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Follow the Viking trail aboard the National Geographic Orion on a voyage from Norway to the far-flung islands and archipelagos of the North Atlantic. Step back into the Stone Age in the Orkney and Shetland Islands. Come face-to-face with the legacy of the Vikings amid the turf-roofed cottages and ancient sites of the Faroes. Then trace nearly the entire coast of Iceland, witnessing geological wonders from volcanoes to icebergs to thundering waterfalls.
Explore a diverse array of UNESCO World Heritage sites, from the medieval wharf at Bryggen to Surtsey, the world’s newest island.
Encounter the remnants of ancient civilizations at prehistoric sites such as Jarlshof and Skara Brae.
Discover the unique culture of the Faroe Islands, where residents cling proudly to their Viking heritage.
Observe nesting seabirds in truly dramatic settings—on the skyscraping cliffs of the Shetland Islands and Iceland, and on towering sea stacks in the Faroes.
Itinerary - 14 Days
Days 1 & 2 — U.S./Bergen, Norway
Fly overnight to Bergen. Wander among the medieval wooden homes of Bryggen, a UNESCO World Heritage site, before embarking the National Geographic Orion. (Day 2: L,D)
Day 3 — At Sea/Orkney, Scotland
After a morning at sea, encounter the Stone Age standing stones of the Ring of Brodgar and the 5,000-year-old village of Skara Brae. Visit the red sandstone cathedral of St. Magnus, built by the Vikings in 1137. (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Shetland
Glide beneath the towering cliffs of Noss for views of murres and kittiwakes. See Shetland ponies and the 4,000 year old Jarlshof archaeological site. (B,L,D)
Days 5, 6, & 7 — Faroe Islands, Denmark
Navigate a narrow channel to Vestmanna, getting up close to dramatic sea stacks by boat or exploring ancient sites on the island of Streymoy. Anchor at the tiny capital of Tórshavn, and visit a natural history museum, St. Olav’s Church, and the Kirkjubøur archaeological site. On Mykines, walk through puffin nesting grounds, visit the lighthouse, and stroll past turf-roofed houses. (B,L,D daily)
Days 8 & 9 — Djúpivogur, Iceland/At Sea/Grimsey Island
Dock in Djúpivogur, and encounter the immense Vatnajökull icecap. Ride a boat amid icebergs of all shapes and sizes on Jökulsárlón. Hear talks by our expedition team while sailing to Grimsey, an island on the Arctic Circle. (B,L,D daily)
Days 10 & 11 — Húsavík/Akureyri/Ísafjördur
Watch for whales on our approach to Húsavík and drive to Mývatn, Iceland’s most geologically active area. See boiling mud pools at Hverarönd and continue through the Krafla geothermal area to Viti crater. Witness Godafoss, the waterfall of the gods, and meet the ship in Akureyri. Trace the coast west to Ísafjördur, where we’ll meet a farmer for a tour of his eiderdown farm. (B,L,D daily) (D)
Days 12 & 13 — Iceland’s West Coast/Westman Islands
Sail past the soaring Latrabjarg cliffs, the westernmost point of Iceland. Later, take a walk through the island trading post of Flatey, and explore its coast by Zodiac. Spend a day discovering the Westman Islands, formed by undersea volcanoes that erupted as recently as 1973. Cruise past Surtsey, the planet’s newest island and now a World Heritage site, and, from the crater on Heimeay, take in views of lava-sculpted landscapes. (B,L,D daily)
Day 14 — Reykjavík/Home
Disembark in Reykjavík, and enjoy a city tour and a soak in the Blue Lagoon before your flight home. (B,L)
Book any 2017 departure and we will cover your bar tab on board and all tips for the crew. Offers are for new bookings only, may not be combined with other offers, and are subject to availability. Please call for details.
For more than a decade, Erika Larsen has used photography to learn intimately about and document cultures that maintain strong connections with nature. She has followed Sami reindeer herders in the Scandinavian arctic and explored the significance of the horse in Native American culture for National Geographic magazine. Her work has been shown in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, the Swedish Museum of Ethnography, and Ájtte Sámi Museum. Larsen is also the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, which sponsored her study of the North Sami language. She has recently published her first book of photographs, Sámi, Walking With Reindeer. Erika has experienced Costa Rica through its deep-sea fishing and rain forests, and looks forward to sharing her insights about creating images and expressing a personal vision on this journey.