Heimaey | Westman Islands | Iceland
FROM: R96,900

Complete a full-circle cruise of Iceland, taking in world-beating scenery and rich wildlife on this 8-day tour which starts and ends in Reykjavik. Explore sparsely inhabited islands up the east coast, enter the Arctic Circle at Grimsey and discover Iceland's second city of Akureyri. Marvel at the conical volcano of Snaefellsjokull, visit the traditional port of Djupivogur and spot whales in the bay of Husavik.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels

Trip Highlights

Westman Islands - cruise past the green cluster of islands and land at Heimaey, where a volcanic eruption took place in 1973
Grimsey - enter the Arctic Circle on this rocky island north of the Icelandic mainland, which is home to 36 different bird species
Snaefellsnes - marvel at the lava cliffs of this striking peninsula and see the impressive conical volcano of Snaefellsjokull
The West Fjords - sail down the west coast of the country to admire towering bird cliffs and visit the small mountainous island of Vigur
Husavik - gaze out over the shimmering waters of the bay in search of Humpback whales, Blue whales and Minke whales
Akureyri - wander around Iceland's cultural second city and opt for an excursion to the cascading Godafoss waterfall and Lake Myvatn
Djupivogur - visit this traditional Icelandic town to see red timber houses and wonderful art exhibitions at the Cultural Centre
Hafnarholmi - see puffins and other seabirds including eiders and kittiwakes which make this rugged island their summer nesting site

Included

7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners
Services of the ship captain and crew, expedition team and English-speaking guides at sights of interest
Full board on the ship, afternoon snacks, free tea and coffee daily
7 nights aboard the Ocean Atlantic expedition cruise ship in a shared outside double cabin with private facilities
All guided sightseeing and excursions as per itinerary
Taxes and tariffs

Not Included

International flights and visas
Any meals not onboard the ship & any drinks (excluding tea and coffee)
Pre and post tour accommodation, plus any airport or port transfers
Tipping - an entirely personal gesture
Optional excursions

Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Reykjavik

Tuesday. Welcome to Iceland! On arrival in Reykjavik, make your way to the port where you'll board your home for the next seven nights, the Ocean Atlantic expedition cruise ship. Your first evening is at leisure onboard, and we set sail for the south coast of Iceland in the early evening.

Facilities aboard the Ocean Atlantic include a spacious restaurant serving international cuisine, two bars, a comfortable lounge area, and a library. Relax in the sauna, take a dip in the swimming pool or work out in the gym. There is also a lecture theatre where you can learn more about this part of the world. All of your meals onboard are included, and you can enjoy free snacks, tea and coffee. From the top deck you can keep your eyes peeled for marine life and watch sea birds swooping and wheeling over the ship.
Overnight: Ocean Atlantic ship   |  Dinner

Day 2

Westman Islands, Surtsey & Heimaey

Reykjavik - The Westman Islands. Today we'll be exploring the Westman Islands, a tiny, mostly uninhabited archipelago located around 14km off the south coast of Iceland. Compared by an Icelandic poet to the sapphires on a silver ring, the beautiful collection of islands is a wonderful sight to sail past. Puffins and gannets can be spotted on the islands as we sail.

We pass by UNESCO-listed Surtsey, where only researchers are allowed to dock, and stop at Heimaey. This is the only inhabited island in the Westman Islands, with a population of around 4,000. The site of a volcanic eruption and subsequent evacuation in 1973, we can see some of the recently excavated houses from the eruption.
Overnight: Ocean Atlantic ship   |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3

Djupivogur town & Puffins

Westman Islands - Djupivogur - Hafnarholmi. This morning we dock at the traditional port of Djupivogur, one of the oldest ports in Iceland. The people here take great pride in preserving their ways of old and we can see some of the traditional red timber houses and the Cultural Centre.

In the afternoon we sail north, along the dramatic eastern coastline of Iceland, passing wild fjords. This is the most sparsely populated part of the country, and fishing is the main industry. We reach the island of Hafnarholmi, one of the best places in the world to spot puffins, which nest here in great numbers from mid-April. Eiders, fulmars and kittiwakes can also be seen nesting on the rocky shelves of the island and swooping over the sea. The observation deck of the Ocean Atlantic is a great place to watch these wonderful birds.
Overnight: Ocean Atlantic ship   |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Whale spotting and the Arctic

Hafnarholmi - Husavik - Grimsey. Today we sail into the bay of Husavik, one of the best places in Iceland to spot marine life, especially whales. We sail slowly around the bay in search of acrobatic Humpbacks, agile Minkes and if we're extremely lucky, Blue or Sperm whales. Please note that whale sightings cannot be guaranteed.

Later, we sail to Grimsey, 40km north of the Icelandic mainland. We are technically in the Arctic - the Polar circle crosses the island at 66° 33 'N, and gives Grimsey one full day of 24-hour sunlight - on June 21st! We explore the tiny island, home to around 100 inhabitants and thousands of sea birds. 36 species of bird breed on the rocky and rugged island, and there are so many terns here that any plane wanting to take off from the tiny airport must wait until the runway has been cleared of the birds.
Overnight: Ocean Atlantic ship   |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

Hrisey island & Akureyri

Grimsey - Hrisey - Akureyri. Today we cruise through Eyjafjordur, one of Iceland's longest fjords. In the middle of the fjord lies Hrisey, the second largest island off the coast of the country, after Heimaey. Around 200 people live on the island and we enjoy a stroll through the settlement and onto the grass plains, abundant with birdlife.

Our cruise continues south to Akureyri, Iceland's second city. Steadily growing in size and importance, we can enjoy a stroll around the city, home to cosy cafes, lush gardens and the beautiful city church, Akureyrarkirkja. There's an optional excursion to see Godafoss waterfall and stunning Lake Myvatn.
Overnight: Ocean Atlantic ship  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

The West Fjords

Akureyri - Vigur. We start today by sailing along the west coast of Iceland, just 300km from Greenland. Much of the coastline is designated as nature reserves and is abundant in marine life and sea birds. Whales and seals may also be spotted before we arrive at Hornvik Bay, home to two of the largest bird cliffs in Europe, where millions of birds breed.

This afternoon we enter the fjord of Isafjardardjup and land on Vigur island. Admire the view of steep mountains and watch the terrific acrobatics of Arctic terns. We enjoy a guided walk on the island with a local tour guide, and refreshments will be served at the cafe.
Overnight: Ocean Atlantic ship  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7

Flatey island & Snaefellsjokull volcano

Vigur - Flatey - Snaefellsnes Peninsula. This morning we land at the island of Flatey, the only inhabited island of Breidafjordur. Once an important trading port, only two farms are occupied permanently today but the island is a popular Icelandic holiday getaway. After exploring the island, we board the Ocean Atlantic to sail along the 100km Snaefellsnes Peninsula. Gaze at the mighty snow-capped volcano of Snaefellsjokull, which Jules Verne based his famous novel "The Journey To The Centre Of The Earth" on. The volcano is almost perfectly cone shaped and presents a fantastic photo opportunity.
Overnight: Ocean Atlantic ship  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8

Reykjavik

Snaefellsnes Peninsula - Reykjavik. Today we dock at Reykjavik and you disembark the Ocean Atlantic after a final breakfast onboard.
Breakfast

Prices & Dates

Prices shown are per person when there are 2 persons sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who require their own room and needs to be added to the per person price.

Available
Contact us to book
Sold out
2020
Price /
Person
Single
Supp.
R96,900
R47,900
R96,900
R47,900

Hotels

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard.

Ocean Atlantic, Expedition Cruising

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 star cruise boat

Newly renovated in 2016, the Ocean Atlantic is the perfect vessel for exploring the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. With an international ice class-rating of 1B, this cruise ship is one of the strongest operating in this region. At 140-metres in length, a total of 198 passengers are accommodated across multiple decks. Each cabin features an ensuite bathroom, individual temperature controls and a TV, with either portholes or windows. Indoor lounges offer large panel windows, where you can easily look out for passing whales and other sights. Passengers can enjoy shore landings, with a fleet of 20 motorized rubber ‘Zodiac’ boats, taking you to exciting areas that the larger vessel can't reach. Upon your return, perhaps enjoy a dip in the pool or sauna, or curl up with a book in the onboard library. There’s also a spacious restaurant serving 4-star international cuisine and a bar offering an assortment of beverages.

In Brief

Range
Trip Type
Starts
Reykjavik
Ends
Reykjavik
Departs
Tuesdays
Hotel Rating
Ocean Atlantic expedition cruise ship
Tour Guide
Services of ship captain, crew and local guides at sites of interest
Meals
Breakfast: 7, Lunch: 6, Dinner: 7
Visiting
Reykjavik, Expedition Cruising, Akureyri
Countries
Colourful houses of Reykjavik against a backdrop of snowy mountains
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