Trip Summary and Itinerary Map
- 11 full days exploring Iceland
- Explore the largest seabird cliffs in Europe
- Visit Vatnajökull National Park, featuring Europe’s largest glacier, iceberg-speckled glacial lakes, black sand beaches, reindeer and rich birdlife
- We love the symmetry of a circumnavigation
- Kayaking & scuba diving (additional cost for each)
- Complimentary polar expedition jacket
Day 1: Reykjavik
Arriving in Reykjavik, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. After check in, there is time to label your baggage and enjoy dinner before leaving the city tomorrow.
Accommodation: Fosshotel Reykjavik Hotel (or similar).
Please note: dinner is not included.
Day 2: Embarkation
This morning, your luggage will be collected from your hotel and transferred directly to the port where it will be cleared and delivered to your cabin ahead of your arrival onboard. (Please ensure you keep valuables and personal items with you throughout the day.)
You can opt to explore the sights of Reykjavik on a half-day city tour before arriving at the pier for embarkation. Settle into your cabin and attend the ship’s mandatory safety briefings. Pulling away from port, we will gather on deck and enjoy the thrill of departure. We ‘throw the lines’ and begin our adventure with spectacular views over Reykjavik.
This evening, get to know your fellow travellers, your expedition team and the ship’s crew at the Captain’s Welcome Dinner.
Day 3: Stykkisholmur, Snaefellsnes Peninsula and Látrabjarg Cliffs
The starting point of our adventures is Stykkisholmur on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, which is the gateway to Snæfellsjökull National Park. On the north of the Snæfellsnes peninsula, Stykkishólmur is located by Breiðafjörður Bay and surrounded by wonderful views of the innumerable islands. Stykkishólmur is defined by its old houses and historic city centre; some of the houses were owned by Danish traders, and there is an annual Danish festival in the town every August, called Danskir dagar or Danish days. The oldest house in Stykkishólmur is the Norwegian House, dating back to 1832. It is clear that the inhabitants take great pride in preserving the history of the town and a walk through Stykkishólmur is like stepping back in time.
The Snaefellsnes Peninsula is a diverse landscape of lava fields and glistening fjords and home to the bird-rich Breidafjordur Bay. The jewel in the crown here is the magnificent, ice-capped Snæfellsjökull volcano, a 700,000-year-old dormant subglacial volcano. It is visible from Reykjavik on a clear day and immortalised in Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth.
We pay a visit to Arnarstapi, historically, an important trading post which previously hosted a much larger population than it has now. The pier here is surrounded by columnar basalt, ravines and grottoes and in the village itself you will find a large Arctic tern colony. Walking along the coastline is a great way to see more birdlife including kittiwake, Arctic tern and fulmar. You will also pass by magnificent lava formations. The coastal strip between Arnastapi and Hellnar was made a Natural Reserve in 1979.
Days 4 & 5: Westfjords
Over the next two days, we will explore the Westfjords region; expect outstanding landscapes with jaw-dropping views of dramatic fjords carved by ancient glaciers, sheer table mountains plunging into the sea and pristine North Atlantic vegetation. This region features attractive towns such as Isafjordur and spectacular fjords where you can kayak, birdwatch. We keep our itinerary flexible, in true expeditionary style. This allows for ultimate spontaneity to discover one of Iceland’s remotest and most pristine regions, filled with deep and dramatic fjords, towering bird cliffs, stunning natural beauty and plenty of opportunities for wildlife encounters. Enjoy the bountiful silence and magnificent landscapes seen by only a few adventurers who make their way here.
At Bjarnarhöfn there will be a guided tour of the shark museum and the opportunity to taste the famed cured shark.
Grundarfjörður might not be the most well-known town in Snæfellsnes, but nearby Mount Kirkjufell is certainly one of the most famous mountains in Iceland, if not the world. Photographers from all over the world make their way to Grundarfjörður for the sole purpose of photographing this unique landmark which has also starred in a number of films.There is a lot more to Grundarfjörður than just Mount Kirkjufell; nature abounds, with vibrant birdlife and spectacular waterfalls.
En route to Isafjordur, we sail past the immense Látrabjarg cliffs, home to a huge population of razorbills and puffins, and Iceland’s westernmost point .
Day 6: Akureyri & Mývatn
Picturesque Akureyri has a superb snow-capped mountain backdrop. You can explore the old town, with beautifully maintained period houses head inland to the nearby Mývatn region, an area said to be the most geologically active area in Iceland.
A shore excursion will take in the following sights:
Akureyri Public Parkand Botanic Garden - one of the most northerly botanical gardens in the world. The Public Park was opened in 1912 and the botanic garden section in 1957. There are around 6,600 different species of plants grown in the garden, of which, 430 are native to Iceland.
The Goðafoss waterfall - one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland. In 1000AD, the Lawspeaker Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði made Christianity the official religion of Iceland. After this conversion, Þorgeir threw statues of the Norse gods into this waterfall, earning its name: Waterfall of the Gods.
Námaskarð is known for its sulphurous mud springs called solfataras and steam springs called fumaroles. Even though you won’t find any pure spring water in this wonderful geothermal site of Iceland, the beauty of the colourful minerals and the gigantic mud craters here are truly impressive.
Mývatn Nature Baths: the tastefully designed complex here draws on a centuries-old tradition and offers bathers a completely natural experience that begins with a relaxing dip amidst clouds of steam rising up from a fissure deep in the Earth's surface. It ends with a luxurious swim in a pool of geothermal water drawn from depths of up to 2500m / 8200ft.
The excursion ends with a transfer to Húsavik, where you explore the small town at your own leisure and reboard the ship to sail to Grímsey Island.
Day 7: Grímsey Island & Húsavik
Probably best known for its proximity to the Arctic Circle, Grímsey is a verdant grassy island, located approximately 40km (25 miles) off the mainland. The Arctic Circle cuts across the island and many people travel to Grímsey just to say they have stepped across the imaginary line. With a tiny population of approximately 100 inhabitants, it’s a fantastic place for kayaking, Zodiac cruising and photographing seabirds such as guillemots, gulls and puffins.
Leaving Grímsey we spend time scanning for whales in the waters of Skjálfandi Bay around Húsavik, a town known as Iceland’s ‘whale watching capital’. This is a wildlife paradise: home to up to 24 different whale species, along with dolphins and 30 species of birds. The largest animal on Earth, the blue whale, has been spotted in Skjálfandi Bay; lucky ones might catch a glimpse of this magnificent creature along with others including orcas, fin whales and pilot whales.
Day 8: Seydisfjördur
Located on the east coast of Iceland, we enjoy sailing along a scenic, calm, long, deep fjord that snakes for 17km (10.5 miles) from mouth to head, at the town of Seydisfjordur, nestled beneath Mounts Strandartindur and Bjolfur.
Seydisfjordur, a picturesque fishing village, is known for its charming collection of colourful wooden buildings located around the lagoon. Stroll around town to discover the timber houses, remnants from when Norwegians settled here and established the herring fishing facilities from 1870-1900. From the valley above the town, the river Fjardara tumbles down as beautiful cascades into the lagoon.
There are a number of delightful hiking trails to explore; alternatively, you can immerse yourself in the flourishing cultural scene with the Technical Museum of East Iceland, the arts centre, the famous blue church that stages music concerts, and the only two cinemas in the east of Iceland. Tvisongur, a unique sound sculpture by German artist Lukas Kühne is located on a mountainside above the town. To reach the sculpture, it's a 20 minute hike along a gravel road, starting from the Brimberg Fish Factory. Back in town, browse the stores to discover handicrafts made by local artists which make perfect souvenirs and gifts.
Day 9: Hofn & Vatnajökull National Park
Höfn is a lively fishing town with population of around 1800; it is the gateway to Vatnajökull National Park, one of the most spectacular and special parts of Iceland. The park is home to Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull and the destination of our shore excursion for the day. We’ll also hike in Skaftafell National Park. This park was was established in 1967, and from 2008 it became part of the larger Vatnajökull National Park, Europe’s second largest after Yugyd Va in Russia. Prepare to marvel at the glacier and also enjoy colourful mountains, deep valleys, rich birdlife, reindeers and seals.
Inside the national park you can find glacier tongues resting on the green fields of the lowland. Visit Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, filled with floating icebergs that often wash up on shore and stand gleaming on the nearby black-sand beach, dubbed Diamond beach. Enjoy an amphibian boat excursion on the lagoon, perfect for photographing the icebergs.
Day 10: Westman Islands
The Westman Islands were formed by volcanic eruptions around 10,000 years ago and are located off Iceland’s south coast. Sail past Surtsey Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site that emerged from the sea in 1963 and is one the youngest land masses on earth. The Westman Islands are surrounded by 15 other uninhabited islands and along with 30 rocks and skerries the area offers refuge for a rich array of seabirds. The islands are considered to have the largest Atlantic puffin colony in the world; sailing around them you will see these charismatic puffins and are likely to also see whales and seals.
Heimaey is the archipelago’s main island; it is the only inhabited island and has a population of around 4,200. Ashore you will see half-buried houses that remain from a violent eruption of Eldfell volcano in 1973. You can hike up the volcano if you wish and a visit to the weather station offers bird-watching opportunities and splendid views of the surrounding islands.
Eruptions are a big part of the history of The Westman Islands. There are two volcanoes here, one that erupted some 6,000 years ago and Mount Eldfell that erupted in 1973, forcing all of the island’s inhabitants to evacuate to the mainland. Due to bad weather the day prior to the eruption, luck would have it that all of the fishing boats remained in the harbour and were able to help transport the inhabitants of Heimaey to the mainland. The fascinating Eldheimar museum will tell much more about the story of the eruption and the aftermath, and also displays a house that was buried in ash during the eruption.
Day 11: Disembarkation
Bid farewell to your expedition team, crew and newfound friends after breakfast, as you disembark in Reykjavik. Transfers to your hotel or Keflavik airport are included.
Please note: in case of delays, we recommend booking flights departing from Reykjavik after 12.00pm on the day of disembarkation.
About The Ship
- Average capacity of 132 passengers allowing for the entire vessel to go ashore together
- Heated saltwater open-air pool, jacuzzi, gym, sauna and wellness centre
- State-of-the art technology ensures not only a smooth journey but a fuel-efficient one, too
- Speedy disembarkation from special Zodiac launching platforms - gets you closer to the action for longer
Prices, Departures and Inclusions
Prices quoted below are per person based on 2 people sharing. Cabin availability changes all the time so please contact us for up-to-date details and information on specific cabin availability.
This trip can run as a group trip, with prices starting from $10,195 per person for a complete group. If you are looking to join a group or you are a solo traveller we will help to form likeminded groups of travellers. Please let us know your travel plans.
The trip can also run on a private basis to fit around your plans. Departures may be tailored and can be set up on a date of your choice. Please note that there is a higher price for smaller groups. Please enquire for further details.
Optional adventure activities:
Sea Kayaking: available for an additional surcharge and includes guided excursions and kayaking equipment. Prices for this activity start from US$900.
Scuba Diving: available for an additional surcharge and includes guided excursions and equipment. Prices for this activity start from US$940.
Single Supplement And Child Policy
There is no single supplement for passengers willing to share a cabin. For those who want their own cabin, the single supplement in a twin cabin is 1.5 times the cost of sharing with another passenger.
Children must be over 8 years old to take this voyage.
- All airport transfers mentioned in the itinerary.
- One night’s hotel accommodation including breakfast, in Reykjavik on Day 1.
- Half-day tour of Reykjavik on Day 2, prior to embarkation.
- Onboard accommodation during voyage, including daily cabin service.
- All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage.
- Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner.
- Captain’s Welcome and Farewell receptions including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages.
- All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises.
- Educational lectures and guiding services provided by the Expedition Team.
- Complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consultation).
- 3-in-1 waterproof, polar expedition jacket.
- Complimentary use of Muck Boots during the voyage.
- Comprehensive pre-departure information.
- Port surcharges, permits and landing fees.
- A digital photo book produced with photos and ship logs from your voyage.
- International or domestic flights – unless specified in the itinerary.
- Transfers – unless specified in the itinerary.
- Airport arrival or departure taxes.
- Passport, visa, reciprocity and vaccination fees and charges.
- Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges.
- Hotel accommodation and meals – unless specified in the itinerary.
- Optional excursions and optional activity surcharges.
- All items of a personal nature, including but not limited to alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, wi-fi, email or phone charges.
- Gratuities for ship’s crew and local guides.