Iceland will welcome some 20 cruises to its capital Reykjavík this July, the Morgunblaðið website reports, however, passengers wishing to disembark on the island will have to be tested for COVID-19.
The tests will be free for the first two weeks, and as of July 1 will cost 15,000 Icelandic Krona, or US$ 111.5.
According to the report, Cruise Iceland spokesperson Gyða Guðmundsdóttir said that she did not expect passengers to be deterred by the fee.
Guðmundsdóttir clarified that while dockings were scheduled, it was still not clear if and how many would actually go ahead. However, she said although the situation was fluid, with screening protocols becoming clearer the chances were higher than earlier this year of cruise ships returning to the island.
Guðmundsdóttir said she expected most of the tourists to come from Germany, which has been opening up after gaining relative control over the coronavirus pandemic.
Cruise Ships will return to Iceland in June 15
Iceland will open its borders on Monday, June 15 and travelers from the Schengen zone will have the option of being tested for COVID -19. Passengers from countries outside of the Schengen zone are ineligible to enter the country until July 1.
As yet it is unclear what policy to non-Schengen zone citizens will be from July 1.
Last year, 190 cruise ships docked in Iceland’s Reykjavik and Akranes ports, carrying 188,630 passengers, up 30 percent on the previous year.
The largest number of tourists, 49,000, came from Germany, followed by the US with 38,000 and the UK with 36,000.
Several major cruise lines visit Iceland, including Norwegian Cruise Line, Silversea Cruises, Princess Cruises and Crystal Cruises.
Meanwhile, Norway is opening up its popular Svalbard region to expedition cruises, but with severe restrictions.
Ships will have to travel at 50% capacity, while guests will be required to be in possession of a certificate of health.