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A Unique Way to Explore Iceland – A Windstar Iceland Cruise

It can be hard to find the best destinations to visit with teens, but Iceland is a place that ticks all the boxes. When we were offered a chance to explore the country with Windstar Cruises, I knew an Iceland cruise would be the trip of a lifetime. The ship circumnavigates the island in 7 days, allowing passengers an opportunity to explore outside the well-traveled routes. On top of this, Windstar offers some fun and unique excursions, so I knew we were in for an amazing adventure.

Windstar Cruises an Epic Way to Explore Iceland - Kids Are A Trip

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Exploring Iceland with Windstar Cruises

For this trip, I brought along my youngest teen, as he is always up for an adventure. We flew into Reykjavik a day before the cruise started, but unfortunately, our luggage did not make it. 

Windstar Iceland Cruise - Kirsten Maxwell

So instead of exploring Iceland’s capital city for a day and a half, we spent the majority of the time at the mall shopping for new clothes, toiletries, and shoes. (Thankfully, our luggage did arrive on day 5 of our Icelandic cruise and we were able to explore Reykjavik at the end of our trip).

Once on board the ship, we settled in, ready to being our weeklong trek around Iceland.

About the Star Legend

Star Legend isn’t a massive ship, which allows it to navigate smaller ports of call. Every room is a suite and the ship can accommodate 312 guests. The cruise ship never felt crowded, and we were able to eat where we wanted each night. It was a relatively intimate experience given the number of guests.

We enjoyed a variety of amenities during our trip, including the fitness center and motion studio, swimming pool and hot tub, and World Spa by Windstar.

Yacht Club Star Legend
The gorgeous Yacht Club space on our Windstar Iceland Cruise

There are four restaurants on the ship – Veranda/Candles (same restaurant but different names during the day and at night), Amphora, Star Grill by Steven Raichlen, and Cuadro 44 by Anthony Sasso. Cocktails can be found at Star Bar and Compass Rose.

Our favorite place to hang out was Yacht Club Café & Library which had all-day snacks and coffee. It was also a great space for playing board games, reading, and meeting other guests.

Accommodations Aboard Windstar Cruise’s Star Legend

There are eight different suite types available on the ship and six guest decks. There are elevators if anyone has accessibility issues or needs assistance getting around the ship.

We stayed in an Ocean View Suite which was surprisingly spacious. We had two twin beds (together they would make a queen), a walk-in closet, drawers, a flat-screen TV, a desk, and a small refrigerator (with snacks and beverages for purchase). 

Windstar Star Legend Ocean View Suite
Our Ocean View Suite

There is a separate living room area (divided by a curtain) that features a couch, coffee table, and two chairs. A stocked mini fridge is also in the space, but know there is an additional charge for items. *Note: Water was provided daily in a glass carafe with glassware. This is such a thoughtful way to eliminate plastic usage on the ship.

Bathroom Ocean View Suite Star Legend

There is 24-hour room service available, and laundry service as well. This is great if you want to pack less or in our case, need to have your clothes washed frequently due to lost luggage.

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The bathroom was quite spacious with a full walk-in shower, double sinks, and toilet. There was ample space for two of us.

Destinations and Excursions on a Windstar Iceland Cruise

We loved the idea of traveling around Iceland instead of taking the well-traveled roads. Our ship, Star Legend, set sail from Reykjavik and returned to the same port.

Snaefellsnes Peninsula black beach Iceland
Black beaches of the Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Our stops were:

  • Surtsey – we didn’t stop, just a quick cruise around the area, famous for a variety of seabirds.
  • Heimaey – part of the Westman Islands, home to the largest colony of puffins in the world and the site of a 1973 volcanic eruption that forced the entire island to evacuate.
  • Seydisfjordur – home to the Skalanes Nature Reserve.
  • Akureyri – located at the end of Iceland’s longest fjord, the town is known for its ice-free harbor close to the Arctic Circle.
  • Isafjordur – the largest town in the Westfjords.
  • Grundarfjordur – is known for its easy access to the popular Snæfellsnes Peninsula.
  • Reykjavik – the ship returned to Reykjavik on the last day and guests can complete their journey or take a day trip to explore the area.

Windstar Excursions on an Iceland Cruise

Windstar Cruises offers multiple excursion options in each port. These are an additional fee, they are not included. Guests can either explore the destination on their own, take a Windstar excursion, or book their own excursion with an outside company.

Myvatn Nature Baths iceland
We loved the Myvatn Nature Baths and Godafoss Waterfall day trip

We think active families would love these excursions:

  • ATV Tour of Heimaey Island or Isafjordur
  • Chasing waterfalls in Seydisfjordur – an amazing hike through the area with countless waterfalls along the way
  • Glacier canyon river rafting from Akureyri
  • Myvatn Nature Baths & Godafoss Waterfall from Akureyri – a chance to bathe in natural hot springs and see the “Waterfall of the Gods”
  • Kayaking in a fjord in Isafjordur
  • RIB Boat whale watching in Isafjordur
  • Hiking in the Berserk Lava Field in Grundarfjordur
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth in Grundarfjordur – exploring a glacier by climbing into a cave
  • Exploring the boiling mud pots of Krysuvik and the Blue Lagoon as a final day trip from Reykjavik

Dining on Windstar Cruises and Beverage Packages

Windstar has partnered with the James Beard Foundation to bring guests culinary experiences that are “180 degrees from ordinary.” I can vouch, the food on the ship was above and beyond, not just at one restaurant, but at all four. 

First, and foremost, we never had a bad meal on the ship. For breakfast, we usually chose the buffet option at Veranda. There is everything you could ever want for breakfast from eggs and potatoes to yogurt, fruit, and granola. A buffet is always a good option for hungry teens.

At lunchtime, we usually grabbed a sandwich at the Yacht Club or sampled some of the salads, fish, or international dishes at Veranda. Both places offer a variety of desserts, so if you’re looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth during the day, these are the places to go.

Cuadro 44

For dinner, you are spoiled for choices. On our first night, we dined at Cuadro 44 the ship’s Spanish restaurant featuring dishes from throughout Spain. The food is served as tapas (small bites). We tried everything including Pulpo Gallego (octopus), Jamón Ibérico, Tortilla Española, and Paella Croquetas. The food was incredible and we made sure to book another dinner before we left.

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Amphora

We also enjoyed Amphora on two separate occasions. This is the formal dining room on the ship. The menu changes every night and if you want, their food can be delivered to you via room service. There were usually 3 to 5 options for starters (including salads), main entrees (including James Beard Foundation menu items), and 2 to 3 dessert choices. The food and service here was impeccable.

Star Grill

Star Grill is the outdoor dining area on Star Legend. It’s a beautiful space, but unfortunately, we had some strong winds and cool weather on our sailing (as expected). The one meal we ate at the grill was the BBQ feast. There was a large variety of salads, pasta, grilled meat, and seafood. It was superb.

Star Grill dining area Star Legend

Candles

At night, Veranda becomes Candles, the ship’s steakhouse. The menu is the same every evening, featuring starters, main courses like filet mignon, sea bass, and chicken, followed by desserts. HIGHLY recommend the filet mignon. It was so good my son ordered it twice during our trip.

Dessert Star Legend Iceland cruise
We always recommend dessert!

*Note – we recommend making dinner reservations when boarding the ship. By making reservations early, we had our choice of restaurants each night.

Drink packages on our Windstar Iceland Cruise

With Windstar Cruises you can choose the all-inclusive fare to ensure the beverages of your choice are included on your vacation. If you prefer to buy your drinks a-la-carte, that works too. 

The unlimited beverage package includes unlimited beer and wine, spirits, cordials, aperitifs, and mini-bar items. Bottled water, sodas, specialty coffees, mocktails, and juices are included. 

Windstar drink packages
Different days offer different drink specials, and every day there is a warm beverage to keep you toasty on cold Iceland days.

The Windstar All-In Package not only includes your unlimited beverage package, but also unlimited wi-fi, and gratuities. If you choose this option, it will be for all parties sharing your cabin.

*A note about wi-fi. You can either purchase Wi-Fi daily or buy a Wi-Fi package for the entirety of the Iceland cruise. If you’re traveling with teens, be sure to budget for this.

Entertainment on Windstar Cruises

There are a variety of entertainment options on the daily schedule. Some days there were guest lecturers, and every evening there was live music in the Compass Rose. Things were pretty low-key, but if you wanted to stay up late and dance or enjoy the performances that was always an option.

Compass Rose Lounge Star Legend Windstar Cruises
Compass Rose

My son made his own entertainment swimming in the hot tub when there were gale-force winds and working out at the fitness center. We were pretty active exploring the mainland during the day, so we didn’t need a lot to entertain us on the ship.

Windstar Staff on our Iceland Cruise

I have to give a shout-out to the amazing staff on the ship. Everyone was terrific and worked hard to ensure we had a wonderful vacation and memorable adventures. Special shout-outs to our cabin attendant and the concierge staff who helped track down our luggage.

Chasing Waterfalls Hike Seydisfjordur.

I would also like to say we had amazing tour guides each day. Windstar did a great job finding entertaining guides to show us around the island.

Should You Take a Windstar Cruise with Teens?

Absolutely! Especially if you have a teen who loves adventure. Many of the Windstar itineraries are the perfect balance of activity and downtime, not to mention fantastic food options.

In addition to Iceland, we think families would love their Alaska, Australia, Tahiti, and Mediterranean cruises.

Ready to book your Windstar Cruise? Head over and check out their itineraries.