Iceland and Beyond - Reykjavík to Hamburg via Scotland's Northern Isles

Iceland and Beyond - Reykjavík to Hamburg via Scotland's Northern Isles

Iceland and Beyond - Reykjavík to Hamburg via Scotland's Northern Isles

Iceland and Beyond - Reykjavík to Hamburg via Scotland's Northern Isles

Travel information 15 days MS Spitsbergen
September 22, 2025
Price from
$ 7,027
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Iceland’s raw natural beauty

In stylish Reykjavík, you’ll get a taste of modern Iceland, before setting sail for a half circumnavigation of the land of fire and ice. Discover the country’s starkly beautiful scenery with active volcanoes, geysers, glaciers, mountains and waterfalls, and encounter iconic wildlife.

Remote Scottish isles

In the Shetland Islands and Orkney, you’ll experience windswept beauty, rich island culture and deep-rooted history. Visit Iron Age villages, Viking-influenced towns, and islands where birdlife thrives. Your adventure ends in Hamburg, Germany’s great port city.

Iceland and Beyond - Reykjavík to Hamburg via Scotland's Northern Isles Iceland and Beyond - Reykjavík to Hamburg via Scotland's Northern Isles
  • Day 1

    Cosmopolitan Reykjavík

    Discover Iceland’s modern capital.

    Your expedition cruise starts in Reykjavík – a laid-back city of art, culture and history. It’s well worth spending some time getting to know this delightful capital.

    Stroll past the boutiques and outdoor shops along Laugavegur, gaze in awe at the striking Hallgrímskirkja

    Church, and drop by the fascinating Reykjavík Art Museum.

    Your expedition ship awaits you in Reykjavík Harbour. After being welcomed aboard and collecting your complimentary expedition jacket, it’s time to settle into your cabin before enjoying your first dinner on board.

    If you have time, we recommend booking a Pre-Program with us to discover some of Iceland’s natural highlights before your cruise begins.

    Day 1

    Cosmopolitan Reykjavík

  • Day 2

    Heimaey’s explosive past

    Discover the town that defied a volcano

    Heimaey is the only inhabited island in the Westman Islands, off Iceland’s southern coast. It has a fascinating history and still bears the scars of the powerful volcanic eruption that nearly destroyed the island.

    Visit Eldheimar, a museum that features an excavated home frozen in time, and learn more about the eruption and its aftermath. Don’t pass up the chance to climb Mount Eldfell to the volcano’s summit, where you’ll have incredible views of the town below.

    Day 2

    Heimaey’s explosive past

  • Day 3

    Charming Grundarfjörður

    Gateway to spectacular Snæfellsnes

    The majestic Kirkjufell mountain, one of the best-known landmarks of Iceland, rises just two miles west of the small harbor of Grundarfjörður, a quaint fishing town in Breiðafjörður bay.

    Nearby lies Snæfellsnes Peninsula National Park, with the striking, ice-capped Snæfellsjökull volcano at the peninsula’s western tip. Its wide array of landscapes has earned it the nickname ‘Little Iceland’.

    At the national park, you can visit Djúpalónssandur’s black sand beach and the Saxhóll crater, or take a guided underground tour along a gigantic lava tube.

    Day 3

    Charming Grundarfjörður

  • Day 4

    Picturesque Isafjörður

    Explore Westfjords’ beautiful harborside town

    Flanked by towering mountains on all sides, Ísafjörður is a nearly perfect natural harbor and an excellent gateway to the Westfjords region. Stroll around to see the architecture, shop for local handicrafts, and see some of the oldest houses in Iceland.

    One of these historic 18th-century buildings is home to Westfjords Heritage Museum, where you can learn about the maritime past of this fascinating port. Or if you prefer something more energetic, you could take the steep hike up to Naustahvilft – the Troll’s Throne. You’ll be rewarded for your efforts with a stunning panoramic view at the top.

    Day 4

    Picturesque Isafjörður

  • Day 5

    Djúpavík’s old factory

    Explore a ghostly factory and hike in magical surroundings

    There is an eerie charm about the remote village of Djúpavík, at the edge of the Westfjords. A vast abandoned herring factory contrasts with a stunning rural setting. A guided tour of the old herring factory should not be missed. Inside its cavernous interior, huge machines rust away quietly, and the workers’ everyday objects sit forgotten on their desks.

    Explore these magical surroundings on foot and take a short and invigorating hike to the waterfall just above the old factory. Looking down to the shore, you may spot the old, rusting ship from a previous era. This truly is a place of contrasts.

    Day 5

    Djúpavík’s old factory

  • Day 6

    Akureyri and Goðafoss

    See dramatic moonscapes and waterfalls

    Gaze at snowcapped peaks as we cruise into Eyjafjörður, Iceland’s longest fjord. Together with neighboring Skjálfandi bay, it’s one of the best places in Europe to spot whales.

    Iceland’s so-called ‘Northern Capital’, Akureyri, sits at the base of the fjord. Here, you can enjoy a botanical garden oasis and visit local eateries and museums.

    A little further on, witness the picturesque Goðafoss waterfall, where turquoise waters pound against black rocks. You’ll witness geology come to life around Lake Mývatn, an active volcanic area and one of the few places to see the Mid-Atlantic Ridge up close.

    Day 6

    Akureyri and Goðafoss

  • Day 7

    Húsavík and the Arctic Circle

    Cross the Arctic Circle and go whale watching

    Húsavík is a pleasant small town famous for its whale watching opportunities, and we’ll be stopping here in the morning. The town looks out over Skjálfandi bay, which enjoys visits from humpback and minke whales, white-beaked dolphins, harbor porpoises and occasionally blue whales. If you’re lucky, you might see one or more of these giants at sea, and you can learn more about them at the Húsavík Whale Museum.

    Húsavík is also regarded as the gateway to many of the highlights of the north, including Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, the waterfall of Dettifoss and the horseshoe-shaped valley of Ásbyrgi, which according to Icelandic myth was made by Odin’s eight-legged horse. Later, we’ll sail along the coast of Grímsey island without landing, crossing the Arctic Circle as we do so, before continuing to our next destination.

    Day 7

    Húsavík and the Arctic Circle

  • Day 8

    Tiny Bakkagerði

    Explore a place beloved by puffins and elves

    Your Iceland expedition cruise continues to Bakkagerði, a tiny, remote settlement. According to folklore, Bakkagerði is inhabited by a large population of local land spirits or elves, known as huldufólk, meaning ‘hidden people’. Walk around town to explore this magical place.

    This popular hiking area features lush valleys and gorgeous scenery among colorful rhyolite rocks. In season, the coastal cliffs are home to fulmars, kittiwakes, eiders and puffins.

    Day 8

    Tiny Bakkagerði

  • Day 9

    Vatnajökull cruising

    See the second-largest ice cap in Europe

    Leaving the land of ice and fire and heading toward the British Isles, we hope to cruise by and admire Vatnajökull, the second-largest ice cap in Europe, if conditions allow.

    Set in Vatnajökull National Park, the ice cap is the largest in Europe by volume and area. Given its unique natural characteristics, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019.

    As you explore, your Expedition Team will help you understand more about how climate change affects glaciers in Iceland and beyond.

    Day 9

    Vatnajökull cruising

  • At sea

    At sea

    Relax and recharge with a day at sea

    Relax and enjoy a day at sea as we sail towards Lerwick in the Shetland Islands.

    Socialize with your fellow travelers in the Explorer Lounge & Bar, and swap stories of your adventures so far. Keep your eyes peeled while on deck for marine life and seabirds – you can even chill out in the hot tub while you do so.

    Or why not listen to some lectures from the Expedition Team and find out more about what lies ahead in the British Isles.

    At sea

    At sea

  • Day 11

    Lerwick’s past and present

    Discover Scotland’s most northerly inhabited isles

    Today we’ll dock alongside Lerwick, the capital of the Shetland Islands. Set in stunning scenery, we’ll spend the day exploring this friendly, Victorian-influenced fishing town.

    Navigate the narrow lanes on foot to discover little shops selling local whiskies, woolen sweaters, and fudge. By the old waterfront, you’ll find the Shetland Museum, charting the area’s rich history. Nearby, see Fort Charlotte and the regal Town Hall.

    The wider island is home to remarkable Iron Age villages and the Shetland Crofthouse Museum, where you can learn about the hard life of the local crofters.

    Day 11

    Lerwick’s past and present

  • Day 12
    Fair Isle

    Far-flung Fair Isle

    A scenic stop for bird lovers

    Your cruise continues to the remote Fair Isle, known for its birds and knitwear.

    The island is home to 27 bird species and is a dream for birders and wildlife photographers. It's a vital stop for migrating seabirds, drawn to the red sandstone cliffs, green fields, and moors.

    We’ll attempt to land for the Expedition Team to lead you on a clifftop hike to a lighthouse sitting in a spectacular location. Gain fascinating insights into the life and history of the 65-strong island community at the local museum. You can support Fair Islanders by buying genuine Fair Isle knitwear direct from local makers.

    If landing isn’t possible, the scenic cruising is just as spectacular.

    Day 12
    Fair Isle

    Far-flung Fair Isle

  • Day 13

    Highlights of Orkney

    Learn about Kirkwall’s Norse heritage

    Today, we cruise to the Orkney Islands’ largest town. Explore Kirkwall, the vibrant, Viking-influenced capital of the Orkneys, which is compact enough to cover on foot.

    Visit the regal St. Magnus Cathedral, made from distinctive local red sandstone, and the adjacent Earl’s Palace to see the stone ruins of this once-grand Renaissance building. The Neolithic settlement of Scara Brae is also only a bus ride away.

    Whisky aficionados will enjoy Kirkwall’s Highland Park and Scapa distilleries’ sublime single malts. If you feel like something different, Orkney Distillery produces gin made from local Orcadian botanicals.

    Day 13

    Highlights of Orkney

  • Day 14
    At sea

    A final day at sea

    Reflect as you head toward Germany

    Enjoy a final day at sea as you cruise from Scotland to Germany.

    If you haven’t already, today is a great day to make the most of the ship’s facilities. Relax and enjoy the panoramic sauna or on-deck hot tubs. Work out in the fitness room or take in the views from the observation decks. You can also enjoy the company of fellow explorers over drinks in the Explorer Lounge & Bar and reflect on the wonderful cruise you’ve had.

    Day 14
    At sea

    A final day at sea

  • Day 15

    Germany’s Hanseatic treasure

    End your cruise in Germany’s second city

    Your expedition cruise comes to an end in Hamburg, the second-largest city in Germany, which has one of the greenest urban areas in Europe.

    There’s a lot to see and do in Hamburg. If you have time, you’ll find many attractions in the Altstadt district, including the St. Nikolai Memorial and the historic street of Deichstraße.

    Hamburg is home to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Chilehaus, and the world’s largest historic warehouse district in Speicherstadt. Art lovers should head to Kunsthalle, the nation’s foremost art museum.

    Day 15

    Germany’s Hanseatic treasure



  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

What’s included

Expedition Cruise

  • Stay in a cabin of your choice
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including beverages* in the Aune restaurant
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board†
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organize and guide activities, both on board and ashore
  • Range of included activities
  • *House beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water
  • †Please note that Wi-Fi and phone reception are very limited in the remote areas where we travel and streaming is not supported.

Onboard activities

  • In-depth lectures and discussions hosted by experts on the Expedition Team
  • Full use of our Science Center, library, and advanced biological and geological equipment
  • The Citizen Science Program allows guests to contribute to ongoing scientific research projects
  • Our professional onboard photographer will give photography tips and teach techniques for capturing landscape and wildlife photos.
  • The ship has hot tubs, a sauna with a view and a gym.
  • Join informal gatherings with the crew for daily briefings.

Landing Activities

  • Escorted landings with small boats (RIBs)
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all the equipment needed for the activities
  • Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition photographers will be on hand to assist you


  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change
  • Please ensure you meet all entry and boarding requirements
  • No gratuities are expected
  • Depending on your flight schedule, an additional overnight stay might be needed (not included)

Not included in your voyage

  • International flights
  • Additional overnight stay(s) may be required due to international flight schedules
  • Travel protection
  • Baggage handling
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team
A large ship in a body of water
Longyearbyen, Svalbard - MS Spitsbergen
Photo: Genna Roland
A group of people posing for the camera
Photo: Stefan Dall / Hurtigruten
Your Ship

MS Spitsbergen

Year built 2009
Year of refurbishment 2016
Shipyard Estaleiro Navais de Viana do Castelo (POR)
Passenger capacity 220
Beds 243
Car capacity 0
Gross tonnage 7,344
Length 100.54 m
Beam 18 m
Speed 14.5 knots
A large ship in a body of water

MS Spitsbergen is named after the crown jewel of Arctic Norway: the Svalbard archipelago and its biggest island, Spitsbergen. Hurtigruten has a long history of traveling to Spitsbergen, beginning in 1896 with the ‘Sports Route’. 

Read more about MS Spitsbergen

A large ship in the water

Related Cruises

Here are a few suggestions: