Sailing from Denmark to the Faroe Islands to Iceland and then back, this is not your average cruise experience but it is one that you’ll never forget.
Cruiseferries and Smyril Line
I had some initial reservations because I really didn’t understand what a cruiseferry is all about, but it’s a pretty simple concept. A cruiseferry, including the ship on which I sailed – Norröna – combines features of both a traditional ferry service and a cruise ship. In this case the Norröna, which is operated by the Smyril Line, operates every week between Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and then back again. The schedule is always the same and it provides a very real service, especially to Faroese companies who need to ship goods to and from the islands. But it’s unlike any other ferry I’ve seen, because it’s also a fully functioning cruise ship. Able to accommodate more than 1,400 people, throughout the year tourists board the ship either as a simple conveyance or to enjoy a full week at sea, experiencing the North Atlantic in a very unusual way. This isn’t your typical cruise ship though, not even close. Leave behind those images of waterslides and enrichment activities, and instead replace it with a more bare bones version of the modern leisure cruise.
Getting There & the Destinations
Since I had never spent time in Denmark, I decided to arrive a few days early, explore Copenhagen and enjoy learning about the city. On the day of embarkation, I took an easy 45-minute flight to Aalborg in the north of the country. This is where it gets a little complicated because the embarkation point, a town called Hirtshals, still wasn’t all that close. For the next two hours I took a variety of trains and buses until, finally, I arrived at the port and the ship. I wanted to take this adventure for a few reasons, namely the opportunity to finally visit the Faroe Islands and to explore the one part of Iceland I had never before seen, the eastern region. The entire voyage is 1-week including a day at sea after leaving Denmark followed by a day in the Faroe Islands, another day at sea, two days in Iceland, and then the same on the return. Thankfully, the destinations were exactly as I had hoped they would be and I was able to experience them due to an odd perk included with the booking – complimentary excursions! Listen to the podcast to find out more.