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Circumnavigation of Iceland

  • Trip Type: Small Ship
  • 11 Days | Roundtrip Reykjavík
  • Group Size: Max 148

Expedition Details


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.

Trip Highlights

  • Reach Iceland’s most remote landscapes and venture to the Arctic Circle aboard the National Geographic Explorer.
  • Capture images of gushing geysers, cascading waterfalls, and sea birds in flight with hands-on instruction from a National Geographic photographer.
  • Glide into the spectacular fjords of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and the hidden coves of the rugged eastern coast, exploring by Zodiac or kayak.
  • Explore geothermally active Mývatn, the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, and coastal waters populated by whales with our team of naturalists.

Itinerary - 11 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 — Latrabjarg/Flatey Island

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.

Day 4 — Exploring Northwestern Iceland

Get immersed in the stunning scenery of the Westfjords region. Head out on a hike to a remote waterfall, or cruise a Zodiac beneath cliff s teeming with seabirds. Enter Ísafjarðardjúp and anchor at Vigur Island, where we’ll visit an eider farm and view how the down of these ducks is processed.

Day 5 — Ísafjördur

The town Ísafjördur is set on a narrow spit, surrounded by water and dramatic slopes. Soak up the tranquil beauty of Hornstrandir, Iceland's northernmost peninsula, exploring by Zodiac. Watch for seabirds such as puffins, guillemots, razorbills, and kittiwakes, and bask in nearly 24 hours of daylight.

Day 6 — 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.

Day 7 — 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.

Day 8 — 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.

Day 9 — 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.

Day 10 — 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.

Day 11 — 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 Orion are 10 days, and spend one less day exploring northwest Iceland.

Related Trips

Special Offer

Complimentary Bar Tab

Book any 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.

National Geographic Expert

Mark Thiessen

Mark ThiessenA National Geographic staff photographer since 1990, Mark Thiessen has published numerous feature stories and covers for National Geographic magazine and other Society publications on subjects ranging from Peruvian mummies to Egyptian archaeologists to Russian smokejumpers. He recently documented film director and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron's dive to the ocean's deepest location at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Mark's photographs for the July 2008 National Geographic cover story “Under Fire: Why the West Is Burning” earned first-place recognition by Pictures of the Year International. Mark also directs the National Geographic photo studio, and was featured in Out There, a series aired on the National Geographic Channel.

Mark will join the following departure:

Jul 16 - 26, 2018


Lindblad/National Geographic Logo

This trip is offered in association with Lindblad Expeditions.


  • Jul 28 - Aug 06, 2017 [ORION]
  • Aug 05 - 14, 2017 [ORION]
  • Jun 28 - Jul 08, 2018 [EXP]
  • Jul 07 - 17, 2018 [EXP]
  • Jul 16 - 26, 2018 [EXP]

[EXP] National Geographic Explorer
[ORION] National Geographic Orion

Departures aboard National Geographic Orion are 10 days, and spend one less day in northwest Iceland.

The July 11, 2017 voyage will operate in reverse, traveling counterclockwise beginning in Reykjavík and heading toward the Westman Islands.

If departing from outside the U.S., plan to arrive anytime on Day 2.

Expedition Cost

Orion Explorer
Category 1 $9,130 $10,270
Category 2 $10,580 $11,890
Category 3 $12,560 $12,360
Category 4 $13,700 $14,130
Category 5 $16,370 $15,410
Category 6 $18,980 $18,420
Category 7 N/A $21,350
Category A Solo $13,700 $14,860
Category B Solo $18,850 $15,450

Prices are per person, double occupancy, except those marked solo, which are based on single occupancy.

International airfare to/from Reykjavík is not included in the expedition cost.

View Ship/Deck Plan

Featured Traveler Photo

Activity Level


Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives, or easy hikes, with options for more physical activities such as hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and biking.

Click here for a description of all activity levels.