Today we sailed on a Northeasterly course toward our first port in Iceland, Isafjordur. It was cold, overcast but the seas weren’t too bad. I am still reveling in the excitement of visiting Greenland. It is now day 9 on our voyage and here’s my take on how it’s going…. The Captain, Andre van Schoonhoven, and the Hotel Manager, Firmin Van Walle are fabulous individuals and they and their staffs are doing an excellent job….. The food and service is almost like being on a Grand Voyage. They care about what they are doing and it shows. The ports have been excellent. The port of Nanortalik went way overboard in trying to gouge the guests at every turn. They even wanted $10 just to go inside the church…. a bit excessive. We are losing several hours on this voyage and the Captain is changing the clocks at noon which is working really well. The staff in general is doing a commendable job even in areas where they have been stretched a bit thin through cutbacks. So, my assessment at this point is that Holland America can be proud of the work performed by the team aboard the ms Maasdam. Tomorrow, as I mentioned we are going to Isafjordur, our first port in Iceland. If the prices of the tours are any measure this will be one expensive island…. Perhaps it is a product of the country’s financial meltdown. We’ll see! I don’t ever cover the price of tours but for Iceland I will make an exception. I will be going on a 3 hour tour costing $139….a bit pricey?
Here is the ship’s description of the tour: Life & Culture of Isafjordur
From Ísafjördur harbor, you will head through the center of town with a stop at the Ósvör 19th-century fisherman’s hut, restored in 1988. Drive through Bolungarvík village and back to Ísafjördur with views of the magnificent mountains and Westfjord—a beautiful but sometimes harsh landscape. You will also see Buná River and waterfall in Tunguskogur and sip fresh mountain water that flows down the stream clear and refreshing. Finally, see the Maritime Museum of Ísafjördur, located in one of the town’s oldest houses (1780).