Patagonia and other adventure travel destinations

Cruises to Iceland: What you need to know

Cruises are a dream vacation for many people. Cruises to Iceland are a particularly popular choice and with good reason. Iceland is a beautiful part of the world with a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing and nature. As with any big trip, you should do your homework ahead of time. If you’re planning your next cruise vacation and are considering Iceland, you’re in the right place.

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Why cruises to Iceland are popular

Visiting Iceland is a popular pursuit for holidaymakers of all kinds, not just cruise enthusiasts. It’s a Nordic island with some truly unique landforms and landscapes, ranging from active volcanoes to glacial rivers and glaciers. It’s not all remote and barren, though: Reykjavík is one of the best city break destinations in Europe, for example. Taking all tourists into account, Iceland receives on average three times its national population in foreign visitors each year!


Of course, not all of those people take cruises. The popularity of cruises to Iceland stems largely from the ready access to breathtaking Nordic nature. Few places on earth can promise such spectacular views, and it’s also a major site for watching whales in the wild – though we prefer whale watching in Patagonia if we’re being honest (but we may be a little biased on that one!)

Cruises to Iceland: What to expect

Preparation is key, and it’s vital that you know what you’re in for ahead of time. Ask anybody who’s taken a cruise to Iceland before for one piece of advice, and they’ll mention the weather. Iceland’s climate is predictably unpredictable, and foreign tourists always find it extreme.

Whatever you do, make sure you research the weather in advance of your trip – and pack accordingly! Anything you do forget, you can buy locally. Be warned, however, that the cost of living here is pretty high, so you’ll want to have some extra spending money to cover such unexpected expenses!

Cruises to Iceland: When to go

As we mentioned, it can be hard to know what to expect from the weather in Iceland. With such a wide range of conditions on a seemingly daily basis, you’ll never get it exactly right. However, there are certain times of the year that are better for cruises, and they correspond with the summer months of May to September.

Temperatures from May to September can range from around 4°C to 14°C, so even at the height of summer, it’s not exactly going to resemble a Brazilian beach holiday. Rainfall is at its lowest in June and July, making these months especially popular for cruise enthusiasts. Keep in mind that it’s the busy season and that booking in advance will be crucial, and you’ll be alright.

Cruises to Iceland: What to pack

Everything booked and ready to go? Great, it’s time to pack for your journey. Use the following checklist to get you started:

  • Waterproof gear. Expect rain and lots of it. We all like to look good on vacation, but think practicality above all else. Rainproof jackets, trousers and windproof gear are all vital in keeping you dry, happy and healthy.
  • Hiking gear. It may not be El Chalten, but cruises to Iceland offer good hiking opportunities. Make the most of it with good hiking boots and a lightweight, strong rucksack.


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