March 18

Iceland Global Adventures – Updates Blog

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5/12/21 - UPDATE 7: This trip is officially sold out. Thank you so much to everyone who has signed up to make this possible. We know 2020 was a tough year and we are hopeful that this year and next bring us some more normalcy (and travel!) back to everyone's daily life. 

As a reminder for those who are attending the 2021 Iceland trips, you need to verify your registration information by May 15. We don't want anyone to miss out because of this, so please be sure to take care of this soon. Next week we will be mailing out packages via Priority Mail with items that you will need for Iceland. Thus it is important that we have your correct mailing address on file. In addition to this, you will need to ensure your passport number and flight information are accurate. Thank you to those who have already taken care of this. 

5/10/21 - UPDATE 6: 

It’s less than 30 days until we will all meet up in Iceland, and we couldn’t be more excited! Volcanos, waterfalls, and the Blue Lagoon are waiting for us. On Thursday, May 6, we sent an email with updates on:

  • Our change in hotel
  • Shuttles to and from the airport
  • Verifying your contact info (you must do this)

We just want to repeat that information here on the blog in case anyone missed it. In addition to these items, we've also added a short section for COVID protocols. Thanks! 

Hotel Change

The first night and last night we are in Iceland we will be staying at the Hilton Reykjavik Nordica. This is a change from our original itinerary. If you had reservations for extra nights at Hotel Natura, they will transfer your reservations over to the Hilton. But, to make sure no reservation fall through the cracks, please email Kristveig at kristveigb@icehotels.is. Let them know you previously had reservations at Hotel Natura and are traveling with the Vacation Races group. 

If you plan to arrive early or stay longer in Iceland, you can take advantage of special room rates for your extended stay. To book extra nights, email Kristveig at kristveigb@icehotels.is and let them know that you are part of the Vacation Races group. 

Getting to the hotel


The best option to get from the airport (KEF) to Hilton Reykjavik Nordica is the FlyBus! It’s a 45 minute ride to the town center, where you will transfer to another bus that will take you to the Hilton. We recommend buying tickets online before you travel. Tickets cost about $30 for a one way ride. 

You can find detailed info about it, including a link to buy tickets, here (you might need to click the “translate the page to English” option). When you purchase a ticket choose from Keflavik Airport to Hilton Reykjavik Nordica - Suðurlandsbraut 2.

You can also find other transportation options, like taxis, on the FlyBus website

Verify Your Info


We need everyone to verify their contact and trip information for this trip is correct. Please also be sure to check that your passport and flight details are up-to-date in your registration. We need this information to finalize plans with the hotels and guides in Iceland. To change or update your info, login to your account. If you need to change your address you can do that on the first page. If you need to add your passport number and flight times, click on “Registrations” then “Iceland.” You’ll see all the information you filled out when registering, and can change or add by clicking “Edit.” 

Please do this by Saturday, May 15. Thank you!

COVID-19 Rules

Remember to bring proof of your vaccination, or something that shows proof of a prior infection. Before you enter the country, pre-register on this website. And when you arrive you'll be tested, free of charge, at the airport. You can then head to the hotel to wait for your results which will be sent by email or SMS.

Itinerary

Want a refresh on what we are doing each day, how far we are running, and where we are staying? That information can be found on the itinerary. A more detailed itinerary with exact timing will be coming soon

Previous Updates

4/25/21 - UPDATE 5: 

Hi folks, we shared this information in an email, but we understand that some folks are still having trouble getting our emails. You have been heard, and we are trying to figure out what is going on. We had hoped our new email system would correct this issue. For those having email troubles, thank you for your patience. Now, onto the meat of the blog.

We are 41 days out from the trip to Iceland which is super exciting! Per our COVID travel policy, we said we would make the call of whether or not a trip is happening 45 days before the trip. We apologize that we are a few days late, but we are confirming that the trip is still happening.

As such, we've moved forward making deposits and ordering swag. I encourage everyone to get vaccinated or proof of covid-19. If you are uneasy waiting this out, you may defer your registration to any 2022 or 2023 Global Adventures event.

In the unlikely chance that this event is postponed to 2022 or at a later date in 2021, we will do our best to schedule it so that everyone who wants to travel is able to attend.

We appreciate you following along with each travel update that we have shared. If you missed any of those updates, you can view past updates below by expanding the "Previous Updates" section. Have we said 'updates' too many times in one sentence yet?

We have a lot to cover in this post including:
  • The latest health and travel guidelines 
  • Verifying your information
  • Emails to be on the lookout for

Covid Travel

Travel Guidelines

The US released new information on travel. This information includes recommended travel restrictions which has listed Iceland on its "Reconsider Travel" list. The State website cites that this status is in place because "there are restrictions in place affecting US citizen entry to Iceland." We were already aware of this and those restrictions for US citizens traveling to Iceland are as follows:
  • Passengers who submit a vaccination certificate or a certificate of prior COVID-19 infection will be required to undergo one test (with a negative result) upon arrival to the country. You are asked to wait for the result of the test at your accommodation. Results usually return within 5-6 hours. You do not need to quarantine for 5-6 days and then undergo a second test. (Please note, this testing requirement is temporary, and will be reviewed by June 1. Our travel date is June 5, so we will keep you updated on this as best we can).
  • All passengers shall preregister the date of their departure, if known, before arrival to the country.
  • Should a traveler test positive and need to stay in one of Iceland's quarantine facilities, a fee will be levied on passengers for their stay in the facility. 
You can read more about this information on the US Embassy webpage for travel to Iceland, and can also review the State's Travel Checklist.


What We're Doing

From what we know, the US is requiring a COVID test for re-entry into the US. Global Adventures is organizing this test for you so that you don't need to worry about it. Our travelers will be able to complete the test while still in Iceland before traveling back to the US. 

While we travel in Iceland, we will take standard COVID precautions. When we are not with the group, we will wear masks in public if Iceland requires it. You are welcome to wear your mask at any time if it makes you more comfortable to do so. We will have hand sanitizer, thermometers, and a shuttle care for anyone who does not feel well. 

All that said, we are so glad that this trip is happening. It has been a long time coming and you have all been very patient. We encourage everyone to get vaccinated or obtain proof of prior COVID-19 infection to make the travel process simpler. if you are not comfortable doing this, you can defer your registration to the 2022 or 2023 events. Now, there are still more things we need to cover, so please keep reading. 

Verify Your Information

As we get closer to the trip, we are going to send you some things in the mail and also need to finalize travel details with our hotels and guides in Iceland. Please make sure that your information is correct and updated on your registration. You will need to verify that your name, address, passport information, and other questions are correct on your registration. 

Please login and verify your passport information and make any other changes that you need to make. Please do this by May 1, 2021.

4/12/21 - UPDATE 4: 

We have a few updates today. The first update covers general travel to Iceland and then we have specific updates regarding hotel and airport shuttle arrangements.

Iceland Amends Their Travel Restrictions - April 1, 2021
Hopefully, you saw our email or Facebook post on March 19 about Iceland's changes to travel restrictions. At that time, Iceland had announced that they were open for tourism as long as travelers had proof of vaccination or proof of prior infection with COVID-19. The country has since amended that ruling and the amendment came out on March 31. The amendment now requires the following for those traveling to Iceland:

  •  Passengers who submit a vaccination certificate or a certificate of a prior infection will be required to undergo one test (with a negative result) upon arrival to the country.
  • Passengers from certain defined risk zones shall stay in quarantine or isolated in a quarantine facility between the first and the second test. (The Iceland government website states that they expect defined risk zones to be updated/announced on April 9).
  • All passengers shall preregister the date of their departure, if known, before arrival to the country.
  • Starting April 1, 2021, a fee will be levied on passengers for staying in a quarantine facility.


Visas are not required to travel to Iceland, but travelers are required to fill out a document 72 hours before arriving - this will come out later in an email. Travelers may submit proof of vaccination or proof of COVID-19 antibodies. Accepted vaccines are the following:

  • Comirnaty; Pfizer BioNTech
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna
  • COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen


If you received a different vaccine, please email me, Cherie, at cherie@vacationraces.com to discuss your options.

Hotel Information for Iceland
For our trip, we will be staying at Icelandic Hotel Natura.
If you plan on arriving early please contact the hotel by sending an e-mail to reservations@icehotels.is or call +354 444 4570.

When you contact the hotel, it is crucial that you convey that:

  • You are part of the Vacation Races or Arctic Running group (this way you can keep the same hotel room when we officially meet up).
  • Hotel Natura is offering 15% off the lowest price of the day for Vacation Races and Arctic Running travelers.

To shuttle from the airport (KEF) to Icelandic Hotel Natura, use this link.

You will need to get a return ticket from KEF to Icelandic Hotel Natura. You will do one bus transfer at the BSI bus terminal and we will send a more detailed email in the next few weeks.

Be on the Lookout For...

Soon we will host another Facebook Live to answer questions and review trip details. More information on the day and time of this Live is coming soon. Please keep your eye out for an email and Facebook post with this information.

We are also sending a packing list of items that you should bring to Iceland. You can expect this packing list in about a week so that you have plenty of time to organize your bags and grab last-minute items from the store should you need them. 

Thank you again for all your patience! And please reach out if you have any questions. Email Cherie at 
cherie@vacationraces.com.

3/18/21 - UPDATE 3: 

Some big things are happening in Iceland...

Changes to Travel Restrictions

Travel restrictions for Iceland have changed! Starting March 18, 2021, all travelers - regardless of origin - are welcome to visit Iceland if they can show either of the following:

  • Certificate of full vaccination against COVID-19
  • Proof of prior infection with COVID-19

This is great news for us because it means travel will be allowed from non-EEA areas, which means travelers from the US, Canada, UK, and Asia are now allowed to travel to Iceland. 

The government has shared that travelers who have proof of vaccination or previous infection are exempt from COVID testing and quarantine. Proof of previous infection can be shown with a valid antibody test or with a positive PCR test that is at least 14 days old prior to the travel date. Antibody and PCR tests must come from a valid EEA/EFTA country. Proof of valid full vaccination may come from any country; they do not necessarily need to come from a EEA/EFTA country. 

What are EEA/EFTA countries? EEA countries are the 27 Member States of the European Union. EFTA countries include Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.


Travelers who can’t provide this proof must show a negative PCR test before boarding a flight to Iceland. This test must be taken within 72 hours of departure. In addition to a negative test, once these passengers arrive in Iceland, they must undergo double screening and 5-6 days of quarantine between screenings. Full restriction details are available here on Iceland’s government website.

With the hopeful promise of vaccine availability to all in the coming weeks coupled with Iceland’s softened restrictions, we are optimistic that Iceland travel in June is a real possibility! Heck yes!

Now, if reading this makes you say, “you know what, yeah, I’ve got my vaccine, and I’m ready to go!” then we have an exciting status update for our Iceland trips. There are still spots available for the first trip to Iceland. This trip is from June 5 - 12, 2021. June is a popular time to visit Iceland because the days are longest at this time, the weather is warmer, and the natural landscape is oh-so stunning! There are limited spots remaining for this trip, so if you’ve been on the fence, jump on while you can! Our second trip, June 19 -26 is sold out.

 

Travel Questions

We hear there are some questions, let's review those.

  1. I'm not part of a group that can get the vaccine sooner, what if I can't get one before the trip? We still have plenty of time. If you want to get a vaccine, you will likely be able to before the trip. Plus, other countries are opening vaccinations up to folks who are 16 years or older in the coming weeks. 
  2. Should I book my air travel now? The best time to buy airline flights is 50 to 60 days before a trip, but if you find a good deal now, we suggest getting it. As of now, March 19, 2021, we are 78 days away from the first Iceland trip, and 92 days away from the second Iceland trip.
  3. What if I don't want to get a vaccine to go on this trip? If this is a concern for you, please email Cherie to talk about your options. cherie@vacationraces.com

Volcanoes? In Iceland? 

Now, some folks have asked us about volcanic activity in Iceland and if any of it will affect our travel. The truth is, we can’t say for sure. It is a known fact that Iceland is volcanically active and has earthquakes. This is evident with their rich geothermal landscape and uh...volcanos. So with environments like this, there is always the possibility for seismic activity. 

In the last two weeks, Iceland has seen a lot of seismic activity, and scientists expect some sort of eruption in the near future. We’re not saying this will affect our travel plans, but we wanted to address it because it has been in the news. Seismic activity like this is a normal part of Iceland’s environment and it’s one of the reasons the landscapes there are so beautiful! 

If you just love geology and are curious like we are, you can keep tabs on all things volcanic on the Icelandic Meteorological Office.


2/25/21 - UPDATE 2: We still do not have any major updates. We've been monitoring travel restrictions for Iceland and each state in the US. The predictions we've seen show that the threat of Covid-19 should be reduced by late April. We hope that continued social distancing and vaccine distribution further help this.

Our vendors and partners understand that we are all in this "wait-and-see" position which allows us to hold off on making any cancellation calls. Again, we are optimistic that these trips will happen because they are later in the year, but ensuring we can host these trips safely is our first priority. Like we mentioned before, the only extra cost is patience! And we are incredibly thankful for the patience you have shown us. Stay healthy and safe, and we hope to see you in the coming months!


1/13/21 - UPDATE 1: We hope you are all safe and healthy. No big updates, but we wanted to start the year off with a status update. We’ve been tracking predictions and reports from trusted sources, in the US and Iceland. We’re also taking into consideration stay at home orders issued in states where you live. Right now, we are not altering our Iceland plans in any way. We’re feeling pretty optimistic but are still cautious. 

Here are 3 things that we know:

  1. Most predictions we have seen are forecasting that by the middle - end of April the threat of Covid-19 will be greatly reduced within the US. If real life follows these predictions, we’ll be in great shape to travel together! This is what we are hoping for.
  2. Right now travel to Iceland is restricted and we don’t know when it will be lifted 100%, we know it is slowly lifting but travel to Iceland from the States is still not currently recommended. As of today’s update US citizens are still not permitted to enter Iceland (at least for our traveling purpose). Icelandic officials will be making decisions on opening tourism up in the next few months, but as we know anything can change. According to our local contacts, they are feeling very optimistic that borders will be open and travel will be possible as soon as March.
  3. Things change really quickly! We are basing our predictions on these estimates, but know that this information will continue to change and be updated.

Although we have been able to hold off on paying several deposits already, our remaining vendors are allowing us to delay payments until the beginning of May. This means we can hold off any cancelling decisions, which we think will work in everyone’s favor. We are basically in a wait-and-see situation. The only extra cost is patience.

60 days out from the trip is typically when we advise to purchase tickets for travel, which for Iceland will be the beginning of April. Airlines are being very generous with their cancellations and credits. 

We know not everyone will be comfortable with this wait-and-see plan. If you are uncomfortable with this, please send me an email and we can discuss your options. 

Watch for additional emails and updates on our Global Adventures Facebook page. Thank you for your patience and support.




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