Iceland Circumnavigation - Fire and Ice Cruise

Bird cliffs, Grundarfjordur, Iceland
from £3843 10 nights | Jun - Jul Exc. flights See price details
  • Departs:
  • Jun - Jul

Overview

Explore Iceland from a new angle with this comprehensive expedition voyage. Encounter unrivalled natural diversity, from volcanic landscapes to lava fields, ice sheets, gushing hot springs and cascading waterfalls.

Highlights

  • marvel at Iceland's wealth of natural wonders
  • trace the routes of some of Iceland's saga heroes
  • soak up the culture of Reykjavik, Iceland's lively capital
  • search for whales, puffins and other Arctic wildlife
  • explore picturesque fishing villages

This expedition voyage around Iceland offers an in-depth exploration of a small island of geological extremes. From geysers to glaciers via waterfalls and lavafields, Iceland has plenty to offer.

Exploring by sea incorporates the best of a touring holiday, without the need to change hotels at the end of each day's adventures ashore and you will return to a hearty meal and your own comfortable cabin. Marine wildlife is in abundance around Iceland's dramatic coastlines so keep your eyes peeled at all times as you sail around the Land of Fire and Ice.

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1: Reykjavik
Arrive in the Icelandic capital and make your own way into the city. This evening overnight at your included hotel.
Day 2: Embarkation in Reykjavik
Spend the day exploring Iceland's lively capital. In the evening you will board the ship and set sail.
Day 3: Stykkisholmur
This area is often called "Iceland in Miniature" because of its diverse landscapes. These include bird-rich Breidafjordur Bay and the Snaefellsjokull glacier, sitting atop the dormant volcano that was featured in Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Stykkisholmur is the region’s namesake community, home to a natural harbour ideal for fishing. The first trading post here was established in the late sixteenth century. The nearby mountain of Helgafell is the burial place of Gudrun Osvifursdottir, heroine of a famed Icelandic saga. The area was featured in the 2013 film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.
Day 4: Isafjordur
Isafjordur (meaning “ice fjord or fjord of ice”) is an idyllic town in the Westfjords region. Connected to the Icelandic mainland only by a narrow strip of land, this secluded peninsula includes many roadless areas. The landscape includes jaw dropping views of dramatic fjords carved by ancient glaciers, and sheer table mountains that plunge into the sea. Thousands of puffins inhabit tiny Vigur Island, and the splendid Dynjandi waterfall is renowned for its beauty. Fishing has always been Isafjordur’s main industry. It has one of the largest fisheries in Iceland, and is home to the University Centre of the Westfjords, which offers two masters degree programs: one in Coastal & Marine Management, and the other in Marine Innovation. The local folk museum contains the oldest house in Iceland, built in 1734.
Day 5: Siglufjordur and Grimsey
The fjord town of Siglufjordur was once the hub of the global herring industry and is now enjoying a rebirth in popularity. The award-winning Herring Era Museum, located on the vibrant harbour-front, celebrates the golden age of the herring fishery. The town remains dependent on fishing, although the herring population has been depleted. The old mountain road to Siglufjordur - the only connection to the rest of the country before the recent construction of a tunnel system - is open during the summer. The highest-elevated road in Iceland, it is used today for hiking, horse riding, and driving.

About forty kilometres off the mainland, Grimsey Island lies straddling the Arctic Circle, which means that it experiences midnight sun in the summer. With a stunning population of nearly a million seabirds, including puffins, guillemots, and gulls, the island experiences a cacophony of bird calls around the clock as well. Grimsey’s hundred or so inhabitants are served by a ferry three times a week.
Day 6: Akureyri
Iceland’s second-largest urban area, Akureyri, is nicknamed the Capital of the North. The relatively mild climate and ice-free harbour have played a significant role in the town’s history since its settlement in the ninth century - including offering a base for Allied units during the Second World War. The town is surrounded by mountains, which shield it from strong winds. Nearby Lake Myvatn offers stunning contrasts: one side of the lake features rugged volcanic remnants, while the other side is blessed with lush vegetation and varied bird life.
Day 7: Husavik
On the shores of Skjalfandi Bay lies the town of Husavik. Often called the "Whale Capital" of Iceland, the local waters are home to fifteen different whale species, as well as dolphins and thirty varieties of birds. The Husavik Museum is located by the harbour. There are numerous other museums, including the Exploration Museum, which includes artifacts from Apollo astronaut training in the area, as well as a transportation museum, and a turf house museum.
Day 8: Seydisfjordur
The picturesque port of Seydisfjordur is nestled between the sea and steep mountains at the tip of its namesake fjord. The town of seven hundred or so is known, among other things, for its flourishing art scene. Connected to the Icelandic Ring Road, Seydisfjordur welcomes car ferries from Denmark and the Faroes. The fjord itself is quite remote, and is home to a booming puffin colony and ruins of a former church at nearby Vestdallseyri. The town was recently the fictional setting of the hit TV series, Trapped.
Days 9: Djupivogur
In the early-nineteenth century, Djupivogur fishing village in southeast Iceland was a tiny port with a Danish colonial trading base. Hans Jonatan, who had been a slave in Copenhagen, escaped there and became one of Iceland's first people of colour. The village is the starting point for an optional excursion to Vatnajokull glacier. The nearby coastline is defined by three fjords - Berufjordur, Hamarsfjordur, and Alftafjordur. Approximately a kilometre west of the town is a work of art named "Eggin i Gledivik" (The Eggs of Merry Bay) by Sigurdur Gudmundsson, a series of thirty-four large stone replicas of the eggs of local birds.
Day 10: Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands)
Vestmannaeyjar lies off the south coast of Iceland and comprises fourteen islands in addition to a number of rocks and skerries. Only the archipelago’s largest island, Heimaey, is inhabited. Since the early days of Heimaey’s occupation, fishing has been the principal way of life for its inhabitants. Today, the island is home to two large processing plants and a robust freezing and shipping industry, which supplies fish to European markets. Numerous species of seabirds nest in the steep rock faces along the ocean cliffs and high on the bluffs surrounding the island. Highly volcanically active, the area has seen two major eruptions in recent times: the formation of the island of Surtsey in 1963, and the Eldfell eruption ten years later that destroyed much of Heimaey and nearly choked off the harbour with lava. It is a fascinating story of man versus nature and a visit here is like watching an old geography text book come to life.
Day 11: Disembarkation in Reykjavik
Your voyage ends in Reykjavik where you will disembark the ship.
Notes

Please note that all voyage itineraries are intended as a guideline only - embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy of expedition travel. Actual routes and landings will be dependent on weather and sea conditions. A degree of flexibility is essential on an expedition voyage! 

Accommodation Options

Ocean Endeavour

  • Grade:
  • Type: Luxury Ship

The largest ship we feature offers a spacious and comfor…

Prices & Dates

2018 Season

Prices are per person, based on a twin cabin - please contact us for details of quad, triple, single and superior cabins.

Departure DateDurationVesselPrices from
30 Jun 2018 11 days Ocean Endeavour £3,843
09 Jul 2018 11 days Ocean Endeavour £3,843

Inclusions and Exclusions

Ocean Endeavour

Includes: 1 night pre-voyage accommodation in Reykjavik • Shipboard accommodation on a full board basis • All shore landings and Zodiac excursions as per the daily programme • Selected museum entry fees • Programme of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff • Comprehensive pre-departure material • All miscellaneous service taxes, port charges and park fees throughout the programme • Discovery Fund Fee: supporting local community projects

Excludes: All airfares • Additional airport or airline security charges • Government arrival and departure taxes (payable locally) • Any pre- or post-voyage accommodation/land arrangements • Passport and visa expenses (we will be pleased to advise you on any necessary documentation, however this is passengers' own responsibility) • Alcoholic and soft drinks, telecommunication charges, laundry costs and other charges of a personal nature • Travel insurance including full cancellation cover and mandatory emergency evacuation insurance • Gratuities and tips (for stewards and other service personnel - guidelines will be provided) • Jackets are not provided on this voyage; passengers must provide their own outdoor clothing • A selection of boots may be available on board the ship (left by previous passengers) - as we cannot guarantee availability and sizes we recommend our clients take their own boots • Doctor's fees confirming fitness for travel (compulsory for all passengers)

We would be pleased to quote for the best available airfares and comprehensive travel insurance to suit your specific holiday requirements.

How to book

Book this trip

So that we may send you a personalised quote and confirmation of availability, please click on the link below and complete our Enquiry form. One of our Travel Specialists will then be in touch to complete your booking or answer any further questions you might have.

travel guaranteeWe will always offer the best price available at the time of booking and guarantee no surcharges - see our 100% Guarantee for full details.

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