27th July, 2019
Two days were spent at sea, whale-watching with our on board ORCA team (with a very high success rate) and enjoying a wide variety of entertainment ranging from cheese-making seminars with actor & cheese-maker Sean Wilson, to presentations by survival expert & TV presenter Ray Mears, and evening entertainment by Celtic Moonlight – an Irish troupe of 4 musicians & 3 champion Irish dancers. Suffice to say, nobody had time to become bored during these two days heading north to Iceland.
On Saturday morning, we rounded the south-western tip of mainland Iceland and made our approach to the country’s capital, arriving just before lunchtime. The skies were overcast with a brisk breeze from the north-west, adding a distinct chill to the air but making the experience all the more authentic and Icelandic. Our guests had a day and a half to fully explore the world’s most northerly capital and its unique surroundings.
I had never been to the famous Blue Lagoon before, so decided to take a trip there on Saturday afternoon. It is a 45 minute drive through flat, rocky plains from Reykjavik, which surprised me – one would have thought the locals might have placed this lagoon a little closer for everyone’s convenience. Smoke & steam blowing almost horizontally in the now strong winds marked our arrival at the lagoon – as well as a distinct smell emanating around the vehicle which, after some initial confusion, was identified as volcanic sulphur – thus avoiding any potential human blame or embarrassment…
The lagoon struck as a particularly commercial experience, with adjoining visitor centre, shops, restaurant, etc. However, once dipping into the luminous green water (I think whomever called it Blue Lagoon may have been colour-blind) it was rather pleasant, especially given the outside air temperature and wind-chill. I passed quickly by the face-pack centre, crowded with females all trying to make themselves look younger, and instead opted for the lagoon walk-up bar where I was offered a pleasant local craft beer to enjoy whilst relaxing in the warm waters.
Whilst many of our guests took trips to the Blue [green] Lagoon also, there were numerous other options for all to enjoy too. Krysuvik, a nearby geothermal field, is one such location where the volcanic features of Iceland are on show in the form of jets of steam and multi-coloured mud. Saga offered a midnight sun whale-watching trip in the evening, various city sightseeing tours, a full-day glacier adventure, a visit to three of Iceland’s most impressive landmarks – collectively known as the Golden Circle, and even an ice & fire ‘flight-seeing’ tour.
On Sunday evening, many of our guests exhausted from a weekend of exploring, we set sail to the north around the Snaefellsness peninsula to our next port of call, the little village of Grundarfjordur.
Captain Kim Tanner
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