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Reykjavic sits along the sea in the Arctic

Ultimate Fire and Ice: Iceland Circumnavigation

12 Day Sample Cruise aboard Ocean Nova (QU)
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This 12-day expedition around Iceland offers an in-depth exploration of a small island of geological extremes. Encounter unrivaled natural diversity, from volcanic landscapes to lava fields, ice sheets, gushing hot springs and cascading waterfalls. Your Expedition Team makes every effort to maximize your experiences with all the extremes of this land, its incredible bird life, colorful hamlets, friendly and hearty people, and serene bays perfect for kayaking.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive in Reykjavik, Iceland
Day 2 : Golden Circle and Embarkation
Day 3 : Grundarfjörður
Day 4 : Ísafjörður
Day 5 : Grindavík and the Blue Lagoon
Day 6 : Heimay and Surtsey Islands
Day 7 : Jökulsárlón and Höfn
Day 8 : Seydisfjordur
Days 9-10 : Húsavík and Grimsey Island
Day 11 : Westfjords: Hornvik and Area
Day 12 : Disembarkation in Akureyri


Ocean Nova (QU)

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Reykjavic sits along the sea in the Arctic Take advantage of your ship's kayaking excursion Keep your eye out for reindeer along your Arctic cruise A keen eye and patience will help spot Arctic whales on your cruise Icebergs float throughout the seas in the Arctic

Day 1 Arrive in Reykjavik, Iceland

Arrive in the Icelandic capital this morning and transfer to the Grand Hotel Reykjavik. You have the day on your own to explore the city. Join your ship's crew at the hotel in the evening for a welcome reception and orientation.

Day 2 Golden Circle and Embarkation

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, venture south from Reykjavik along Iceland’s famous Golden Circle route, starting with Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you enter a dramatic landscape of wild contrasts, with lava plains, clear lakes and wildflowers in the shadow of soaring mountains. This was also the site of Iceland’s parliament from 930 until 1798. Also visit Iceland’s most famous waterfall, Gullfoss, at the height of its flow. We complete the Golden Circle with Haukadalur, where the Strokkur geyser erupts every 5-10 minutes and plenty of other evidence awaits of the intense geological processes beneath our feet.

After lunch, the ship makes its way to the Ocean Nova and sets sail.

Day 3 Grundarfjörður

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today you reach the photogenic Snaefellsnes Peninsula and visit your first small Icelandic town. Sail into the small harbor and walk around this picturesque fishing village. In the afternoon, sail to the westernmost point of Iceland. If the ship stops at the seabird colony, keep your eyes out for Atlantic puffins, thick-billed murres and black-legged kittiwakes.

Day 4 Ísafjörður

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Awake to the sight of the Westfjords area, with its high rock walls carved by intense glacier action. Here you can find the colorful town of Ísafjörður, home to a charming museum dedicated to Iceland’s rich maritime history. You may also have a chance to sample some local Icelandic delicacies and take in some local entertainment. In the afternoon explore the dramatic fjords that make this area famous.

Day 5 Grindavík and the Blue Lagoon

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today visit one of Iceland’s most popular attractions, the Blue Lagoon. You have a chance to soak in the geothermally-heated seawater, rumored to be good for both the body and soul. For those who don’t crave the comforts of the spa, an optional round of golf is also available at the Continental Drift Club, where the American and Eurasian plates meet.

Day 6 Heimay and Surtsey Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Lying off the southern coast of Iceland, these islands are an example of the constant geological battle being waged underground. In 1973 a volcanic eruption destroyed many buildings on the islands, and today a project dubbed the "Pompeii of the North" aims to excavate those ruins. Not to be out-named, the entire archipelago has been called the "Capri of the North" because of all the sea caves created by frequent volcanic activity. Sea birds, including puffins, call this place home.

Day 7 Jökulsárlón and Höfn

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning visit one of the most impressive wonders of Iceland: Vatnajökull Glacier. At over 300m (1,000 ft) tall, you can't appreciate the full scale of the ice until you get out on Jökulsárlón Lake and sail among the icebergs that frequently calve from the ice face. In the afternoon we arrive at Höfn, a small and traditional fishing community.

Day 8 Seydisfjordur

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Call into Seydisfjordur, a small, friendly town with a thriving art scene. Visit the power plant museum, shop for locally-produced handicrafts in the town, and join a tour conducted by the locals. The area also boasts over 90 archaeological sites, some dating back 1,000 years.

Day 9-10 Húsavík and Grimsey Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Húsavík is an excellent example of the geological processes that have made Iceland famous. Spend the day crossing through the highland lava desert, past lava formations, mud pools and sulfur pits en route to the impressive canyons and waterfalls that lie beyond. Returning back to town, you have a chance to wander around and visit the Whale and Exploration Museums before boarding the Ocean Nova. This area is the center of the whale-watching industry in Iceland, so be on the lookout for whales as the ship pulls away from this pretty town.

In the late afternoon cross the Arctic Circle and reach Grimsey Island. The abundant bird life far outnumbers the fewer than one hundred residents of this small village.

Day 11 Westfjords: Hornvik and Area

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today we reach the very top of Iceland as we venture north into the peaceful bay of Hornvik. Grand landscapes and exploration are the order of the day, with a chance to stretch your legs and marvel at the geology and bird life that dominate the area.

Day 12 Disembarkation in Akureyri

  • 1 Breakfast
On your last day we arrive in Akureyri, where we board our charter flight back to Reykjavík.

Ocean Nova (QU)

Per person starting at
Quad Cabin
Equipped with 4 twin beds, private facilities, and exterior views.
Triple Cabin
Averaging 150 sq ft. Equipped with 3 twin beds. Located on Upper Deck with private facilities and exterior views.
Bridge Deck Twin Cabin
Bridge Deck Twin Cabin
Averaging 88 sq ft. Equipped with one twin bed. Located on Upper Deck with private facilities and exterior views.
Upper Deck Twin Cabin
Upper Deck Twin Cabin
Averaging 105 sq ft. Equipped with 2 twin beds. Located on Bridge Deck with private facilities and exterior views.
Upper (Lower Berth) Cabin
Upper (Lower Berth) Deck Twin
Averaging 115 sq ft. Equipped with 2 twin beds. Located on Upper Deck with private facilities and exterior views.


-Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double or triple occupancy. Request the Twin or Triple Share Program where we match you with a cabin mate of the same gender. Even if we are unable to find a cabin mate for you, no single supplement will be charged.

-Emergency medical evacuation coverage for a minimum of US$100,000 per person required. Contact us for details on arranging travel insurance.

Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting.


  • 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 9 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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