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Grass covers the houses of the Faroe Islands, blending them into the landscape.

Scotland, Faroe Islands & Iceland: Footsteps of Vikings and Gaels

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard RCGS Resolute
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The voyage begins in Scotland, known for its rich tapestry of history, culture and rugged, natural beauty. Harsh lands are fringed by a dramatic coastline, broken up by the occasional fishing village and quaint seaside town. Passing through the Outer Hebrides, the UK’s most remote islands, our voyage continues to the unique landscape of the Faroe Islands. An archipelago in the middle of the North Atlantic, the Faroe Islands are some of the more remote, inhabited islands in the world. Famous for their natural beauty, rolling green hills and grass covered roofs, the country is dominated by steep mountains, sheep, and the largest colony of storm petrels in the world. The last stop on your North Atlantic adventure takes you to Iceland, home to ice covered volcanoes, immense glaciers and geothermal lagoons.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Edinburgh, Scotland | Embark
Day 2 : Dunnottar Castle
Day 3 : Kirkwall
Day 4 : Stornoway
Day 5 : Unst, Shetland Islands
Day 6 : Torshavn, Faroe Islands
Day 7 : Miovagur | Mykines
Day 8 : Seydisfjordur, Iceland
Day 9 : Hofn, Iceland
Day 10 : Reynisdrangar, Iceland
Day 11 : Heimaey
Day 12 : Reykjavik, Iceland | Disembark

Highlights

  • Explore the coast lines of some of the most remote islands in Europe
  • Visit some of the world’s rarest bird colonies alongside expert ornithologists
  • Immerse yourself in the ancient Nordic culture and Gaelic history
  • Enjoy long hours of daylight, perfect for wildlife and landscape photography

Ship

RCGS Resolute

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Edinburgh city in winter from Calton hill, Scotland, UK Grass covers the houses of the Faroe Islands, blending them into the landscape. Beautiful arctic landscape Arctic puffins Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik

Day 1 Edinburgh, Scotland | Embark

Your voyage begins in Edinburgh, Scotland’s picturesque capital city. We recommend spending a few days prior to voyage departure exploring this historic city, enjoying a stroll along the ‘royal mile’, visiting Edinburgh’s famous castle or taking in views of the city with a hike up to ‘Arthur’s Seat’. This afternoon, board your home for the next 11-nights –RCGS Resolute. Once onboard you meet the expedition team and set sail. Following welcome drinks and dinner, you'll depart north, skirting the Scottish coastline.

Day 2 Dunnottar Castle

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wake up cruising the stunning east coast of Scotland ready for your first historical destination; Dunnottar Castle - a medieval fortress located upon a rocky headland. Steeped in history, the castle was besieged by Vikings, and captured by William Wallace. For those wanting to stretch their legs, a stunning and undulating coastal path takes you 3km north to the town of Stonehaven. Here you can see a working harbor, busy with sailing yachts, home to the Stonehaven Tolbooth museum, a notable building on the quayside with a fascinating history. Also in the area, keen birders will have the opportunity to visit the spectacular cliffs which are packed with 130,000 breeding seabirds in the spring and summer.

Day 3 Kirkwall

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today you'll reach the Orkney Islands. Many are uninhabited, allowing you to truly enjoy the local wildlife, including seals, and prolific birdlife. Orkney is considered to be the best place in the UK for viewing seabirds. It is a land of breathtaking beauty and famous for its unique archaeological sites, such as the well-preserved Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae and Maeshowe, a Neolithic tomb with Viking graffiti. Interestingly, the Arctic explorer John Rae hailed from the Orkney Islands and they were also the last stop in Britain for the Franklin expedition. Dating back to Norse times, Kirkwell is the islands' largest town. Spend the day experiencing the Orkney's unique culture, heritage and traditions by visiting one of its many museums, galleries, craft workshops, and independent retailers.

Day 4 Stornoway

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Scottish Western Isles of the Outer Hebrides are a diverse chain of inter-connected islands with their own unique way of life. The dramatic cliffs and large windy beaches are ideal to stroll along, breathing in the fresh Atlantic air. A highlight of your visit is a trip to the 5000-year old Standing Stones at Callanish. Afterwards treat yourself to a dram of single malt at Abhainn Dearg Distillery sampling its famous scotch whiskey! History buffs will enjoy the Gearrannan Blackhouse Village. Others may choose to spend the day strolling along the quay at Stornoway Harbour and listen to the shouts of the fishermen, as the traditional fleet land the catch of the day.

Day 5 Unst, Shetland Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A unique place of peace, pure air and wide-open spaces, visitors to Unst in the Shetlands savour the wildlife, the birdlife and the warm community spirit. Known as ‘the ultimate destination for those with adventure in their soul’, Unst is the northernmost of the inhabited British Isles and boasts scenic beauty, rich history, heritage and traditions. Rugged coast line and golden, empty beaches gives yous the perfect playground to explore by zodiac, kayak or foot. Keen birders rejoices with close-up views of tens of thousands of breeding gannets, guillemots, puffins, razorbills, kittiwakes and fulmars. Hikers of all levels have plenty of routes to choose from, with the combination of spectacular coastal scenery, quiet inland lochs and gentle heathery hills. 

Day 6 Torshavn, Faroe Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
By morning arrived in the Faroe Islands - a group of 18 rocky, volcanic islands situated between Iceland and Norway. Visitors are drawn to the islands’ mountains, valleys, grassy heathland and steep coastal cliffs. Begin your time exploring in Tórshavn, on Streymoy Island, the tiny capital of the Faroe Islands. Nearby Tinganes, home of the famous wooden turf-roofed houses also features a bustling harbour and plenty of local boutiques. Your small-group zodiac cruises allow you to explore the narrow sounds and deep grottoes in the shadow of the 1500 feet high cliffs where thousands of seabirds nest.

Day 7 Miovagur | Mykines

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your second day of exploration in the Faroe Islands takes you to two of the Islands’ most stunning waterfalls. First stop - Sørvágsvatn, the largest lake on the islands. Dubbed “the lake over the ocean” due to an optical illusion, the lake appears to hover in mid-air. At the end of the lake is the impressive Bøsdalafossur waterfall – which provides a great hiking excursion. Next we cruise towards the tiny village of Gasadular. Surrounded by high mountains, this photogenic village is home to the second waterfall of the day; Mulafossur Waterfall. This stunning natural wonder is best viewed by sea. Visit Mykines island which provides some of the best bird watching in the
Faroe Islands. Here you can find colonies of cormorants, while the cliffs make perfect nesting ledges for guillemots and razorbills. On the grassy slopes above the bird cliffs, thousands of colourful puffins can be observed at close proximity.

Day 8 Seydisfjordur, Iceland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Defined by its dramatic landscape of glaciers, waterfalls, volcanoes, geysers, hot springs and lava fields, Iceland gives you plenty to explore over the next 5 days! You'll start our Icelandic saga in Seydisfjordur. A place of singing waterfalls and interesting characters, Seydisfjordur is a welcoming town with a rich history. Experience the flourishing art scene, enjoy local cuisine or experience the delightful hiking trails. One of the highlights to be sure it is a pleasant hike down ‘Waterfall lane’, winding though forests to many waterfalls rich in Icelandic vegetation. A slightly longer hike brings you to a lookout with glorious views. The Skaftfell Centre for Visual Arts provides you with a great alternative to the outdoors, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in Icelandic culture.

Day 9 Hofn, Iceland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Have you ever wanted to unleash your inner Viking? Well, today you get your chance. Twisting away from the main route between Höfn and Djúpivogur, curious visitors arrive at what appears to be a remote Viking village in pristine condition. In reality, it is a film set for an Icelandic movie that was never filmed, but you’d definitely be forgiven for mistaking it for the real thing. The Viking village is located close to the town of Höfn, a traditional Icelandic fishing town near Horanfjordur fjord, one of the many spectacular fjords on the island. Höfn also offers scenic views of Vatnajokull, the largest glacier in Europe covering 8% of the island’s land mass, and the perfect place to spend the day exploring the national park.

Day 10 Reynisdrangar, Iceland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Continue your journey around Iceland’s stunning south coast heading towards Vik. Just east of the outskirts of the village lies one of Europe's biggest Arctic tern breeding grounds. A short hike within the close vicinity of Vik is sure to satisfy all serious nature lovers and bird watchers. To the south of Reynisfjall mountain a spectacular set of rock columns, called Reynisdrangar rise majestically out of the Atlantic Ocean. These towering, spiky rock formations jut out from the ocean 66 metres (217 ft) into the air. Teeming with nesting Arctic terns, fulmars and puffins, folk legend says there were two trolls pulling a three-mast ship to the shore unsuccessfully, but were caught by the sunlight at dawn and turned into stone (as happens to trolls when they stay out until dawn). Your approach by sea gives you a unique perspective and the chance to view this spectacular landmark in small groups, perfect for bird viewing and exploring through your lens. With close to 20 hours of daylight, opportunities are endless to learn hints and tips from our photographer-in-residence

Day 11 Heimaey

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Leaving the shores of the mainland, journey into the North Atlantic to the tiny, but beautiful, Westman Islands. Rich in volcanic history and known as a ‘modern Nordic Pompeii’, Heimaey’s once-solitary volcano, Helgafell (or “Holy Mountain”) created the island in an eruption 7,000 years ago. In 1973 it erupted again and fortunately, Heimaey’s entire fishing fleet was moored in the harbor for the night and carried everyone to safety. The force of Helgafell’s eruption added a new volcano to Heimaey’s skyline - Eldfell, (or the “mountain of fire”.) Learn more about this unique destination with a visit to one of the town’s fascinating museums. The seabird life in the Westman Islands is abundant and you are on the lookout for whales and seals. One major highlight remains - a visit to Storhofoi, the largest Atlantic puffin colony in the world. This evening celebrate this exceptional journey at a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.

Day 12 Reykjavik, Iceland | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Your expedition concludes in the world’s most northerly capital - the colourful and quirky city of Reykjavik. Why not stay a few days to explore the city and surroundings? A transfer is provided to a downtown location or to the airport for your onward journey.

RCGS Resolute

Per person starting at
$5,995
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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Main Deck Triple
Deck 3. Double or two single beds. Features a sectional lounge, portholes, writing desk and chair, and private washroom facilities.
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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Twin Private Cabin
Deck 4. Double or two single beds. Features a sectional lounge, large windows, writing desk and chair, and private washroom facilities.
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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Superior Cabin
Deck 5. Double or two single beds. Features a sectional lounge, large windows, writing desk and chair, and private washroom facilities.
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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Superior Plus Cabin
Deck 5. Double or two single beds. Features a sectional lounge, large picture windows, writing desk and chair, and private washroom.
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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Shackleton Suite
Deck 6. 22 m2. Double or two single beds. Features a sectional lounge convertible to a sofa bed, large picture windows, a large desk, expansive cabinetry, and washroom facilities including both a shower & bathtub.
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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One Ocean Suite
Deck 6. 44 m2. Double or two single beds. Features a sectional lounge convertible to a sofa bed with matching club chairs, large picture windows, a large desk, expansive cabinetry, and washroom facilities including both a shower & bathtub.

Notes

- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy.  No single supplement will be charged for passengers willing to share.

- Twin Private, Superior and Superior Plus Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.5 times the double occupancy rate. The supplement for a Shackleton or One Ocean Suite is 2 times the shared rate. Single Supplement is not available in triple cabins.

Your Expedition Includes:
 
- Comprehensive pre-voyage information package including details to help you prepare for your trip
 -Transfers to the ship on embarkation day and from the ship to the airport or local hotel on disembarkation
- Shipboard accommodation in your selected cabin category with daily housekeeping. Cabins feature outside views with windows or portholes that open on each deck
 -High quality, ecofriendly, Canadian made natural amenities in every cabin
 -All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage with daily afternoon tea
- 24-hour tea, coffee, hot chocolate in bar lounge plus in-cabin tea, coffee, hot chocolate replenished daily
 -Experienced Expedition Leader and professional expedition team of marine biologists, naturalists, historians, adventure guides and photographers
- Daily off-ship excursions by zodiac boat breaking into small groups for shore landings
 -Guided hikes and walks on shore of various durations for guests of all abilities
- Visits to wildlife colonies, historic sites, places of outstanding natural beauty and community visits
- Educational presentations and talks by polar experts in their field (ie. marine biologists, naturalists, historians etc). Onboard or on shore
- Resident photography guide available to assist all guests
 -Access to computers in the multimedia lab for image downloads, file back up and management
- An emergency trained medical physician onboard every voyage
 -Dedicated hospitality team including Hotel Manager, four chefs, professional bar staff and Adventure Concierge staff
- Onboard sauna, plunge pool, Jacuzzi and fitness center including personal trainer and massage options (charge applies for massage and spa treatments)
 -Sea kayaking program available (additional charge of $695pp) – must be reserved at the time of booking your voyage and you must have some prior paddling experience
- Access to well stocked library full of polar reference books
- End of voyage video, photos and take home USB
 -Port fees and all permits to access visited areas

 The Expedition does not include:
 
- Any international or local airfare unless otherwise specified in the voyage itinerary
- Visa and passport expenses
-Pre or post-cruise hotel accommodation unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
-Pre or post-cruise transfers unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
-Personal expenses on board such as alcoholic beverages, bar charges or laundry expenses
-Telecommunication charges (ie. email, satellite phone)
-Baggage, cancellation or medical travel insurance related expenses (comprehensive travel insurance is mandatory on all One Ocean Expeditions trips)
-A voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for expedition staff and ship crew (suggested amount – $US12-15 per day)
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Jeff R

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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
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