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Experience an enchanting land of geological extremes on a circumnavigation of Iceland. Encounter vast volcanic landscapes and the world’s youngest island, walk on lava fields and ice sheets, and feel the spray of gushing hot springs and cascading waterfalls. Go birding on the Arctic Circle, kayak into fjords and serene bays, and hike along magnificent and remote stretches of the coast. Cap off the adventure with a soak in the famous Blue Lagoon.
Explore one of Europe’s largest ice caps and explore the lava-sculpted landscapes of the Westman Islands.
Soak in hot springs, and see boiling mud pots and the thundering Godafoss Waterfall.
Get up close to spectacular sculptures in ice on a cruise among the scattered icebergs of Jökulsárlón.
Hike through the wilds of Iceland and spot birdlife on its shores and surrounding isles.
Itinerary - 10 Days
Days 1 & 2 — U.S./Reykjavík, Iceland
Fly overnight to Reykjavík and take a guided
tour of the old town, including the imposing and
modern Hallgrímskirkja church. Learn about Norse
culture at the National Museum, which features
Viking treasures. Embark National Geographic Orion or National Geographic Explorer. (Day 2: L, D)
Day 3 — Exploring the West Coast of Iceland
Navigate Iceland’s wild western frontier, sailing
past the soaring Látrabjarg cliffs, home to a huge
population of razorbills. Continue to Flatey Island,
a trading post for many centuries, and take walks
or explore by Zodiac. (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Ísafjördur
Spend the day in the town of Ísafjördur set
on a tiny spit jutting out into the water in the
Westfjords region. Renowned for its traditional
eiderdown production, Ísafjördur is a picture
postcard of Icelandic life and a great place for
hiking and spotting eider ducks. (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Siglufjördur and Akureyri
At Siglufjördur, once the center of Iceland’s herring industry, visit the Herring Museum for a talk and
a tasting. In picturesque Akureyri, explore the old
town, strolling past its beautifully maintained period
houses, or visit the botanical garden. (B,L,D)
Day 6 — Lake Mývatn and Húsavík
Drive to Mývatn, the most geologically active
area in Iceland. See the boiling mud pools at
Hverarönd; and at the Krafla geothermal area,
visit the explosion crater at Viti. Continue to an
unforgettable sight: Goðafoss, the waterfall of
the gods. 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 Grímsey on the Arctic Circle, and
celebrate being officially in the Arctic. (B,L,D)
Day 7 — Exploring Northeast Iceland
Iceland’s rugged east coast is an unspoiled
stretch of rocky outcrops, hidden coves, and hills
that beckon hikers. Today is left open to explore
this beautiful landscape with our naturalists by
Zodiac and on foot. (B,L,D)
Day 8 — Djúpivogur
Dock in Djúpivogur to explore the vast
Vatnajökull ice cap. For a closer look at the ice
cap, take a boat ride through Jökulsárlón, a
lagoon strewn with spectacular icebergs sculpted
into all shapes and sizes. (B,L,D)
Day 9 — Westman Islands
Cruise by the Westman Islands, which are among
the youngest of the world’s archipelagos. In 1973, Heimaey was threatened by lava flows that nearly closed off its harbor. Visit the island’s crater, where the earth is still hot. (B,L,D)
Day 10 — Reykjavík /U.S.
Disembark in Reykjavík and soak in the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon before your flight home. (B,L)
Please note: Voyages on National Geographic Explorer are 11 days, and spend one extra day exploring northwest Iceland.
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.
Photographer Karen Kasmauski has produced 25 stories for National Geographic magazine on topics ranging from earthquakes in Japan to oil exploration in Alaska. She finds the personal stories behind the headlines, blending a warm human sensitivity with a photographer’s eye for detail to distill global issues into resonant images. Karen's book Impact: From the Front Lines of Global Health, published by National Geographic, was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Her book Nurse: A World of Care tells stories of dedicated medical professionals—“frontline soldiers” in the war against suffering and disease—from the frozen rivers of Alaska to the slums of Nairobi. The book earned awards from Communication Arts, Pictures of the Year, and the American Academy of Nursing. Her photographic work has appeared in numerous publications including Smithsonian and the New York Times. Karen was awarded the inaugural Getty Images Grant for Good, and she recently received a Knight Foundation Fellowship with which she earned a Masters in Visual Communication at Ohio University.