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Discover ancient cultures of the Orkney islands

Legendary Northern Isles: Scotland, Faroes, & Iceland

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard National Geographic Explorer
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Sail beneath the midnight sun, overseas steeped in Norse mythology, and along the route of the boldest Vikings who ventured west. Meet the welcoming islanders who call the scenic Faroes home—Danes by nationality and Viking by blood. See the graves of their Viking ancestors and explore their tiny towns of turf-roofed homes. On Scotland’s outlying isles you’ll discover a 5,000-year-old village and see the mysterious standing stones of the Ring of Brodgar. And in the west, on a near circumnavigation of Iceland, see this geologically roiling land just as the Vikings must-have, from thundering waterfalls and boiling springs to islands so young the earth still steams.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Bergen, Norway | Embark
Day 2 : Orkney Islands, Scotland
Day 3 : Shetland Islands
Days 4-6 : The Faroe Island Archipelago
Day 7 : Djúpivogur, Iceland
Day 8 : At Sea | Grimsey
Day 9 : Lake Mývatn | Akureyri
Day 10 : Western Iceland
Day 11 : Surtsey & Heimaey, Westman Islands
Day 12 : Reykjavík, Iceland | Disembark

Highlights

  • Go back in time at Skara Brae, a 5,000-year-old stone-slab village
  • See the mysterious standing stones of the Ring of Brodgar
  • Walk with a historian through Jarlshof archaeological site
  • Observe incredible birdlife—massive puffin colonies in the Faroes & Grimsey

Ship

National Geographic Explorer

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

A market in Bryggen, Bergen, Norway Discover ancient cultures of the Orkney islands Visit Neolithic sites of the Orkney islands The night lights of Akureyri The breathtaking scenery of Iceland
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Day 1 Bergen, Norway | Embark

Bergen is one of the major cities of the powerful Hanseatic League. Hansa merchants operated in the historic Bryggens Wharf area, filled with wooden buildings from the Middle Ages.

Day 2 Orkney Islands, Scotland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy a morning at sea, then see the standing stones at the Ring of Brodgar and the stone slab village of Skara Brae. Step into the past at the red sandstone cathedral of St. Magnus, built in 1137. 

Day 3 Shetland Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The ship glides past the towering bird cliffs of Noss for views of murres and kittiwakes. Visit the Jarlshof archaeological site, a prehistoric and Norse settlement continuously inhabited for more than 4,000 years, and see the famous Shetland ponies.

Day 4-6 The Faroe Island Archipelago

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
The rugged Faroese are proud of their Viking ancestry, reflected in their ancient language and love of the sea. We will explore the archipelago with possible stops: in Tórshavn, wooden boats bob at anchor in the harbor and harken back to Viking times; visit the natural history museum and the Kirkjubøur archaeological site, a medieval farming, and religious center; see the incredible bird cliffs and scenic landscapes of northern Streymoy, at the cliffs of Vestmanna. 

Day 7 Djúpivogur, Iceland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Dock in Djúpivogur and drive down the coast to explore the vast Vatnajökull icecap and the deep blue icebergs of the large ice lagoon of Jökulsárlón. Alternatively, go by 4x4 vehicle to visit some of the secluded valleys and remote waterfalls in the countryside around Djúpivogur or visit a local farm to meet the families living in rural Iceland.

Day 8 At Sea | Grimsey

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy a morning at sea as you sail northward to the land of the midnight sun, going ashore in the evening at the tiny island of Grimsey. Home to nesting sea birds, it lies exactly on the Arctic Circle.

Day 9 Lake Mývatn | Akureyri

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Drive to Lake Mývatn, the most geologically active area in Iceland. See the mud pools at Hverarond and the unforgettable sight of Goðafoss, the waterfall of the gods. Visit the explosion crater at Viti. Drive to Akureyri with its beautiful period houses, backed by snow-capped mountains.

Day 10 Western Iceland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Cruise past the immense Látrabjarg cliffs, the westernmost point of Iceland and home to a huge population of razorbills. Continue to Flatey Island, a trading post for many centuries. Walk around the charming hamlet that grew here.

Day 11 Surtsey & Heimaey, Westman Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Westman Islands were formed by undersea volcanoes and are among the youngest of the world’s archipelagos. Surtsey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was created in 1963 and 10 years later, Heimaey was threatened by lava flows that nearly closed off its harbor. Visit the crater where the earth is still hot and see areas that were engulfed by lava.

Day 12 Reykjavík, Iceland | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Today you disembark in Reykjavík with options to visit either the famous Blue Lagoon thermal baths or the hot springs, geothermal power plant and a horse farm, prior to your flight home. 
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National Geographic Explorer

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Per person starting at
$11,890
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.

Cost Includes Accommodations; meals indicated; excursions; services of Lindblad Expeditions’ Leader, Naturalist staff and expert guides; use of kayaks, entrance fees; all port charges and service taxes; bar tab and gratuities to ship’s crew.

Cost Not Included: Air transportation; personal items such as emails, laundry, voyage DVD, etc.
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