Iceland circumnavigation cruise

Voyage all the way around Iceland on a cruise that takes you to lesser-visited ports, hot springs and islands. And all with the chance to sail aboard a small, state-of-the-art hybrid electric ship.
Reykjavik Stykkishólmur Patreksfjörður Akureyri Grímsey & Arctic Circle Bakkagerði Westman Islands wildlife, history and town walks optional excursions: glacier tours, bird watching, fjord hikes, sea kayaking, Mývatn lake & baths, horse riding, boat rides, Golden Circle & Blue Lagoon
£3771To£7105 excluding flights
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9 Days
More info
Includes: Full board accommodation onboard | Landings & excursions as per itinerary | Professional English-speaking Expedition team delivering lectures & guidance | Complimentary expedition jacket & reusable water bottle | Citizen Science Programme
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Description of Iceland circumnavigation cruise

This Iceland circumnavigation cruise completes a whole circuit of Iceland, starting and beginning in Reykjavik. From day one, the route eases away from the busy capital city and heads for the lesser-visited landscapes of Snæfellsnes, the Westfjords and the east coast – and with the chance to cruise aboard one of the only hybrid electric ships on the Arctic expedition circuit to boot.

The landscapes are extraordinary – glacier-topped volcanoes, bird colonies and one of Iceland’s longest fjords, where there’s a good chance of glimpsing whales from deck. There’s even a rare chance to stop off at remote Grímsey Island and hike past bird colonies to the Arctic Circle.

Insights about the wildlife, landscapes and settlements you encounter en route come courtesy of the on-board wildlife, photography and history experts. There’s also a mini science centre that hosts lectures covering topics such as volcanic geology and climate change.

Although being at sea is part of the adventure, this Iceland circumnavigation is as much about the land and people who live on it as the expedition itself. Onshore highlights include walking and folklore tours with local guides, time in lively Akureyri (the “capital of the north”) and the rarely visited Westfjords. There’s also a swathe of optional excursions, from road trips to Mývatn, with its lake and nature baths, to folklore museums, wildlife boat trips and fjord hikes.

Fancy a little more time exploring Iceland? There’s also an 11-day itinerary available – just ask.


Price information

£3771To£7105 excluding flights
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Includes: Full board accommodation onboard | Landings & excursions as per itinerary | Professional English-speaking Expedition team delivering lectures & guidance | Complimentary expedition jacket & reusable water bottle | Citizen Science Programme
Make enquiry

Check dates, prices & availability

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Holiday information

Dietary requirements:
Vegetarian/vegan options on all included meals available on request.
Top tip:
The hybrid-powered ship departs on specific departure dates, so do ask if you’d like to travel on this vessel.
Trip type:
Small ship cruise.
Activity level:
Easy-going with optional active excursions.
A choice of cabins.
Full board accommodation onboard (breakfast, lunch and dinner).
Landings and excursions as per the itinerary. Professional English-speaking expedition team. On-board lectures. Expedition jacket and a reusable water bottle to reduce single-use plastics.


2 Reviews of Iceland circumnavigation cruise

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 07 Aug 2023 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

It is difficult to say as everything was wonderful. We managed to see whales, which was one of the reasons for the trip. The scenery is beautiful and we learned a lot about the culture and history of Iceland.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Not to be afraid of booking excursions as they are very well run and you get lots of help.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I do think that holiday benefited the local community as buying things in the local shops benefits Iceland's economy. There was so much I learned about Iceland that was positive and this will be passed on to friends and encourage them to visit. Following the advice of 'dont leave anything, don't take anything from Iceland' helps with supporting conservation and the environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

I thought the whole holiday was fabulous. The ship was just the right size. It was clean and well maintained inside and out. The cabin was comfortable and the facilities provided appreciated. We went on many of the excursions which were well run and the excursion leaders were knowledgeable about local history. The whole crew on the ship were attentive, polite and always smiling and nothing was too much for them. The food was superb and the crew showed there impressive talents on the crew show night. Nothing but good things to say and hope to travel to Iceland again.

Reviewed on 07 Jun 2022 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Zodiak trips which get close to seabird colonies and the rib boat whale watching trip.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

We were advised to print and bring all travel docs including a lengthy full colour guide with details of ship facilities. I didn't take this seriously expecting such information to be available on board - I was wrong!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, to some extent. The cruise operator is a local company employing some Icelanders as tour guides and admin, the crew and hospitality were almost entirely international many of whom will be sending remittances to developing countries. The ship will have used a lot of fuel, my enquiry about refuse disposal was not answered, but as we were in port each day I imagine it went into Iceland's usual system. No specific reference was made to conservation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

A wonderful trip overall. There were a few annoying glitches, probably because it was the first of the season, which staff and crew did their best to overcome.

Responsible Travel

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.


On this exciting expedition you will discover one of the most beautiful environments in the world, visiting enchanting areas and learning all about the country’s culture, nature, people and history. This remote volcanic island is rich in landscape and wildlife diversity, and as organisers of this tour we place the utmost importance on ensuring that these fragile lands are protected and that travel to the area is carried out in a responsible and conscientious manner. One of the many ways in which we can do this is to strictly only use operators whose environmental mantras are as stringent as our own. The operators of this tour are completely committed to their sustainable practices both onboard and ashore.

The operators of your tour are green pioneers and are founding members of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO) and members of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO). These are trade member organisations which work to establish sustainable tourism in polar regions, fight mass tourism by limiting ships and shore visits, and create guidelines that protect fragile environments and rare wildlife. As part of our commitment to our customers, we only work with operators who are members of these organisations.

The operators are also fully committed to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and use these guidelines as their compass for creating sustainable expedition cruises, designing all practices around them as much as possible and pushing them well beyond the current regulations to provide greener travel to remote destinations than most other operators. Their goal is to achieve emission-free operations and they are taking important steps to get there.

As the world’s largest expedition cruise company, they lead by example, aiming to raise the standards for the entire cruise industry. Sustainability is at the core of all operations and one of the ways in which this is most apparent is the cessation of the use of heavy fuel oil more than a decade ago and a continuous campaign for its worldwide ban. Fridtjof Nansen, the ship upon which you will explore Iceland, is a state-of-the-art hybrid electric ship packed with ground-breaking green technology, such as battery packs, heat recovery systems, and a cutting-edge hull design. These innovations combined reduce carbon emissions by more than 20%, compared to other cruise ships of the same size. The company will also be the first expedition cruise line to power their ships with liquified biogas (LBG) – a fossil-free, renewable fuel produced from organic waste, including waste matter from local fisheries.

In addition to the ground-breaking sustainability practices used in the design of the ship, onboard this ethos continues. Full menus with a very wide choice of delicious planet-friendly, plant-based dishes are offered on every expedition, created by master chefs and designed to prove conclusively that vegan and vegetarian cuisine can still taste great. These meals have low or even zero CO2 footprints. Stringent food management waste programmes are also in place, aiming to reduce food waste by at least 30%.

As well as endeavouring to protect the pristine environments of Iceland, a huge emphasis is also placed on protecting the wildlife and birdlife that resides in this beautiful country. Before departure you will be provided with guidance on appropriate behaviour around any wildlife that you may encounter on your trip, including safe distances to keep and ensuring not to encroach on habitats or disturb the animals. Your onboard experts will also continuously offer guidance on how to behave around the wildlife and will ensure that the strict safe distances are kept. They will also provide advice on conservation charities and efforts that they support and how you too can support these worthwhile causes. Organisations that your operators support include the RSPB and ORCA. As a company we support numerous wildlife and conservation charities across the globe including Birdfair, Africat, the Dian Fossey Foundation, the South Georgia Habitat Restoration Project, How Many Elephants and much, much more. We feel that by giving to these charities in both a financial, marketing and logistically supportive manner we can help the fight to ensure the ongoing survival of the world’s endangered animal populations. We find that the vast majority of our customers return from Polar wildlife adventures with a renewed sense of understanding of the plights facing the wildlife and birdlife that they will have encountered on their trip. This renewed sense of understanding usually results in a high uptake of support for the wildlife charities that we support and promote, along with those supported by the operators.

As well as supporting multiple environmental and wildlife protection organisations, you will be prompted to do your own bit to help this flight by making small changes to the way you travel. This includes the banning of non-essential single use plastic on board and ashore. The operator of this tour was the first expedition company to ban non-essential single-use plastic throughout their entire operation. That means you won’t find items like plastic cups, plastic straws or plastic cutlery on board, and the onboard shop will be selling items such as clothing made with natural wool as opposed to microplastic-made items. You will be provided with a free high-quality reusable bottle which can be used at water refill stations dotted around the ship, and plastic bottles of water will not be available onboard. This simple act saves around 1,000 plastic bottles a day on some expeditions!

Your expedition will feature a firm focus on the environment. The Expedition Team will provide lectures to raise awareness of climate change, ocean plastic, and the measures we can all take to help ease these issues. It is hoped that engaging with nature will inspire you to do all you can to cherish and protect the precious world we all share. The company also has their own foundation which supports a wide variety of projects and engages guests in various initiatives, such as studying whale populations, fighting marine pollution, supporting beach clean-ups, Citizen Science, water sampling, and more.


As a company we are proud of the values that our community can always depend on. Thanks to our close relationships with local people on the ground in the destinations we promote, we can offer the most up-to-date advice on visiting the particular countries and areas, including information on traditions, cultures and appropriate behaviour at cultural sites. This advice will be offered in your pre-departure information along with recommended locally-owned accommodations, bars, restaurants and shops that you may which to avail of before and after your cruise.

The operators of your tour are dedicated to supporting the local communities that are visited, and to creating beneficial ripple effects that continue long after the ship leaves the area. They trade locally and source food produce as well as services like excursions from local suppliers, helping to contribute to the livelihood and welfare of the people in the areas visited. Throughout your trip your experienced and knowledgeable expedition team will share with you the history, cultures and traditions of Iceland and its many remote communities. You will stop at some seldom-visited areas to gain an insight into the way of life here and at each stop there will be local excursions and activities offered. These locally operated activities mean that the smaller communities can benefit from the tourist income that is often confined to the larger cities such as the capital Reykjavik. Advice on interactions with locals and respecting cultural sites will be given throughout the cruise.

As a company we support numerous charities both at home and overseas including sponsorship of individual and underprivileged children in many countries. Likewise, the operator of this tour places huge emphasis on this and currently supports 41 environmental, cultural and social projects in 11 different countries. This includes supporting schemes for safe spaces for vulnerable Greenlandic children and enabling community storytelling for the Itquamavit elders in Canada’s frozen north.

The company use the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as a framework for all operations and have chosen four SDG goals to focus on related to quality education, gender equality, peace, and justice. In regards to employment, the company have a fully committed approach to diversity. They employ more than 2,700 people, representing 61 nationalities, and provide equal opportunities regardless of gender, ethnic and cultural background, religion, age, sexual orientation, functional ability, and political view. They also operate with zero tolerance for discrimination. Already, 44% of manager-level employees are women and the aim is for that figure to increase.

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