Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook

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Akureyri, Iceland

Akureyri, Iceland


Northern European Itineraries

You are likely to cross the Arctic Circle on your way to the commercial capital of northern Iceland. This small town at the head of 37-mile Eyjafjörður (fjord) is just 60 miles south of the Arctic Circle and minutes from the beauty and wonders of the Icelandic countryside.

Striking Akureyri

AMBIENCE

Snow lingers year-round on the glacier-smoothed mountains flanking the fjord’s calm waters. This small town at the mountain’s base is a cultural and government center, with several worthwhile museums, art galleries, and the homes of several literary and artistic notables. The lovely botanical gardens benefit from the town’s sheltered location, displaying 7,000 native and non-native plants. Rural culture can be sampled on out-of-town visits to Gásir medival trading post, Láufas rectory and farmstead, and the fishing villages on Hrísey and Grimsby islands. Vikurskarð Pass is gateway to natural wonders that include thundering Godafoss waterfall and the Lake Myvatn area’s geothermal baths, steaming mudpots, and volcanic craters. The lake is also renowned for its migratory duck population. Húsavik, north of the lake, is a popular whale watching port.

HISTORY

Akureyri’s history is not one for the Norse sagas. Though visited since the 9th Century, a 1562 adultery trial is the seasonal trading post’s oldest recorded event. Year-round settlement began in 1778, part of Danish Royal efforts to raise the island’s living standards. 12 residents hardly makes a city, so the town’s charter was temporarily revoked 50 years later. Excellent conditions for farming, and herring that could be netted from the shore spurred the town’s growth, and it is now one of the nation’s top fish processing centers.

FACTS

Size: 48.26 sq. mi. (125 sq. km.)
Climate: Subpolar Oceanic Temperatures: 43°F (6°C) to 58°F (14.5°C)
Population 17,754 Busy Season Summer
Language: Icelandic, English Money: Icelandic Króna (ISK) $1 US = 112 ISK
Time Zone: Greenwich Transportation: Walking, taxis
Phones: Dial 011 354 from the US, dial 112 for emergencies
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