A Circumnavigation of Iceland

National Geographic Explorer Cruise Ship
National Geographic Explorer
148 Passengers

Iceland’s geology in all its manifestations––glaciers, thundering waterfalls, immense cliffs, geothermal springs, boiling mud pots, and rock and lava-scapes of unearthly beauty––is world-class. It alone makes a circumnavigation a very compelling idea. And when you add in the other itinerary components––Iceland’s people, their unique cultural heritage and contemporary character, the island’s geography and birdlife––seeing it all in one 360º expedition is irresistible.

There’s one place on Earth where geology is so exciting, it’s downright sexy, even if you’re not a geologist: Iceland. Geologically young, Iceland is located on both the Iceland hotspot and the Mid-Atlantic Ridge––which means it is highly geologically active with many volcanoes––hundreds of them, in fact. Most famously, the volcano in Eyjafjallajökull erupted in 2010. On this unique 360º itinerary you will:

• Experience all of Iceland’s geological manifestations: glaciers, geysers, thundering waterfalls, immense cliffs, geothermal springs, boiling mud pots and rock- and lava-scapes of unearthly beauty
• Meet Iceland’s people, learn about their unique cultural heritage and contemporary character
• Actively explore Iceland’s wild western coast; Siglutjörout in the north; the rarely-visited rugged east coast; and the Westman islands, one of the planet’s youngest archipelagos
• Enjoy superlative photo ops and on-board photo assistance
• Travel with an expert team on a holistic, narrative voyage

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Home/Fly To Reykjavik, Iceland
Day 2 Reykjavik/Embark
Day 3 Flatey Island/Látrabjarg
Day 4 Exploring Northwestern Iceland
Day 5 Ísafjördur
Day 6 Siglufjordur and Akureyri
Day 7 Lake Mývatn and Húsavík
Day 8 Exploring Northeast Iceland
Day 9 Djúpivogur, Iceland
Day 10 Islands of Heimaey & Surtsey, Westman Islands
Day 11 Reykjavik/Disembark/Home

Day 1 — U.S./Fly To Reykjavik, Iceland

Depart on an overnight flight to Reykjavik (flight not included).

Day 2 — Reykjavik/Embark

Arrive in Reykjavik, 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 Hallgrimskirkja 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 3 — Flatey Island/Látrabjarg

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 4 — Exploring Northwestern Iceland

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 Ísafjarðardjúp and land at Vigur Island to visit the Eider Farm and view the down cleaning process.

Day 5 — Ísafjördur

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 6 — Siglufjordur and Akureyri

Siglufjördur was the center of Iceland’s once-thriving herring industry. We 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 7 — Lake Mývatn and Húsavík

Begin the day by visiting an unforgettable sight: Goðafoss, the waterfall of the gods. Next, drive to Mývatn, the most geologically active area in Iceland. This is world-class field 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 we 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 we 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 8 — Exploring Northeast Iceland

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 we may have a Zodiac cruise to view the beautiful stacks near Raudanes. We will keep it flexible to be able to choose the best option for the day.

Day 9 — Djúpivogur, Iceland

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. Perhaps go by 4x4 vehicle to visit some of the secluded valley and remote waterfalls in the countryside around Djúpivogur.

Day 10 — Islands of Heimaey and 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 we see as we cruise past the coast. In 1973, Heimaey was threatened by lava flows that nearly closed off its harbor. We visit the crater, where the earth is still hot, and have amazing views of areas that had been engulfed by lava.

Day 11 — Reykjavik/Disembark/Home

Today we complete our 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.

Note: Flexibility is a hallmark of our expeditions, and often the day-by-day itinerary will change as we take advantage of rare wildlife sightings or photographers linger ashore through the golden hour of light. Extraordinary adventure is a guarantee. 

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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Rates Arctic 2018
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Cat SB Solo
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Photography
$6,990Full$7,590Full$7,870Full$8,540Full$10,090Full$12,110Full$13,950Full$9,490Full$9,840Full 
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Rates Arctic 2019
Cat 1
Cat 2
Cat 3
Cat 4
Cat 5
Cat 6
Cat 7
Cat SA Solo
Cat SB Solo
Charter
Air
Photography
$17,840 $18,880 $19,880 $21,370 $24,660 $29,000Full$33,400Full$23,600 $24,850 $400 
Photography
$10,740 $11,480 $11,980 $12,690 $16,100 $17,600Full$20,100 $14,350 $14,970 $800 
Photography
$10,740 $11,480 $11,980 $12,690 $16,100 $17,600 $20,100 $14,350 $14,970 $800 
Photography
$10,740 $11,480 $11,980 $12,690 $16,100 $17,600 $20,100 $14,350 $14,970 $800 
Photography
$10,740 $11,480 $11,980 $12,690 $16,100 $17,600 $20,100 $14,350 $14,970 $800 
Photography
Free Charter Air Oslo/ Longyearbyen
$15,990 $16,970 $17,740 $18,990 $21,990 $25,610 $29,470 $21,220 $22,180 $400$0
Photography
$10,990 $12,360 $12,850 $14,690 $15,990 $19,150 $22,200 $15,450 $16,070  
Photography
$10,990 $12,360 $12,850 $14,690 $15,990 $19,150 $22,200 $15,450 $16,070  
Photography
$10,990 $12,360 $12,850 $14,690 $15,990 $19,150 $22,200 $15,450 $16,070  
Photography
$10,990 $12,360 $12,850 $14,690 $15,990 $19,150 $22,200 $15,450 $16,070  
Photography
Charter air: Reykjavík/Kangerlussuaq/Reykjavík
$16,790 $17,990 $18,720 $20,100 $24,240 $27,950 $32,400 $22,490 $23,400 $1,520 
Photography
$9,520 $10,070 $10,440 $11,100 $13,080 $14,970 $17,800 $12,590 $13,050  
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Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

Free Bar Tab and Crew Gratuities are included in the listed rates.

Dates shown are USA/USA however international airfare is NOT included in trip price.

Prices are per person, double occupancy unless indicated solo.  All trips may incur a fuel surcharge.

Kayaking is available as an additional activity available to all passengers and arranged onboard free of charge.

Only show rates under
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Please note that availability is updated about once a week.
Per Person USD
Rates Arctic 2020
Cat 1
Cat 2
Cat 3
Cat 4
Cat 5
Cat 6
Cat 7
Cat SA Solo
Cat SB Solo
Charter
Air
Photography
$10,990 $12,360 $12,850 $14,690 $15,990 $19,150 $22,200 $15,450 $16,070  
Photography
$10,990 $12,360 $12,850 $14,690 $15,990 $19,150 $22,200 $15,450 $16,070  
Photography
$10,990 $12,360 $12,850 $14,690 $15,990 $19,150 $22,200 $15,450 $16,070  
Photography
$10,990 $12,360 $12,850 $14,690 $15,990 $19,150 $22,200 $15,450 $16,070  
Photography
Charter air: Reykjavík/Kangerlussuaq/Reykjavík
$16,790 $17,990 $18,720 $20,100 $24,240 $27,950 $32,400 $22,490 $23,400 $1,520 
Photography
$9,520 $10,070 $10,440 $11,100 $13,080 $14,970 $17,800 $12,590 $13,050  
Photography
$9,520 $10,070 $10,440 $11,100 $13,080 $14,970 $17,800 $12,590 $13,050  
No trips meet your criteria. Please increase the budget above to view more results.
Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

Charter air rates subject to change.

Free Bar Tab and Crew Gratuities are included in the listed rates.

Dates shown are USA/USA however international airfare is NOT included in trip price.

Prices are per person, double occupancy unless indicated solo.  All trips may incur a fuel surcharge.

Kayaking is available as an additional activity available to all passengers and arranged onboard free of charge.

National Geographic Explorer Deck Plan