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Expeditions

Iceland

Witness soaring volcanoes, spouting geysers, peaceful fjords, and spectacular waterfalls. Join us on an epic expedition to the land of fire and ice.

See all expedition cruises

Iceland

Witness soaring volcanoes, spouting geysers, peaceful fjords, and spectacular waterfalls. Join us on an epic expedition to the land of fire and ice.

See all expedition cruises
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Cruising Around Iceland with Hurtigruten

We’ve been sailing to some of the world’s most remote lands for almost 130 years. Delve deeper into Iceland’s seismic landscape through hikes, small boat (RIB) cruises, and shore excursions. Sail along Iceland’s coastline and learn more about this fascinating country by discovering tight-knit communities, industries, and historical landmarks.

You’ll explore Reykjavík, the world’s northernmost capital, and picturesque fishing villages on Iceland’s west coast. Marvel at puffins, scan for whales, and soak in geothermal hot springs. Explore Iceland, expedition-style.

  • Bakkageroi, Iceland
  • Icelandic horse, Iceland
  • Port of Langanes, Iceland
  • Puffin, Latrabjarg, Iceland
  • Seljalandsfoss, waterfall Iceland

Photo: Camille Seaman, Theme Media, Genna Roland and Alex Lopez

Reasons to Cruise Around Iceland

There’s a reason why film crews searching for dramatic scenery head to Iceland. For striking landscapes, it doesn’t get much better. With 80% of the country uninhabited, Iceland is a vast wilderness of lofty glaciers, volcanic peaks, sprawling mountain ranges, and gorgeous fjords.

Reasons to Cruise Around Iceland

There’s a reason why film crews searching for dramatic scenery head to Iceland. For striking landscapes, it doesn’t get much better. With 80% of the country uninhabited, Iceland is a vast wilderness of lofty glaciers, volcanic peaks, sprawling mountain ranges, and gorgeous fjords.

Fire and Ice

Iceland’s location, straddling the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, has led to constant seismic activity. The country’s landmass is still growing. The amazing landscapes you’ll explore on your expedition cruise is the result of freezing glacial forces combined with the Earth’s molten heat below.

Cosmopolitan Capitals and Hidden Gems

Most Icelanders don’t have to choose between living in natural or in urban environments. Two-thirds of the country’s population lives in Reykjavík, a capital city encircled by natural wonders. It’s creative, cosmopolitan, and quirky. It’s also the perfect size for a walking tour and is packed full of art, culture, and history. Akureyri is a modern, youthful university town on the north coast. It’s located in a region featuring some of Iceland’s most prized natural features, such as Lake Mývatn and the Goðafoss Waterfall.

Iceland’s Wild Side

Iceland is home to some of the world’s largest bird populations, including Northern Gannets, guillemots, razorbills, and Atlantic Puffins. In Grímsey, the birds outnumber humans 17,000 to 1! Naturally, the puffins steal the show. On an optional excursion to the bird cliffs, you’ll have the opportunity to observe these adorable creatures up close.

Viking Heritage and Mythology

As your expedition unfolds, learn more about Iceland’s first settlers. Viking history comes alive in the Saga Museum in Reykjavík, complete with lifelike replicas of historical figures. In Snæfellsnes, try your hand at lifting ‘strength-testing’ rocks placed there by Vikings. Iceland is ripe with myths, legends, and sagas.

Cruises

Wildlife in Iceland

Iceland’s incredible scenery steals all the headlines, and rightly so—but it wouldn’t be the same without the sights and sounds of the wildlife that call it home. Marine mammals and birdlife in Iceland defy this unforgiving landscape where volcanoes and glaciers hold sway. Discover the wildlife that thrives in the land of fire and ice.

Wildlife in Iceland

Iceland’s incredible scenery steals all the headlines, and rightly so—but it wouldn’t be the same without the sights and sounds of the wildlife that call it home. Marine mammals and birdlife in Iceland defy this unforgiving landscape where volcanoes and glaciers hold sway. Discover the wildlife that thrives in the land of fire and ice.

Birds

Over 400 bird species have been spotted in Iceland, with approximately 110 of them nesting here regularly. That’s not bad for a remote island with a subpolar climate! While those numbers are noteworthy, it’s the sheer number of birds that make Iceland such a bird lover’s paradise. Species that are rare elsewhere can be abundant here. Iceland is home to species such as Northern Gannets, guillemots, Black-legged Kittiwakes, Common Eider, and millions of Atlantic Puffins and razorbills in the summer months.

Whales

From May to August, Iceland’s waters harbor whales that migrate here to feed and breed during the warmer months. Around 23 whale species have been spotted here, including humpback, minke, and even the elusive blue whale. Whale watching in Iceland is rewarding, given the prospect of seeing humpbacks’ water-surface acrobatics like lobtailing and flipper-slapping.

Seals

Seals frequently feature in Icelandic folklore and music. It’s easy to see why. One look at those big, brown, beautiful eyes will transfix you. Although four species make the occasional visit, harbor seals and gray seals are the only ones that produce their young in Icelandic waters. If you’re lucky, you might spot them loafing on a beach or frolicking in the sea.

Activities in Iceland

Iceland is a world of adventure. Our expedition cruises immerse you in its jaw-dropping scenery through a variety of stimulating activities. Unleash your inner explorer as you explore Iceland’s unique terrains, towns, and cities.

Iceland has been welcoming explorers of all kinds since Vikings set foot on it in the 9th century. Its stunning landscape is a magnet for adventure enthusiasts, nature lovers, and those looking for experiences off the beaten track. Explore Iceland through a host of included and optional activities on your expedition cruise with us. Here are some of the activities to choose from.

Activities in Iceland

Iceland is a world of adventure. Our expedition cruises immerse you in its jaw-dropping scenery through a variety of stimulating activities. Unleash your inner explorer as you explore Iceland’s unique terrains, towns, and cities.

Iceland has been welcoming explorers of all kinds since Vikings set foot on it in the 9th century. Its stunning landscape is a magnet for adventure enthusiasts, nature lovers, and those looking for experiences off the beaten track. Explore Iceland through a host of included and optional activities on your expedition cruise with us. Here are some of the activities to choose from.

Kayaking*

Breathe in crisp, fresh air as you admire Iceland’s scenery from the water. Kayaking is a great way to discover hidden gems that you can’t reach otherwise. Paddle in the calm waters of sheltered fjords flanked by soaring mountains. Enjoy the feeling of gliding through its waters in serene silence, admiring coastal scenery garnished in summer foliage.

* Please note that this is an optional activity at an additional cost.

Landings

Our small boats (RIBs) give us the flexibility to reach corners of Iceland that are off the beaten track. Explore small settlements and villages like Grímsey and Bakkagerði and meet the local communities that call them home. Our Expedition Team members will be on hand to help you make the most of each landing.

Hiking*

Hiking is one of the best ways to explore Iceland’s rugged beauty. Our Expedition Team arranges optional and included guided walks, although most towns we visit have walking trails that you can take on your own. Take in fascinating rock formations, black-sand beaches, moss-covered lava fields, and waterfalls. Enjoy an invigorating hike up the Eldfell Volcano and stand atop a volcano that almost wiped out Heimaey.

* Please note that this is an optional activity and additional cost applies.

Birdwatching

Iceland offers birdwatching experiences in a pristine, unspoiled environment. Around 413 bird species have been recorded here, including common and Brünnich’s Guillemots, Northern Gannets, Atlantic Puffins, razorbills, Northern Fulmar, and Black-legged Kittiwakes. The Icelandic tundra hosts many breeding birds, including shorebirds, geese, Red-throated Divers, Arctic Terns, skuas, and Red-necked Phalaropes.

Lectures and Talks

Your expert Expedition Team will deliver lectures on a range of topics, such as the geology, marine biology, history, and ornithology of the destinations you’ll visit, as well as offering photography tips and tricks. You’ll also learn about Iceland’s history, culture, and folklore. Lectures can take place in the ship’s Science Center, on deck, or ashore during a landing.

Science Center

During your expedition, you’ll have access to the ship’s Science Center, which contains information on the landscapes and ecosystems you’ll encounter in Iceland. You can also participate in various Citizen Science projects, such as documenting wildlife and sending these findings to research institutes around the world to help augment their studies.

Here are a few suggestions:

Alaska

Explore the last frontier

Antarctica

Explore this wild and wonderful frozen continent and see penguins, whales, and seals in their natural habitat

British Isles

Wild beauty and historic sites

Caribbean & Central America

Tropical paradise off the beaten track

Europe

Wander among historical cities

Greenland

Gaze in awe at immense icebergs

North America

Historic towns and national treasures

The Northwest Passage

In the footsteps of legendary explorers

Norway

Cruise under the Midnight Sun and Northern Lights

Norway Expedition

Norway’s wild and dramatic coastline is tailor-made for an expedition-style adventure. Sailing here for almost 130 years, we’re the experts, showing you its highlights and hidden gems.

South America

Search for rich, cultural treasures

Svalbard

Discover the crown of Arctic Norway

Transoceanic

Explore our Transoceanic-themed cruises