What to Pack for an Alaska Cruise

What to Pack for an Alaska Cruise

Packing for a trip to Alaska can be a challenge: its northern reaches and varied geography means traveling through several microclimates. From mild to extreme, the temperatures will fluctuate.  Summer is the best time to visit though, which is why most cruises are scheduled June through September: the odds of spotting wildlife are high, salmon are swimming upstream, hiking trails are free from snow, and the weather is as good at it gets.  For some cruising basics, check out my previous articles: Journey through Alaska’s inside Passage and Fish & Feast in Ketchikan.
Alaska Cruise
Alaska Cruise
Alaskan cruises sail through the inside passage – the coastal route that weaves through the thousands of islands, coves, and bays that dot the Pacific Coast of this northernmost state. Cruises will either travel southbound (Anchorage to Vancouver, Canada) or northbound (Vancouver to Anchorage) or roundtrip from Seattle, Washington (this itinerary may include more days at sea and less ports depending on the length of the trip).
Alaska Cruise. Vancouver
Most cruise ship excursions bring you up close to the great outdoors, so you can soak up all that majestic scenery and catch a glimpse of all the wildlife that draws travelers to the 49th state. How you choose to interact with nature is up to you: walking tours; hiking; canoe and kayak trips; helicopter and float plane excursions; fishing or boating are all options. But, don’t be afraid to try something outside your normal comfort zone, since the point of this vacation is to get out there and experience the wide-open spaces.  Check the excursions for details on activity level. Many outfitters provide you with additional garments or waterproof outerwear to protect you from the elements so don’t think you need to buy hardcore adventure gear to enjoy the “high activity level” choices. Dressing properly for excursions is key to comfort: wear layers that can be peeled off as the mercury goes up or added on as temps drop off.
Alaska Cruise
Layers:
Start with a short sleeve shirt or tank top, a long sleeve wicking layer, add a hoodie or fleece (on colder days a padded or PrimaLoft-type vest will come in handy), with a thin waterproof hooded shell on top.Alaska Cruise

Footwear:
Besides standard sneakers, waterproof hiking shoes (with Gortex) will keep the moisture at bay. Hiking boots are not necessary unless you plan on scaling great heights. Skip the UGG’s which will get soggy, or rain boats which don’t offer much support. Throw in a pair of flip flops for the hot tub or spa, and a pair of dressier shoes for the dinners onboard.

Pants:
Jeans, leggings, and comfortable, water wicking hiking pants, are all versatile and low maintenance. Pack a pair of shorts — as you travel south to Vancouver, temps will rise, and you just might be able to lounge on the pool deck. Plus, a post- or pre-cruise stay in warmer locales in Seattle (click here to read my destination article) or Vancouver (click here to read my destination article) might include an overnight at a hotel with an outdoor pool.

Accessories:
For cooler days and for afternoons spent up on deck gazing at the glorious glaciers, pack a wool beanie, glove liners, and scarf — it can get windy up there. Light weight wool or breathable wool blend socks will keep feet warm and dry (Smartwool is my favorite).Alaska Cruise

Gear:
If you can, bring a real camera, not just a cell phone – the vistas are just too large! Bring binoculars – they are great for kids who may not be looking through a camera’s zoom lens. Pack a power strip for your cabin to provide extra places to plug in. A back pack or tote is essential for holding layers, water bottle, snacks, cell phone chargers and backup batteries.

Sundry items:
Sunscreen, bug repellant, and motion sickness pills for small craft excursions are all a must. Sunglasses and brimmed hat will be put into use during summertime since Anchorage can have over 19 hours of daylight!

Evening cruise wear:
Smart casual wear is acceptable at night — what you would wear to go out for a nice dinner at home (no ripped jeans or jean shorts). You will not be as dressed up as you are on a Caribbean cruise, and typical lightweight summer garments are not well-suited to this itinerary (think “shoulder season” or “transitional clothing” instead).  Throw in a bathing suit for the hot tub and spa, and some comfy workout clothing or stylish athleisure, which works well on those days at sea.

For more travel tips, check out my recent articles: A Few of my Favorite Travel Things, Twelve Packing Tips Every Travel Should Know, and Smart Traveler Tips.

Need help putting together your bucket-list trip or dream vacation?

Email me: mollie@herrickstravel.com, and find out about upgrades, special amenities, and VIP service for Herricks Travel American Express/Altour customers.

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Cruise Around Iceland

Cruise Around Iceland

Most Iceland itineraries include a stay in Reykjavik, the capital city.  A series of day trips from this home base will give you a glimpse of this island nation’s extreme natural beauty: glorious geysers, gleaming glaciers, and volcanic springs. But, experiencing all that the “land of fire and ice” has to offer, requires a days-long drive around the extensive outer loop roadway… or a cruise around the island’s perimeter.

My recent articles on Iceland highlighted the Best of Reykjavik, a Day at the Blue Lagoon, and an Excursion around the Golden Circle. After these amazing adventures, we boarded a Windstar Cruise, docked in downtown Reykjavik, and embarked on a week-long circumnavigation.

Our home for the seven days was the Star Legend. Windstar’s small, boutique-style ships take you into off the beaten path ports — a more personalized approach to cruising that larger ships can’t match. The Star Legend, one of the cruise line’s yacht-style ships, carries 212 passengers in 106 suites. This small ship is big on service. The staff is exceptionally welcoming — by the second day they greeted us by name; by the end of the week we knew all of theirs.

The Star Legend has just enough onboard services to keep you busy on those occasional “days at sea” including a small outdoor pool and Jacuzzi, main dining room, library, coffee shop, salon/spa, casino, several bars, specialty restaurant, and a show lounge. The well-stocked watersports platform, a real benefit in warmer climates, unfortunately did not apply to our itinerary.

On board, it was very easy to meet fellow travelers. The Yacht Club, with its cozy chairs and sofas, was a favorite hangout with floor to ceiling windows offering extensive views of our fjord entrances and exits. It was the perfect place to grab freshy baked cookies and cappuccino, dig into a novel, mingle with shipmates, and play games and work on puzzles (yes, the old-fashioned kind that require no smart phones or laptops). The ship has an “open bridge” policy, which my sons took full advantage of, chatting up the captain and chief engineer about navigation tools and cruising speeds.Windstar Cruise, Iceland

While larger ships can make claim to an abundance of onboard activities, dining outlets, and entertainment options, the star attraction of small ship cruising is the ability to access smaller ports and offer unique, small group excursions. And now, a rundown of the ports we visited on our Iceland cruise:

Heimaey Island:
Located about 10 kilometers off the southern coast of the country, it is most famous for the 1973 five-month long volcano eruption that forced its inhabitants to abandon their home and flee to the main land. Afterwards, over 400 homes and buildings had been completely covered by ash and lava. Visit this island to experience this “Pompeii of the North,” which also happens to be the breeding ground of the largest colony of Atlantic Puffins.

Heimaey Island, Iceland

Seydisfjodur:
Seydisfjordur, IcelandOur favorite port was both a fjord and a charming and creative town of just 700 people. For a glance, rent the 2013 movie Secret Life of Walter Mitty. The town is featured in the scene where Ben Stiller takes his long board and skates for miles through picturesque scenery. The photogenic Blue Church, which gets a quick glimpse in the film, and the quirky Technical Museum of East Iceland, are both worth a visit. A half-day hike Chasing Waterfalls was our most memorable excursion of the whole cruise. Climbing the trails that wind their way through the Vestdalur Valley (a protected nature reserve) offered a true feast for the eyes (and the heart). At every turn, at every new height, the spellbinding display of waterfalls, mountains, valleys, and ocean vistas unfolded.

Seydisfjordur, Iceland

Chasing waterfalls in Seydisfjordur

Seydisfjordur, Iceland

Seydisfjordur, Iceland

Seydisfjordur, Iceland

Seydisfjordur, Iceland

Seydisfjordur, Iceland

Akureyri:
A small city in northern Iceland, it’s the second largest urban area and a center for the fishing industry. Located in the Earth’s sub polar region, its only 60 kilometers from the Arctic Circle. The most popular excursion, Jewels of the North, includes stops at Godafoss Falls, Lake Myvatn, Dimmuborgir (a dramatic landscape with strange lava formulations and caves that have become the source of Icelandic folktakes), Skutustadir (a crater-pocked landscape formed by boiling lava and gaseous explosions), and Namaskard (an other-worldly geothermal field of mud-pots, steam vents, Sulphur deposits, boiling springs, and fumaroles).

Akureyri, the Capital of the North

Godafoss, Iceland

Godafoss, appropriately translates to “Waterfall of the Gods”

Namaskard, Iceland

Namaskard, a sulfuric “Martian landscape,” is a geothermal wonder

Namaskars, Iceland

 

Namaskars, Iceland

Isafjordur:
Located in the northwest of the country, this “ice fjord,” once known as a trading post for foreign merchants in the 16th century, is now a nature and adventure lovers paradise. Gentle fjord kayaking, hiking, and horseback riding are popular excursions. Equestrian fans will be intrigued by old Icelandic laws: to keep the famous “Icelandic Horses” purely bred to withstand the harsh elements, the country forbids the import of horses, and any horse that leaves Iceland is barred from ever returning.

Iceland

In a kayak, you can see the fjord’s beauty up close

Grundarfjordur:
This fjord, perched on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, in the western portion of the country, is well-known for its dramatic landscapes. Weather permitting, partake in a glacier hike to the top of Snæfellsjökull Glacier, which rises 4800 feet above sea level —  its snow-cap covers a volcano. According to Jules Verne’s novel, Journey to the Center of the Earth, the entrance to the planet’s core lies through a caldera (crater) at the top of this glacier. On our excursion, we donned helmets and flashlights and visited a lava cave deep underground and explored a cavern that had been hidden from the outside world for thousands of years.

Grundarfjordur, Iceland

Need help putting together your bucket-list trip or dream vacation?

Email me: mollie@herrickstravel.com, and find out about upgrades, special amenities, and VIP service for Herricks Travel American Express/Altour customers.

 

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Top Twelve Reasons to use a Travel Agent

Top Twelve Reasons to use a Travel Agent

Travel is an investment of your time, your money, and your dreams.  Don’t leave any of it to chance…

1.  Travel agents are there to help you before, during, and after your journey, and look forward to forging a LIFELONG relationship with you and your family.

2.  Travel agents are travel EXPERTS and are especially qualified in assembling multi-destination and multi-generational travel.

3.  Travel agents provide you with PEACE OF MIND while you are away, especially during times of emergency or unforeseen travel disruptions.

4.  Travel agents have access to EXCLUSIVE BENEFITS like upgrades, VIP status, and special amenities.

5.  Travel agents use the HUMAN TOUCH to design personalized experiences for each unique traveler and create itineraries that match your specific needs.

6.  Travel agents cut through the clutter and misinformation spread on the internet.

7.  Travel agents read, understand, and alert you to the fine print.

8.  Travel agents study hard to become SPECIALISTS and can connect you to local culture and new experiences creating transformative travel.

9.  Travel agents make your dollars travel further.

10.  Travel agents are REAL people who are accessible in real life.

11.  Travel agents are GLOBALLY CONNECTED to people, guides, tours, drivers, hotels, resorts, cruise lines, and airlines around the world.

12.  Tavel agents are passionate travelers first and foremost, and will apply that passion to your TRAVEL DREAMS!

 

Need help putting together your bucket-list trip, dream vacation, or winter escape? Email me: mollie@herrickstravel.com, and find out about upgrades, special amenities, and VIP service for Herricks Travel American Express/Altour customers.

 

 

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New York Times Travel Show 2018

New York Times Travel Show 2018

New York Times Travel ShowMy recent article, Smart Traveler Tips, helped put you on the inside track of stress-free travel. For more travel advice, consider attending the upcoming New York Times Travel Show, January 27-28, 2018, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center located on Manhattan’s Westside.

Now in its 15th year, this annual event will put you in touch with over 550 exhibitors from more than 170 destinations — no passport required! Attend an educational seminar and you will come away with globe-trotting tips from experts in the travel industry. Bring the kids – there’s plenty for them to explore at the Family Pavilion: food tastings, cultural displays, and musical performances.

New York Times Travel Show

Need help putting together your bucket-list trip, dream vacation, or winter escape? Email me: mollie@herrickstravel.com, and find out about upgrades, special amenities, and VIP service for Herricks Travel American Express/Altour customers.

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Smart Traveler Tips

Smart Traveler Tips

Some practical advice on how to prevent unnecessary vacation-planning stress:

Inspect your Passport:
As soon as you even consider leaving the country, check your passport’s expiration date. You can be blocked from boarding the plane if the date is inadequate. Some countries require three months prior to expiration, some have a more stringent six month policy, so as a rule of thumb I recommend to clients that they stick to the six month rule. (Example: if you are flying on June 5, the expiration must be after December 5).

U.S. PassportCopy your Docs:
Carry photocopies of your travel documents and passport in a separate place from the original documents. Even better, leave a version at home, or text or email pictures of the documents to a responsible friend or family member.

Stay on Top of Shots:
Many countries have very specific immunization requirements and proof of these may be required for entry. Other vaccinations just make good health sense and can eliminate potential illnesses during your travels. I often refer clients to a Travel Doctor who specializes in the prevention and management of health issues related to international travel. Another great source of info is the Center for Disease Control, which outlines each country’s specifications. Flying to South Africa? If you visited Brazil recently and your passport was stamped upon arrival, you will need proof that you were immunized against Yellow Fever to gain entry to South Africa.

Register as a Smart Traveler:
Check out the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), a free service for U.S. citizens that connects you with the local embassy and consulate while abroad. By enrolling, you receive important information about safety conditions that can assist you in making informed decisions about your travel plans; it will help the embassy contact you in case of natural or other disasters; and can help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.

Global EntryBecome a Trusted Traveler:
U.S Customs & Border Protection Trusted Traveler programs provide expedited travel for pre-approved, low risk travelers through dedicated airport lanes and kiosks. The most popular is Global Entry which has been rolling out to U.S. airports. Travelers must undergo a background check and in-person interview in order to secure a Global Entry Card. Upon landing in the U.S., members skip the customs line, proceed to Global Entry kiosks, present their machine-readable passport, place their fingerprints on the scanner for verification, and complete an on-screen customs declaration. The kiosk issues a transaction receipt and the traveler hands it to the designated customs official.

Global EntryGlobal Entry comes with the added benefit of TSA PreCheck, which is the Transportation Security Administration’s program that allows eligible, low-risk travelers to enjoy a dedicated security line and expedited security screening. TSA PreCheck means you can ease through security without removing your shoes, light jackets, liquids, or laptops from your bags, therefore less time on line. If purchased alone (without Global Entry), TSA PreCheck requires an in-person interview, background check, and fingerprinting. (Note: American Express offers many of its cardholders reimbursement for Global Entry and TSA PreCheck fees).

Upgrade to REAL ID:
Is your driver’s license expiring soon? Consider upgrading to a REAL ID. This is part of the U.S. Federal Government 2005 Act which established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. Eventually, to fly domestically in the U.S., your state license or ID must meet these federal standards of identification, or you might have to bring your passport to comply with the upgraded security requirements.

Get the Facts on Visas:
Most countries have very specific visitor requirements and that includes visas, a conditional authorization granted by a country to a foreigner allowing them to enter. Some visas must be secured in advance through a local embassy and affixed to your passport; some can be purchased at the airport upon arrival. It’s important to know ALL the visa and passport rules prior to your flight or you may be prohibited from boarding the plane. Flying with your children to South Africa? Those under 18 must possess a birth certificate with a raised seal to enter, along with a passport. Check out travel.state.gov for more info arranged by destination.

American Express logoDownload Credit Card Apps:
Even if you prefer not to make credit card payments online, create an online account to keep track of purchases you make while away, and make sure to subscribe to email or text alerts to be notified of potential fraud or credit card theft.

AllianzPurchase Travel Insurance:
As they say, “hope for the best, plan for the worst.” Hands down, travel insurance is the best investment you can make. In the event of illness, death, terrorism, or severe weather, travel insurance helps you recoup your nonrefundable expenditures. To avoid exclusions for pre-existing medical conditions, make sure to purchase the policy within two weeks of the first deposit made on your trip, and check policy details before you file a claim to ensure that your cancellation reason is on the covered list.

It’s not always 911:
Know how to call for an emergency in the country you are visiting. In the U.S. it’s 911, but that does not apply all around the globe. In Europe, the number to know is 112. Check travel.state.gov for all the details.

Micato Safaris, South AfricaTravel Light:
Not everyone can travel with just a carryon, so if you are planning on checking luggage, make sure to read up on airline requirements. More obscure destinations in Asia, Africa, or South America often have smaller airports that are served by smaller aircraft.

Prep the Kids:
Discuss the itinerary in advance of the trip; download an illustrated city guide; watch a travel video on YouTube – kids will feel more invested in the adventure, and more likely to “go with the flow” if any delays or glitches pop up. Upon arrival, I always made sure my boys knew the name of our hotel in case we were separated while traveling off property. Give everyone a map (yup, those free, folded paper things that the concierge hands out). Real map reading skills are an art form that should not be forgotten, and kids often have a better sense of direction than adults. Plus, they will enjoy being part of the solution rather than the problem of being lost, especially if you are in an area with no Wi-Fi or cell service…and no Google Maps!

Book Early:
Have a bucket list trip like African Safari, Australian Outback, or Alaska Cruise? Plan early (one year out!) to get a leg up on the itinerary, excursion, cruise, or lodge of your dreams.

Use a Travel Agent:
(Yes, that’s me!) For access to upgrades, special offers, extra amenities, and VIP treatment, help with multi destination or multigenerational travel, honeymoon or babymoon, nothing beats a professional. A travel agent takes the stress out of vacation planning and that makes you a Smart Traveler!

For more travel tips, check out my recent articles: A Few of My Favorite Travel Things and Twelve Top Travel Apps

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For more information on my trip planning services, please click here.

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Guide to Iceland’s Golden Circle

Guide to Iceland’s Golden Circle

To truly appreciate Iceland, you must go beyond urban Reykjavik and experience the natural wonders which make this country so unique. After a few days in the capital city (read my recent article “Best of Reykjavik”) with a side trip to the Blue Lagoon (check out my article “Iceland’s Surreal Spa”), we spent a day exploring the Golden Circle — this island nation’s most popular sightseeing route. It’s chock full of historic sites, stunning scenery, and amazing attractions all linked together by a 300 kilometer looped road through the heart of the country. A full day excursion, up to nine hours, is required to absorb it all.

The three main locations included in all Golden Circle Tours are Pingvellir (Thingvellir) National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area, and Gullfoss Waterfall. Want to enjoy a more personalized and unique experience? Schedule a private tour and go off the beaten track and seek out the area’s hidden gems.

Thingvellir National Park is where the country’s original Viking chieftains first assembled to forge their national identity and laws. This UNESCO World Heritage site presents a mix of historical weight and serene natural beauty. Geology buffs (like my boys) will recognize that this rift valley is where the two halves of Iceland (the Eurasian and North America tectonic plates) are slowly drifting apart – two centimeters per year – forming the Mid Atlantic Ridge. Time spent in Thingvellir will provide insight into not only how the island was formed millions of years ago, but also how its civil society emerged.

Thingvellir National Park, Iceland

A geological journey along the Mid Atlantic Ridge between tectonic plates

Oxarafoss Falls, Iceland

Our visit to Thingvellir included a stop at Öxarárfoss

Geysir, Iceland

Geysir photo courtesy of “Reykjavik Erupts” tours

The Geysir Geothermal Area, located within Haukadalur Valley, is the site of intense geothermal activity. Dotted with hot pools, clay pots (acidic hot springs), and fumaroles (openings in the planet’s crust), the resulting minerals of the earth create a colorful palette in the surrounding hills.  The Great Geysir, first to be discovered, lends its name to all other geysirs around the world – the word comes from the Norse verb which means “to gush.” Although Geysir now rarely erupts, nearby Strokkur releases its steam approximately every ten minutes and throws water from 66 to 132 feet into the air, so keep those cameras handy.

The iconic Gulfoss, or Golden Falls, is where the Hvita River, fed by Iceland’s second biggest glacier, the Langjokull, thunders down 32 meters into a rugged canyon with walls that reach up to 70 meters in height. The falls come with their own history – early 20th century foreign investors tried to harness its power to produce electricity, which fortunately never came to fruition.

The perseverance and legal wrangling of a local farmer’s daughter (who even threatened to throw herself into the falls) helped bring attention to the importance of preserving natural resources. Since 1919, Gulfoss has been permanently protected by the Icelandic government. There are two viewing areas for the falls: the flat rocky platform that projects out into the river right above the falls, and the top of the canyon where you get a broader view of Gullfoss and the river. When conditions are favorable, you just might spot a rainbow…or two.

Gulfoss, Iceland

The rocky platform overlooking Gulfoss makes for great photo ops

On a private Golden Circle tour you will have the opportunity to experience other amazing sites besides the big three. Visit historic and cultural Skálholt, with its iconic wooden cathedral, home to numerous music festivals; Laugarvatn, a spa town with natural hot springs; and Kerid, an ancient (and stunning) collapsed crater lake surrounded by red volcanic rock – its bright spectrum of colors look positively unearthly.   Join a river rafting expedition through the canyons of the glacial Hvita River, Iceland’s largest. Stop for lunch at Efstidalur, a 17th century “farm-hotel” and restaurant. A delicious meal here comes with a view overlooking the glass enclosed cow barn (source of the milk that goes into their heavenly homemade ice cream). At the end of a long day of touring, stop for a cup of the best hot cocoa at cozy Golden Circle restaurant Mika — famous for their handmade chocolates. (We loved sitting out back at one of their garden picnic tables).

River rafting, Hvita River, Iceland

River rafting in the canyons of the Hvita River

Kerid Crater, Iceland

Kerid Crater’s colorful palette is unearthly

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Blue Lagoon: Iceland’s Surreal Spa

Blue Lagoon: Iceland’s Surreal Spa

A trip to Iceland is not complete without a stop at the Blue Lagoon. A short drive from Reykjavik Airport, it’s the country’s most visited site — the fact it is man-made, does not diminish the charm.  This geothermal spa located in Grindavik’s black lava fields (the southwestern corner of the island), is a fortuitous by-product of the country’s commitment to geothermal energy. The spa features state of the art facilities and is very Scandinavian – it’s immaculately clean and well organized.

The Blue Lagoon’s lava field setting is other-worldly

Thanks to Iceland’s volcanic activity, the country has a never ending supply of geothermal energy from natural hot water bubbling up from the earth’s core. Eighty-five percent of the country’s atmospheric heating is generated from geothermal sources. At power station Svartsengi, superheated water originating 1.2 miles below the earth’s surface, passes through an exchange process to provide fresh water for heating while also generating electricity.  The runoff water forms a lake nearby and functions as a spa. Rich in salt and minerals and possessing an otherworldly milky blue hue, the Blue Lagoon’s warm waters (98-102° F) are praised for their healing qualities.

Blue Lagoon Iceland

HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR BLUE LAGOON VISIT:

Make a stop on your way to or from Reykjavik Airport…
Depending on your travel schedule, plan a visit either before you head to Reykjavik or at the tail end of your vacation – it’s 14 miles from the airport and 29 miles from downtown Reykjavik. There’s even a place on site to store your luggage. If possible, arrive early (8am) before the crowds for the most relaxing and authentic experience.

Blue Lagoon IcelandBook tickets in advance…
Purchasing tickets online is required and makes your check in process hassle-free.  Upon arrival, enter the welcome area and receive your wrist band which tracks any purchases you make. There are changing facilities, lockers, and showers to pass through prior to taking your dip in the lagoon. The lagoon area has a swim up bar, a place to receive your silica or algae mask, a sauna, steam room, and lava steam cave.

The sprawling facility also features a lobby gift shop with Blue Lagoon branded facial and body products, a full-service restaurant, and to-go style café where you can grab a quick bite after your spa experience.

Choose a service level…
On the Blue Lagoon website, under the ticket purchase section, are descriptions of the four categories of service each with increasing levels of amenities and services:

Standard: This entry level option provides entrance to the facility and a silica mud mask, applied as you soak in the blue waters, which acts to “deep-cleanse and leave your skin fresh and clear.”

Comfort: Adds on use of a towel, a complimentary drink at the swim up bar, and an algae mask that promises to “nourish your skin and minimize fine lines and wrinkles promising a youthful glow.”

Premium: Adds on the use of bathrobe and slippers, a reservation at full-service Lava Restaurant and a glass of sparkling wine with your meal.

Luxury: The top tier of service, includes all of the above plus entrance to the Exclusive Lounge. You are met by a customer service person at the entry to the spa facility and immediately whisked into your assigned (and lockable) changing room — a lovely private area with a shower stocked with amenities and spa products, with direct access to a common lounge complete with comfy couches, cozy fireplace, and light snacks and beverages.

Blue Lagoon Iceland

Your Luxury Lounge comes fully stocked with amenities

Blue Lagoon Iceland

The cozy Relaxation Lounge completes the spa experience

Come prepared…
If making a stop on your way to or from a flight, make sure to place items in your carry on that you might need during your spa visit: change of clothing, bathing suit, flip flops. A waterproof lanyard pouch for your smartphone comes in very handy.  Prior to entry into the lagoon, put conditioner in your hair to protect it from the silica (it’s definitely not good for color treated or keratin treated hair).

Care to spend the night at the spa?
Consider the adults-only Silica Hotel, a boutique 35-room property just steps from the Blue Lagoon with an expansion slated for next year.

Photo opportunity…
Before you leave, head up to the roof top viewing platform for some great selfies.

For more travel tips on Iceland’s capital city, check out my recent article: Best of Reykjavik

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