Summary : At the edge of the Arctic Circle, Iceland is unique in every way. Dominated by geology and the sea, a unique culture has emerged here that is ancient and contemporary all at once. Active volcanoes, emerging islands, lava fields, and glaciers make every landscape awe-inspiring and hiking, sublime. At sea, the mountains are a constant backdrop as you spot seabirds and marine mammals in the long summer light! Towns nestled among the fjords offer unique cuisine, handicrafts, art and architecture—and our local hosts will ensure we appreciate Iceland’s culture and history at its very finest.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins
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Arrive in Reykjavik and transfer to the ship.
Today you will explore the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, a region known for its dramatic beauty and fascinating geological history. There will also be many opportunities to observe seabirds and marine life as you explore one of Iceland’s most amazing coastlines.
Only about ten percent of Iceland’s visitors ever see this region, known for its jagged bird cliffs and multi-hued beaches. Coastal fjords, immense mountains, and tiny villages can be found here, and a traditional lifestyle is embraced by the region’s inhabitants.
In its heyday, Siglufjörður bustled with activity as the center of the herring fishing industry. Now connected to the rest of Iceland by two tunnels through the surrounding mountains, Siglufjörður is resurgent. The herring museum - which includes reenactments - is wonderful. Foodies will enjoy visiting the superb bakery, chocolate factory, and brewery. The folk music center is a wonderful resource for Icelandic folk music.
Grimsey Island lies on the Arctic Circle. Its human population of about a hundred inhabitants share the island with nearly a million seabirds! These include puffins, guillemots, and gulls. A Zodiac cruise among rock formations is a trip highlight.
Iceland’s second-largest urban area, Akureyri enjoys a relatively mild climate and ice-free harbor. Shops, cafes, and restuarants make for good exploring of the urban kind. There are ten musuems to discover and explore.
Akuyeri’s botanical gardens are among the northernmost in the world, miraculously growing several thousand plant species. The view from the steps of the monumental Lutheran church is worth the walk!
Húsavík, on Skjalfandi Bay, is known as the “Whale Capital” of Iceland. Fifteen different whale species frequent the area; hope to see dolphins, and dozens of varieties of birds. The Whale Museum will further your cetacean appreciation.
The Húsavík Museum is located by the harbor. There are also numerous other museums including the Exploration Museum, which houses artifacts from Apollo astronaut training in the area; a whale museum, and a turf house museum.
Seydisfjördur is nestled at the tip of its namesake fjord. The picturesque town of seven hundred is known for its flourishing art scene, cobbled rainbow road, and excellent handicrafts. There are numerous opportunities for hiking beginning in the town, including a walk up to Tvisongur sound sculpture on a nearby hill.
Nearby Skalanes Nature Reserve is family owned and operated. The center for research and interpretation of Iceland’s environment and cultural history is a model for sustainable tourism. A visit to Vök hot springs tops off the offering.
The south of Iceland is home to some of the country’s most beautiful natural attractions. Here you have opportunities to explore a unique mix of volcanoes, lagoons, glaciers—as well as hot springs, geysers, and spectacular waterfalls.
Vestmannaeyjar lies off the south coast of Iceland and comprises fourteen islands, numerous rocks and skerries. Only the largest island, Heimaey, is inhabited. Heimaey rose to global prominence when it was nearly destroyed by the eruption of the volcano Eldfell in 1973. An excellent volcano museum built around a house excavated from the ash interprets the incident, and numerous walks offer dramatic views of, and from the island’s two volcanoes.
Heimaey’s harbor was kept open as the lava advanced by pumping seawater to cool it. Nearby sea cliffs dotted with massive sea caves offer excellent opportunities for birds, including the much-loved puffins.
Disembark the Ocean Endeavour and transfer to the airport.
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. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
Emergency evacuation and medical insurance is mandatory in order to travel with Adventure Canada. As a requirement of participation on this expedition, all passengers must purchase at least $75,000 of medical evacuation insurance and medical insurance. Please note that this is a suggested minimum by Adventure Canada and that actual medical and evacuation costs may far exceed this amount. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. Persons that already have their own medical and emergency evacuation coverage will be asked to provide full policy details upon booking. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Nikon Photography Program
Adventure Canada is proud to partner with Nikon Canada for the onboard Nikon Camera Trial Program, taking place aboard all Ocean Endeavour expeditions. Through this program, travelers will have the opportunity to try professional quality photography equipment in stunning environments, and take advantage of onsite instruction from Nikon Ambassadors. You can also experience the power of Nikon products through onboard seminars and onshore photography workshops, designed to help you capture the perfect image of your trip of a lifetime.
Explore at water level in small groups with experienced kayak guides. Excursions are offered on double kayaks, as well as the essential gear for safety and comfort.
Optional Mountain Biking:
Experience communities and landscapes at your own pace! For fitness enthusiasts and independent explorers, the ship carries a fleet of Kona mountain bikes. These multi-geared, all-purpose bikes are available during select community excursions.
Transfer from Reykjavik airport to ship on embarkation day; transfer from ship to Reykjavik airport on disembarkation day; Nikon Camera Trial Program; gear to keep (expedition jacket); gear on loan (boots); photo journal; all meals onboard ship. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; pre- and post-trip accommodations; passport and visa expenses; spa expenses; kayaking; mountain biking; optional excursions and extensions; WiFi; alcohol; soft drinks; laundry services; onboard medical charges; personal expenses; cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s); gratuities; fuel surcharge may apply.