1U.S. / Reykjavik, Iceland / Embark Ship (Days 1-2)
Depart on an overnight flight to Reykjavík, the world’s northernmost capital, just below the Arctic Circle. Enjoy a panoramic overview of the Old Town, including the impressive Hallgrímskirkja Cathedral with its 210-foot tower. Embark our ship. Lunch and dinner are included today.
2Flatey Island (Day 3)
Explore Iceland’s western frontier, visiting Flatey Island, a trading post for many centuries. Walk around the charming little hamlet that grew here, keeping a lookout for the seasonal puffin population on the cliffs and in the surrounding bay.
3Northwestern Island (Day 4)
Explore the beautiful and peaceful Westfjords region of Iceland. Perhaps take a hike to a remote waterfall or a Zodiac cruise alongside stunning scenery. Enter Ísafjarðardjúp and land at Vigur Island to visit the Eider Farm and learn about the down cleaning process.
4Ísafjördur (Day 5)
Located in the Westfjords, Ísafjördur is surrounded by water on three sides, sculpted by glaciers. Explore by biking, hiking, enjoying local tastes, or photographing flowering plants in the oldest botanical garden in Iceland.
5Siglufjördur and Akureyri (Day 6)
Siglufjördur was the center of Iceland’s once-thriving herring industry. We stop by the Herring Museum for a salting demonstration and a tasting. Continue to picturesque Akureyri, backed by snow-capped mountains. Explore the old town, with its beautifully maintained period houses, or visit the botanical garden.
6Lake Mývatn and Húsavík (Day 7)
Begin the day by visiting an unforgettable sight: Goðafoss, the waterfall of the gods. Next, drive to Mývatn, the most geologically active area in Iceland to experience world-class field geology. See the bizarre mud pools at Hverarönd, so hot they actually bubble, and the explosion crater at Viti in the Krafla geothermal area. After lunch ashore, meet the ship in Húsavík, and watch for whales as we sail north to the land of the midnight sun. Take Zodiacs ashore to the tiny island of Grimsey, which lies exactly on the Arctic Circle. Here we celebrate being officially in the Arctic, in the company of nesting arctic terns, fulmars, and puffins in burrows, all bathing, courting, and fishing—another wonderful photo op.
7At Sea / Skálanes (Day 8)
Spend the morning at sea as we round the rugged northeast corner of Iceland. This afternoon, visit Skálanes Nature Reserve outside of Seydisfjörður to observe the fascinating ongoing archaeological excavations, the peninsula’s bird cliffs, and abundant wildflowers.
8Djúpivogur (Day 9)
Arrive in Djúpivogur and drive down the coast to explore the foot of the vast Vatnajökull icecap and the deep blue icebergs of the large ice lagoon of Jökulsárlón. Alternatively, go by 4x4 vehicle to visit some of the secluded valleys and remote waterfalls in the countryside around Djúpivogur or join a hike to the black sand beaches of southern Iceland.
9Islands of Heimaey & Surtsey, Westman Islands (Day 10)
The Westman Islands were formed by undersea volcanoes between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago and are among the youngest of the world’s archipelagos. In 1963, the world witnessed on film the birth of its newest island, Surtsey—a UNESCO World Heritage site—which we see as we cruise past the coast. In 1973, Heimaey was threatened by lava flows that nearly closed off its harbor. We visit the crater, where the earth is still hot, for amazing views of areas that had been engulfed by lava.
10Reykjavík / Disembark (Day 11)
Today, disembark in Reykjavík and take a morning excursion. After lunch, transfer to the airport for flights home.