Icelandic tourism is booming, but it’s still mostly land-based around the famous – yet well-worn – Golden Circle route. We’re the only adventure company offering this unique coastal itinerary.. While bigger cruise liners have to moor out at sea and commute into shore via tender, we’ll drop anchor in the middle of port towns like Akranes or Isafjodur. You can hop on or off the boat as you please.. On Day 4 we sail directly beneath the incredible Latrarbag Cliffs, a sheer 450 metre wall of volcanic rock, home to millions of puffins and northern gannets.. Many land-bound Iceland itineraries never make it to the stunning West Fjordlands, and rarely to the fishing villages of the north coast. You’ll meet native herring fisherman and get a feel for the local way of life.
Iceland is a country that begs to be explored, and you’ll navigate to hard-to-reach areas, unlocking the secrets of the west coast on this 8-day small ship adventure cruise. Experience rugged landscapes, ancient stories of Vikings and the Norse, and exceptional wildlife viewing opportunities. Casting off from Reykjavik, choose to visit volcanoes on an isolated island, see Europe’s most powerful glacier, and walk to waterfalls of the gods. Aboard the M/S Panorama, cruise in comfort enjoying amazing service, past soaring coastal cliffs lined with birds to the far north-western reaches of the island, where few travellers tread. Disembark to learn about Iceland’s unique heritage and culture, exploring historic museums and towns – from tiny fishing villages to the country’s northernmost city Siglufjordur and its second largest Akureyri. This cruise will reveal the inspirational, ancient, and untamed beauty of Iceland.
Breakfast Included: 7 Lunches Included: 6 Dinner Included: 7
Embarkation in Reykjavik
Welcome to Iceland. Embarkation will take place between 3 and 4pm. Enjoy a welcome dinner on board. We will be in port overnight so you can take advantage of Reykjavik's nightlife.
Today, a full day optional excursion is on offer. After seeing the sites of Reykjavik, we will head out to the volcanic Reykjanes Peninsula. Here we will visit Vikingaheimar (Viking World) to learn how about the Viking settlement of Iceland and Norse mythology and we will visit the geothermal fields of Krysuvik.
Overnight in port in Reykjavik.
In the morning we reach Akranes and disembark for our optional full day excursion to Deildartunguhver, Europe’s most powerful thermal spring, to the Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls area. We will stop in Reykholt which was at one time, one of the intellectual centres of the island and had for many years one of the most important schools of the country. Here lived and died in the middle ages one of the most important persons in Icelandic history: Snorri Sturluson, a famous poet and politician whose records of the old Norse language and mythology of medieval Iceland are invaluable to modern scholars. Remains of his farm and a bathroom with hot pot and a tunnel between the bath and the house can still be visited.
In the afternoon we rejoin the ship and sail to the west fjords. Overnight at sea
We sail past the latrarbag cliffs which rise 450 m over the sea and reach Bildudalur.
The wonders of the westfjords! Breathtaking scenery, harsh landscape, sharp mountain ridges, deep and beautiful fjords where the farmers and the villages cuddle together on a narrow strip of land. The West fjords are a favorite among many and for those who experience those fjords for the first time, are completely amazed at this mesmerising and mystical scenery. We drive to Dynjandi waterfall, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. There is a bit of a walk up to the waterfall, but for those who want to see it up close are in for a treat, as they will also see smaller waterfalls surrounding Dynjandi. The bus takes us back to Bildudalur, where the elusive sea creatures have been given a worthy home at the Icelandic Sea Monster Museum. With a lively mix of words, images and videos, an action-packed multimedia display that culminates in a spectacular interactive plinth, the first of its kind in Iceland First-hand accounts from eye-witnesses, are joined on-screen by academic theories on the nature of sea monsters, while a variety of relics and artifacts relating to this mysterious branch of zoology appear throughout the museum as tangible evidence for their existence. From the museum a short walk will take us back to the ship through the little town of Bíldudalur.
In the afternoon, we cruise around the Westfjords to Isafjordur. Evening arrival in Isafjorfur. Overnight in port
Isafjordur is a large fishing port in Wesfjords. Our afternoon optional excursion starts at Isafjordur harbour. We drive through the centre of Isafjordur and the first stop is made at the outdoor exhibit of Osvor just outside Bolungarvik. Osvor is an old fisherman’s hut that was restored in 1988. Osvor is a perfect example of how life was for Icelandic fishermen until the beginning of the 20th century. From Osvor we drive to Bolungarvik for sightseeing in the village and visit the small church, were you’ll enjoy a music programme. From Bolungarvik we drive back to Isafjordur, on the way you will be able to see Buna River and a waterfall in Tunguskogur and sip fresh mountain water that flows down the stream clear and refreshing. We drive around the old streets of Isafjordur and end in the maritime and folk museum. The museum is situated in one of the oldest houses in Isafjordur, beside it are 3 other houses, all from the same area, around 1780, and all well preserved. Icelandic refreshments including a snaps, dried fish and shark (preserved Iceland style) are served on request. This tour gives a good view of the West fjords. It emphasizes the human side of the struggle to survive in times gone by, the beautiful but sometimes harsh landscape of the West fjords and the life of the inhabitants in recent times.In the afternoon we sail to Siglufjordur. Overnight at sea
This morning we reach Siglufjordur, Iceland's northernmost city, very close to the arctic circle and possibly the most picturesque port of Iceland. Once known as the capital of herring fishing.
Guests are invited to visit the award-winning Herring Era Museum, with a fun and energetic performance of the herring salting show. You step back in time as herring girls salt and pack herring into barrels under the watchful eye of the manager. Get caught up in the lively accordion music and ring dancing before sampling traditional rye bread, local herring and Icelandic schnapps! Guests will hear a short introduction to the history of the herring fishing industry and be invited to explore the museum’s three buildings. Before heading to the ship we tour the Folk Music Center and learn about Reverend Bjarni’s work in collecting and preserving the country’s musical heritage. The Centre offers a chance to see and hear Icelandic musical instruments from centuries past and the performance of traditional Icelandic folk songs and rhymes.
After lunch we leave for nearby Husavik port. Late in the afternoon we sail in the Skjafandi Bay and reach Husavik, Europe's capital of whale watching. We will have time to stroll around this charming fishing village and visit the wooden church, the best preserved church in Iceland. Overnight in port.
Husavik and Akureyri
This morning our full day optional excursion will take you from Husavik to Akureyri. Departing Husavik, we head towards the gurgling purple and yellow sulphur cauldrons at the high temperature thermal field of Namaskard, which are so hot that they actually boil. After exploring the geothermal field we continue to Dimmuborgir lava labyrinth, a paradise of towering lava castles, natural arches and countless unexplored grottos. Driving along the shores of Lake Myvatn our next stop is by the unique craters at Skutustadir before enjoying lunch in the area. Afterwards we will visit Godafoss, Waterfall of the Gods - one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland; the water of the river Skjalfandafljot falls from a height of 12 m over a width of 30 m. Once in town, enjoy a stroll up the colourful Artist’s Alley to the church. Consecrated in 1940, Akureyri church is one of the town’s proud symbols and enjoys a prominent position on the edge of the hill overlooking the town. The church houses many interesting artifacts, one of which, part of a stained glass window, stems from Coventry Cathedral in England - brought to Akureyri for safe keeping during the 2nd World War. Following the visit to the church, continue to explore the old midtown area under the expert guidance of your local tour guide, who will share stories of the town’s local history and culture at various intervals
We rejoin the Callisto in Akureyri and overnight in port.
Disembarkation in Akureyri
Disembarkation will take place after breakfast.