Circumnavigation of Iceland

12 days
from
£10,210
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Trip code: 
AIE
Way to Travel:
Voyages
Activity:
Cultural Wonders
Max group size:
135
Min age:
17

An epic voyage encircling “The Land of Midnight Sun” and crossing into the Arctic Circle.

Go beyond any average adventurer and follow in the wake of the ancient Vikings on this grand tour and cruise of Iceland. From the plunging waterfalls and massive seabird colonies to Europe’s largest glacier, volcanoes and a multitude of otherworldly geologic wonders, it’s a nature lover's paradise. Explore Iceland’s fabled Golden Circle and see firsthand the meeting point of the North American and European continental plates. Meet the descendants of Vikings and listen to their mesmerizing legacies and folklore. Search for whales, seals and other marine mammals on zodiac excursions. Cruise past icy giants in the Glacier Lagoon, stroll along black sand beaches, watch dramatic geysers explode into the air, and relax in the rejuvenating waters of the Blue Lagoon.

Led by Ornithologist Brent Stephenson, whose photography appeared on the cover of Jan 2019’s National Geographic, you’ll have the chance to get to know the island’s enigmatic seabirds while exploring Iceland’s black sand beaches, cascading waterfalls, and impressive seaside cliffs. From National Geographic expeditions in New Zealand to cultural explorations of Papua New Guinea, Brent is no stranger to adventure travel. His passion and knack for wildlife photography has led to publications in books and magazines across the globe, so you can be sure he’s got some tips to improve your photography on the road. Along with Brent, you’ll be joined by renowned marine biologists, naturalists, ornithologists, geologists, archaeologists and more, all specially chosen for this adventure.

Highlights

  • Explore Iceland’s fabled Golden Circle—Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall, and Geysir.
  • View vast colonies of breeding seabirds; kittiwakes, thick-billed and common murres, black guillemots, fulmars, and comical Atlantic puffins.
  • Meet the residents of colorful fishing villages and stroll through archaeological sites that recall the height of Viking exploration.
  • Photograph Iceland’s stunning landscapes—bubbling hot springs, glittering glaciers, soaring volcanoes, and plunging waterfalls.
  • Cruise in search of whales and other marine mammals that congregate here in the summer months.

 

Key information

  • 10 nights aboard Le Bellot and 1 night hotel
  • 11 Breakfasts, 12 lunches, and 11 dinners
  • 12 days land only
  • Number of guests: 135
  • Countries visited: Iceland

What's included

  • Port activities and excursions including cultural tours, nature walks, and Zodiac cruises
  • All gratuities
  • All accommodations
  • World-class lecture and expedition team
  • All onboard meals and group meals ashore, including soft drinks, beer, and wine with lunch and dinner
  • All entrance fees, taxes, and landing and port charges
  • Arrival and departure transfers on group dates
  • Gift certificates for recommended expedition gear
  • Medical expense coverage and emergency evacuation insurance

 

What's not included

  • Airfare from your home city/Reykjavík and Reykjavík/home city
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Airport arrival and departure taxes
  • Transfers for independent arrivals and departures
  • Passport and/or visa fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, alcoholic beverages, (other than listed above), and other incidentals
  • Email/Internet/fax/telephone charges
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Itinerary

Reykjavik
to
Reyjavik
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Reykjavik

    Arrive in Reykjavik this morning and transfer to our hotel. Lunch and the remainder of the day are at leisure to enjoy this fascinating and colorful capital city. Gather this evening for a welcome reception followed by dinner and overnight at our hotel.

    Accommodation: Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Lunch Dinner
  • Day 2

    Explore Iceland’s classic scenic wonders

    After breakfast, set out to explore Iceland’s classic scenic wonders known as the Golden Circle. Begin with Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, surrounded by mountains and encompassing a vast lava plain of green moss and wildflowers. Continue to Gullfoss Waterfall where the Hvita River drops 96 feet in two voluminous cascades. The Geysir Center is a huge geothermal field of both boiling and tranquil, multi-hued
    hot springs and bubbling mud pools. Then visit a traditional farm where Icelandic horses are raised. After lunch in these picturesque surroundings proceed to the pier, making a photo stop at a scenic viewpoint before boarding Le Bellot.

    Accommodation: Le Bellot

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Trace the coastline of Flatey Island

    By Zodiac, trace the coastline of Flatey Island before going ashore for a guided walk with our naturalists through the tiny village. View the uniquely painted island church and the restored houses of islanders that are now mainly used as vacation homes. This evening sail past Iceland’s westernmost cape, the Látrabjarg cliff, a breeding ground for millions of seabirds.

    Accommodation: Le Bellot

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Step ashore in Ísafjördur

    After breakfast step ashore in Ísafjördur, the trading and cultural center of the West Fjords. A cultural tour reveals the history and daily life of one of Iceland’s oldest fishing settlements and visits the region’s scenic highlights. This afternoon, enjoy free time in town to browse the local shops.

    Accommodation: Le Bellot

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Visit Siglufjördur

    In the afternoon, visit Siglufjördur, once the undisputed herring fishing capital of the Atlantic. The Herring Era Museum vividly depicts this period and a lively song and dance reenactment, accompanied by local delicacies, brings the herring boom era to life.

    Accommodation: Le Bellot

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    A full-day inland tour of the Mývatn region

    After an early breakfast, depart on a full-day inland tour of the Mývatn region. Thousands of years ago, volcanic eruptions created this dramatic landscape of labyrinthine lava formations, seething sulfur pits, and boiling mud pools. Oasis-like Lake Mývatn sits on the edge of a vast highland lava desert; one of Europe’s richest waterfowl breeding areas, it supports enormous numbers of breeding ducks and whooper swans. Continue to Húsavík to reboard Le Bellot.
    Be on deck this evening to search for humpback whales, with a possibility of dolphins.

    Accommodation: Le Bellot

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Fantastic views of the incredible birdlife

    Though Grímsey Island sits astride the Arctic Circle, it enjoys a mild climate and is covered with rich vegetation. Weather permitting, go ashore to visit the Viking hamlet of Sandvik, home to about 100 permanent residents who earn their living from fishing and fish processing. A Zodiac cruise along Grímsey’s basaltic cliffs provides fantastic views of the incredible birdlife which includes kittiwakes, razorbills, fulmars, and puffins.

    Accommodation: Le Bellot

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Visit the Arctic Henge

    Take a walking tour of this small town and visit the Arctic Henge, a huge stone monument overlooking the town. 

    Accommodation: Le Bellot

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    A scenic wonderland of stunning geology

    The 11-mile cruise along Seydisfjördur showcases a scenic wonderland of stunning geology, cascading waterfalls, and soaring mountains. At its head, a natural harbor shelters the fishing town of the same name, renowned for its brightly painted 19th-century wooden buildings. Options this morning include Skalanes Nature Reserve to explore an important archaeological site and search for of birds, or a hike to the magnificent Hengifoss Waterfall.

    Accommodation: Le Bellot

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    The gateway to Europe’s largest glacier

    The tiny port of Djupivogur is the gateway to Europe’s largest glacier. While most of Iceland is pastoral and green, its southeastern corner is covered by the shimmering white Vatnajökull Glacier, a 1,000-foot-thick ice field. A spectacular drive brings you to a fleet of waiting snowmobiles for an exhilarating guided excursion across the vast expanses of glittering whiteness. After lunch, set out on an unforgettable boat ride on Jökulsárlón Lake to cruise among aquamarine icebergs.

    Accommodation: Le Bellot

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    The “Pompeii of the North.”

    On Heimaey Island, join a local tour of this incredible town with roots dating back to 650 AD. From Storhofdi, the views over the island are simply spectacular. Passing between two volcanoes, one that formed 5,000 years ago, the other in 1973 when its eruption engulfed parts of the town and almost closed the harbor. Drive right across the younger volcano’s crater and into the town known as the “Pompeii of the North.” Later this afternoon circumnavigate Surtsey, a fire-and-brimstone resulting from a 1963 undersea eruption. This island is now an important natural scientific experiment on how island flora and fauna evolves, with approximately 56 species of vascular plants now occurring.

    Accommodation: Le Bellot

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    Learn about geosciences

    After breakfast, disembark for a fascinating tour of Hellisheiði Geothermal Power Plant where you will learn about geosciences, geothermal technology, and the environmental history of the area. Continue to the famous Blue Lagoon for lunch before departing for the airport and your independent flight homeward.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Iceland

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Iceland

There are no specific health risks.

Is this trip for you?

This tour is operated in partnership with our sister company Zegrahm Expeditions. As such the departures are not exclusive to Exodus and groups may be a mixture of Exodus, Zegrahm Expeditions, and other clients. This trip is booked through Exodus and you will receive the same award winning customer service that you would expect. Zegrahm Expeditions operate with the same core principles used by Exodus and champion the benefits of small group travel.

Know Before You Go

For most activities, a relatively moderate level of exertion is required. You will need to climb, unaided, in and out of Zodiacs for excursions ashore. Many of the landings will be “wet” and require that you wear waterproof, knee-high boots. Ashore, you must be able to walk moderate distances, unaided, over occasionally rough and often slippery terrain. We’ve designed our shore excursions to accommodate both those who enjoy gentle strolls and those who prefer more active hikes. Temperatures throughout will range from lows in the 40s°F to the high 50s°F. Please note that temperatures on the water may feel cooler. Flexibility is a must, as itineraries are subject to change, and landings may be tidal or weather dependent.



Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Le Bellot

Le Bellot is currently in the process of being built, and will be completed in 2020. It will feature innovative and environment-friendly equipment, elegantly designed suites, and lounge areas that open to the outside. All suites feature ocean views and private balconies, while public spaces include an underwater lounge, as well as a pool, outside bar and dining area, theater, single-seating dining room, panoramic lounge, sun deck, salon, and a spa and fitness room. Le Bellot will carry a fleet of Zodiacs.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Be the first to post your review! If you have recently returned from an Exodus adventure and want to help other travellers with your feedback then simply use the link below to post your holiday review.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]