New member: Reykjavik

Monday, May 24, 2021 - 16:46 by ce-press

Situated in the middle of the North Atlantic, Iceland is a natural destination for  the cruise industry. Over the past few years, Reykjavik has become a destination for expedition ships and turnarounds, as well as an overnight stopover for conventional cruiseships. Iceland’s network of scheduled flights to USA and Europe enhances its competitive situation.

The summer brings 24 hours of daylight while winter ushers in the Northern Lights, but there are many other natural treasures that Iceland has to offer, such as black sand beaches, volcanoes, epic waterfalls, geothermal areas, geysers, hot pools, lava fields and icebergs. For a not so distant journey into the past, you can visit real turf houses.

The Port of Reykjavik and Port of Akranes come under the umbrella of Faxafloahafnir which is the only port in Iceland that has valid ISO 14001 Environmental Management System and ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System, according to Erna Kristjansdottir at Associated Iceland Ports/Faxafloahafnir.

In May 2021 calls booked to Reykjavik of which one was to Akranes. Last year there were only seven calls due to the pandemic but in 2015 there were 108 ship bringing 100,141 passengers and in 2019 190 calls and 188,630 passengers.

In Reykjavik there are two port areas. Gamla Hofnin/Old Harbour, which is 300m from the town centre, has two berths: Midbakki, which is 205m long and has a depth of 8.5m and Faxagardur, 134m/7.5m). There is a 95m2 terminal facility at the latter. There are also anchoring and tendering options here but these are rarely used.

The second area is at Sundahofn which is 6km from town. Here there are three berths:
Skarfabakki, 650m long/12m depth; Vatnagardabakki, 285m/8m; and Korngardur, 184m/8m.

There are terminals at berth 312 and 315 in Skarfbakki. The former has a 180m2 terminal with 300m2 tent alongside it. There is also 360m2 store selling goods. The latter, 315, has a 95m2 terminal facility. At berth 411 in Korngadur there is a 60m2 terminal facility.

All the terminal buildings are new, except the one at Korngardur. Tourist information is available at the terminal at berth 312 in Sundahofn along with Wifi, shop and toilets. Wifi is available in all terminals. Shuttle buses are available here but are not free of charge.

The International Airport is 50km/45 minutes drive from Reykjavik and 91km/75 minutes drive from Akranes.

Prior to the pandemic turnaround calls were on the increase which has lead to internal discussions as to whether this should be developed further. These are ongoing, explains Kristjansdottir.

New for Reykjavik is the arrival of the first LNG ship this summer. “Risk assessments will be available and we will work in cooperation with relevant cruise lines,” she says.

Security inspections are mandatory before going onto a ship. ISPS check-in security desk is performed and a security desk is in each of the terminals. All gangways that are used are Lloyd’s Register certified. Waste can be inserted into containers which are ordered by ship agents when needed.

In terms of the pandemic, Kristjansdottir explains that Covid regulations within Iceland are registered at where useful information relating to the Covid epidemic in Iceland can be found. Travellers can download a tracking app on their phones which helps to analyse individuals’ travel and trace them alongside the travels of others when an infection or suspicion of infection occurs. The same Covid rules and guidelines apply for cruise passengers and airline passengers.

The Captain must send a declaration through Safe Sea net when announcing cruiseship arrival and custom clearance. The Coast Guard will also ask for a Captain Health Declaration of passengers onboard each ship, which needs to be filled out before arrival. Suspected illness or someone with symptoms who has not yet been tested needs to be announced early.

Tours from Reykjavik range from the ongoing volcanic eruption to the active geothermal area of Geysir to snorkelling between continents at Silfra to Sky Lagoon which opened on May 1 this year.
New member: Reykjavik
Harpa Concert Hall, Reykjavik (c) Associated Iceland Ports/Faxafloahafnir

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