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Glass-still waters around Spitsbergen

Towards the High Arctic - From Iceland to Svalbard

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Atlantic
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After embarking at Reykjavik onboard Albatros Expeditions’ vessel Ocean Atlantic, we begin our spectacular voyage towards the high Arctic as we depart from Iceland’s volcanic wonderland. Along our way we have planned landings at an incredible four Arctic islands: Iceland, Grimsey, Jan Mayen, and Spitsbergen. The first, days will take you by the rugged cliffs of the Icelandic western and northern coasts, including planned visits at the famed “Iceland in miniature”, Snaefellness and the little Vigur island in the middle of the large fjord,  Ísafjarðardjúp. This is early summer; the air is filled with migrating birds – and the sun never sets. When approaching Svalbard, we will scout for sea mammals and seal-hunting polar bears on the pack ice. The spring allows us to enjoy the immense beauty of Svalbard on this high Arctic adventure voyage among whales, walruses and millions of sea birds.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Reykjavík | Embark
Day 2 : Reykjavik
Day 3 : Reykjavik | Embark
Day 4 : At Sea
Day 5 : Jan Mayen
Day 6 : At Sea
Day 7 : Svalbard
Day 8 : Longyearbyen | Disembark


  • Admire the rugged cliffs of the Icelandic western and northern coasts
  • Explore the famed “Iceland in miniature”, Snaefellness
  • Scout for sea mammals and seal-hunting polar bears at Svalbard
  • Visit little Vigur island in the middle of the large fjord, Ísafjarðardjúp


Ocean Atlantic

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik The blue lagoon in Iceland Glass-still waters around Spitsbergen Colorful houses of Svalbard

Day 1 Reykjavík | Embark

Welcome to Iceland!

Keflavik Airport is located on the Reykjanes Peninsula and numerous buses will take you to Reykjavik close to your hotel. You might want to start your journey by visiting the most famous spot here, the Blue Lagoon. There are buses going via The Blue Lagoon to Reykjavik. The peninsula is an active geothermal area with many hot springs and recent lava fields revealing a relatively barren landscape. Near the geothermal power plant Svartsengi, we reach the well-known Blue Lagoon or the “Bláa Lónid”. Here you can take a healthy swim in the 37-39 degree in the warm and very light blue water. The extraordinary color of the water is due to silicon mud and a special blue-green algae, which even has a healing effect on psoriasis. Stylish changing and bathing facilities are part of the visit. Remember to bring a swimsuit; a towel and bathrobe can be rented on site. After the relaxing bath, you continue towards the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik. Upon arrival and check in to your hotel and the rest of the day spent on strolling the streets of this small and charming city. You will meet your guide for the next 2 days in the lobby of the hotel before going for dinner in a local restaurant.

Day 2 Reykjavik

  • Hotels
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, meet your local Icelandic guide and a bus to begin possibly the most classic excursion on Iceland: The Golden Circle.

You can look forward to magnificent scenery and an exciting insight into the dramatic millennium-old history of Icelanders. Begin at Skálholt, where the island’s bishop’s diocese was established in 1056. Unfortunately, an 18th-century earthquake destroyed most of the original diocese. From the present church, built in the 1960s, there is a great view of the surrounding countryside, and in clear weather, Iceland’s most famous volcano, Hekla, is visible on the horizon. About 40 kilometers from Skálholt we’ll find the Gullfoss waterfall, possibly the most impressive sight in Iceland.  Dropping 32 meters in terraces through a deep gorge, Gullfoss was first known by the outside world at the beginning of this century. A short drive from Gullfoss is Geysir, the hot spring giving a name to all other geysers. Geysir began erupting in the late 13th century, becoming dormant afterward for many years. It became active again an era volcanic eruption in 2000, but today it is considered to be asleep.
Its immediate neighbor Stokkur is wide awake, regularly spewing boiling hot water masses 20 meters into the air, an impressive sight! On our way to UNESCO-protected Thingvellir National Park, we stop at Laugarvatn, a popular excursion destination for Reykjavík residents who come here during weekends to relax at the hot springs. Thingvellir is a fascinating geological place as well as being the frame of the oldest parliament in the world, dating back to the year 930.

Lunch will be served during the excursion. Upon returning to Reykjavík the rest of the evening is free in Reykjavík. The ci­ty has a large and rich selection of restaurants for all tastes and wallets and is definitely worth a night out.

Day 3 Reykjavik | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Before embarking your expedition ship, the Ocean Atlantic there’s now time to explore Reykjavik on your own. Take a stroll through the main street of Laugavegur, visit the full-sized whaling exhibition, Whales of Iceland or visit the Hallgrímskirkja church. Al this can be done before our journey through the North Atlantic to the high Arctic begins.

Mid-afternoon we are transferred to the ship and we board Ocean Atlantic and set our course northbound through the Denmark Strait for our first destination, the remote Arctic island of Jan Mayen.


Day 4 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During your voyage, our lecturers onboard will make inspiring and enriching presentations about both Iceland’s past history and about nature, wildlife, and climatology.

Day 5 Jan Mayen

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Listen to a lecture from our experienced expedition staff, see a film about Arctic nature – or go out on deck to catch glimpses of migrating birds and hopefully some whales in their natural habitat.
Approximately in the middle of the North Atlantic lies the enigmatic volcanic island of Jan Mayen. And if not exactly in the middle, at least it is located precisely on the Mid Atlantic Ridge, the reason for its volcanic existence. And enigmatic it is, not only because of its isolation but also due to the almost perpetual clouds and fog that hovers above it. Jan Mayen belongs to Norway, and the mountain Beerenberg is one of the higher of Norway’s 300 summits above 2,000 meters.
The island is inhabited by only 18 persons, running the meteorological station and the Norwegian Defence. We will try to go ashore at the narrowest part of the island, from either south or north, depending on the prevailing wind and surf. The volcanic origin is visible all over with cinder cones, lava flows and the Mount Fuji-like appearance of Beerenberg looming above. After a pleasant stroll on the narrow isthmus, we board the Zodiacs and Ocean Atlantic to continue our voyage north.

Day 6 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Lectures, movies or maybe a game are some of the activities and this sea day.

Day 7 Svalbard

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
You are getting closer to the islands of Svalbard, and it should be possible to spot the largest island, Spitsbergen, during the afternoon.
Our route for this day is much depending on conditions. Not least the pack ice coming from the arctic Sea as well as from calving glaciers, and also solid winter sea ice.
Our vessel has an ice-class of 1B and the Captain should be able to safely approach the edge of the ice to give us the opportunity to spot our first polar bear, hunting for seals. During the night the ship will sail towards the main town of Svalbard, Longyearbyen.

Day 8 Longyearbyen | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Early in the morning, the ship arrives in Longyearbyen. After breakfast and farewell greetings to the expedition team and crew, disembarkation will take place.

Ocean Atlantic

Reykjavik - Hotels

Per person starting at
Category G
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Category G - Single
Size 9-10 m². Cabins feature a single bed, private bathroom, and a porthole. Located on Columbus Deck (Deck 4).
Category F
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Category F
Size 18-21 m². Large Inside Triple Cabin, featuring a double or two single beds, and a fold-out single bed, a relaxing sitting area, and a bathroom with a bathtub, and a porthole. Located on Marco Polo Deck (Deck 5).
Category E
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Category E
Size 18-21 m². Large Inside Cabin, featuring a double or two single beds, a relaxing sitting area, and a bathroom with a bathtub. Located on Marco Polo Deck (Deck 5).
Category D
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Category D
Size 11-12 m². Featuring two single beds, private bathroom, and a porthole. Located on the Columbus Deck (Deck 4).
Category C
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Category C
Size 12-13 m². This Standard Cabin has two single beds, private bathroom, and a window. Located on the Marco Polo Deck (Deck 5).
Category B
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Category B
Size 20-23 m² Featuring a double bed or two single beds, a sofa bed that enables triple accommodation, a relaxing sitting area, private bathroom and windows. Partly obstructed view. Located on the Magellan and Hudson Deck (Deck 7 & 8).
Category A
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Category A
Size 19-24 m². Featuring a double bed or two single beds, a relaxing sitting area, a private bathroom, and windows. Located on the Marco Polo Deck (Deck 5).
Premium Suite
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Premium Suite
Size 35 m². These 2-room suites are designed with a large double bed or two twin beds, an elegant living room, a large private bathroom, and windows. Located on the Marco Polo Deck (Deck 5).


  • 8-days´ cruise with accommodation in a shared outside double cabin with private facilities
  • All Zodiac landings and excursions as per itinerary
  • Rubber boot rental
  • Guiding and lectures by our expedition leader and team
  • Near-shore guided walks in towns and settlements
  • English-speaking expedition team
  • Full board on the ship - breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon snacks
  • Free tea and coffee 24 hours’ daily
  • Taxes
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
Justin Chappelle

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