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Highlights
  • Walk along Iceland’s Golden Circle and explore Thingvellir National Park.
  • Soak in the healing waters of the Blue Lagoon and learn why its mineral-rich properties provide treatment for many skin ailments.
  • In Nuuk, meet a local family and join them for Kaffe Mik, a cozy afternoon get together in their home.

To explore the natural beauty of Iceland and Greenland is to sail along sounds and fjords, happening upon tiny seafaring villages where age-old traditions are still a part of every day life. On this unique learning adventure, explore pristine forests and historic roads, see icebergs up close and search for whales, and learn about local history as you explore ancient ruins and meet local residents.

Travelers Also Viewed All similar trips
Countries
Flights & Transport
  • Internal airfare and 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
Fjords, Lagoons & Sounds: Discover the Natural Wonders of Iceland & Greenland

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: Reykjavik, 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, Flight to Kangerlussuaq, 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 transfer to Keflavik airport for your charter flight to Kangerlussuaq 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: At sea

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Enjoy the Arctic summer and admire the contrast between majestic icebergs and the riot of colors ashore. Join your Group Leader for an onboard presentation.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to enjoy the ship's amenities and activities.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 6: Uummannaq, Greenland

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: This morning the ship will call in Uummannaq. Traditionally a hunting and fishing village, and also home to a canning factory and marble quarry, Uummannaq is the 11th largest town in Greenland with a population of just over 1200 people. Visit the town's museum which tells fantastic stories from the region. Particularly interesting is the museum’s exhibition of Alfred Wegener’s expedition on a propeller-driven sled on the Ice Sheet. Wegener became world-famous due to his theory of continental drift. His aim was to build a scientific station in the middle of the Ice Sheet. The museum also houses copies of the famous Qilaktisog mummies, which were discovered in this area in 1972.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: At leisure to explore the small town or to enjoy the ship's amenities.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 7: Eqip Glacier and Ilulisaat Ice Fjord

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: In the morning the ship will sail to the Eqip Glacier. Situated approximately 100km north of Ilulissat, Eqip Sermia Glacier is one of the only places is Greenland where you can sail so close to a calving glacier.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: The Ilulissat Ice Fjord is the mouth of Sermeq Kujalleq, one of the few glaciers in Greenland that reaches the sea. It is also one of the most active glaciers in the world. As an outstanding example of the last ice age of the Quaternary Period, and for what it allows us to understand about our planet's climate, it was designate a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Experience an unforgettable cruise to the mouth of the Ilulisaat Ice Fjord, where an underwater moraine (collection of glacial debris) catches many of the large icebergs creating a 'bottle-neck.' The only way for icebergs to cross the moraine is by pressure from behind. You'll see firsthand why Ilulissat means “icebergs” in Greenlandic.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: Enjoy live entertainment provided by your Icelandic guides.

Day 8: Ilulisaat, Greenland: City Walk & Museum

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Originally founded by the Danes as a trading post in 1741, Ilulissat is Greenland's third largest town, with over 4,500 inhabitants. Enjoy a walking excursion along the harbor, to the 18th-century Zion Church, and on to the town's museum.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to enjoy the ship's amenities and activities. Join your Group Leader for an onboard presentation.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 9: Nuuk, Greenland

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: At sea. Free time to relax and take in the arctic scenery.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: Nuuk is the capital of Greenland and its oldest town. Founded in 1728 by Danish-Norwegian missionary Hans Egede, Nuuk combines Arctic traditions and European urbanity. With around 16,000 inhabitants, Nuuk is considered as a bustling metropolis compared to the rest of Greenland’s cities and settlements. This morning's coach excursion includes a walk around the old city centre and a visit to the new suburban area of modern architecture. Cap of the morning with a visit to the National Museum of Greenland which exhibits 500 year old Inuit-mummies discovered in Qilakitsoq 40 years ago. Following the museum visit, coach to the small Inuk Hostel to learn about local hunting traditions and are invited to sample a variety of Greenlandic specialties. Meat from marine mammals, game, birds and fish has been the main ingredient in Greenlandic food for generations. The tasting will depend on what has been caught; a variety of fish, muskox, seal amongst other delicacies are staples of the Greenlander diet.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 10: At sea and Ivittuut Caves

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: The Greenland Sea is home to numerous seals, walruses and whales. Keep your eyes open as we sail along the island’s scenic west coast. Join your Group Leader for an onboard presentation.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: This morning, embark boats to Ikkafjord to see unique submarine Ikaite - crystalized calcium carbonate - columns. This mineral is considered rare, though this is likely due to the difficulty in preserving specimens. The towers are created by groundwater, rich in carbonate, seeping into the floor of the calcium-rich fjord.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: Enjoy live entertainment provided by your Icelandic guides.

Day 11: Narsarsuaq, Greenland; Qassiarsuk Viking Ruins

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: The small settlement Qassiarsuk boasts some of the most interesting ruins from the Norse period of Greenland history. Erik the Red settled here after he had been outlawed from Iceland. He named the new land "green land" because the region around Qassiarsuk is characterized by inviting fjord landscapes and green, fertile valleys. See the ruins of the first Christian Church in Greenland and visit the reconstructions of a Viking longhouse. The Greenland ice cap produces 250 million tons of icebergs each summer and their final journey begins when they break off from glaciers and plunge directly into crystal-clear fjords. Near Narsarsuaq sail through the Qoroq Ice Fjord in local boats, weaving through hundreds of icebergs with a mesmerizing view of the Qoroq glacier off in the distance. Cruise in between the icebergs and sail into the fiord to see the glacier in the distance. Here the captain will cut the engine to enjoy the arctic scenery and the silence.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 12: Prince Christian Sound

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Prince Christian Sound, near the southernmost tip of Greenland, separates the mainland with the Sangmissoq (Christian IV Island) and other islands of the Cape Farewell Archipelago. It is around 60 miles long and narrow - sometimes only 1500 feet wide, and there is only one settlement along this sound - Aappilattoq (population 132). Cruising through Prince Christian Sound offers beautiful scenery including glaciers, icebergs and steep mountains often more than 4000 feet in height.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: Continue cruising through Prince Christian Sound.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: Enjoy live entertainment provided by your Icelandic guides.

Day 13: At sea

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Sail across the Denmark Strait towards Iceland, following a maritime route used by Norse settlers more than 900 years ago. While en route, attend fascinating presentations by our expedition team. Or just relax and watch whales, dolphins and seabirds from the deck of your cabin.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to enjoy the ship's amenities and activities.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: Enjoy live entertainment provided by your Icelandic guides.

Day 14: Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands), Pompeii of the North

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: Travel by Zodiac around Heimaey Island for a different perspective of this stunning locale. 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 15: Reykjavik

Meals: Breakfast

In Flight

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

Price From

$ 7,595

Price Per Day:

$ 506 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
  • 13 nights of accommodations
  • 5 expert-led lectures
  • 13 expert-led field trips
  • 1 flight during the program
  • 4 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:

14 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches and 12 Dinners

Flights & Transport
Internal airfare and 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

Ingiveig Gunnarsdóttir

Inga was born in Reykjavik and earned her bachelor’s degree in German and English and her master’s in management and environmental travel. She has been a licensed travel leader and naturalist for the past 20 years in Iceland and abroad — in Ecuador, Madagascar, China, Myanmar, India and New Zealand, among others. She‘s given several presentations about conservation and is a member of the Iceland Nature Conservation Association, the Animal Welfare Association of Iceland, Birdlife Iceland and the Friends of Cats Society of Iceland.

Trip ID#: FjoLagRoa

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