Shetlands, Faroe Islands, Iceland – In the Wake of the Vikings - Westbound

This voyage follows the route of the great Viking explorers from Norway to unforgettable Scotland, on to the ruggedly beautiful Faroe Islands, and finally to mystical Iceland. Explore raw wilderness, encounter rare wildlife, and visit fascinating historic settlements on this exciting journey.

  • Visit four different countries on the Viking route
  • Great opportunities for bird and whale watching
  • Thousands of colourful puffins at Heimaey
  • Explore mystical Iceland - the land of fire and ice

Itinerary

The itinerary

This is an expedition where the elements rule, and the weather, wind and ice conditions will determine our schedule. Safety is paramount and the captain will decide the final sailing itinerary during the voyage. Hence, this itinerary is just an indication of what you can experience and why every expedition with Hurtigruten is unique.

Departure 08 May 2019

Departs from Bergen, Norway
Overview

The history of the Vikings is fascinating. These great sailors were fierce warriors, dreamers and explorers, settling along the rugged shores of Iceland and Scotland, among other places. Their heritage is very much in evidence today, reflected clearly in the language and sagas of Iceland. Join us for an unforgettable journey through exciting Viking history. 

The Fared and Fabled Norsemen

Although the Vikings are often thought of as barbaric raiders, they were also accomplished explorers and settlers. According to Viking tradition, only the eldest son in the family was entitled to inherit his father’s land, so any younger brothers had to find their own land to farm. On the west coast of Norway, where the Vikings originally lived, the population was becoming too dense, so expeditions were sent out with the aim of colonising new land. Even though colonisation may have been the main aim, the Vikings still raided and pillaged settlements along the coasts of the British Isles for centuries.

The Viking Heritage

The Vikings colonised a lot of land and their heritage is still evident today. We have handpicked some of the most interesting sites to visit as we journey through the history of the Vikings. We will follow the Vikings’ route, from Bergen in Norway to the beautiful Shetland and Orkney Islands, both of which are rich in Viking history. We then sail on to Tórshavn, Eiði and Mykines in the Faroe Islands, before continuing further north to the “Kingdom of the Vikings" – Iceland!

Our Expedition team will share their knowledge with you as we enjoy social gatherings with fellow travelers on deck or in the observation lounge. 

Day 1
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Photo: Hurtigruten Photo

Arriving in Norway

Bergen

Bergen, founded in 1070 AD, served as the capital of Norway for several years. The city has preserved a great deal of local character and history. Visit the historic UNESCO-listed Bryggen district with colourful wharves that date back to the 14th century. Take a stroll around this charming and compact city, spend some time in one of the outdoor cafés and restaurants, enjoy a trip on the Fløibanen Funicular or visit the Fish Market before embarking your Viking adventure on MS Spitsbergen.  

Day 2
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Photo: Hilde Foss Photo

Sea Eagles and Horse Climbing

Værlandet/Bulandet

Værlandet/Bulandet and Atløy/Nærvik is the westernmost archipelago of Norway, situated northwest of Bergen. We will attempt to make landings both in the morning and in the afternoon, taking you to some of the most interesting sites of the area.  This might include scaling the “Norwegian Horse” on the island of Alden.  This steep 480-metre mountain rises from the sea in the shape of a horse. 

Værlandet is a great launch point as we head west on our Viking trail.  Keep your eyes on the sky as we sail this area for rare white-tailed sea eagles. 

Day 3
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Photo: Barbara Schoog Photo

Norway’s Good Neighbour

Lerwick

Lerwick is the main port of the Shetland Islands and by far the northernmost town of Scotland.  Founded in the 17th century as a fishing port, today Lerwick is a bustling, cosmopolitan seaport. The old waterfront bustles with visiting yachts and working fishing boats. The area boasts some of Shetland's most attractive scenery and an extraordinary concentration of archaeological sites, including two remarkable Iron Age villages. 

Strong bonds were formed between the island and the Kingdom of Norway when refugees came over during the Second World War.  The fishing boats that brought them would then return loaded with arms and ammunition to support the Norwegian resistance.  The flow of vessels on this clandestine route became known as “The Shetland Bus”. 

Day 4
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Photo: Leslie A. Kelly Photo

St. Magnus Defies the Vikings

Kirkwall

Kirkwall is the largest town and the capital of the Orkney Islands.  The town is dominated by the famous St. Magnus Cathedral. The first mention of a settlement here is in a saga from 1046, and the name Kirkwall derives from the Norse `Kirkjuvagr´ (Church Bay).  

A local saga tells the story of how Magnus, kidnaped from the islands, refused to fight with the Vikings or condone their violence.  Magnus eventually returned home, only to be put to death for his pacifism, and the church was named for his memory. Today, Kirkwall has a population of 8,500, and is one of the most attractive and well-preserved small towns in Scotland 

Day 5
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Photo: Leslie A. Kelly Photo

The Oldest Capital in the World?

Tórshavn

The Faroe Islands are a group of 18 isles that lie in the middle of the North Atlantic, halfway between the Shetland Islands and Iceland. Tórshavn is one of the smallest capitals in the world, with just 15,000 inhabitants. It was founded in the 10th century, and might very well be the oldest capital in northern Europe. Since the turn of the 20th century, Tórshavn has grown rapidly, and is today the economic, cultural and administrative centre of the Faroes. The town is a charming blend of old and new with small houses in nearly every colour. 

Day 6
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Exploration day

Faroe Islands

Our experienced Captain, Expedition Leader and local experts will coordinate a unique nature landing.  

Day 7
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Photo: Chelsea Claus Photo

Sheer Cliffs, Green Meadows, Ocean Whitecaps

Eiði, Faroe Islands

Eiði is a large fishing village in the Faroe Islands with around 600 inhabitants. In the 9th century AD, Eiði was settled by Vikings and today offers fascinating history as well as beautiful hiking trails, such as the short walk that takes in the 343-metre-high promontory of Eiðiskollur, with commanding views of Atlantic breakers crashing on the rocks below.

Day 8
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Birder´s Paradise

Mykines, Faroe Islands

Mykines was formed about 60 million years ago. The layers of soft volcanic tuff and eroded basalt create excellent nesting conditions for birds here, and the island hosts some of the richest bird cliffs in the world. Several species nest and breed here during the summer season, such as guillemots, atlantic puffins, northern fulmars and kittiwakes, just to mention a few. The human population hovers around 12, while the number of sheep on the island is about 1200!

Day 9
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Photo: Ørjan Bertelsen Photo

Relaxing at sea

At sea

Enjoy a relaxing day at sea with on board lectures while we set course towards Iceland. 

Our Expedition team will hold talks and workshops and share their knowledge and experience.  

Our experts will summarize the voyage so far and present the plan for the following days. There might also be a chance to look behind the scenes and partake in our Guest Expedition staff programme.  

Day 10
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Photo: Shutterstock Photo

At Home with the Puffins

Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland

The Vestmannaeyjar - or Westman Islands - are a group of 15 spectacular islands and about 30 rock pillars with bird cliffs located off Iceland’s southern coast. These islands were formed by submarine volcanic eruptions along a 30-km long fissure running southwest to northeast. Most of the islands have steep sea cliffs, are well-vegetated and provide a habitat for countless birds, including the charming puffin. If weather and sea conditions allow, we will visit Heimaey, the largest of the Westman Islands, and was one of Iceland’s most important fishing ports. Hunting and fishing are still the mainstays of the local economy.  

Day 11
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The End of the Adventure

Reykjavik

Our voyage of discovery and adventure ends in Reykjavik, an early Viking settlement that today has become the modern capital of Iceland. The city´s surroundings offer fantastic natural beauty; geysers, mountains, glaciers and world-famous geothermal bathing. 

If you have the time, join an exciting post programme in magical Iceland. 

Arrival 18 May 2019

Location Reykjavik, Iceland
Overview

Your holiday price includes

  • Hurtigruten Expedition in cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis 
  • Wind- and water-resistant jacket 
  • Landings with small boats and activities on board and ashore
  • Professional English-speaking Expedition team that gives lectures as well as accompanies landings and activities 
  • Free tea and coffee 

Not included

  • International Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional Excursions and Gratuities

Note

  • Prices are in EUR per person
  • All planned landings are subject to weather conditions
Your ship Things to see and do

Videos

Immerse yourself in the adventures you can experience on a voyage to Iceland.

Contact us

Getting you there

Please contact us if you wish to add on return flights and airport transfers to Bergen and Reykjavik.