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The Best Way To Experience Reykjavik And Its Cruise Port

The Best Way To Experience Reykjavik And Its Cruise Port

Whether it’s the geysers and glaciers, the waterfalls and the Blue Lagoon or snowmobiling and kayaking across the icy landscape, a visit to Iceland is nothing short of spectacular.

The capital Reykjavik serves as an excellent starting point to begin your adventure. This summer over 260 cruise ships are expected to visit this Icelandic city, bringing over 300 thousand visitors, a key reason why the port of Reykjavik is so important. 

If you’ve booked a cruise with Iceland included in its itinerary, read on below to learn all you need to know about Reykjavik cruise port. We’ll answer questions such as where do cruise ships dock in Reykjavik, how to get to Reykjavik from the cruise port and what to do in Reykjavik on port days.

Where do cruise ships dock in Reykjavik, Iceland?

There are two options when looking at where cruise ships dock in Reykjavik. Some smaller vessels can dock at Reykjavik cruise port at Miðbakki, in the Old Harbour. However, most larger cruise ships will dock at Reykjavik cruise port at Skarfabakki. 

The Reykjavik cruise terminal at Skarfabakki is the newest and can accommodate ships up to 335 metres at its pier. Here, you’ll disembark directly onto the pier, where you’ll find tourist information, currency exchange, restrooms and internet access.

How far is Reykjavik from the cruise port?

From Reykjavik cruise terminal at Skarfabakki, you can enjoy a range of fantastic Icelandic experiences, including the Geysir Hot Springs and Gullfoss Waterfall, the Krísuvík Volcano or the geothermal spa known as the Blue Lagoon, as well as discovering the vibrant capital, itself. 

For cruise guests looking to travel from Reykjavik cruise port to the city centre, you’ll have a couple of different options. When docking at Skarfabakki, the distance from Reykjavik cruise port to the city centre is around 4 km. You’ll usually find shuttles that will take you there.

Alternatively, it is quite an enjoyable walk, following the coastal path and passing landmarks such as the historical Höfði House and the giant steel sculpture, the Sun Voyager.

If you’re wondering how to get to Reykjavik from the cruise port using public transport, then the city has a good bus network that runs daily from 6:30 am to 1 am. Taxis are also available but can be quite expensive. 

Is there anything near Reykjavik cruise port?

Most of Iceland’s natural wonders are a little further afield. However, the proximity of Reykjavik means that there are lots of options when looking for what to do in and around Reykjavik cruise port.

Beautiful, buzzing with life, yet safe to explore, Iceland’s capital has plenty to offer its visitors: from intriguing museums and cultural galleries to trendy restaurants and shops, and not forgetting its thermal baths and pools. Reykjavik is easy to explore on foot, with most of the city’s attractions within ample walking distance. 

Hallgrímskirkja church

As the tallest building in downtown Reykjavik, the distinctive outline of Hallgrímskirkja church is prominent on the city’s skyline. Completed in 1986, its modern architectural style, designed by Guðjón Samúelsson, was inspired by Iceland’s natural features but has only recently become appreciated by the local Icelanders. 

One of the best activities by Reykjavik cruise port is to visit the tower. At 73 metres tall, it provides stunning panoramic views of Reykjavik and its surrounding natural beauty. Don’t worry if you don’t relish the idea of climbing the numerous stairs; lifts are available.

Sun Voyager

If you didn’t see the Sun Voyager sculpture walking from Reykjavik cruise port, it’s certainly worth a visit.

Designed to look like a Viking long-ship while representing dreams of hope, progress and freedom, the 18-metre-long, stainless steel sculpture shimmers in the sunlight and looks spectacular against its ocean backdrop.

Aurora Reykjavik (Northern Lights Centre)

If you’re visiting Iceland to learn more about the northern lights, checking out the Aurora Reykjavik is a great idea when looking for what to do near Reykjavik cruise port.

Its exhibits include touch screens and interactive displays designed to showcase the stunning, natural light dance known as the northern lights (or the aurora borealis) and the history and culture surrounding them.

Exploring the city centre

When looking for what to do in Reykjavik cruise port, one of the best activities is simply exploring the three main streets in the city centre, Laugavegur, Bankastræti, and Skólavörðustígur.

Discovering colourful houses and modern street art, local shops, restaurants, and parks is a great way to get a feel for authentic Icelandic culture.

Iceland excursions from Reykjavik cruise terminal

While Reykjavik is a captivating city and reason enough to visit this enchanting island, many visitors come to explore the natural wonders Iceland offers, such as the geysers, glaciers, waterfalls and volcanoes. If you time it right, you may even see the northern lights. Therefore, when looking for what to do in Reykjavik on port days, it is definitely worth reviewing the options for shore excursions. 

Most cruise lines will offer various shore excursions to take in Iceland’s rugged landscape. However, you’ll also find local shore excursions worth considering. 

The Blue Lagoon

The geothermal spa, known as the Blue Lagoon, is possibly the most popular attraction in Iceland and one of the best activities by Reykjavik cruise port. This extraordinary place is perfect for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Open all day throughout the year, it is just over half an hour’s drive from Reykjavik centre, with tour companies running regular transfers. 

Geysir Hot Springs

experiences blue lagoon

The infamous Geysir Hot Springs are located in the geothermal area of Haukadalur Valley, around two hours drive from Reykjavik. It is a popular option when looking for what to do in Reykjavik on port days, with Haukadalur Valley consisting of many other incredible hot springs that shoot jets of boiling water, sometimes up to 40 metres high, every 5-10 minutes. 

Many visitors choose to go on the iconic Golden Circle sightseeing tour, which includes the Geysir Hot Springs in Haukadalur Valley, as well as the breathtaking Gullfoss waterfall. 

If you have any questions about what to do in Reykjavik cruise port or would like to book a cruise holiday that visits Iceland, please get in touch with our cruise specialists. 

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