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Highlights
  • Soak in the healing waters of the Blue Lagoon and learn why its mineral-rich properties provide treatment for many skin ailments.
  • Hike in remote and stunning Arctic landscapes in Greenland that offer views of pristine fjords and icebergs.
  • Walk through the old city center and new suburban areas of Nuuk, Greenland’s capital city.

From the green in Iceland to the ice in Greenland, learn about some of the world’s most interesting natural phenomena and human legacies of the arctic. Sail to intimate ports for hiking excursions that offer a truly unique perspective of seafaring villages, protected forests, breathtaking sounds and much more.

Travelers Also Viewed All similar trips
Countries
Cities & Attractions
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
Stride Take

TBD

Northern Discoveries: Hiking the Landscapes of Greenland & Iceland

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, Reykjavik

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, 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: 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.

Day 6: At sea

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Sail across the Denmark Strait towards Greenland, 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 7: Prince Christian Sound, Greenland

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: At sea.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: Enjoy live entertainment provided by your Icelandic guides.

Day 8: Narsarsuaq, Greenland / Tasiusaq Hike

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Activity note: This morning's hike is approx. 8 miles with little change in altitude.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: In Qassiarsuk hike through stunning Arctic landscapes to the remote community of Tasiusaq. It used to be the home of sheep farmers but it is now abandoned. Enjoy the beautiful view of the fjord system and the arctic nature.

Lunch: Box lunch is provided by the ship.

Afternoon: Continuation of today's hike through a stunning arctic landscape.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 9: At sea / Ivittuut Caves

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: 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.

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 10: Nuuk, Greenland

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Activity note: This morning's hike is fairly challenging covering approx. 6 miles over mountain terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: A 10-minute bus ride will take you to the foothills of Quassussuaq by the small airport. Here you will start the hike around Quassussuaq Mountain, which is a ski resort in Nuuk. After 10-15 minutes of walking you will be out in the clean and untouched wilderness with magnificent views over the Nuuk fjordsystem, the second largest in the world. The hike takes you along a trail with streams and small lakes with many beautiful spots to rest.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: Meat from marine mammals, game, birds and fish has been the main ingredient in Greenlandic food for generations. Coach to the small Inuk Hostel where you will learn about local hunting traditions and are invited to sample a variety of Greenlandic specialties. 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 11: At sea and Hike in Sisimiut, Greenland

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Activity note: This morning's hike is fairly challenging covering approx. 3-4 miles over mountain terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: The Greenland Sea is home to seals, walruses and whales. Keep your eyes open as we sail along the island’s scenic west coast.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: Enjoy a hike from port to a beautiful viewpoint from atop the surrounding mountains. Be on the look out for arctic fox, grouse and eagles. For your efforts, you'll be rewarded with a beautiful panoramic view.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 12: Ilulissat, Greenland, Sermermiut Iceberg, City Walk & Museum

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Activity note: This morning's hike is approx. 3 miles of moderate hiking on mountain trails.

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. Next hike to the Inuit ruins at Sermermiut overlooking the famous Ilulissat Ice Fjord. The first people settled Sermermiut around 2,000 years BC. Learn about the culture and lifestyle of the early Inuit, while impressive icebergs float by on the fjord.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: Sail to the Eqip Glacier. Situated approximately 60 miles north of Ilulissat, Eqip Sermia Glacier is one of the only places is Greenland where you can sail so close to a calving glacier.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 13: Uummannaq, Greenland

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

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

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: 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.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 14: Qeqertarsuaq, Disko Island, Greenland

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: MV Ocean Diamond

Activity note: This morning's hike is approx. 3 miles of moderate hiking on mountain trails.

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: During a visit to the church of Qeqertarsuaq, enjoy listening to hymns by the choir. Then, enjoy a walk to the Arctic Station, funded by the University of Cophenhagen. Learn about the work of the station and watch some of the world's largest icebergs float by.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: At leisure.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 15: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland / Fly to Reykjavik

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Accommodation: Radisson Blu Saga Hotel

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Transfer by coach from the pier to the Lake Ferguson, located on the outskirts of town. From here, an easy hike on a dirt track will take you along the shores of the lake into the arctic wilderness. Pass some of the local summer houses, and enjoy the rich bird life and arctic flower vegetation.

Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant overlooking the lake.

Afternoon: Transfer to the airport in Kangerlussuaq for the charter flight returning to Reykjavik.

Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.

Evening: Charter flight from Kangerlussuaq arrives in Reykjavik. Transfer to the hotel. Evening at leisure.

Day 16: Departures

Meals: Breakfast

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

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: 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

$ 7,995

Price Per Day:

$ 500 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
  • 14 nights of accommodations
  • 2 expert-led lectures
  • 15 expert-led field trips
  • 1 flight during the program
  • 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:

15 Breakfasts, 13 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: 3 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#: NorDisRoa

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