Circumnavigating Iceland and the Fjords of East Greenland

Circumnavigating Iceland and the Fjords of East Greenland

Circumnavigating Iceland and the Fjords of East Greenland

Circumnavigating Iceland and the Fjords of East Greenland

Travel information 21 days MS Fram
Departure
July 25, 2023
Price from $ 17,020
$ 14,467
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Embark on an epic expedition cruise to explore the majestic and wild landscapes of Iceland and Greenland’s east coast—two northern lands straight out of the sagas.

Circumnavigate Iceland, the land of fire and ice.

Reykjavik is your starting point to explore the so-called land of ice and fire. Journeying north, you’ll begin your circumnavigation of Iceland’s stunning coast in the picture-perfect fishing villages of Stykkishólmur and Patreksfjörður. Afterwards, discover Akureyri, ‘Iceland’s Northern Capital’.

Cross the Arctic Circle to the windswept and isolated island of Grimsey, then sail to Bakkagerdi, home to breathtaking mountain views and (legend has it) numerous elves. Finally, explore ‘Iceland’s Pompeii’, Heimaey, before completing your circular journey in Reykjavik.

Witness the majesty of Greenland’s pristine wilderness

From Reykjavík, we sail across the Denmark Strait to the wild and spectacular east coast of Greenland. Our destination is Scoresbysund, the world’s largest fjord system, spanning over 14,000 square miles. Under the expert guidance of our Expedition Team, you’ll take an intimate look at this precious ecosystem through landings, nature walks, and kayaking tours.

Wildlife abounds in this peaceful wilderness. Watch for whales and other marine wildlife as we glide through dark, placid waters at the feet of soaring mountains. Birding enthusiasts should look out for species that include Brünnich’s guillemots, snowy owls and Greenlandic gyrfalcons. We’ll then end your grand expedition where it all started, in Reykjavik.

Circumnavigating Iceland and the Fjords of East Greenland Circumnavigating Iceland and the Fjords of East Greenland
  • Day 1
    Reykjavík

    The adventure begins

    July 25, 2023

    Start your expedition cruise in Iceland’s capital city, a center for art, culture, history, and pleasure.

    Your expedition cruise begins at Reykjavík, where MS Fram awaits in the harbor. Reykjavík means ‘Smoky Inlet’, coming from the steam rising from its hot springs. Today, the hot water from geothermal energy heats numerous pools and hot tubs.

    The world’s northernmost capital is both traditional and cosmopolitan, with plenty to do and see. Explore the delightful boutiques, outdoor shops, and pubs of busy Laugarvegur. Or, take in knowledge to your heart’s content in the wonderful museums of art, culture, and history. After that, it’s time to go aboard, meet your Expedition Team, and start the adventure!

    Pre-Program

    Consider arriving a few days early to explore this beautiful country in more depth. We recommend booking a two-day or four-day Pre-Program with us to Iceland’s famous Golden Circle. Highlights include visits to Gullfoss waterfall and Thingvellir National Park, taking a dip in Iceland´s oldest swimming pool, and hiking in unique, beautiful surroundings.

    Day 1
    Reykjavík

    The adventure begins

  • Day 2
    Stykkishólmur - Full Day

    Welcome to Sagaland

    July 26, 2023

    Visit the fjord of a thousand islets and the land that inspired Jules Verne.

    Our first stop is the quaint fishing village of Stykkishólmur, located on the north side of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. With no traffic and a population of only around 1,000, it sometimes feels as though time stands still here. You will have a fantastic view of the countless islets of Breiðafjörður (‘Broad Fjord’).

    The old town center stands out for its colorful old houses, which contrast against the rugged scenery. Take a look at the Volcano Museum and the Regional Museum, and try local delicacies at the restaurant. This region was the setting for Jules Verne’s book Journey to the Center of the Earth!

    Day 2
    Stykkishólmur - Full Day

    Welcome to Sagaland

  • Day 3
    Patreksfjörður - Full Day

    The fjord of St. Patrick

    July 27, 2023

    Look for puffins and Arctic foxes as we visit a rose-hued beach and Iceland’s highest waterfall.

    This tranquil fishing village was named for Saint Patrick by its discoverer back in the 8th century. The harbor has a rich maritime history and remains lively today, giving you the opportunity to learn about the many species of fish brought ashore. You can also take a dip in the outdoor pool.

    The nearby Latrabjarg cliff is home to puffins, northern gannets, guillemots, and razorbills. They remain safe from Arctic foxes by nesting on its face. Also close by is Rauðsandur (‘Red Sand’) Beach, famous for its rose-hued sand, and the Dynjandi waterfalls, where six falls combine to form the highest waterfall in the Westfjords.

    Day 3
    Patreksfjörður - Full Day

    The fjord of St. Patrick

  • Day 4
    Northwest Iceland - Full Day

    Northwest Iceland

    July 28, 2023

    A day for spontaneous exploration in Iceland’s northwestern region.

    One of the most exciting things about expedition cruising is that anything can happen on any given day. We’ve set one day aside as an exploration day, with no pre-arranged plan.  

     We aim to be in Iceland’s Northwestern Region, but the Captain and the Expedition Team will set the final plan for the day, depending on conditions and opportunities as they arise.  

    Activities might include hiking, participating in a beach clean-up, or launching our kayaks. If we spot a pod of whales as we’re sailing, we may decide to linger and enjoy the sight. Adapting to adventure is what expedition cruising is all about. 

    Day 4
    Northwest Iceland - Full Day

    Northwest Iceland

  • Day 5
    Akureyri - Full Day

    Capital of the north

    July 29, 2023

    See Iceland’s vibrant northern capital and the Waterfall of the Gods.

    Located at the head of Iceland’s longest fjord, the lively university town of Akureyri is known as the country’s northern capital. This is the best opportunity to spot whales of various species, as we cruise past towering, snow-capped peaks along the fjord’s lush coastline. The town itself has numerous top-class eateries and two fascinating museums.

    You can also visit the Arctic Botanical Gardens and view the striking architecture of Akureyri Church.

    Optional excursions are available to stunning Goðafoss, the ‘Waterfall of the Gods’, and to the uniquely beautiful Lake Mývatn, a wonderful place for bird-spotting. ‘Game of Thrones’ fans may recognize this landscape!

    Day 5
    Akureyri - Full Day

    Capital of the north

  • Day 6
    Grimsey - Full Day

    Step across the Arctic Circle

    July 30, 2023

    Explore the island of folklore and legend as we straddle the Arctic Circle.

    For an unforgettable experience, you have to visit the small, grassy island of Grimsey. Steeped in folklore and legend, this island bisects the Arctic Circle, which means you can stand with one foot on each side of this important geographical feature. The Circle is marked by a large, concrete sphere.

    There are only 60 human inhabitants, but many thousands of seabirds. Locals sometimes intrepidly descend the cliffs in search of eggs. Boats will take you from the ship to visit this jagged, windswept island. In the evening, we return to the port of Húsavík for the night.

    Day 6
    Grimsey - Full Day

    Step across the Arctic Circle

  • Day 7
    Bakkagerði - Full Day

    The land of the elves

    July 31, 2023

    Enjoy spectacular scenery and wildlife in the company of the so-called ‘Hidden Folk’.

    According to folklore, this tiny coastal hamlet of about 100 people is also home to a considerable population of elves. When you experience its serenity and impressive scenery, it´s easy to see why. Surrounded by mountain peaks, Bakkagerði is a superb base for hikers, bird-watchers, and all kinds of nature-lovers.

    The coastal cliffs abound with fulmars, kittiwakes, eider ducks and puffins. After your walk, enjoy fresh fish or the local specialty, fish soup, at one of the local cafés. Or, simply take in the peace and breathtaking views. You may even spot an elf!

    Day 7
    Bakkagerði - Full Day

    The land of the elves

  • Day 8
    Heimaey - Full Day

    The Icelandic Pompeii

    August 1, 2023

    A friendly welcome awaits on this isle of fire, featuring a turbulent history.

    With about 4,000 friendly inhabitants, Heimaey (‘Home Island’) is the only inhabited island in the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago, south of Iceland’s mainland. In 1973, the settlement was nearly wiped out by a volcanic eruption. The Eldfell (‘Fire Mountain’) volcanic cone still towers 722 feet above the sea.

    Father down, see the tongue of lava which nearly blocked the harbor and was only stopped by heroic efforts. On this windy-but-hospitable island, ascend the volcano and learn about its dark and turbulent history, including runaway slaves, murder, revenge, magic, and Barbary pirates.

    Day 8
    Heimaey - Full Day

    The Icelandic Pompeii

  • Day 9
    Reykjavík

    The start of a new adventure

    August 2, 2023

    Take a trip to the Blue Lagoon for an unforgettable outdoor spa experience.

    Upon returning to Reykjavík, you have another opportunity to explore the delights you may have missed on your first visit. Don’t forget, this city is full of art, culture, galleries, and museums. Or if you simply wish to relax, why not take a trip to the famous Blue Lagoon?

    Relax in geothermally heated water that shines bright blue, caused by the silica and many other minerals carried down the volcanic landscape. As you soak, enjoy a drink and chat with locals and fellow guests as you look forward to the next step on your adventure: Greenland!

    Day 9
    Reykjavík

    The start of a new adventure

  • Day 10
    At Sea

    Crossing the Denmark Strait

    August 3, 2023

    Relax and learn all about the Arctic as we follow in the wake of Viking explorers.

    Voyaging westward, MS Fridtjof Nansen enters the Denmark Strait, waters once sailed by Erik the Red and other Viking explorers on their way to Greenland. As we sail, the ship has plenty of onboard facilities for you to use. In the Science Center, you can learn all about the Arctic, its wildlife, and its inhabitants.

    Take some time to use the ship’s fitness room and get the blood pumping. After that, enjoy a relaxing sauna as you gaze out to sea. Later, chat with other guests over a drink in the Explorer Lounge & Bar. Or do whatever you feel!

    Day 10
    At Sea

    Crossing the Denmark Strait

  • Day 11-19
    Scoresbysund fjord system

    Largest fjord system on Earth

    August 4, 2023 - August 12, 2023

    Spend over a week exploring the most immense fjord system on the planet.

    This enormous fjord system is renowned for its spectacular scenery. Glistening white and blue icebergs float on the mirror-like waters amid mountains towering to 6,500 feet. The serenity is broken only by the cries of sea birds, such as little auks, puffins, fulmars, and gulls.

    The waters are also home to various species of whales and seals. Your Captain and Expedition Team will seek out opportunities to go ashore for nature walks or explore the fjords by kayak. Keep your eyes open! On land, you may spot musk oxen, Arctic foxes, Greenlandic gyrfalcons, and mountain hares.

    Day 11-19
    Scoresbysund fjord system

    Largest fjord system on Earth

  • Day 20
    Denmark Strait

    Heading back to Iceland

    August 13, 2023

    Relax at sea as we head back to Iceland.

    After exploring the remote beauty of east Greenland, we’ll set our course back to Iceland. Spend time recapping your experiences with your new friends, studying nature in the Science Center, or just relaxing out on deck. Track the seabirds following the ship or see if you can spot some whales.

    As you reflect on your expedition cruise, you’ll now understand and fully appreciate the precious nature of Greenland. From the delicate ecology of the fjord systems to the ethereal elegance of the ice and glaciers, we hope that this beauty has impacted you and that your expedition cruise has been a life-changing experience.

    Day 20
    Denmark Strait

    Heading back to Iceland

  • Day 21
    Reykjavík

    End of the adventure

    August 14, 2023

    MS Fram arrives back in the Icelandic capital early in the morning. After disembarking, check out some of the things you may have missed in this charming and compact city.

    You’ll have surely had an incredible experience exploring Iceland and Greenland’s east coast with us. We hope to see you again for another adventure in the future.

    Post-Program:

    Want to extend your adventure? If you want to discover more of Iceland, tack on a Post-Program before heading home or simply extend your stay to enjoy Reykjavík and the surrounding geothermal attractions. Iceland has so much to offer, so why not linger a bit longer?

    Day 21
    Reykjavík

    End of the adventure

Departures

2023

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What's Included

Included in Your Expedition

Expedition Cruise

  • Expedition cruise in the cabin of your choice
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurant Aune
  • Fine-dining À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm is included for suite guests
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to fill at onboard water refill stations
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organize and guide activities, both on board and ashore
  • Range of included excursions

Onboard activities

  • Experts from the Expedition Team present detailed lectures on a variety of topics
  • Use of the ship’s Science Center, which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
  • The Citizen Science program allows guests to contribute to current scientific research
  • The onboard professional photographer will give tips and tricks for taking the best landscape and wildlife photos
  • The ship has hot tubs, a sauna, an outdoor and indoor gym, and an outdoor running track
  • Participate in informal gatherings with the crew, such as daily recaps and the next day’s preparations

Landing activities

  • Escorted landings with small boats (RIBs)
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment needed for the activities
  • Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition photographers help you configure your camera settings

Not Included In Your Expedition

  • International flights
  • Travel protection
  • Baggage handling
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team

Notes

MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo
MS Fram in Antarctica
Photo: Sandra Walser
Your Ship

MS Fram

Year built 2007
Year of refurbishment 2022
Shipyard Fincantieri, Italy
Passenger capacity 250 (200 in Antarctica)
Beds 276
Car capacity 0
Gross tonnage 11,647 T
Length 374 ft
Beam 66.3 ft
Speed 13 knots
MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo

The original Fram was the most famous explorer ship of its time and the achievements of her expeditions are unparalleled. The advanced technology on the MS Fram, in the spirit of the famous original, makes her exceptionally well suited for expedition cruises in polar regions.

Read more about MS Fram

Icebergs – one of many favorite photo motives when on an expedition with MS Fram
Photo: Tomas Mauch

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