How to Travel Solo on Cruise from London to Reykjavik

Wasn’t it Samuel Johnson who said, “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life, for there is in London all that life can afford.”? Jokes apart! I know you are not tired of London yet. Instead, you are making the bold decision of taking a solo cruise from one of the most paced cities in the world, London, to a slightly relaxed one, Reykjavik. An overseas solo cruise to connect with your inner self! I would say this is the best gift you have given yourself!

You are already aware of the fact that you are making a slightly unusual choice. I am also assuming that you have the luxury of time if you have chosen the cruise vacation! So in order to make the most of it, you need to make a thorough plan and then sit back and relax!

If this is your first ever solo cruise, you may want to check out my post on 24 tips for a solo cruise to Iceland.

Things to know about your solo cruise from London to Reykjavik

If you are opting for a cruise from London to Reykjavik, it will typically last between 10 to 12 days!

Are you nervous that it is too long a cruise? Trust me, people go on a month-long cruise and still find enough to do! The cruise liners will ensure that the experience is worth your time. 

Your solo cruise itinerary is likely to include London, a tour around the UK, and breathtaking Scotland, Norway, Akureyri & Isafjordur in Iceland before you reach Reykjavik.

The cruise will be a mix of experiences that you have onboard and shore excursions. Try to make the best of both worlds—relax on the cruise, indulge in a fun activity, and go wild onshore excursions by exploring a new city!

You will typically get 10 hours to explore a new place when the ship docks and travellers can deboard. I suggest that you book excursion tours with your cruise line for a smooth experience if you do not want to invest too much in planning the minute details yourself. 

If you do love planning, then you can go around independently, of course

1. Choose the right cruise liner

Spend some time and choose the right cruise liner for you, depending on your budget and the number of days that you are ready to spend. You would not want to go overboard with your budget, so choose the correct package. 

2. Choose the right cabin

Depending on your budget, choose the right cabin for yourself. While booking the cruise, you would get the option of choosing from the inside cabin, ocean-view cabin, balcony cabin, and suites. If you are certain that you only want a specific kind of cabin, remember to book in advance as they sell out real fast!

3. Departing from London

The UK has a number of ports from where the cruises start. A number of cruises to Iceland start from Southampton, located at a distance of around 70 miles from London. 

London’s Tilbury is another port from where cruises depart. Your cruise liner will give you detailed instructions on reaching the port from where you will kick-start the solo cruise vacation! 

As you leave the shores of London, take a last glance at the magnificent city. As your cruise speeds up, the London lights will start dimming, and you will probably get engrossed in board activities. You can indulge in fine dining on the first evening and sport a little black dress with a nice coat! No better way to pamper yourself on the first night other than a bit of ‘wine and dine.’  

4. Onboard sea experiences

This is the day you have on sea. So wake up early and make the most of this day. You are spoilt for choices as you can explore various fun activities. Start your day with a run on the treadmill at the gym. Follow it up with a coffee and a chat with your fellow travellers. I always think it is best to take some time out and mingle on day one as it paves the way for great conversations with like-minded people during the course of your trip. You can also team up with other solo travellers and plan the next day’s shore excursions with them! 

In the afternoons, you can typically wander around the library, splurge on a spa and do some duty-free shopping!

Spend an evening of your choice! You can sit and watch the sunset while you sip on a cocktail or catch an open-air movie screening! Some relaxation is good as you will have a pretty hectic time the next day! 

5. Explore Invergordon

A town in Scotland, Invergordon is a beautiful historic county. You can book yourself Scotland whiskey distilleries and a tasting private day tour by luxury car—this will be quite a Scottish experience! You can book a full-day tour where you can see the Urquhart Castle, Culloden—a quaint village—and a tour to the Cairns & Cawdor Castle.

Make sure you are carrying your camera as words fall short of describing the beauty of Scotland!

Do pick up some souvenirs and some exotic bakes to munch once back on the cruise. 

You would not want to exhaust yourself on the cruise in the evening. Drink up some more wine and unwind under the open sky! You have another long day tomorrow. 

5. Edinburgh, another breathtaking destination

I am particularly partial to Edinburgh. I do not think I love any destination as much as Edinburgh! If nature can leave you in tears, it would be this heaven on earth in Scotland. 

I would recommend that you take a bus tour to the most off-beat locations in Edinburgh. Do a tour to the Loch Ness and Scottish Highlands Tour. Do make sure you catch the hairy coo in your tour. 

Go to Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, and Royal Mile and combine it with a walking tour that takes you to the unexplored nooks and corners of the city.    

If you have time on your side before returning to the port, try to catch up on a ghost tour in Edinburgh! It is damn fun!

6. Shore excursion at Lerwick 

Plan a shore excursion to Lerwick in advance! It is the capital of Shetland Islands, and you will typically have 10 hours to spare at Lerwick. You can book a tour where you can spend around an hour at Clickimin Broch, followed by Fort Charlotte, Shetland Museum and Archives, the Lodberrie, and Croft House Museum Stop.

If you want to spend a lazy day, go around with like-minded people from the cruise and enjoy the coastal views! You can spend some time spotting birds and visiting the vibrant local shops on Da Street. Go restaurant hopping if you feel like it! There is no one way to enjoy Lerwick—so find your own rhythm! 

7. Yes, you have reached Bergen, Norway 

It is that magical moment when you will realise that you have reached Bergen in Norway! Make sure you explore this land on foot as well! The landscapes will leave you overwhelmed.

If you feel up for it, you can indulge in a food and culture walk! 

While you are on a solo cruise from London to Reykjavik, it is important that you also have some plan about the onshore excursions to make the most of seeing each country that you are passing and absorb the local flavour!

Spend some time and book a guided bus tour in advance to see Bergen. The bus will be waiting for you at the port and take you around the picturesque villages and major attractions. They will obviously take you to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed fjords of Nærøyfjord and Aurlandsfjord. 

8. An excursion to Alesund, Norway 

Alesund is a busy tourist destination and famous for the Art Nouveau architecture. If you are a lover of landscapes, you will love witnessing the Sunnmøre Alps. Alesund also happens to be a hub of fishing and is a heaven for boat tours and cruises.

If you do not feel like booking two back-to-back tour guides, you can explore Alesund on your own. Let me reveal the names of some hidden gems in Alesund for you. You can visit the Alnes lighthouse and Waldehuset museum by yourself. Alesund also has amazing hiking trails—you can enjoy the hike amidst nature or hike up to Sukkertoppen, aka the sugar top. From the top, you can get a full view of the gorgeous city and the coast! This will typically last for around three hours, and you can combine it with other sightseeing. Take a bicycle around and explore some more before you return to your exotic cruise! 

9. Have you considered an excursion to Geiranger? 

The Internet will tell you Geiranger, Norway is a fairytale destination. From the moment your ship docks, you will witness an abundance of landscapes, mountains, and waterfalls!

Geiranger is actually a port village. Go wild amid nature once your ship drops you at the shore. The scenic excitement is likely to leave you numb for a long time. The deep blue Geirangerfjord is a UNESCO-protected site. 

Do remember to explore the local breweries and local restaurants which bring fresh ingredients to your plate!     

10. Spend a day of your choice

You are still on the cruise and have had quite a bit of fun exploring each destination and engaging in shore excursions. Since the cruise is also a major part of your vacation, it only makes sense that you enjoy all the amenities provided onboard and made the most of your day on the sea! And what better than a solo cruise to enjoy this?

You can start your day with breakfast at one of the culinary fantasy restaurants on board! Pool games with fellow travellers are not a bad idea either, followed by some alone time in the library. If you are still in the mood for company, you can go to a board game room or for an art auction. 

The evening should be grand—watching a live performance in your favourite dress, followed by a fancy dinner! 

11. Akureyri, Iceland

solo cruise from London to Reykjavik

Your cruise has now reached the port of Akureyri! And in effect, you have reached Iceland, ‘The Land of Fire and Ice.’ It is true that one of the best ways to see Iceland is through a cruise. And what better than witnessing its glaciers, contrasting landscapes up close from a cruise and then during a shore excursion!

Akureyri is a haven of architectural sites, shops, museums, galleries, restaurants, and bars!

Some of the other activities that you can consider here are whale watching, river rafting, and sightseeing at the Diamond Circle.

Make a stop at the Akureyrarkirkja church with the gorgeous central stained-glass window and the Arctic Botanical Garden. You can consider visiting the Kjarnaskógur Forest, which has more than one million trees! It makes for an amazing short hike!

If you love the countryside, go around on foot and explore some more! Oh, wait, before I forget! Did you know you can indulge in a 30-minute beer spa in Akureyri? Yes, you are reading it right! Go splurge on one when you are in Akureyri and return rejuvenated to your cruise. 

12. Isafjordur is likely to be the second last port

This port is considered a ‘friendly’ fishing village! You can go fishing if you are up for it.

Isafjordur hosts a whole lot of events, and people from all over Iceland come here to celebrate!  

This town hosts the Ski Week Festival, the Act Alone theatre festival, the European Championship of Swamp Soccer! So catch a festival! If you are a lover of music, you would be spoilt for choices.

13. Reykjavik, Iceland—your final destination

And, you have reached your final destination! I can imagine the thrill you are feeling now of having completed a solo cruise, done the most exhilarating things! If it was your maiden solo cruise from London to Reykjavik, you are probably still reeling under the thought of how marvellous a cruise vacation is!

Once you deboard at Reykjavik, you have plenty to do. Start with the most clichéd things to do! Roam around the city centre, go bar hopping, and shop from the boutiques in Laugavegur!

I assume you will spend some more time here and will probably head to your accommodation! So don’t forget to explore the Blue Lagoon, the Golden Circle tour, and the endless waterfalls in Iceland. You cannot miss the volcanic trail hikes!

You will never get bored of geothermal pools while in Iceland, so do take advantage of that!

Are you ready for that solo cruise from London to Reykjavik?

In this blog, I tried to give you a glimpse of things you can do during your cruise and also how you can travel on a solo cruise from London to Reykjavik. 

Since you are travelling solo, I cannot stress enough that safety should always be a priority! Never take safety for granted. If you feel uncomfortable at any point of your cruise, get in touch with the cruise staff immediately. 

Since you will also be spending a lot of time onshore and among unknown destinations, always loop in a friend or family member and update them of your plans. Also, make sure that you keep emergency numbers of the cities you are visiting! 

If you are not confident of moving around alone when the ship docks for a shore excursion, form a group or book a guided tour for yourself. 

And now I know you are super confident and ready for your cruise. Bon voyage! 


An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.

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