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Journey around Iceland aboard Le Bellot

Overview

Experience this dramatic land of contrasts from bubbling mud pools and steaming hot springs to jagged glaciers. Aboard the newly-built Le Bellot, we’ll explore Iceland’s coastal shores and mountain scenery, as well as the islands and bays that are brimming with natural wonders. From the iconic Golden Circle to ancient fishing settlements and the famed Blue Lagoon, we’ll feel the spray of cascading waterfalls and walk along surreal landscapes in this intriguing volcanic land.

Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.

Itinerary

Day 1, Jun 10, 2020
Flight to Reykjavik

Board your independent flight to Reykjavik.

Day 2, Jun 11, 2020
Reykjavik, Iceland

Arrive in the Icelandic capital this morning and transfer to your hotel. Lunch and the remainder of the day are at leisure to enjoy this fascinating and colorful city. Gather this evening for a welcome reception followed by dinner and overnight at your hotel.

Day 3, Jun 12, 2020
Reykjavik / Embark Le Bellot

After breakfast, set out to explore Iceland's classic scenic wonders known as the Golden Circle. Begin with Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, surrounded by mountains and encompassing a vast lava plain of green moss and wildflowers. Continue to Gullfoss Waterfall where the Hvita River drops 96 feet in two voluminous cascades. The Geysir Center is a huge geothermal field of both boiling and tranquil, multi-hued hot springs and bubbling mud pools. Then visit a traditional farm where Icelandic horses are raised. After lunch in these picturesque surroundings proceed to the pier, making a photo stop at a scenic viewpoint before boarding Le Bellot.

Day 4, Jun 13, 2020
Flatey Island / Látrabjarg

By Zodiac, trace the coastline of Flatey Island before going ashore for a walking tour of the village. View the uniquely painted island church and the restored houses of islanders who earn a living fishing for cod and lumpfish. This evening sail past Iceland's westernmost cape, the Látrabjarg cliff, a breeding ground for millions of seabirds.

Day 5, Jun 14, 2020
Ísafjördur

After breakfast step ashore in Ísafjördur, the trading and cultural center of the West Fjords. A cultural tour reveals the history and daily life of one of Iceland's oldest fishing settlements and visits the region's scenic highlights. This afternoon, enjoy free time in town to browse the local shops.

Day 6, Jun 15, 2020
Siglufjördur

In the afternoon, visit Siglufjördur, once the undisputed herring fishing capital of the Atlantic. The Herring Era Museum vividly depicts this period and a lively song and dance reenactment, accompanied by local delicacies, brings the herring boom era to life.

Day 7, Jun 16, 2020
Akureyri / Húsavík

After an early breakfast, depart on a full-day inland tour of the Mývatn region. Thousands of years ago, volcanic eruptions created this dramatic landscape of labyrinthine lava formations, seething sulfur pits, and boiling mud pools. Oasis-like Mývatn sits on the edge of a vast highland lava desert; one of Europe's richest waterfowl breeding areas, it supports enormous numbers of breeding ducks and whooper swans. Continue to Húsavík to reboard Le Bellot. Be on deck this evening to watch for humpback, minke, fin, orca, and sei whales, along with dolphins and harbor porpoises.

Day 8, Jun 17, 2020
Grímsey Island

Though Grímsey Island sits astride the Arctic Circle, it enjoys a mild climate and is covered with rich vegetation. Weather permitting, go ashore to visit the Viking hamlet of Sandvik, home to about 100 permanent residents who earn their living from fishing and fish processing. A Zodiac cruise along Grímsey's basaltic cliffs provides fantastic views of the incredible birdlife which includes kittiwakes, razorbills, fulmars, and puffins.

Day 9, Jun 18, 2020
Thistilfjord Bay

Explore stunning Thistilfjord Bay by Zodiac, cruising past chiseled headlands and dramatic sea stacks that rise from the bay.

Day 10, Jun 19, 2020
Seydisfjördur

The 11-mile cruise along Seydisfjördur showcases a scenic wonderland of stunning geology, cascading waterfalls, and soaring mountains. At its head, a natural harbor shelters the fishing town of the same name, renowned for its brightly painted 19th-century wooden buildings. Options this morning include Skalanes Nature Reserve to explore an important archaeological site and search for 47 species of birds, or a hike to the magnificent Hengifoss Waterfall.

Day 11, Jun 20, 2020
Höfn

Situated on a large, enclosed bay, the fishing community of Höfn is also the gateway to Europe's largest glacier. While most of Iceland is pastoral and green, its southeastern corner is covered by the shimmering white Vatnajökull Glacier, a 1,000-foot-thick ice field. A spectacular drive brings you to a fleet of waiting snowmobiles for an exhilarating guided excursion across the vast expanses of glittering whiteness. After lunch, set out on an unforgettable boat ride on Jökulsárlón Lake to cruise among aquamarine icebergs.

Day 12, Jun 21, 2020
Heimaey Island / Surtsey Island

On Heimaey Island, visit the Herjolfsdalur Valley to view ruins of farmhouses dating back to 650 AD. From Storhofdi, the views over the island are simply breathtaking. You will also pass between two volcanoes, one that formed 5,000 years ago, the other formed quite recently in 1973. Drive right across the younger volcano's crater and into the town known as the "Pompeii of the North." Later this afternoon circumnavigate Surtsey Island, a fire-and-brimstone result of a 1963 eruption. Today, approximately 56 species of vascular plants grow on the island and seals haul-out to breed on its shores. Nearly 90 species of migrating birds use the island as a rest stop.

Day 13, Jun 22, 2020
Reykjavik / Disembark

After breakfast, disembark for a fascinating tour of Hellisheiði Geothermal Power Plant where you will learn about geosciences, geothermal technology, and the environmental history of the area. Continue to the famous Blue Lagoon for lunch before departing for the airport and your independent flight home.

Highlights

Highlights

Explore Iceland's fabled Golden Circle—Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall, and the Geysir Center
View vast colonies of breeding seabirds; kittiwakes, thick-billed murres, guillemots, fulmars, and comical puffins
Meet the residents of colorful fishing villages and stroll through archaeological sites that recall the height of Viking exploration
Photograph Iceland's stunning landscapes—bubbling hot springs, glittering glaciers, soaring volcanoes, and plunging waterfalls
Cruise by Zodiac in search of whales, seals, and other marine mammals that congregate here in the summer months

Details

Length: 13 days
Cost From: $10,980  
Arrive: Reykjavik, Iceland (KEF)
Depart: Reykjavik, Iceland (KEF)
Lodging: 10 nights aboard a 160-passenger vessel, 1 night hotel
Meals: All meals included aboard ship and with the group ashore (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Walking, Wildlife & Natural History, Photography, Small Ship Cruising
Trip Level:

11-day cruise, cultural explorations and walking tours
Cruise collection 2020 brochure

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