Highlights
  • Observe and photograph local birds and whales from close proximity.
  • See "Pompeii of the North" — a volcanic crater and houses half-buried from the volcanic eruption of 1973.
  • At the rejuvenating waters of the Blue Lagoon, learn about its geological and man-made history.

Turquoise thermal pools. Otherworldly waterfalls. Towering blue icebergs. Steaming lava beds. Iceland is one astonishing package of all the planet’s natural wonders. Discover them on colorful display — fjords, geysers, glaciers, volcanoes — during an extraordinary learning voyage around this dramatic country. From Reykjavik on the southwest coast, sail clockwise around the island, boarding Zodiacs to navigate pristine fjords, setting foot on glaciers, soaking in soothing hot springs and sitting down with locals to learn about life in tiny villages.

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

38
Road Scholar Travel Reviews & Ratings
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
89% Recommend

4.6 out of 5
Excellent 31 Great 3 Average 1 Disappointing 1 Terrible 2
Value
4.6 Guide
4.7 Activities
4.6 Lodging
4.5 Transportation
4.5 Meals
4.4
Fire and Ice: A Circumnavigation of Mystical Iceland

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

D

Recommends

Best trip I ever took! October 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Loved the variety of different hotels, the expertise of the individual tour guides, the meals and especially the beautiful countryside. All 17 of us on the t rip got to know each other well, thanks to the kindness, the personality and the organizational skill of Mark, our tour director. Keep up the good work!
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

C

Recommends

Sunrise, Sunset, Learning Photography August 2016

5.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 4.0
Road Scholar offers many tours starting in Utah. The one I took focused of photography of the National Parks in Utah, with a professional photographer traveling with us. The schedule was set up such that we would get "the golden light" at each of the parks. Those not familiar with the term must know that the best light occurs at either sunrise or sunset, when the impact of the sun on objects is diffused by having to travel through the earth's atmosphere on a diagonal rather than vertically.

As such, you can now expect that sleep will be an issue as you will get to bed late and rise early. But the territory is beautiful at all times, and more so illuminated by the golden light.

In order to maximize your sleeping ability, the tour is only offered in the spring and the fall. Doing this in the winter would be pretty cold and require special equipment to traverse the snow. Doing it in the summer would basically mean no sleep as the daylight is so long.

A great learning experience in beautiful territory.
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

J

Recommends

Thank you Road Scholar July 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Thank you Road Scholar Staff for planning a wonderful introduction to Cuba today. My previous knowledge was from people who felt they had to leave Cuba more than fifty years ago. I learned from qualified professors, tour guides and from talking to Cuban people from different parts of Cuba who work in different kinds of jobs. I could see how the Cuban people have come together to meet the challenges of the past and to prepare for a brighter future.
Read more

Operator Road Scholar

R

Recommends

Thank you Road Scholar! July 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Road Scholar tours are the best bang for your buck

Operator Road Scholar

N

Recommends

Fabulous! July 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
This is a fabulous program for young and old. The instructors are great with kids and adults. The activities are very well organized and varied. My grandson is already making plans for next year.

Operator Road Scholar

Itinerary

Day 1: Departures

In Flight

Day 2: Welcome, The Blue Lagoon, Reyjkavik

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, Reyjkavik

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. Ask your Group Leader for suggestions!

Evening: At leisure.

Day 4: Reykjavik, Embark Ocean Diamond

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 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: Stykkisholmur, Snæfellsnes Peninsula

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Activity note: Today's field trip is approximately 8 hours and covers about 150 miles with multiple stops and some optional walking over rugged terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Due to its diversity of landscapes and places of national interests, Snaefellsnes Peninsula is often called “Iceland in miniature.” This excursion includes views on the Snaefellsjökull Glacier, the dramatic rock formations of Snaefellsnes as well as the Londrangar Rock pinnacles, which are remnants of a large volcanic crater. En route you also visit the small fishing village of Arnarstapi and the “Shark Museum” in Bjarnarhöfn.

Lunch: Box lunch is provided by the ship.

Afternoon: Continuation of the full-day excursion to Snæfellsnes Peninsula.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 6: Isafjördur, Thingeyri and Dynjandi Waterfall

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Activity note: Today's field trip is approximately 7 hours and covers about 125 miles with multiple stops and some optional walking over rugged terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Today's field trip explores the Westfjords, a remote region of a remote island nation. With a population of about 260, Thingeyri is one of the oldest settlements in the Westfjords and the location of the area’s first trading post. Next, admire the thunderous Dynjandi, the highest (and most impressive) waterfall in the Westfjords.

Lunch: Box lunch provided by the ship.

Afternoon: At leisure. Enjoy some free time in Isafjördur before the ship sails at 5:00 PM for the next port.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 7: Akureyri, Lake Myvatn

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Activity note: Don't forget to bring bathing suit and a towel for today's excursion to Lake Myvatn. This is a full-day field trip, covering about 150 miles over the course of the day, with several stops.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: One of the most beautiful spots in northern Iceland, the Lake Myvatn area teems with fauna. This morning's field trip starts at the spectacular Godafoss Waterfall and continues to the small settlement of Skutustadagígar and to the impressive lava formations of Dimmuborgir, said to resemble a collapsed citadel. In Icelandic folklore Dimmuborgir is said to connect the earth to the infernal. Finally, we visit the Myvatn Nature Baths for a relaxing geothermal bath. Look forward to an amazing journey through an area of extreme contrasts.

Lunch: Road Scholar lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Continue exploring the area around Lake Myvatn.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 8: 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 9: Seydisfjördur, East Fjords

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Activity note: Today's field trip is approximately 7 hours and covers about 125 miles.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Narrow fjords, jagged mountain peaks, remote farms and small fishing villages are some of East Iceland’s characteristics. Today's field trip takes you from Seydisfjordur to the inland and via the mountain road Breiddalsheidi further to Stodvarfjordur. There we'll visit Petra's impressive “Stone and Mineral Collection.” Walk through her remarkable garden and see amazing stones, which she has collected throughout her life. From Stödvarfjordur we head to Reydarfjordur and visit the Wartime Museum. The museum is located by the barracks that were a part of a big hospital camp and shows Icelandic life in the 1940's, the high point of the World War II. The museum's exhibitions give a full account of days gone by, both from the perspective of the soldiers as well as the habitants of Reydarfjördur village.

Lunch: Box lunch provided by the ship.

Afternoon: Continuation of full day excursion in the East Fjords.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: Enjoy live entertainment provided by your Icelandic guides.

Day 10: 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 - about 110 miles each way. 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 excursion, coach back to port to re-embark the ship.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 11: Vestmannaeyjar, Zodiac Cruise of Heimaey Island

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Activity note: Zodiac excursions are dependent on favorable weather conditions.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Enjoy a panoramic coach exploration around Heimaey Island. See the effects of the volcanic eruption of 1973: half-buried houses and the volcanic crater. It’s a unique and fascinating landscape with diverse birdlife. The excursion ends at the volcanic center. This unique museum 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 12: Departures, In Flight  B

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: 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: Free time for lunch on your own.

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
Checking price

Price From

$ 5,645

Price Per Day:

$ 470 per day
 
  • 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
  • 2 expert-led lectures
  • 13 expert-led field trips
  • 1 performance
  • 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, 9 Lunches and 9 Dinners

Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Small Group - 24 max
Maximum Number of People in Group: 24
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

Eiríkur Eiríksson

Eiríkur Eiríksson is the head librarian at the Marine Research Institute in Reykjavík, Iceland. He was born and raised in the Westmann Islands and earned his bachelor’s in Library Science at the University of Iceland in Reykjavík. His areas of expertise are Icelandic history, genealogy and geology.

Trip ID#: FirIceRoa

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