We are delighted to welcome the delegates of the New Chaucer Society Congress to Iceland and do hope you have an enjoyable and productive stay. Below is some general information that may be useful during your visit to Iceland.
How to get here
Iceland is 5–6 hours away from USA and 2–4 hours from Europe. Two Icelandic airlines offer international flights all year round, Icelandair and WOW air, and many other airlines fly to Iceland during the summer time. All international flights (except those to and from the Faroe Islands and Greenland) go through Keflavík International Airport, which is about 40 minutes’ drive from Reykjavík. Those travelling from the US please note that most flights arrive very early in the morning and if you want to have access to your hotel room upon arrival you will need to book for the previous night if you want to get access to your room early in the morning.
Find flight connection: http://www.dohop.com/
The Flybus runs services between Reykjavík and Keflavík and connects with all arriving and departing flights. Please note that bus tickets must be purchased in advance or at the Flybus desk in the airport building. One-way ticket costs 1.950 ISK. Flybus also offers services to and from most hotels and guesthouses in Reykjavík (do note that to book the service to hotels you need to book Flybus+). One-way ticket from the airport to hotels costs 2.500 ISK. All Congress hotels listed offer pick-up services by Flybus. Airport Express (Gray Line) also offers transport services between the airport and Reykjavík with complementary pick-up and drop-off services for all major hotels in the capital area. One-way tickets start at 2.090 ISK. Taxis and car rentals are also available from the airport terminal. Do note that there are no trains in Iceland.
Do note that both Flybus and Grayline now offer direct services to Hotel Garður as well. These can be booked online as with all other major hotels and guesthouses.
Potential exhibitors please contact Sif Rikhardsdottir, Chair of Local Arrangements Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org and cc. Ruth Evans, Executive Director, NCS, email@example.com). The book exhibit will be located in the vicinity of the sessions, either in an open space in front of the rooms or in a room next to the other sessions depending on the number of exhibitors. Exhibit hours can be set by the exhibitors, but should be adjusted to the program schedule. Exhibit space cannot remain open after 17.30. Hotel information and list of speakers can be found on the website. For shipping information please contact the local chair. We advise exhibitors to allow enough time to clear shipments through customs and to clearly mark all shipments as ‘exhibition material’ for custom clearance.
All rooms are equipped with the necessary AV requirements. Presenters using power point should bring their presentations on a memory stick. Please make sure the presentation is PC-compatible as all computers on campus are PCs and the network will not allow connections to external computers.
WiFi will be accessible on campus during the Congress. The University of Iceland also participates in eduroam (education roaming), a secure, world-wide roaming access service developed for the international research and education community that allows students and researchers to obtain internet connectivity across campus by simply opening their laptops. Do note that eduroam has to be installed prior to arrival to guarantee free and immediate internet access on campus. Many institutions provide technical assistance on how to install eduroam. For information on how to set up eduroam see here. Most hotels offer free WiFi and many cafés have WiFi hotspots.
We encourage delegates to print their papers and other materials in advance. Printing is available for a charge at Háskólaprent (University Printing), located close to the venue.
Tweet sessions using the Congress hashtag (#ncs14) and session hashtags (e.g., #s2F).
NCS recommends the protocols and etiquette laid out in Roopika Risam’s Virtual MLA: A Quick Guide to Using Twitter at the MLA Convention.
Climate and Clothing
Thanks to the Gulf Stream, Iceland enjoys a cool temperate ocean climate: cool in summer and fairly mild in winter. The average temperature in July is around 12°C. However, the weather is very changeable and visitors should be prepared for the unexpected. When travelling in Iceland you should bring along lightweight woollens, a sweater or cardigan, a rainproof (weatherproof) coat and sturdy walking shoes.
The Midnight Sun
During summer the nights are bright in all of Iceland. In the month of June the sun never fully sets in the north. Keep in mind, however, that the sun at midnight is not as warm as at midday, so bring along a sweater or a light jacket.
Business, Shopping and Banking hours
Office hours are generally 09:00–16.00 or 17:00. Shopping hours vary, but most stores are open Mon–Fri 09:00/11:00–18:00, Sat from 10:00 to 16:00. Some supermarkets are open to 23:00 or even 24/7. Banking hours are Mon–Fri 09:15–16:00.
Credit Cards are widely accepted in Iceland. The major cards in Iceland are EUROPAY/ MASTERCARD and VISA. Diners and American Express are also accepted. Cash can be obtained at every bank branch as well as in all ATMs throughout the country. There is an ATM at the airport as well as in Háskólatorg (HT) on campus. Please note that there might be a difference between the official currency exchange rate in Iceland and the exchange rate that the credit card companies charge.
The Icelandic monetary unit is the “króna”. Currency rates tend to fluctuate. For current exchange rates see: http://www.cb.is/exchange-rate/. All Icelandic banks provide foreign exchange.
Shopping and Tax free
The shops in Iceland carry a wide variety of merchandise. Local specialities include woollen knitwear (sweaters and cardigans), handmade ceramics, glassware and jewellery. Also available is a great variety of high-quality seafood. There is an excellent Duty Free store at the airport where you can buy bottles of wine at a very reasonable price! Do note that alcoholic beverages are otherwise only sold in licensed liquor stores (ÁTVR).
A refund of local Value-Added Tax (VAT) is available to all visitors in Iceland. The refund will result in a reduction of up to 15% of the retail price.
The electric current in Iceland is 220volts, 50 HZ AC. Euro plug/Schuko-Plug (CEE types).
Pharmacies, Emergency and Medical help
The emergency phone number in Iceland is 112. The location of the nearest ER (Landspítali Fossvogi) can be found here. For non-emergency medical assistance contact Laeknavaktin (location can be found here), tel: 1770. Walk-in hours are 17:00-23:30 during the week and 9:00-23:30 on weekends. The European Health Insurance Card is valid in Iceland. Water is safe to drink throughout Iceland. Pharmacies are called “Apótek” and are open during normal business hours. Some are open at night.
Telephones and Mobile phones
The code for Iceland from overseas is +354. Direct long-distance calls can be made to Europe and the USA by dialling 00 plus the country code, and the number you wish to reach.
GSM: There are four GSM operators in Iceland: Siminn, Nova, Tal and Vodafone. These companies sell pre-paid GSM phone cards and offer GSM/GPRS services. Pre-paid cards are available at petrol stations around the country.
Service and VAT are invariably included in prices in Iceland.
Public transportation consists of buses (strætó), many of whom stop by campus. Schedules can be found here. There are several 24 hour taxi companies in Reykjavik; Hreyfill, tel: +354 588 5522, BSR, tel: +354 561 0000.
Various tourist information sites
The official travel guide to Iceland: www.visiticeland.com
The official tourism website of the Reykjavík capital area: www.visitreykjavik.is
Check the weather in Iceland: www.vedur.is
Iceland Review: What's on in Iceland: www.whatson.is
Keflavik International Airport in Iceland: www.airport.is/english
Various organised excursions are available to visitors. For scheduled tours from Reykjavik you can check the following websites.
Reykjavík Excursions: www.re.is
Iceland Excursions: www.icelandexcursions.is
Icelandic Mountain Guides: http://www.mountainguides.is/