Known as the “Land of Fire and Ice,” Iceland offers an environment that includes a geological combination of lava formations, glaciers and lakes. Iceland becomes a destination for different cruise lines in the summertime, and passengers can disembark and explore the different port cities and the surrounding environment. Cruises out of New York rarely feature Iceland as the prime destination, but they sometimes include Icelandic ports in their itinerary for translatlantic cruises to other Northern European cities.
As of 2010, only one transatlantic cruise departing from New York is scheduled to make stops in Iceland. Offered by Princess Cruises, the 18-night Fire and Ice Explorer Cruise onboard the Ocean Princess, departs New York City on August 7, 2011. The ship will travel up to the northeastern Canadian border before crossing the Atlantic to Iceland. The ship will make stops at the port cities of Grundarfjordur, Isafjordur and Akureyri in the northern part of the country, and then sail to the United Kingdom for its final stops.
New York Ports
Cruise ships depart the state of New York by way of cruise terminals in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Once known as the New York City Passenger Ship Terminal complete with Luxury Liner Row, the Manhattan Terminal has evolved into the fourth busiest port in the United States and remains the oldest port in the United States. In Red Hook, the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal started out as only a commercial cargo pier, but began serving cruise travelers in 2006 at Pier 12.
The island country of Iceland features 10 ports around its shores. The capital city of Reykjavik features the largest port in the country, but ships can also port in Hafnarfjordur nearby. To the north of the capital on the eastern shores sit the port cities of Grundarfjordur and Vesturbyggð. Isafjordur, Akureyri and Husavik make up the northern ports, while the eastern ports consist of Seydisfjordur, Eskifjordur and Djupivogur. The only southern port city in Iceland is Vestmannaeyjar.
Iceland Shore Excursions
Iceland ports of call offer a variety of shore excursions that allow cruise passengers to explore some of Iceland’s natural features. Activities include whale-watching cruises, visiting the hot springs and lava fields on the Reykjanes Peninsula, snowmobiling on a glacier, interacting with locals on a Reykjavik cultural tour and whitewater rafting down the Glacial River in Fljotsdalur.