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Iceland Circumnavigation

11 Days FROM AUD 9,700

Overview

Discover the rugged and scenic beauty of Iceland on this incredible voyage. Prepare to be blown-away by a land of dynamic contrasts and indescribable beauty, witness the inspiration of old sagas and tales of mysticism. Explore a unique landscape characterised by volcaones, roaring waterfalls, geothermal beaches and lava fields. Kayak through deep pristine fjords before landing on beaches of jet black sand. uncover the wonders of Vatnajokull, the largest glacier in Europe. This is a truly remarkable experience.

Optional Activities : Photography, Kayaking

Trip Code: ACAEIC

Travel Style: Expedition Cruise

Location: Arctic

Ship: Greg Mortimer

Flights: We offer a range of flight options to meet your cruise. Contact us today to discuss.

CRUISE ITINERARY

Arrive in Reykjavik and make your own way to our group hotel.

Welcome to Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland and starting point of our expedition. After arriving via scheduled commercial flight service, you are free to explore this fascinating city. Reykjavík is home to a wealth of cultural institutions including museums, galleries, and the Hallgrímskirkja church. Leisure possibilities inside the city include parks, gardens, and thermal baths. You can also take advantage of Reykjavík’s wide range of shopping possibilities, excellent dining options, and famous nightlife. Your hotel for the night has been arranged by us and is included in the price of the voyage.

Reykjavik

After breakfast at the hotel, a transfer is included to the pier to board our ship, the Greg Mortimer. Sail into Hvalfjördur, a beautiful fjord just north of Reykjavik with wide areas of flat verdant land along majestic mountains, and beaches cut with creeks. The fjord is approximately 30 kilometres (19 miles) long and five (three miles) kilometres wide. The area is rich in bird life and is home to seals, perfect for Zodiac cruising, kayaking and hikes.

Historically, Hvalfjörður was home to one of the main whaling stations in Iceland, with ships heading out into Faxaflói Bay. It was one of the most important naval stations in the North Atlantic during World War II, when Iceland was occupied by the Allies after the Nazis conquered Denmark. The old whaling station and a war museum can be found in the fjord.

Embarkation & Hvalfjordur

Stykkisholmur is the starting point of our adventures on the Snaefellnes Peninsula, gateway to Snæfellsjökull National Park. One of the defining landmarks in Stykkishólmur are the old houses in the old city centre, some of which were owned by Danish traders.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.
An area of diverse landscapes, 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.

Disembark the ship at approximately 8.30 am to commence today’s full day (7 hours) excursion visiting the following areas:

Arnarstapi was an important trading post in the past and had a much bigger population than it has now. Columnar basalt, ravines and grottoes surround the Arnarstapi pier. There is a large arctic tern colony in the village itself, and a walk along the coastline is a great way to see birds such as kittiwake, arctic tern and fulmar. You will also pass magnificent lava formations. The seaside and the cliffs between Arnastapi and Hellnar were made a Natural Reserve in 1979. A sculpture of Bardur Snaefellsas by Ragnar Kjartansson stands by the beach at Arnarstapi.

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.
En route to Isafjordur, we sail past the immense Látrabjarg cliffs, Iceland’s westernmost point and home to a huge population of razorbills and puffins.

Stykkisholmur & Latrajarg Cliffs

Over the next two days, 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. The region features attractive towns such as Isafjordur, the famous Dynjandi waterfall, and spectacular fjords offering kayaking excursions, hiking trails, and bird-watching.

In true expeditionary style, we keep our itinerary flexible to allow for spontaneity based on weather and sea conditions. We plan to visit Hornstrandir peninsula, 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 seen only by the few adventurers that make their way here.

Westfjords

Picturesque Akureyri is Iceland’s second largest city outside the capital area with a superb snow-capped mountain backdrop. Explore the old town, with its beautifully maintained period houses before heading inland to nearby Mývatn region – an area said to be the most geologically active area in Iceland.

Shore Excursions (choose one of the following):
Option One (up to 9 hours)

The Goðafoss waterfall is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland. In the year 1,000 the Lawspeaker Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði made Christianity the official religion of Iceland. After his conversion, Þorgeir threw his statues of the Norse gods into the waterfall earning the waterfall its name - waterfall of the gods. Námaskarð is well-known for its sulphurous mud springs called solfataras and steam springs called fumaroles. Even though you won’t find any pure spring water in this wonderful geothermal site of Iceland, the beauty of the colourful minerals and the gigantic mud craters are truly impressive. Dettifoss is a waterfall in northeast Iceland and is reputed to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe. The falls are 100 metres / 328 feet wide and have a drop of 44 metres / 144 feet down to the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon.

Option two (up to 7-8 hours)

The Goðafoss waterfall is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland. In the year 1,000 the Lawspeaker Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði made Christianity the official religion of Iceland. After his conversion, Þorgeir threw his statues of the Norse gods into the waterfall earning the waterfall its name - waterfall of the gods.
Dimmuborgir is an area strewn with enormous lava rocks and cliffs. The formation of these extraordinary lava cliffs and pillars are the result of molten lava flowing over a pond in the eruption of Lúdentsborgir and Þrengslaborgir some 2,300 years ago. The most famous of these formations is “The Church”, aptly named, as this is a cave, open at both ends and with a dome-like ceiling.
Námaskarð earns its well-known for its sulphurous mud springs called solfataras and steam springs called fumaroles. Even though you won’t find any pure spring water in this wonderful geothermal site of Iceland, the beauty of the colourful minerals is impressive and the gigantic mud craters are truly impressive.
Mývatn Nature Baths: Drawing on a centuries-old tradition, the tastefully designed complex offers bathers a completely natural experience that begins with a relaxing dip amidst clouds of steam rising up from a fissure deep in the Earth´s surface, and ends with a luxurious swim in a pool of geothermal water drawn from depths of up to 2,500 metres / 8,200 feet.

Both options will end with a transfer to Húsavik, where you can explore the small town at your own leisure before reboarding the ship to sail to Grímsey Island.

Akureyri & Myvatn

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.

Grimsey Island & Husavik

Mjóifjördur (meaning narrow fjord) is an 18 km (11 mile) fjord on Iceland’s east coast length is a little-known gem cherished by locals. Hidden between Nordfjördur and Seydisfjördur mountains that provide shelter and pleasant weather, the fjord is known by locals as an excellent place to soak in the peaceful surroundings and for its spectacular waterfalls – ideal for kayaking and Zodiac cruising.

Mjóifjörður is an exceptionally beautiful, tranquil and remote area with spectacular cliffs, and because of the fjord’s still weather it has lush green hills and exceptionally rich flora lining its shores. It also has the impressive Prestagil (The Priest’s Ravine) and the Hofsárgljúfur Canyon with delightful rivers and waterfalls. If it weren’t for the weekly ferry that comes here once a week in the winter, the local people would be completely isolated. At Asknes are the remains of an old whaling station, the largest in the world at the time, built by the Norwegians around 1900, with over 200 workers. Today, on the way to the tiny village, Brekkuþorp, where only about 20 people live, a shipwreck on the shore acts as a haunting reminder of the town’s whaling past.

Mjoifjordur

Höfn is a lively fishing town with a healthy population of 1,800, and gateway to Vatnajökull National Park – one of the most spectacular and special parts of Iceland, home to Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull - our shore excursion for the day. We’ll visit Skaftafell National Park which was established in 1967, but from 2008 it became part of the larger Vatnajökull National Park, Europe’s second largest after Yugyd Va in Russia.

Inside the national park you can find glacier tongues resting on the green fields of the lowland, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, a glacial lagoon open to the ocean and filled with floating icebergs that wash up on shore and stand gleaming on the black beach, dubbed Diamond beach. The park also boasts colourful mountains and deep valleys, as well as rich birdlife, reindeers and seals.

Vatnajokill National Park

Located off Iceland’s south coast, the Westman Islands (Vestmannaeyjar) 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 a 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 and visit the impressive Eldheimar Museum to learn about the volcanic eruption.
Eruptions are a big part of the history of Westman Islands where there are two volcanoes – one that erupted around 6,000 years ago and of course, 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 Heimaey’s inhabitants to the mainland.

Westman Islands

After breakfast, bid farewell to the expedition team, crew and newfound friends as you disembark in Reykjavik, where the voyage ends. A transfer to downtown Reykjavik or to the airport is included.

Disembarkation in Reykjavik
DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

Pricing & date

Iceland Circumnavigation from AUD 8,245
Departing Ending Duration
02 Jun 2020 12 Jun 2020 11

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES

Photography

Photography

Kayaking

Kayaking

Important Information

  • Cabin accommodation on board Greg Mortimer 
    All meals whilst on board
    All scheduled landings/excursions
    Guiding and lectures by English-speaking expedition leader and team
    All port fees
    All landing fees
    Complimentary polar expedition jacket
    Complimentary boot rental during cruise
    Comprehensive pre-departure info
    One night hotel accommodation in Reykjavik on Day 1
    Transfer from the hotel to pier on Day 2
    Transfer from the pier to downtown Reykjavik or to the airport on Day 11

    Exclusions

    Airfares to and from embarkation/disembarkation city 
    Visa fees (if applicable)
    Travel insurance
    Personal expenses such as laundry, on board communication
    Gratuities for the crew
    Pre or post cruise travel expenses 
    Optional activities 

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request, contact us for more details. 

  • Itinerary subject to change depending on weather and ice conditions. 

  • Departure date, season and availability.

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Sustainability

Chimu Adventures undertakes a number of sustainability measures within its operations including:

1) Only using local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprints. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting.

2) Where possible, using locally owned and operated boutique hotels to maximise the return to the local community.

3) Chimu’s “Pass it on” programme has provided funding to hundreds of local community projects in Latin America. Our aim is to empower local communities, helping them to develop their own infrastructure for the future. Since 2006, we have been working with Kiva (a well-known Non-Governmental Organisation), providing hundreds of loans to local businesses all over South America.

4) In our pre tour information we provide a range of tips and advice on how to minimise your impact on both local environments and communities.

5) Chimu Adventures’ offices also take a number of sustainability measures including carbon offsets for company vehicles and most staff travel. Chimu Adventure’s internal processes are also structures to create a paperless office and to reduce waste. There are also internal programmes to help staff minimise their carbon footprint such as our staff bike purchase assistance plan which encourages office staff to commute to work via bicycle. Currently almost half of our office based staff commute to work via bicycle.