Summary : Sail around Iceland on an amazing expedition that offers an in-depth exploration of this small island of geological extremes. Encounter unrivaled natural diversity, from volcanic landscapes to lava fields, ice sheets, gushing hot springs and cascading waterfalls. The Expedition team will make every effort to maximize your experiences with all the extremes of this land, its incredible bird life, colorful hamlets, friendly and hearty people and serene bays perfect for kayaking.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking
$999,999,999 to $0
Arrive in the Icelandic capital this morning and transfer to the Grand Hotel Reykjavik. Enjoy the day on your own to explore the city. Meet back at the hotel in the evening for a welcome reception and orientation.
After breakfast, venture south from Reykjavik along Iceland’s famous Golden Circle route starting with Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enter a dramatic landscape of wild contrasts with lava plains, clear lakes and wildflowers in the shadows of soaring mountains. This was also the site of Iceland’s parliament from 930 until 1798. Visit Iceland’s most famous waterfall, Gullfoss, while it is at the height of its flow. Complete the Golden Circle with Haukadalur, observing the Strokkur geyser erupt every 5-10 minutes as well as plenty of other evidence of the intense geological processes beneath your feet.
Arrive at the photogenic Snaefellsnes Peninsula and visit our first small Icelandic town. Sail into the small harbor and have a chance to walk around its picturesque fishing village. In the afternoon, sail to the westernmost point of Iceland. Watch for Atlantic puffins, thick-billed murres and black-legged kittiwakes.
Awake to the sight of the Westfjords area with its high rock walls carved by intense glacier action. Find the colorful town of Ísafjörður, home to a charming museum dedicated to Iceland’s rich maritime history. Perhaps sample some local Icelandic delicacies and take in some local entertainment. In the afternoon, explore the dramatic fjords that make this area famous.
Visit one of Iceland’s most popular attractions, the Blue Lagoon. You’ll be able to soak in the geothermally-heated seawater, rejuvenating both the body and soul. For those who don’t crave the comforts of the spa, an optional round of golf is also available at the Continental Drift Club where the American and Eurasian plates meet.
Lying off the southern coast of Iceland, these islands are an example of the constant geological battle being waged underground. In 1973, a volcanic eruption destroyed many buildings on the islands and today a project dubbed the “Pompeii of the North” aims to excavate those ruins. Not to be out-named, the entire archipelago has been called the “Capri of the North” because of all the sea caves created by frequent volcanic activity. Sea birds, including puffins, call this place home.
Explore one of the most impressive wonders of Iceland: Vatnajökull Glacier. At over 300m (1,000 ft) tall, you can't appreciate the full scale of the ice until getting out on Jökulsárlón Lake and sailing among the icebergs that frequently calve from the ice face. In the afternoon, arrive at Höfn, a small and traditional fishing community.
Call into Seydisfjordur, a small, friendly town with a thriving art scene. Visit the power plant museum, shop for locally-produced handicrafts in the town, and join a tour conducted by the locals. The area also boasts over 90 archaeological sites, some dating back 1,000 years.
Húsavík is an excellent example of the geological processes that have made Iceland famous. Spend the day crossing through the highland lava desert, past lava formations, mud pools and sulfur pits en route to the impressive canyons and waterfalls that lie beyond. Returning back to town, enjoy a chance to wander around and visit the Whale and Exploration Museums before boarding the vessel. Be on the lookout for whales as the ship pulls away from this scenic coastal town. In the late afternoon, cross the Arctic Circle and reach Grimsey Island. The abundant bird life far outnumbers the fewer than one hundred residents of this small village.
Today you reach the very top of Iceland while venturing north into the peaceful bay of Hornvik. Grand landscapes and exploration will be the order of the day with a chance to stretch your legs and marvel at the geology and bird life that dominate the area.
Arrive in Akureyri to disembark and board your flight back to Reykjavík and transfer to downtown.
Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice and weather conditions - and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
All guests are required to have comprehensive travel insurance coverage. Due to the remoteness of the areas in this itinerary, travelers must have a minimum $50,000 of emergency medical coverage. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. The shipping company will not be held responsible for delays due to force majeure. Any additional costs accrued will be the responsibility of the traveler. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends that the travel insurance policy covers trip cancellation insurance, trip delay (interruption or after departure coverage), baggage and repatriation. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.
Sea Kayaking Option: $595 per person
Not included in cruise rate. Minimum age 16 years. This is a pre-booked option for kayakers with some experience. Places are strictly limited so please advise at time of booking. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for additional details.
Shipboard accommodation; all meals on board ship; charter flight from Akureyi to Reykjavik; shore landings; Expedition Leader; Zodiac transfers and cruising; presentations by Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled; photographic journal on DVD; coffee, tea, cocoa available around the clock; pre-departure materials; hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges; pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings; parka - yours to keep; luggage handling aboard ship; emergency evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of $100,000 per person*; 1 night pre-hotel in Reykjavik; on embarkation day, transfer to the ship; on disembarkation day, flight from Akureyri to Reykjavik and transfer into downtown Reykjavik; Iceland Cruise Passenger Tax. Subject to change without notice.
Any airfare except flight from Akureyri to Reykjavik; passport and visa expenses; any overnight accommodation required due to flight connections; government arrival and departure taxes; kayaking; Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks; any beverages that are not in the complimentary selection; baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; laundry and other personal charges; telecommunications charges; gratuity for ship’s crew and Expedition Team members; fuel surcharge may apply.
*Emergency Evacuation Insurance:
Emergency evacuation coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $100,000 is included in the cost of this expedition. Included coverage is applicable only to travel between the first and last day of the expedition purchased. Additional days of travel prior to the expedition and/or after the expedition are not covered by the included emergency evacuation insurance. We strongly advise all passengers to purchase medical, cancellation and baggage insurance, and additional emergency evacuation coverage.