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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.
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 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. (B,L,D)
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. (B,L,D)
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. (B,L,D)
Day 6 — Siglufjördur and Akureyri
At Siglufjördur, once the center of Iceland’s herring industry, visit the award-winning Herring Museum for a re-enactment 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 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. (B,L,D)
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. (B,L,D)
Day 9 — Djúpivogur
Dock in Djúpivogur to explore the vast
Vatnajökull ice cap by snowmobile or super jeep. Via small boat, get up close and personal with the deep blue ice bergs of the large ice lagoon of Jökulsárlón. (B,L,D)
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. (B,L,D)
Day 11 — Reykjavík /U.S.
Disembark in Reykjavík and choose to either soak in the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon or visit the hot springs, geothermal power plant and horse farm, before your flight home. (B,L)
Award-winning travel and editorial photographer Susan Seubert has photographed more than 20 feature stories for National Geographic Traveler since joining the magazine as a contributor in 2004. Her subjects range from Canada to the Caribbean and Texas to Thailand. Her work has been recognized by the department of journalism at Columbia University with an Alfred Eisenstadt Award and most recently by the North American Travel Journalists Association for excellence in photography. In addition to being widely published and exhibited, she also lectures regularly about her work at such institutions as Harvard University and the Portland Art Museum. Based in Portland, Oregon and Maui, Hawaii, Susan travels throughout the world shooting a variety of subjects and specializes in capturing a sense of place through her wide-ranging imagery. Susan's in-depth knowledge of digital technologies and her multimedia skills keep her at the cutting edge of visual storytelling. Born and raised in Indiana, she earned her Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from the Pacific Northwest College of Art, and she hasn't set down her camera since. When not on assignment, she divides her time between Portland, Oregon and Maui.
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.