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Record Number of Cruise Ships

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Record Number of Cruise Ships

Cruise ship in Reykjavík

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

A record number of cruise ships are expected in Reykjavík this summer, according to Túristi. On the 14th of May, the Celebrity Eclipse will arrive in Sundahöfn harbor with close to 3,000 passengers onboard. This marks the beginning of a five-month long cruise ship season. No less than 155 of them are expected this summer, exceeding last year’s record number of 113. That year, the ships brought 99,000 passengers to Iceland, while this year, the passengers are expected to be 129,000. By comparison, roughly 2.2 million passengers are expected to travel to Iceland by air this year.

Erna Kristjánsdóttir, marketing director at Faxaflói Harbors, does not believe the list of cruise ships to get any longer this year, since most are booked one to three years in advance. According to Erna, no ship has ever been turned away due to a lack of space, but the goal is to limit the number of passengers arriving to 5-6,000 a day to ensure the infrastructure can handle the multitude.

The largest number of ships is expected on August 31, or five of them. Most ships only stop from morning until evening. This year, two cruise ships are scheduled to sail to Akranes, West Iceland, which will be the first time the town receives such vessels.

Among all tourists who traveled to Iceland last year, US citizens were the most numerous by far. Still, Germans were the most numerous among those who arrived by sea, or 30,488, making up almost a third of those who sailed to Iceland last year. Only a fifth of the sailing tourists came from the US, or 21,243. They were closely followed by tourists from the UK, who numbered 19,893.

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