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Vatnajokull glacier. Largest Icelandic glacier.

A Circumnavigation of Iceland

Reykjavik - Reykjavik - 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.
Stunning Icelandic CountrysidekittiwakesHallgrimskirkja Church in ReykjavikHistoric town of Husavik on the North CoastVatnajokull glacier. Largest Icelandic glacier.
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
Places Visited
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Reykjavik | Embark

Arrive in Reykjavik, the world’s northernmost capital, which lies just below the Arctic Circle. Transfer from the airport and spend the day exploring the sights, sounds, and tastes of this Arctic capital before embarking on the ship in the afternoon.

Day 2: Westfjords

Explore the beautiful and peaceful Westfjords region of Iceland. Perhaps take a hike to a remote waterfall or a Zodiac cruise alongside stunning scenery. Enter Ísafjardardjup and land at Vigur Island to visit the Eider Farm and learn about the down-cleaning process.  

Day 3: Skagafjordur

Skagafjordur is the gateway to north Iceland, known for its glacier rivers, Icelandic horses, and saga history. Take a float trip on the Jokulsa river or visit a historic rural turf farm to understand rural life in Iceland. Or choose to explore Drangey Island and learn about Grettir the Strong and the saga named after him. You'll also have a chance to spot the multitudes of birds that call the island home, such as kittiwakes, shearwaters, and possibly even ravens and gyrfalcons.

Day 4: Siglufjordur

Siglufjordur was the center of Iceland’s once-thriving herring industry. You stop by the Herring Museum for a salting demonstration and a tasting. Enjoy the surroundings of Iceland's northern most mainland settlement by joining the local forestry association for an afternoon of conservation in their local woods.

Day 5: Husavik

Husavik, the site of the first house built in Iceland, is our gateway to the geological exploration of northern Iceland. Depart for a full day overland visiting one of the largest waterfalls in Iceland, Godafoss, as well as the Lake Myvatn area, the most geologically active area in Iceland. Alternatively, enjoy an adventurous journey through Ásbyrgi Canyon, said to be formed from the hoof of Odin, filled with hiking and waterfall exploration, or stay along the coast and take a slower pace to the day with forest bathing, bird watching, and a soak in the GeoSea bath.

Day 6: Grimsey | At Sea

This morning, take Zodiacs ashore to the tiny island of Grimsey, which lies exactly on the Arctic Circle. Here we celebrate being officially in the Arctic, in the company of nesting arctic terns, fulmars, and puffins in burrows. Enjoy an afternoon at sea as you sail around the northern corner of Iceland to start your journey south.

Day 7: Borgarfjordurhofn

Located on the eastern shore of Iceland, Bakkagerdi is well known for its local puffin colony. Walk across boardwalks to witness these colorful symbols of Icelandic wildlife. Once you have your best puffin photos, take an invigorating hike up to the best panoramic view of the fjord or bike along the fjord for an alternative view.

Day 8: Djupivogur

Arrive in Djupivogur and drive down the coast to explore the foot of the vast Vatnajokull icecap and the deep blue icebergs of the large ice lagoon of Jokulsarlon. Alternatively, go by 4x4 vehicle to visit some of the secluded valleys and remote waterfalls in the countryside around Djupivogur or join a hike to the black sand beaches of southern Iceland.

Day 9: Islands of Heimaey & Surtsey, Westman Islands

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 see as you cruise past the coast. In 1973, Heimaey was threatened by lava flows that nearly closed off its harbor. Visit the crater, where the earth is still hot, for amazing views of areas that have been engulfed by lava. 

Day 10: Reykjavik | Disembark | Home

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Today, disembark in Reykjavík and transfer to the airport for flights home. For those with later flights, take a morning excursion and then transfer to the airport for flights home.

Ship/Hotel

National Geographic Explorer

National Geographic Explorer's dining room.
Relax in the luxurious sauna aboard the National Geographic Explorer.
Relax in the National Geographic Explorer's lounge.

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$11,285 2-3 travelers
Rates are subject to change without notice. Book early to get the best rate.
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.
Included
  • 9 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 9 Dinners
  • 9 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Assistance by the onboard National Geographic Photography Expert
  • Access to the OM System Photo Gear Locker with the latest gear to try out on loan (aboard Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic fleet) 
  • Beer, wine, cocktails, and spirits are available aboard the ship. Additionally, a selection of super premium wines and liquors is offered for purchase.
  • Crew gratuities
  • Complimentary Starlink-enabled Wi-Fi internet is available to all guests aboard Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic fleet, enabling email, messaging, and social media.
  • Park and site entrance fees, special access permits, and port taxes
  • Excursions, hotels, and airport transfers, as indicated in the itinerary 
  • Selection of exploration tools curated to your destination, such as Zodiacs and glass-bottom boats, stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, snorkeling equipment (including wetsuits, masks, and fins), and other state-of-the-art gear
  • Guidance and company of leading expedition staff
  • All meals as indicated in the itinerary, both aboard and onshore. Meals are inspired by regional cuisine and locally sourced where possible
  • Hors d’oeuvres inspired by regional cuisine and locally sourced where possible
  • 24-hour access to snacks, premium coffees and teas, non-alcoholic beverages, and filtered water
  • Presentations on your destination by expedition staff and expert guest speakers
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to fill at onboard water refill stations
  • The services of a physician, physician’s assistant, nurse practitioner, or paramedic  where available
  • Morning stretch classes and 24-hour access to exercise equipment where available
  • 24-hour access to lounges, observation decks, library stocked with regionally relevant literature, and other shared spaces 
  • Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic certified photo instructor
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Laundry, spa treatments, scuba diving, Wi-Fi and phone services (except when indicated as included)
  • We strongly recommend our guests to take Travel Protection Plan. A Plan with comprehensive coverage to protect you from cancellation fees, costs incurred due to trip delays/interruption, damaged or lost baggage, medical assistance, and evacuation during your travels
  • Airfare (except flights when indicated as included), pre- and post-expedition extensions, additional hotel nights, and private transfers (except when indicated as included)
  • Travel protection plans and passport, visa, and immigration fees 
  • Enhanced and premium Wi-Fi plans, which may enable video chat, web browsing, and streaming (connectivity permitting)

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