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Puffin, Westman Islands

Iceland Expedition with Seabourn

14-day expedition cruise

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Summary

Short description

Explore Iceland's natural world in-depth aboard the all-new Seabourn Venture

Highlights

  • Travel by SuperJeep from Reykjavik to explore the volcanic wonders of the Golden Circle
  • Enjoy all-inclusive luxury onboard your expedition ship with Seabourn
  • Visit quaint fishing villages in remote Icelandic locations
  • Experience some of the best birdwatching in the world
  • Look out for whales among a host of marine wildlife

In Brief

  • 3 Nights Reykjavík
  • 1 Night Grundarfjörður
  • 1 Night Patreksfjörður
  • 1 Night Skagafjörður
  • 1 Night Siglufjörður
  • 2 Nights Húsavík
  • 1 Night Borgarfjörður
  • 1 Night Eskifjörður
  • 1 Night Papey Island
  • 1 Night Westman islands

About

Recommended for:
Expedition cruise | Natural world | Ocean cruise

Explore Iceland in-depth on this full circumnavigation aboard Seabourn’s custom-built expedition ship – Seabourn Venture. You’ll begin with an included two-night stay in Reykjavik, contrasting the capital’s urban cool with the volcanic wonders of the nearby Golden Circle, which you’ll explore on a full-day SuperJeep experience. The cruise itself then explores Iceland’s small fishing villages, bountiful wildlife, and almost endless array of natural wonders, from geysers and glaciers to plunging waterfalls and geothermal pools. Birdwatchers are sure to get plenty from this voyage, with nearly every port featuring species including puffins, fulmars, skuas and razorbills. Along the way, you’ll be treated to all the luxuries of Seabourn’s all-suite ship, with exceptional dining experiences, hot tubs and infinity pool providing a haven of relaxation after days spent exploring ashore.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
UK to Reykjavik

Depart from home in the UK today and fly to the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik. On arrival, you will be privately transferred to your 4-star central Reykjavik accommodations. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to explore on your own.

Reykjavik was established by Viking settler Ingólfur Arnarson around 870 C.E but remained sparsely populated for many years. Even today, only 200,000 call the city home. Its streets are filled with rich culture, music, history, shopping, and even a buzzing nightlife. You’ll spot the recognisable spire of Hallgrímskirkja Church adorned by the surrounding colourful rooftops along the city’s skyline.

Stay: Central Reykjavik accommodation

Day 2
Golden Circle & Langjökull Glacier

Set off on a full-day SuperJeep tour of the Golden Circle from Reykjavik. This action-packed day travelling by 4WD takes you through many of the Golden Circle’s iconic sights, everything from waterfalls to geysers to the rift-valley home of the world’s first parliament, Thingvellir National Park. Stand where the Viking settlers stood centuries ago, taking in Iceland’s stunning natural phenomena and untold years of history.

The geothermal area of Haukadaluar brings the bright sight of geysers, hot springs, steam vents, and vibrant algae. Watch the dramatic eruption of Strokkur, one of the largest geysers, and enjoy the view of the “Queen of Icelandic Waterfalls,” Gullfoss. Another highlight is the add-on opportunity to snowmobile the Langjökull Glacier, an experience available even at the height of summer. 

Stay: Central Reykjavik accommodation

Meals: B

Day 3
Board Seabourn Venture

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and time at leisure to continue exploring Reykjavik this morning. Later today, you will be privately transferred to the Seabourn Venture to board your cruise. The ship will depart this evening, and you’ll enjoy dinner onboard as you settle in.

Stay: Seabourn Venture

Meals: B D

Day 4
Grundarfjörður

The small fishing village of Grundarfjörður dates to the late 18th-century when French merchants settled here and established and church and a hospital. Today, it retains its charm, with its highly recognisable peak of Mt. Kirkjufell (which translates to ‘church mountain’). During the summer months, a Viking Village is built in the centre of town, and Viking re-enactments take place. In July, the town’s 900 residents decorate their houses in red, blue, yellow, and green for the Á góðri stund town festival, so expect lovely bursts of colour.

Grundarfjörður also provides easy access to Stykkishólmur, Snæfellsbær, and the Snæfellsnes National Park. The surrounding sea is rich with birdlife and marine life all year, making it a haven for wildlife enthusiasts.

Stay: Seabourn Venture

Meals: B L D

Day 5
Patreksfjörður & Dynjandi

The morning brings you to the village of Patreksfjörður, a gateway to the Westfjords Peninsula. Látrabjarg is hailed as one of the best birding spots on the planet. It is home to more than a million birds, including colonies of puffins and around 40% of the world’s nesting razorbills.

While most of Iceland’s beaches are black with volcanic sand, you’ll spy the contrasting red sands of Rauðasandur beach today. Another notable site is the wreck of Iceland’s oldest steel whaling ship, which lies rusting along Patreksfjörður’s shore.

You’ll arrive at the waterfall of Dynjandi late this afternoon. ‘Dynjandi’ directly translates as ‘thunderous’ and, as the largest waterfall in the Westfjords at 100 metres high, you'll see why. It even rivals the famous Gullfoss as a spectacle.

Stay: Seabourn Venture

Meals: B L D

Day 6
Skagafjörður

Spend the day in the charming town of Sauðárkrókur, on the southwest shore of the Skagafjörður Fjord. The old town features lots of stops perfect for a wander: museums, exhibitions, restaurants dishing up local fare, a tasty bakery, and some small shops for those who enjoy a spot of retail therapy.

The surrounding areas are worth a visit as well. To the east, you’ll find Borgarsandur’s black sandy beach, and, just to the south, Áshildarholtsvatn lake is home to a rich variety of birdlife. Keen birdwatchers would also enjoy a visit to the Héraðsvötn River, Miklavatn Lake, or Áshildarholtsvatn Lake.

Stay: Seabourn Venture

Meals: B L D

Day 7
Siglufjörður

Siglufjörður, the northernmost town on the Icelandic mainland, was once the capital of the North Atlantic herring fishing industry. As such, fishing is a huge part of the history here, and many of its sites revolve around this trade. The Síldarminjasafnið Herring Era Museum provides the chance to learn about the modern and traditional herring industry. View a collection of historic vessels and artifacts on display by the people of Siglufjörður that show how herring was salted, processed, and collected.

A stroll along the harbour reveals colourful fishing boats and the steeple of the Lutheran church. The natural beauty of the area is highlighted with high mountains bordering the fjord, dramatic waterfalls, freshwater lakes, the Hólsá river, and volcanic sand beaches. 

Stay: Seabourn Venture

Meals: B L D

Day 8
Grimsey & Húsavik

Your morning is spent on the small island of Grimsey, the only part of Iceland straddling the Arctic Circle. Step across the imaginary line, marked by a spherical stone monument that is moved annually with the Circle’s shifting edge. Sturlunga, one of the Icelandic sagas, mentions a battle here in 1222, and the island’s original Catholic church dated to the 11th-century, though it is no longer there today.

Birdwatchers will once again rejoice at the sight of Atlantic puffins, black-legged kittiwakes, razorbills, and other species nesting in Grimsey’s basalt cliffs. Marine life also abounds here; seals and humpback whales feed in the icy waters surrounding the island. This afternoon, you’ll sail to Húsavik, where the ship will remain docked overnight.

Stay: Seabourn Venture

Meals: B L D

Day 9
Húsavik

Enjoy further explorations of Húsavik today. Curling around the Skjalfardi Bay on Iceland’s northern coast, Husavik was Iceland’s first Norse settlement, founded in 870 AD. Its picturesque church dominates the skyline, the tall steeple greeting you as you arrive here today.

The bay has a terrific reputation for whale-watching, with several species frequenting its waters, and the Whale Museum offers further explorations on this topic. You can also visit museums focussing on the area’s history, ancient boats, and even the history of human exploration, including a monument to astronauts. Outside of Hésavik, you’ll find several beautiful waterfalls as well as the horseshoe-shaped canyon of Asbyrgi. 

Stay: Seabourn Venture

Meals: B L D

Day 10
Borgarfjörður

Borgarfjörður is a fjord and a district in southwestern Iceland, close by Faxaflói bay and covering the coastal land between Reykjavík and the Snӕfellsnes Peninsula. The area is mostly rural, though Borgarnes does provide a centre and Hvanneyri boasts an agricultural university and museum showing the developments of Icelandic farming. There are plenty of natural wonders to see in the area, including stunning lava caves, scenic mountains, multiple waterfalls, and even rivers rich for salmon fishing.

Stay: Seabourn Venture

Meals: B L D

Day 11
Eskifjörður

The village of Eskifjörður was founded as a trading post in 1789 and today thrives as a fishing village. The looming peak of Hólmatindur is regarded by the townsfolk as their own personal landmark, even though the town takes its name from another peak: Mount Eskja. The village’s Maritime Museum traces the history of Eskifjörður and its links to the sea, as does the moving statue to lost mariners on the main road.

Nearby Helgustadaman was once celebrated for the crystalline spar mineral that was mined there. Today you can visit a couple who has spent their lives collecting and cutting Icelandic minerals and crystals. Their collection, displayed in their home, now numbers in the thousands.

Stay: Seabourn Venture

Meals: B L D

Day 12
Papey Island

Venture three miles off Iceland’s coast to Papey Island, the largest in Eastern Iceland. A rock formation called the Castle stand out among the grassy slopes, and rocky cliffs surround most of the island. Sea birds such as guillemots (until mid-summer) and Atlantic puffins (until mid-September) abound, and seals and eider ducks also call this place home during the breeding season.

There is evidence of Norse settlement here even earlier, but the island takes its name from the Irish Celtic word for ‘friar,’ giving us the idea that monks must once have occupied the island. Today, you’ll see a lighthouse, a dwelling, and a small church, complete with a white picket fence and red roof.

Stay: Seabourn Venture

Meals: B L D

Day 13
Westman Islands

Located four miles off the southwest coast of Iceland, Heimaey is the largest of the Westman Islands and is one of the most visually staggering in Iceland. It is ringed by imposing cliffs and home to over eight million Atlantic puffins, more than anywhere else on Earth. Archaeological excavations suggest humans may have lived here as early as the 10th century.

In 1973, the island earned its nickname of ‘Pompeii of the North’ when a volcano erupted, the resulting lava flow destroying half the town. Even the town’s only harbour was blocked by the lava, causing a temporary crisis. Today, a vibrant culture and over 4,000 residents has turned this into a lively place.

Stay: Seabourn Venture

Meals: B L D

Day 14
Reykjavik & Return to UK

Enjoy breakfast onboard prior to disembarkation. Afterwards, you will be privately transferred to the airport for your onward flight back to the UK.

Read about our cruise expert Meriel Lowe's experience aboard Seabourn Venture around Iceland here 

Meals: B

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