Summary : Discover why Iceland is known as the “land of fire and ice” on a voyage to the remote fjords and volcanic isles along the country's western coast. Venture across the stark landscape of an island formed by volcanic eruptions, where the ground is still warmed by geothermal activity. Set out by Zodiac to view towering cliffs teeming with nesting seabirds and snow-capped plateaus rising into the clouds. Explore the legacy of Viking explorers and intrepid fishermen as you visit historic villages and navigate dramatic shorelines from the wild Westfjords region to the volcanic Westman Islands.
All departures are photo expeditions, see end of page for details.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Photography, Dedicated Solo Cabins, Triple/Quad Cabins
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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.
Enjoy a leisurely morning at sea, learning about Iceland and its incredible diversity. Spend the afternoon on the remote eastern side of the Westfjords to experience rural Iceland. This corner of Iceland is difficult to access and is seldom visited by many people but boasts spectacular beauty and rich history. Take advantage of the dramatic landscape of the fjord on a hike, leisurely exploration of the tundra, and perhaps photograph wildflowers. The tiny town of Djúpavík held its place on the map because of the golden age of herring. During its heyday in the 1930s, its herring plant was the largest concrete structure in Iceland. The plant closed in 1954 but remains as a small museum and a memory of the rich productivity of the herring industry in Iceland. Visit the museum and learn about the significance of this resource to all of Iceland in the 20th century.
In the early morning, glide into beautiful Arnafjörður, along the northwest coast of Iceland. For a more active experience, disembark early and hike several miles along the base of the fjord to visit spectacular Dynjandi Waterfall. Alternatively, join expedition staff on the bow of the ship to venture ever deeper into the fjord and then go ashore by Zodiac to walk up to the base of the waterfall, passing nesting arctic terns along the way. This afternoon, 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. Conditions permitting, launch the Zodiacs to see the incredible cliffs from the waterline.
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 1973, Heimaey was threatened by lava flows that nearly closed off its harbor. Drive between the two volcanoes of the island then visit the ruins of old Viking houses dating back to the year 900 AD. Opt to hike up Eldfell volcano, formed during the 1973 eruption, and have amazing views of areas that were engulfed by lava. In some places the ground is still warm with thermal vents. Watch for nesting Atlantic puffins and gannets along the shores of the island. In 1963, the world witnessed on film the birth of its newest island, Surtsey—a newly designated UNESCO World Heritage Site—which you see on the cruise past the coast.
Today disembark in Reykjavík. Choose to visit the famous Blue Lagoon thermal baths or enjoy a visit to a hot spring, a geothermal power plant and an Icelandic 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: Reykjavik’s Golden Circle & Blue Lagoon
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. 1 Day.
2020 Double Occupancy from $1,290 per person
2020 Single Occupancy from $1,590
Optional Post-Trip Extension: Iceland’s Highlands and Lowlands
Explore the snow-capped peaks, glacial lakes, and black-sand beaches of Iceland’s southern highlands and lowlands on an extension geared toward active travelers. Venture by foot into the dramatic lava fields of Landmannalaugar, and board a Zodiac to glide past blue icebergs in the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon. Set out on guided hikes to glaciers and geothermal hot springs to learn about the unique geology of these stunning landscapes. 4 Days.
2020 Double Occupancy from $3,990 per person
2020 Single Occupancy from $4,600
Optional Post-Trip Extension: Snaefellsness, Iceland
Enter Langjökull Glacier's aquamarine ice Cave and venture inside Víðgelmir lava tube cave. Drive and walk parts of the coastline of the stunning Snaefellsness National Park to see black pebble beaches, basalt sea stack columns, and perhaps a glimpse of the imposing Snaefellsjökull Mountain. 3 Days.
2020 Double Occupancy from $2,900 per person
2020 Single Occupancy from $3,230
Optional Post-Trip Extension: Iceland’s Volcanic Northeast
Venture into the volcanic heart of the “land of fire and ice” on an exploration of remarkable North Iceland. Discover Mývatn’s jagged lava fields, descend into a glacially-carved canyon, and stand on the rim of a vast volcanic crater. Soak in the spray of Dettifoss waterfall—the largest waterfall by volume in all of Europe—and relax in two different geothermal hot springs after days packed with adventure. 3 Days.
2020 Double Occupancy from $2,970 per person
2020 Single Occupancy from $3,330
Optional Post-Trip Extension: Iceland Heli-Hiking
Experience Iceland’s magnificent landscapes from a unique aerial viewpoint. Take a scenic helicopter tour to two different glaciers where you’ll have the rare opportunity to hike across a glacier. 3 Days.
2020 Double Occupancy from $7,990 per person
2020 Single Occupancy from $8,340
Transfers between airport and ship if booked on recommended flights; shipboard accommodations; 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; optional extensions; personal items such as premium alcoholic beverages, Internet, laundry, etc.; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos ©: Ralph Lee Hopkins, Sven Lindblad (blue lagoon), Elisa Locci (horses)