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Coastal village in the arctic

Circumnavigating Iceland

Example 10 Day Cruise aboard National Geographic Explorer
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Iceland’s geology in all its manifestations - glaciers, geysers, thundering waterfalls, immense cliffs, geothermal springs, boiling mud pots, and rock and lava-scapes of unearthly beauty - is world-class. It alone makes a circumnavigation a very compelling idea. And when you add in the other itinerary components of Iceland’s people, their unique cultural heritage and contemporary character, the island’s geography and birdlife - seeing it all in one 360º expedition is irresistible. Join the National Geographic Explorer on this 10-day voyage to see the best Iceland has to offer!

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive in Reykjavik, Iceland | Embark
Day 2 : Explore the West Coast of Iceland
Day 3 : Ísafjördur
Day 4 : Exploring Northwestern Iceland
Day 5 : Siglufjordur | Akureyri
Day 6 : Lake Myvatn | Husavik
Day 7 : Explore Northeast Iceland
Day 8 : Djúpivogur
Day 9 : Heimaey & Surtsey Islands, Westman Islands
Day 10 : Disembark in Reykjavik

Highlights

  • Meet Iceland’s people and learn about their cultural heritage
  • Actively explore Iceland's rugged coasts in one 360º expedition
  • Experience all of Iceland’s unique geological manifestations
  • Travel with an expert team on a holistic, narrative voyage

Ship

National Geographic Explorer

Places Visited

  • Arctic
  • Europe
  • Iceland
  • Akureyri
  • Djupivogur
  • Flatey Island
  • Heimaey Island
  • Hornstandir Peninsula
  • Husavik
  • Isafjordur
  • Lake Myvatn
  • Latrabjarg
  • Reykjavik
  • Siglufjordur
  • Surtsey Island

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Coastal village in the arctic The blue lagoon in Iceland Women playing herring ladies at the Maritime Museum. A natural arch of basalt in Iceland. Beautiful arctic landscape

Day 1 Arrive in Reykjavik, Iceland | Embark

Arrive in Reykjavik, the world’s northernmost capital, which lies only a fraction below the Arctic Circle, This city receives just four hours of sunlight in winter and 22 in summer. Have a guided overview of the Old Town, including Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral with its 210-foot tower, and perhaps shed some light on Nordic culture at the National Museum, with its Viking treasures and artifacts, and unusual whalebone carvings on display. Embark National Geographic Explorer. 

Day 2 Explore the West Coast of Iceland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your ship navigates Iceland’s wild western frontier, sailing past the immense Latrabjarg cliffs, the westernmost point of Iceland and home to a huge population of razorbills. The cliffs are an area once famous for egg collecting; the men were tied to ropes and lowered like spiders down onto the ledges. Continue to Flatey Island, a trading post for many centuries, for walks around the charming little hamlet that grew here, and take a Zodiac cruise along the coast.

Day 3 Ísafjördur

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located in the Western Fjords, Ísafjördur is surrounded by water on three sides and sculpted by glaciers. Renowned for its traditional eider down production, it is a picture postcard of traditional Icelandic life and a great place for hiking, kayaking, and for spotting eider ducks.

Day 4 Exploring Northwestern Iceland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Hornstandir is Iceland’s northernmost peninsula, situated in the Westfjords region. Stunningly beautiful and peaceful, this remote corner of Iceland is uninhabited and can only be accessed on foot or by boat. Summertime is magical with 24 hours of daylight and many species of seabirds, including puffins, guillemots, razorbills, and kittiwakes.

Day 5 Siglufjordur | Akureyri

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Siglufjordur was the center of Iceland’s once-thriving herring industry. Stop by the Herring Museum for a talk and a tasting. Continue to picturesque Akureyri, backed by snow-capped mountains. Explore the old town, with its beautifully maintained period houses, or visit the botanical garden.

Day 6 Lake Myvatn | Husavik

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Drive to Mývatn, the most geologically active area in Iceland. This is world-class field geology! See the bizarre mud pools at Hverarönd — so hot they actually bubble. At the Krafla geothermal area see the explosion crater at Viti and continue to an unforgettable sight: Godafoss, the waterfall of the gods. Meet the ship in Húsavík, and watch for whales as you sail north to the land of the midnight sun. Take Zodiacs ashore to the tiny island of Grimsey, which lies exactly on the Arctic Circle. Here celebrate being officially in the Arctic, in the company of nesting arctic terns, fulmars, and puffins in burrows, all bathing, courting and fishing — another wonderful photo op.

Day 7 Explore Northeast Iceland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
With plenty of rarely-visited coastline, this day is left open to explore Iceland’s rugged east coast. Join onboard naturalists for a hike or a Zodiac cruise to get a better view of the beautiful stacks at the end of the peninsula. Or, conditions permitting, you may have your first chance to kayak today under the steep cliffs.

Day 8 Djúpivogur

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today see firsthand how the country got its chilly name. From Djúpivogur, explore the vast Vatnajökull ice cap, third largest in the world. For a closer look at the ice, take a boat ride through Jökulsárlón, a lagoon strewn with large, sculpted icebergs, or you may take a snowmobile ride across the ice. Photo lovers may set off together with the National Geographic photographer.

Day 9 Heimaey & Surtsey Islands, Westman Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Westman Islands were formed by undersea volcanoes between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago and are among the youngest of the world’s archipelagos. In 1963, the world witnessed on film the birth of its newest island, Surtsey — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — which you can see while cruising past the coast. In 1973, Heimaey was threatened by lava flows that nearly closed off its harbor. Visit the crater, where the earth is still hot, and have amazing views of areas that had been engulfed by lava.

Day 10 Disembark in Reykjavik

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Today complete your circumnavigation of Iceland, disembarking in Reykjavík. Stop by the famous Blue Lagoon thermal baths, prior to your flight home. Whether you choose to enjoy the surreal bath and spa facilities or just stroll around the fascinating environs, the Blue Lagoon is unforgettable!

National Geographic Explorer

Reykjavik

Per person starting at
$9,820
National Geographic Explorer's Category 1 Cabin.
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Cat 1
Main Deck with one or two portholes. #301-308
National Geographic Explorer's Category 2 Cabin.
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Cat 2
Main Deck with window. #317-320, 335-336.
National Geographic Explorer's Category 3 Cabin.
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Cat 3
Main Deck with Window #313-316, 321-328, 337-340,342, 344, 346, 348, 350.
National Geographic Explorer's Category 4 Cabin.
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Cat 4
Upper and Veranda Decks with Window. # 103-104, 107-108, 201-202, 204-207, 210, 212, 217, 226, 228.
National Geographic Explorer's Category 5 Upper Deck Cabin.
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Cat 5
Upper Deck with Balcony. #209, 211, 214, 216, 218, 220-222, 224.
National Geographic Explorer's Category 6 Cabin.
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Cat 6
Veranda Deck Suite #101-102; Upper Deck Suite with Balcony #213.
Luxurious Catagory 8 Suite
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Cat 7
Upper Deck Suite with Balcony. #215, 219, 230.
National Geographic Explorer's Category SA and SB.
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Cat SA
C Deck Solo - Cabins 309-312, 329-334. Single cabins with window.
National Geographic Explorer's Category SA and SB.
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Cat SB
Upper and Veranda Decks with Window. #105-106, 203, 208.

Notes

Travelers under the age of 18 save $500 per person.

Costs Include:
  • All accommodations
  • Meals indicated
  • Excursions
  • Services of Lindblad Expeditions’ Leader, Naturalist staff and expert guides
  • Use of kayaks
  • All port charges and service taxes

Not Included:
  •  Air transportation
  • Personal items such as emails, laundry, voyage DVD etc.
  • Gratuities to ship’s crew

Included

  • 9 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 9 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Kassandra Miller
Kassandra M

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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