Most are open Monday to Friday 9.15 a.m.–4 p.m. A few key banks stay open later and open again on Saturdays.
Although the warm Gulf Stream has a positive effect on the climate, visitors mustyou have to be ready for all kinds of weather. In summer, temperatures vary around 12°- 15°C/ 53-59° F, although they may rise to 20°C / 68° F. Rain showers are always possible, even if they do no’t last long. Temperatures in winter arehover around +/- 5°C /23-41° F; even though it can be very windy, it i’s not as cold as generally assumed.
For excursions take lightweight woollens, windproof and waterproof clothing and stout shoes. Bring a swimsuit for bathing in hot pools. Casual wear is the rule, but the locals do dress up for the smartest restaurants and social functions.
The inhabited coast regions form the smallest part of the island. 11 % of Iceland’s surface is covered by glaciers while 60 % of the whole country is dominated by uninhabited highlands or deserts. These desolate regions can only be crossed by 4-wheel-drive during summer. The volcanic island offers lots of space for its inhabitants. Approx. 320.000 inhabitants live on 103.000 km². Approx. two thirds of Iceland’s population lives in the capital Reykjavik, located in the southwest. The peninsula Reykjanes is home to the international airport Keflavik, about 45 km from the capital.
The well-known international credit cards are accepted in hotels, restaurants and shops. Some businesses require a PIN for paying by credit card.
In Iceland’s non-violent society there are no threats to visitors.
The local currency is the Icelandic Krone (“krona” or ISK). The homepage of the Icelandic National Bank (www.cb.is) posts information about current exchange rates. All major credit cards — like Master Card, Visa, JCB, Diners and American Express — are widely accepted. Important: Most shops, restaurants and especially gas stations also request the PIN number of the credit card to complete the payment. ATMs for cash withdrawals are available in cities, larger towns and airports.
Iceland is plugged into 220 volts AC, 50 Hz. However, the plug ﬁttings themselves may be incompatible with your appliances, so take an adaptor.
The ofﬁcial language is Icelandic, a Nordic language which has changed little from the days of the Vikings. English and Danish are also very widely spoken.
Get more information on the life onboard.
Most are open Monday to Friday 9 a.m.–4.30 p.m. Reykjavik’s main post ofﬁce opens from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. and on Saturdays in summer 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Icelandic clocks are set to GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).
In hotels and restaurants a service charge and tax are included in the bill; a tip is not expected.
In Iceland, toilets are marked Kvenmenn (ladies) and Karlmenn (men).
US and Canadian citizens carrying a valid passport do not need visas when visiting Iceland, Germany, France, Great Britain, Ireland or Greenland as a tourist for 90 days or less. Travelers to these countries must be in possession of a passport, valid at least for three months beyond their intended stay. In addition to that, nationals of many countries are required to obtain a visa prior to entering the countries named above.
Water onboard the ship
All water from taps and water stations aboard are chlorinated. The water in the water stations is also extra filtered. Sometimes the water from the water taps or in bathrooms may have brownish colour. This is quite common on ships and is due to oxygen in water touching the iron piping. If you let the water flow for few seconds the water will be clear. The tap water onboard is not safe to drink but you can use it for brushing your teeth. But there are three different water stations around the ship where you can re-fill your water bottles.