Scotland, Faroe Islands & Iceland 12 DaysAboard: RCGS Resolute
Follow in the footsteps of Vikings and Gaels as you explore the exceptionally scenic islands of the North Atlantic on this unique adventure through some of the most picturesque destinations in the world. This journey through regions teeming with ancient history and prolific birdlife will see you exploring the rugged coastlines of Scotland, the Faroe Islands and Iceland. Sailing from Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, you will discover a rich tapestry of history, culture and scenic backdrops before sailing on to the remote and strikingly beautiful Faroe Islands, passing the Outer Hebrides en route. Finally we will reach Iceland where a world of volcanoes, glaciers, lagoons and other geological wonders awaits. Exploring each day by Zodiac and on foot, daily shore visits will bring you up close to spectacular scenery, important cultural sites and a wide array of wildlife including seals, whales and dolphins.
- Explore along the stunning rugged coastlines of Scotland, the Faroe Islands and Iceland, 3 gems in the crown of the North Atlantic
- Visit some of the world’s rarest bird colonies alongside expert ornithologists
- Enjoy long hours of daylight, perfect for wildlife and landscape photography
- Learn all about ancient Nordic culture and Gaelic history
- Exciting Zodiac cruises and daily shore visits
- Search for marine wildlife including whales, seals and dolphins
- Sea kayaking options available
- Transfers to and from ship
- Full board accommodation on board ship
- Zodiac excursions and shore landings including hikes and wildlife colony visits
- Programme of expert lectures
- Experienced Expedition Leader and professional expedition team of marine bioligists, naturalists, historians, adventure guides and photographers
- 24 hour hot drinks
- Expedition gear loan package
So much to experience
Our popularitinerary Suggestions
All our itinerary holidays are fully customisable
Edinburgh (Leith), Scotland
Your adventure begins in Edinburgh, the picturesque capital of Scotland, where after having arrived independently you can make your way to the port of Leith to embark your expedition ship. After settling in to your comfortable cabin and exploring your home for the next 11 nights you can enjoy a delicious welcome dinner with drinks as we cast off to sail northwards along the Scottish coastline.
Dunnottar Castle & Kirkwall
As you awake on your first morning on board you will be gently cruising along the east coast of Scotland towards the first of many stops on your voyage, the historical fortress of Dunnottar Castle. Spectacularly located upon a rocky headland, this picturesque medieval castle is steeped in history and a visit to explore will open up tales of how it was once besieged by Vikings, and captured by William Wallace. If you wish to stretch your legs, there is a beautiful 3km coastal path walk that will take you into the town of Stonehaven where you can visit the busy harbour and Stonehaven Tolbooth Museum. This is also a great spot for birding enthusiasts as the spectacular cliffs are usually teeming with over 130,000 breeding seabirds at this time of year.
After an exploration of Stonehaven it will be time to get back on board to begin the sail to our next destination, the intriguing and exceptionally picturesque Orkney Islands. On day 3 we will have the chance to visit Kirkwall, the island’s largest town, where we can visit one of the many museums, craft workshops and galleries to experience the Orkney’s unique culture, heritage and traditions. We also hope to explore some of the other islands in the archipelago which are mostly uninhabited, allowing us to truly enjoy the local wildlife. Considered as the best place in the UK for viewing seabirds, bird watchers will delight in the prolific birdlife here, whilst history lovers can engross themselves in the area’s stunning and unique archaeological sites including Maeshowe, a Neolithic tomb with Viking graffiti and the well-preserved Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae. There is something for everyone here, not least its breathtaking beauty that is sure to fill your cameras with delightful scenic photography.
Hebrides & Shetland Islands
On the morning of day 4 we will arrive at Stornoway on the Outer Hebrides, a diverse chain of inter-connected islands with their own unique way of life. Here we will go ashore for some exploration, where you are free to spend the day as you please. Something you won’t want to miss is a visit to the 5,000 year old Standing Stones of Callanish, a remarkable Neolithic arrangement of standing stones which were a focus for ritual activity during the Bronze Age. For more historical exploration you could also take a trip to the Gearrannan Blackhouse Village, or choose to simply enjoy a stroll through the area, visiting the Stornoway Harbour and soaking up the sights of the dramatic cliffs and large windy beaches of these wild Atlantic islands.
Leaving Stornoway behind, on day 5 we will make our way to the Shetland Islands to visit Unst, the northernmost of the inhabited British Isles. Unst is a wonderfully unique area known for its scenic beauty, rich history, warm community spirit, heritage and tradition, and also for its remarkable birdlife. A walk along the island or exciting Zodiac cruises should bring excellent close-up views of tens of thousands of breeding gannets, guillemots, puffins, razorbills, kittiwakes and fulmars amongst much more. For those seeking even more adventure, there will be ample opportunities here for optional kayaking excursions along the rugged coastline, as well as various walking routes and hikes along the gentle heathery hills, quiet inland lochs and spectacular coastal landscape of golden empty beaches.
Over the course of the next two days we will be exploring the beautiful Faroe Islands, a group of 18 rocky, volcanic islands situated between Iceland and Norway that are a wonder of steep coastal cliffs, mountains, valleys and grasslands. Our first stop here will be Streymoy Island where we will make land at Tórshavn, the capital town of the Faroes. Here we can enjoy some exciting Zodiac cruises to explore the narrow sounds and deep grottoes that dot the landscape amongst the backdrop of 1500 feet high cliffs teeming with seabirds. We also hope to visit nearby Tinganes to see its famous wooden turf-roofed houses and bustling harbour area.
Our next day in the Faroe Islands will take us to two of the island’s most spectacular waterfalls. First on the list will be Sørvágsvatn, the largest lake on the island, where we can see an optical illusion where the lake appears to hover in mid-air, earning it the title of “the lake over the ocean”, before enjoying a fantastic hike to the impressive Bøsdalafossur waterfall. Getting back on board we will then cruise to the tiny and exceptionally picturesque village of Gasadular to see the equally impressive Mulafossur Waterfall. Surrounded by imposing mountains offering fantastic photo opportunities, we hope to explore this area by Zodiac as the waterfall is best viewed from sea. Moving on we will visit Mykines Island to discover up-close its bustling birdlife of large colonies of cormorants, guillemots, razorbills and colourful puffins.
Iceland's South Coast
Welcome to Iceland, a spectacular country filled with dramatic landscapes of glaciers, waterfalls, lava fields, volcanoes, geysers and abundant birdlife. Over the course of the next four days we will make the most of every opportunity to explore these unique and remarkable lands up-close, on foot and by sea. Our first part of call in this fascinating country will offer us the perfect introduction as we visit Seydisfjordur, a welcoming town full of history, charm and beautiful waterfalls. While you are here you can enjoy a wide variety of walks and hiking trails including a gentle hike down the winding “waterfall lane” which will take you through the forests to discover multiple waterfalls and rich Icelandic vegetation. You could also visit the Skaftfell Centre for Visual Arts or simply wander around the town meeting the locals, experiencing the flourishing art scene or enjoy some local culinary delights.
Our next day will be one to remember as we unleash our inner Viking with a visit to Höfn to discover nearby what on first look will seem like a remote Viking village in pristine condition. It is actually a film set for an Icelandic movie that was never completed and has been left for visitors to enjoy. You can spend some time here marvelling at the intricate details that have been applied to make one believe that they really have stepped back in time. Later in the afternoon we will explore around Höfn itself, a traditional Icelandic fishing town near Hornafjordur fjord, one of the many spectacular fjords on the island. Here we can enjoy a walk to gain scenic views of Vatnajokull, the largest glacier in Europe covering 8% of the island’s land mass.
As we continue our sail along Iceland’s spectacular south coast, we will reach the beautiful village of Vik, where we can take a Zodiac cruise to discover Reynisdrangar, a spectacular set of rock columns south of Reynisfjall Mountain which rise majestically out of the Atlantic Ocean and are home to one of Europe's biggest Arctic tern breeding grounds. We can also expect to see bountiful fulmars and puffins as we sail along cameras in hand ready to photograph this impressive sight. As with throughout your voyage, your resident photography expert will offer hints and tips along the way for capturing the perfect wildlife and scenery photography.
Our last port of call in Iceland will take us away from the mainland to the small but beautiful Westman Islands where we will go ashore by Zodiac on Heimaey to spot some of the abundance of birds, seals and whales that reside here in the archipelago’s only inhabited island. As we walk around the area we will discover how the Islands were formed around 10,000 years ago by submarine volcanic eruptions, and the half-buried houses which have remained from a 1973 eruption offer a stark reminder of the dramatic effects of the various catastrophes that have befallen Heimaey and its inhabitants throughout history. Our adventures will end with a visit to Storhofoi to see the world’s largest Atlantic puffin colony – a colourful way to round-off our voyage! Back on board this evening you will be invited to join a special dinner attended by the captain to celebrate our truly memorable journey.
Early morning will see us docked in the colourful and iconic city of Reykjavik, the world’s most northerly capital city, where after breakfast you will bid a fond farewell to your expedition team and disembark filled with enchanting memories of your thrilling journey. Reykjavik is a wonderful place to explore at your own pace and we recommend spending some time post-cruise to enjoy the city’s many wonders. We have a number of post-cruise extension programs available so please be sure to mention to us if this is something which may be of interest to you.
A view from Above
RCGS Resolute has been purpose built for polar expedition cruising with the highest ice class (Lloyds 1AS). Equipped with propellers of stainless steel, high density steel plating and small frame spacing on her hull, RCGS Resolute continues into the ice, when others simply cannot.
Designed for comfort, RCGS Resolute is modern, well appointed, safe and ice-strengthened. From small group sessions to briefings for all passengers, there are public spaces onboard the ship ideally suited for each and every need. Two separate bar and lounge areas featuring 180 degree views and a wonderfully stocked library provide ideal places to relax or catch up on some reading. The sumptuous meals prepared for you by the culinary team are enjoyed in either of the two dining rooms, one of which features a popular bistro menu offering quick and easy meals for those prioritising time out on deck. Both dining rooms have ample and open seating paired with modern furnishings and large picture windows with 180 degree views. Other facilities include the theatre style presentation room, gift-shop, gymnasium, wellness centre, hot water spa, sauna and steam room and salt water pool.
There are 6 different cabin categories and all cabins feature outside viewing, from traditional port holes to expansive panoramic windows, as well as lounge quarters, spacious bathrooms and high-quality furnishings.
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.
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.
Simon’s deep passion for and first-hand knowledge of a vast range of destinations all over the world gives him the ideal skills to help you create a truly unforgettable wildlife inspired adventure to the most exciting places on the planet.
Mike has more than fifteen years hands-on experience in the industry, travelling to some of the most incredible wild places on the planet. His far-reaching knowledge and invaluable skills will ensure that your wildlife travel adventure is a dream come true.