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Traveler photographing the Jokulsarlon Glacier.

A Circumnavigation of Iceland

Iceland - Example 10 Day Cruise aboard National Geographic Explorer
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Iceland’s geology in all its manifestations is world-class: glaciers, thundering waterfalls, immense cliffs, geothermal springs, boiling mud pots, and rock and lava-scapes of unearthly beauty. It alone makes a circumnavigation a very compelling idea. But when you add in components like Iceland’s people, their unique cultural heritage and contemporary character, as well as the island’s geography and birdlife, seeing it all in one 360º expedition is irresistible. Join the National Geographic Explorer on this 10-day Arctic expedition cruise to see the best that Iceland has to offer.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Reykjavik | Embark
Day 2 : Flatey Island | Látrabjarg
Day 3 : Exploring Northwestern Iceland
Day 4 : Ísafjördur
Day 5 : Siglufjördur and Akureyri
Day 6 : Lake Mývatn and Húsavík
Day 7 : Exploring Northeast Iceland
Day 8 : Djúpivogur
Day 9 : Islands of Heimaey & Surtsey, Westman Islands
Day 10 : Reykjavik | Disembark | Home

Highlights

  • Meet Iceland’s people and learn about their cultural heritage
  • Actively explore Iceland's rugged coasts in one 360º expedition
  • Experience all of Iceland’s unique geological manifestations
  • Travel with an expert team on a holistic, narrative voyage

Ship

National Geographic Explorer

Places Visited

  • Arctic
  • Europe
  • Iceland
  • Akureyri
  • Djupivogur
  • Flatey Island
  • Heimaey Island
  • Husavik
  • Isafjordur
  • Latrabjarg
  • Reykjavik

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Traveler photographing the Jokulsarlon Glacier. Women playing herring ladies at the Maritime Museum. The blue lagoon in Iceland A natural arch of basalt in Iceland. Coastal village in the arctic

Day 1 Reykjavik | Embark

Arrive in Reykjavík, the world’s northernmost capital, which lies only a fraction below the Arctic Circle and receives just four hours of sunlight in winter and 22 in summer. Have a guided overview of the Old Town, including Hallgrímskirkja Cathedral with its 210-foot tower, and perhaps shed some light on Nordic culture at the National Museum, with its Viking treasures and artifacts, and unusual whalebone carvings on display. Embark National Geographic Explorer

Day 2 Flatey Island | Látrabjarg

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Explore Iceland’s Western frontier, visiting Flatey Island, a trading post for many centuries, for walks around the charming little hamlet that grew here, and take a Zodiac cruise along the coast. Sail past the immense Látrabjarg cliffs, the westernmost point of Iceland and home to a huge population of razorbills. The cliffs are an area once famous for egg collecting; the men were tied to ropes and lowered like spiders down onto the ledges. 

Day 3 Exploring Northwestern Iceland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Explore the beautiful and peaceful Westfjords region of Iceland. Perhaps take a hike to a remote waterfall or a Zodiac cruise alongside bird-covered cliffs. Enter Ísafjarðardjúp and land at Vigur Island to visit the Eider Farm and view the down cleaning process. 

Day 4 Ísafjördur

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located in the Westfjords, Ísafjördur is surrounded by water on three sides, sculpted by glaciers. Explore by Zodiac and hike ashore to view the local landscape and photograph flowering plants. 

Day 5 Siglufjördur and Akureyri

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Siglufjördur was the center of Iceland’s once-thriving herring industry. You will stop by the Herring Museum for a re-enactment and a tasting. Continue to picturesque Akureyri, backed by snow-capped mountains. Explore the old town, with its beautifully maintained period houses, or visit the botanical garden. 

Day 6 Lake Mývatn and Húsavík

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Begin the day by visiting an unforgettable sight: Godafoss, the waterfall of the gods. Next, drive to Mývatn, the most geologically active area in Iceland. This is world-classifield geology! See the bizarre mud pools at Hverarönd — so hot they actually bubble. At the Krafla geothermal area see the explosion crater at Viti. After lunch ashore, meet the ship in Húsavík, and watch for whales as you sail north to the land of the midnight sun. Take Zodiacs ashore to the tiny island of Grimsey, which lies exactly on the Arctic Circle. Here you will celebrate being officially in the Arctic, in the company of nesting arctic terns, fulmars, and puffins in burrows, all bathing, courting and fishing — another wonderful photo op. 

Day 7 Exploring Northeast Iceland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
With plenty of rarely-visited coastline, this day is left open to explore Iceland's rugged east coast.  Perhaps join our naturalists for a hike  along a stretch of the Langanes Peninsula or you may have a Zodiac cruise to view the beautiful stacks near Raudanes. You can keep it flexible to be able to choose the best option for the day. 

Day 8 Djúpivogur

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Dock in Djúpivogur to explore the vast Vatnajökull icecap. Via small boat, get up-close and personal with the deep blue icebergs of the large ice lagoon of Jökulsárlón.

Day 9 Islands of Heimaey & Surtsey, Westman Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Westman Islands were formed by undersea volcanoes between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago and are among the youngest of the world’s archipelagos. In 1963, the world witnessed on film the birth of its newest island, Surtsey — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — which you will see as you cruise past the coast. In 1973, Heimaey was threatened by lava flows that nearly closed off its harbor. You will visit the crater, where the earth is still hot, and have amazing views of areas that had been engulfed by lava. 

Day 10 Reykjavik | Disembark | Home

  • 1 Breakfast
Today you complete your circumnavigation of Iceland, disembarking in Reykjavík. Choose to visit the famous Blue Lagoon thermal baths or enjoy the hotsprings, geothermal power plant and horse farm prior to flights home. 

National Geographic Explorer

Deals

Complimentary Bar Tab & Gratuities
Complimentary Bar tab and gratuities included on this voyage. Contact us for details.
Valid on all 2019/2020 departures.

Per person starting at
$11,320
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.

Costs Include:
  • All accommodations aboard ships or in hotels per itinerary or similar
  • All meals and nonalcoholic beverages aboard ship
  • Meals on land as indicated
  • Air transportation where indicated as included
  • Shore excursions, sightseeing and entrance fees, special access permits
  • Transfers to and from group flights
  • Use of snorkeling equipment and wet suits
  • Use of kayaks (where available)
  • Gratuities (except to ship’s crew)
  • Taxes and service charges
  • Services of a ship physician on most voyages
  • Services of expedition staff
Not Included:
  • Air transportation 
  • Extensions, passport, visa, immigration fees
  • Scuba diving (where available)
  • Meals not indicated
  • Travel protection plan
  • Items of a personal nature, such as alcoholic beverages, internet access, and laundry
  • Gratuities to ship's crew are at your discretion
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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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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