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Highlights
  • Walk to Gullfoss waterfall and learn why the threat of a landowner’s daughter, Sigríður Tómasdottir, to plunge into the Gullfoss turned it into a natural treasure.
  • At the magnificent glacier Lagoon of Jökulsarlon, float past magnificent icebergs in a specially equipped boat and hike the extraordinary lava fields of Berserkjahraun.
  • Swim in the rejuvenating waters of Blue Lagoon and visit the site of the first Icelandic parliament at Thingvellir National Park.

Your hiking boots trace a picturesque coastline as cliff-side blowholes spray seawater skyward. Later, riding a Zodiac in a clear bay, you are awestruck as a mighty whale breeches starboard. At every turn of this educational adventure in Iceland, unexpected beauty and natural phenomena abound as you learn while exploring its ice, sand and lava by foot, and by weaving into fjords and pristine bays by water craft. Discover why this extraordinary Land of Fire and Ice has an evolving story like no other.

Travelers Also Viewed All similar trips
Countries
Flights & Transport
  • Only ground transport
Ship Name
  • MV Ocean Diamond

28
Road Scholar Travel Reviews & Ratings
93% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
Excellent 23 Great 3 Average 1 Disappointing 1 Terrible 0
Value
4.7 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.8 Lodging
4.5 Transportation
4.6 Meals
4.5
Dramatic Iceland by Foot and by Sea: A Circumnavigation

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Road Scholar .

S

Does Not Recommend

A BIG DISAPPOINTMENT August 2017

3.0
  • Value 3.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 3.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 2.0
  • Meals 3.0
I would have enjoyed this trip much more if I felt I was being treated as an adult, the educated, enthusiastic traveler that I am.
Unfortunately, I took a fall and broke my arm near the end of the trip. I was shocked at the very insolent, uncaring attitude of Road Scholar. I received two calls from the insurance program my husband was encouraged to pay for for the trip (we usually use Travel Guard who is great). Both calls were very negative. Neither expressed concern about my condition and both apparently had called to state that ROAD SCHOLAR
WOULD NOT PAY FOR ANYTHING! WOW! A WAKEUP CALL FROM HELL. I WILL BE SHOUTING THIS FROM THE ROOFTOPS SO NO ONE ELSE
HAS THIS EXPERIENCE. DO NOT PURCHASE ROAD SCHOLAR INSURANCE -- IT IS A BOONDOGGLE!
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

LG

Does Not Recommend

Don't go! March 2017

2.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
  • Value 2.0
  • Transportation 2.0
I took a four day bridge class at Jekyll Island Club Hotel. The class was mediocre. And I came home with over 50 BED BUG BITES! Please beware.

Operator Road Scholar

TCtssvawmc

Recommends

Excellent coverage of major cities and Guizhou Province January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Road Scholar (also known as Elderhostel) offers hundreds of tours worldwide, using local tour companies, sometimes universities. I have taken RS tours to Africa, China, and France and look forward to more. This was my first "tour" of China, but my 20th visit, with the rest on business. Our guide, Mei Mei, was one of the finest I've seen on tours. We started with Beijing and continued to Xian and then to Guizhou Province for a week in this fascinating area, which was new to me. We were able to meet the people in the villages, thanks to our guide, and enjoyed the chance to see and photograph such a variety of places in China. Hotels were excellent and appropriate to this type of tour (usually centrally located and very fine). Meals were family style and always good. Road Scholar makes its tours educational and doesn't push shopping as so many commercial ones do. Touring in China is very safe. You do have a lot of walking and RS tells you this in the tour, but it seems that a great deal of the walking is in those huge airports! I recommend Road Scholar and always turn to their catalogs to choose my next trip.
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

WE

Recommends

A peaceful and green country with lots of history revealed by motor coach travel. January 2017

4.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 3.0
  • Transportation 3.0
  • Meals 3.0
The trip was a good overview of the country. The Road Scholar guide was very knowledgeable. The motorcoach was very comfortable. The accommodations and meals were fine. Couldn't ask for a better overview of the place.
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

S

Recommends

Old Cuba is fantastic and should be seen before it's spoiled by capitalism. January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 3.0
This was my wife's and my first trip with Road Scholar. At the time (April, 2012), it was not possible for Americans to directly visit Cuba. You had to do it with a cultural/educational group, often associated with a university. Or, you could fly to Canada, Mexico, or Europe first and then get a flight to Cuba from there (while risking a ~$10,000 fine from the US Government). We opted for the legal route with Road Scholar.

It was a fantastic trip! We had a small-ish group of about 20 people and a wonderful guide, José Luis (who, like most Cubans, had never been off the island).
The trip began in Miami where we had an orientation and spent the night. Then we flew to Havana and stayed in the Hotel Nacional for four nights. It doesn't get more historic -- or fun -- than the Nacional:
https://vimeo.com/41612444

While in Havana, we enjoyed great history/culture lectures from experts, toured various parts of Havana (including Hemmingway's home in the hills nearby), and, on our own, had the opportunity to have dinner at a paladar -- a restaurant inside someone's home.

The Cuban people are friendly but the infrastructure of their country is in shambles. It's been a long time since Russia's deep pockets left the island (1991), and you see poverty everywhere. But not the begging-in-the-street kind. Cuba provides universal health care, education (including room and board all the way through grad/med school!), food staples, and a very modest income (~$30/month) to everyone. Most people add to that income by working on the side.

After Havana, we traveled to Cienfuegos. From there we saw the infamous Bay Of Pigs, but also the wonderful Benny Moré Art School where we learned of the fantastic support for the arts by the Cuban government. Children are identified in grade school as having artistic talent and then funneled into magnet schools like Benny Moré to study art for their entire scholastic career!

Don't go to Cuba for the food. It's edible (and won't make you sick) but rather boring. You mainly get the "three amigos": fish, pork, or chicken, along with rice and/or black beans. But the aged rum is superb and so are the cigars!

Probably my favorite thing on the island, though, was the music -- whether on the street or in a more formal setting:
https://vimeo.com/43273083

Cuba is fantastic. Go enjoy it!
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

Itinerary

Day 1: Departures

In Flight

Day 2: Arrive Reykjavik, Welcome, The Blue Lagoon

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Radisson Blu Saga Hotel

Activity note: If you wish to swim in the Blue Lagoon, please remember to pack your bathing suit in your carry-on luggage. Towels will be provided. Slippers, bathrobes and spa treatments are available at an additional cost.

Breakfast: At the Northern Light Inn, approx. 15 miles from the airport. On this program, breakfasts will offer a typical European style breakfast buffet with breads, cheeses, cold-cuts, yogurt, fruit, cereals, juice, milk, coffee, tea and water. Please note that water is included in the program cost at all meals.

Morning: After breakfast, drive to the Blue Lagoon for a relaxing bath in its mineral-rich, geothermally-heated waters. The Blue Lagoon, located just 40 minutes outside of Reykjavik, was accidentally formed in 1976 during operation at a nearby geothermal power plant. In the years that followed, people began to bathe in the unique water and apply the silica mud to their skin. Those with psoriasis noticed an incredible improvement in their condition. Today the Blue Lagoon is one of Iceland's most popular tourist destinations and features a research and development facility searching for cures for other skin ailments using the mineral-rich water. At the Blue Lagoon, you will learn the history of the volcanic eruption that formed the surrounding landscape 800 years ago, and how the Blue Lagoon itself came to be. Enjoy some free time to bathe in the lagoon. Fully refreshed, coach to Reykjavik to check into your hotel.

Lunch: Enjoy a 2-course light lunch at Lava Restaurant at the Blue Lagoon.

Afternoon: At 5:00 PM, meet in the hotel lobby for the program orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. Please be aware that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Enjoy a three-course set menu welcome dinner inclusive of tea, coffee, water at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

Day 3: The Golden Circle

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Radisson Blu Saga Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

 

Morning: This morning you will depart on a full day journey from Reykjavik on this popular route which covers over 185 miles from Reykjavik to central Iceland and back. Stop at Thingvellir National Park, home of Iceland's first parliament, Gullfoss (Golden Waterfall), and the spouting spring area of Geysir, after whom all geysers are named.

Lunch: At a local restaurant featuring a two-course set menu.

Afternoon: Field trip through the Golden Circle continues, concluding at the program hotel in the late afternoon.

Dinner: On your own. This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 4: Reykjavik; Embark Ocean Diamond

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: Following breakfast, enjoy a lecture —“Iceland: Past and Present"—by a local expert before visiting the National Museum of Iceland. This charming museum traces the history of this remote island nation from the Settlement era to the modern day.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Afternoon: Enjoy a bit of free time to see and do what interests you most before joining the group to embark the MV Ocean Diamond. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities provided in your first Information Packet, or ask your Group Leader for ideas.

Dinner: Aboard the ship. All meals are served in the ship's main dining room. For dinner, you will enjoy a 3-crouse meal and can choose from one of the three chef-prepared entrées. Coffee, tea and water are included in all meals about the ship.

Evening: At leisure. Evenings on board the Ocean Diamond typically include a presentation or concert by the ship's expedition team.

Day 5: Hiking lava fields of Berserkjahraun

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Activity note: This morning's hike is approx. 4 hours in duration and covers approx. 5 miles. Please bring a small backpack and a water bottle. Comfortable hiking boots are required.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Close to Stykkisholmur on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula are the rugged 4,000 year old lava fields of Berserkjahraun. It is named after two Berserkers – Norse warriors – who forged a road across the enormous lava field according to the Saga of Eyrbyggja. Enjoy a hike through this remarkable landscape during this morning's Road Scholar exclusive field trip. Along the way you will spot ruins from early settlements, craters from which the lava flowed, and birdlife – all of which will bring to life the Sagas.

Lunch: Box lunch is provided by the ship.

Afternoon: Free time to relax on board before the ship sails for our next port in the early evening.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 6: Isafjördur

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Activity note: Today's hike will last 5 hours and covers approx. 8 miles. Please bring a small backpack and a water bottle. Comfortable hiking boots are required.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: From Isafjordur, we’ll coach to Engidalur, pass through the Botns & Breiðadals tunnel, to arrive in Önundarfjörður. The tunnel was completed in 1996 to allow for year round passage on Iceland’s highest road. At 2,000 ft above sea level the road had been impassable for weeks. Enjoy a hike with your Road Scholar group through this mountainous landscape to enjoy a beautiful view over Isafjördur.

Lunch: Box lunch is provided by the ship.

Afternoon: Free time to relax on board before the ship sails for our next port in the late afternoon.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 7: Siglufjördur; Grimsey Island

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Activity note: This morning's hike is approx. 3 miles, and moderately hilly. Please bring a small backpack and a water bottle. Comfortable hiking boots are required.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: The next fjord east of Siglufjördur is Hedinsfjördur. Inhabited until 1951, this deserted fjord is named after its first settler, Hedinn Karlsson. His brother Olaf settled in the next fjord of Olafsfjördur. Step back in time and learn the stories of the early inhabitants as you hike from one ruin to another along a small lake which lies in the middle of the valley. Spot birds, and with any luck, an arctic fox.

Lunch: Box lunch is provided by the ship.

Afternoon: The ship arrives into Grimsey by late afternoon. Just three square miles, this small island is located on the Arctic Circle, just 25 miles from the mainland. Grimsey is home to a handful of families and hundreds of birds. Enjoy a short hike on the island to get a sense of what life is like in this remote locale.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: Enjoy live entertainment provided by your Icelandic guides.

Day 8: Akureyri, Hike in the Lake Myvatn Area

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Activity note: Today's hike will last 4 hours; be forewarned: you'll need to climb two fences with ladders.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Depart from port by coach to Reykjahlid to begin this morning's Road Scholar exclusive hike. Upon arrival to Grjotagja, we will stop briefly for refreshments. There is option here for those who are tired to be coached to Mt. Hverfell. For the rest, we'll continue our hike to the large crater of Hverfell which measures about 450 feet deep and is over 3,000 feet in diameter. Formed over 2,000 years ago, it is one of the largest of its kind in the world. After admiring the view, hike to Dimmuborgir, a large area of unusually shaped lava fields. The area is composed of various volcanic caves and rock formations, reminiscent of an ancient collapsed citadel. We'll meet back up with the coach and bus back to Akureyri.

Lunch: Road Scholar lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: At leisure. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 9: Husavik, Whale Watching

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Activity note: Please wear warm clothing; the boat is not enclosed.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Husavik is considered by visitors as the Whale Watching Capital of Europe. Enjoy an exciting trip on a traditional wooden harbor boat to watch for the gentle giants. The wonders of nature are on display in the beautiful surroundings of Skjálfandi Bay, sheltered by the stunning mountains of Vík.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: Attend a talk by your Road Scholar Group Leader.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 10: Seydisfjördur, Vesturdalur Hiking

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Activity note: Today's hike is 4-5 miles with an elevation change of about 2000 feet. This hike starts off steep, but quickly evens out.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Today's hike with the group takes you through majestic landscapes while keeping a lookout for wildlife. Enjoy a panoramic motorcoach ride through the historically rich Vestdalseyri headlands to hike the Vestdalur Valley which has a series of impressive waterfalls. Along the way there are remains of previous settlements and structures left by the British and American armies in World War II. Vestdalur is listed as a site of natural heritage, due to a diverse range of plants found there. Upon arrival to the final waterfall, return downriver and cross a footbridge before rejoining the coach and returning to port.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: At leisure.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: Enjoy live entertainment provided by your Icelandic guides.

Day 11: Djupivogur, Glacier Lagoon Jökulsárlon

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Activity note: The journey from Djupivogur to the glacial lagoon is quite far. Please be prepared for a long but very rewarding day!

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Today's field trip from Djupivogur takes you to the magnificent Glacier Lagoon of Jökulsárlon. Huge blocks of ice constantly break off the glacier, Breidamerkurjokull, and large icebergs float on the lagoon. The lagoon is not very wide but it is up to 750 feet deep which makes it the deepest lake in Iceland. Breidamerkurjokull is an outlet of the Vatnajokull glacier. Sail among the huge icebergs in the picturesque scenery of Jökulsárlon with a specially equipped boat.

Lunch: Box lunch is provided by the ship.

Afternoon: Continuation of full day excursion.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 12: Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Activity note: This morning's hike is approx. 6 miles and approx. 650 ft. in elevation change. Zodiac excursions are dependent on favorable weather conditions.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: During this Road Scholar exclusive field trip, you will walk from the harbor, through brand new lava fields all the way to the volcano Eldfjall, which erupted in 1973. On this walking exploration, walk past the part of the town that was covered with lava - almost 400 homes were buried in lava and ash. Hike back to the ship through the town of Vestmannaeyjar. There will be an opportunity to visit a museum that tells the story of the Heimaey volcanic eruption in 1973, the Surtsey Island in 1963 and the geology of the Vestmannaeyjar Islands.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: For a different perspective, travel by Zodiac around Heimaey Island. Be on the look out for caves, birdlife and hopefully whales.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare belongings for tomorrow's disembarkation and departure.

Day 13: Departures In Flight  B

Meals: Breakfast

Aboard the ship.

Morning: The Ocean Diamond is scheduled to arrive in Reykjavik at 8:00 AM. Upon disembarkation, enjoy a panoramic coach excursion of Reykjavik. See historic Höfði House - sight of the 1986 meeting between Reagan and Gorbachev that precipitated the end of the Cold War. Visit the Perlan, one of Reykjavik's most recognized landmarks, and also the city's hot water storage facility that has a deck providing a 360° vista of Iceland's capital city. Coach by Lake Tjornin, a small lake in downtown Reykjavik and teeming with birdlife, as well as the Parliament House and City Hall, worth a visit for its large topographic map of Iceland. Enjoy some additional free time in Reykjavik. Make sure to pop into the stunning Harpa Music Hall. This concludes our program.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: Transfer to the Keflavík International Airport (KEF) for late afternoon flights returning to North America. Group flights are currently scheduled to depart at 5:00 PM. If you are arranging your own flights, we recommend coordinating your flights so they coincide with the group departure. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future.

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 6,395

Price Per Day:

$ 492 per person
 
  • Select Custom Arrangements to get to and from Road Scholar-provided airfare for your program
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Details
Ship Name

MV Ocean Diamond

Ship Stats
  • Registration: Bahamas
  • Launched/Renovation: 1974/1986/2012
  • Staff and Crew: 106
  • Guests: 199
  • Ice Class: 1D
  • Length: 124 m
  • Breadth: 16 m
  • Draft: 4,9 m
  • Max. Speed: 15 Knots
  • Voltage onboard: w220V
Ship Description

Enjoy The Breathtaking Nature Of Iceland And Greenland Aboard The Ocean Diamond

Thanks to two stabilizers that significantly reduce roll and an ice-strengthened hull (ice class 1D), the super yacht OCEAN DIAMOND is the ideal ship for expeditions in the Arctic region. Due to the ship’s compact size, we can take passengers to places off the traditional cruise routes to experience all the highlights of both Iceland and Greenland.

With a maximum of 199 passengers, the OCEAN DIAMOND features a range of modern onboard amenities and is staffed with outstanding officers and crew, as well as bilingual expedition leaders and guides. The 107 cabins and suites, all of them elegantly designed, offer modern amenities and exterior views. The ship’s own Zodiacs are available for shore excursions. After a busy day of exploration, passengers can browse books or DVDs in the well-stocked Polar library or enjoy views of the spectacular Arctic scenery from the panorama salon.

Deck & Cabin Plans

Deck plan Ocean Diamond

Trip Includes
  • 11 nights of accommodations
  • 3 expert-led lectures
  • 14 expert-led field trips
  • 2 performances
  • An experienced Group Leader
  • Customary gratuities throughout the program
  • The Road Scholar Travel Protection Plan, 24-hour-a-day emergency assistance coverage
  • Taxes
Meals Included:

12 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches and 10 Dinners

Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Small Group - 24 max
Accomodations

Radisson Blu Saga Hotel: 2 nights  Reykjavik, 107

Settle in with exceptional service and stunning views of the urban landscape, sea or glaciers at this sleek hotel just a ten-minute walk from the heart of the city. With a history of hospitality that dates back nearly 50 years, the Radisson Blu Saga Hotel is an iconic Icelandic accommodation. Its modern, stylish spaces and amenities still embrace timeless traditions of high quality and impeccable service.

Start City
Reykjavik
End City
Reykjavik
Guides

Gróa Másdóttir

Gróa Másdóttir was born and raised in Reykjavík. When she was 24 years old, she moved to Norway and lived there for six years. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history and archaeology, and an MBA in human resources. Gróa is also a yoga instructor and lifestyle coach. In 2014, she began working as an expert leading hiking adventures.

Trip ID#: DraIceRoa

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