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.
Traveling aboard the National Geographic Explorer gives us unparalleled access to Cieland's most remote landscapes, including offshore islands near the Arctic Circle.
Capture images of gushing geysers, cascading waterfalls, and sea birds in flight, shooting alongside a National Geographic photographer.
Actively explore Iceland's geology by Zodiac or kayak and cruise the Jökulsárlón ice lagoon by small boat.
Learn from a team of naturalist while exploring geothermally active Mývatn, and take in the beauty of Goðafoss waterfall.
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 — Flatey Island/Látrabjarg
Explore Iceland’s wild western frontier, visiting Flatey Island, a trading post for many centuries. Take walks or explore by Zodiac, then sail past the soaring Látrabjarg cliffs, home to a large population of razorbills. (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
Spend the morning in beautiful and remote Ísafjördur, hiking, exploring by Zodiac, and watching for nesting seabirds. (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 living history reenactment 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
Begin the day with an unforgettable sight: Goðafoss, the waterfall of the gods. Next, 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. After lunch on shore, 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 our official arrival 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. Depending on the weather and tides, go for a Zodiac cruise to view the sea stacks near Raudanes, hike along a stretch of the Langanes Peninsula, or make our way even further down the coast. (B,L,D)
Day 9 — Djúpivogur
Dock in Djúpivogur to explore the vast
Vatnajökull ice cap. Then take small boats into the ice lagoon of Jökulsárlón, and get up close with icebergs of all shapes and sizes. (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)
A dynamic expedition team—including an expedition leader; a photo instructor; and experts in wildlife biology, geology, culture, and the undersea— accompanies each departure. They will share their knowledge and insights on wildlife, landscapes, and local culture, and help you get your best photos. See one of the members of our extraordinary team below.
Award-winning travel and editorial photographer Susan Seubert has photographed more than 30 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 can choose between a light or moderate activity level. For a light level of activity, they 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 on bumpy roads, or easy hikes.
For a moderate level, travelers should be prepared for multiple hours of physical activity (e.g. hiking, kayaking, biking) each day.
Click here for a description of all activity levels.