The Ultimate Circumnavigation of Iceland
Wilderness and Viking History
Experience the best of Iceland on our expedition cruise around Iceland, the North Atlantic island nation. Our extensive voyage takes you to see a large variety of fascinating nature, wildlife and settlements.
The westen region of Iceland features spectacular scenery and is home to thrilling Viking sagas, a key part of Icelandic mythology. A highlight in the west is the Westfjords, a spectacular nature reserve where teeming bird cliffs are in abundance.
Lava and Whales
As sail north, scout for whales, as the landscape changes into vast lava fields and volcanic mountains. Grimsey is where the Arctic Circle touches Iceland, and we make sure to cross the legendary boundary before heading south towards the eastern part of the country.
Along the east coast, the nature changes again. Now we encounter thick forests, lush farmlands and colorful fishing villages. Whales and other wildlife might be spotted as we sail south towards the region’s remakable volcanic islands, while our expedtion team entertains you with the rich stories and sagas of the Vestmannaeyr.
Join us on this voyage of discovery and adventure and stay a few extra days to discover the many attractions in Reykjavik!
- Explore mystical Iceland – the land of fire and ice
- See fascinating nature with waterfalls, volcanoes and glaciers side by side
- Encounter a paradise for bird and whale watching
- Completely circumnavigate Iceland
- Hurtigruten expedition cruise in the cabin grade of your choice
EVERYTHING YOU NEED FOR AN ADVENTURE
- A rich program of included activities on all voyages designed to immerse you in the destinations you visit, including onshore exploration with the expedition team.
- Professional English-speaking expedition team - an international handpicked team of highly educated experts of various academic fields with profound knowledge of the region we sail in
- Complimentary wind- and water-resistant jacket
- Loan of boots, trekking poles, and equipment needed for optional and included activities
ENGAGING ONBOARD ACTIVITIES AND EDUCATION
- In-depth lectures on science, history, biology, geography, geology or culture that provide context to your voyage and help you understand the destinations you will experience
- Explorer Science program, with educational and Citizen Science activities that let you learn about the sights you’ll see while contributing to research
- Introductory photo lecture, including camera adjustments and tips and tricks
- Photos and film/video footage from the voyage shared in the Expedition Logbook
- Casual opportunities to engage with the expedition team and other guests, including a welcome event, daily gatherings to recap the day and prepare for the day to come
- Opportunities to dine and interact with the expedition team and officers
- Destination-focused onboard library
- Port presentations providing destination insight
- A farewell event
PREMIUM ONBOARD COMFORT
- All meals including beverages (beer and wine, sodas and mineral water in all ship restaurants)
- Coffee and tea included throughout the day
- Early riser and afternoon treat offered in addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner
- A la carte restaurant (only for suite guests)
- Gym, outdoor hot tubs and sauna with windows
- Free Wi-fi onboard for all guests. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
- No gratuities expected
- International flights
- Optional shore excursions with our local partners
- Optional small-group adventures with our expedition team such as kayaking, long hikes (availability pending weather conditions and safety)
- Travel protection plan
- Luggage handling
- All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions
Arriving in Iceland - Embarkation
Many visitors find landing at Keflavik airport enchanting. The hub seems carved out of an arctic desert, with moss-covered lava rock and haunting mountains nearby. But just 45 minutes away is Reykjavik, a charming, vibrant and modern city, offering top restaurants, interesting museums and quaint narrow streets.
Welcome to “Sagaland” - Stykkishólmur - Full Day
The friendly town of Stykkishólmur features beautiful, well-preserved old houses and is surrounded by wonderful scenery. Enjoy exploring the town´s interesting museums or join optional excursions to see such iconic sites on Snæfellsnes Penninsula as the Lóndrangar basalt cliffs or black sand beaches of Djúpalónssandur.
Walking tour & visit to the Eider centre (2 hrs)
During this pleasant walk around town, enjoy thought-provoking talks on the area´s religion, social issues and the Icelandic health system. Naturally, there will be interesting information on the history and culture of this welcoming community as well. We also visit the Icelandic Eider Centre at Stykkishólmur, with the adjacent Breidafjordur being the largest active eider duck nesting area in the world.
Patreksfjördur - Patreksfjördur - Full Day
Patreksfjördur is a charming settlement on the west coast of Iceland with about 660 inhabitants. The picturesque fjord offers scenic hiking trails if conditions allow. Patreksfjördur is also close to the spectacular waterfall of Dynjandi and to Látrabjarg, a renowned site for birdwatching.
Stroll through town (1 hr)
Stroll along the lively harbour of Patreksfjörður and learn about the importance of fisheries to the village and the various types of fish. We visit the local church and walk to the snow avalanche protection wall where you get the best views of the fjord. The village has a rich history as a base for English and French sailors, merchants and navy mariners.
Northwest Iceland - Northwest Iceland - Exploration Day
Our experienced captain will plan a day exploring the stunningly beautiful fjords of northwest Iceland. Conditions will determine the final program and activity for the day. We might visit a small settlement, take you on hikes, or launch our kayaks.
Remote Ruins and Natural Beauty - Djupavik - Full Day
In 1917, Elías Stefánsson settled down in Djupavik and built a herring salting factory. Today, you can still see the remains of the factory as well as seven houses and a hotel here. We will explore the landing site, and the beautiful natural scenery surrounding it.
Herring Factory visit & Leisurely Hike (2 - 3 hrs)
Join in an exciting hike up a mountain ridge for an amazing view of the entire coast, then learn a bit of local history with an exciting guided tour through a former herring factory. The fish facility is also part of contemporary movie history, as scenes from the Hollywood blockbuster, Justice League, were filmed here. Afterward, savour some local pastries served by the owner of a small guesthouse near the pier.
Northern Center - Akureyri - Full Day
Akureyri is a lively town, famous for its botanical gardens and pretty traffic lights. It is the most populous community outside Reykjavík, and the center of trade, culture and services in northern Iceland. Akureyri is close to many of Iceland’s renowned natural treasures, like Mývatn lake and Goðafoss waterfall.
Town walk & Botanical Garden visit (2 - 3 hrs)
Discover the past and present of Akureyri on a leisurely stroll around town. See the town centre before making your way up to a viewpoint. The walk also goes to to the Botanical Gardens (Lystigarðurinn) where you can see some 2,000 species of local and foreign flowers that bloom outdoors due to Akureyri’s warm microclimate.
Step Across the Arctic Circle - Grimsey Island & Husavik - Overnight stay - Full Day
We will use our tender boats to reach this green and grassy island. Grimsey is probably best known for its proximity to the Arctic Circle, which cuts through the island and you can step across. During the afternoon, we sail towards Husavik, arriving in the evening and staying overnight.
Arctic circle crossing ceremony (2 hrs 30)
The Arctic Circle crosses Iceland at the northernmost point on Grimsey island. As we cross the Arctic Circle, enjoy a fun ceremony with the staff, then take a walk towards the Orbis et Globus (Circle and Sphere) artwork that symbolises the Circle. On the way you will have amazing photo opportunities of magnificent scenery, and wildlife like puffins, arctic terns, golden plovers and many more spectacular birds, as many of them are nesting on the cliffs or right next to your footpath.
Whales and Birds - Husavik & Langanes Peninsula
Húsavík is renowned for its whale watching and has several interesting museums, including, of course, a whale museum. In the evening, we will sail past the scenic Laganes Peninsula.
Whale museum visit (1 - 2 hrs)
Husavik is not considered the whale watching capital of Europe for nothing. Join us on a visit to Husavik’s excellent whale museum if you want to learn more about these giants of the sea. The museum offers you everything there is to know about whales, and even has an actual blue whale skeleton - a spectacle you shouldn't miss.
Land of the Elves - Bakkagerdi - Full Day
Bakkagerdi is the main settlement in Borgarfjörður, an area known for its natural beauty and as “the land of the elves.” Puffin colonies abound in the fjord, making this a popular place for birdwatching. Bakkagerdi is off the typical tourist track, and offers peace, quiet and lovely views.
Puffin Colony visit (1 - 3 hrs)
Climb aboard one of our small boats that take you to a small pier next to a large puffin colony. Here you climb stairs to the top of a small hill for a spectacular view over the colony. Afterward, a five-minute shuttlebus ride takes you to the small village of Bakkagerdi, where the Icelandic queen of the elves holds court. You also find a charming, traditional peat house in the village.
Iceland`s Pompeii - Heimaey - Full Day
The harbor at Heimaey or “Home Island” has a narrow entrance, formed by a volcanic eruption in 1973. As the lava flow threatened, the ingenious islanders pumped sea water onto the molten rocks to cool and slow its progress. Nearby cliffs provide a habitat for countless birds, including the charming puffin.
The End of the Adventure - Reykjavik
Our voyage of discovery and adventure ends in Reykjavik. If you have the time, we recommend staying a few extra days to explore this unique and fascinating Nordic city.