Iceland September 11th and 12th, 2011 Seabourn Sojourn - Dover to NYC
Over the years we have seen photos of and heard about the beauty of Iceland. One of the reasons we chose this cruise was for the itinerary which would include Iceland. Like so many things in life (at least for us) reality did not live up to the imaginary vision we had created for ourselves. (On the other hand the beauty of the Shetland and Faroe Islands far exceeded our expectations.}
During our visit the skies were cloud free and the rain gear we had packed was not required. It was, however, very windy which stirred up the volcanic ash from the recent eruptions and created a distant haze. We only saw a small portion of Iceland, and I'm sure if we had more time to venture to the north and along the coasts our experience would have come closer to matching our expectations.
We booked the famed "Golden Circle Tour" but were disappointed that most of our time was spent in a bus driving to four different sights; a small (at least by Hawaiian standards) volcanic crater with a pond at the bottom, an interesting and active geyser, an impressive waterfall, and the scenic rift valley where the American and European plates are separating at the rate of about 2 cm per year. Passengers that visited the Blue Lagoon and toured Reykjavik were much more enthusiastic about Iceland than those of us that participated in the Golden Circle Tour.
We also cruised around Heimaey where I hoped to photograph a puffin. We saw a couple at a distance, but I was unable to get a decent photo. The island experienced a major volcanic eruption about 30 years ago, the evidence of which was readily visible.