Only a fraction of visitors to Iceland make it across to the far-flung west, and the lack of tourists make its landscapes and villages a dream to explore. Learn about the devastating effects of a volcano eruption which rocked the Westman Islands in 1973, leaving large swaths of town buried beneath ash and lava and earning the moniker “Pompeii of the North”. Visit the home of influential Icelandic scholar Snorri Sturluson and see the landscapes that inspired his epic poetry.
Iceland is a land of physical extremes, from towering rocky cliffs and glacier-tipped volcanoes to sweeping tundras and Viking haunts. On this cruise you will see it all, from the popular Westman Islands to the remote and relatively untouched Westfjords. Wonder at thundering waterfalls of Reykholt, climb the dizzyingly steep Latrabjarg cliffs and encounter history both ancient and contemporary.
Breakfast Included: 7 Lunches Included: Dinner Included: 7
Why not spend the morning getting acquainted with Iceland’s capital before boarding the Panorama in the late afternoon. Savour the view of modern buildings against immense mountains as you set sail before enjoying a welcome dinner on the ship. Perhaps enjoy a post meal Brennivin (a local savoury schnapps) before bed, and get some rest during the overnight trip to your first destination.
Say good-morning to rocky cliffs and alight for a bus tour of these rugged islands. Visit the Eldheimar Museum, which offers insight into the devastating volcano eruption of 1973, which left huge swaths of town buried beneath layers of lava and ash. Later, watch the locals scale treacherous cliff faces while rope swinging, a traditional method of gathering bird eggs reinvented as an exhilarating sport. If you'd like, grab a “pylsa” (Icelandic hot dog) and eat while you explore before heading back to the ship for an overnight journey.
From port it’s a short journey to Reykholt, a town alive with geothermal activity and once home to eminent medieval scholar and politician Snorri Sturluson. Learn about this towering Icelandic figure and more at the Reykholt Museum. Then, visit the thundering waterfalls Hraunfossar and Barnafoss, and see why Sturluson imagined Iceland’s cascades to be the watering holes of the gods “where joyful Odin drinketh every day.” Make sure to pack a towel and bathers so you can take a dip in the Krauma thermal pools. Return to Akranes and spend the evening at sea.
Travel from the small fishing town to Raudasandur Beach, where the lurid sand stretches are far as the eye can see. Explore the Latrabjarg cliffs, and perhaps spot the bold and wonderfully tame puffins that live there. Return to port and feel free to grab a kayak from the ship and explore the bay. Perhaps grab a dinner of fresh fish in Patreksfjordur with the locals, or enjoy a late night drink on deck, as the ship will be docked here overnight.
Take a trip to nearby Pingeyri, a small town rich in Viking history that lays nestled beneath the tallest of the Westfjord Alps. Here you will find a festival site constructed in the Old Icelandic style, a traditional hearth surrounded by seating made from stones and grass, where you can imagine yourself as a celebratory Viking, before returning to the ship for an overnight journey.
Arrive early in Grundafjordur and spend the day wandering glacier topped volcanoes in the awe-inspiring Snaefellsnes Peninsula, where you will surely work up your appetite for an afternoon cooking demonstration aboard the Panorama. Learn how to make staple dishes that have remained relatively unchanged for centuries. Maybe spend the evening reading one of the Icelandic sagas while the ship returns to the capital.
Revisit Reykjavik during a tour from your now-familiar on-board leaders. The city is full of architecture that is almost as striking as the nearby mountains, and you may wish to explore buildings like the towering Hallgrimskirkja, a stark modern cathedral. Enjoy a farewell dinner on deck, and toast your new friends before spending your final evening on board.
Your trip has come to an end. Say farewell to the crew and staff of the Panorama. If you have time, try one of the local eateries before returning home or continuing on your journey.