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The amazing Godafoss Waterfall

In the Wake of Vikings

Example 9 Day Cruise aboard Le Laperouse
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Join Le Laperouse on this fantastic adventure starting in Reykjavik, boasting real cultural riches, particularly in contemporary art. Then discover Heimaey, the only inhabited island in the Westmann Islands, and admire its volcanoes and its almost-desert like landscapes. Visit Seydisfjordur, one of the most picturesque ports in the country and the gateway to a 1250-hectare nature reserve that is home to a multitude of birds. Next reach Kirkwall, the capital of the Orkney Islands off the coast of Scotland, home to sea birds, gannets, shags, gray petrels, and many other animals. Then head to the Shetland Islands and the port of Lerwick. This port is well known because just a few kilometers inland lie the remarkable ruins of Scalloway Castle, built in 1600.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Reykjavik, Iceland | Embark
Day 2 : Reykjavik
Day 3 : Heimaey
Day 4 : Seydisfjordur
Day 5 : At Sea
Day 6 : Portree, Scotland
Day 7 : Kirkwall, Scotland
Day 8 : Lerwick
Day 9 : Bergen, Norway | Disembark

Highlights

  • Visit Bergen and Bryggen, two incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Discover Heimaey Island and its colonies of puffins
  • Explore Portree's lively port and its cultural center on the Isle of Skye
  • Tour the Golden Circle geysers & waterfalls, the most emblematic of Iceland

Ship

Le Laperouse

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

The amazing Godafoss Waterfall The breathtaking scenery of Iceland Broch of Mousa, Scotland Balmoral Castle in Scotland A market in Bryggen, Bergen, Norway

Day 1 Reykjavik, Iceland | Embark

Hafnarfjörður is an attractive harbor city located just a few kilometers from the Icelandic capital, Reykjavik. Arriving by sea, see fishing boats moored in Hafnarfjörður's bays and volcanic rocks. Hafnarfjörður is built on an ancient field of lava flow. In the town center, basalt rocks point you in the direction of the historic houses of Sivertsen and Siggubær: their interiors and period furniture bring old Iceland back to life before your very eyes. Not far from here is a spectacular coastal walk and warm geothermal pools. Board Le Laperouse in the evening and start your adventure.

Day 2 Reykjavik

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Optional Excursions:

Geothermal Landscape and Viking History - Your tour starts from the pier, crossing the picturesque town of Hafnarfjördur. Continue through this surreal lava landscape, along the enchanting Kleifarvatn Lake, with the cairns marking out ancient trails that criss-cross the landscape, onwards towards the Reykjanes peninsula. Next head to Krysuvik, a colorful hot-springs area, which contrasts sharply to the sand and the lava fields of the area. 

Then be guided over the lava-covered Reykjanes peninsula to the outskirts of the little town Njardvik, where you find the newly built Viking museum in which stands "Icelander" (Islendingur), a fully seaworthy replica of an average-sized Viking vessel which would have carried a crew of 70. To commemorate the thousandth anniversary of countrymen navigating to and discover­ing North America, the shipbuilder Gunnar Eggertsson traveled on the "Icelander" to America and back again in the year 2000.

The Golden Circle - This classic excursion encompasses the "Big Three" - Gullfoss, Geysir and Thingvellir. They are collectively known as the Golden Circle and provide a look at some of the scenic wonders for which Iceland is justly renowned. On departing the port, your journey begins with a drive inland to Thingvellir National Park, about 30 miles from Reykjavik. Your visit allows you to experience one of the most outstanding sceneries in the country. Thingvellir ranks at the top of Iceland's tourist attractions. Leaving Thingvellir your tour continues to the Gullfoss waterfall. The "Golden Waterfall" is the most famous of the country's many waterfalls. Here the river Hvita drops 96 feet in two falls, creating an awesome spectacle.

During your next stop at the geyser area, be able to see hissing springs and other geothermal phenomena. The active geyser "Strokkur" projects water every few minutes. Here, amongst these scenic surroundings lunch is served in the Geysir-area. After lunch, and on your way back to the capital, a comfort stop is made at Hveragerdi or at Thrastalundur. Back in Reykjavik, a short stop is made at the Pearl vantage before arriving back at the pier.  

Day 3 Heimaey

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This land seated off the southern coast of Iceland is the largest of the Vestmann islands, and is the only inhabited island in the archipelago. The steep Edfell volcanoes and the green prairies of Herjólfsdalur offer rich contrast of nature. On the Stórhöfði road, look out over gray sand beaches and cliffs carved out by the Arctic Ocean. From here, you can also see the bronze landscapes of the mountaintops. You can visit Eldheimar, an ultra-modern and interactive museum which traces the volcanic eruption experienced in Heimaey in 1973.

Optional Excursions:

Pompeii of the North - Leave from the perfectly formed natural harbor with its tall cliffs inhabited by multitudes of birds. Both the birds and their eggs have been an important source of food for the islanders. From there, drive from the pier into the Herjólfsdalur Valley where ruins of old farmhouses dating back to the settlement can be found. The tour then continues along the scenic western part of the island, providing an opportunity to view the outer islands of the archipelago. The youngest island, "Surtsey", was formed in a volcanic eruption in 1963; it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Your next stop is the site of the largest colony of Atlantic puffins on Stórhöfði; here puffins nest during spring and the early summer months. The tour continues to two volcanoes, the 5000 years old Helgafell, "Holy Mountain", and the considerably younger Eldfell, "Fire Mountain". Stop here and walk to the viewpoint for a panoramic view, about 10 minutes. Then, visit the new Eldheimar - 'Pompeii of the North' Museum where the history and aftermath of the 1973 eruption is explored. After the visit to the museum, head to the notorious Eldfell volcano to continue with your study of the fateful events before returning to your ship.

Circumnavigation of Heimaey - Begin your tour from the harbor that for a long time has been a shelter for the Icelandic fishing fleet but was almost lost in the volcanic eruption on the island in 1973. After 15 minutes of walking, embark a boat to discover the island from the sea. Sail past the cliffs surrounding the harbor to start an interesting and informative journey passing bird colonies with millions of inhabitants and exploring caves that can only be visited by boat. After viewing the island and bird cliffs from every angle, the boat tour (approximately 1 1/2 hours) ends by sailing into Klettshellir (Cliff Cave) where a musical instrument is played on board. The acoustics in the cave provide a sensational experience. From there, return to the harbor.

Day 4 Seydisfjordur

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 5 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 6 Portree, Scotland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Nestling in the crux of a gorgeous bay, Portree reflects the magnificence of the grandiose Isle of Skye as well as being its main town. Apart from the charm of its colorful houses, the town’s outstanding location on the banks of a loch makes it a very pleasant place to be. From its colorful harbour bustling with local craftsmen’s shops, you can take in a stunning view of the surrounding hills. Before trekking through the wilderness and drinking in the natural beauty of the Isle of Skye, check out some of the beautiful images in the Aros Centre.

Optional Excursions: 

Panoramic Isle of Skye - Head north from Portree onto the Trotternish Peninsula. During your scenic tour learn much of the history of the Isle of Skye and its geography and social history - in particular its crofting history. Passing the rock outcrop known as the Old Man of Storr, journey north to Kilt Rock - a 200-foot-high cliff marked in an almost tartan-like pattern by the rock strata and with a waterfall tumbling sheer to the pebbled shore below.  Enjoy some time here to absorb the scenery and take photographs.

Continuing your journey north, pass the crofting township of Staffin which overlooks the sandy Staffin Bay and drive around the northern tip of the island, hearing more of the myths and legends of Skye. On arrival at the settlement of Kilmuir your guide gives you a brief talk outside the thatched cottages, then continue on to the Graveyard to Flora McDonald's (Bonnie Prince Charlie's fame) grave. Continue through Uig and back to Portree.

Dunvegan Castle & Scenic Skye - This tour takes you across the wonderful landscape of Skye to visit the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland - Dunvegan Castle, stronghold of the Chiefs of Clan MacLeod. Explore this beautiful Highland estate, with its own gardens, woodland, burns and sea loch. From Portree, journey west across the island of Skye towards the Dunvegan Estate. The road weaves through the wonderful landscape, around Loch Snizort, and past Loch Greshornish before arriving at the famous Dunvegan Castle. The Castle Gardens were originally laid out in the 18th century and offer paths through woodland glades, shimmering pools, and burns fed by cascading waterfalls. Views are amongst the finest in Scotland, with Loch Dunegan and the Black Cuillins as a back-drop. Abundant flora and fauna, including seals in the loch, otters, red deer, a multitude of sea birds, and eagles are also commonly spotted - especially the golden eagle, and more recently, the rare, white-tailed sea eagle. On leaving Dunvegan Estate, return via the scenic southern route which follows the coast, past more sea lochs, and eventually arrive at the ship at Portree.

Day 7 Kirkwall, Scotland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Capital of the Orkney archipelago, Kirkwall, which means “church bay”, is an ideal stopover before continuing on to the Northern Isles. Sheltered in a wide bay, the lively town welcomes the visitor with its charming paved alleyways edged by old houses and craft shops. Tankerness House, the oldest homestead in the town, is a must-see landmark. But the true architectural treasure of the aptly named Kirkwall is none other than its remarkable red and gold stone cathedral. And because whisky is inseparable from Scotland’s identity, stop at the Highland Park Distillery for a highly instructive visit.

Optional Excursions:

Heritage & War Relics from the Orkneys - This excursion explores the southern side of the Orkney Islands, notably the awe-inspiring scenery of this part of the Mainland with its fascinating ruins dating back to the Second World War. Leave the port at Kirkwall and head south on a road which links the main island to the small southern isles. This road was built to restrict access to the Scapa Flow Bay. 

Highland Park Distillery is the northernmost of the Scottish whisky distillers and overlooks the town and Scapa Bay. Have a chance to taste this famous Scottish whisky before returning to Kirkwall for some free time to enjoy this pretty town, dominated by the magnificent 12th-century, red sandstone Cathedral of St Magnus. Known locally as the 'Light of the North', it is the finest medieval building in northern Scotland. Nearby there are many narrow, winding streets and lanes, which have hardly been altered over the centuries. From here return to the ship at the quayside.

Orkney's Archaeological Wonders - During this scenic circular tour, explore the beautiful West Mainland of Orkney, location of one of the greatest concentrations of World Heritage pre-historic sites in Britain. Passing through an area of rich farmland, rolling hills and moorland, fringed by magnificent cliffs, visit the great ceremonial Standing Stones of Stenness and Ring of Brodgar.

Further on, arrive at Skara Brae, the most exciting and best-preserved Neolithic village in Northern Europe. Looking across the village, it gives a good idea of how it looked all those centuries ago, and close inspection of the houses gives a unique insight into how our ancient ancestors lived. The hardship of life in Skara Brae can be directly contrasted to Orkney's finest manor house, Skaill House, which is located nearby and constitutes the next stop of your journey through ancient Orkney.  
Finally, return to Kirkwall via Historic Scapa Flow where you can pause to take photos from the coach. Hear stories of dramatic wartime experiences that make this one of the most renowned stretches of water in world.

Day 8 Lerwick

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Optional Excursions: 

Scenic Shetland, Jarlshof & Bird Cliffs - This tour gives you the opportunity to enjoy the unique, picturesque landscape of the Shetland Isles and to visit one of the most impressive archaeological sites in Britain. The excursion starts with a short tour of Lerwick, capital of the Shetland Isles, and the most northerly town in the British Isles. Founded on the fishing industry and with strong Viking connections, little now remains of the old village of Lerwick - although in the center, and particularly near the harbor, there is still evidence of the stout origins of the town which began to rise in the 17th century. The town is built of stone, with narrow paved streets to give the inhabitants some protection from the fierce winter gales. It has a very unique character not found elsewhere in the world. Then pause for a fine view of the Island of Mousa, on which stands the best-preserved broch (ancient dwelling) in existence. Driving on a short way, come to Hoswick and the Hoswick Visitor Center with its excellent souvenir shop and demonstration of Shetland Weaving.

From Hoswick there is a short drive to the remarkable archaeological site of the Jarlshof Settlement at Sumburgh, on the southern tip of the mainland. Jarlshof presents one of the most interesting remains of early human habitation, not only in Shetland, but the whole of Scotland. Departing Jarlshof, make your way along the coast to the Sumburgh Head bird cliff, situated at the southern tip of mainland Shetland. Sumburgh Head holds a colony of about 5000 birds, all breeding in the steep grassy banks and cliffs leading up to the lighthouse, and provides the perfect location for viewing puffins.

Day 9 Bergen, Norway | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Located at the end of Byfjord, Bergen was the capital of Norway in the 12th and 13th centuries and has preserved some very beautiful monuments from the time when it was home to royalty. Wandering through Bergen’s streets means going back in time in search of the hidden treasures that have been listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. A veritable open-air museum, Bergen is home to a thriving artistic community of painters, potters, and jewelers. The Bergen cable car offers you a splendid panorama over the port and the surrounding fjords. Do not miss the visit to the old quarter with its narrow streets, a testimony of the power of the Hanseatic League that controlled trade in Northern Europe at the end of the Middle Ages. Disembark after breakfast and be transferred to the airport to catch your flight to Paris. 

Le Laperouse

Per person starting at
$5,080
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Deluxe Stateroom
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² Private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 4
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 5
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
Area: 19 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 4m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Deluxe Suite
Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 6m² private balcony
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Prestige Suite Deck 5
8m² private balcony King-size bed or twin beds
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Prestige Suite Deck 6
8m² private balcony King-size bed or twin beds
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Privilege Suite
Area: 32 m² Capacity: up to 4 passengers per cabin 8m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Grand Deluxe Suite
Area: 45 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 30m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds
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Owner's Suite
Area: 45 m² Capacity: up to 2 passengers per cabin 30m² private balcony; King-size bed or twin beds

Notes

Please Note:
Fares are based on double occupancy and are capacity controlled. Rates may increase at any time as the ship sells out and subject to change without notice.

Please Note: Optional Excursions are NOT included in the price. Please contact us for details.

Cruise fares are per person and include the following:
  • All meals while on board the ship 
  • Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • Evening entertainment and events
  • 24h room service (special selection)
  • English-speaking lecturer 
  • Water sports activities (except scuba diving) using the ship’s equipment, when permitted by local authorities and confirmed by ship Master according to safety and sea conditions onsite
  • Highly experienced bilingual (French-English) Expedition team 
  • Park entry fees into protected areas
  • Complimentary boot rental on select cruises
Cruise, Flights & Transfers program rates are per person and also include:
  • Flight Bergen/Paris in economy class, on European airlines
  • Meet and Greet by representatives at the destination airport
  • Transfer from the ship and other services before and after the cruise according to detailed programs available upon request 10 months prior departure
Cruise fares do not include:
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned in each “Cruise, Flights & Transfers” package and for which details are available upon request
  • Pre or post cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions mentioned
  • Airport taxes (other than the ones included)
  • Port and safety taxes
  • Visa expenses and/or immigration reciprocity taxes if applicable
  • Luggage handling
  • Gratuities to onboard crew, local guides and drivers
  • Optional Spa package to be booked prior to your departure
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned
  • Laundry services, hair salon and à la carte Spa treatments
  • Personal expenses, on board medical consultations and drug prescriptions
  • Cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s)

Included

  • 8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 8 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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