Ring of Fire and Ice – Summer Circumnavigation of Iceland

Ring of Fire and Ice – Summer Circumnavigation of Iceland

Ring of Fire and Ice – Summer Circumnavigation of Iceland

Ring of Fire and Ice – Summer Circumnavigation of Iceland

Travel information 11 days MS Maud
Departures
10 July 2023
8 August 2023
8 July 2024
6 August 2024
Price from
4690 €
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

11-day Iceland Circular Expedition Cruise from and to Reykjavík

Iceland past and present 

In Reykjavík, you'll get a taste of modern Iceland, with its stylish restaurants, boutiques and galleries, museums delving into 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. 

Volcanic landscapes, whales and seabirds 

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. Among the birdlife we’ll be on the lookout for Atlantic Puffins and many others. 

Ring of Fire and Ice – Summer Circumnavigation of Iceland Ring of Fire and Ice – Summer Circumnavigation of Iceland
  • Day 1
    Reykjavík, Iceland

    Relax in Reykjavík

    Discover Iceland's modern capital 

    Your Iceland expedition cruise starts in Reykjavík, a city full of art, culture and history. Visit Laugavegur, the main shopping street and head towards the striking Hallgrímskirkja church. Or why not explore the galleries and museums dotted around the city. 

    Once aboard MS Maud – a smaller ship built for more personal exploration – it's time to settle in, meet your Expedition Team, and enjoy a relaxed welcome dinner. 

    Pre-Programme 

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

    Day 1
    Reykjavík, Iceland

    Relax in Reykjavík

  • Day 2
    Snæfellsnes peninsula

    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’snicknamed '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

    Snæfellsnes peninsula

  • Day 3
    Patreksfjörður

    Beautiful Patreksfjörður

    Visit a stunning beach, waterfalls and go birdwatching 

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

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

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

    Day 3
    Patreksfjörður

    Beautiful Patreksfjörður

  • Day 4
    The Northwestern Region

    The Northwestern Region

    Explore 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 we won't know exactly what's in store until the day itself. 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, swim or beach clean-up. Or perhaps we’ll launch our kayaks to explore a pretty cove. 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
    The Northwestern Region

    The Northwestern Region

  • Day 5
    Djúpavík

    Djúpavík's old factory

    Explore a ghostly factory and hike in magical surroundings 

    The remote village of Djúpavík,at the edge of the Westfjords, has an eerie charm. A vast abandoned herring factory contrasts with a stunning rural setting, and a guided tour of the old building will reveal all. Inside its cavernous interior, huge machines rust away quietly, and the everyday objects of the workers sit on desks untouched. 

    Explore the magical surroundings here on foot and take a short, invigorating hike to the waterfall just above the old factory. Looking down onto the shore, you may spot the old rusting ship from a previous era – this really is a place of contrasts. 

    • Included Herring Factory visit & Leisurely Hike
    Day 5
    Djúpavík

    Djúpavík's old factory

  • Day 6
    Eyjafjörður

    Eyjafjörður to Akureyri

    Explore Akureyri and see volcanic moonscapes

    Today we cruise along Eyjafjörður, Iceland's longest fjord, to Akureyri, Iceland's northern capital. It's a prime area to see humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises. 

    Stroll around the interesting streets of Akureyri, which feature charming, colourful houses. You can also learn about the history of the city at the Akureyri Museum, and visit Into the Arctic – Norðurslóð  –a museum dedicated to Iceland’s settlement, culture and life in the north. 

    Further afield you can visit the picturesque Goðafoss – ‘God’s Waterfall’ – where turquoise waters pound against black rocks. Seek out Eider and Harlequin Ducks at Lake Mývatn, one of Iceland's more active volcanic areas.  

    • Included Akureyri City Walk
    Day 6
    Eyjafjörður

    Eyjafjörður to Akureyri

  • Day 7
    Grímsey

    Grímsey’s puffins

    Cross the Arctic Circle and see Atlantic Puffins

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

    But 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 sculpture, a huge concrete sphere that’s repositioned each year to fit the northward movement of the Arctic Circle. In fact, by 2050, Grímsey will lie outside the Arctic! 

    • Included Arctic Circle Crossing Ceremony
    Day 7
    Grímsey

    Grímsey’s puffins

  • Day 8
    Húsavík

    Whale watching in Húsavík

    Iceland's best whale watching spot 

    Today you’ll explore Húsavík, a fascinating small town that's one of the best places in the world from which to see whales.  

    Húsavík looks out over Skjálfandi bay, which enjoys visits from humpback and minke whales, as well as white-beaked dolphins, harbour porpoise and even the elusive blue whale. Learn more about them at Húsavík’s Whale Museum.  

     You can also enjoy the geothermal waters at Geosea, which overlooks Skjálfandi bay, and refresh with a beer at the local microbrewery. 

    Day 8
    Húsavík

    Whale watching in Húsavík

  • Day 9
    Bakkagerði

    Hike in Bakkagerði

    Local folklore and natural beauty 

    Your Iceland cruise continues to Bakkagerði, a tiny settlement a bit off the beaten track. According to folklore, Bakkagerði is inhabited by a large population of local land spirits or elves, known as huldufólk, meaning 'hidden people'. 

    A popular hiking area, 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 9
    Bakkagerði

    Hike in Bakkagerði

  • Day 10
    Heimaey

    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 the powerful 1973 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. 

    Day 10
    Heimaey

    Heimaey's explosive past

  • Day 11
    Reykjavík

    Reykjavík and beyond

    Explore Reykjavík at your leisure 

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

    Relaxing with friends in heittur pottur, geothermal waters, 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. Here, you’llexperience the blend of silica, algae and minerals in its geothermal waters.  

    Post-Programme 

    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 11
    Reykjavík

    Reykjavík and beyond

Departures

2023

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
July:
10.
August:
8.

2024

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
July:
8.
August:
6.

What's included

Included in your voyage

Expedition Cruise 

  • A stay in a cabin of your choice 
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages* in restaurant Aune  
  • 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, panoramic sauna,  indoor and outdoor gym  
  • 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 

Notes 

  • All planned activities are subject to weather  
  • 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 
MS Maud
Interior in restaurant Lindstrøm
Photo: Oscar Farrera
Your ship

MS Maud

Year built 2003
Shipyard Fosen Mek. Verk. (N)
Passenger capacity 528 (500 in Antarctica)
Beds 500
Gross tonnage 16,151 T
Length 135,75 m
Beam 21.5 m
Speed 15 knots

Formerly the MS Midnatsol, the MS Maud is well-suited for expedition cruising.

Read more about MS Maud

Science center - MS Maud
Photo: Oscar Farrera
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