23031
Scotland/Faroe Islands/Iceland

North Atlantic Adventure: Scotland, the Faroes and Iceland

Experience the rich history of the north Atlantic islands while discovering volcanic plains, vast nature reserves, and the colorful local traditions.
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Program No. 23031RJ
Length
15 days
Starts at
7,499
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15 days
14 nights
38 meals
13 B 12 L 13 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In flight
DAY
2
Arrive Edinburgh, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Edinburgh
D

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 5:30 p.m. After you check in and have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table in the lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation: 6:00 p.m. We will meet for a mandatory briefing with Adventure Canada. Here we will meet resource staff and fellow travelers as we learn about the embarkation process. Members of the ship's resource staff will offer onboard educational presentations. Many are active researchers with expertise in areas such as history, paleontology, geology, and biology. At each expedition port of call, you will have a choice of field trips that will vary by location such as nature activities (minimal walking), short walks (about 0.5-1.5 miles), longer walks (2-3 miles), and photography sessions led by resource staff. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Onboard updates will be provided. Thank you for your understanding. Expedition ships — more rugged than traditional sailing vessels — are designed to venture into remote landscapes, enabling us to seek opportunities for getting up close to nature and wildlife. These educational adventures have flexible schedules. The itinerary may change daily based on weather, sailing conditions, and potential wildlife sightings. There may also be serendipitous occasions to experience something unexpected. Due to the remote location of the ports, each embarkation and disembarkation will be done via zodiac rafts. Staff will be available for assistance. Should you require medication during the day, please ensure you keep this with you.

Dinner: In a meeting room at the hotel, we will enjoy a plated dinner with beverage options including coffee, tea, water, and a glass of beer or wine. Additional beverages are available for purchase.

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
Explore Edinburgh, Edinburgh Castle, St. Giles Cathedral
Edinburgh
B,L,D

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking up to 1 mile throughout the day on paved walkways.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We'll board a motorcoach with our local expert and head out for a full-day exploration of Edinburgh, the Old and New Towns of which are a combined UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of our first stops will be Edinburgh Castle where we'll explore the many exhibits. Standing atop the Castle Rock with buildings dating back to the 12th century, this great fortress is an unmissable part of the Edinburgh skyline and often used to represent the city as a whole.

Lunch: We'll enjoy a 2-course lunch at a local restaurant along with coffee, tea, and water. Other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Following lunch, we'll continue our exploration of Edinburgh. We'll stop at St. Giles Cathedral where we'll have the chance to explore 900 years of history. Named for the patron saint of lepers, this parish church is known as the "High Kirk of Edinburgh" and once housed as many as four different congregations. Initially a Catholic church, the building was central to the Scottish Reformation, in which Scotland shifted away from the Catholic Church in favor of Presbyterianism.

Dinner: At the hotel, we'll enjoy a 3-course plated meal including coffee, tea, and water. Other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Transfer to Aberdeen, Embarkation
Aberdeen
B,L,D
Adventure Canada's Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 130 miles, approximately 2.5 hours. Embarking the ship.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We'll board the motorcoach and begin our journey to Aberdeen, where we'll board the ship. We'll stop at Scone Palace where we'll have a chance to explore the palace and its grounds. Here we'll see a wide selection of art, antiques, and rare artifacts.

Lunch: This afternoon, we'll enjoy a lunch of soup and sandwiches at Scone Palace.

Afternoon: We will arrive in Aberdeen. Many of Aberdeen’s historic stone buildings are of locally quarried granite; high in mica, they can sparkle like silver. The city is famed for its 45 parks, gardens, and floral displays. In recent years, Aberdeen has become the gateway to the North Sea oil industry, but the city retains its old-world charm. We'll go through Adventure Canada orientation and embark the Ocean Endeavour this afternoon.

Dinner: Aboard the ship, we’ll have a 3-course a la carte meal with meat, seafood, and vegetarian options, incorporating local delicacies when possible, plus coffee, tea, and water. Additional beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. With lively talks, presentations, trivia nights, concerts, and movie nights, there’s certainly no shortage of evening activities!

DAY
5
Orkney
Stromness
B,L,D
Adventure Canada's Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain. Getting on/off a motorcoach.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship, we will choose from hot and cold buffet offerings, plus coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Off the north coast of mainland Scotland, Orkney is a gateway to ancient realms. The ancient village of Skara Brae and the standing stones at Stenness and Brogdar reveal a palpable prehistoric presence. Neolithic archeological sites include villages, ceremonial sites, and burial chambers dating to 8,000 years ago. From Viking times, the Kings of Norway held a strong presence here until the 16th century. We'll head out to explore Kirkwall, the largest town in Orkney. Here we'll see St. Magnus Cathedral, dating back to 1137, tower over the skyline. We'll also set out by motorcoach to visit the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, a set of four monuments designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. This includes the Ring of Brodgar; dating back about 4,000 years, this stone circle is the third largest in the British Isles. We'll also see the Hall of Clestrain, the birthplace of John Rae (1813-1893), explorer of the Canadian Arctic.

Lunch: Aboard the ship, we will choose from hot and cold buffet offerings, plus coffee, tea, water.

Afternoon: We will continue exploring Orkney.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Fair Isle
Fair Isle
B,L,D
Adventure Canada's Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: A key destination in Viking times, Fair Isle now hosts a hospitable population of some 60 residents who combine a respect for tradition with a modern outlook. It is also home to a National Trust Bird Observatory (now being reconstructed after a fire in 2019), and the local populations of great skuas and puffins routinely delight visitors; over 350 species of bird have been recorded here. The island’s museum is dedicated to preserving island heritage, and the knitting of Fair Isle is renowned the world over. We'll visit these sites on our morning field trip.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: This afternoon, we'll hear a lecture by one of the ship's knowledgeable staff.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
7
Suðuroy Island & Sumba, Faroe Islands
Sumba
B,L,D
Adventure Canada's Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We'll cruise in our fleet of Zodiacs along the southwest coast of Suðuroy Island, composed of dramatic cliffs that tower above the Atlantic Ocean. The western side of the island is a breeding site for seabirds, including northern fulmars, European storm petrels, European shags, black-legged kittiwakes, Atlantic puffins, common guillemots, and black guillemots.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: We'll arrive at Sumba, home to 239 inhabitants. Hiking opportunities abound in the foothills of Beinisvøro Mountain, and panoramic views of the surrounding area are spectacular. Archaeological excavations have shown traces of occupation at Sumba as far back as the 7th century, making it one of the oldest villages in the Faroe Islands.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
8
Tórshavn, Faroe Islands
Tórshavn
B,L,D
Adventure Canada's Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac cruise/landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Tórshavn, literally “Thor’s harbor,” is the Faroe Islands’ capital and largest town, with a population of 19,000. A former Viking trading center, Tórshavn is a splendid little city to explore. The National Art Gallery is a treasure, surrounded by gorgeous grounds with walking trails. Nordic House is a must, widely considered the finest example of architecture in Scandinavia. Torshavn offers excellent handicrafts, restaurants, and pubs, as well as a cathedral dating from 1788.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: We will continue exploring Tórshavn. Back on the ship, we will gather in the meeting space for a Road Scholar exclusive cocktail party.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
9
Western Faroe Islands
Western Faroe Islands
B,L,D
Adventure Canada's Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: The northwestern shores of Eysturoy and Streymoy islands have some of the Faroes’ most spectacular coastlines and hiking opportunities contained in the 18 islands that comprise this unique archipelago. Towering cliffs, waterfalls, sea stacks, and rocks seemingly pulled from the ocean floor are peppered with picturesque coastal communities like Saksun, Gjogv, and Tjornuvik. Uninhabited Tindhólmur, in the fjord Sørvágsfjørõur, may be the single most breathtaking view in the Faroes.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: On the ship, we will gather in the onboard meeting space for a lecture from one of the ship's knowledgeable resource staff.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
10
Western Faroe Islands
Western Faroe Islands
B,L,D
Adventure Canada's Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: After breakfast, we will gather in the onboard meeting space for a lecture from one of the ship's knowledgeable resource staff.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: We will continue to explore the Western Faroe Islands. Charming villages connected by high-tech tunnels through mountains and beneath the ocean floor are a unique and startling feature of Faroese life. The spectacular waterfall at Gásadalur is reached through one such tunnel—but look for the old switchback trail over the mountain, once used by the local postman!

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
11
Mykines Island
Mykines Island
B,L,D
Adventure Canada's Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Mykines is the westernmost of the Faroe Islands. Along its northern coast lies the valley Korkadalur, where great columns of basalt tower 30 meters above the ocean. These formations are known as the "stone forest," referring to a folk tale in which Norway – which held claim to the islands between 1035 and 1814 – imposed a forest tax. The residents of Mykines refused to pay and denied having a forest. Afterwards, the forest they did have quickly turned to stone. On the western end of the island is the kilometer-long inlet Mykinshólmur, with several sea stacks clustered at its western end. A lighthouse was built here in 1909, and a 40-meter footbridge connects the islet with Mykines. It is the oldest part of the Faroes, and was formed about sixty million years ago by volcanic activity.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Mykines is inhabited by large numbers of puffins and gannets as well as vast colonies of guillemots, razorbills, northern fulmurs, Manx shearwaters, European storm petrels, European shags, and black-legged kittiwakes. It has been identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International. We'll cruise in our fleet of Zodiacs to get a better view of the bird life in the area.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
12
At Sea
At Sea
B,L,D
Adventure Canada's Ocean Endeavour

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Today, we will enjoy a day at sea! With onboard education and time spent on deck, we will keep our eyes open for marine wildlife and seabirds.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: This afternoon, take advantage of the workshops and talks onboard, or use this time to relax and take in the scenery.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
13
Heimay, Vestmannaey Jar (Westman Islands)
Heimaey
B,L,D
Adventure Canada's Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Vestmannaeyjar lies off the south coast of Iceland and comprises 14 islands with numerous rocks and skerries. Only the largest island, Heimaey, is inhabited. Numerous species of seabirds, including the famous puffin, nest in the steep rock faces along the ocean cliffs.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: We will continue exploring Heimaey. The volcanically active area has seen two major eruptions in recent times: the formation of the island of Surtsey in 1963, and the Eldfell eruption 10 years later that destroyed much of Heimaey and nearly blocked its harbor.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy activities during our final evening aboard the Ocean Endeavour, and prepare for disembarkation in the morning.

DAY
14
Disembarkation, Reykjavik, Free Time
Reykjavik
B,L,D

Activity note: Disembarking the ship. Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking up to 1 mile in the morning on paved walkways. Extent and duration of walking and other activities during free time according to personal choice.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: After disembarkation, we'll board a motorcoach with our local expert and set off to explore Rekyjavik. Prior to lunch, we'll visit the National Museum of Iceland.

Lunch: We'll enjoy a meal at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Free time. Take this opportunity to explore Reykjavik and see and do what interests you most.

Dinner: At the hotel, we'll enjoy a plated 3-course meal including coffee, tea, and water. Other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Following dinner, we'll wrap up the program and discuss the highlights we experienced. The remainder of the evening is at leisure. Spend time with your fellow Road Scholars or take this time to pack up and get ready for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
15
Program Concludes, In Transit From Program
Reykjavik
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out 11:00 a.m. See your program’s Transportation Information regarding transfers.

Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes our program.

Morning: 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. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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