Circumnavigating Iceland - The Land of Elves, Sagas and Volcanoes (Itinerary 1)

Circumnavigating Iceland - The Land of Elves, Sagas and Volcanoes (Itinerary 1)

Circumnavigating Iceland - The Land of Elves, Sagas and Volcanoes (Itinerary 1)

Circumnavigating Iceland - The Land of Elves, Sagas and Volcanoes (Itinerary 1)

Travel information 9 days MS Fridtjof Nansen , MS Fram
8 departures between May 2023 and Jun 2024
Price from
3890 €
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

9-Day Circular Expedition Cruise around Iceland from Reykjavík 

Iceland old and new 

In Reykjavík, you'll get a taste of modern Iceland, with its stylish restaurants, boutiques and galleries, and museums detailing Icelandic history and culture through the ages. On tiny islands and in coastal fishing villages, you'll hear tales of elves and epic Viking sagas. 

Raw natural beauty 

Discover Iceland's starkly beautiful, volcanic scenery – with active volcanoes, geysers, glaciers, mountains and waterfalls. Iceland offers among the best whale watching in Europe at this time of year, from humpbacks to belugas. And among the Arctic birdlife you'll keep an eye out for colonies of  Atlantic Puffins.  

Circumnavigating Iceland - The Land of Elves, Sagas and Volcanoes (Itinerary 1) Circumnavigating Iceland - The Land of Elves, Sagas and Volcanoes (Itinerary 1)
  • Day 1

    Cosmopolitan Reykjavík

    Estimated time of departure is 8:00 PM

    Discover Iceland's modern capital

    Your Iceland expedition cruise starts in Reykjavík – a vibrant city full of culture and history. Enjoy a walk around this compact city. Take a stroll down Laugavegur – the main shopping street – to the striking Hallgrímskirkja church. Or why not visit one of its many art galleries and museums. 

    With so much to explore, you may want to arrive early to join one of our Pre-Programmes and explore the Golden Circle or the Icelandic Highlands. 

    Your Iceland adventure at sea starts when you board the ship. Find your cabin, meet your Expedition Team, explore the ship and enjoy a relaxed welcome dinner as we set sail towards our first stop, Stykkishólmur. 

    Day 1

    Cosmopolitan Reykjavík

  • Day 2

    Snæfellsnes peninsula

    Gateway to spectacular Snæfellsnes

    It's as though time has stood still at Stykkishólmur, the small fishing town in Breiðafjörður bay, where colourful houses stand out in contrast to distant mountains.  

    Nearby, you’ll find Snæfellsnes Peninsula National Park, with the striking, ice-capped Snæfellsjökull volcano at the peninsula’s western tip. It’s nicknamed 'Little Iceland' for its array of volcanic landscapes. 

    At the national park you can visit Djúpalónssandur's black sand beach and the Lóndrangar basalt cliffs. Or why not ride a snowcat to the top of the Snæfellsjökull glacier or take a guided coastal hike with a glacial cave tour. 

    • Included Stykkishólmur Discovery Walk
    Day 2

    Snæfellsnes peninsula

  • Day 3

    Beautiful Patreksfjörður

    Birdwatching, waterfalls and stunning beaches

    Patreksfjörður is unforgettably beautiful. Here, you’ll learn all about the fishing traditions in Europe's most westerly village. You can even enjoy a dip in the town's outdoor pool, with wonderful fjord views! 

    You'll have the opportunity to explore the surrounding area on a hike through the fjords, or visit Rauðasandur beach and see seals. You can also join a tour to the Dynjandi waterfalls – six falls combined that together make the largest and most spectacular cascade in the Westfjords.  

    Birdwatchers shouldn’t miss a visit to Látrabjarg, where puffins, Northern Gannets, guillemots and razorbills cling to Europe’s largest bird cliff. 

    • Included Patreksfjörður - the Westernmost Village of Europe Revealed
    Day 3

    Beautiful Patreksfjörður

  • Day 4
    Northwest Iceland

    The Northwestern Region

    Exploring Northwest Iceland, expedition-style

    One of the best things about expedition cruising is the feeling of freedom. We plan to spend the day in Iceland’s Northwestern Region, but as conditions can vary, there's no preset plan. Rest assured, your Captain and Expedition Team will find the best opportunities for adventure.  

    We may take you ashore in our small expedition boats for a hike or a beach clean-up. Or perhaps we’ll launch our kayaks. If we spot a pod of whales as we sail, we may stop to enjoy the sight. Be ready for anything! 

    Don’t forget, you can also join onboard lectures, visit the Science Center, get tips from our professional photographer, or soak in a hot tub! 

    Day 4
    Northwest Iceland

    The Northwestern Region

  • Day 5

    Akureyri and Goðafoss

    See dramatic moonscapes and waterfalls

    Gaze at snowcapped peaks as we cruise along Eyjafjörður, Iceland's longest fjord. It's one of the best places in Europe to spot humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises. Look out for orcas, blue and fin whales here, too.  

    Iceland’s 'Northern Capital’, Akureyri, sits at the fjord base. Here, you can enjoy the oasis of a botanical garden, and visit top-notch eateries and museums.  

     A little further afield, you can witness the picturesque Goðafoss waterfall, where turquoise waters pound against black rocks. You can also keep an eye out for Eider and Harlequin Ducks at Lake Mývatn, one of Iceland's more active volcanic areas. 

    • Included Akureyri City Walk
    Day 5

    Akureyri and Goðafoss

  • Day 6
    Grimsey Island

    Grímsey’s puffins

    Cross the Arctic Circle and see Atlantic Puffins

    This remote and windswept island, home to just 60 people, is well known for its Atlantic Puffin colonies. Grímsey is steeped in folklore, including tales of the island’s first settler, Grímur. 

    Grímsey is probably best known for its proximity to the Arctic Circle, which cuts across the island – the only part of Iceland where it does so. You’ll have the opportunity to step across that line, hopping over to the Arctic and back!   

    Hike to the Orbis et Globus landmark, a huge concrete sphere sculpture that’s repositioned each year to fit the northward movement of the Arctic Circle. By 2050, Grímsey will lie outside the Arctic. 

    • Included Arctic Circle Crossing Ceremony
    Day 6
    Grimsey Island

    Grímsey’s puffins

  • Day 7

    Hike in Bakkagerði

    Local folklore and staggering natural beauty

    Your Iceland cruise continues to Bakkagerði, a tiny, remote settlement.  According to folklore, Bakkagerði is inhabited by a large population of local land spirits or elves, known as huldufólk, meaning 'hidden people'. Walk around town to explore this magical place.  

    A popular hiking  area, here you can walk through lush, green valleys and gorgeous scenery among colourful rhyolite rocks. The coastal cliffs are home to fulmars, kittiwakes, eiders and puffins. We may also visit the Atlantic Puffin colony on Hafnarhólmi – a true gem for nature lovers and wildlife photographers.  

    • Included Local Living Walk of Bakkagerði
    Day 7

    Hike in Bakkagerði

  • Day 8

    Heimaey's explosive past

    Discover the town that defied a volcano

    Heimaey is the only inhabited island in the Westman Islands, found off the south coast of Iceland. It has a fascinating history, and still bears the scars of a powerful volcanic eruption that nearly destroyed the island.  

    Visit Eldheimar, a museum that features an excavated home frozen in time, and learn more about the eruption and its aftermath. Or why not take a hike to seek out puffins at Stórhöfði, where around eight million nest every summer. Don’t miss climbing Mount Eldfell – at the volcano’s summit you’ll have incredible views of the town below. 

    • Included Heimaey - Lava and History Walk
    Day 8

    Heimaey's explosive past

  • Day 9
    Reykjavik - Disembarkation

    Reykjavík and beyond

    Estimated time of arrival is 6:00 AM

    Enjoy Reykjavík at your leisure

    Your Iceland expedition cruise concludes back in fascinating Reykjavík. This is a great opportunity to see the places you missed when you first arrived.  

    Relaxing with friends in a heittur pottur, a geothermal pool, is part of Icelandic culture. Before you leave, why not visit Iceland’s most famous place for doing just that – the Blue Lagoon – one of the true natural wonders of the world – and experience the blend of silica, algae and minerals in its geothermal waters.  

    You can also join our Post-Programme and explore Iceland's beautiful south coast, with waterfalls, black sand beaches, geothermal springs and majestic mountains. 

    Day 9
    Reykjavik - Disembarkation

    Reykjavík and beyond



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What's included

Included in your voyage

Expedition Cruise 

  • A stay in a cabin of your choice 
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages* in restaurants Aune and Fredheim 
  • À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm included for suite guests 
  • Complimentary tea and coffee 
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board† 
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle 
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore 
  • Range of included activities 

*House beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water 

†Please note there is very limited Wi-Fi and phone signal in the remote areas we travel to, and streaming is not supported. 

Onboard Activities 

  • In-depth lectures and discussions hosted by experts on the Expedition Team 
  • Full use of our Science Center, extensive library and advanced biological and geological equipment 
  • Citizen Science Programme where you can assist with ongoing scientific research 
  • Photography tips and techniques for capturing landscape and wildlife from our onboard professional photographer 
  • Use of ship's hot tubs, infinity pool, panoramic sauna, outdoor and indoor gyms, and running track 
  • Informal gatherings with the crew for daily briefings 

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 on hand to assist you 


  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions 
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change 
  • Please make sure you meet all entry and boarding requirements  
  • No gratuities expected 

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 
  • Optional treatments in the onboard wellness and spa area 


MS Fridtjof Nansen

Year built 2020
Shipyard Kleven Yards, Norway
Passenger capacity 528 (500 in Antarctica)
Gross tonnage 20 889 T
Length 140 m
Beam 23,6 m
Speed 15 knots

MS Fridtjof Nansen is the latest addition to Hurtigruten’s fleet of custom built ships – and the next generation expedition ship. She will explore some of the most spectacular corners of the globe.

Read more about MS Fridtjof Nansen

MS Fram

Year built 2007
Year of refurbishment 2022
Shipyard Fincantieri, Italy
Passenger capacity 250 (200 in Antarctica)
Beds 276
Gross tonnage 11 647 T
Length 114 m
Beam 20.2 m
Speed 13 knots

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

MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo
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