a zodiac boat motors under a rock arch in the ocean in iceland
waterfalls cascade over rocks in iceland
steam rises from a blue lagoon and geothermal hot springs in iceland
a bright red house on a green pasture in iceland while the national geographic explorer ship motors on the sea in the background
several puffins swim in the ocean while two people take photographs in iceland
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Polar Regions Arctic Cruise

A Circumnavigation of Iceland

A Circumnavigation of Iceland, an 11-day expedition aboard the 148-guest National Geographic Explorer, introduces Iceland’s geology in all its world-class manifestations: glaciers, thundering waterfalls, immense cliffs, geothermal springs, boiling mud pots and rock and lava-scapes of unique beauty. These features alone makes a circumnavigation a compelling idea. Add in the other itinerary components—Iceland’s people, their unique cultural heritage and contemporary character, the island’s geography and birdlife—and experiencing all of Iceland in one expedition is irresistible.

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 comprehensive itinerary, actively explore Iceland’s wild western coast; Siglufjordur in the north; the rarely-visited rugged east coast; and the Westman Islands, one of the planet’s youngest archipelagos. See Europe’s largest icecap while traveling with an expert team, including a National Geographic photograher, a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor, a Global Perspective guest speaker, an undersea specialist, a wellness specialist and a video chronicler. 

This Circumnavigation of Iceland cruise allows for off-ship adventures every day—Zodiac cruises, hikes and walks, or kayaks allow for personal encounters with beauty and wildness. You’ll have a choice of activities, plus your choice of naturalists to join—for a moveable feast of personalities, insights and interests, and the option to relax, too. Enjoy the view from the ship’s panoramic glass windows. Or visit the fitness center with its generous views of the ice vistas, or ease into the sauna or a massage in the wellness center.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Arctic cruises.



Itinerary

A Circumnavigation of Iceland Itinerary

This Iceland cruise is an 11-day expedition that introduces Iceland’s geology in all its world-class manifestations and begins and ends in Reykjavik, Iceland.

A Circumnavigation of Iceland cruise route map.
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Day 1
Fly to Reykjavik, Iceland

Depart on an overnight flight to Reykjavík.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

n/a

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Day 2
Embark Reykjavik

Arrive in Reykjavik, the world’s northernmost capital, which lies only a fraction below the Arctic Circle and receives just 4 hours of sunlight in winter and 22 hours of sunlight in summer. Before embarkation, enjoy a guided overview of the old town, including Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral with its 210-foot tower, and learn about Nordic culture at the National Museum where Viking treasures, artifacts and unusual whalebone carvings are on display.

Accommodations

National Geographic Explorer

Meals

lunch, dinner

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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, 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.

Accommodations

National Geographic Explorer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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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 bird-covered cliffs. Enter Ísafjarðardjúp and land at Vigur Island to visit the Eider Farm and view the down cleaning process.

Accommodations

National Geographic Explorer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Ísafjördur

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

Accommodations

National Geographic Explorer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
Siglufjordur & Akureyri

Siglufjördur was the center of Iceland’s once-thriving herring industry. 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.

Accommodations

National Geographic Explorer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 7
Lake Mývatn & Húsavík

Begin the day by visiting an unforgettable sight: Godafoss, the waterfall of the gods. Then 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 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 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 opportunity.

Accommodations

National Geographic Explorer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 8
Exploring Northeast Iceland

With plenty of rarely-visited coastline still to see, this day is left open to explore Iceland’s rugged east coast. Join naturalists for a hike along a stretch of the Langanes Peninsula or take a Zodiac cruise to get a better view of the beautiful stacks near Raudanes. Today will remain flexible to be able to choose the best option for the day.

Accommodations

National Geographic Explorer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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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. Visit tiny Papey island to view some of its myriad nesting seabirds and to see the its charming church, the smallest made of timber in all of Iceland.

Accommodations

National Geographic Explorer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 10
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. Keep an eye out for it while cruising past the coast. In 1973, Heimaey was threatened by lava flows that nearly closed off its harbor. Visit this crater, where the earth is still hot, and have amazing views of areas that had been engulfed by lava.

Accommodations

National Geographic Explorer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 11
Disembark Reykjavik

Today, 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 your flights home.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast, lunch

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

All accommodations aboard ship; meals as indicated; alcoholic beverages (except premium brands); excursions; services of expeditions leader, naturalist staff and expert guides; use of kayaks; entrance fees; all port charges and service taxes; gratuities to ship’s crew.

Exclusions

Air transportation; passport, visa and immigration fees; insurance of any kind; personal items such as internet, laundry, voyage DVD, etc.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $1,500 is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 120 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
180 or more days – $750 of deposit retained (may be applied to future trip by trip operator)
179-120 days – 100% of deposit
119-90 days – 25% of total trip cost
89-60 days – 50% of total trip cost
59-0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

A Circumnavigation of Iceland begins and ends in Reykjavik (KEF). Recommended group flights are available with transfers provided. Flights from the U.S. typically arrive at 6:15am on day 2 and are followed by an included city tour before embarkation at 4:30pm. Disembarkation is at 8am on day 11, followed by included daytime activities. Guests should plan to depart Reykjavik (KEF) at 5pm on day 11. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the ship’s crew can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Adventure activities may include hiking, kayaking, Zodiac excursions, photography, morning yoga and stretching, glacier viewing and wildlife observation.

Room Configuration

In addition to listed Solo cabin rates, select double-occupancy cabins may be available for single occupancy with a single supplement fee. If you would like to share accommodations with another guest of the same gender, we will be happy to try to accommodate you in select cabin categories. This program allows you to pay the per person double-occupancy rate whether or not a roommate is found. Contact AdventureSmith for further details and availability.

Families & Children

Children under the age of 18 are eligible for $500 off the double occupancy rate. Skilled staff members trained with National Geographic Education organize activities that inspire curiosity in young people of all ages. Programming for kids may include activities like photo workshops, journaling, scavenger hunts, Zodiac-driving lessons, hands-on nature and science programming and kid-friendly menu options.

Travel Insurance

Emergency medical evacuation insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum recommended coverage of $100,000 per person. Trip cancellation insurance is optional but highly recommended. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice, weather conditionswildlife encountered and the captain’s discretion. Flexibility is the key to the success of any Arctic expedition.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

See Deals section for details on flexible booking policies.

Jul 11 - Jul 21, 2021
National Geographic Explorer • 11 days
From $11460USD
Per Person
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Jul 24 - Aug 03, 2021
National Geographic Explorer • 11 days
From $11460USD
Per Person
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Aug 02 - Aug 12, 2021
National Geographic Explorer • 11 days
From $11460USD
Per Person
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Accommodation

Learn About the Small Ship on Your Itinerary

Expedition Ship
National Geographic Explorer

The National Geographic Explorer is a state-of-the-art expedition ship accommodating 148 guests in 81 outside cabins. She is fully stabilized, enabling her to navigate polar passages while providing comfort.

Deal

Current Deals on This Trip

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Offer expires December 31st, 2020
Flexible Arctic Cruise Cancellation Available Close To Departure

Book or re-book 2021 Arctic travel aboard the National Geographic fleet with confidence using these risk-free, flexible policy details.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

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A Circumnavigation of Iceland

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