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Discover the most beautiful landscapes on the Icelandic west coast during an 8-day cruise with Ponant.
On the edge of the Arctic, between vast glaciers, vertiginous fjords, volcanoes and boiling geysers, Iceland offers a kaleidoscope of wild and romantic landscapes. You will board your ship in Reykjavik, the world’s northernmost capital city. With its colourful roofed houses and lake that is home to countless ducks, the city offers a picture-postcard setting. It also boasts numerous cultural treasures, particularly in the field of contemporary art, with the Reykjavik Art Museum.
The first port of call on your cruise: the bay of Grundarfjordur, near Kirkjufell. This stunning cone-shaped mountain possesses a unique charm and this will be an opportunity to take some beautiful photos.
Your ship will then reach Grímsey, a small, hard-to-reach island where, in certain places, the volcanic rock forms magnificent basalt columns. Birds such as guillemots and puffins reign here.
Finally, you will discover Heimaey. This is the only inhabited island in the Westman archipelago. It is an exceptional place composed of volcanoes and desert-like landscapes, where fishing is the main food source.
Day 1: Reykjavik
Day 2: Grundarfjörður
Day 3: Grímsey
Day 4: Akureyri
Day 5: Isafjörður
Day 6: Vestmann Islands
Days 7 & 8: Reykjavik
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Your voyage begins in Reykjavik, Iceland's capital. Enjoy the day exploring, Le Bellot will depart in the early evening.
This secret boreal hideaway is located at the foot of the Kirkjufell, on the Snaefellsnes peninsula. Arriving by ship means you’ll get a closer view of the lava-stone rock standing like a sentinel at the entrance to the bay; Grundarfjörður lies sheltered behind this cone-shaped rock. A stone’s throw from the jetty, crystal clear waters, tundra and beaches give onto the cerulean waters of Breiðafjörður. Scattered with its emerald-coloured lawns, this town, with its buildings that merge into the surrounding countryside, will most certainly win your favour.
Grimsey is the northernmost island of Iceland surging from the Arctic ocean, with the Arctic circle running through the island. Its contrasted contours are surprising. From Grímseyjarhreppur, the island’s only town located on the west coast, then heading due south, you can take in the beauty of the hillsides, lushly carpeted with moss and grass. On the rest of the coastline, imposing basalt cliffs inhabited by sea birds stand proud.
The elegant city of Akureyri is located very close to the Arctic circle, tucked away in the Eyjafjörður fjord. It displays a stunning palette of colours: blue waters in the harbour, bronze mountain ash on the squares and brightly coloured houses in the historical centre. As you walk along the cobbled streets, you’ll come across rows of terraces with wooden furniture. A vast stairway cut into the hillside leads up to the emblematic feature of the town, namely the Akureyrarkirkja church. The very beautiful botanical garden made possible by a microclimate offers the opportunity to discover the Icelandic flora as well as plants from all over the world.
Your ship will take you to the heart of the fjords of North-West Iceland, a wild land of lost valleys and steep cliffs, where man struggles to survive. In this very isolated region we find the Isafjörður fjord, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in the country, mainly for its relief, forged by many very ancient basaltic flows. The town of Isafjörður, which nestles at the back of its fjord, between imposing mountains, is a delightful little town that lives exclusively from fishing. The capital of the Western fjords, its old wooden houses bear witness to its past as a major fishing port.
This land seated off the southern coast of Iceland is the largest of the Vestmann islands and is the only inhabited island in the archipelago. The steep Edfell volcanoes and the green prairies of Herjólfsdalur offer rich contrast of nature. On the Stórhöfði road, look out over grey sand beaches and cliffs carved out by the Arctic ocean. From here, you can also see the bronze landscapes of the mountaintops. You could visit Eldheimar, an ultra-modern and interactive museum that traces the volcanic eruption has experienced by Heimaey in 1973.
Iceland’s capital stretches along the edge of a vast bay in the west of the country. Perlan, the “Pearl of Reykjavík”, a museum located on ’Oskjuhlið hill, offers a panoramic view of the lush, green landscapes. A little further, one can easily spot the signpost showing the way to the evangelical Hallgrímskirkja church, and to the historical centre where one can stroll along the Skólavördustígur and the Laugavegur, two lively streets with charming small shops. For some relaxation just outside of the city, visitors have the opportunity to visit the Reykjanes peninsula and its famous thermal lagoons of the Blue Lagoon.
Disembark in the early morning on your final day for your return journey home.
Like all of Ponant's ships, Le Bellot, has been designed to provide absolute comfort for its passengers, even at the heart of some of the most remote and isolated regions on earth. A refined design, a softly muted and at the same time convivial ambience together with a deliberately restricted number of cabins all contribute to the modernity of Le Bellot, a unique ship in the world of cruising.
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