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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 - 11 Days
Days 1 & 2 — U.S./Reykjavík, Iceland
Fly overnight to Reykjavík, the world’s northernmost capital. Take a guided overview of the Old Town, including Hallgrímskirkja Cathedral. Learn about Norse culture at the National Museum, featuring Viking treasures. Embark National Geographic Orion.
(Day 2: L, D)
Day 3 — Exploring the West Coast of Iceland
Navigate Iceland’s wild western frontier, sailing past the soaring Látrabjarg cliffs, the westernmost point of Iceland and home to a huge population of razorbills. Continue to Flatey island, a trading post for many centuries, and take walks around the charming hamlet that sprang up here. Explore the coast by Zodiac this afternoon. (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Ísafjördur
The town of Ísafjördur in the Westfjords region lies on a tiny spit jutting out into the water beneath steep hills. Renowned for its traditional eiderdown production, it’s a picture postcard of Icelandic life and a great place for hiking, kayaking, and spotting eider ducks. (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Siglufjördur and Akureyri
Start the day in Siglufjördur, the center of
Iceland’s once-thriving herring industry, and
stop by the Herring Museum for a talk and
a tasting. Then continue on to picturesque Akureyri. Explore the old town, with its beautifully
maintained period houses set against a
backdrop of snow-capped mountains, or visit
the botanical garden. (B,L,D)
Day 6 — Mývatn and Húsavík
Drive to Mývatn, the most geologically active area in Iceland, and encounter a wondrous landscape of craters, lakes, and lava flows. See the bubbling mud pools at Hverarönd and continue through the Krafla geothermal area to the volcanic crater at Viti. Then take in an unforgettable sight: Godafoss, the thundering “waterfall of the gods,” which stretches some 90 feet and tumbles more than 35 feet into the glacial river Skjálfandafljót. Meet the ship in Húsavík, and set sail for the tiny island of Grímsey, situated right on the Arctic Circle. Explore the coast by Zodiac and experience the midnight sun of summer. (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
The Westman Islands 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’ll see as we cruise past the coast. In 1973, Heimaey was threatened by lava flows that nearly closed off its harbor. Visit the 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)
Complimentary Bar Tab
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.