Islands of the North Atlantic

from £5458
excluding flights *
11 nights Jun

Overview

Follow in the footsteps of Vikings and Gaels across the North Atlantic as you explore the dramatic coastlines of Scotland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands on an expedition voyage.

Highlights

  • Explore the scattered islands of the North Atlantic
  • Visit some of the world’s rarest bird colonies
  • Discover ancient Nordic culture and Gaelic history
  • Enjoy long hours of daylight, ideal for photography

What's Included

  • Shipboard accommodation
  • All breakfasts, lunches & dinners on board
  • Shore landings & Zodiac cruises
  • Experienced Expedition Team
  • Presentations on board
  • Loan of expedition jacket & rubber boots during voyage

Full description

This fascinating voyage begins in Scotland, known for its rich tapestry of history, culture and rugged natural beauty. Sail via the Orkneys, Hebrides and Shetland Islands as you make your way to the unique landscape of the Faroe Islands.

An archipelago in the middle of the North Atlantic, the Faroe Islands are some of the most remote inhabited islands in the world. Famous for their rolling green hills and grass covered roofs, the country is dominated by steep mountains, sheep, and the largest colony of storm petrels in the world.

Your journey ends in Iceland, home to ice-covered volcanoes, immense glaciers and geothermal lagoons. A stark, volcanic land with a warm heart, Iceland’s shallow fjords are a haven for whales, dolphins and seals alike.

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worldwide team lauren shorney bw
Authentic holidays for passionate travellers

Prices & Dates *

Airfares are quoted separately to the holiday price. When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport.

2019 Departures - prices are per person, based on a twin cabin

Departure Duration Vessel Activities Prices from (pp)
12 Jun 2019 12 days RCGS Resolute £5,458

Please contact us for details of quad, triple, single and superior cabins.

Activity Key:
Kayaking

What's Included

  • Group transfer central meeting point to ship
  • Group transfer from ship to airport or downtown Reykjavik
  • Shipboard accommodation
  • All breakfasts, lunches & dinners on board
  • Tea & coffee available around the clock
  • All Zodiac transfers, cruising & shore landings
  • Presentations by the Expedition Team and guest speakers
  • Loan of expedition jacket, waterproof trousers & rubber boots during the
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges

Itinerary & Accommodation

Itinerary & Accommodation

Islands of the North Atlantic

Day 1: Embarkation in Edinburgh, Scotland

Your voyage begins in Edinburgh, Scotland’s picturesque capital city. Once on board the ship this afternoon you will meet your expedition team and set sail. Enjoy welcome drinks and dinner as you head north, skirting the Scottish coastline.

Day 2: Dunnottar Castle, Scotland

Situated on Scotland’s rugged east coast, your first shore landing will be to the medieval fortress of Dunnottar Castle. Steeped in history, the castle was besieged by Vikings and captured by William Wallace. For those wanting to stretch their legs, a stunning and undulating coastal path will take you 3km north to the town of Stonehaven. Here you will see a working harbour, busy with sailing yachts and home to the Stonehaven Tolbooth museum, a notable building on the quayside with a fascinating history. Keen birders will have the opportunity to visit spectacular cliffs nearby which are packed with 130,000 breeding seabirds in the spring and summer.

Day 3: Kirkwall, Orkney Islands

Many of the Orkney Islands are uninhabited, offering the chance for close encounters with the local wildlife, including seals and prolific birdlife. Orkney is considered to be the best place in the UK for viewing seabirds. It is a land of breathtaking beauty and famous for its unique archaeological sites, such as the well preserved Neolithic settlement of Skara Brae and Maeshowe, a Neolithic tomb with Viking graffiti. The Arctic explorer John Rae hailed from the Orkney Islands and they were also the last stop in Britain for the Franklin expedition. Dating back to Norse times, Kirkwall is the islands' largest town. Spend the day here experiencing the Orkney's unique culture, heritage and traditions by visiting one of its many museums, galleries, craft workshops, and independent retailers.

Day 4: Stornoway, Outer Hebrides

The Scottish Western Isles of the Outer Hebrides are a diverse chain of inter-connected islands with their own unique way of life. The dramatic cliffs and large windy beaches are ideal to stroll along, breathing in the fresh Atlantic air. A highlight of your visit will be a trip to the 5000-year old Standing Stones at Callanish. Afterwards treat yourself to a dram of single malt at Abhainn Dearg Distillery, sampling its famous scotch whiskey! History buffs will enjoy the Gearrannan Blackhouse Village, whilst others may choose to spend the day strolling along the quay at Stornoway Harbour and listen to the shouts of the fishermen as the traditional fleet land the catch of the day.

Day 5: Unst, Shetland Islands

A unique place of peace, pure air and wide-open spaces, visitors to Unst in the Shetlands savour the wildlife, the birdlife and the warm community spirit. Unst is the northernmost of the inhabited British Isles and boasts scenic beauty, rich history, heritage and traditions. A rugged coastline and empty golden beaches provide the perfect playground to explore by zodiac, kayak or foot. Keen birders will rejoice with close-up views of tens of thousands of breeding gannets, guillemots, puffins, razorbills, kittiwakes and fulmars. Hikers of all levels will have plenty of routes to choose from, with the combination of spectacular coastal scenery, quiet inland lochs and gentle heathery hills.

Day 6: Torshavn, Faroe Islands

This morning you will awake in the Faroe Islands - a group of 18 rocky, volcanic islands situated between Iceland and Norway, comprised of mountains, valleys, grassy heathland and steep coastal cliffs. Your exploration starts in Tórshavn, on Streymoy Island, the tiny capital of the Faroe Islands. Nearby is Tinganes, home of the famous wooden turf-roofed houses and a bustling harbour. A Zodiac cruise will take you into narrow sounds and deep grottoes in the shadow of 1500 feet high cliffs where thousands of seabirds nest.

Day 7: Miovagur and Mykines, Faroe Islands

Today you will visit two of the Faroe Islands’ most stunning waterfalls. First stop though is Sørvágsvatn, the largest lake on the islands. Dubbed “the lake over the ocean” due to an optical illusion, the lake appears to hover in mid-air. At the end of the lake is the impressive Bøsdalafossur waterfall, which provides a great hiking excursion. Next continue cruising towards the tiny village of Gasadular. Surrounded by high mountains, this photogenic village is home to the second waterfall of the day; Mulafossur Waterfall. This stunning natural wonder is best viewed by sea. You will also visit Mykines Island which provides some of the best bird watching in the Faroe Islands. Here you will find colonies of cormorants, while the cliffs make perfect nesting ledges for guillemots and razorbills. On the grassy slopes above the bird cliffs, thousands of colourful puffins can be observed at close proximity.

Day 8: Seydisfjordur, Iceland

Defined by its dramatic landscape of glaciers, waterfalls, volcanoes, geysers, hot springs and lava fields, Iceland offers plenty to explore over the next few days. Start your Icelandic saga in Seydisfjordur. A place of singing waterfalls and interesting characters, Seydisfjordur is a welcoming town with a rich history. Experience the flourishing art scene, enjoy local cuisine or experience the delightful hiking trails. One of the highlights is likely to be a pleasant hike down ‘waterfall lane’, winding though forests to many waterfalls rich in Icelandic vegetation. A slightly longer hike is rewarded with a lookout with glorious views. The Skaftafell Centre for Visual Arts provides a great alternative to the outdoors, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in Icelandic culture.

Day 9: Hofn, Iceland

Today you will have the chance to unleash your inner Viking… Twisting away from the main route between Höfn and Djúpivogur, curious visitors will arrive at what appears to be a remote Viking village in pristine condition. In reality, it is a film set for an Icelandic movie that was never filmed, but you’d definitely be forgiven for mistaking it for the real thing. The Viking village is located close to the town of Höfn, a traditional Icelandic fishing town near Hornafjordur fjord, one of the many spectacular fjords on the island. Hofn also offers scenic views of Vatnajokull, the largest glacier in Europe covering 8% of the island’s land mass, and the perfect place to spend the day exploring the national park.

Day 10: Reynisdrangar, Iceland

Continue your journey around Iceland’s stunning south coast heading towards Vik. Just east of the outskirts of the village lies one of Europe's biggest Arctic tern breeding grounds. A short hike within the close vicinity of Vik is sure to satisfy all serious nature lovers and bird watchers. To the south of Reynisfjall mountain a spectacular set of rock columns, called Reynisdrangar, rise majestically out of the Atlantic Ocean. These towering, spiky rock formations jut out from the ocean 66 metres (217 ft) into the air. Teeming with nesting Arctic terns, fulmars and puffins, folk legend says there were two trolls pulling a three-mast ship to the shore unsuccessfully, but were caught by the sunlight at dawn and turned into stone. An approach by sea will give a unique perspective and is perfect for bird viewing and exploring through your lens. With close to 20 hours of daylight, opportunities are endless to learn hints and tips from the ship’s photographer-in-residence.

Day 11: Heimaey, Westman Islands

Leaving the shores of the mainland, journey to the tiny but beautiful Westman Islands. Rich in volcanic history and known as a ‘modern Nordic Pompeii’, Heimaey’s once-solitary volcano, Helgafell (or ‘Holy Mountain’) created the island in an eruption 7,000 years ago. In 1973 it erupted again and fortunately, Heimaey’s entire fishing fleet was moored in the harbour for the night and carried everyone to safety. The force of Helgafell’s eruption added a new volcano to Heimaey’s skyline - Eldfell (or the ‘mountain of fire’). Learn more about this unique destination with a visit to one of the town’s fascinating museums. The seabird life in the Westman Islands is abundant and keep a lookout too for whales and seals. One major highlight remains – a visit to Storhofoi, the largest Atlantic puffin colony in the world. This evening celebrate the end of an exceptional journey with a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship.

Day 12: Reykjavik, Iceland

Your expedition voyage concludes in the world’s most northerly capital - the colourful and quirky city of Reykjavik. A transfer is provided to a downtown location or to the airport for your onward journey.

Notes

  • All voyage itineraries are intended as a guideline only - embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy of expedition travel. Actual routes and landings will be dependent on weather, sea and ice conditions. A degree of flexibility is essential!

 

RCGS Resolute

Antarctica

Grade: Deluxe

Type: Expedition Ship

Purpose-built for polar expedition cruising, the RCGS Resolute features state of the art stabilisation technology, superior comfort and a dedicated team of Adventure Concierges.   

Discover More

RCGS Resolute

Purpose-built for polar expedition cruising, the RCGS Resolute features state of the art stabilisation technology, superior comfort and a dedicated team of Adventure Concierges.   

Discover More
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