Skip to navigation Skip to content
< Back to Saga Sapphire blog

26th June, 2017


Well after a gorgeous evening close coasting along the NW corner of Iceland with full daylight it was time to head south towards Reykjavik. The landscape there is so dramatic and primarily Basalt.

Pilot was booked for 0730 and with Fiona on the Bridge I knew the ship would be bang on time with everything under control. It was a very pleasant arrival and we swung off the berth before docking portside to.

We were all fast at 0830 and gangways were ready shortly thereafter. There were 4 Shore Excursions today with several hundred Guests on tour. These included The Golden Circle, Panoramic Iceland, Whale Watching Experience and Relaxing in the Blue Lagoon.

Reykjavik, which translates as “Smoky Bay” is the world’s most northerly capital city. It has become very popular in recent years, as more travellers discover its hotbed of geothermal activity, demonstrated by a range of extraordinary sights including eerie lava formations, bubbling geysers, hot springs, volcanoes and glaciers. The town itself sprawls out from the harbour and has all the trappings of a progressive European city fused with a beautiful old town, which boasts colourful architecture, whitewashed buildings and narrow streets.

I had a busy morning with the weekly “catch up” call to my boss Stuart McQuaker, Chief Operating Officer. I like this open line of communication and as they say, “it’s good to talk”. My relief, Captain Stuart Horne, joined today for stage 1 of his Saga Sapphire familiarisation so I spent a fair bit of time with him.

I did, though, manage to go for an excellent hour’s cycle around the bay and then the town centre. Today I went on my own as my “biking buddy” Rico was busy. Anyway it’s great to head out on your own sometimes and have that freedom.

The cycle route took me along the foreshore of the bay and into the town centre – I must have picked the right time as the sun came out and it was a great ride - the town centre is very attractive and there was loads of construction happening. An hour on my bike was just the ticket and so I was back on board by 1600.

With everyone back on board by 1845 we sailed shortly thereafter, headed out of the harbour on a NW’ly course.  Once clear of the off-lying shallows we headed south passing Surtsey Island in the early hours of the morning. Surtsey, a volcanic island approximately 32 km from the south coast of Iceland, is a new island formed by volcanic eruptions that took place from 1963 to 1967.

Captain Julian Burgess

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.