Explore the ‘Land of Ice and Fire’ where snow-capped peaks rise above glaciers and active volcanoes rumble. Walk along a black sand beach, discover geysers and fumaroles and bubbling mud pools, explore spectacular fjords and impressive waterfalls, in one of the most geologically active places on earth. Our specialist naturalists and historians will reveal the Iceland below the surface – a land rich in wildlife, culture and fascinating human history.
Upon your arrival at Keflavik International Airport, make your own way or optional coach transfer to the group hotel in Reykjavik and check in for 1 night. FossHotel or similar.
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the pier to board the Greg Mortimer. Sail into Hvalfjördur, a beautiful fjord just north of Reykjavik with wide areas of flat verdant land along majestic mountains, and beaches cut with creeks. The area is rich in bird life and is home to seals, perfect for Zodiac cruising, kayaking and hikes.
Stykkisholmur is the gateway to Snæfellsjökull National Park, an area of diverse landscapes, 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. Disembark the ship to commence today's full day (7hrs) excursion visiting Arnarstapi, Bjarnarhöfn and Grundarfjörður areas. En route to Isafjordur, sail past the immense Látrabjarg cliffs, Iceland's Westernmost point and home to a huge population of razorbills and puffins.
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. 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.
Akureyri is Iceland's second largest city, with a superb snow-capped mountain backdrop. Explore the old town before heading inland to nearby Lake Mývatn region, an area said to be the most geologically active area in Iceland.
Shore Excursions (choose one of the following):
Option 1 (up to 9hrs): Godafoss/Namaskard/Dettifoss/Asbyrgi OR
Option 2 (up to 7-8hrs): Akureyri Public Park and Botanic Garden/Godafoss/Dimmuborgir/Namaskard/Myvatn Nature Baths
Both options will end with a transfer to Husavik, where you can explore the small town at your own leisure before reboarding the ship to sail to Grímsey Island.
Located approximately 40km off the mainland, Grímsey Island is a fantastic place for Zodiac cruising, kayaking, and photographing seabirds such as guillemots, gulls and puffins. Back closer to Húsavik, a town known as the Iceland's ‘whale watching capital' spend time scanning the waters, home to up to 24 whale species and dolphins.
Mjóifjördur is a gem of a fjord on Iceland's east coast cherished by locals. Hidden between Nordfjördur and Seydisfjördur mountains that provide shelter and pleasant weather, the fjord offers spectacular waterfalls and is ideal for kayaking and Zodiac cruising.
Höfn is a lively fishing town and gateway to Vatnajökull National Park, home to Europe's largest glacier, Vatnajökull - our shore excursion for the day. Here you can find incredible glacial lagoons with floating icebergs, the highest peak in Iceland and Jökulsárlón, the deepest lagoon in the country. Visit Skaftafell National Park, part of the larger Vatnajökull National Park. Inside the National Park you can find glacier tongues resting on the green fields of the lowland, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, a glacial lagoon open to the ocean and filled with floating icebergs that wash up on shore and stand gleaming on Diamond Beach. The park also boasts colourful mountains and deep valleys, as well as rich birdlife, reindeers and seals.
Located off Iceland's south coast, the Westman Islands (Vestmannaeyjar) were formed by volcanic eruptions around 10,000 years ago. Sail past Surtsey Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site that emerged from the sea in 1963 and is one the youngest land masses on Earth. Westman Islands are surrounded by 15 other uninhabited islands, plus rocks and skerries offering refuge for rich array of seabirds and the largest Atlantic puffin colony in the world. When sailing around the islands it is not uncommon to see puffins but also whales and seals. Heimaey is the main island in the archipelago and it has a population of around 4,200. Ashore on Heimaey, the only inhabited island in the archipelago, we see half-buried houses that remain from a 1973 eruption and visit the impressive Eldheimar Museum.
Disembark in Reykjavik, where the voyage ends. Group transfer to downtown Reykjavik or Keflavik airport. End of arrangements.
Maximum number of passengers: 126
We do not recommend booking flights departing prior to 12.00pm on the day of disembarkation in case there are delays.
In order to experience some of Iceland's incredible scenery, a number of the shore excursions on this itinerary require overland coach travel away from the coast.
-Keep watch for blows, breaching and tail flukes as we whalewatch in Húsavík
-Explore Látrabjarg bird cliffs, the largest seabird cliffs in Europe
-Visit Vatnajökull National Park, featuring Europe’s largest glacier, iceberg-speckled glacial lakes, black sand beaches, reindeer and rich birdlife
-Discover Mjóifjördur, a hidden gem of a fjord cherished by locals
In true expedition style we encourage exploration and adventure, offering flexibility in challenging environments in a way that puts you among the action to see and do as much as possible. This itinerary is only a guide and subject to change due to ice and weather conditions.
Optional activities: The following activity packages are available on this expedition at an additional cost and may require previous experience - register when booking.
Sea Kayaking in the far-flung corners of the world is an experience guaranteed to refresh your soul. Paddling in small groups, you'll glide between ice floes, brash ice and icebergs dotted with wildlife.
Photography FREE. All expeditions offer fantastic photography experiences. On selected expeditions, a photography expert will offer lectures and presentations
About the vessel, Greg Mortimer
This 104m ship is purpose-built for expeditions to world-class polar standards and capable of negotiating strong winds/waves. Accommodating 100 landing passengers plus kayakers and divers (in the polar regions), with an average of 120 per voyage, the ship is not only bigger to contend with adverse weather conditions, but its added creature comforts make for a more enjoyable journey out on the open ocean.