A cruise ship in Ísafjörður Locals are looking at ways to solve problems which have come with the growing numbers of visitors. Photo/Pjetur
This year 104 cruise ships will visit Ísafjörður town in the Westfjords. Five years ago the town was only visited by 32 ships. This dramatic increase in the number of visitors has caused some friction. The town council formed a commission to look into how these could be eased, as well as surveying local residents about what problems they were concerned with. The top concern residents have: Foreign visitors who peek through the windows of beautiful homes.
Think people's homes are museum exhibits
"What seems annoy people most, according to the survey we did, is foreign travellers disturbing their homes. There are many beautiful old homes in the town, and some visitors on cruise ships seem to think these are museums or something similar," the chairwoman of the commission told the local newspaper Fréttablaðið.
She said that other problems which needed to be addressed included access to public toilets: "There have to be adequate public toilets, and we do have plenty of public toilets available to visitors, but we must identify these better, by setting up signs. We must also ensure that the cruise ships and fishing vessels can coexist peacefully in the harbour."