely adequate. There were two lounges and one restaurant, with a bar in one of the lounges. Dining was at specified tables on some evenings, but for breakfast, lunch and 'buffet' evening meals the seating was open. The food was invariably good, with a few 'themed' cuisines such as 'South American' or 'Italian Style'. There was no 'entertainment' in the sense of shows, but every evening there were talks about what we had seen, or what we were to see the following day, and on one evening the crew pt on their own show for us. Books and games were available in the panorama lounge. There was an excellent range of excursions, which were impeccably organised, whilst the crew were well trained in ensuring safe transfers into and from the tenders when at anchor rather than alongside a jetty. For anyone interested in seeing this fascinating country it was a superb cruise - the only thing they didn't organise for us was an eruption of any of the volcanoes! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Notes on Hurtigruten National Park Expedition, 10 September to 24 September 2015 We had been looking forward to our third Explorer Voyage, to Iceland, North East Greenland and Spitzbergen National Park for some time but, unfortunately, ... Read More
Notes on Hurtigruten National Park Expedition, 10 September to 24 September 2015 We had been looking forward to our third Explorer Voyage, to Iceland, North East Greenland and Spitzbergen National Park for some time but, unfortunately, this last voyage was such a massive disappointment that, instead of us now planning our next trip with Hurtigruten, it is most unlikely that we will travel on the Fram or with them again. Signs of what was to come started with the mandatory safety drill. Compared with those on our 2012 and 2013 voyages when the drills went like clockwork the contrast could not have been greater: it was disorganised chaos made worse by the fact that many of the large Chinese contingent on board talked loudly and incessantly over the instructions when they were being given in English or German. Instead of standing in relatively small groups, a large number of passengers had to just mill about trying to catch a glimpse of the crew member demonstrating procedures. Now, it is most important to recognise and acknowledge that cultural and behavioural differences exist and one needs to be tolerant. However, it is a sad fact that the behaviour of many, a majority, of the large number of Chinese passengers left much to be desired. They seem to have no concept of personal space and constantly elbowed their way in wherever, be it on deck or in the lifts or in the dining room. In general, they took little notice of the timings of excursions, demanding to be carried even when their group had not been called, and then refusing to return to the boats at allotted times. It was also an unpleasant experience to follow some of them in the queues for the buffets watching them handle food before returning it to the counters. As for the trip itself well something went wrong early on. It appears that the wrong fuel had been delivered and put into some of the boats and so we hung about for a couple of days, in the, admittedly, beautiful scenery of the Scoresbysund waiting until the Fram could take on-board the correct fuel during a second stop at Ittoqqortoormiit. I am still not sure what actually went wrong as communication with passengers left a great deal to be desired. Whatever the reason, the delay put us two days behind schedule from then on. Now, it is obvious and right that the safety of the ship and of her passengers is paramount and that important decisions must be left to the captain. Nevertheless, when still in Iceland we had been told that the earlier trip from Spitzbergen had been unable to get into some of the planned landing places because of extensive sea-ice. The sea conditions we would meet were known, therefore, before we left Scoresbysund. Slowly, we made our way through sea mist and lots of ice to Myggbukta and then to ‘Dead Man’s Bay’ which was to be our last landing in Greenland as it was decided that the ice would not permit further progress north. Not a surprise really as that, as I have said, was already known. The Fram took a day extricating itself from the ice and then only after having tried all sorts of directions including reverse. The way that it eventually succeeded was to sail south again giving rise to rumours that we were heading back to Iceland. That was not to be so but the Fram, instead of just taking one day to cross to Spitzbergen, actually took two and a half days which severely curtailed the time that we had to see Spitzbergen. A visit to Ny Ålesund was cancelled as it was said that there was to be an oil clean-up drill there. The question then asked was whether Ny Ålesund did not know of the visit by the Fram or whether the Fram did not know of the oil clean-up drill? The Spitzbergen element of the holiday was severely curtailed. Luckily, we had previously circumnavigated the archipelago and had seen it but a number of our fellow passengers was very disappointed. There were good points, however, it was not all negative. The Filipino staff was as welcoming, friendly and courteous as ever, we were very fortunate to have had excellent company at set meals and then there was the wildlife.The high point of the trip was the seeing Humpback, Minke and Orca whales, polar bears, musk oxen, reindeer and Arctic fox. None of the above, however, was sufficient to make up for the serious problems we encountered on this voyage. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015

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