Cruises & Shore Excursions

Best Cruises & Shore Excursions in Iceland

Enjoy a unique vacation with Iceland's largest selection of cruise and shore excursions. Travel in a cruise liner and enjoy time on shore with fun tours.
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Cruises and Shore Excursions in Iceland

Cruising in Iceland presents an unparalleled opportunity to explore the striking beauty of the North Atlantic with its diverse itineraries and shore excursions. These voyages invite travelers to immerse themselves in Iceland's dramatic landscapes, where the promise of adventure beckons from the bustling harbors of Reykjavik to the serene waters of Akureyri.

Cruises navigating these waters often feature an array of onboard amenities. They are known for their scenic routes that pass by glaciers, fjords, and volcanic terrains, offering a front-row seat to the raw beauty of Iceland.

Shore excursions complement the maritime experience, allowing guests to delve into the island's rich cultural tapestry, historic sites, and abundant wildlife. Whether through guided tours that introduce vibrant local cuisine, whale-watching excursions in the wild Atlantic, or hikes across the stark and beautiful Icelandic terrain, these on-land adventures are carefully curated to suit visitors of all ages and interests.

Designed to align with cruise schedules, these excursions ensure that guests can effortlessly enjoy their time on land, with many offering convenient pick-up and drop-off services at the ports.

The destinations and the journeys between them define the experience of cruising to and around Iceland. With a focus on providing memorable experiences, cruises to Iceland are staffed by multilingual crews ready to assist and enhance the voyage.

Each journey through Iceland's waters and each foray onto its shores is an invitation to witness the country's magnificent natural wonders and partake in its hospitality, making every cruise and shore excursion a potential story to cherish for a lifetime.

Frequently asked questions

What's the best shore excursion from Reykjavik?

The best shore excursion from Reykjavik is a seven-hour small-group Golden Circle tour. It's rated 4.4 out of 5 stars from 19 traveler reviews and costs approximately 177 USD.
The second-best cruise excursion from Reykjavik is a 10-hour small-group South Coast tour, which costs about 213 USD.
The third-best shore excursion from Reykjavik is a private 10-hour Golden Circle and South Coast tour for around 995 USD.

Is it worth taking a shore excursion in Iceland?

A shore excursion in Iceland can be worthwhile for cruise passengers. These excursions offer a chance to make the most of your limited time on land, providing guided tours to popular attractions like geysers, waterfalls, and volcanic landscapes.

They ensure efficient transportation and knowledgeable local guides, enhancing your understanding and appreciation of Iceland's unique beauty and culture. If you value convenience and informative experiences and want to explore Iceland's highlights within a limited time frame, a shore excursion can be a valuable addition to your cruise itinerary.

What's the cheapest shore excursion from Reykjavik?

The cheapest shore excursion from Reykjavik is this private six to eight-hour Golden Circle tour, which costs around 153 USD.
The second-cheapest shore excursion from Reykjavik is a seven-hour small-group Golden Circle tour. It's rated 4.4 out of 5 stars from 19 traveler reviews and costs approximately 177 USD.
The third-cheapest cruise excursion from Reykjavik is a 10-hour small-group South Coast tour, which costs about 213 USD.

What's the best cruise excursion from Akureyri?

The best cruise excursion from Akureyri is a six-hour Lake Myvatn minibus tour. It's rated an excellent 4.9 out of 5 stars from 18 traveler reviews and costs about 292 USD.
The second-best shore excursion from Akureyri is a five-hour small-group tour of North Iceland. It has a 4.8-star rating from five travelers and costs around 170 USD.
The third-best Akureyri cruise excursion is a captivating eight-hour Diamond Circle tour, which costs approximately 178 USD.

What's the cheapest shore excursion from Akureyri?

The cheapest shore excursion from Akureyri is a five-hour small-group tour of North Iceland. It has a 4.8-star rating from five travelers and costs around 170 USD.
The second-cheapest Akureyri cruise excursion is a captivating eight-hour Diamond Circle tour, which costs approximately 178 USD.
The third-cheapest cruise excursion from Akureyri is a six-hour Lake Myvatn minibus tour. It's rated an excellent 4.9 out of 5 stars from 18 traveler reviews and costs about 292 USD.

How should I dress for a cruise and shore excursions in Iceland?

There is much to consider when packing for a cruise or shore excursion in Iceland. Warm, waterproof clothing is essential. Hats, mittens, and sturdy shoes should also be a part of your luggage.

Can I use credit cards on my cruise excursion in Iceland?

After disembarking from your Icelandic cruise, you will be able to use credit cards for all your basic needs. Icelanders, in general, do not carry cash but prefer electronic transactions. Your ability to use credit cards on board depends on the specific cruise you book. Some cruise ships issue special onboard cards that work similarly to a cabin account during your stay.

Is there a dress code on Icelandic cruiseships?

Most cruises heading to Iceland maintain a casual dress code. Some cruises, however, might demand a higher standard of dress. We recommend asking the crew or your travel operator for more information. Contact us at info@guidetoiceland.is if you have any questions.

What languages are spoken on board most cruises to Iceland?

English is the primary language spoken on board most cruise ships that port at Icelandic harbors, with German as a close second. Some ships offer services in English and German simultaneously.

Will I need a passport or a visa on my cruise to Iceland?

When traveling to Iceland by cruise, you must bring a passport, as this is the only valid travel document in Iceland. This also applies to citizens of Nordic and Schengen countries. If your country of residence is neither Nordic nor a part of Schengen, you might also need a visa to enter Iceland.

How will I disembark from my cruise? Do all cruises dock in Reykjavik harbor?

Cruise ships in Reykjavik will have an easy disembarking process, but it can depend on the port size and the vessel. There are eighteen harbors in Iceland, meaning that the means of getting to land from the ship may vary depending on which harbor you dock at.
Tiny harbors cannot receive huge ships, and small ships cannot dock at large ports. On rare occasions, cruises will use zodiac boats to transfer their passengers to land.

If I miss my on-land-tour because my ship was delayed, will I get a refund?

Shore excursions are tour packages intended to suit the needs of cruise ship passengers to Iceland, and as such, they attempt to accommodate the realities of cruise ship travel.
If the tour is explicitly listed as a 'shore excursion,' you will receive a refund if you miss it due to a delayed ship. However, refunds cannot be guaranteed if the tour is not listed as a shore excursion.

Do all shore excursions include pick-up from Reykjavik harbor? Can I get a pick-up at the port?

Yes, you will most likely be picked up from the port for your shore excursion. For cruises docked at Reykjavik harbor, however, you will have to walk a short distance to reach your tour operator because your ship will be docked in an area not open to the public.

Can I customize my shore excursion on my Icelandic cruise?

Yes, you can. Many operators offer private excursions tailored to your interests. If you need assistance finding one, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@guidetoiceland.is.

Are meals provided on shore excursions in Iceland, or should I plan to eat on the ship?

Meals are not typically included in shore excursions unless specified. You should plan to dine on the ship or take the opportunity to sample local Icelandic cuisine at recommended stops during your excursion.

What wildlife might I see on a cruise or shore excursion in Iceland?

Depending on the season and location, you may spot various wildlife, including whales, puffins, seals, and arctic foxes. Whale-watching tours are especially popular from both Reykjavik and Akureyri.

Are there any age restrictions for participating in shore excursions in Iceland?

Most shore excursions welcome all ages, but some activities may have minimum age requirements for safety reasons. Always check the specific excursion details for age-related information.

How accessible are shore excursions for those with mobility issues?

Accessibility can vary widely, so it's essential to check with excursion providers about the level of mobility required. Some tours offer vehicles and facilities adapted for travelers with limited mobility.

How much walking is involved in the typical shore excursion in Iceland?

Walking requirements vary by excursion. Some involve minimal walking, while others, like hiking tours, require a good fitness level. Always check the activity level in the excursion description.

Are there any cultural or historical sites that we will visit during the shore excursions?

Many shore excursions in Iceland include visits to cultural and historical sites such as old towns, museums, churches, and archaeological sites. Specific sites depend on the excursion's itinerary.
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