If you are looking for a holiday that will take you well off the beaten track, there are few better choices than heading north on Arctic, Iceland and Greenland cruises.
The image you have in your mind when you think about cruises is likely to be of sunning yourself in the Caribbean or Mediterranean, but you will also find plenty to enjoy in the north Atlantic and Arctic oceans, including the fascinating city of Reykjavik.
Iceland’s largest city – the most northerly capital in the world – is packed with interesting sights, including the spectacular Hallgrimskirkja church, City Hall and Hofdi House, the scene of the crucial 1986 summit meeting between presidents Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev.
You can also enjoy some peace and quiet on the shores of Tjornin, Reykjavik’s city centre lake, or take in the views over the capital’s brightly coloured traditional houses from the futuristic Perlan building.
Reykjavik is also a great place from which to explore Iceland’s glaciers, volcanoes, waterfalls and geysers. The island has a rugged landscape with unusual sights at every turn, so you won’t have to travel far from the capital to experience something new.
Thingvellir National Park is a great example of the spectacular countryside you can expect to enjoy during your call in Iceland, with its lava plain and mountains covered in wild flowers, moss and birch trees.
Iceland has a number of geothermal areas, where you will find warm mud pools and geysers. One of the most famous of these is the Strokkur – a spectacular geyser that sprays jets of steam and hot water 16 metres into the air every ten minutes.
Another geothermal-related attraction is the Blue Lagoon, a vast outdoor spa. It is filled with beautiful blue mineral-rich seawater that is ideal for bathing and swimming. The water, which has a temperature of 37-39C, is said to have healing properties, but even if you don’t have any ailments, you are certain to find it a relaxing experience.
Iceland is one of the best places to see a volcano close up and you will be able to arrange a trip to Eyjafjallajokull during your cruise liner’s stop in Reykjavik. As you can see there is a lot to see in Iceland and Iceland self drive tours are the best way to experience it all. If you want to make it an extra special experience, you could even book a helicopter tour that will take you to four different volcanoes.