Iceland Circumnavigation | Greg Mortimer | iExpedition

Iceland: Circumnavigating the Land of Fire & Ice

  • Overview

    On this adventure, where we plan to circumnavigate Iceland, a country often described as ‘the land of fire and ice,’ where snow-capped peaks rise above glaciers and active volcanoes rumble. We explore Westfjords, one of the remotest and most pristine regions in Iceland—ideal for nature hikes and sea kayaking. We amble along black sand volcanic beaches, cross over the Arctic Circle to Grimsey Island to stretch our legs on hikes and discover cliffs teeming with seabirds. Our team of experts will interpret this fascinating country— one of the world’s youngest. It’s a land of spectacular geology that is rich in wildlife, culture and human history. 

    Note: In order to experience some of the incredible scenery of Iceland, a number of the shore excursions on this itinerary require coach travel away from the coast.

    Expedition Highlights

    • Witness the incredible diversity of Iceland’s landscapes forged by the powerful seismic activity that has shaped the island’s appearance and way of life of the people. 

    • Visit Grimsey Island, located above the Arctic Circle, and features impressive cliffs teeming with nesting seabirds including charismatic puffins. 

    • Discover Seydisfjordur, a hidden gem on Iceland’s east coast. 

    • At Eldeheimar Museum on Heimay Island, learn the stories of the 1973 eruption that affected over 5,000 locals.  

    Duration: 12 days
    Passengers: 132 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Reykjavik, Iceland
    Disembarkation Point: Reykjavik, Iceland
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Arrive Reykjavik

      Having made your way to Reykjavik, you will be met by a representative of Aurora Expeditions and transferred to our group hotel. Upon arrival at your included hotel, please visit the Aurora Expeditions hospitality desk to collect your luggage cabin tags and to speak with our ground operations team, who may have information to share with you about pre-embarkation or to provide you with information about where to dine, withdraw cash or purchase last minute items from a local pharmacy or supermarket.

      The remainder of your time is at leisure. All meals today are at your own expense.

      Accommodation: Fosshotel Reykjavik Hotel (or similar)

    • Day 2 - Embarkation Day

      This morning, please ensure your cabin luggage is fitted with cabin tags clearly labelled with your name and cabin number. Your luggage will be collected from your hotel and transferred directly to the port for clearance and delivered to your cabin ahead of your arrival on board. Please keep any valuables or personal items with you throughout the day.

      Breakfast and check-out. Join our guided Golden Circle and Geothermal Energy tour. With 85% of its electricity sourced from renewable sources, Iceland sets an outstanding example when it comes to sustainable energy.

      Our journey takes us to the famous seismic sights of the Golden Circle route - Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir and history-rich Thingvellir National Park, before we experience first-hand how green, sustainable energy is produced at one of the largest single-site geothermal power plants on the planet at the Geothermal Energy Exhibition and Ljósafossvirkjun Power Station.

      We’ll also spend time at a true eco-village. Powered with thermal and solar energy, Sólheimar is fully sustainable, boasting greenhouses and forestry programmes, while it’s sustainable workshops are dedicated to candle-making, carpentry, weaving and soap-making. Late afternoon we return to Reykjavik for embarkation.

      This evening, get to know your fellow expeditioners, expedition team and crew.

    • Day 3 - Arnarstapi / Grundafjordur

      At Arnarstapi, our Zodiacs tender as ashore. Located on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, this area features diverse landscapes characterised by lava fields, glistening fjords and home to Breidafjordur Bay which is rich in birdlife. The area is crowned by the magnificent, ice-capped Snæfellsjökull volcano, a 700,000-year-old dormant subglacial volcano, visible from Reykjavik on a clear day and immortalised in Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth. You can choose from a selection of shore excursion options that best suits your interests and level of fitness. Options include a bus tour to Mount Kirkjufell, one of the most famous mountains in Iceland, or a choice of hikes including a glacier hike at Snæfellsjökull Glacier.

    • Day 4/5 - Westfjords

      Over the next two days, we explore the Westfjords region featuring outstanding landscapes with jaw-dropping views of dramatic fjords carved by ancient glaciers, sheer table mountains that plunge into the sea and pristine North Atlantic vegetation.

      At Patreksfjordur, a shore excursion by coach takes us to Latrabjarg cliffs. As Europe’s largest bird cliff, Latrabjarg is home to millions of seabirds, such as puffin, razorbill, fulmar and guillemot. Enjoy the impressive variety of natural wonders and unspoiled nature. Latrabjarg also happens to be the westernmost point in Europe, east coast of the North American continent on the other side of the Atlantic. Alternatively, enjoy a shore excursion by coach to Rauthasnduris to explore the beach and seal watching.

      At Dynjandi, witness one of Iceland’s most impressive waterfalls – a difficult feat in a country that is filled with spectacular cascading falls.

    • Day 6 - Akureyri & Husavik

      Picturesque Akureyri is Iceland’s second largest city outside the capital area and is blessed with a superb snow-capped mountain backdrop. Choose from a selection of shore excursions in Akureyri to best suit your interests and level of fitness. Choose to visit Godafoss Falls and soak at Myvatn Nature baths, an outdoor hot spring bathing complex surrounded by mountain views. Alternatively, explore both Godafoss and Dettifoss waterfalls, the Mývatn region and Krafla.

      In the late afternoon, we reboard our vessel in Husavik, the whale watching capital of Iceland.

    • Day 7 - Grímsey Island

      Located approximately 40 km (25 miles) off the mainland, Grímsey is a verdant grassy island, probably best known for its proximity to the Arctic Circle, which cuts across the island. Many people travel to Grímsey just to say they have stepped across the imaginary line. With a tiny population of approximately 100 inhabitants, it’s a fantastic place for Zodiac cruising, kayaking, and photographing seabirds such as guillemots, gulls and puffins.

      Leaving Grímsey to return closer to the mainland, we spend time scanning the waters of Skjálfandi Bay around Húsavik, a town known as the Iceland’s ‘whale watching capital’, home to up to 24 different whale species, as well as dolphins and 30 variety of birds. The largest animal on earth, the blue whale, has also been spotted in Skjálfandi Bay, and if you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of this magnificent creature as well as others, such as orcas, fin whales and pilot whales.

    • Day 8 - Seydisfjördur

      We spend some time exploring Seydisfjordur, a picturesque fishing village that is renowned for its charming collection of colourful wooden buildings located around the lagoon. Take a stroll around town and discover the timber houses that are remnants from when the Norwegians settled here and established the herring fishing facilities from 1870-1900. From the valley above the town, the river Fjardara tumbles down in beautiful cascades to the lagoon. There are a number of delightful hiking trails to explore, or alternatively, you can discover a flourishing cultural scene with an arts centre, the famous blue church that stages music concerts and the only two cinemas in the east of Iceland. Back in town, browse the stores where you will discover handicrafts by local artists and artisans – perfect as a souvenir or gift.

    • Day 9 - Djupivogur

      In Iceland’s east, we disembark in Djupivogur, our gateway to Vatnajokull National Park, home to Europe’s largest glacier. We drive to Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, a glacial lagoon filled with floating icebergs that wash up on shore and stand gleaming on the nearby black-sand beach, dubbed Diamond beach. At Jokulsarlon, you can choose from a boat excursion on the lagoon, try a hike on the glacier or hike to a canyon, visiting a number of waterfalls along the way.

    • Day 10 - At sea

      As we sail along the south coast, enjoy a sea day to catch up on editing your photos and enjoy an informative lecture from our knowledgeable expedition team.

    • Day 11 - Westman Islands

      Located off Iceland’s south coast, the Westman Islands were formed by volcanic eruptions around 10,000 years ago. Sail past Surtsey Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site that emerged from the sea in 1963 and is one the youngest land masses on earth. Westman Islands are surrounded by 15 other uninhabited islands and around 30 rocks and skerries offering refuge for rich array of seabirds. Westman Islands are considered to have the largest Atlantic puffin colony in the world, and when sailing around the islands it is not uncommon to see puffins but also whales and seals.

      Heimaey is the main island in the archipelago, and it has the population of around 4,200. Ashore on Heimaey, the only inhabited island in the archipelago, we see half-buried houses that remain from a violent 1973 eruption of Eldfell volcano, which you can hike up if you wish. A visit to the weather station offers bird-watching opportunities and splendid views of the surrounding islands.

      Eruptions are a big part of the history of the Westman Island, where there are two volcanoes – one that erupted some 6,000 years ago, and Mount Eldfell that erupted in 1973, forcing all of the island’s inhabitants to evacuate for the mainland. Serendipitously, due to bad weather the day prior to the eruption, all the fishing boats remained in the harbour and were able to help transport the inhabitants of Heimaey to the mainland. You can learn more about the story of the eruption and the aftermath at the fascinating Eldheimar museum, which includes a display of a house that was buried in ash during the eruption.

    • Day 12 - Disembark Reykjavik

      During the early morning, we cruise into Reykjavik and disembark at approximately 8.00 am. Farewell your expedition team and fellow passengers as you continue your onward journey. Transfer to Keflavik airport or to your centrally located hotel.

      Note: We do not recommend booking flights departing prior to 12.00 pm on the day of disembarkation, as we may experience delays at the conclusion of the voyage.

    Please consider that our voyages are expeditionary in nature. This means, that there are no concrete itineraries, your captain and expedition leader will utilise their vast experience to chart the best course for your expedition depending on the climatic and environmental conditions. Mentioned highlights and wildlife cannot be guaranteed.

  • Adventure Activities
  • Inclusions
    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - One night’s hotel accommodation including breakfast, in Reykjavik on Day 1.
    - Port surcharges, permits and landing fees.
    - Comprehensive pre-departure information.
    - Complimentary use of Muck Boots during the voyage.
    - One 3-in-1 waterproof, polar expedition jacket.
    - Complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consultation).
    - Educational lectures and guiding services provided by Expedition Team.
    - All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises.
    - Captain’s Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages.
    - Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner.
    - All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage.
    - Onboard accommodation during voyage, including daily cabin service.
    - All airport transfers mentioned in the itinerary
    - Visit Iceland's famous Golden Circle prior to embarkation, on Day 2

    Not included in your Expedition

    - All items of a personal nature, including but not limited to alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, wi-fi, email or phone charges.
    - Optional excursions and optional activity surcharges.
    - Hotel accommodation and meals – unless specified in the itinerary.
    - Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges.
    - Passport, visa, reciprocity and vaccination fees and charges.
    - Airport arrival or departure taxes.
    - Transfers – unless specified in the itinerary.
    - International or domestic flights – unless specified in the itinerary
  • Map
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  • Gallery
  • Vessel


    The Greg Mortimer, named after the Australian adventurer and Polar tourism pioneer (Greg Mortimer OAM), this unique vessel utilises some of the latest advancements in naval design & technology to revolutionise the small ship expedition cruising experience. The X-BOW makes sailing smoother and faster while protecting the vulnerable environments visited using a virtual anchoring system. Shore excursions are made easier, with four sea-level Zodiac loading decks & a specially-crafted activity platform, designed in close consultation with our world-renowned expedition & activity leaders. Unlike many new ships, the Greg Mortimer is not striving for absolute luxury. It will of course, be brand new, modern and comfortable in every way, but will stay true to a relaxed, comfortable and homely style of travel, purely focused on the expedition and destination. Ship Features: - Highly qualified and experienced expedition team and international crew - X-BOW® hull, designed to offer faster and more comfortable travel enabling the ship to pierce through waves and maintain speed of travel, lower fuel consumption and reduced air pollution emissions - All cabins feature twin or king bedding configuration and private bathroom. 80% of cabins include a private balcony. 60% of cabins can accommodate a third person - Purpose-built activities preparation areas including four Zodiac launching platforms for fast and safe transition off the ship as you embark on multiple daily excursions - Observation lounge and viewing platforms offer spectacular panoramic views of scenery and wildlife. - State-of-the-art lecture theatre, two hot tubs/plunge pools, art room, library, gym, wellness centre and more!

    Features & Facilities
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 4
    Guests #: 120
    Crew #: 62
    Ice Class: 1A
    Speed: 12
    Technical Specs
    Year built: 2019
    Length: 104m
    Width: 18
    Draft: 5
    Tonnage: 7400
    Registry: Bahamas
    Elec Outlets: 220V 2 Round plug
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Aurora Stateroom Triple Share

01 Jun 2025 - 12 Jun 2025
- Private en-suite - Porthole window - Closet space - Room-controlled thermostat - Room safe - 42" flat-screen TV - Desk area - Mini bar
USD$ 14,546pp
USD$ 11,637pp

Aurora Stateroom Twin Share

01 Jun 2025 - 12 Jun 2025
- Private en-suite - Porthole window - Closet space - Room-controlled thermostat - Room safe - 42" flat-screen TV - Desk area - Mini bar
USD$ 14,921pp
USD$ 11,937pp

Balcony Stateroom Category C

01 Jun 2025 - 12 Jun 2025
- Private en-suite - Private balcony - Full size window - Closet space - Room-controlled thermostat - Room safe - 42" flat-screen TV - Desk area - Mini bar
USD$ 16,271pp
USD$ 13,017pp

Balcony Stateroom Category B

01 Jun 2025 - 12 Jun 2025
- Private en-suite - Private balcony - Full size window - Closet space - Room-controlled thermostat - Room safe - 42" flat-screen TV - Desk area - Mini bar
USD$ 17,021pp
USD$ 13,617pp

Balcony Stateroom Category A

01 Jun 2025 - 12 Jun 2025
- Private en-suite - Private balcony - Full size window - Closet space - Room-controlled thermostat - Room safe - 42" flat-screen TV - Desk area - Mini bar
USD$ 18,371pp
USD$ 14,697pp

Balcony Stateroom Superior

01 Jun 2025 - 12 Jun 2025
- Private en-suite (wheelchair accessible) - Private balcony - Full size window - Closet space - Room-controlled thermostat - Room safe - 42" flat-screen TV - Desk area - Mini bar
USD$ 20,021pp
USD$ 16,017pp

Junior Suite

01 Jun 2025 - 12 Jun 2025
- Private en-suite - Private balcony - Full size window - Separate lounge area - Closet space - Room-controlled thermostat - Room safe - 42" flat-screen TV - Desk area - Mini bar
USD$ 25,121pp
USD$ 20,097pp

Captain’s Suite

01 Jun 2025 - 12 Jun 2025
- Private en-suite - Private balcony - Full size window - Separate lounge area - Closet space - Room-controlled thermostat - Room safe - 42" flat-screen TV - Desk area - Mini bar
USD$ 29,771pp
USD$ 23,817pp