14 Day Norway, Scotland and Iceland Cruise

Travel Diary:

Our first trip while we were in Europe for the summer, was a cruise to Iceland!

We have always wanted to go to Iceland and the Scottish Islands, and this cruise got us there! This cruise was a pretty good bargain, as the ferry alone to the Scottish islands can cost a pretty penny. We had originally looked into ferry costs when we planned our 9-day road trip around Scotland with our friend Plant-based Ph.D.  

We also liked this cruise because it was round trip out of Southampton. This means, no flying!

Day one: Southampton

We took the train from Birmingham in the morning and made our way to Southampton. We boarded the ship and began living like royalty. We decided to pre-order our dinner at the Asian restaurant so we could have something with tofu. 
They made us a seaweed salad, stirfry veggies with tofu, fried rice and we had some fruit for dessert. We forgot to get a picture of the mixed fruit.
This is pretty much what we ate for dinner the entire 14-day cruise as there were not a lot of vegan options.
Aside from eating we went to the gym and did some yoga as well. We also walked all around the ship to explore.

 Day two: At Sea

We read our books all day. We also went to the gym again and tried out the elliptical as well as yoga. They had a bunch of gym equipment.
We managed to find some vegan food at the buffet. There were virtually no hot dishes that were vegan. Everything had butter or chicken stock in it for some reason. We were able to get salad stuff and there were beans there too. The fruit was good as well.
For dinner, they made us vegan miso soup and another stir-fry. They also made us tapioca pudding. 
They were putting in a good effort.
We went back to our room for the evening and found a lovely towel dog. 
We got hungry in the evening and made our way back to the buffet for some fruit and veg.

Our first cruise port on the cruise was Bergen, Norway and it was much warmer than we had expected. It was 30 degrees and we had a really fun time going up the mountain and then exploring the rest of the city too. 

After a day of exploring, we went back to our ship, just in time for dinner.
We had another veggie stirfry, and they even attempted to make us a large miso soup with lots of veg and tofu.

It was pretty good. A nice change from the stirfry. We decided to rotate the dinners between a rice stirfry, noodle stirfry and the miso soup.

After dinner, we went outside and watched as our ship cruised out of the fjord.

It was such a beautiful evening. We love how light it stays during the summer in the north.
Look, it is quarter to 9 and still blue skies all around.

You would think it would be the middle of the afternoon.

There was lots of birds that followed our ship. 

We checked out all of the decks on board.
We headed back to our room, to what could only be a penguin? Or maybe it is a sloth.
Whatever it is, we took selfies with it.

Day four:  (S)trolling around Alesund, Norway

For our next cruise port, we stopped by Ålesund in Norway. We managed to pronounce it wrong but we are never that great at pronouncing place names. We found a big hill to climb with a nice lookout which is pretty much our ideal activity in a cruise port. It is a nice little town and we enjoyed our visit.

After another lovely day in Norway, we headed back to this ship and had a huge soup for dinner.
We went outside a little to watch us sail away. Norway is such a gorgeous country.
Oh look what we have here! A little rabbit waiting patiently for our arrival.
 Day Five:  The Knab and Broch of Clickimin, Lerwick, Shetland

Our third port was Lerwick which is the main port on the Shetland Islands. We've been to many places in Scotland but never Shetland because of how remote it is so it was a pleasure to see it finally. We didn't have to book any expensive excursions because walking around the town was fun and there was plenty to see.

Could this be a big scary bear? 
Day Six: At Sea

The seas were quite rough after we left the Scottish Islands and headed for Iceland. One of us was not feeling so hot and spent the day in bed. We watched A LOT of movies and read a couple of books. We had 8.5 ft waves with a high of 11 ft waves when we got closer to Iceland. It was not a fun day. Luckily they have room service on the ship and we didn't have to venture out of our room very much. 

Day Seven: Golden Circle Direct Tour

During our quick visit to Reykjavik, Iceland we took an awesome bus tour called the Golden Circle Direct Tour which takes you to around the area known as the Golden Circle to see some of the most popular sights of natural beauty in the area. We had a lot of fun getting to see some of the sights in Iceland and it felt like we saw quite a bit in such a short time frame. Since it was the direct tour it was a 6-hour tour. You can take another tour that is 8 hours with more time in each place. We were more than happy with the 6-hour tour. There are lots of different tours available that go more places than we did. Otherwise, you could rent a car and see it all at your own pace.
We got back on the ship, relaxed and enjoyed dinner. We were also greeted by a crab in our room.

 Day Eight: The Highlights of Reykjavik, Iceland

We visited Reykjavik for the day when our cruise ship was docked in the nearby cruise port. Wondering What to see when you visit Reykjavik. Here are five things to get you started on your walking tour of Reykjavik. It's not a very big downtown area so it's easily walkable.

Vegan Guide to Reykjavik, Iceland

Is this just the most adorable little dog.

 Day Nine: Cruise Port: Akureyri, Iceland

Our second cruise port in Iceland was Akureyri. It was nice to get to see another part of Iceland after seeing Reykjavik and the Golden Circle. We got to walk around and explore a bit. We were pleasantly surprised by the number of vegan options we saw on the menus displayed on the windows of restaurants throughout Akureyri.

We came back to our room to this towel creature... what do you think it is supposed to be?

When the ship left Akureyri we went on the deck and got some photos with the mountains all around us.
Iceland has no shortage of beautiful scenery. The captain made a remark about how amazing the weather was on our cruise. He seemed to be a bit surprised about how great the weather was.
Luck is on our side.

 Day Ten:  At Sea
We really took advantage of the free movie on TV in our cabin this sea day and we also did some yoga in the gym. Today we had a turtle waiting for us. 

Day Eleven: Kirkwall, Orkney

Next, we stopped in Kirkwall, the capital of Orkney. In Kirkwall, we got off the ship, had a look around, saw the castle, saw the high street, saw the waterfront and then once we had enough, we went back to the ship.

We got back to the ship, made ourselves a taco salad and took in the beautiful view. We were greeted by a frog in our room.
Day Twelve: Cruise Port: Invergordon, Scotland

We then stopped in Invergordon in Scotland. It's a pretty small town but you can take a train or book a tour to go see Inverness, Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle.
We went to the show in the theatre tonight and came back to a mouse in our bed!! Yikes
He is so cute and small.

Day Thirteen:  Harmonium and Holy Cow in Edinburgh, Scotland

For our last port, we stopped in Newhaven, Edinburgh. We've been there a few times but took the opportunity to check out a couple of vegan restaurants we'd never been to before. It turned out to be a great trip and we can't wait to go back there again.

Vegan Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Day Fourteen: At Sea

Our last day on board our cruise, we slept in, watched movies, read our books, and packed our stuff up. We went to the gym for one last yoga session and were rudely interrupted by staff as they started throwing chairs around and acting as if we didn't matter anymore. They were already done with us as guests and were preparing for the guests who will board the next day.
Day Fifteen: Southampton

We had mixed feelings about getting off the ship. Part of us were glad, as we don't love being on ships and we getting sick of the same 3 dinners being rotated. We were also sad, as our holiday in our holiday was over, but then we remembered... we were still on holiday for another 2 and a half months.

During our 3 and a half months in Europe, we went on a few more adventures and will be posting about those as soon as we can.