10 day circle trip of Iceland - Aug 30 - Sep 8, 2017

Traveler: Gordon M. - Local specialist: Halldor Bjarkason

First, the positive comments. Iceland was a beautiful country to visit and our accommodations were very comfortable.
However, we were quite disappointed in the effort put out by your sub-contractor, Wild Westfjords for a number of reasons. We had expected the same level of service as provided to our friend, Susan Turner.
The itinerary that Susan was given showed a choice of accommodation at each location and specified the cost at each. We were given one choice with the note that if that wasn't OK, we could be offered some thing else.

Upon arrival at the Hotel Fron on Day 1, we were asked to pay for the room and that there had been no request for a gluten-free breakfast. It took a couple of phone calls to clarify both issues.

The itinerary put together for us seemed to rely a lot on "cut and paste" with little attention to detail. Some examples are:
We learned from the Hotel Fron that the bus stop designated for pick-up for the Golden Circle Tour no longer existed.

Our voucher for the Dimmurborgir Guest house did not state that breakfast was included so we bought supplies only to find out that breakfast was included.

Our Day 6 itinerary stated 466 km on well paved roads. It was somewhat disconcerting to find ourselves on a long stetch of extremely potholed road. Consulting the map we had bought confirmed we hadn't gone astray and that the road section was identified as gravel.

As a volunteer at a conservation area, I was looking forward to visiting the Arctic Fox Center. I was upset when arriving there at 4:15 to learn they had switched to a 4PM closing as of Sept 1st.

Day 8 suggested viewing the teeming bird life near the Svortuloft Lighthouse. The info sign at the lighthouse indicated that all the birds depart before the end of August. Our bird count - zero.

On Day 9, the instructions to visit the Landbrotalaug hot spring near Eldborg were useless to someone who did not have a GPS. A simple instruction such as"Within 200 metres of the turnoff to the Gerouberg Basaly columns, turn on a road marked Stora Hraun and travel 1.5 km on a terrible road to the hot spring" would have been more appropriate.

We were somewhat dismayed to learn that we had a 8AM reservation at the Blue Lagoon although we realized that this was the only morning time available on that day. However the staff at the Hotel Geo kindly informed us that this only meant we could not enter BEFORE 8 AM and that a 9:30 arrival would be perfectly OK.

Our conclusion was that not a great deal of thought had been put into preparation of our itinerary by Wild Westfjords.

Our major concern, however was the lack of financial accountability and the refusal by Wild Westfjords to give us an accounting of the costs of our accommodation, car rental, etc. I do not buy their contention that these are confidential between WW and their suppliers and that we bought a "package". We were advised at the Hotel Fron that the booking there had been made through Booking.com. All the bookings could have been made through Booking.com and those rates are known to the public. Further Booking.com has a 24 hour cancellation policy in most cases so there was no reason why we could not have paid for accommodation upon arrival rather than paying for the whole trip in advance.

The bottom line for Kimkim is whether we would recommend your services to friends planning to visit Iceland. At this point our response would have to be NO if you were to subcontract the service to Wild Westfjord and no financial accountability was provided.