The Experience

DAY 1: U.S./Fly To Reykjavik/, Iceland
Depart on an overnight flight to Reykavik.

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. (L,D)

DAY 3: Explore the West Coast of Iceland
National Geographic Explorer navigates Iceland’s wild western frontier, sailing past the immense Latrabjarg 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. Continue to 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. (B,L,D)

DAY 4: Western Fjords
Located in the Western Fjords, is surrounded by water on three sides, sculpted by glaciers. Renowned for its traditional eider down production, it is a picture postcard of traditional Icelandic life and a great place for hiking, kayaking and for spotting eider ducks. (B,L,D)

DAY 5: The North Coast of Iceland
Siglufjordur was the center of Iceland’s once-thriving herring industry. We stop by the Herring Museum for a talk 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. (B,L,D)

DAY 6: Lake Mavatn and Hasavak
Drive to Mavatn, the most geologically active area in Iceland. This is world-class field geology! See the bizarre mud pools at Hverarand so hot they actually bubble. At the Krafla geothermal area see the explosion crater at Viti and continue to an unforgettable sight: Godafoss, the waterfall of the gods. Meet the ship  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. (B,L,D)

DAY 7: Exploring Northeast Iceland
With plenty of rarely-visited coastline, this day is left open to explore Iceland’s rugged east coast. Join our naturalists for a hike or a Zodiac cruise to get a better view of the beautiful stacks at the end of the peninsula. Or, conditions permitting, we may have our first chance to kayak today under the steep cliffs. (B,L,D)

DAY 8: Djapivogur, Iceland
Dock in Djupivogur to explore the vast Vatnajokull ice cap. Via small boat, get up-close and personal with the deep blue icebergs of the large ice lagoon Photo lovers may set off together with the National Geographic photographer. (B,L,D)

DAY 9: 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 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. (B,L,D)

DAY 10: Reykjavik/Disembark/Home
Today we complete our circumnavigation of Iceland, disembarking in Reykjavik/. Stop by the famous Blue Lagoon thermal baths, prior to our flight home. Whether you choose to enjoy the surreal bath and spa facilities or just stroll around the fascinating environs, the Blue Lagoon is unforgettable! (B, L)
Please note: All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.

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