Around Iceland in Luxury 8 daysAboard: Le Champlain
Join us on this voyage of discovery in Iceland and the Arctic Circle for a truly exotic cruise on the trail of the Vikings. For 8 days, the luxury vessel Le Champlain will take you to extreme lands and breathtaking scenery. Glaciers, lava fields, geysers and steam baths – this is undoubtedly the place of all the superlatives.
You will embark in Reykjavik, the most northerly capital in the world. Houses with colourful roofs line its streets and this, coupled with the many ducks in its lake, produces a picture postcard setting. It boasts real cultural riches, particularly in contemporary art, notably with the Reykjavik Art Museum. During the cruise, Le Boréal will cross the Arctic Circle, and sail towards the ice floe. You will then reach the small and remote island of Grímsey. This is the kingdom of birds such as guillemots and puffins. Its volcanic rock forms splendid basaltic columns in certain areas.
You will also call at Seydisfjördur, one of the most picturesque ports in the country and the gateway to a 1250-hectare nature reserve that is home to a multitude of birds. To conclude you will discover Heimaey. The only inhabited island in the Westmann Islands, fishing is the main source of income in this exceptional site. You can admire its volcanoes and its almost-desert like landscapes.
- Discover Iceland and the Arctic Circle in ultimate luxury
- Spot a splendid array of birdlife including guillemots and puffins
- Explore Reykjavik, Seydisfjordur and Heimaey
- Glaciers, lava fields, geysers, steam baths volcanoes and stunning landscapes
- Full board accommodation on board, including bar/beverage service
- Transfers between airport and ship
- Zodiac cruises and shore excursions
- Entertainment and expert lecture programme
- Loan of rubber boots
- Expedition parka
So much to experience
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All our itinerary holidays are fully customisable
Reykjavik - Hafnarfjordur
Embark between 4pm and 5pm for departure at 6pm.
This attractive harbour city is located just a few kilometres from the Icelandic capital, Reykjavik Arriving by sea, you'll see fishing boats moored in Hafnarfjörður's baysﾠ and volcanic rocks; ﾠHafnarfjörður is built on an ancient field of lava flow. In the town centre, basalt rocks point you in the direction of the historic houses of Sivertsen and Siggubær : their interiors and period furniture bring old Iceland back to life before your very eyes. Not far from here is a spectacular coastal walk and warm geothermal pools.
Isafjördur & Crossing the Arctic Circle
Your ship will take you to the heart of the fjords of North-West Iceland, a wild land of lost valleys and steep cliffs, where man struggles to survive. In this very isolated region we find the Isafjörður fjord, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in the country, mainly for its relief, forged by many very ancient basaltic flows. The town of Isafjörður, which nestles at the back of its fjord, between imposing mountains, is a delightful little town that lives exclusively from fishing. The capital of the Western fjords, its old wooden houses bear witness to its past as a major fishing port.
On board your ship, cross the mythical line of the Arctic Circle. This famous parallel runs at around 66° 33’ latitude north. Often considered the gateway to the Arctic, it is simply the latitude from which it is possible to observe the midnight sun at least once in the year. Once over the Circle, during the summer months, you will therefore be able to sail in permanent daylight and the low light that is so particular to the polar regions. A unique moment, which will doubtless remain one of the highlights of your cruise.
Grímsey is a small island located 40 km North of mainland Iceland. It was formed by volcanic rock that has generated majestic basalt pillars. The island has been inhabited since the Vikings came to Iceland and legend has it that it is named after the colonial sailor Grìmur, who sailed from the region of Sogn in Norway. This site is home to fabulous wildlife, with many bird colonies having chosen to nest along the jagged cliffs, such as the ‘‘clowns of the sea’’ known as the Atlantic Puffins. While many travellers come here in order to cross the invisible line into the Arctic Circle, the island is also famed as a place to observe the midnight sun.
From Grímseyjarhreppur, the island’s only town located on the west coast, then heading due south, you can take in the beauty of the hillsides, lushly carpeted with moss and grass. On the rest of the coastline, imposing basalt cliffs inhabited by sea birds stand proud.
The elegant city of Akureyri is located very close to the Arctic circle, tucked away in the Eyjafjörður fjord. It displays a stunning palette of colours: blue waters in the harbour, bronze mountain ash on the squares and brightly-coloured houses in the historical centre. As you walk along the cobbled streets, you’ll come across rows of terraces with wooden furniture, where you can sit and try some scrumptious cream donuts with a cup of coffee. A vast stairway cut into the hillside leads you up to the emblematic feature of the town, namely the Akureyrarkirkja church. You’ll be amazed by the very beautiful botanical garden made possible by a microclimate.
At the end of your journey through the heart of a very beautiful 17-km-long fjord, discover Seyðisfjörður, on the north-east coast of Iceland. Its typically Scandinavian, colourful houses and small blue church stand in the middle of an enchanting setting, between rivers and waterfalls. The village, surrounded on all sides by mountains with snow-topped peaks, has around 700 inhabitants. This small fishing port with a very picturesque charm is not far from Skálanes, a nature reserve of more than 1,000 hectares that is home to about fifty bird species. This port of call combines nature and culture, with wonderment guaranteed.
This land seated off the southern coast of Iceland is the largest of the Vestmann islands, and is the only inhabited island in the archipelago. The steep Edfell volcanoes and the green prairies of Herjólfsdalur offer rich contrast of nature. On the Stórhöfði road, look out over grey sand beaches and cliffs carved out by the Arctic ocean. From here, you can also see the bronze landscapes of the mountaintops. You could visit Eldheimar, an ultra-modern and interactive museum which traces the volcanic eruption has experienced Heimaey in 1973.
Enjoy a final day of sailing past the remarkable Icelandic landscapes before disembarking on day in Reykjavik and transferring to the airport.
A view from Above
Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed cabins, spacious suites with large windows, and lounge areas that open onto the outside, this new limited-capacity yacht boasting just 92 cabins and suites will offer you a truly unique cruising experience. Le Champlain embodies a unique atmosphere of a subtle blend of refinement, intimacy and comfort. Experience a luxurious setting where the accent is on authenticity and passion for travel.
All of the luxurious suites and staterooms are twin or double and have private balconies and bathrooms along with minibar, satellite TV, DVD, Ipod docks, WiFi and direct dial satellite telephone. Public areas and amenities include a welcoming lounge area, a gift boutique, a theatre, a relaxed dining area and a larger panoramic restaurant with table service for hot meals. Outside there is a pool deck with a pool with a panoramic view, equipped with a counter-current swimming system, a pleasant solarium and an outdoor bar and lounge with comfortable seating.
Too much to choose from? This is where we come in
Take advantage of our vast experience, passion and expertise to help you hand craft the perfect Arctic adventure for you.
With a lifetime of unforgettable nature and adventure based travel under his belt, Simon shares his passion, enthusiasm and hands-on experience to help create the perfect itinerary for every client.
Amy’s abiding love of adventure travel has taken her to some of the most incredible wildlife-rich places on Earth. Her vast experience and genuine desire to share her knowledge makes her an outstanding and invaluable person to help you organise your wildlife adventure trip.
Mike lives and breathes adventure travel and has a wealth of experience in some of the most exciting and inspirational destinations in the world. His expertise and first-hand experience afford him the skills to help build holidays to remember.