Experience the wild and fantastic landscapes of Iceland - the land of fire and ice - on the luxury boutique ship, the SH Vega with Swan Hellenic. Circumnavigate the geologically active island, accompanied by breaching whales, to see the puffin capital of the world. Along the way, you will discover the phenomena of fjords, spectacular waterfalls and neverending volcanic scenery. Soak in mineral-filled geothermal pools, hike to thundering waterfalls, duck under the spray of spouting hot geysers, spot millions upon millions of Atlantic puffins and trek across remote locations where only arctic fox live, and bring home memories that last a lifetime.
Day 1: Reykjavik
Day 2: Heimaey
Day 3: Vik
Day 4: Eskifjordur
Day 5: Akureyri
Day 6: Isafjordur/ Vigur Island
Day 7: Dynjandi
Day 8: Reykjavik
In the centre of Iceland’s sprawling capital city, the modern organ-pipe-shaped Hallgrimskirkja church dominates the top of town. Cosy bars, cafes and shops line the surrounding streets heated by geothermal waters. The regenerated harbour is home to a striking modern concert hall. Popular trips include the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa near the village of Grindavik, and the Golden Circle tour taking in Gullfoss Waterfall and the mighty Strokkur geyser in Thingvellir National Park.
Ten million Atlantic puffins make Heimaey, in the Westman Islands off southern Iceland, the largest puffin colony in the world. Despite a population of 4,000 people, puffins have even been spotted in the town of Vestmannaeyjar. A small volcano museum charts the story of the town’s devastation in 1973 by lava flow from the Eldfell volcano, where visitors can hike up to its windy top for panoramic views passing by signs of that eruption.
Vik is a coastal village in southern Iceland with black-sand beaches. An area of volcanic activity, the nearby Eyjafjallajökull volcano, erupted in 2010 causing widespread disruption to air travel. East of Vik is a large colony of nesting arctic tern where you might spot Atlantic puffins, also known as the common puffin, seabirds from the auk family. Other birds in the area include little auks, fulmars and kittiwakes, Orca and humpback whales are common sights here.
A fjord and village in the Eastern Fjords of Iceland, Eskifjörður attracted 18th and 19th-century seafarers. A nod to its past, Randulfssjóhus (Randulf Seahouse) illustrates the area’s fishery history and includes dishes made from shark and dried fish. Along the fjord, Helgustadir quarry is one of the world’s top spar mines from where huge transparent spar, or Icelandic, crystals have been excavated. Built by French fishermen, Faskrudsfjordur to the south still has road signs in French.
In northern Iceland on Eyjafjördur, Akureyri is known for its colourful old town, heart-shaped traffic lights and woodlands. Nearby tours of Lake Mývatn, the most geologically active area in Iceland, include lava formations, hot springs, caves and rifts, boiling mud pools, volcanic craters, the roaring Godafoss waterfall and Game of Thrones locations. Puffins nest on the inhabited island of Grimsey that crosses the Arctic Circle, while Hrísey island is said to have powerful healing energies.
Surrounded by fjords in the Westfjords region, Isafjordur is a bustling fishing town in northwest Iceland with colourful wooden 18th- and 19th-century houses. Nearby is Sudavik, home to the Arctic Fox Centre. Iceland’s only mammal, the arctic fox lives on the lush tundra of Hornstrandir Nature Reserve - the northernmost peninsula in the Westfjords. Offshore, Vigur Island is a bird sanctuary popular for puffins but also arctic terns and eiders. You will also find Iceland's smallest post office.
Considered one of Iceland’s most impressive, this thunderous waterfall in the Westfjords region gives the impression of a bridal veil as it spreads its tumbling waters down a series of ever-growing cascades. Dynjandi is one of the most photographed sights in Iceland. Walking up to it takes 15 minutes passing five smaller waterfalls. Nearby, Hrafnseyri is the birthplace of Jón Sigurdsson, 19th-century leader of the Icelandic Independence movement. The museum includes an Icelandic turf house.
Today you'll disembark the SH Vega in Reykjavik and continue your onward journey
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