Northern Iceland Expedition

October can be a challenging month in terms of weather and sea conditions, but it is also an opportunity to get to know the remotest regions of Iceland after most of its tourism has halted. Cold winds, rough seas, and the first snowfalls can be expected. There is a good chance we will catch views of the northern lights during clear skies. Backup plans are in place, however, if the weather is not on our side. The concept of this voyage is developed so as to offer excursions regardless of weather. Instead of spending hours in rough seas, we can opt instead for an inland excursion by bus, enabling us to fill our days with adventure and exploration. We will offer hikes whenever possible, led by guides who will adjust to the conditions and fitness level of the group. Actual hiking locations depend on the prevailing conditions of the areas we visit.

Day 1: Out of Akureyri

A supplemented bus transportation from Reykjavik to Akureyri (about six hours) will be available but has to be booked prior to the start of the voyage. We embark in Akureyri in the afternoon (16:00) and meet the expedition team on the ship. Conditions allowing, we may sail to Dalvik (about three hours) or spend the night in the harbor of Akureyri. During this first night, you may already see the magical northern lights shining overhead.

Day 2: Into the Arctic Circle

Plan A: In good weather conditions, we hope to sail toward the island of Grimsey. The goal is a Zodiac landing and a guided walk across the Arctic Circle, the most northerly of Earth’s five major circles of latitude. A sign on the island marks the coordinates at 66:34° north. We then may stay the night at Grimsey, if conditions allow. If not, we may sail toward the small town of Húsavík, crossing Skjálfandi Bay, where we have a good chance of spotting whales.

Plan B: If Grimsey is not possible due to weather, the vessel will have stay in Akureyri. A coach will be available for a day excursion to Mývatn, where you can see volcanoes, waterfalls, and geothermal areas. Hiking will be our focus here. The coach will then return to the vessel in the afternoon.

Day 3: Húsavík, whales, and the high seas

Plan A: We will enjoy the morning in Húsavík, with ample free time to explore the town and visit the local whale museum (entrance fee not included). Lunch is served on board. In the afternoon, we sail across Skjálfandi Bay, where humpback and minke whales, white-beaked dolphins, and harbour porpoises may appear.

Plan B: If the vessel has to stay in Húsavík for the day due to weather, a coach will be available in the afternoon for an excursion to Tjörnes Peninsula. There we can observe the local birdlife and impressive geology. We then move to Ásbyrgi, the horseshoe-shaped canyon that is entirely unique in Iceland. Our focus will be hiking this ruggedly scenic area. The coach will later return to the vessel in Húsavík, where there might be time for a relaxing spa session in outdoor pools heated with geothermal energy (admission fees not included).

Day 4: Northeast Iceland’s hidden gems

Plan A: In good weather conditions, we hope to sail around northeast Iceland and get to shore in the small town of Raufarhöfn. Within walking distance from town is the Arctic Henge, a well-known Iceland attraction. Still under construction, this monument is intended to be a kind of sundial inspired by Völuspá, a poem from Edda, the medieval Norse mythological text by Snorri Sturluson.

Plan B: You may like to join a bus excursion that will take you to Dettifoss, the most powerful waterfall in Europe: 200 cubic meters of water surge over its edge every second. Dettifoss is 45 meters (150 feet) high and 100 meters (330 feet) wide. As usual on this expedition, hiking will be our focus. The coach will return to the vessel in the evening.

Day 5: Untouched Austurland

Plan A: We sail from Raufarhöfn to Vopnafjörður. Austurland (East Iceland) is characterized by visually stunning landscapes and small villages. Nature is all around us, providing the opportunity for great hikes and other activities.

Plan B: A coach will be available to take us on an inland excursion if conditions do not allow for the above plan, and the expedition leader will determine which route to take. We will reunite with the vessel in the evening.

Day 6: Around the far east

Plan A: Today we sail from Vopnafjörður to Seyðisfjörður, and if conditions allow we may halt at Borgarfjörður Eystri, a treasure of Austurland. This fjord gets its name from Álfaborg, the home of the Icelandic elf queen, so it is fitting that the area offers spectacular scenery. Iceland’s eastern fjords are still untouched by mass tourism. The nearby village of Bakkagerði has fewer than 100 inhabitants, and the harbor is mainly home to small boats for coastal fishing.

Plan B: A coach will be available to take us on an inland excursion. The expedition leader will decide the plan, and we will reunite with the vessel in the evening.

Day 7: The journey ends in Seyðisfjörður

We disembark in Seyðisfjörður in the morning, taking home memories that will last a lifetime. Bus transport to Egilsstaðir Airport (between 6.30 and 7.00 am, approx. 45 min.) is available at an extra charge, but must be booked prior to the start of the voyage. You must book the flight from Egilsstaðir to Reykjavik yourself (flight time approx. 1 hour). Alternatively, you can choose your own route back to Reykjavik, making stops along the south coast.




Northern and eastern Iceland are characterized by small villages, dramatic coastlines, narrow fjords, waterfalls, geothermal areas, volcanoes, and mountains. We are in the heart of nature here, and the scenery is breathtaking. This destination offers outstanding outdoor experiences all year round, such as trail hiking along the rugged highlands.

Oct 9-15, 2024
Oct 12-18, 2025
* Trips from $3500