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Sylvia Earle - 126 Guests

Iceland Circumnavigation

Explore the "Land of Ice and Fire" where snow-capped peaks rise above glaciers and active volcanoes rumble. Walk along a black sand beach strewn with glittering bergy bits and discover  geysers and fumaroles and bubbling mud pools, or 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.

Important Note:  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.



 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Keep watch for blows, breaching and tail flukes as we whale watch 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

DATES / RATES

Rates are listed per person
Start DateEnd DateFrom EURFrom USD
Jun 04, 2023Jun 14, 20239,835 10,195
May 21, 2024May 31, 202410,510 10,895
Rates are listed per person
Start DateEnd DateFrom EURFrom USD
Jun 04, 2023Jun 14, 20239,835 10,195
May 21, 2024May 31, 202410,510 10,895


ITINERARY

Day 1 Arrive Reykjavik
Having made your way to Reykjavik, you will be met by a representative of Aurora Expeditions and transferred to our group hotel. Upon arrival at your included hotel, please visit the Aurora Expeditions hospitality desk to collect your luggage cabin tags and to speak with our ground operations team, who may have information to share with you about pre-embarkation or to provide you with information about where to dine, withdraw cash or purchase last minute items from a local pharmacy or supermarket. 

The remainder of your time is at leisure. All meals today are at your own expense.

Accommodation: Fosshotel Reykjavik Hotel (or similar)

Day 2 Embarkation Day
This morning, please ensure your cabin luggage is fitted with cabin tags clearly labelled with your name and cabin number. Your luggage will be collected from your hotel and transferred directly to the port for clearance and delivered to your cabin ahead of your arrival on board. Please keep any valuables or personal items with you throughout the day.

Explore the main sights of Reykjavik on a half day city tour before transferring to the pier for embarkation. Settle into your cabin before attending our mandatory safety briefings. As the ship pulls away from port, we will gather on the deck and enjoy the thrill of departure as we ‘throw the lines’ to commence our adventure with spectacular views over Reykjavik.

This evening, get to know your fellow expeditioners, expedition team and crew at the Captain’s Welcome Dinner to celebrate the start of a thrilling adventure.

Day 3 Stykkisholmur / Snaefellsnes Peninsula
Stykkisholmur is the starting point of our adventures on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, gateway Snæfellsjökull National Park. Stykkishólmur is located by Breiðafjörður Bay on the north of Snæfellsnes peninsula and is surrounded by wonderful views of the innumerable islands. One of the defining landmarks in Stykkishólmur are the old houses in the old city centre, some of which were owned by Danish traders, and every year in August there is a Danish town festival in Stykkishólmur called Danskir dagar or Danish days. The oldest house in Stykkishólmur is the Norwegian house, which dates back to 1832. The inhabitants take great pride in preserving the old houses and walking in the centre of town is like walking in another era.

Snaefellsnes Peninsula is an area of diverse landscapes that is 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, a 700,000-year-old dormant subglacial volcano, visible from Reykjavik on a clear day and immortalised in Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth.

At Bjarnarhöfn you will enjoy a guided tour of the shark museum and have the opportunity to taste cured shark.

Though Grundarfjörður is not the most well-known town in Snæfellsnes, Mount Kirkjufell is certainly one of the most famous mountains in Iceland, if not the world. It is not unusual for photographers from all over the world to make their way to Grundarfjörður for the sole purpose of photographing this unique landmark which has even starred in a number of films. However, there is a lot more on offer in Grundarfjörður than just Mount Kirkjufell. Nature abounds, with vibrant birdlife and spectacular waterfalls.

Days 4-6 Westfjords
Over the next three days, we 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.

In genuine expeditionary style, we keep our itinerary flexible to allow for spontaneity. There are countless fjords to explore in the region. Your experienced expedition team will determine the day-by-day itinerary based on the unpredictable weather conditions of the region.

Hornstrandir peninsula is located here and is 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. Enjoy the bountiful silence and magnificent landscapes as we sail past this stunning region seen by the few adventurers that make their way here. 

At Patreksfjordur, a shore excursion by coach takes us to Latrabjarg cliffs. As Europe’s largest bird cliff, Latrabjarg is home to millions of seabirds, such as puffin, razorbill, fulmar and guillemot. Enjoy the impressive variety of natural wonders and unspoiled nature. Latrabjarg also happens to be the westernmost point in Europe, east coast of the North American continent on the other side of the Atlantic.

We might visit places such as Isafjordur and Djupavik, where kayakers can paddle in the peaceful waters surrounded by towering mountains while others can enjoy walks and hikes of varying levels of difficulty, soaking in the stunning surrounds including impressive waterfalls and deep fjords. You might sample some local delicacies or perhaps visit an abandoned herring museum converted into an exhibition and gallery space.

Day 7 Grímsey Island
Located approximately 40 km (25 miles) off the mainland, Grímsey is a verdant grassy island, probably best known for its proximity to the Arctic Circle, which cuts across the island. Many people travel to Grímsey just to say they have stepped across the imaginary line. With a tiny population of approximately 100 inhabitants, it’s a fantastic place for Zodiac cruising, kayaking, and photographing seabirds such as guillemots, gulls and puffins.

Leaving Grímsey to return closer to the mainland, we spend time scanning the waters of Skjálfandi Bay around Húsavik, a town known as the Iceland’s ‘whale watching capital’, home to up to 24 different whale species, as well as dolphins and 30 variety of birds. The largest animal on earth, the blue whale, has also been spotted in Skjálfandi Bay, and if you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of this magnificent creature as well as others, such as orcas, fin whales and pilot whales.

Day 8 Hjalteyri
Located near Akureyri, Iceland’s second largest town, Hjalteyri is a small village on the western shores of Eyjafjörður. It was one of the main centres of the herring fishing industry, but these days, you’re more likely to find art than fish in the old herring factory buildings.

Sheltered from big waves, Hjalteyri is an ideal place to enjoy activities such as kayaking, cold-water snorkelling and diving, featuring famous geothermal struts located just offshore. Husavík might be internationally renowned as Iceland’s whale-watching capital, but locals believe that Hjalteyri is North Iceland’s hidden gems. Enjoy a fantastic day of adventure and exploration, but try not to tell too many people about this place or you could ruin its charm.

Day 9 Seydisfjördur
We spend some time exploring Seydisfjordur, a picturesque fishing village that is renowned for its charming collection of colourful wooden buildings located around the lagoon. Take a stroll around town and discover the timber houses that are remnants from when the Norwegians settled here and established the herring fishing facilities from 1870-1900. From the valley above the town, the river Fjardara tumbles down in beautiful cascades to the lagoon. There are a number of delightful hiking trails to explore, or alternatively, you can discover a flourishing cultural scene with an arts centre, the famous blue church that stages music concerts and the only two cinemas in the east of Iceland. Back in town, browse the stores where you will discover handicrafts by local artists and artisans – perfect as a souvenir or gift.

As we sail out of the fjord, we stop at Skalanes, a tiny town that features a research centre hosting university students from around the world. Skalanes features stunning cliffs that are home to thousands of seabirds

during the nesting season that you can see on walks or by Zodiac. The area has a large colony of nesting eider ducks and arctic tern. Seals, whales and reindeers are also commonly seen here.

Day 10 Westman Islands
Located off Iceland’s south coast, the Westman Islands 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 and around 30 rocks and skerries offering refuge for rich array of seabirds. Westman Islands are considered to have the largest Atlantic puffin colony in the world, and 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 the population of around 4,200. Ashore on Heimaey, the only inhabited island in the archipelago, we see half-buried houses that remain from a violent 1973 eruption of Eldfell volcano, which you can hike up if you wish. A visit to the weather station offers bird-watching opportunities and splendid views of the surrounding islands. 

Eruptions are a big part of the history of the Westman Island, where there are two volcanoes – one that erupted some 6,000 years ago, and Mount Eldfell that erupted in 1973, forcing all of the island’s inhabitants to evacuate for the mainland. Serendipitously, due to bad weather the day prior to the eruption, all the fishing boats remained in the harbour and were able to help transport the inhabitants of Heimaey to the mainland. You can learn more about the story of the eruption and the aftermath at the fascinating Eldheimar museum, which includes a display of a house that was buried in ash during the eruption.

Day 11 Disembark Reykjavik
During the early morning, we cruise into Reykjavik and disembark at approximately 8.00 am. Farewell your expedition team and fellow passengers as you continue your onward journey. Transfer to Keflavik airport or to your centrally located hotel.

Sylvia Earle (Luxury Expedition, 126-guests)

Due to sail in October 2021 our new ship honours the highly accomplished marine biologist, oceanographer and explorer, Sylvia Earle. As the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and named by Time Magazine as its first Hero for the Planet in 1998 - this vessel pays tribute to Sylvia's long standing conservation efforts for marine protected areas and ocean wildlife. Sylvia Earle will be actively involved in the development of her namesake.

(Click image to view Ship details)

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • All airport transfers mentioned in the itinerary.
  • One night’s hotel accommodation including breakfast, in Reykjavik on Day 1.
  • Half-day tour of Reykjavik on Day 2, prior to embarkation.
  • Onboard accommodation during voyage, including daily cabin service.
  • All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage.
  • Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner.
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell receptions including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages.
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises.
  • Educational lectures and guiding services provided by Expedition Team.
  • Complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consultation).
  • One 3-in-1 waterproof, polar expedition jacket.
  • Complimentary use of Muck Boots during the voyage.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information.
  • Port surcharges, permits and landing fees.
  • Gratuities for ship’s crew and local guides.
Exclusions
  • International or domestic flights – unless specified in the itinerary.
  • Transfers – unless specified in the itinerary.
  • Airport arrival or departure taxes.
  • Passport, visa, reciprocity and vaccination fees and charges.
  • Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges.
  • Hotel accommodation and meals – unless specified in the itinerary.
  • Optional excursions and optional activity surcharges.
  • All items of a personal nature, including but not limited to alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, wi-fi, email or phone charges. 

ADVENTURE OPTIONS
  • Sea Kayaking: USD 1,660 per person
  • Bird watching
  • Lectures on wildlife, our environment, history and destinations
  • Photography
  • Polar plunge
  • Trips ashore
  • Walking
  • Zodiac cruises
  • Whale and mammal spotting

 

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DISCLAIMER: Rates are per person and subject to change.