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Expeditions

Iceland

Soaring volcanoes, spouting geysers, peaceful fjords and spectacular waterfalls — join us on an epic expedition to the land of ice and fire.

See all expedition cruises

Iceland

Soaring volcanoes, spouting geysers, peaceful fjords and spectacular waterfalls — join us on an epic expedition to the land of ice and fire.

See all expedition cruises
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Cruising to Iceland with Hurtigruten

For almost 130 years, we’ve sailed to some of the world’s most remote lands. Through hikes, small boat cruises and shore excursions, you’ll delve deeper into Iceland’s seismic landscape. Sailing along Iceland’s coastline, you’ll learn more about this fascinating country, discovering tight-knit communities, industries, and historical landmarks.

You’ll explore Reykjavik, the world’s northernmost capital, and picturesque fishing villages on Iceland’s west coast. There are puffins to marvel at, whales to scan for and geothermal baths to soak in. 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 to Iceland

There’s a reason why film crews searching for dramatic scenery head to Iceland. As far as striking landscapes go, it doesn’t get much better than this. 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 to Iceland

There’s a reason why film crews searching for dramatic scenery head to Iceland. As far as striking landscapes go, it doesn’t get much better than this. 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. Here is a country still growing as a landmass. Pit the freezing glacial forces above against the earth’s molten heat below, and you end up with the staggering landscape you’ll explore on your expedition.

Cosmopolitan Capitals and Hidden Gems

Most Icelanders don’t have to choose between living in nature or in urban environments. Two-thirds of the population live in Reykjavik – a capital city encircled by natural wonders. Creative, cosmopolitan and quirky, it’s the perfect size for a walking tour, packed full of art, culture and history. On the north coast, Akureyri is a modern, youthful university town. 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 Grimsey, the birds outnumber humans by some 17,000 to 1. Naturally, Puffins steal the show. Onshore excursions to bird cliffs, you’ll have the chance to observe these adorable creatures up close.

Viking Heritage and Mythology

As your expedition unfolds, you’ll learn more about Iceland’s first settlers. Viking history comes alive in the Saga Museum in Reykjavik, complete with life-like replicas of historical figures. In Snæfellsnes, you can try your hand at lifting ‘strength-testing’ rocks placed there by Vikings. Iceland is ripe with myths, legends and sagas ready to be told – and heard.

Cruises

Wildlife in Iceland

Iceland’s incredible scenery rightly steals all the headlines, 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 a sometimes-unforgiving landscape where volcanoes and glaciers hold sway. Discover the wildlife thriving in the land of ice and fire.

Wildlife in Iceland

Iceland’s incredible scenery rightly steals all the headlines, 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 a sometimes-unforgiving landscape where volcanoes and glaciers hold sway. Discover the wildlife thriving in the land of ice and fire.

Birds

Roughly 413 bird species have been spotted in Iceland, with approximately 110 nesting regularly – not bad for a remote island with a subpolar climate. But 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, the waters around Iceland harbour whales that migrate here to feed and breed during the warmer months. Around twenty-three whale species have been spotted here, including humpback, white-beaked dolphin, minke, harbour porpoise and even the elusive blue whale. The prospect of seeing the water-surface acrobatics of humpbacks such as lob-tailing and flipper-slapping makes whale watching in Iceland such a rewarding activity.

Seals

Seals frequently feature in Icelandic folklore and music. It’s easy to see why – one look at those big, brown, beautiful eyes and you’re transfixed. Although four species visit occasionally, harbour seals and grey seals are the only ones that produce their young in Icelandic waters. If you’re fortunate, you might spot them lazing on a beach or frolicking in the sea.

Activities in Iceland

Iceland is a world of adventure. Our expedition cruises here will immerse you in its jaw-dropping scenery through a variety of stimulating activities. You’ll unleash your inner explorer as you go ashore to explore Iceland’s unique terrain, 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 you can choose from.

Activities in Iceland

Iceland is a world of adventure. Our expedition cruises here will immerse you in its jaw-dropping scenery through a variety of stimulating activities. You’ll unleash your inner explorer as you go ashore to explore Iceland’s unique terrain, 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 you can choose from.

Kayaking

Breathe in the crisp, clean, 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 Iceland’s waters in serene silence, admiring coastal scenery garnished in summer foliage.

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

Landings

Our small expedition boats give us the flexibility to reach pockets of Iceland that are off the beaten track. Look forward to exploring smaller settlements and villages such as Grimsey and Bakkagerdi and meeting the local communities that call them home. Our expedition team will be on hand to help you make the most of each landing.

Hiking

Hiking is one of the best ways of exploring Iceland’s rugged beauty. Our expedition team will arrange optional and included guided walks, although most towns we visit will also have walking trails for unguided hiking. Prepare to take in fascinating rock formations, black sandy beaches, moss-covered lava fields and waterfalls. An invigorating hike up Eldfell will see you stand atop a volcano that almost wiped out Heimaey.

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

Birdwatching

Iceland offers birdwatching experiences in a pristine, unspoilt 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 be delivering lectures on a range of topics, such as geology, marine biology, history, photography, and ornithology. As a result, you’ll learn more about Iceland’s history, culture and folklore. Lectures may occur in the ship’s onboard Science Center, out on deck or ashore during a landing.

Science Center

During your expedition, you’ll have access to the ship’s Science Center with information on the landscapes and ecosystems you’ll encounter in Iceland. You can also get involved in various Citizen Science projects that ask you to document wildlife and to send your observations to research institutes to help in their studies.

Here are a few suggestions:

Alaska

The wild northern 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 and Central America

Tropical paradise off the beaten track

Europe

Magnificent cities and hidden gems

Greenland

The beautiful land of contrasts

North America

Historic towns and national treasures

Northwest Passage

In the footsteps of legendary explorers

Norway

Land of the fjords and Northern Lights

Norway Expedition

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

South America

Hunting for cultural treasures

Svalbard

Remote, mysterious and extreme

Transoceanic

Explore our transoceanic themed cruises