Ring of Fire and Ice – Summer Circumnavigation of Iceland

Ring of Fire and Ice – Summer Circumnavigation of Iceland

Ring of Fire and Ice – Summer Circumnavigation of Iceland

Ring of Fire and Ice – Summer Circumnavigation of Iceland

Travel information 11 days MS Maud
July 8, 2024
August 6, 2024
Price from
$ 6,027
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

11-day Iceland Circular Expedition Cruise Round Trip from Reykjavík

Iceland, past and present

In Reykjavík, you’ll get a taste of modern Iceland. Check out its stylish restaurants, boutiques, galleries, and museums that delve into Icelandic history and culture through the ages. On tiny islands and in coastal fishing villages, hear tales of elves and epic Viking sagas.

Volcanic landscapes, whales, and seabirds

Discover Iceland’s stark scenery, with active volcanoes, geysers, glaciers, mountains and waterfalls. Iceland offers the best whale watching in Europe at this time of year, from humpbacks to belugas. While observing the birdlife, we’ll be on the lookout for Atlantic puffins and many more species.

Ring of Fire and Ice – Summer Circumnavigation of Iceland Ring of Fire and Ice – Summer Circumnavigation of Iceland
  • Day 1
    Reykjavík, Iceland

    Relax in Reykjavík

    Discover Iceland’s modern capital

    Your Iceland expedition cruise starts in Reykjavík, a city full of art, culture, and history. Visit Laugavegur, the main shopping street, then head toward the striking Hallgrímskirkja Church. You could also explore the galleries and museums dotted around the city.

    Once aboard MS Maud, a smaller ship built for more personal exploration, it’s time to settle in, meet your Expedition Team, and enjoy a laid-back welcome dinner.


    With so much to explore, consider arriving early to join one of our Pre-Programs and explore the Golden Circle or Icelandic Highlands.

    Day 1
    Reykjavík, Iceland

    Relax in Reykjavík

  • Day 2
    Snæfellsnes Peninsula

    Snæfellsnes Peninsula

    Gateway to spectacular Snæfellsnes

    Time has stood still at Stykkishólmur, the small fishing town in Breiðafjörður bay. Here, the colorful houses stand in contrast to the distant mountains.

    Nearby, you’ll find Snæfellsnes Peninsula National Park, with the ice-capped Snæfellsjökull volcano at the peninsula’s western tip. It’s nicknamed 'Little Iceland', for its wide variety of volcanic landscapes.

    At the national park, visit Djúpalónssandur's black-sand beach and the Lóndrangar basalt cliffs. Ride a snowcat to the top of the Snæfellsjökull glacier, or take a guided coastal hike with a glacial cave tour.

    • Included Stykkishólmur Discovery Walk
    Day 2
    Snæfellsnes Peninsula

    Snæfellsnes Peninsula

  • Day 3

    Beautiful Patreksfjörður

    Visit a stunning beach, admire waterfalls, and go birdwatching.

    Patreksfjörður is unforgettably beautiful. Learn about the fishing traditions in Europe’s westernmost village. You can even enjoy a dip in the town’s outdoor pool, which features wonderful fjord views.

    Explore the surrounding area on a hike through the fjords or visit Rauðasandur beach and see seals. You can also join a tour of Dynjandi waterfalls, six combined falls that, together, comprise the largest and most spectacular in the Westfjords.

    Birdwatchers shouldn’t miss a visit to Látrabjarg, where puffins, northern gannets, guillemots, and razorbills cling to Europe’s largest bird cliff.

    • Included Patreksfjördur - Stroll through the most western village of Europe
    Day 3

    Beautiful Patreksfjörður

  • Day 4
    The Northwestern Region

    The Northwestern Region

    Explore northwest Iceland expedition-style.

    One of the best things about expedition cruising is the feeling of freedom. We plan to spend the day in Iceland’s northwestern region, but as conditions can vary, we won't know exactly what's in store until the day itself. Rest assured, your Captain and expedition team will find the best opportunities for adventure.

    We may take you ashore in our small boats (RIBs) for a hike, swim, or beach clean-up. Or perhaps we’ll launch our kayaks to explore a pretty cove. Be ready for anything!

    Don’t forget you can also join onboard lectures, visit the Science Center, get tips from our professional photographer, or soak in a hot tub!

    Day 4
    The Northwestern Region

    The Northwestern Region

  • 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. The immense, abandoned herring factory contrasts with the stunning countryside. A guided tour of the old building will reveal all of its secrets. 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.

    • Included Herring Factory Visit and Leisurely Hike
    Day 5

    Djúpavík’s old factory

  • Day 6

    Eyjafjörður to Akureyri

    Explore Akureyri and see volcanic moonscapes.

    Today we cruise along Eyjafjörður, Iceland's longest fjord, to Akureyri, Iceland's northern capital. It’s a prime area to see humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins and harbor porpoises.

    Stroll the interesting streets of Akureyri, which feature charming, colorful houses. Learn about the city’s history at the Akureyri Museum and visit Norðurslóð (Into the Arctic), a museum dedicated to Iceland’s settlement, culture, and daily life.

    Further inland, visit the picturesque Goðafoss (‘God’s Waterfall’), where turquoise waters pound against black rocks. Seek out eider ducks and harlequin ducks at Lake Mývatn, one of Iceland’s most active volcanic areas.

    • Included Akureyri City Walk
    Day 6

    Eyjafjörður to Akureyri

  • Day 7

    Grímsey’s puffins

    Cross the Arctic Circle and see Atlantic puffins.

    Grímsey is steeped in folklore, including tales of the island’s first settler, Grímur. This remote and windswept island is home to just 60 people and is renowned for its Atlantic puffin colonies.

    Grímsey is probably best known for its proximity to the Arctic Circle, which actually cuts across the island – the only place in Iceland where it does so. You’ll have the opportunity to step across that line, hopping over to the Arctic and back.

    Hike to the Orbis et Globus sculpture, a huge concrete sphere that is repositioned each year to follow the northward movement of the Arctic Circle. In fact, by 2050, Grímsey will lie outside the Arctic!

    • Included Arctic Circle Crossing Ceremony
    Day 7

    Grímsey’s puffins

  • Day 8

    Whale watching in Húsavík

    Iceland's best whale-watching spot

    Today, you’ll discover Húsavík, a fascinating town that is one of the best places in the world for whale watching.

    Húsavík looks out over Skjálfandi Bay, a hotspot for humpback and minke whales, white-beaked dolphins, and harbor porpoises. The elusive blue whale even makes appearances here. Learn more about them at Húsavík’s Whale Museum.

    You can also enjoy the geothermal waters at Geosea, which overlooks Skjálfandi bay, and pep yourself up with a beer at the local microbrewery.

    Day 8

    Whale watching in Húsavík

  • Day 9

    Hike in Bakkagerði

    Local folklore and natural beauty

    Your Iceland cruise continues to Bakkagerði, a tiny settlement off the beaten track. According to folklore, Bakkagerði is inhabited by a large population of local land spirits or elves, known as huldufólk (meaning 'hidden people').

    This popular hiking area features lush valleys and gorgeous scenery among colorful rhyolite rocks. The coastal cliffs are home to fulmars, kittiwakes, eider ducks, and puffins. We may also visit the Atlantic puffin colony on Hafnarhólmi, a true gem for nature lovers and wildlife photographers.

    • Included Local Living Walk of Bakkagerði
    Day 9

    Hike in Bakkagerði

  • Day 10

    Heimaey's explosive past

    Discover the town that defied a volcano.

    Heimaey is the only inhabited island in the Westman Islands, off the Iceland’s southern coast. It has a fascinating history and still bears the scars of the powerful 1973 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. You could also take a hike to find puffins at Stórhöfði, where nearly 8 million of them nest every summer. 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 10

    Heimaey's explosive past

  • Day 11

    Reykjavík and beyond

    Explore Reykjavík at your leisure.

    Your Iceland expedition cruise concludes back in fascinating Reykjavík. This is a great chance to see the places you missed when you arrived.

    Relaxing with friends in the geothermal waters of a heittur pottur is part of Icelandic culture. Before you leave, visit Iceland’s most famous place to do so: the Blue Lagoon. This is one of the true natural wonders of the world. Experience the blend of silica, algae, and minerals in its geothermal waters.


    You can also join our Post-Program and explore Iceland's beautiful south coast, with waterfalls, black-sand beaches, geothermal springs and majestic mountains.

    Day 11

    Reykjavík and beyond



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What’s included

Expedition Cruise

  • Stay in a cabin of your choice
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including beverages* in the Aune restaurant
  • Fine-dining À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm is included for suite guests
  • 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, extensive library, and advanced biological and geological equipment
  • The Citizen Science Program allows guests to contribute to ongoing scientific research projects.
  • Our onboard professional photographer will give photography tips and teach techniques for capturing landscape and wildlife photos.
  • Enjoy the hot tubs, a sauna with a view, and the indoor and outdoor gym on the ship.
  • Join informal gatherings with the crew for daily briefings.

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 will be on hand to assist you.


  • All planned activities are subject to weather conditions.
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change
  • Please ensure you meet all entry and boarding requirements.
  • No gratuities are expected

Not included in your voyage

  • International flights
  • Travel protection
  • Baggage handling
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team
MS Maud
Interior in restaurant Lindstrøm
Photo: Oscar Farrera
Your Ship

MS Maud

Year built 2003
Shipyard Fosen Mek. Verk. (N)
Passenger capacity 570 (500 in Antarctica)
Beds 500
Gross tonnage 16,151 T
Length 445 ft
Beam 70.5 ft
Speed 15 knots

Formerly the MS Midnatsol, the MS Maud is well-suited for expedition cruising.

Read more about MS Maud

Science center - MS Maud
Photo: Oscar Farrera
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