Summary : Iceland’s geology in all its manifestations––glaciers, thundering waterfalls, immense cliffs, geothermal springs, boiling mud pots, and rock and lava-scapes of unearthly beauty––is world-class. It alone makes a circumnavigation a very compelling idea. And when you add in the other itinerary components––Iceland’s people, their unique cultural heritage and contemporary character, the island’s geography and birdlife––seeing it all in one 360º Iceland circumnavigation cruise expedition is irresistible.
All departures are photo expeditions, see end of page for details.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Dedicated Solo Cabins, Triple/Quad Cabins
Receive a FREE DVD chronicle of your trip, compliments of ExpeditionTrips!
$11,320 to $22,870
Depart on an overnight flight to Reykjavik.
Arrive in Reykjavik, the world’s northernmost capital, which lies only a fraction below the Arctic Circle and receives just four hours of sunlight in winter and 22 in summer. Have a guided overview of the Old Town, including Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral with its 210-foot tower, and perhaps shed some light on Nordic culture at the National Museum, with its Viking treasures and artifacts, and unusual whalebone carvings on display. Embark National Geographic Explorer.
Explore Iceland’s western frontier, visiting Flatey Island, a trading post for many centuries, for walks around the charming little hamlet that grew here, and take a Zodiac cruise along the coast. Sail past the immense Látrabjarg cliffs, the westernmost point of Iceland and home to a huge population of razorbills. The cliffs are an area once famous for egg collecting; the men were tied to ropes and lowered like spiders down onto the ledges.
Explore the beautiful and peaceful Westfjords region of Iceland. Perhaps take a hike to a remote waterfall or a Zodiac cruise alongside stunning scenery. Enter Ísafjarðardjúp and land at Vigur Island to visit the Eider Farm and view the down cleaning process.
Located in the Westfjords, Ísafjördur is surrounded by water on three sides, sculpted by glaciers. Explore by Zodiac and hike ashore to view the local landscape and photograph flowering plants.
Siglufjördur was the center of Iceland’s once-thriving herring industry. Stop by the Herring Museum for a re-enactment and a tasting. Continue to picturesque Akureyri, backed by snow-capped mountains. Explore the old town, with its beautifully maintained period houses, or visit the botanical garden.
Begin the day by visiting an unforgettable sight: Godafoss, the waterfall of the gods. Next, drive to Mývatn, the most geologically active area in Iceland. This is world-class field geology! See the bizarre mud pools at Hverarönd—so hot they actually bubble. At the Krafla geothermal area see the explosion crater at Viti. After lunch ashore, meet the ship in Húsavík, and watch for whales as you sail north to the land of the midnight sun. Take Zodiacs ashore to the tiny island of Grimsey, which lies exactly on the Arctic Circle. Here you celebrate being officially in the Arctic, in the company of nesting arctic terns, fulmars, and puffins in burrows—bathing, courting, and fishing.
With plenty of rarely-visited coastline, this day is left open to explore Iceland's rugged east coast. Perhaps join your naturalists for a hike along a stretch of the Langanes Peninsula or you may have a Zodiac cruise to view the beautiful stacks near Raudanes. It's a flexible day to be able to choose the best option for the day.
Dock in Djúpivogur to explore the vast Vatnajökull icecap. Via small boat, get up-close and personal with the deep blue icebergs of the large ice lagoon of Jökulsárlón. Perhaps go by 4x4 vehicle to visit some of the secluded valley and remote waterfalls in the countryside around Djúpivogur.
The Westman Islands were formed by undersea volcanoes between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago and are among the youngest of the world’s archipelagos. In 1963, the world witnessed on film the birth of its newest island, Surtsey—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—which you see on the cruise past the coast. In 1973, Heimaey was threatened by lava flows that nearly closed off its harbor. Visit the crater, where the earth is still hot, and have amazing views of areas that had been engulfed by lava.
Today you complete your circumnavigation of Iceland, disembarking in Reykjavik. Choose to visit the famous Blue Lagoon thermal baths, or enjoy the hotsprings, geothermal power plant, and horse farm prior to flights home.
This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Lindblad-National Geographic Certified Photo Instructor:
On all departures, a certified photo instructor will be at your side and at your service to inspire and assist you. Take advantage of talks, presentations, slideshows and “laptop gallery” sharing events. All skill and interest levels are welcome; the instructors can meet you wherever you are on your journey. All you need to participate is a camera— point-and-shoot, smartphone, DSLR, whatever—and a sense of adventure. And you’re sure to return home with amazing photos.
Optional Pre-Trip Extension:
Extend your stay in Reykjavik, the world’s northernmost capital. Enjoy the surreal Blue Lagoon, and have a guided in-depth experience along the famed Golden Circle. From $1,290 per person. (1 Day)
Optional Post-Trip Extension: Glacier Heli-Hiking
Experience Iceland’s magnificent landscapes from a unique viewpoint. Take a scenic helicopter tour to two different glaciers where you’ll have the rare opportunity to go on a glacier hike. From $7,990 per person. (3 Days)
Optional Post-Trip Extension:
Venture to the very edge of the Greenland ice sheet near the mighty Sermilik Fjord to experience one of the most isolated places on Earth in supreme comfort. This 6-day adventure includes an exhilarating helicopter ride over Greenland’s epic landscapes with icebergs drifting below and maybe even a chance to spot a whale from the air. From $7,795 per person. (6 Days)
Transfers between airport and ship if booked on group flights; shipboard accommodations; kayaking; certified photo instructor; video chronicle of your trip; all meals onboard ship; most beverages onboard ship; crew gratuities. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; visa/immigration fees; personal items such as premium alcoholic beverages, Internet, laundry, etc.; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos ©: Ralph Lee Hopkins, Elisa Locci (horses)