a travel guide to iceland
Iceland is also known as the Land of Fire and Ice‑and you’ll soon see why when you take an excursion at one of the ports of call of MSC Preziosa’s Summer 2021 Itinerary!
Iceland is home to over 100 volcanoes, lending the ‘fire’ to its popular nickname. It’s also thanks to all this volcanic activity that Iceland has numerous natural hot springs, in fact it’s one of the things that Iceland is most famous for; the striking blue steaming pools dotted around the country. Some pools, like the famous Blue Lagoon, you’ll need to pay a fee to enter, but there are other smaller pools that are open to the public free of charge. The hot springs are an absolute MUST for anyone visiting Iceland.
Iceland sits right on one of only two places in the whole Earth where you can see the Earth’s tectonic meeting at ground level. The North American and Eurasian plates are of course still moving, so the ravine created is still getting wider by about 2cm a year! You can see this incredible sight in the Thinvellir National Park just outside Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland and of course one of the ports of call in your cruise.
It’s thanks to all this geothermic action that means that Iceland is also one of the world’s most eco-friendly countries. The energy harnessed from nature is used to heat homes and for other uses-this makes up 80% of the country’s energy!
So what about the ice? Well it wouldn’t be called ICEland is there wasn’t plenty of it! There are enormous glaciers on the island, and these have also helped create the country’s striking landscape over the years, carving out wide valleys into the earth. 11% of the whole of Iceland is covered in these snowy caps!
The North of the island near the port of Isafjordur is the ideal place to see some of Iceland’s incredible wildlife. A wilderness of waterfalls and craggy mountains, Vigur, a day excursion, is home to puffin, sea lions, all sorts of birds and of course the odd whale! If you’re feeling really adventurous, some of the island’s restaurants also serve whale, one of Iceland’s culinary specialities!
Last but not least on you cruise around Iceland is a call at the port of Akureyri. You’re right up near the Arctic Circle here, meaning than in the Summer months when MSC arrives in port you have nearly 24 hours of sunlight. But there’s something even more important to see in Akureyri: The Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights. The city also has a really cool vibe that you wouldn’t necessarily expect from somewhere so remote and with less than 20,000 inhabitants! There are art galleries, live music and loads of cute cafes to check out while you’re in port.
Like the sound of Iceland? MSC Preziosa will be heading there via the Scottish Highlands coastline from May 2021 from Hamburg.