The cruise is the ‘Whales, Waterfalls & Geysers of Iceland’ aboard the Fred Olsen Cruse Lines ship the MS Borealis. Booked well in advance, we had been looking forward to visiting an amazing, unique island that we had never been to before.
What makes Iceland unique is the position, just below the arctic circle surrounded with rich, cool, fertile waters but also straddling the divide between the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. This as we have seen makes for a very volatile, seismically active area that gives rise to unique landscapes and features.
The cruise takes us from Liverpool, out of the Mersey River, past the Isle of Man, through the narrow gap between Scotland and Ireland, past the Hebrides and out into deep water. Then sailing up the eastern coast of Iceland around the top, crossing the Arctic Circle and round to Reykjavik before retracing our path back to Liverpool. There are 3 other ports to visit and some inland journeys to discover the famous Waterfalls, Geysers, Hot Springs and see for ourselves the landscape that is like no other place on earth.
We had chosen this no-fly option of getting there but could have taken a direct flight to cut down the time spent at sea. You could then hire a car to get around the island or taken an around the island cruise, and flown home. However, if you have the time, the option of arriving by sea allows you to view the island fjords from a unique perspective that is not available to the landlubber. Yet you still get to experience the inland features, all be it in a coach with less personal flexibility. Less stress though.
Having chosen to do a full cruise from the UK, Liverpool waterfront is definitely the place to set sail. Liverpool Waters is a 2km stretch of river waterfront that has been assigned for a long term redevelopment project that is creating a mix of old and new buildings, both commercial and residential, as well as re-purposing the original docks.
An amazing city and such a historic place to depart in the wake of millions that went before. From the historic buildings, Titanic Memorial and a short walk to the Beatles Museum and Cavern Club, lots to see if you have time to spare. If not, once on board you still have opportunity to take in many of the sights of Liverpool, as you will see in the next post.
Not wanting to miss the ship sail, we decided to spend the night in the Crowne Plaza just by the cruise pier where our ship the MS Borealis would be waiting for us by morning. Plenty of parking at the hotel makes life easy with a stroll around Princes Dock and Liverpool Water giving an opportunity to soak up the historic atmosphere and form an opinion about the modern additions. A chance to get the cameras out and capture the buildings, Mersey river and historic docks in the nighttime.
A selection of images from the evening.