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Epic Iceland and the
Faroe Islands

July 4-16, 2024

This exceptional voyage  appeals to the adventurous spirit providing an opportunity to explore Iceland's magnificent fjords, volcanic landscape plus lots of whales . . . wool!  Enjoy 13-days aboard our luxury expedition and cross the Arctic Circle before heading to the Faroe Islands where sheep outnumber humans 40:1.

Itinerary

Day 1: Reykvijavik

Day 2: Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Day 3: Western Fjords

Day 4: Siglufjordur & Grimsey Island

Day 5: Akureyri $ Hrisey Island

Day 6: Husavik

Day 7 Seydisfjordur

Day 8 Vest,amma & Saksun, Faroe Islands

Day 9: Elduvik

Day 10: Runavik

Day 11: Unst & Fetlar, Shetland Islands, Scot.

Day 12: Fair Isle

Day 13: Aberdeen

Iceland map.jpeg

Day 1 Reykjavik, Iceland.

Transportation provided to MS Sea Spirit in the afternoon for embarkation.

Day 2 Snaefellsnes Peninsula.

Sail this morning into Stykkisholmur, located in Breidafjordur Bay and surrounded by an archipelago of islands. The town is famed for its beautiful and well preserved old houses and is also the gateway to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula which is dominated by the Snaefellsjokull volcano, regarded as one of the symbols of Iceland and known as the setting for Jules Verne’s “Journey to the Center of the Earth”. Our tour will include a drive through the lava landscape to the glacier visiting pretty fishing ports and beaches along the way. Afterwards, there will be the opportunity to spend some time at leisure in the town.

Day 3 Western Fjords.

This morning we enter the Western Fjords, an isolated but spectacular area of Iceland. We will explore Isafjardardjup and depending on local weather conditions, we hope to land on Vigur, a serene little island with only five residents but home to many more puffins, eider ducks, black guillemots and Arctic terns. We will also visit Iceland’s only extant windmill dating from the 19th century. 

Day 4 Siglufjordur & Grimsey Island.

Spend the morning in Siglufjordur, a picturesque town that enjoys an idyllic setting in a small fjord backed by mountains. Here in the early 1900s, a booming economy due to the herring industry resulted in a prosperous town with some marvellous Icelandic architecture. Stroll through the town and visit the Herring Era Museum. Sail over lunch to Grimsey Island. The Arctic Circle bisects this island which is known for its tiny community, basalt cliffs and large variety of birdlife. On arrival join our expedition team members for a nature walk on the island.

Day 5 Akureyri & Hrisey Island.

Akureyri is a delightful town on the north coast of Iceland. On a morning tour we will visit the spectacular Godafoss Waterfall where water from the Skjalfandafljot River falls from a height of 12 metres over a width of 30 metres. From Godafoss we return to the charming town of Akureyri and visit the botanical garden which was founded in 1912 and grows examples of every species indigenous to Iceland as well as an extensive collection of high-latitude and high-altitude plants from around the world. Our tour ends at the Art Alley where artisans keep their workshops and galleries. Return to the ship for lunch and sail to Hrisey Island this afternoon where you can join nature walks. The island is known for its rich and diverse birdlife and approximately 40 species of birds nest on the island.

Day 6 Husavik.

From our berth in Husavik we will head inland to visit the Lake Myvatn-Krafla area, a fine example of the volcanic world with lava fields, boiling and steaming mud pools and steam vents of sulphur and craters. The area illustrates the sheer magnitude of Iceland’s forces at work. The lake itself, with beautiful natural rock formations and hot springs, is also a unique ecosystem and the largest migratory bird sanctuary in Europe. There will be the opportunity to spend some time in the natural baths before returning to the ship. After lunch on board we have the afternoon to explore the pretty town of Husavik including time at the excellent whale museum, the exploration museum and quaint local church. Be on deck in the early evening as we sail from Husavik whilst our expedition team keep an eye out for whales.

Day 7 Seydisfjordur.

We spend our last morning in Iceland in the picturesque natural harbour at Seydisfjordur which has preserved its fishing heritage from the early 19th century and its architectural style. On a walking tour we will pass brightly painted and well preserved wooden buildings and visit the shops famous for their Icelandic patterned woollens and crafts. Keen walkers might prefer to join a hike in the nearby Vestdalur Valley which is a protected nature reserve due to its remarkable flora. Walking along the river trail we will enjoy the landscape and waterfalls as well as viewing the abandoned town of Vestdalseyri. Sail in the midafternoon towards the Faroe Islands.

Day 8 Vestmanna & Saksun, Faroe Islands.

After a morning at sea we arrive in the Faroes at the port of Vestmanna, our base as we explore the northwest corner of Streymoy and the nearby cliffs. On a choice of afternoon activities you may wish to board local boats to explore these vertical cliffs that climb almost 1500 feet, sailing into grottos carved by the surf over the years and watching the thousands of seabirds including puffins, guillemots, fulmars and kittiwakes that nest here each summer. Alternatively drive to the beautiful village of Saksun, an isolated settlement situated beneath steep majestic mountains. We visit Duvugaroar, an old farmhouse which is now a museum, and a traditional Faroese wooden church in Kollafjord. 

Day 9 Elduvik, Faroe Islands.

Today we enjoy the benefits of small ship cruising as we make our way to the north of the island of Eysturoy and the small traditional village of Elduvik. Located at the end of a lush valley and surrounded by mountains the village has a resident population of 12 who will welcome us ashore. Villagers will lead walks around the town including the colourful houses and the church and hear stories of the history, myths and culture of the region. Those feeling active may wish to join a strenuous yet scenic hike along the old village path through the Skoratind hills to neighbouring Oyndarfjordur, enjoying views of the nearby island of Kalsoy and the hills of Funningur.

Day 10 Runavik.

Our final morning in the Faroes will be at Runavik which due to its sheltered location in the Skalafjordur has been used as a port since the Vikings. Local guides will show us around the small town including the Forni Historical Museum, Church of Glyvrar and the boathouse. There will be the option to join our naturalists for a walk around Lake Toftavatn seeing the rich birdlife, Faroese flora and the statue of the shepherd and his dog. Return to the ship for lunch and spend the afternoon at sea as we make our way to the Scottish Islands.

Day 11 TUnst & Fetlar, Shetland Islands, Scotland..

Today we at Shetland's northern islands of Fetlar and Unst. Fetlar has been inhabited for over 5000 years and the island lays claim to being the first Norse landing site in the Shetlands. Known as the most fertile of the Shetland Islands, the wildflowers bring color to the landscape whilst the birdlife on the island is prolific. Over lunch we sail to Unst, Britain’s most northerly inhabited island. Our group will visit The Heritage Centre which hosts the most extensive collection of Shetland lace knitting, and encompasses how the islanders have lived over the centuries. We will also visit the Unst Boat Haven, dedicated to the history of the island’s distinctive wooden boats which descend from Viking craft.

Day 12 Fair Isle.

This morning we anchor off the remote island of Fair Isle. Located midway between the Shetland and Orkney Islands, the tiny population of sixty or so islanders always extend a warm welcome. Famous for its birds, knitwear, and historic shipwrecks, our group will enjoy a special meet and greet with the local shepherds and accomplished knitters. Afterwards, there is time for a walk across the island, searching out the puffin slopes, a visit to the community hall for a cup of tea or indulge in something special from the gift shop. If the weather permits, we will sail around to Noss Head in the afternoon where the cliffs will be full of nesting gulls.

Day 13 Aberdeen

Disembark this morning. Transfers will be provided to Aberdeen International Airport and Aberdeen Railway Station at a fixed time.

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