Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook

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Making the Most of Reykjavík, Iceland

Making the Most of Reykjavík, Iceland


GETTING THERE

The Magic berths at the Skarfabakki cruise pier, about 2 miles from downtown. Internet access, currency exchange, VAT refunds, tours, car rentals, and shopping are found at the Iceland Travel Assistance (ITA) info center on the pier. Shuttle buses connect the pier to downtown. A promenade/sculpture park follows the harbor’s edge all the way into downtown, though it’s a long walk. Local sunrise/sunset is around 3:15 am/11:45 pm in early July, as close to “midnight sun” as most of us are likely to come. Passports aren’t required ashore, but you need proof of non-residency to claim a VAT refund. The Magic visits Reykjavík once in 2017, arriving on Tuesday, July 4 and staying overnight. All ashore time is 12:30 pm and all aboard time is 3:30 pm the next day.

GETTING AROUND

Walking is the best choice in a pedestrian-friendly downtown. Laugavegur and Skólavörðustígur are the boutique-filled shopping streets. A shuttle bus connects the pier and the downtown ITA tourist information center for about $10 round-trip. City buses may help if you’re foot-sore or headed to a farther-flung destination like The Pearl, but expect to transfer at least once. Single-ride tickets are 420 ISK ($3.64), available on the bus. An all-day pass is 1,500 ISK ($13). Scout in advance at http://www.straeto.is/english. The Hop On-Hop Off bus tour has a far more tourist-friendly route that visits the cruise pier. $31/$16 ages 12-15 in advance at http://www.city-sightseeing.com. Taxi fares are 670 ISK “drop,” and 282 ISK per kilometer. A trip from the pier to downtown is about 2,400 ISK ($21). Car rentals with pier-side pick-up and drop-off can be arranged through ITA’s web site (http://www.icelandonline.com), though, we don’t recommend driving off on your own.

SAFETY

Reykjavik is remarkably clean and safe, but the crowded downtown shopping streets still call for some caution. English is widely spoken, though if you lack króna, Euros are much more welcome than dollars. Iceland is very serious about sanitation at its public thermal pools. Be prepared to shower thoroughly, nude, before and after your dip. Keep króna exchange to a minimum—Icelandic law prohibits changing króna into foreign currency when you leave. 15% VAT tax refunds are available at the pier on single-point purchases of 4,000 ISK ($35) or more (tax included), for items you take with you. Some shops issue refund checks on the spot. Be sure to have proof of non-resident status (passport, etc.) when you claim the refund.

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