- Starts at: Leith, Scotland
- Ends at: Reykjavik, Iceland
- Duration: 12 Days / 11 Nights
Travel on an expedition cruise ship to visit some of the most remote islands in the North Atlantic alongside naturalists and ornithologists as we visit some of the rarest bird colonies in the world. Immerse yourself in the ancient Nordic culture and Gaelic history with interesting presentations and conversations provided by our onboard historians. Enjoy the long hours of daylight at this time of year, perfect for wildlife and landscape photography.
A stark, volcanic land with a warm heart, Iceland’s shallow fjords are a haven for whales, dolphins and seals alike and there is a surprising array of wildlife. This superb voyage links three of the gems of the North Atlantic.
The following itinerary details the Scotland, Faroe Islands and Iceland. Please do contact us for more information about this amazing voyage.
Your voyage begins in Edinburgh, Scotland’s picturesque capital city. In the afternoon, we board our home for the next 11-nights – RCGS Resolute. Once onboard you will meet the expedition team and set sail. Following a welcome drink and dinner, we depart north, skirting the Scottish coastline.
We wake up cruising the stunning east coast of Scotland ready for our first historical destination, Aberdeen, also known as ‘The Granite City’ due to the locally quarried stone that built it. Old Aberdeen, just north of the city centre, has been an important political, ecclesiastical and cultural centre since the end of the Middle Ages. For many, a visit to Dunnottar Castle is a must. The medieval fortress located upon a rocky headland is steeped in history – once besieged by Vikings and captured by William Wallace.
Today we reach the Orkney Islands. Many are uninhabited, allowing us to truly enjoy the local wildlife, including seals, and prolific birdlife. Orkney is considered to be the best place in the UK for viewing seabirds. It is a land of breathtaking beauty and famous for its unique archaeological sites.
The Scottish Western Isles of the Outer Hebrides are a diverse chain of inter-connected islands with their own unique way of life. The dramatic cliffs and large windy beaches are ideal to stroll along, breathing in the fresh Atlantic air. A highlight of our visit will be a trip to the 5000-year old Standing Stones at Callanish. Others may choose to spend the day strolling along the quay at Stornoway Harbour and listen to the shouts of the fishermen, as the traditional fleet land the catch of the day.
A unique place of peace, pure air and wide-open spaces, visitors to Unst in the Shetlands savour the wildlife, the birdlife and the warm community spirit. Rugged coastline and golden, empty beaches will give us the perfect playground to explore by zodiac, kayak or foot. Keen birders will rejoice with close-up views of tens of thousands of breeding gannets, guillemots, puffins, razorbills, kittiwakes and fulmars.
By morning we have arrived in the Faroe Islands – a group of 18 rocky, volcanic islands situated between Iceland and Norway. Visitors are drawn to the islands’ mountains, valleys, grassy heathland and steep coastal cliffs. We begin our time exploring in Tórshavn, on Streymoy Island. Our small-group zodiac cruises will allow you to explore the narrow sounds and deep grottoes in the shadow of the 1500 feet high cliffs where thousands of seabirds nest.
Today we will visit Sørvágsvatn, the largest lake on the islands. Dubbed “the lake over the ocean” due to an optical illusion, the lake appears to hover in mid-air. The famous Bøsdalafossur waterfall provides a great hiking excursion and Mulafossur Waterfall is best viewed by sea. We then visit Mykines island which provides some of the best bird watching in the Faroe Islands. Here we find colonies of cormorants, while the cliffs make perfect nesting ledges for guillemots and razorbills. On the grassy slopes above the bird cliffs, thousands of colourful puffins can be observed at close proximity.
A place of singing waterfalls and interesting characters, Seydisfjordur is a welcoming town with a rich history. Experience the flourishing art scene, enjoy local cuisine or experience the delightful hiking trails. One of the highlights to be sure will be a pleasant hike down ‘Waterfall lane’. The Skaftfell Center for Visual Arts provides us with a great alternative to the outdoors, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in Icelandic culture.
Our next stop will take us to the small fishing village of Djupivogur located on the Bulandsnes Peninsula. The scenic landscape immediately draws your eye up to Búlandstindur, a pyramid-shaped mountain towering over the town. In the village, you will find remnants of an origin in trading dating back to the 16th century. The oldest storehouse, Langabúð, built in 1790 stands strong after a full restoration that has turned it into an outstanding cultural centre.
Just east of the outskirts of Vik lies one of Europe’s biggest Arctic tern breeding grounds. To the south of Reynisfjall mountain, a spectacular set of rock columns called Reynisdrangar, rise majestically out of the Atlantic Ocean. These towering, spiky rock formations jut out from the ocean 66 meters (217 ft) into the air. Our approach by sea will give a unique perspective and the chance to view this spectacular landmark in small groups, perfect for bird viewing and exploring through your lens.
Leaving the shores of the mainland, we journey into the North Atlantic to the tiny, but beautiful, Westman Islands. Rich in volcanic history and known as a ‘modern Nordic Pompeii’, Heimaey’s once-solitary volcano, Helgafell (or “Holy Mountain”) created the island in an eruption 7,000 years ago. The seabird life in the Westman Islands is abundant and we are on the lookout for whales and seals. One major highlight is a visit to Storhofoi, the largest Atlantic puffin colony in the world.
Our expedition concludes in the world’s most northerly capital – the colourful and quirky city of Reykjavik. Why not stay a few days to explore the city and surroundings? A transfer is provided to a downtown location or to the airport for your onward journey.
For our latest discounts and exclusive deals see our special offers page.
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Included in the price of this voyage:
- Comprehensive pre-voyage information package including details to help you prepare for your voyage
- Transfers to the ship on embarkation day and from the ship to the airport or local hotel on disembarkation
- Shipboard accommodation in your selected cabin category with daily housekeeping. Cabins feature outside views with windows or portholes
- High quality, eco friendly, Canadian made natural amenities in every cabin
- All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage with daily afternoon tea
- 24-hour tea, coffee, hot chocolate in bar lounge plus in-cabin tea, coffee, hot chocolate replenished daily
- Experienced Expedition Leader and professional expedition team of marine biologists, naturalists, historians, adventure guides and photographers
- Daily off-ship excursions by Zodiac boat breaking into small groups for shore landings
- Guided hikes and walks onshore of various durations for guests of all abilities
- Visits to wildlife colonies, historic sites, places of outstanding natural beauty and community visits
- Educational presentations and talks by experts in their field (ie. marine biologists, naturalists, historians etc) onboard or onshore
- Resident photography guide available to assist all guests
- Access to computers in the multimedia zone for image downloads, file back up and management
- An emergency trained medical physician on board every voyage
- Dedicated hospitality team including Hotel Manager, chefs, professional bar tenders and Adventure Concierge staff
- Onboard sauna, plunge pool, jacuzzi and fitness centre including personal trainer and massage options (charge applies for massage and spa treatments)
- Access to well stocked library full of reference books
- Optional Sea Kayaking program ($US695)
- End of voyage slideshow and take home USB
- Port fees and all permits to access visited areas
Not included in the price of this voyage:
- Any international or local airfare unless otherwise specified in the voyage itinerary
- Visa and passport expenses
- Pre or post-cruise hotel accommodation unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
- Pre or post-cruise transfers unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
- Personal expenses onboard such as bar charges, laundry expenses or mini bar/in cabin snacks (dependent on cabin inclusions)
- Telecommunication charges (ie. email, satellite phone)
- Baggage, cancellation or medical travel insurance related expenses (comprehensive travel insurance is mandatory on all One Ocean Expeditions trips)
- A voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for expedition staff and ship crew (suggested amount – approximately $US15 per day
- It is one thing to visit, observe and experience many of the most exotic and iconic places on our planet, it is quite another to do so accompanied by one or both of the co-founders of Ice Tracks.Bob Jay – England
- We have reached the conclusion that there would not be a single thing to change or improve on if we did the same trip tomorrow.Tim and Jan Burr – UK
- From start to finish, Ice Tracks and Angie Butler made sure that my father and I were looked after as if we were family.Guy Tritton – UK
- “Elizabeth and I have had the most wonderful holiday with a great group of people.Jean Wood – UK
- I just want to say thank you to you all for such an amazing holiday.Susan and Charles Rose – UK
- A big ‘thank you!’ to my fellow Ice Trackers who each made a once-in-a-lifetime voyage so memorable.Ron Wild – Ontario, Canada