Reykjavik, Iceland – 13:00 to 23:00
This is one of the highlights of the cruise for both of us, being our first ever visit to Iceland and at about 100 miles from the Arctic Circle it is the closest we have been to either Pole. We have read and heard many things about Iceland’s volcanic activity , fjords, mountains, geothermal plants, extreme cost of living, etc. so we look forward to experiencing these first hand. Well possibly not the extreme cost of living! I will do a separate post for today’s tour, but rest assured, it didn’t disappoint.
Temperature: High 15C/59F. Low 7C/45F, with the actual high being a chilly 11C
Wind/Weather: WInds of 30 to 35 kts were experienced all day, normally from N to NE’ly. Partly cloudy to overcast skies that cleared late evening
Sunrise/Sunset: 03:48/23:16 but it never got dark
Clox: GMT (no change)
Throughout the early hours of the morning Sea Princess maintained NW’ly courses at a speed of 20 knots, making a landfall off the SW coast of Iceland around 09:00.
View from our balcony just before we altered to stbd heading towards Reykjavik pilot station.
About 11:30, we altered to stbd towards the pilot station, with the pilot boarding shortly after Noon. Sea Princess steamed along the coast, passed downtown Reykjavik, towards the commercial port. Once clear of the island off Reykjavik’s fishing harbour, we again altered course to stbd towards the commercial port’s breakwater. A short distance off the breakwater, the Captain turned Sea Princess through 180 degrees and backed the vessel into the harbour and alongside her berth. We were secured alongside about 13:30.
At 23:00, with the lines let go, the Captain thrust Sea Princess off the berth and proceeded ahead out of the harbour into the buoyed channel. Once clear of the harbour, the pilot disembarked shortly before midnight and Sea Princess set SW’ly courses at full sea speed towards our next port of call in Halifax, Canada.
Reykjavik is the capital and largest city in Iceland and with a latitude of 64N is the world’s northern most capital. Formed in 1786, the city has grown steadily and is now a national centre of commerce and government. It is one of the world’s cleanest, greenest and safest cities.
Being a wee bit chilly coupled with a howling gale, I elected to forgo my usual morning exercise routine, so worked on some photographs and loaded the stock photo CD’s that Bruce passed my way. With no clox last night, Judi’s beauty sleep lasted until almost 09:00, so we were later than usual for breakfast. This breakfast was definitely memorable, but for all the wrong reasons. The galley’s recent improvements crashed and burned this morning, as they attained new lows, with respect to quality control. After about 4 or 5 days of at least warm porridge, today it was back to cold. But wait, it gets better, even the replacement plate was cold, so it was also returned. The 3rd plate, I suspect they just added steam, as the porridge was considerably thinner, but at least it was warm. Judi had a similar experience with her pancakes, the first plate were so cold they didn’t soften the butter, never mind melting the butter. The 2nd attempt wasn’t much better and on the 3rd attempt, the pancakes were warm, but no bacon. All in all a big 0 out of 10 for the galley this morning. Must have been one heck of a party in the crew bar last night.
Returning to the cabin we found numerous engineering fitters with the deckhead (ceiling) apart and working with a snake. Our cabin steward apologised, as one of the newbies that arrived in Southampton had flushed a face cloth down the toilet. Being a vacuum system with about 2” waste pipes, it plugged the entire section, so all toilets were shut down while they cleared the blockage. I can only wonder how people that stupid survived to reach the average age of passengers aboard this World Cruise?????
With not much of interest on the daily schedule before arrival, we just chilled in the cabin, until 11:30, when we headed up to Horizon Court for a quick snack. All I can say is the breakfast cooks were re-assigned, as yet again everything was cold.
Sailing along the coast passed Reykjavik towards the commercial port.
Passing abeam of downtown Reykjavik as we head towards the commercial port.
As we cruised passed downtown Reykjavik this is the view from the other side of the ship.
Once we altered towards the harbour entrance this is the view of the islands and valley on the port side of the ship.
Just outside the breakwater, the Captain turned 180 degrees to back into the harbour.
Taken from the aft deck after Sea Princess turned 180 degree, backing into the harbour.
View down Reykjavik Harbour when approaching the berth.
Approaching the tour meeting time we headed down to the Vista Lounge, which was our meeting point. With only 1 bus, our tour was assigned a spot at the rear of the lounge, which I thought would be interesting when they called the departure. The excellent tour department try their very best to at least have you depart the waiting area in the same order you arrived, but this area of the lounge was not conducive. When Judi and I arrived, we had seats at the end of a row, so normally the next to arrive would go to the end of the next row, but no, the next couple went to the row behind us, but took the first seats blocking off the entire row. When ready to go ashore, the lady from the tour department asked what sequence the rows were filled, so she requested we depart in the same sequence. Not a hope, it was almost a demolition derby, as they were up and off, almost knocking over the lady from the tour department. Personally, I find it comical with all the pushing and shoving trying to get to the front. We meandered along at Judi’s sedate pace, but still got the entire back row on the bus to ourselves. We both stretched out, while those doing the pushing and shoving were shoehorned into the regular seats.
We returned to the ship about 22:30 and headed up to the horizon court for a quick snack, before watching the departure from the balcony. We both drifted off to sleep after a long, but very spectacular day.
As another day closes, we bid you farewell, till tomorrow and hope for fair skies and following seas.