21877
Iceland
Fire and Ice: A Circumnavigation of Mystical Iceland
On an expedition cruise ship, discover Iceland’s natural fjords, geysers, glaciers and fascinating human history during a voyage around this dramatic country.
Rating (4.95)
Program No. 21877RJ
Length
13 days
Starts at
6,999
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
FREE
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13 days
12 nights
32 meals
12 B 10 L 10 D
DAY
1
Departures
In Flight
DAY
2
Welcome, The Blue Lagoon
Reyjkavik
B,L,D
Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina

Activity note: If you wish to swim in the Blue Lagoon, please remember to pack your bathing suit in your carry-on luggage. Towels will be provided. Slippers, bathrobes and spa treatments are available at an additional cost.

Breakfast: At the Northern Light Inn, approx. 15 miles from the airport. On this program, breakfasts will offer a typical European style breakfast buffet with breads, cheeses, cold-cuts, yogurt, fruit, cereals, juice, milk, coffee, tea and water. Please note that water is included in the program cost at all meals.

Morning: After breakfast, drive to the Blue Lagoon for a relaxing bath in its mineral-rich, geothermally-heated waters. The Blue Lagoon, located just 40 minutes outside of Reykjavik, was accidentally formed in 1976 during operation at a nearby geothermal power plant. In the years that followed, people began to bathe in the unique water and apply the silica mud to their skin. Those with psoriasis noticed an incredible improvement in their condition. Today the Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland's most popular tourist destinations and features a research and development facility searching for cures for other skin ailments using the mineral-rich water. At the Blue Lagoon, you will learn the history of the volcanic eruption that formed the surrounding landscape 800 years ago, and how the Blue Lagoon itself came to be. Enjoy some free time to bathe in the lagoon. Fully refreshed, coach to Reykjavik to check into your hotel.

Lunch: Enjoy a 2-course light lunch at Lava Restaurant at the Blue Lagoon.

Afternoon: At 5:00 p.m., meet in the hotel lobby for the program orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. Please be aware that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Enjoy a three-course set menu welcome dinner inclusive of tea, coffee, water at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
3
The Golden Circle
Reyjkavik
B,L
Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: This morning you will depart on a full day journey from Reykjavik on this popular route which covers over 185 miles from Reykjavik to central Iceland and back. Stop at Thingvellir National Park, home of Iceland's first parliament, Gullfoss (Golden Waterfall), and the spouting spring area of Geysir, after whom all geysers are named.

Lunch: At a local restaurant featuring a two-course set menu.

Afternoon: Field trip through the Golden Circle continues, concluding at the program hotel in the late afternoon.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Reykjavik, Embark Ocean Diamond
At Sea
B,D
MV Ocean Diamond

Activity note: The time available in each port is set by the cruise line. Whenever possible, the Road Scholar daily schedule indicates port arrival and departure times (subject to change by the cruise line). Road Scholar delivers a robust educational program in each port, and this may mean free time in port is limited.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: Following breakfast, enjoy a lecture, “Iceland: Past and Present," by a local expert before visiting the National Museum of Iceland. This charming museum traces the history of this remote island nation from the Settlement era to the modern day.

Lunch: On your own.

Afternoon: Enjoy a bit of free time to see and do what interests you most before joining the group to embark the MV Ocean Diamond. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities provided in your first Information Packet or ask your Group Leader for ideas. Once on board, attend a brief safety drill.

Dinner: Aboard the ship. All meals are served in the ship's main dining room. For dinner, you will enjoy a 3-course meal and can choose from one of the three chef-prepared entrées. Coffee, tea and water are included in all meals on the ship.

Evening: At leisure. Evenings on board the Ocean Diamond typically include a presentation or concert by the ship's expedition team.

DAY
5
Stykkisholmur, Snæfellsjökull Glacier
At Sea
B,L,D
MV Ocean Diamond

Activity note: Today's excursion includes a glacier walk and is weather dependent. Please be prepared for cold temperatures (winter coat, warm hat and gloves). You will be in an open vehicle.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Take a snow cat up to 4,600 feet onto Snæfellsjökull Glacier, which lies atop a volcano. On a clear day, you will enjoy a fantastic view over Hellissandur and Breidafjördur Bay. It is through the crater of Snæfellsjökull that Jules Verne promises a "Journey to the Center of the Earth" in his classic 1864 novel.

Lunch: Box lunch is provided by the ship.

Afternoon: Continuation of the full-day excursion to Snæfellsjökull National Park.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Isafjördur, Vigur Island
At Sea
B,L,D
MV Ocean Diamond

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Enjoy an expert-led field trip to Vigur. This serene little island, which boasts only five inhabitants, is a perfect location to observe an array of birds in their natural surroundings including puffins, eider ducks, arctic terns and black guillemot. While on the island, you can also visit Iceland's only extant windmill which dates from the 19th century. The boat ride to Vigur takes about 35 minutes each way.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: Visit a recreated Viking village in the town of Thingeyri for an interactive view of Viking history in the Westfjords. First, take a short hike to the ruins of the Viking meeting place, Thing, or "parliament." Then, at the Viking center, learn about the Viking way of life, including hands-on experiences with authentic hand-sewn clothing, bread-baking, and a taste of Icelandic Viking beer.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Siglufjördur, Grimsey Island
At Sea
B,L,D
MV Ocean Diamond

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Disembark in Siglufjördur where you will first visit its Herring Museum to learn about the history of this industry. There is a bit of free time for independent exploration of this port town before the ship sails to Grimsey Island at lunchtime.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: The ship arrives into Grimsey by late afternoon. Just three square miles, this small island is located on the Arctic Circle, just 25 miles from the mainland. Grimsey is home to a handful of families and hundreds of birds. Explore the island to get a sense of what life is like in this remote locale.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: Enjoy live entertainment provided by your Icelandic guides.

DAY
8
Akureyri, Lake Myvatn
Akureyri
B,L,D
MV Ocean Diamond

Activity note: Don't forget to bring bathing suit and a towel for today's excursion to Lake Myvatn. This is a full-day field trip, covering about 150 miles over the course of the day, with several stops.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: One of the most beautiful spots in northern Iceland, the Lake Myvatn area teems with fauna. This morning's field trip starts at the spectacular Godafoss Waterfall and continues to the pseudocraters of Skútustaðagígar, and the impressive lava formations of Dimmuborgir, said to resemble a collapsed citadel. In Icelandic folklore Dimmuborgir is said to connect the earth to the infernal. Finally, visit the Myvatn Nature Baths for a relaxing geothermal bath in the quiet of the countryside. Look forward to an amazing journey through an area of extreme contrasts.

Lunch: Road Scholar lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Continue exploring the area around Lake Myvatn. Late this afternoon, attend an exclusive lecture on the fisheries in the north of Iceland.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Husavik, Whale Watching
At Sea
B,L,D
MV Ocean Diamond

Activity note: Please wear warm clothing; the boat is not enclosed.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Husavik is considered by visitors as the Whale Watching Capital of Europe. Enjoy an exciting trip on a traditional wooden harbor boat to watch for the gentle giants. The wonders of nature are on display in the beautiful surroundings of Skjálfandi Bay, sheltered by the stunning mountains of Vík.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: Step back in time with this exclusive Icelandic folkloric experience. Enjoy a scenic drive from Húsavík to the beautifully restored Turf House of Grenjaðarstaður. In the past, Grenjaðarstaður was the manor of the county with the total area of its dwelling houses covering about 8,500 square feet. The dwelling houses were inhabited until 1948, then abandoned; in the late 1950s, after a thorough restoration, this charming folk museum was made open to the public. A visit inside the museum offers a wonderful glimpse into the past of Iceland's traditional farming methods and way of life, as well as a visit to the country church on the property. Enjoy tales of Icelandic tradition from your local guide, in traditional dress, and sample some classic Icelandic snacks. Later this afternoon, attend a talk by your Road Scholar Group Leader.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Seydisfjördur, Eastfjords
Seydisfjordur
B,L,D
MV Ocean Diamond

Activity note: Today's field trip is approximately 7 hours and covers about 125 miles.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Narrow fjords, jagged mountain peaks, remote farms and small fishing villages are some of East Iceland’s characteristics. Today's field trip takes you inland from Seydisfjordur via the mountain road Breiddalsheidi to Stödvarfjordur. There we'll visit Petra's impressive “Stone and Mineral Collection.” Walk through her remarkable garden and see amazing stones, which she collected throughout her life. From Stödvarfjordur we head to Reydarfjordur and the Wartime Museum. The museum is located by barracks that were part of a big hospital camp and shows Icelandic life in the 1940's, the high point of World War II. The museum's exhibitions give a full account of days gone by, from the perspective of both the soldiers as well as the habitants of Reydarfjördur village.

Lunch: Box lunch provided by the ship.

Afternoon: Continuation of full day excursion in the Eastfjords.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: Enjoy live entertainment provided by your Icelandic guides.

DAY
11
Djupivogur, Glacier Lagoon Jökulsárlon
At Sea
B,L,D
MV Ocean Diamond

Activity note: The journey from Djupivogur to the glacial lagoon is quite far - about 110 miles each way - 2.5 hours including stops. Please be prepared for a long but very rewarding day!

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Today's field trip from Djupivogur takes you to the magnificent Glacier Lagoon of Jökulsárlon. Huge blocks of ice constantly break off the Breidamerkurjokull glacier and large icebergs float on the lagoon. The lagoon is not very wide but it is up to 750 feet deep which makes it the deepest lake in Iceland. Breidamerkurjokull is an outlet of the Vatnajokull glacier. Sail among the huge icebergs in the picturesque scenery of Jökulsárlon with a specially equipped boat.

Lunch: Light lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Continuation of excursion, coach back to port to re-embark the ship.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Vestmannaeyjar, Zodiac Cruise of Heimaey Island
At Sea
B,L,D
MV Ocean Diamond

Activity note: Zodiac excursions are dependent on favorable weather conditions.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Enjoy a panoramic coach exploration around Heimaey Island. See the effects of the volcanic eruption of 1973: half-buried houses and the volcanic crater. It’s a unique and fascinating landscape with diverse birdlife. The excursion ends at the volcanic center, Eldheimar. This unique museum tells the story of the Heimaey volcanic eruption in 1973, the Surtsey Island eruption in 1963 and the geology of the Vestmannaeyjar Islands.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: For a different perspective, travel by Zodiac around Heimaey Island. Be on the look out for caves, birdlife and hopefully whales.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare belongings for tomorrow's disembarkation and departure.

DAY
13
Departures
In Flight
B

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: The Ocean Diamond is scheduled to arrive in Reykjavik at 8:00 a.m. Upon disembarkation, enjoy a panoramic coach excursion of Reykjavik. See the historic Höfði House - sight of the 1986 meeting between Reagan and Gorbachev that precipitated the end of the Cold War. Visit the Perlan, one of Reykjavik's most recognized landmarks, and also the city's hot water storage facility that has a deck providing a 360° vista of Iceland's capital city. Coach by Lake Tjornin, a small lake in downtown Reykjavik that's teeming with birdlife, as well as the Parliament House and City Hall, worth a visit for its large topographic map of Iceland. Enjoy some additional free time in Reykjavik. This concludes our program.

Lunch: Free time for lunch on your own.

Afternoon: Transfer to the Keflavík International Airport (KEF) for late afternoon flights returning to North America. Group flights are currently scheduled to depart at 5:00 p.m. If you are arranging your own flights, we recommend coordinating your flights so they coincide with the group departure. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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