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The awesome landscapes of Iceland

Iceland Circumnavigation

Reykjavik - Reykjavik - Example 11 Day Cruise aboard Sylvia Earle
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Explore the "Land of Ice and Fire," where snow-capped mountains tower over glaciers and active volcanoes roar. In one of the most geologically active regions, you can stroll along a black sand beach littered with sparkling bergy bits, uncover geysers, fumaroles, and bubbling mud pools, or explore stunning fjords and impressive waterfalls. Naturalists and historians reveal Iceland beneath the surface to be a land rich in wildlife, culture, and fascinating human history.
Iceland seabirdsWaterfalls in IcelandIcelandAwesome sceneries of IcelandCrater in IcelandThe awesome landscapes of Iceland
Highlights
  • Explore Látrabjarg bird cliffs, the largest seabird cliffs in Europe
  • Visit glaciers, iceberg-speckled glacial lakes, black sand beaches, reindeer and rich birdlife
  • Explore Húsavik, a town known as the Iceland’s whale watching capital
  • Tour Hornstrandir peninsula's deep, dramatic fjords
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive in Reykjavik

Having made your way to Reykjavik, you will be met by a representative of Aurora Expeditions and transferred to our group hotel. Upon arrival, you will be provided with Aurora Expeditions cabin tags for your luggage. Please clearly label the tags with your name and ship cabin number.
Enjoy free time, and in the evening, dine at your leisure (dinner not included). 
Accommodation: Fosshotel Reykjavik Hotel (or similar)

Day 2: Reykjavik | Embark

Ensure your cabin luggage is fitted with cabin tags clearly labelled with your name and cabin number. Your luggage will be collected from your hotel and transferred directly to the port for clearance and delivered to your cabin ahead of your arrival on board. Please keep any valuables or personal items with you throughout the day. 
Explore the main sights of Reykjavik on a half day city tour before transferring to the pier for embarkation. Settle into your cabin before attending our mandatory safety briefings. As the ship pulls away from port, we will gather on the deck and enjoy the thrill of departure as we ‘throw the lines’ to commence our adventure with spectacular views over Reykjavik.
This evening, get to know your fellow expeditioners, expedition team and crew at the Captain’s Welcome Dinner to celebrate the start of a thrilling adventure.

Day 3: tykkisholmur / Snaefellsnes Peninsula / Látrabjarg Cliffs

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
ykkisholmur is the starting point of our adventures on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, gateway Snæfellsjökull National Park. Stykkishólmur is located by Breiðafjörður Bay on the north of Snæfellsnes peninsula and is surrounded by wonderful views of the innumerable islands. One of the defining landmarks in Stykkishólmur are the old houses in the old city centre, some of which were owned by Danish traders, and every year in August there is a Danish town festival in Stykkishólmur called Danskir dagar or Danish days. The oldest house in Stykkishólmur is the Norwegian house, which dates back to 1832. The inhabitants take great pride in preserving the old houses and walking in the centre of town is like walking in another era. 
Snaefellsnes Peninsula is an area of diverse landscapes that is characterised by lava fields and glistening fjords and home to bird-rich Breidafjordur Bay. The area is crowned by the magnificent, ice-capped Snæfellsjökull volcano, a 700,000-year-old dormant subglacial volcano, visible from Reykjavik on a clear day and immortalised in Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth. 
Disembark the ship at approximately 8.30 am to commence today’s full day excursion visiting the following areas:
Arnarstapi was an important trading post in the past and had a much bigger population than it has now. Columnar basalt, ravines and grottoes surround the Arnarstapi pier. There is a large arctic tern colony in the village itself, and a walk along the coastline is a great way to see birds such as kittiwake, Arctic tern and fulmar. You will also pass magnificent lava formations. The seaside and the cliffs between Arnastapi and Hellnar were made a Natural Reserve in 1979. A sculpture of Bardur Snaefellsas by Ragnar Kjartansson stands by the beach at Arnarstapi.
At Bjarnarhöfn you will enjoy a guided tour of the shark museum and have the opportunity to taste the famed cured shark.
Though Grundarfjörður is not the most well-known town in Snæfellsnes, Mount Kirkjufell is certainly one of the most famous mountains in Iceland, if not the world. It is not unusual for photographers from all over the world to make their way to Grundarfjörður for the sole purpose of photographing this unique landmark which has even starred in a number of films. However, there is a lot more on offer in Grundarfjörður than just Mount Kirkjufell. Nature abounds, with vibrant birdlife and spectacular waterfalls. 
En route to Isafjordur, we sail past the immense Látrabjarg cliffs, Iceland’s westernmost point and home to a huge population of razorbills and puffins.

Day 4-5: Westfjords

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Over the next two days, explore the Westfjords region featuring outstanding landscapes with jaw-dropping views of dramatic fjords carved by ancient glaciers, sheer table mountains that plunge into the sea and pristine North Atlantic vegetation. The region features attractive towns such as Isafjordur, the famous Dynjandi waterfall, and spectacular fjords offering kayaking excursions, hiking trails, and bird-watching. 
In genuine expeditionary style, we keep our itinerary flexible to allow for spontaneity. We plan to visit Hornstrandir peninsula, one of Iceland’s remotest and most pristine regions filled with many deep and dramatic fjords, towering bird cliffs, stunning natural beauty and opportunities for wildlife encounters. Enjoy the bountiful silence and magnificent landscapes seen by the few adventurers that make their way here.  

Day 6: Akureyri and Mývatn

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Picturesque Akureyri is Iceland’s second largest city outside the capital area with a superb snow-capped mountain backdrop. Explore the old town, with its beautifully maintained period houses before heading inland to nearby Mývatn region – an area said to be the most geologically active area in Iceland. 

Day 7: Grímsey Island / Húsavik

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located approximately 40 km (25 miles) off the mainland, Grímsey is a verdant grassy island, probably best known for its proximity to the Arctic Circle, which cuts across the island. Many people travel to Grímsey just to say they have stepped across the imaginary line. With a tiny population of approximately 100 inhabitants, it’s a fantastic place for Zodiac cruising, kayaking, and photographing seabirds such as guillemots, gulls and puffins. 
Leaving Grímsey to return closer to the mainland, we spend time scanning the waters of Skjálfandi Bay around Húsavik, a town known as the Iceland’s ‘whale watching capital’, home to up to 24 different whale species, as well as dolphins and 30 variety of birds. The largest animal on earth, the blue whale, has also been spotted in Skjálfandi Bay, and if you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of this magnificent creature as well as others, such as orcas, fin whales and pilot whales.

Day 8-9: Mjóifjördur

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Mjóifjördur (meaning narrow fjord) is an 18 km / 11 mile fjord on Iceland’s east coast length is a little-known gem cherished by locals. Hidden between Nordfjördur and Seydisfjördur mountains that provide shelter and pleasant weather, the fjord is known by locals as an excellent place to soak in the peaceful surroundings and for its spectacular waterfalls – ideal for kayaking and Zodiac cruising. 
Mjóifjörður is an exceptionally beautiful, tranquil and remote area with spectacular cliffs, and because of the fjord's still weather it has lush green hills and exceptionally rich flora lining its shores. It also has the impressive Prestagil (The Priest's Ravine) and the Hofsárgljúfur Canyon with delightful rivers and waterfalls. If it weren’t for the weekly ferry that comes here once a week in the winter, the local people would be completely isolated. At Asknes are the remains of an old whaling station, the largest in the world at the time, built by the Norwegians around 1900, with over 200 hundred workers. Today, on the way to the tiny village, Brekkuþorp, where only about 20 people live, a shipwreck on the shore acts as a haunting reminder of the town’s whaling past. 

Day 10: Westman islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Höfn is a lively fishing town with a healthy population of 1,800, and gateway to Vatnajökull National Park – one of the most spectacular and special parts of Iceland, home to Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull - our shore excursion for the day. We’ll also hike in Skaftafell National Park, which was established in 1967, but from 2008 it became part of the larger Vatnajökull National Park, Europe’s second largest after Yugyd Va in Russia. The park also boasts colourful mountains and deep valleys, as well as rich birdlife, reindeers and seals.
Inside the national park you can find glacier tongues resting on the green fields of the lowland, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, a glacial lagoon filled with floating icebergs that wash up on shore and stand gleaming on the nearby black-sand beach, dubbed Diamond beach. Enjoy an amphibian boat excursion on the lagoon to photograph the icebergs. 

Day 11: Reykjavik | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, bid farewell to the expedition team, crew and newfound friends as you disembark in Reykjavik, where the voyage ends. A transfer is included to your hotel or to Keflavik airport. 
NOTE: At the conclusion of the voyage, we do not recommend booking flights departing Reykjavik prior to 12.00 pm on the day of disembarkation in case there are delays.

Ship/Hotel

Sylvia Earle

Sylvia Earle
Sylvia Earle - Sun Deck
Science center

Reykjavik - Hotels

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$10,195
Sylvia Earle Aurora Stateroom Twin
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Aurora Stateroom Twin
215.27 ft2 - There are two Aurora Stateroom Twin cabins featuring portholes, all with private en-suites. Located on Deck 3, they're close to the mudroom and loading platforms, perfect for adventurers who are looking for a comfortable base that's close to the action. May be converted into a Triple Share cabin with additional bed on request.
Greg Mortimer-Aurora Stateroom Triple
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Aurora Stateroom Triple
22.67m2 (244ft2) - There are two Aurora Stateroom Triple cabins featuring portholes, all with private en-suites. Located on Deck 3, they're close to the mudroom and loading platforms.
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Aurora Stateroom Superior
19.9m2 - 20.8m2(214.2ft2 - 223.9ft2) - Located on Deck 7, the Staterooms feature french balconies, floor to ceiling windows, en-suite bathrooms and a comfortable desk area. Perfect for polar adventurers who travel with plenty of gear.
Greg Mortimer-Balcony Stateroom
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Balcony Stateroom C
19.5m2 - 28.7m2 (209.9ft² - 308.9ft2) - 11 Balcony Stateroom C cabins - most economical, fitted with all the necessities and comfortable for up to 2 people. These cabins are scattered throughout Deck 6.
Greg Mortimer
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Balcony Stateroom B
19.5m2 - 28.7m2 (209.9ft² - 308.9ft2) - 17 Balcony Stateroom B Cabins - standard cabin, many fitted with interconnecting features making them great for families or groups. These cabins are located at the fore and aft of Deck 4 and 6.
Greg Mortimer
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Balcony Stateroom A
19.5m² - 28.7m² (209.9ft² - 308.9ft²)- 23 Balcony Stateroom A cabins - premium cabin, and the most abundant on board. These cabins are located in preferred positions on Deck 4 and 6 which provides easy access between Decks via the internal stairs or elevator.
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Balcony Stateroom Superior
29.2m2 - 35.2m2 (314.3ft2 - 378.9ft2) - Located on Deck 4 and 6, the Staterooms feature floor to ceiling windows, en-suite bathrooms and a comfortable desk area. Some of these rooms are equipped with wheelchair accessible bathrooms.
Junior suite
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Junior Suite
Up to 41.6m2 (447.8ft2)- 4 Junior Suites take in some impressive scenery from their vantage points on Deck 7. When you aren't enjoying a landing, you can relax in the suites' separate lounge area, or just watch the world float by from the private balcony.
Greg Mortimer-Captain's Suite
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Captain’s Suite
43.8m2 (471.5 ft2) - Captain's Suite - the largest of all our rooms, will take you to the polar regions in ultimate style and comfort. Complete with large lounge area, balcony, walk-in wardrobe and en-suite, you'll need to get in early to secure this suite.
Included
  • 9 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 9 Dinners
  • 10 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • Complimentary Parka 
  • Gratuities to Onboard Crew
  • World-class lecture and expedition team
  • Daily activity options including cultural tours, nature walks, and Zodiac cruises
  • Beer, House Wine, and Soft Drinks with Dinner 
  • Educational Lectures and Guiding Services from Expedition Team 
  • Access to Onboard Doctor and Basic Medical Services
  • Port Surcharges, Permits, and Landing Fees
  • Captain's Welcome and Farewell drinks including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Complimentary boot rental is available. However, due to the limited supply of boots available aboard the ship, it is recommended that you bring your own rubber boots for best fit and availability. Youth size boots are not available.
Excluded
  • 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
  • Airport Departure Tax - Airport arrival or departure taxes
  • alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service)
  • Wifi

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
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