Circumnavigation of Iceland

Active Adventures aboard the Sea Explorer

Circumnavigation of Iceland route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $7865  
Length: 14 days
Arrive: Aberdeen, Scotland
Depart: Reykjavík, Iceland
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
Trip Level: 15-day cruise, cultural explorations and walking tours, Zodiac cruises
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Highlights

  • 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

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.

References

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.

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.

Itinerary

Day 1
Aberdeen, Scotland / Embark

Embark this afternoon at 4 pm.

Day 2
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.

Day 3
Torshavn, Faroes

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.

Day 4
Mykines, Faroes

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.

Day 5
Hofn, Iceland

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.

Day 6
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.

Day 7
Husavik, Iceland

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.

Day 8
Akureyri, Iceland

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.

Day 9
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.

Day 10
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.

Day 11
Breidafjordur, Iceland

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.

Day 12
Snaefellsnes, Iceland

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.

Day 13
Reykjavik

Disembark after breakfast.

Note: This cruise is not an exclusive Wilderness Travel departure. The itinerary, lecturers, and other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the ship operator.

2015 Cruise Collection Brochure

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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.

Explanation of Trip Levels

 

Departures

2015
May 22-Jun 3, 2015  Sea Explorer

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2015

Cruise Rates by Cabin Category
Per person, double occupancy

CategoriesCruise Price
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

Deck Plan

Cabin Descriptions

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
  • Visa

Trip Payment Schedule*

At time of reservation: 25%
130 days prior to departure: Balance

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule*

120 days or more prior to departure: $750 per person
60-119 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
1-59 days prior to departure: 100% of trip cost

*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.

Arrival & Departure Information

Arrival & Meeting Place
Aberdeen, U.K.
Date: May 22, 2015 (Day 1)
Flight arrival time: Morning
Embarkation: 3:00pm

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.

Departure
Reykjavik, Iceland
Date: June 3, 2015 (Day 13)
Disembark: Morning
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.

Departure airport
Reykjavik, Iceland (KEF)

Sea Explorer

The elegant, all-suite 114-guest Sea Explorer has established itself as one of the finest expedition cruise ships in the world. Built in Italy in 1991 and refurbished in 2005, she offers exceptionally spacious and well designed suites, beautifully appointed public areas, and the highest standards of service and food. The spacious and finely decorated public rooms include a lounge, bar, library with internet access, fitness room, and a single sitting dining room. There is also an onboard  medical center staffed by a doctor. Outside there is a rear sun deck, where you can relax in warmer weather with shade, a bar, spa pool,  and comfortable deck furniture. The Sea Explorer is outfitted with the most current navigational and communications technology as well as retractable fin stabilizers for smooth sailing. She has a crew of 72.