Akureyri’s cruise ship tourism

I haven’t written much about Akureyri, but it’s one of my favourite places in Iceland, a perfect balance between village life and the big city of Reykjavík. It’s also a popular stop for cruise ships. Here is a photo looking across at Akureyri, with a cruise ship docked.

Over 60 cruise ships will be docking here between June and September. Is this kind of tourism good for places that are small and isolated, creating short-term jobs and bringing money in? Or can it destroy what was a nice, unspoiled town if greed takes over?

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9 thoughts on “Akureyri’s cruise ship tourism

  1. Boosting the economy is nearly always a good thing as long as limits are set as to what is allowed in terms of advertising. If they just build the port and book the cruises without making some regulations in the town as to what they are allowed to build and how they advertise, then that is where trouble starts. Take one look at Branson, Missouri or Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and you get a picture of what you don’t want. Billboards, buildings shaped like what they sell, and gaudy t-shirt shops can be the death of a town. If the town has the foresight to make the necessary ordinances to limit the tourist traps, them by all means, bring on the cruise ships. But that’s just my opinion.

    • I don’t see much evidence there of present or future tourist traps – there are tourist shops as you would expect but no attractions as such. Some of the tourists may go off on a bus to other places in the area. I just think it would be really depressing to live in any tourist town where the minute you get decent weather you get hordes of strangers descending. And yes, I realise I’m a hypocrite as I’ll be there myself again soon…

      Buildings shaped like what they sell – on a kind of similar note something that’s always sounded interesting to me are the “big things” you get in Australia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia%27s_big_things

      I can imagine becoming ridiculously excited upon finding one of these after you’ve been in the car for hours…

    • Akureyri seems like it would be a nice place to live – maybe seems boring if you’re young and ambitious though.
      I haven’t visited the shopping haven of Smaralind (YET) but they have pretty much the same shops as Kringlan but are just further out. They do have the nammi.is shop which I find intriguing as I could buy just about everything on their website so would be fun to see an actual shop for the place!

  2. Akureyri is my favorite city/village in Iceland, and it just happens to be the place where the love of my life is born 😉 It’s the place where I want to settle down sometime in the future 🙂

    BTW, like your blog a lot! 🙂

  3. As we were there this summer, two cruise ships docked in Akureyri. And I can tell you that were too much people in that town at a blow. It wasn’t nice to stroll through the shops in the main street. If it destroys something I don’t know. But a side effect of these cruise ships tourists are that they go with masses of busses to Godafoss. As a “normal” tourist it is difficult to get a parking place there and really enjoy the waterfall. It’s too much to have so many people on one place at the same time.
    I live in a touristic area where many cruise ships docking every summer. And I guess it’s very difficult to manage these masses.

    • We were lucky never to get stuck with a cruise ship tour group, but did have to time some scenic photos around bus groups. Luckily they are on such a tight schedule that they never seemed to stay for very long. All a bit of a shock when you get used to having the place to yourself.

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