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Hurtigruten Expeditions Iceland Circular Saga - Hamburg to Reykjavik via the windswept Isles of the north

Hurtigruten Expeditions Iceland Circular Saga – Hamburg to Reykjavik via the windswept Isles in the north

Call free 0800 707 6229 for Extra Savings on Hurtigruten Expeditions Iceland Circular Saga – Hamburg to Reykjavik via the windswept Isles in the north

  • Take part in an exciting expedition cruise from Hamburg to Iceland via The Shetland and Faroe Islands, as well as Norway’s breathtaking Lysefjord
  • Circumnavigate Iceland and discover stunning waterfalls, wild scenery and charming local communities
  • Saunter along Iceland’s famous Rainbow Road in Seyðisfjörður, scanning for the rare Atlantic Puffins on Grimsey Island before heading back to Reykjavik.

14-day itinerary

Day 1: Germany’s second city

Your expedition cruise sets sail from Hamburg – Germany’s Hanseatic treasure.

There’s so much to see and do in one of Europe’s greenest urban areas. Visit the Aldstadt district which includes attractions such as the St Nikolai memorial and the historic street of Deichstrasse.

If you have enough time, there are also plenty of UNESCO recognised Heritage Sites while in Hamburg. Be sure to visit Chilehaus, the world’s largest historic warehouse complex in Speicherstadt, along with Kunsthalle, the nation’s prominent art museum.

Once aboard, collect your expedition jacket, familiarise yourself with the ship’s layout and facilities, and meet your onboard Expedition Team.

Day 2: A day at sea

As you expedition cruise departs Hamburg and travels towards Norway’s Lysefjord, take some time to acclimatise yourself onboard the MS Fridtjof Nansen. Join the Expedition Team during one of their lectures as they offer fascinating insights into the places you will be visiting on your trip, with guests having the opportunity to take part in Citizen Science programmes should they wish.

There’s plenty of time to relax before the big adventure ahead. Why not head to the spa and wellness area and indulge in one of the treatments available, or join your fellow travellers in the explorer lounge and bar for a refreshing drink.

Day 3: Sailing Lysefjord

On day three, the MS Fridtjof Nansen will be sailing down the 25-mile-long Lysefjord. Immerse yourself in the sublime scenery of the long, narrow fjord among stark vertical cliffs whilst on the ship’s observation deck, capturing the natural beauty of this unique setting.

From the fjord you will be able to see the world famous pulpit rock, Preikestolen, whilst also keeping an eye out for the renowned Kjæragbolten, which is a giant boulder wedged into a mountain crevasse. Feeling even more adventurous? If so, be sure to join the Expedition Team as they take you on small kayaking and boat cruising expeditions, allowing travellers to view the fjord from a completely different perspective.

Day 4: The Shetland Islands

On this day you’ll be docking alongside Lerwick, the capital of the Shetland Islands. Set against a backdrop of eye-catching scenery, spend the day exploring this endearing, Victorian-influenced town.

Near the old-waterfront, you will be able to immerse yourself in area’s rich history at the Shetland Museum. Discover local shops selling whiskies, fudge, and woollen sweaters, whilst taking in the view of the nearby Fort Charlotte and the Town Hall.

Learn about the lives of local crofters as you traverse the wider island – home to the historic Iron Age villages and the Shetland Croft house Museum.

Day 5: Historic Torshavn

Located on Streymoy, the largest of the Faroe Islands and founded by Norsemen in the 10th century, Torshavn is one of Europe’s oldest capitals. Also referred to as ‘Thor’s Harbour’, or simply ‘Havn’, Torshavn is a vibrant and colourful city with plenty to see and do during your visit on the fifth day of the expedition.

Take a scenic walk through the cobbled alleyways whilst admiring the colourful, turf-roofed houses that can be found here. Gain insights into the city’s flora, fauna and geological history in one of the local museums, and why not visit the Svartafoss waterfall – located around a half mile outside of town.

Scan for the abundance of seabirds and marine life while taking a stroll down the seafront, including eider ducks and the highly distinguishable Faroese Starling which is native to the region.

Day 6: Second day at sea

As the MS Fridtjof Nansen sails towards Iceland, saviour the peace and serenity of being at sea. Explore the ship’s facilities including the onboard gym and panoramic sauna, or simply immerse yourself with the sublime views while on deck.

As ever, the Expedition Team will be happy to answer any questions you may have about your experience so far, whilst offering intriguing insight into the types of landscapes and settings you are about to see.

Day 7: Cosmopolitan Reykjavik

Located in southwestern Iceland, Reykjavik will be the next destination on your captivating expedition cruise.  A city which boasts a rich variety of cultural, historical, and artistic context, Reykjavik is a place worth immersing yourself in.

Take a scenic walk along Laugavegur with its charming boutiques and outdoor shops, or drop in at the fascinating Reykjavik Art Museum.

Day 8: Gorgeous Grundarfjorour

The striking Kirkjufell mountain is certainly a must-see landmark while on your expedition, with this being one of the most recognisable attractions in Iceland. Rising two miles west of the small harbour of Grudarfjorour, a charming fishing town in Breiðafjörður bay, the mountain is home to panoramic views and unmissable sights.

Nearby lies Snæfellsnes Peninsula National Park, with the striking, ice-capped Snæfellsjökull volcano at the peninsula’s western tip. It’s nicknamed ‘Little Iceland’ for the array of landscapes.

Visit the unique black sand beach of Djúpalónssandur, or take a guided tour along the a titanic lava tube, marvelling in the enticing beauty of the region’s landscape.

Day 9: Scenic Isafjörður

Experience Westfjords’ stunning harbourside town as you continue your expedition. Surrounded by looming mountains on all sides, Isafjorour’s idyllic landscape provides an excellent gateway to the WestFjords’ region. There is a so much to see in this quaint town – take in the stunning architecture, purchase some of the local handicrafts, and even visit some of the oldest houses in Iceland.

You can learn more about the extensive maritime history of this intriguing port city in the Westfjord history museum, which was established all the way back in the 18th century. Alternatively, take in some more of the stunning views Iceland has to offer and take a steep hike up the Naustahvilft, regarded by the locals as ‘The Troll’s Throne’.

Day 10: Akureyri and Goðafoss

Marvel at snowcapped peaks as your cruise journey’s on towards Iceland’s longest fjord – Eyjafjörður.  Along with the nearby Skjálfandi bay, this is one of Europe’s best areas to spot whales.

Referred to by some as Iceland’s ‘Northern Capital’, Akureyri is home to a modern oasis of a botanical garden as well as local restaurants and museums.

Looking further afield, experience the remarkable Godafoss waterfall, where sky-blue waves crash against the black rocks.  Being one of the few places to see the Mid-Atlantic ridge up close, Lake Mývatn’s active volcanic area is another place where travellers will get to witness geology burst into life.

Day 11: Husavik and the Arctic Circle

Known for its whale-spotting opportunities, Husavik is charming, small town which will be the next stop on your cruise. Looking out over the Skjálfandi bay, passengers will be able to experience the utopia of captivating wildlife in the region. Scan for humpback and minke whales, white-beaked dolphins, harbour porpoises and even the occasional blue whale. Learn more about these rare creatures in the Husavik Whale Museum.

Regarded as the gateway to the north, experience Jökulsárgljúfur National Park, the waterfall of Dettiffos, and the horseshoe-shaped valley of Ásbyrgi, which according to Icelandic myth, was made by the eight-legged horse of Odin.

After this, you will be sailing along the coast of Grimsey Island, passing across the Arctic Circle and on towards the following destination.

Day 12: Puffins up close

Having experienced the wonders of Husavik, your journey will now continue to Bakkagerdi, a small coastal hamlet located in Eastern Iceland. Inhabited by a large number of huldufolk (local elves and land spirits) according to popular local folklore, Bakkagerdi is a mysterious yet intriguing place for any traveller. Take time to explore the emerald, green valleys and blissful scenery among colourful rhyolite rocks, with the coastal cliffs being home to a wide array of fulmars, puffins and eiders when in season.

Day 13: Heimaey’s explosive past

Being the only inhabited town in the Westman Islands, located off the south coast of Iceland, the town of Heimaey has a captivating historical significance, with this small Island still bearing the scars of a volcanic eruption which almost destroyed the entire landscape.

Be sure to visit Eldheimar, a museum featuring an excavated home frozen in time, and learn more about the aftermath of the devastating volcanic eruption. You’ll also have the opportunity to climb Mount Eldfell, with there being incredible views of the town below at the volcano’s summit.

Day 14: Reykjavik and beyond

Your Iceland expedition cruise ends back in the fascinating city of Reykjavik. Miss any sights when you first arrived? This is the best opportunity to experience more of what the city has to offer.

Immerse yourself in more of the Icelandic culture by visiting a geothermal pool or a ‘heittur pottur’, translating to a ‘hot-pot’. Still feel as thou you haven’t quenched your desire to fully experience Iceland’s natural beauty? If so, be sure to visit the ‘Blue Lagoon’, often regarded as one of the true natural wonders of the world with the blend of silica, algae and minerals in its geothermal waters.

Guests will also have the option to join one of the post-programme packages to explore more of the joys of Iceland.

Expedition Cruise

  • A stay in a cabin of your choice
  • Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Wine, beer and spirits available at meals and throughout the day and evening (subject to licensing laws, excludes premium drinks)
  • All day coffee, tea and soft drinks
  • Meals and take-away available throughout the day during Fredheim restaurant opening hours
  • Fine dining in restaurant Lindstrøm included for suite guests
  • A complimentary water bottle to refill on board and take home
  • A polar expedition jacket, a backpack, or another piece of HX kit
  • Professional photos from your trip taken by our onboard photographer
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi. Please note, streaming is not supported
  • Use of sauna, hot tubs, pool, fitness room, lounges and more
  • Gratuities included. Fantastic service is standard at HX – though if you’d like to leave something extra, it’s always appreciated
  • Range of included activities

Onboard Activities

  • In-depth lectures and discussions hosted by experts on the Expedition Team
  • Full access to the ship’s Science Centre
  • Citizen Science Programme allows guests to assist with ongoing scientific research
  • Professional onboard photographer gives tips and tricks for the best landscape and wildlife photos
  • Informal gatherings with the crew for daily briefings

Landing Activities

  • Escorted landings with small expedition boats
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles and all equipment for activities
  • Expedition photographers on hand to assist you


  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change
  • Please make sure you meet all entry and boarding requirements
  • Depending on your flight times, an additional overnight might be needed (not included)

What’s not included

  • International flights
  • Additional overnight(s) if required due to international flight timings
  • Travel insurance
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team
  • Optional treatments in the onboard wellness and spa area



Please call us free on 0800 707 6229 for pricing and availability

Useful Info


Board Basis

All inclusive


14 days

Holiday Type

Cruise expedition holiday

Need more information?

Hurtigruten Offers

Up to £800 credit per cabin | Svalbard Line Early Booking Offer | No Single Supplement on selected voyages | Save up to 20% on expeditions. Extra 5% off suites | Plus, enquire for extra savings

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Hurtigruten Arctic Expeditions take you to one or more of three beautiful destinations: Svalbard, Iceland and Greenland.

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