Expedition Overview

Expedition Overview

  • Travel aboard the National Geographic Explorer, enjoying unparalleled access to Iceland's most remote landscapes, including offshore islands near the Arctic Circle.
  • Capture images of enchanting lava landscapes, towering waterfalls, and sea birds in flight, shooting alongside a National Geographic photographer.
  • Explore Iceland's coastal geology by Zodiac or kayak. Cruise among the icebergs of the Jökulsárlón ice lagoon in a small boat or go by 4x4 jeep into the highlands of southern Iceland.
  • Learn from a team of naturalists while exploring geothermally active Mývatn, and take in the beauty of Goðafoss waterfall.

Itinerary

Itinerary

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 heat of gushing hot springs and the spray 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.

This trip is offered in partnership with Lindblad Expeditions.

 

Days 1-2: U.S./Reykjavík, Iceland

Fly overnight to Reykjavik, the world’s northernmost capital. On a walking tour of the old town, step into the Hallgrimskirkja, a church that reaches heights of 210 feet, making it the highest building in Iceland. Learn about Norse culture at the National Museum and browse exhibits showcasing unusual whale bone carvings, as well as Viking treasures and artifacts. Later, embark the National Geographic Explorer for the entire voyage.

Meals Included:Day 2 (Lunch, Dinner)
Accommodations:

National Geographic Explorer.

Day 3: Flatey Island/Látrabjarg

Explore Iceland’s wild western frontier, visiting Flatey Island, a centuries-old trading post. Navigate the coast by Zodiac to see where Erik the Red is believed to have set sail around year 982, bound for Greenland. Then sail past the soaring Látrabjarg cliffs, the westernmost point of Iceland and home to a large population of razorbills.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4: Westfjords

Get immersed in the stunning scenery of the Westfjords region. Head out on a hike to a remote waterfall, or cruise in a Zodiac alongside stunning scenery. Enter Ísafjarðardjúp fjord and anchor at Vigur Island, where we’ll visit an eider farm to see how duck down is processed.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5: Ísafjordur

Located in the Westfjords, Isafjordur is surrounded by water on three sides, sculpted by glaciers. Take a bike ride along the coast of the fjord or explore Icelandic cuisine. Explore by zodiac and hike ashore to view the local landscape and photograph flowering plants with the help of our National Geographic photographer.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6: SIGLUFJÖRÐUR/Akureyri

At Siglufjörður, once the center of Iceland’s herring industry, visit the award-winning Herring Museum for a living history reenactment and a tasting. Continue to Akureyri, Iceland’s second largest city, with a population of just under 18,000. Part of an area originally founded by Viking settlers, Akureyri has long been an important center for fishing and trade, and served as an Allied air force base during the Second World War. Stroll the old town, visit one of the many museums or historical houses, or discover remarkable Arctic flora at the botanical garden.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7: Mývatn/Húsavík

Drive to Mývatn, the most geologically active area in Iceland. See the boiling mud pools at Hverarönd; and in the Krafla geothermal area, visit the crater at Viti. Continue to Goðafoss waterfall—the waterfall of the gods—plummeting over a cliff almost a hundred feet wide. 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, the northernmost inhabited Icelandic territory. Stand beside the stone monument marketing the position of the Arctic Circle, which is moved slightly each year as the latitude gradually shifts north, and celebrate our official arrival in the Arctic.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8: Exploring EASTERN 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 Rauðanes, or sail even further down the coast. Choose to hike along a stretch of the Langanes Peninsula.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9: Djúpivogur

Dock in Djúpivogur to discover the vast Vatnajökull ice cap, the largest glacier in Europe by driving down the coast to witness the deep blue icebergs of the large ice lagoon of Jokulsarlon. Alternatively, go by 4x4 vehicle to visit some of the secluded valleys and remote waterfalls in the countryside around Djupivogur or visit a local farm to meet the families living in rural Iceland.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10: Westman Islands

The Westman Islands were formed by undersea volcanoes between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago and make up one of the world's youngest archipelagos. Go ashore at Heimaey to visit the Eldfell volcanic crater, where the earth is hot from recent eruptions, and take in amazing views of landscapes engulfed by lava. Catch sight of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Surtsey, a new island formed by a series of volcanic eruptions in the 1960s.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11: Reykjavík/U.S.

Disembark in Reykjavík and choose to either soak in the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon or visit a geothermal power plant and Icelandic horse farm before your flight home.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch