Circumnavigating Iceland and Fjords of East Greenland

Circumnavigating Iceland and Fjords of East Greenland

Circumnavigating Iceland and Fjords of East Greenland

Circumnavigating Iceland and Fjords of East Greenland

Travel information 21 days MS Fram
Departure
25 July 2023
Price from
10518 €
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Embark on an epic expedition cruise to explore the majestic wild landscapes of Iceland and east-coast Greenland – two northern lands straight out of the old sagas. 

Circumnavigate Iceland – the land of fire and ice 

Reykjavik is your starting point to explore the so-called land of ice and fire. Journeying north, you’ll begin your circumnavigation of Iceland’s stunning coast visiting the picture-perfect fishing villages of Stykkishólmur and Patreksfjörður. Afterwards, discover Akureyri – ‘Iceland’s Northern Capital’. 

Hop across the Arctic Circle on the windswept and isolated island of Grimsey, then sail to Bakkagerdi, home to breathtaking mountain views and, legend has it, numerous elves. Finally, you’ll get to explore ‘Iceland’s Pompeii’, Heimaey, before completing your circular journey back in Reykjavik. 

Witness the majesty of Greenland’s pristine wilderness 

From Reykjavik, we sail across the Denmark Strait to the spectacular and wild east coast of Greenland. Our destination is Scoresbysund, the world’s largest fjord system, fanning out over 14,000 square miles. Under the expert guidance of our Expedition Team, you’ll get an intimate look at this precious ecosystem on landings, nature walks, and kayaking tours.  

Wildlife abounds in this peaceful wilderness. As we glide across dark, placid waters at the feet of soaring mountains, you’ll be watching for whales and other marine wildlife. Bird enthusiasts will be on the lookout for species such as Brünnich's Guillemots, Snowy Owls and Greenlandic Gyrfalcons. We’ll then end your grand expedition where it all started, in Reykjavik.  

Circumnavigating Iceland and Fjords of East Greenland Circumnavigating Iceland and Fjords of East Greenland
  • Day 1
    Reykjavík

    The start of the adventure

    25 July 2023

    Start your expedition cruise in Iceland’s capital city, a centre for art, culture, history and pleasure 

    Your expedition cruise begins at Reykjavík, where MS Fram awaits you at the harbour. Reykjavík means ‘Smoky Inlet’ and was so named because of the steam rising from its hot springs. Today, the hot water from geothermal energy supplies numerous pools and hot tubs.  

    The world’s northernmost capital city is simultaneously traditional and cosmopolitan, with plenty to do and see. Explore busy Laugarvegur with its delightful boutiques, outdoor shops and pubs, and drink in knowledge to your heart’s content in the wonderful museums of art, culture and history. After that, it’s time to go aboard, meet your Expedition Team and start the adventure! 

    Pre-Programme 

    Arriving a few days earlier will allow you to explore this beautiful country in more depth. Why not book a two- or four-day Pre-Programme with us to Iceland’s famous Golden Circle? Highlights such as visiting Gullfoss waterfall and Thingvellir National Park, taking a dip in Iceland´s oldest swimming pool as well as hiking in unique, beautiful surroundings await you! 

    Day 1
    Reykjavík

    The start of the adventure

  • Day 2
    Stykkishólmur - Full day

    Welcome to Sagaland

    26 July 2023

    Visit the fjord of a thousand islets and the land that inspired Jules Verne 

    Our first stop is the quaint fishing village of Stykkishólmur, located on the north side of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. With an absence of traffic and a population of only around one thousand, it sometimes feels as though time has stood still here. From here you have a fantastic view across Breiðafjörður (‘Broad Fjord’) with its countless islets.  

    The old town centre is characterised by colourful old houses which stand out against the rugged scenery. Do take a look at the Volcano Museum and the Regional Museum, and try local delicacies at the restaurant. This region was the setting for Jules Verne’s book Journey to the Centre of the Earth

    Day 2
    Stykkishólmur - Full day

    Welcome to Sagaland

  • Day 3
    Patreksfjördur - Full day

    The fjord of St Patrick

    27 July 2023

    Look for puffins and Arctic foxes as we visit a rose-hued beach and Iceland’s highest waterfall 

    This tranquil fishing village was named for Saint Patrick by its discoverer back in the 8th century. The harbour has a rich maritime history and remains lively today, giving you the opportunity to learn about the many species of fish brought ashore. What’s more, you can take a dip in its outdoor pool.  

    Nearby Latrabjarg cliff is home to Puffins, Northern Gannets, Guillemots and Razorbills. Nesting on its face, they are safe from Arctic foxes. Also close by are Rauðsandur (‘Red Sand’) Beach, famous for its rose-hued sand, and the Dynjandi waterfalls where six falls combine to form the highest waterfall in the Westfjords. 

    Day 3
    Patreksfjördur - Full day

    The fjord of St Patrick

  • Day 4
    Northwest Iceland - Full day

    Northwest Iceland

    28 July 2023

    A day for spontaneous exploration in Iceland’s north-western region 

    One of the best things about expedition cruising is that anything can happen on any given day. That’s why we’ve set one day aside as an exploration day, with no pre-arranged plan.   

    We aim to be in Iceland’s Northwestern Region, but the Captain and the Expedition Team will set the final plan for the day, depending on conditions and opportunities as they arise.   

    Activities might include hiking, participating in a beach clean-up or launching our kayaks. If we spot a pod of whales as we’re sailing, we may decide to linger and enjoy the sight. Being adaptable to adventure is what expedition cruising is all about.  

    Day 4
    Northwest Iceland - Full day

    Northwest Iceland

  • Day 5
    Akureyri - Full day

    Capital of the north

    29 July 2023

    See Iceland’s vibrant northern capital and the Waterfall of the Gods 

    Located at the head of Iceland’s longest fjord, the lively university town of Akureyri is aknown as the country’s northern capital. As we cruise past towering, snow-capped peaks along the fjord’s lush coastline, this is your best opportunity to spot whales of various species. The town itself has numerous top-class eateries and two fascinating museums.  

    You can also visit the Arctic Botanical Gardens and view the striking architecture of Akureyri Church. 

    Optional excursions are available to stunning Goðafoss, the ‘Waterfall of the Gods’, and to uniquely beautiful Lake Mývatn, which is a wonderful place for bird-spotting. ‘Game of Thrones’ fans may recognise this landscape! 

    Day 5
    Akureyri - Full day

    Capital of the north

  • Day 6
    Grimsey - Full day

    Step across the Arctic Circle

    30 July 2023

    Explore the island of folklore and legend as we straddle the Arctic Circle 

    For an unforgettable experience, you have to visit the small, grassy island of Grimsey. Steeped in folklore and legend, this island bisects the Arctic Circle, which means you can stand with your feet astride this important geographical feature. The Circle is marked by a large, concrete sphere.  

    There are only 60 human inhabitants, but many thousands of seabirds, and the locals sometimes intrepidly descend the cliffs in search of eggs. Boats will take you from the ship to this craggy, windswept island for your visit, and in the evening we return to the port of Húsavík for the night. 

    Day 6
    Grimsey - Full day

    Step across the Arctic Circle

  • Day 7
    Bakkagerði - Full day

    The land of the elves

    31 July 2023

    Enjoy spectacular scenery and wildlife in the company of the so-called Hidden Folk 

    According to folklore, this tiny coastal hamlet of about 100 people is also home to a considerable population of elves, and when you experience the serenity and view the impressive scenery it´s not hard to see why. Surrounded by mountain peaks, Bakkagerði is a superb base for hikers, bird-watchers and all lovers of nature.   

    The coastal cliffs abound with Fulmars, Kittiwakes, Eider Ducks and Puffins. After your walk, you can enjoy a meal of fresh fish or the local speciality, fish soup, at one of the local cafés, or simply take in the peace and breathtaking views. Perhaps you’ll even glimpse an elf! 

    Day 7
    Bakkagerði - Full day

    The land of the elves

  • Day 8
    Heimaey - Full day

    Iceland`s Pompeii

    1 August 2023

    A friendly welcome awaits you on this isle of fire and turbulent history 

    With about 4,000 friendly inhabitants, Heimaey (‘Home Island’) is the only inhabited island in the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago to the south of Iceland’s mainland. In 1973, the settlement was nearly wiped out by a volcanic eruption. The volcanic cone Eldfell (‘Fire Mountain’) still towers 220 metres above the sea.  

    Lower down, you can see the tongue of lava which nearly blocked the harbour and was only stopped by heroic efforts. On this windy but hospitable island you can ascend the volcano and also learn about its dark and turbulent history of runaway slaves, murder, revenge, magic, and Barbary pirates. 

    Day 8
    Heimaey - Full day

    Iceland`s Pompeii

  • Day 9
    Reykjavík

    The start of a new adventure

    2 August 2023

    Take a trip to the Blue Lagoon for an unforgettable outdoor spa experience 

    Returning to Reykjavík, you now have another opportunity to explore the delights you may have missed on your first visit. Don’t forget, this is a city of art, culture, galleries and museums. Or if you simply wish to relax, why not take a trip to the famous Blue Lagoon.  

    Here you can relax in geothermally heated water of a bright blue colour that’s derived from silica and many other minerals carried down from the volcanic landscape. As you soak, you can also enjoy a drink and chat with locals and fellow guests as you look forward to the next step on your adventure – Greenland! 

    Day 9
    Reykjavík

    The start of a new adventure

  • Day 10
    At Sea

    Crossing the Denmark Strait

    3 August 2023

    Relax and learn all about the Arctic as we follow in the wake of Viking explorers 

    Voyaging westward, MS Fridtjof Nansen enters the Denmark Strait, waters once sailed by Erik the Red and other Viking explorers on their way to Greenland. As we sail, the ship has plenty of onboard facilities that you can use. In the Science Center, you can learn all about the Arctic, its wildlife and its inhabitants.  

    Why not take some time to use the ship’s fitness room and get the blood pumping. After that, you can enjoy a relaxing sauna as you gaze out to sea. Later, chat with other guests as you enjoy a drink in the Explorer Lounge & Bar - all just suggestions, of course! 

    Day 10
    At Sea

    Crossing the Denmark Strait

  • Day 11-19
    Scoresbysund Fjord system

    Largest fjord system on Earth

    4 August 2023 - 12 August 2023

    Spend over a week exploring the most immense fjord system on the planet 

    This enormous fjord system is renowned for its spectacular scenery. Amid mountains towering to 6,500 feet, glistening white and blue icebergs float on the mirror-like waters, and the serenity is broken only by the cries of sea birds, such as little auks, puffins, fulmars and gulls.   

    The waters are also home to various species of whales and seals. Your Captain and Expedition Team will seek out opportunities to go ashore for nature walks or to explore the fjords by kayak. On land, you may well spot musk oxen, Arctic foxes, Greenlandic Gyrfalcons and mountain hares, so keep your eyes open! 

    Day 11-19
    Scoresbysund Fjord system

    Largest fjord system on Earth

  • Day 20
    Denmark Strait

    Heading back to Iceland

    13 August 2023

    Heading back to Iceland – time to relax at sea 

    After exploring the remote beauty of east Greenland, we set our course back for Iceland. Spend your time at sea recapping your experiences with new friends, studying nature in the Science Center, or just relaxing on deck. Look out for the seabirds which follow the ship, or maybe see if you can spot some whales.  

    As you reflect on your expedition cruise, you may now appreciate what a precious place Greenland is. From the delicate ecology of the fjord systems, and the ethereal elegance of the floating ice and glaciers, we hope that the beauty you encountered has made its mark on you. 

    Day 20
    Denmark Strait

    Heading back to Iceland

  • Day 21
    Reykjavík

    The end of this adventure

    14 August 2023

    MS Fram will arrive back in the Icelandic capital early in the morning. Once you’ve disembarked, why not check out some of the things you might have missed in this charming and compact city. 

    We’re sure you will have had an incredible experience exploring Iceland, and Greenland’s east coast with us, and we hope to see you again in the future for more adventures.  

    Post-Programme 

    Want to extend your adventure? If you'd like to discover more of Iceland, why not add on our Post-Programme before you head home, or simply extend your stay to enjoy Reykjavik and the surrounding geothermal attractions. After all, Iceland has so much to offer you may want to linger just a little longer! 

    Day 21
    Reykjavík

    The end of this adventure

Departures

2023

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What's included

Included in your voyage

Expedition Cruise  

  • Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice 
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurant Aune 
  • À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm included for suite guests 
  • Complimentary tea and coffee 
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported. 
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to use at water refill stations on board 
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore 
  • Range of included excursions 

Onboard Activities 

  • Experts on the Expedition Team deliver in-depth lectures on a variety of topics 
  • Use of the ship’s Science Center which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes 
  • Citizen Science program allows guests to assist with live scientific research 
  •  Professional onboard photographer gives top tips and tricks for the best landscape and wildlife photos 
  • Use of the ship’s hot tubs, panoramic sauna, outdoor and indoor gyms, and outdoor running track  
  • Informal gatherings with the crew such as daily recaps and preparation for the day to come 

Landing Activities 

  • Escorted landings with small expedition boats  
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment for activities 
  • Complimentary wind and water-resistant expedition jacket 
  • Expedition Photographers help with your camera settings  

Not included in your voyage

  • International flights  
  • Travel insurance 
  • Luggage handling 
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners 
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team

Notes

MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo
MS Fram in Antarctica
Photo: Sandra Walser
Your ship

MS Fram

Year built 2007
Year of refurbishment 2022
Shipyard Fincantieri, Italy
Passenger capacity 250 (200 in Antarctica)
Beds 276
Car capacity 0
Gross tonnage 11 647 T
Length 114 m
Beam 20.2 m
Speed 13 knots
MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo

The original Fram was the most famous explorer ship of its time, and the achievements of her expeditions are unparalleled. MS Fram brings on the heritage of the original Fram, using the most advanced technology to make her exceptionally well suited for expedition voyages in Polar Regions.

Read more about MS Fram

Icebergs – one of many favorite photo motives when on an expedition with MS Fram
Photo: Tomas Mauch

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