A sell-out for Cunard in Reykjavik

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The sun beat down on Reykjavik today as hundreds of passengers from Cunard’s Queen Victoria set out on excursions to the Blue Lagoon, the Gulfoss waterfall, the Geysir Stokkir and Iceland’s other spectacular attractions. Yet more went on a whale-watching expedition, which had been the first of the 10 tours to sell out.
In fact the sun had been beating down as our watches showed midnight the night before, although as we were about to put the clocks back an hour it was really only 11.00 pm. We’re not quite inside the Arctic Circle, so we don’t quite get to experience the midnight sun here, but it doesn’t go fully dark at this time of year.
At least it gave us an excuse to carry on drinking as we took in the view from the Grills Lounge. “We can’t go to bed yet,” we convinced ourselves. “It’s not dark yet.”
Wandering round the compact city centre of Reykjavik this afternoon, there were few signs of the country’s economic collapse, apart from the “Sale” signs in almost every shop window, and although the kroner is one of the few currencies to have weakened significantly against sterling, food, drinks and souvenirs are still on the pricey side.
Sadly, the unique church tower of the Hallgrimskirkja, with its concrete columns cast to resemble natural basalt lava formations, was shrouded in scaffolding – a fact which destinations lecturer Richard Martin had failed to warn us about when he spoke to a packed audience in the Royal Court theatre
Near the main harbour – Victoria is berthed a 15-minute (free) shuttle bus ride away at the container port – tower cranes were busy at the construction site which will become a gleaming new national concert hall and conference centre, surely a project conceived before Iceland’s financial institutions almost bankrupted themselves
This evening, Captain Paul Wright will take the Queen Victoria out of Reykjavik for the short hop of 148 nautical miles to our next port of call, Grundarfjordur, on the spectacular Snaefellsnes peninsula. On Sunday we will be at the northern port of Akureyri, for more amazing waterfalls, lava formations and bubbling mud pools.
All this sightseeing gets very tiring, you know. Time for another cocktail before dinner.

By | 2009-07-10T18:07:44+00:00 10 July 2009|Cruise Destinations, Cruise Ships|2 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.


  1. HP 11 July 2009 at 8:44 am - Reply

    Sounds like a classy trip. As you know a picture tells a thousand words so can we see some pictorial evidence as you head for Norway?

  2. John Honeywell 11 July 2009 at 8:18 pm - Reply

    Internet access is slow and patchy from the ship, and it’s unlikely to get any better as we head for Norway. I’m afraid you’ll have to wait for pictures until I’m back in the UK, but there will be plenty to come, I promise you

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