Iceland Adventure: Circumnavigating the Untamed - 2018

Reykjavík • Stykkisholmur • Isafjördur • Siglufjörður • Grimsey • Akureyri • Husavik • Seydisfjördur • Djupivogur • Westman Islands

  • Thingvellir National Park
  • Gullfoss waterfall
  • SNAEFELLSJÖKULL GLACIER
  • Lake Mývatn

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Iceland, the “Land of Fire and Ice,” has caught fire in the imaginations of travelers discovering the bewitching wilderness and seascapes of an island-nation that is part of Europe, yet closer to the U.S. than continental Europe. More than half the population of the country resides in its capital city, Reykjavik, which you’ll explore in two visits that bookend your voyage. But the rest of the island remains spectacularly unspoiled, with green pastures where horses roam, magnificent fjords hiding tiny fishing villages on their banks, and glaciers beckoning explorers into their shocking blue ice caves. These are landscapes that have inspired epic literature and Viking lore — and we will explore it all on an astonishing adventure that reveals Iceland’s wild coastline from north to south. 

And because we’ll be traveling in a small group, we’ll enjoy personalized attention and invaluable experience from a Vantage Adventure Leader and knowledgeable local guide, who will share their stories and insights with each new discovery. From a swim in the soothing milky waters of the famous Blue Lagoon amidst incredible mountain scenery to an excursion through the "Pompeii of the North," a town buried and preserved in the wake of a violent volcanic eruption, we’ll learn about the heritage and local culture of this unique island. What's more, we'll complement these discoveries with opportunities to walk or hike through incredible vistas every day. Without a doubt, the best way to tour Iceland is with Vantage, on a comprehensive voyage that lets you “see it all” — at the best value in deluxe travel!

Itinerary At A Glance

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DAYS 1-2:

Depart home / Overnight flight / Reykjavík, Iceland

Your Iceland adventure begins on Day 2, after an overnight flight to Reykjavík, the nation’s capital. After breakfast at the hotel, you'll have the rest of the day at leisure to discover this fascinating city at your own pace.

Included Meals:

Breakfast

DAY 3:

Reykjavík

After enjoying breakfast at the hotel, you have a free day in eclectic Reykjavik. What the city lacks in size, it makes up for in culture. Surprising cosmopolitan, Reykjavik is rich with culinary options, from Icelandic fare to international dishes. At night, charming cafes transform into lively bars; the city’s music scene is also quite developed, from local bands performing in bars to festivals filling the streets. You'll also find plenty of artwork to explore, from galleries like the Reykjavik Art Museum to the various public art installations along the waterfront. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast

DAY 4:

Reykjavík

Use your free time today to follow a historic trail through Old Reykjavik or visit the galleries along the Old Harbor. If you’ve gotten your fill of city life, venture past the city limits to admire uninterrupted views of snow-topped mountains, raw fields, and shimmering seas. Active travelers will find plenty of trails perfect for hiking or biking along the dazzling scenery. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast

DAY 5:

Reykjavík / Embark ship

You'll explore the highlights of this fascinating city during a sightseeing tour today, including lunch at a local restaurant. This afternoon, we’ll embark the M/V Ocean Diamond or the M/S Ocean Endeavour (depending on departure date), where you’ll have a chance to settle in before attending a complimentary Welcome Dinner onboard this evening.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6:

Stykkisholmur

Our Icelandic explorations begin in Stykkisholmur on the Snaefellnes Peninsula. Unforgettable Moment: Often called “Iceland in Miniature” because of its diverse landscapes, the area is home to Snaefellsjökull Glacier, which sits atop a 700,000-year-old dormant volcano that was featured in the Jules Verne novel Journey to the Center of the Earth. Your guide will take you up to 4,600 feet (1,400 m) on a Snowcat excursion on this magnificent glacier; if the day is clear, you’ll enjoy fantastic views of the quaint village of Hellissandur and bird-rich Breidafjördur Bay.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7:

Isafjördur

Today‘s destination is Isafjördur, an idyllic town in the Westfjords region. Connected to the Icelandic mainland by only a narrow strip of land, the landscape of this secluded peninsula includes jaw-dropping views of dramatic fjords carved by ancient glaciers, sheer table mountains that plunge into the sea and pristine North Atlantic vegetation. Unforgettable Moment: As we continue through the mountains, we’ll stop to explore the historic village of Thingeyri. With a population of about 260 inhabitants, Thingeyri is both the area‘s first trading post and one of the oldest settlements. We’ll also stop at stop at the thunderous Dynjandi, the highest and most impressive waterfall in the Westfjord region, before returning to the ship this evening. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 8:

Siglufjörður / Grimsey

By morning, we reach the fjord town of Siglufjördur, once the hub of the global herring industry, which is now enjoying a rebirth in popularity. Here, we’ll learn about the golden age of herring during a trip to the award-winning Herring Era Museum. Located on the town’s vibrant harborfront, the Herring Era Museum’s multiple exhibits illustrate the fascinating history of this important industry. Later, we’ll head to uninhabited Grimsey Island, a small island straddling the Arctic Circle. Located about 25 miles (40 km) off the mainland, the island harbors a variety of bird species, including puffins, guillemots and gulls. After returning to the ship this evening, we set sail for Akureyri, Iceland’s second-largest city.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 9:

Akureyri

Another day of remarkable scenery awaits us as we arrive in Akureyri this morning. Ranging inland, we’ll visit the fascinating Lake Myvatn region, an otherworldly national parkland with schizophrenic landscapes that look as if “heaven and hell” have clashed. One side of the lake features rugged volcanic remnants, while the other side is blessed with lush vegetation and varied birdlife. We’ll stop to marvel at Godafoss, meaning “waterfall of the gods” in local lore before exploring the small settlement of Skutustadagígar. Later, we’ll stop at the impressive lava formations of Dimmuborgir, said to resemble a collapsed citadel. In Icelandic folklore, Dimmuborgir is said to connect the earth to the infernal regions. We’ll also visit the Myvatn Nature Baths for a relaxing geothermal bath before heading back to the ship this evening. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 10:

Husavik

In the early morning hours, we steam into Skjalfandi Bay and Húsavík. Often called the “whale-watching capital” of Iceland, this town’s offshore waters are home to 15 different whale species, as well as dolphins and 30 varieties of birds. Make sure your camera batteries are charged for today’s Iceland travel excursion as we set off to spot some of the world’s largest animals: whales. We’ll also pass the island of Lundy, where we’ll have the opportunity to spot thousands of northern seabirds from puffins and black guillemots to fulmars and arctic terns. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 8:

Seydisfjördur

Today finds us in Seydisfjördur, a picturesque port in Iceland’s east fjords nestled between glistening sea and regal mountains. This scenic area is perfect for activities such as seal-spotting, horseback riding, kayaking, and hiking. We’ll travel past jagged mountain peaks and remote farmlands to Stodvarfjordur, where we'll visit the impressive “Stone and Mineral Collection” of Petra María and spend time in her remarkable garden. Then, we’ll head to Reydarfjordur for a visit to the Wartime Museum. Located by an old hospital barracks, this museum shows Icelandic life in the 1940s, the high point of the World War II from both the perspective of the soldiers and habitants of Reydarfjördur village.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 12:

Djupivogur

Our port of call today is Djupivogur, a fishing village in southeast Iceland and the starting point for our glacier excursion. We’ll set sail aboard a specially equipped boat to marvel at the picturesque scenery of the Glacier Lagoon of Jokulsarlon. Although not very wide, the lagoon is up to 750 feet deep which makes it the deepest lake in Iceland. We’ll maneuver between humongous glaciers, including the glistening Breidamerkurjokull, an outlet of Vatnajokull Glacier. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 13:

Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands)

Located off Iceland’s south coast, the Westman Islands were formed by submarine volcanic eruptions 10,000 years ago. Surtsey Island, which emerged from the sea in 1963, is one the youngest land masses on earth. We’ll go ashore on Heimaey, the only inhabited island, where half-buried houses remain from a violent 1973 eruption. Known as the “Pompeii of the North”, the eruption of Eldfell engulfed over 400 buildings in 200 million tons of ash and lava. After exploring this unique landscape on a guided bus tour, we’ll visit the island’s Volcanic Center, where we’ll hear the story of the Heimaey volcanic eruption in 1973, learn about the recent arrival of Surtsey Island, and study the unique geology of the Vestmannaeyjar Islands. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 11:

Reykjavík 

Our Iceland “saga” continues on a ride through the storied countryside leading to Reykjavik, the last stop on our adventure. After breakfast, we’ll disembark the ship to explore some of this capital city’s top attractions. Unforgettable Moment: We’ll take in our spectacular surroundings while basking in the warm, milky-blue waters of the famous Blue Lagoon, the perfect relaxing morning ritual, before venturing out on the Golden Circle to Thingvellir National Park. Renowned for its extraordinary landscapes, this remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site has a rich history that stretches back to the first settlers in Iceland. We’ll also stop to marvel at spectacular Gullfoss Waterfall and the hot springs of the Geysir Geothermal Field during our Golden Circle exploration. Tonight, share your favorite memories with fellow travelers during a Farewell Dinner at the hotel. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 15:

Reykjavík / Return home

Following breakfast at the hotel this morning, transfer to the Reykjavik airport for your flight home.

Included Meals:

Breakfast

Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Adventure Leader or local representatives at the destination.

Please Note: The hotels listed are preliminary and subject to change. Although we contract our hotels a year in advance, unforeseen situations do occasionally occur. Should it be necessary to change a hotel, one of equal quality and value will be substituted. You will receive verified hotel information with your final itinerary. Hotel ratings are based on a leading travel industry authority on hotels throughout the world.

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