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The northern lights dance over the Arctic landscape

Northeast Iceland Explorer, Aurora Borealis, Hike & Sail - Incl. Bus back up

Example 7 Day Cruise aboard Rembrandt van Rijn
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Join this 7-day expedition aboard the Rembrandt van Rijn in October. Although this expedition may pose some challenges due to the weather and sea conditions, it presents a unique opportunity to explore the most remote regions of Iceland, with reduced tourism activity. Be prepared for cold winds, rough seas, and early snowfalls. However, clear skies offer an excellent chance to witness the northern lights. Flexible plans ensure that activities are available despite the weather, with options for inland bus excursions when the seas are too rough. Guided hikes are tailored to the group's fitness level and adjusted based on prevailing conditions in visited areas.
The night lights of AkureyriSurfacing Humpback WhalesHistoric town of Husavik on the North CoastEnjoy northern lights on an Arctic cruiseThe northern lights dance over the Arctic landscape
Highlights
  • Explore visually stunning landscapes and small villages in East Iceland
  • Visit Raufarhöfn to see the Arctic Henge monument or Dettifoss waterfall
  • Spot humpback and minke whales while sailing across Skjálfandi Bay
  • Sail to Grimsey Island for a guided walk across the Arctic Circle
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Reykjavik | Akureyri | Embark

A supplemented bus transportation from Reykjavik to Akureyri (about six hours) will be available but has to be booked before the start of the voyage. Embark in Akureyri in the afternoon (16:00) and meet the expedition team on the ship. Conditions allow you to sail to Dalvik (about three hours) or spend the night in the harbor of Akureyri. You may already see the magical northern lights shining overhead during this first night.

Day 2: Into the Arctic Circle

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Plan A: In good weather conditions, you can hope to sail toward the island of Grimsey. The goal is a Zodiac landing and a guided walk across the Arctic Circle, the most northerly of Earth’s five major circles of latitude. A sign on the island marks the coordinates at 66:34° north. You may then stay the night at Grimsey, if conditions allow. If not, you may sail toward the small town of Húsavík, crossing Skjálfandi Bay, where you have a good chance of spotting whales.

Plan B: If Grimsey is not possible due to weather, the vessel must stay in Akureyri. A coach will be available for a day excursion to Mývatn, where you can see volcanoes, waterfalls, and geothermal areas. Hiking will be your focus here. The coach will then return to the vessel in the afternoon.

Day 3: Húsavík, whales, and the high seas

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Plan A: You may enjoy the morning in Húsavík, with ample free time to explore the town and visit the local whale museum (entrance fee not included). Lunch is served on board. In the afternoon, you sail across Skjálfandi Bay, where humpback and minke whales, white-beaked dolphins, and harbor porpoises may appear.

Plan B: If the vessel has to stay in Húsavík for the day due to weather, a coach will be available in the afternoon for an excursion to Tjörnes Peninsula. There, you can observe the local birdlife and impressive geology. You may then move to Ásbyrgi, the unique horseshoe-shaped canyon in Iceland. Your focus will be hiking this ruggedly scenic area. The coach will return to the vessel in Húsavík, where there might be time for a relaxing spa session in outdoor pools heated with geothermal energy (admission fees not included).

Day 4: Northeast Iceland’s hidden gems

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Plan A: In good weather conditions, you may hope to sail around northeast Iceland and get to shore in the small town of Raufarhöfn. The Arctic Henge is within walking distance from town, a well-known Iceland attraction. Still under construction, this monument is intended to be a kind of sundial inspired by Völuspá, a poem from Edda, the medieval Norse mythological text by Snorri Sturluson.

Plan B: You may like to join a bus excursion that will take you to Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe: 200 cubic meters of water surge over its edge every second. Dettifoss is 45 meters (150 feet) high and 100 meters (330 feet) wide. As usual on this expedition, hiking will be your focus. The coach will return to the vessel in the evening.

Day 5: Untouched Austurland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Plan A: Sail from Raufarhöfn to Vopnafjörður. Visually stunning landscapes and small villages characterize Austurland (East Iceland). Nature is all around you, providing the opportunity for great hikes and other activities.

Plan B: A coach will be available to take you on an inland excursion if conditions do not allow for the above plan, and the expedition leader will determine which route to take. Reunite with the vessel in the evening.

Day 6: Around the far east

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Plan A: Today, sail from Vopnafjörður to Seyðisfjörður, and if conditions allow, you may halt at Borgarfjörður Eystri, a treasure of Austurland. This fjord gets its name from Álfaborg, the home of the Icelandic elf queen, so it is fitting that the area offers spectacular scenery. Iceland’s eastern fjords are still untouched by mass tourism. The nearby village of Bakkagerði has fewer than 100 inhabitants, and the harbor is mainly home to small boats for coastal fishing.

Plan B: A coach will be available to take you on an inland excursion. The expedition leader will decide the plan and reunite with the vessel in the evening.

Day 7: The journey ends in Seyðisfjörður | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark in Seyðisfjörður in the morning, taking home memories that will last a lifetime. Bus transport to Egilsstaðir Airport (approx. 45 min.) is available at an extra charge but must be booked before the start of the voyage. You must book the flight from Egilsstaðir to Reykjavik yourself (flight time approx. 1 hour). Alternatively, you can choose your route back to Reykjavik, making stops along the south coast.

Ship/Hotel

Rembrandt van Rijn

Exterior image of the Rembrandt van Rijn.
Relax at the bar aboard the Rembrandt van Rijn.
Lounge area aboard the Rembrandt van Rijn.

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$3,500
Rembrandt van Rijn's Triple Private Porthole Cabin.
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Triple Private Porthole
Main deck, upper and lower berths, private bath facilities and porthole.
Rembrandt van Rijn's Twin Private.
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Twin Private Inside
Lower deck, upper and lower berths, inside cabins with private bath facilities.
Rembrandt van Rijn's Twin Private Porthole.
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Twin Private Porthole
Lower deck, upper and lower berths or two lower berths, private bath facilities and porthole.

Notes

- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy.
- Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the double occupancy rate.
- Children between the ages of 3-15 receive a 40% discount in triple cabins, one child per cabin.
- Due to the extreme nature of itinerary destinations, travel insurance is mandatory for all cruises aboard the Rembrandt Van Rijn - including medical, accident and repatriation/evacuation insurance.
Included
  • 6 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 6 Dinners
  • 6 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • All Miscellaneous Service Taxes and Port Charges Throughout the Program
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.
  • AECO Fees and Governmental Taxes
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Passport and Applicable Visa Expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes
  • Pre- and Post Land Arrangements
  • Fuel Surcharge - to be invoiced separately
  • Meals ashore
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • Medical travel insurance, including emergency medical attention and evacuation coverage with a minimum of $100,000 of evacuation coverage is required.
  • Parkas are not provided on your cruise. Please bring your own windproof, waterproof, insulated parka with you. You will want to make sure it is roomy enough to fit warm layers underneath. Click here for information about parka rental.
  • Admission fees to museums and spas

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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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