Experience the immense natural beauty of one of the world’s most astonishing countries and go in search of spine-tingling natural wonders and fascinating elusive wildlife on this epic exploration of Iceland aboard Balmoral.
This incredible expedition is packed with unforgettable sights and experiences from start to finish, beginning with scenic cruising past the active Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, which famously erupted in 2010; Elliðaey Island, home of the ‘world’s most isolated house’; and the unusual Elephant Rock. Any time spent in Reykjavik is highly rewarding, so stopping overnight in the world’s northernmost capital will be an undoubted highlight of this cruise. Explore the city and discover attractions such as Hallgrímskirkja Church, the National Gallery and the old harbour; or perhaps join a tour to the ‘Golden Circle’ – where the Blue Lagoon Spa, Gullfoss & Seljalandsfoss Waterfalls and Geyser hot springs are found – before sailing onwards to picturesque Ísafjörður, the gateway to the unspoilt landscapes and craggy cliffs of Hornstrandir Nature Reserve.
An overnight stay in Akureyri – voted Lonely Planet’s ‘best place to visit in Europe in 2015’ – offers you plenty of time to discover why this enchanting town is so highly rated. Stylish galleries, interesting museums and quality restaurants galore await you here; while you could also tour to wonders such as Godafoss Waterfall and Lake Mývatn, or experience the thrill of an unmissable whale-watching excursion. Peaceful scenic cruising along the glassy waters of Eyjafjörður, past the islands of Hrisey and Grimsey – home to puffins and thousands of other seabirds – and by Skjálfandi Bay – where whales are often spotted – is followed by a call into Seyðisfjörður. Bask in the beauty of the snow-capped peaks which surround this pretty town as you wander between the colourful wooden houses, or hunt the mysterious ‘Worm Monster’ at Lagarfljót Lake. Yet more scenic cruising by soaring mountains and rugged cliffs will bring your Icelandic adventure to the perfect conclusion.
Monday 28th August – We set off from the Travel Centre in Hugglescote and make our way to Newcastle in time for our afternoon embarkation onto the beautiful Balmoral. We set sail this evening.
Tuesday 29th August – Today is spent at sea
Wednesday 30th August – This evening we cruise by Eyjafjallajokull, the incredible volcano. It is a sight to behold and there’s no better way to appreciate the sheer size and outstanding beauty of this Icelandic wonder than our Fred. Olsen Cruise. We also cruise by the Ellioaey Island, which is home to what’s thought to be “the most isolated house in the world”. Beautiful Ellioaey Island – located off the south coast of Iceland – has been a source of intrigue for centuries. This evening we will cruise by Elephant Rock, which is located on Iceland’s Heimaey Island and is one of Mother Nature’s finest sculptures.
Thursday 31st August – We arrive early this morning into Reykjavik. Overlooked by the impressive Hallgrimskirkja bell tower, Reykjavik is a stunning city with a number of interesting museums and some of the country’s most beautiful natural wonders within easy reach. Highlights of this city include the Blue Lagoon Spa, Thingfvellir National Park, Gullfoss and Seljalandsfoss waterfalls and the Geysir hot spring area. Tonight we overnight in Reykjavik.
Friday 01st August – After a full day at leisure, we depart the beautiful city of Reykjavik late this evening.
Saturday 02nd August – We arrive this morning into Isafjorour. Perched on a sand-spit jutting into an inlet on one of the northwest Iceland’s deepest fjords, Isafjorour has a fine natural harbour which has made this one of the country’s main fishing and trading centers for over 250 years. We depart early evening and cruise by Hornstrandir. Feel spoilt for views as you bask in the grandeur of the King and Queen of Cliffs, majestically pointing outwards and upwards high into the sky at Iceland’s northernmost peninsula. We will also cruise alongside one of the most unique natural wonders in Iceland, the remarkable Drangaskoro.
Sunday 03rd August – Early this morning we arrive into Akureyri. On your journey to Akureyri you’ll sail through the longest fjord in Iceland, Eyjafjordur, a wonderful prelude to your time on shore. If you are looking for culture then head to Listagil, the Centre of arts, crafts and design. To discover the surrounding natural wonders, take a sightseeing tour to Godafoss, “waterfall of the Gods and Lake Myvatn. A visit here also offers the rare chance to go whale watching and see these splendid creatures in their natural environment: look out for Blue, Fin, Humpback, Minke and Sei whales.
Monday 04th August – We depart Akureyri early evening and cruise the longest fjord in Iceland, Eyjafjorour. At the edge of the Arctic Circle, it lies on the migratory routes of Whales and birds – Be sure to have your camera at the ready. Late this evening, we cruise by Hrisey, a peaceful island situated in the middle of the Eyjafjordur, just off the north coast of Iceland. The Arctic Circle runs through this island, the northernmost inhabited territory. The islands all-round cliff face makes it an ideal home to a multitude of cliff nesting birds including puffins, razorbills and guillemots – a bird watchers paradise! Don’t forget we also cruise Skjalfandi Bay, regarded as one of the world’s best whale watching and bird spotting destinations.
This evening we Cross the ARCTIC CIRCLE! This is a truly memorable experience. You’re sure to leave your cruise with stories to share with your loved ones for years to come!
Tuesday 05th August – This morning we Cruise the Borgarfjorour Eystri, breathtakingly beautiful, and located in Eastern Iceland, this is one of Europe’s most stunning destinations. We also experience serenity at its finest on a scenic cruise past the protruding Norofjaroarhorn and Gerpir, the easternmost tip of Iceland. After sailing 17kilometres along the calm waters of Iceland’s beautiful Seyoisfjorour with its magnificent hills, mountains and cliffs, we arrive late morning to the delightful town of the same name. Regarded as one of Iceland’s most picturesque towns. Its remoteness and hard-to-reach location makes a visit here even more special: one of the advantages of cruising the Icelandic coast. The valley above the town echo’s to the sound of 25 thundering waterfalls formed by the river Fjaroara as it cascades down to a lagoon at the head of the fjord. We depart and continue cruising Seyoisfjorour. Late this evening we cruise by three of the most impressive natural landmarks ion Iceland’s east coast – the Dalatangi, Akurfell and Toarfjall mountains. We also sail by the mighty 1,958ft-high peak of Nipukollur situated on the east coast of Iceland.
Wednesday 6th and Thursday 7th August – Two days at sea.
Friday 8th August – We wake this morning back at the port in Newcastle. After breakfast we disembark this morning. Your Roberts Travel Group coach will be waiting to bring you back to the Travel Centre in Hugglescote.
To enquire about this holiday or to make a booking please call 01530 816425