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Akureyri, Iceland Luxury Cruises

Journey north to see the stark, unspoiled beauty of Iceland for yourself. Known as the cultural and commercial capital of Northern Iceland, Akureyri is a friendly, picturesque town of white and red buildings – with clear, still waters before it and dramatic, snow-topped mountains behind.

Despite being just 60 miles from the Arctic Circle, Akureyri offers visitors one of the warmest climates in the country thanks to the sheltering effects of its mountain backdrop – and a harbour free from ice, which has played a big part in its success as one of Iceland's major ports and fishing communities.

Sightseeing in Akureyri

The small-town nature of Akureyri offers visitors a quieter, less crowded experience of an urban centre than they might be used to – with a population of less than 20,000, you're unlikely to get caught in huge crowds whilst enjoying the streets, shops and attractions in the area.

Northern lights

A trip to the planet's northernmost reaches wouldn't be the same without seeing the incredible Northern Lights of the Arctic Circle. The haunting green glow of Aurora Borealis can often be seen in the skies above Akureyri from September to April on clear nights, and the Icelandic Met Office gives very useful year-round forecasts of the likelihood of seeing them. We now know that the Northern Lights are caused by electrically charged particles glowing in the thinnest, highest parts of the Earth's atmosphere, which form at the magnetic centres of the north and south poles – but what must Iceland's ancient Nordic settlers have made of them?

Akureyri Church

Akureyri's distinctive white Lutheran church looks down over the town from the top of a stepped, landscaped hill above the Kaupvangsstraeti. The church was designed by Guðjón Samúelsson, the Icelandic architect responsible for the striking, stepped spike design of the Hallgrimskirkja in Reykjavik. Akureyri Church has a more traditional layout and interior than its sister church in the capital, but is no less impressive for it – featuring an organ with over 3,000 pipes, beautiful stained glass windows in a bright, almost comic-book style and a model ship suspended from the ceiling – a reminder of the country's Nordic tradition of giving offerings to protect seafarers on their voyages.

Botanical Gardens and Natural History Museum

The comparatively warm climate and naturally fertile soil of the region make Akureyri a great place to grow a wide variety of plants, and the town's peaceful, beautifully maintained botanical gardens offer visitors and locals alike a gorgeous place to relax. The gardens hold every native species of flora, as well as thousands of plant species from overseas. The town's natural history museum on Hafnarstraeti is also popular with visitors to the area, and functions as a research institute too – with more than 50 employees monitoring the local natural environment, and advising schools and the wider public on issues of natural resources. Visitors to the museum will find comprehensive collections of Iceland's native plants and wildlife – like its range of native insects and falcons, waders, seabirds and ducks. Akureyri's museum is twinned with one in Reykjavik, which together form Iceland's Institute of Natural History.

Shopping in Akureyri

Bargain hunters might want to put Akureyri at the top of their list for shopping – many shops in town have ‘tax-free' signs, and although this involves a minimum spend to qualify for tax-free purchases, this does mean an added discount of about 15%. Shops can be found mainly in the Glerartorg shopping mall and along the Hafnarstraeti, the latter being visitors' best bet for designer outlets and souvenir shops.

Eating Out in Akureyri

There are some charming old-fashioned cafes in the town, serving coffee, cocoa, hot meals and a range of homemade desserts – these establishments are often painted in bright colours, and may offer spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. If you're looking for something more cutting-edge, however, you could also try some of the town's bistros, serving gourmet Nordic cuisine in ultra-modern settings.

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Reykjavik To Oslo
  04 August 2020
  Seven Seas Explorer
  12 nights
  Scandinavia

Special offer | Receive up to 53 FREE shore excursions

Cruise & Fly
£9199pp
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£8869pp
London to Stockhlom
  23 August 2020
  Oceania Nautica
  22 nights
  United Kingdom

Special Offer | Save up to 40%

Cruise & Fly
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£3919pp
Iceland & Ireland Cruise
  05 September 2020
  Celebrity Silhouette
  14 nights
  United Kingdom

Suite prices are based on SAIL ALL INCLUDED: Premium drinks package, $300 FREE to spend on-board per couple, pre-paid gratuities and unlimited Wi-Fi

Cruise Only
£4869pp
London (Southampton) to Reykjavik
  23 June 2021
  Oceania Sirena
  22 nights
  United Kingdom

Sail from the UK! Discover the best of the UK and Iceland all in one cruise!

Cruise & Fly
£6329pp
Cruise Only
£6049pp
Ultimate Arctic Islands
  25 June 2021
  Scenic Eclipse
  24 nights
  Scandinavia

BRAND NEW ITINERARY | Save £500 per couple | Includes, flights, overseas transfers and FREE private door to door chauffeur transfers

Cruise & Fly
£19329pp
Iceland Intensive Voyage
  03 July 2021
  Azamara Journey
  13 nights
  United Kingdom

SALE NOW ON | 50% off the second guest, savings already included in advertised prices.

Cruise & Fly
£4589pp
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£3039pp
Reykjavik to Tromsø
  03 July 2021
  Silver Cloud
  13 nights
  Polar Regions

NOW ON SALE | Includes flights and overseas transfers PLUS guided Zodiac land and see tours and shoreside activities lead by the expedition team

Cruise & Fly
£8699pp
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£8699pp
Reykjavik to Reykjavik
  04 July 2021
  Silver Whisper
  10 nights
  Polar Regions

Flight upgrade offer | Business Class flights and overseas transfers

Cruise & Fly
£5219pp
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£5219pp
Iceland Explorer - Reykjavik to Reykjavik
  27 July 2021
  Scenic Eclipse
  9 nights
  Scandinavia

Cruise & Fly
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Reykjavik To London
  01 August 2021
  Crystal Serenity
  12 nights
  Scandinavia

Itinerary not too be missed!

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£4439pp
Iceland Intensive Voyage
  16 August 2021
  Azamara Quest
  12 nights
  Polar Regions

SALE NOW ON | 50% off the second guest, savings already included in advertised prices.

Cruise & Fly
£3439pp
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£3629pp
Legend Of The Icelandic Sagas
  21 August 2021
  Seabourn Venture
  14 nights
  Polar Regions

Limited availability - book not to secure your suite!

Cruise & Fly
£15399pp
Cruise Only
£13679pp
Iceland & Ireland Cruise
  04 September 2021
  Celebrity Silhouette
  14 nights
  Scandinavia

Suite prices are based on SAIL ALL INCLUDED: Premium drinks package, $300 FREE to spend on-board per couple, pre-paid gratuities and unlimited Wi-Fi

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The Tale of Tales - World Cruise
  06 January 2022
  Silver Whisper
  136 nights
  Worldwide

World Cruise |

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£45599pp
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