Trip Details at-a-Glance
|Lodging:||1 night hotel, 13 nights aboard a deluxe 114-guest vessel|
|Meals:||All meals on board including wine, beer, and soft drinks with lunch and dinner|
|Activity:||Small Ship Cruising|
15-day cruise, cultural explorations and walking tours, Zodiac cruises
- Remote Orkney Islands and and Faroe Islands, with their wealth of pre-historic archaeology
- Zodiac excursions, fantastic seabird colonies including puffins, northern gannets, guillemots, and razorbills
- Vatnajokull Glacier, Europe’s largest glacier, artist galleries of Akuyeri, picturesque Siglukfjordurd village
- The isolated Western Fjords and spectacular Snaefellsnes Peninsula
The lecturers, guides, and operations were excellent—fantastic in all regards.Craig R.—Santa Rosa, CA
Choosing the Right Trip
We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.
We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.
Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.
Making a complete circle around Iceland, we experience the most dramatic natural settings of this Land of Fire and Ice and learn Viking and Norse legends as we voyage by way of the Orkney and Faroe Islands. Our small ship, the 114-guest Sea Explorer, provides the ideal way to get close to nature.
Aberdeen, Scotland / Embark
Embark this afternoon at 4 pm.
Kirkwall, Orkney Islands
After a relaxing morning at sea we arrive in the Orkney Islands at lunchtime. This afternoon we head into the west of Mainland, Orkney’s largest island. We pass through the gentle rolling landscape and into the Neolithic Heartland of Orkney, designated as a World Heritage Site due to its wealth of pre-historic archaeology. Here we will see the Standing Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar, a huge ceremonial circle of stones dating back almost 5,000 years. We continue to the 5,000-year-old village of Skara Brae to see the remarkable dwellings revealed from beneath the sand dunes by storms only 150 years ago. On our return to Kirkwall, we will see the magnificent St Magnus Cathedral.
We arrive in the Faroe Islands at lunchtime. From our berth in Torshavn, we join a guided tour over the hills to Kirkjubour, the island’s oldest cultural centre where we see the ruins of the 13th century St. Magnus Cathedral and the 11th century church. We also visit the 900-year-old “Roykstovan,” the old bishopric, considered to be the oldest wooden house in Europe. We will moor overnight for anyone who wants to explore the town this evening.
Today we use our Zodiacs to explore the westernmost islands of the Faroes. We visit Mykines, wonderfully green and with a single village with bright turf-roofed houses and turf streets. One of the best walks in the Faroes can be found here at “Lundaland” (land of the puffin) on the islet of Mtkinesholmur, connected to Mykines by a small bridge. This is a strenuous hike but rewarding as the island is inhabited by a large number of puffins and gannets.
Today we see the shimmering white Vatnajokull Glacier, Europe’s largest glacier, sometimes called an icecap. The 600-metre-thick ice surmounts active volcanoes, one of which erupted in 1996, creating a crater on the surface of the glacier, a most unusual phenomenon. We will venture out on a guided excursion and, after a local seafood lunch, watch the glacier calve icebergs into the land-locked lagoon of Jokulsarlon.
Mjoifjordur and Nekaupstadur, Iceland
This morning we enjoy the benefits of our small ship as we explore the lesser-known fjords in the southeast of Iceland. At first light, we cruise through Mjoifjordur, where we can enjoy the wilderness of this remote area. We also hope to land at the small town at Nekaupstadur for a chance to visit the excellent museum, which features the local art gallery, Museum of Natural History, and Maritime Museum. The more active amongst us can hike to the avalanche barriers behind the town, offering great views of the surrounding areas.
From Husavik, we travel by bus to the Lake Myvatn-Krafla area, a fine example of the volcanic world with lava fields, boiling and steaming mud pools, steam vents of sulphur, and craters. The area illustrates the sheer magnitude of Iceland’s forces at work. The lake itself, with beautiful natural rock formations and hot springs, is also a unique ecosystem and the largest migratory bird sanctuary in Europe. Our route will then take us by Godafoss (falls of the Gods), an imposing sight, and the excellent Husavik whale museum.
This delightful town on the north coast of Iceland is not what you would expect to find in such a remote location. In summer months, the gardens and window boxes are ablaze with color and in the botanic garden, we find species from Africa, China, and the Mediterranean growing alongside the Alaskan, Greenlandic, and indigenous specimens. We will also have time to explore the town to visit Art Alley, where artisans keep their workshops and galleries, or the local church, with its beautiful views over the fjord. Stay out on deck to enjoy the long evening as we sail along the beautiful Eyafjordur, keeping an eye out for whales. If conditions permit, we may explore in the Zodiacs.
Siglufjordur and Grimsey Island, Iceland
Siglufjordur is an unbelievably picturesque town that enjoys an idyllic setting in a small fjord backed by mountains. Here in the early 1900s, a booming economy due to the herring industry resulted in a prosperous town with some marvellous Icelandic architecture. Stroll through the town and visit the Herring Era Museum. Over lunch, we sail to Grimsey Island. The Arctic Circle bisects Grímsey Island, known for its tiny community, basalt cliffs, and large variety of birdlife.
Western Fjords, Iceland
This morning we are in the Western Fjords, an isolated but spectacular area of Iceland. We cruise round the north coast of Iceland at the Hornbjarg Cliffs. These stunning cliffs host one of the largest centers for puffins in Iceland. This afternoon we use our Zodiacs to explore Isafjordur and Jokulfjordur and, while the itinerary will be dependent on local weather conditions, we hope to land on Vigur Island or find a remote landing for a nature walk.
We again use our small ship to explore. We hope to visit the Latrabjarg Cliffs this morning, the westernmost point of Europe and home to millions of birds including puffins, northerngannets, guillemots, and razorbills. Sailing at lunchtime, we continue to Breidafjordur to enjoy expedition cruising in the small islets where we will see thousands of birds. We will also keep an eye out for whales.
Our final day in Iceland finds us at the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, dominated by the Snæfellsjökull volcano, regarded as one of the symbols of Iceland. Again we use our Zodiacs to land in some of the more remote areas. Arnastapi is known as the setting for Jules Verne’s “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” and is a stunning location with columnar basalt, ravines, grottoes, and magnificent lava formations. The cliffs between Arnastapi and Hellnar became a Natural Reserve in 1979 and are home to Arctic tern, kittiwake and fulmar.
Disembark after breakfast.
2016 Cruise Collection Brochure
We’ve searched the world to find the finest small ships and most active adventures, from Greenland to New Zealand to the great rivers of Europe.
What the Trip is Like
This trip is level 1, Easy. For most activities, a relatively moderate level of exertion is required. You will need to climb into and out of Zodiacs for excursions ashore and walk one to three miles over sometimes rough terrain such as cobblestones and uneven, rocky beaches. We have designed shore excursions to accommodate both those who wish moderate strolls and those who prefer more active hikes. Flexibility is a must, as itineraries are subject to change, and landings may be tidal or weather dependent.
May 22-Jun 3, 2015 Sea Explorer
Prices are for 2015
Cruise Rates by Cabin Category
Per person, double occupancy
|Category E Twin||$7,865|
|Category D Twin||$8,375|
|Category C Twin||$8,885|
|Category B Twin||$9,225|
|Category A Twin||$10,065|
|Category AA Twin||$10,395|
Trip Payment Schedule*
At time of reservation: 25%
of trip cost
130 days prior to departure: Balance
*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.
Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*
Minimum fee: $750 per person
180-120 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
119-60 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
59 days or less: 100% of trip cost
*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.
With a maximum of 114 passengers accommodated in 57 spacious outside facing suites, the Sea Explorer offers suites across its five decks. Those on the lower deck have portholes, the middle two decks have a large picture window and the two top decks have patio doors leading on to a private balcony. On average the suites measure 245 sq. ft. Each suite affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathrooms, large wardrobes and excellent storage. There are minifridges, telephones, satellite televisions and CD/DVD players in each suite. Suites feature queen size beds which can be configured into twins or double depending on your preference.
Trip Cost Includes:
- Cruise only, per person based on double occupancy, includes 12 nights aboard the Sea Explorer
- All meals on board including wine, beer, and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
- Noble Caledonia expedition team
- Shore excursions, gratuities to crew and on excursions
- Transfers, port taxes
Trip Cost Does Not Include:
- Travel Insurance
Arrival & Departure Information
Arrival & Meeting Place
Date: May 22, 2015 (Day 1)
Flight arrival time: Morning
Suggested Arrival Airport
Aberdeen, U.K.(airport code ABZ)
For those arriving on May 22, 2015 (Day 1), there will be a transfer provided from the airport as well as the train station to the ship. However, we suggest that you arrive a day early in Aberdeen in case of flight delays and to enjoy this interesting city. Hotel overnights would be an on-your-own expense.
Date: June 3, 2015 (Day 13)
Depart on late afternoon flight
Disembark after breakfast and enjoy a morning in Reykjavik with a local lunch before transferring to the airport for late afternoon flights home.
Reykjavik, Iceland (KEF)
A valid passport is required for Iceland. Be sure to check the expiration date. Your passport must be valid for six months after the conclusion of your trip. It is a good idea to carry photocopies of your passport photo page in case your passport is lost or as an additional piece of identification, as well as two extra passport photos.
No visa is required for US Citizens traveling to Iceland.
We recommend checking the Center for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov should you have any international health concerns.
No inoculations are currently required for entry into Iceland.
The all-suite 114-guest Sea Explorer has an ice-strengthened hull, a fleet of Zodiac inflatable craft for forays ashore, an experienced complement of officers and crew, and retractable fin stabilizers, making it an ideal ship for cruising in comfort in polar regions. Guests are accommodated in outside-facing suites, each of which affords views of the spectacular scenery. Meals are prepared by European chefs and served in the stately restaurant at a single, unassigned seating. Sea Explorer also features two lounges, a library, exercise area, elevator serving all decks, and a sun deck with Jacuzzi. The ship meets the latest international safety rules, including those of the U.S. Coast Guard.