Itinerary

Itinerary

Embark the National Geographic Explorer and cruise from Norway to the remote islands and archipelagos of the wild North Atlantic. Step back into the Stone Age in the Orkney and Shetland Islands, and come face-to-face with the legacy of the Vikings amid the turf-roofed cottages and ancient sites of the Faroes. Then trace nearly the entire coast of Iceland, witnessing immense seabird colonies and geological wonders, from glacial lagoons to thundering waterfalls.

This trip is offered in partnership with Lindblad Expeditions.

 

Days 1-2: U.S./Bergen, Norway

Fly overnight to Bergen. Wander among the medieval wooden homes of Bryggen, a UNESCO World Heritage site, before embarking our ship.

Meals Included:Day 2 (Lunch, Dinner)
Accommodations:National Geographic Explorer
Day 3: Orkney Islands, Scotland

The Vikings held a strategic foothold in the Orkney Islands for centuries, and their Norse heritage is still evident. After a morning at sea, encounter the Stone Age megaliths of the Ring of Brodgar and the 5,000-year-old stone-slab village of Skara Brae. Visit the red sandstone cathedral of St. Magnus in Kirkwall, built by the Vikings in 1137.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:National Geographic Explorer
Day 4: Shetland Islands

Arrive in the Shetlands, where Norse and Gaelic culture intermingle in fascinating ways. Glide beneath the towering cliffs of Noss, a nature reserve harboring thousands of sea birds including puffins, guillemots, and kittiwakes. Go ashore to see Shetland ponies and the prehistoric settlement of Jarlshof, which reveals 4,000 years of near-continuous settlement.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:National Geographic Explorer
Day 5: Faroe Islands, Denmark

Today we arrive in the Faroe Islands, an autonomous archipelago within the Kingdom of Denmark. The legacy of the Vikings persists here, reflected in the language of the Faroese and their love of the sea. In capital city Tórshavn, browse Viking artifacts at the historical museum, and discover the archaeological site of Kirkjubøur, a medieval farming and religious village.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:National Geographic Explorer
Days 6-7: Faroe Islands

We continue our exploration of the Faroe Islands in Streymoy, home to ancient Viking settlements. The next day, Zodiacs take us ashore on Mykines island, known for the hundreds of puffins that make their home here. Stroll the tiny village along unpaved streets, passing whimsical turf-roofed houses and a turf-roofed church; and see the islands tiny lighthouse, tethered down with guy wires.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Accommodations:National Geographic Explorer
Days 8-9: Djúpivogur, Iceland/Grimsey

Dock in Djúpivogur, and travel overland to the immense Vatnajökull icecap. Then take small boats into the Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, and get up close to ice bergs of all shapes and sizes. Hear talks by our expedition team as we sail to Grimsey, an island on the Arctic Circle. Go ashore here to see the resident nesting seabirds.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Accommodations:National Geographic Explorer
Day 10: Mývatn/Akureyri

Watch for whales on our approach to Húsavík, where we’ll disembark for the drive to Mývatn, Iceland’s most geologically active area. See boiling mud pools at Hverarönd and continue through the Krafla geothermal area to the volcanic Viti crater. Witness Godafoss, the waterfall of the gods, and meet the ship in Akureyri.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:National Geographic Explorer
Days 11-12: Ísafjördur

Located in the Westfjords region, the town of Ísafjörđur lies on a tiny spit jutting out into the water against a backdrop of steep hills. Spend time hiking and watching for nesting seabirds in this remote setting. The next day, sail past the soaring Látrabjarg cliffs, the westernmost point of Iceland and home to teeming populations of bird species, including razorbills and puffins. Visit Flatey island, a fishing and trading post for centuries. Navigate the coast by Zodiac to see where Erik the Red is believed to have set sail around the year 982, bound for Greenland.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily
Accommodations:National Geographic Explorer
Day 13: Westman Islands

Spend a day discovering the Westman Islands, one of the world’s younger archipelagos, formed by undersea volcanos some 11,000 years ago. In 1973, the isle of Heimaey was threatened by lava flows that nearly closed off the harbor. We’ll visit the Eldfell volcanic crater, where the earth is still hot from that eruption, and take in views over landscapes engulfed in lava rock. We’ll also spy the World Heritage-listed Surtsey, one of the world’s youngest islands, which was formed by volcanic eruptions between 1963 and 1967.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:National Geographic Explorer
Day 14: Reykjavík

Disembark in Reykjavík and fly home.

Meals Included:Breakfast
Accommodations:National Geographic Explorer

Optional Extensions

Optional Extensions

  • Iceland's Natural Wonders Extension
    4 days from $4,910
  • Reykjavík and Golden Circle Extension
    1 days from $1,290
  • Bergen Extension
    1 days from $980
Iceland's Natural Wonders Extension

Post-Voyage

Discover some of Iceland's most geothermally active areas on a post-trip extension. Wander among twisted lava stacks and caves near Lake Mývatn, and stroll the black-sand shores of Kleifarvatn Lake. Explore historic landmarks in Reykjavík and set out into the surrounding countryside for a tour of the famed Golden Circle.

Day 1: Oslo, Norway/Reykjavík, Iceland/Akureyri

Depart from Oslo and arrive at the Reykjavík airport, then fly on to Akureyri, a port city on Iceland’s northern coast. Check in to our hotel and enjoy stunning views of snow-capped peaks that descend into the sea.

Meals Included:Dinner
Accommodations:Kea Hotel Akureyri or similar
Day 2: Lake Mývatn/Akureyri

Today, head east to explore the Mývatn geothermal area, dominated by volcanic craters and natural lava sculptures. The mineral-rich waters of Lake Mývatn provide a sanctuary for flora and fauna, including colonies of unique algae balls called Marimo and more than 10 species of duck. Return to Akureyri to enjoy a gourmet dinner at a local restaurant.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Kea Hotel Akureyri or similar
Day 3: Reykjavík

Fly to Reykjavík this morning and explore the world’s northernmost capital. Visit the Parliament House of the Althing, the oldest parliament in the world. Gaze up at the impressive tower of the Hallgrímskirkja church, one of the city’s best known landmarks. In the afternoon, choose to soak in the geothermal waters of the famous Blue Lagoon.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations:Hotel Borg or similar
Day 4: Reykjavík

Set out on a tour of Iceland’s famous Golden Circle to explore the dramatic landscapes that inspired the country’s nickname—“the land of fire and ice.” Stand in the spray of thundering Gullfoss Waterfall and walk between steaming fumaroles and bubbling mud pots in the Geysir geothermal area, namesake of all the world’s geysers. At Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, view the rift between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates and learn about the early democracy of Viking settlers in Iceland.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations:Hotel Borg or similar
Day 5: Reykjavík/Reykjanes Peninsula

This morning, choose to relax in your hotel, or join an excursion to the wild Reykjanes Peninsula. Discover the vivid hot springs, deep craters, and bright red, green, and yellow soils of the Krýsuvík geothermal area. Stroll on the black-sand beach at the edge of Kleifarvatn, one of the country’s largest and deepest lakes. Visit the Kvikan House of Culture and Natural Resources in the fishing village of Grindavík to learn the surprising history of saltfish, once one of Iceland’s most vital economic exports. After lunch, transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch