Expedition Overview

Expedition Overview

  • Discover pristine fjords and fascinating tundra by Zodiac and on foot as we explore Iceland’s volcanic geology and remote fishing villages.
  • Encounter evidence of volcanic activity as we soak in geothermal hot springs, hike over cooled lava fields, and view Iceland's newest isle, Surtsey.
  • Discover the rich biodiversity of the remote Westfjords, and step off the tourist trail in the tiny fishing town of Djúpavík.
  • Choose your own adventure on one of five optional trip extensions, from a hiking excursion across Iceland's untamed highlands to an exploration of the Snaefellsness peninsula's epic natural wonders.

Itinerary

Itinerary

Discover why Iceland is known as the “land of fire and ice” on a voyage to the remote fjords and volcanic isles along the country's western coast. Venture across the stark landscape of an island formed by volcanic eruptions, where the ground is still warmed by geothermal activity. Set out by Zodiac to view towering cliffs teeming with nesting seabirds and snow-capped plateaus rising into the clouds. Explore the legacy of Viking explorers and intrepid fishermen as you visit historic villages and navigate dramatic shorelines from the wild Westfjords region to the volcanic Westman Islands.

This trip is operated in collaboration with Lindblad Expeditions.

Days 1-2: U.S./Reykjavík, Iceland

Depart on an overnight flight to Reykjavík and arrive the next morning in the world's northernmost capital, located just below the Arctic Circle. Tour the colorful old town, including the towering Hallgrímskirkja church, which can be seen from almost every part of the city. At the National Museum, discover Viking artifacts and unusual whalebone carvings on display. Settle in aboard the National Geographic Explorer.

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

National Geographic Explorer for the entire voyage

Day 3: Djúpavík

As we make our way north this morning, hear presentations from our experts on Iceland's unique geology, diverse Arctic wildlife, and complex history. This afternoon, explore the remote eastern coast of the Westfjords, a seldom-visited region of spectacular natural beauty. Disembark to hike across the tundra while our National Geographic photographer offers advice on the best way to capture landscape shots and animal encounters. Stroll the tiny town of Djúpavík and learn about the golden age of Iceland's herring fishing industry. Step into a herring processing plant from the 1930s that was once the largest concrete structure in Iceland. Now closed, the plant is home to an exhibit and stands as a relic of the vital role herring played in Iceland's prosperity during the early 20th century.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4: Arnafjörđur and Látrabjarg Cliffs

In the early morning, glide into the magnificent Arnafjörđur on Iceland's northwest coast, where snow-dusted plateaus tower over sparkling blue waters. Choose to disembark early and hike several miles up the fjord to the tiered cascade of the Dynjandi Waterfall. Or opt to remain aboard as we head deeper into the fjord and go ashore by Zodiac to reach the waterfall's base. This afternoon, sail past the immense Látrabjarg cliffs, Europe's westernmost point and home to countless nesting seabirds. Conditions permitting, set out by Zodiac to gaze up at the soaring cliffs, where Icelanders have collected eggs by lowering themselves onto the cliff ledges with ropes for generations.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5: Westman Islands

Cruise south to discover the archipelago of the Westman Islands, formed between some 11,000 years ago by undersea volcanic eruptions. Disembark to explore the green slopes and white houses of Heimaey, the only inhabited Westman isle. A volcanic eruption destroyed half the town in 1973, but inhabitants succeeded in protecting the island's harbor by cooling the advancing lava with sea water. Drive between Heimaey's twin volcanoes and visit the ruins of a Viking settlement. Opt to hike up Eldfell volcano, where patches of the earth are still warmed by thermal vents. Return to the ship to cruise past Surtsey, Iceland's newest island, formed by lava flows between 1963 and 1967.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6: Reykjavík

Cruise back north along a coast split by majestic fjords and disembark in Reykjavík. Choose to soak in the mineral-rich, geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon or visit a hot spring, a geothermal power plant, and an Icelandic horse farm, prior to your flights home.

Meals Included:Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner