North Atlantic Saga Cruise: Scotland to Iceland

11 Days from
$5,395 USD
Ship Trip
Highlights

Highlights

  • Wander among Neolithic standing stones at Stenness and Brodgar, Scotland
  • Visit St. Magnus Cathedral, a stunning red sandstone structure that dominates the vibrant town of Kirkwall
  • Search the skies for fulmars, puffins, gannets, skuas, and other North Atlantic seabirds
  • Shop for woolens and other unique handicrafts in the Orkneys, Shetlands, and Faroes
  • Experience the Faroe Islands’s dramatic, otherworldly land and seascapes
  • Visit Heimaey, Westman Islands—a town nearly destroyed by a volcano!
  • Explore Reykjavík; a clean, green, ancient, and contemporary city bustling with culture
Map

Map

Map for North Atlantic Saga Cruise: Scotland to Iceland

Tour Overview

This expedition charts a course unlike any other on Earth, following the Viking voyages from the north of Scotland to the Faroe Islands and onward to Iceland.

The Orkney and Shetland Isles offer amazing prehistoric archeology, hiking and bird-watching—and interactions with our charming Scots hosts! Opportunities are very good for marine mammals and seabirds such as puffins, skuas and more. Fair Isle offers world-famous woolens and other hand-made crafts.

The Faroe Islands are the jewels of the North Atlantic. We’ll visit staggering cliffs hosting vast colonies of seabirds and quaint villages clinging to tiny islands. The capital, Torshavn, is a hidden gem of a Scandinavian city. Faroese culture is unique, best experienced with our generous local hosts. Hiking excellent and the scenery sublime.

As we approach Iceland, we enter the realm of the active earth: the new volcanic island of Surtsey; the dramatic sea caves of the Westman Islands, and the town of Heimaey—nearly destroyed by a volcano short decades ago. We sail on to Reykjavik to end our journey in one of the finest and most forward-thinking capital cites anywhere.

Departures & Cabins

DEPARTURES & CABINS

This cruise runs bi-annually, on every odd year.

What's Included

Tour Price Includes

  • Passage aboard the Ocean Endeavour
  • Applicable taxes and credit card fees
  • Complimentary expedition jacket
  • Contribution to Adventure Canada’s Discovery Fund
  • Special access permits, entry, and park fees
  • Expert expedition team
  • Guided activities
  • Sightseeing and community visits
  • All Zodiac excursions
  • Port fees
  • Pre-departure materials
  • Educational program
  • Nikon Camera Trial Program
  • Interactive workshops
  • Evening entertainment
  • All shipboard meals

Tour Price Does Not Include

  • Commercial and charter flights
  • Fuel surcharge of $48 USD per person per day
  • Program enhancements/optional excursions
  • Gratuities
  • Personal expenses
  • Mandatory medical evacuation insurance
  • Additional expenses in the event of delays or itinerary changes
  • Pre- and post-trip hotel accommodation

Itinerary

This cruise runs bi-annually, on every odd year.

Day 1: Aberdeen, Scotland

Many of Aberdeen’s historic stone buildings are of locally quarried granite; high in mica, they can sparkle like silver. The city is famed for its forty-five parks, gardens, and floral displays. Though it is now a modern city, Aberdeen retains its old world charm. We board the Ocean Endeavour for an evening departure.

The Mercat Cross is located in the Center of Aberdeen

Day 2: Kirkwall, Orkney

Wander through the stone walls of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you’ll find the 4,000-year-old Ring of Brodgar.

Tour the Hall of Clestrain, childhood home of Arctic explorer John Rae. In Kirkwall, let yourself be captivated by the city’s sights, dominated by the massive St. Magnus Cathedral dating back to 1137.

Experience its lively pubs, vibrant music scene, fabulous shopping opportunities, and thriving artisan community.

Step back 5,000 years to the Neolithic village of Skara Brae. Considered one of the most important Neolithic ruins in Europe today, wander the well-preserved stone houses and learn what daily life was like here.

Orkney, Scotland - People visiting the stone remains of the Neolithic village of Skara Brae, on the Orkney coast.

Day 3: Fair Isle

Journey to charming Fair Isle, once a Viking hub and now an idyllic island colony of artists and shepherds.

Keep your binoculars handy to spot some of the 350 bird species that the island boasts, including puffins and great skuas in substantial numbers.

Take a tour of the local museum, dedicated to preserving the island's heritage.

Atlantic Puffins, Fair Isle, Shetland

Day 4: Vágur, Suðuroy Island, Faroe Islands

Visit Vágur, where the warm hospitality of its 1,300 residents awaits you. Relish in the opportunity to witness Faroese chain dancing and share in stories of Vágur‘s captivating past. Enjoy the abundance of birdlife that the island boasts.

Let your senses feast on the view of Suðuroy’s towering west side. Admire majestic cliffs, stunning mountains, sea stacks, and the magnificent Beinisvørð mountain as it stands tall from afar.

See for yourself why the island is famed for its dramatic cliffs towering over the North Atlantic and enjoy this paradise for birds, including European storm petrels and Atlantic puffins.

North Atlantic Saga Cruise: Scotland to Iceland

Day 5: Tórshavn

Explore the splendid little city of Tórshavn (“Thor’s harbour”), the Faroe Islands’ capital and a former Viking trading centre.

Stroll through the enchanting streets of the old town, where you'll discover a treasure trove of galleries, charming shops, and restaurants.

Admire the buildings with their grass roofs and black timber façades, offering a glimpse into traditional Faroese architecture and culture.

Sunrise scene of capital city Torshavn in Faroe Islands in North Atlantic. Urban scene of scandinavian city in warm golden sunlight.

Day 6–8: Western Faroe Islands

Eysturoy and Streymoy islands are perfect for hiking, birding, and photography. Charming villages connected by high-tech tunnels through mountains and beneath the ocean floor are a unique and startling feature of Faroese life.

Explore remote Faroese villages Elduvik and Funningur via Zodiac. With a population of only 12 and 70 respectively, these villages offer a glimpse into Faroese island life. As you meander through the dramatic landscape surrounded by beautiful mountains, get to know the locals and enjoy exploring the picturesque bays these villages call home.

The spectacular waterfall at Gásadalur is reached through one such tunnel—but look for the old switchback trail over the mountain, once used by the local postman!

Tjornuvik village, stacks Risin and Kellingin before storm, Eysturoy, Faroe Islands, Denmark

Day 9: At Sea

Today we will enjoy a day at sea. With onboard education and time spent on deck, we will keep our eyes open for marine wildlife and seabirds!

One Fulmar glide on the wind along a cliff on the Shetland Islands

Day 10: Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands), Iceland

Vestmannaeyjar lies off the south coast of Iceland and comprises fourteen islands, numerous rocks, and skerries. Only the largest island, Heimaey, is inhabited.

Numerous species of seabirds, including the famous puffin, nest in the steep rock faces along the ocean cliffs. The volcanically active area has seen two major eruptions in recent times: the formation of the island of Surtsey in 1963, and the Eldfell eruption ten years later that destroyed much of Heimaey.

zodiac cruise

Day 11: Reykjavík, Iceland

Complete your journey in Reykjavík, Iceland’s cosmopolitan capital that was established in the year 874 CE.

Food, culture, and nightlife abound, while the National Culture House preserves treasures like the Poetic Edda and the Norse Sagas in their original manuscripts.

Disembark in the morning and say your farewells in what is widely considered one of the cleanest, greenest cities in the world.

Reykjavík, Iceland

What to Expect

Our small ship cruising programs allow you to experience the best of the natural world, while enjoying the comforts of our friendly floating hotel. The ship generally makes crossing between islands at night, so every morning you awake to new vistas and discoveries. Every day we offer a combination of interesting shore excursions and fun shipboard activities. You can choose which elements of the program you want to participate in.

This expedition cruise necessitates passengers to be in reasonably good health. Zodiac cruises and transfer times can be lengthy. You must be able to climb stairs between decks on the ship, as well as the external gangway stairs to transfer between the zodiac and ship.

Some of our shore landings will be ‘wet’, requiring waterproof boots. Once you have left the zodiac, you’ll find our shore excursions accommodate both those who wish to enjoy a gentle stroll and those who prefer more active hikes. The excursion may involve walking over uneven or sandy terrain in variable weather conditions. Our onboard specialists will join us on these shore excursions to provide interpretation and narration to these wonderful landscapes and experiences.

Each evening we will gather in the lounge to recount the day’s events and share memorable stories. Our onboard musician will provide some lively entertainment during happy hour and the expedition leader will outline the following day’s schedule. Our resource staff of naturalists, historians, and other guest speakers will give informative talks at various times throughout the voyage.

Meals in the ship’s dining room are a great opportunity to meet new friends and recount the day’s adventures. Special diets can be accommodated with advance notice. Safety is also a top priority with Eagle-Eye Tours – our team has extensive experience in the field, and all of our Voyages are run in conjunction with operators with the highest safety standards.

When the ship is underway, it is a wonderful time to join a naturalist on deck, take photos of the stunning scenery, or get caught up on some reading in the library.

Weather, ice, government regulations, and community requests may necessitate changes to the planned itineraries and/or the cancellation of certain shore excursions and enhancements. Published itineraries are examples only and we reserve the right to change or modify the itinerary and landing sites at any time prior or during an expedition. Changes will be communicated at your expedition orientation or during your onboard expedition briefings.

We know that everyone travels for different reasons. Over the years, however, we have found one common element among the guest who choose to travel with us – a thirst of knowledge and authentic experience. Knowing this drives us to ensure the highest quality learning experience on our trips, by taking time to carefully design each trip we offer.

Ship & Deck Plan

Ocean Endeavour

Ocean Endeavour

Sailing with a maximum of 198-passengers, Ocean Endeavour is the perfect vessel for expedition cruising. Outfitted with twenty Zodiacs, advanced navigation equipment, multiple lounges and a top deck observation room, she is purpose-built for passenger experiences in remote environments. The Ocean Endeavour boasts a 1B ice class, enabling her to freely explore throughout the Arctic summer.

Launched in 1982, she has had numerous upgrades, most recently in 2010 and 2014. At 137 meters (450ft) in length, Ocean Endeavour has plenty of interior and exterior space. Enjoy multiple decks offering comfortable lounge chairs, outdoor dining, a swimming pool, sauna and even a hot tub! The spacious interiors allow for multiple workshops and presentations to occur simultaneously. Community is at the heart of Adventure Canada’s expedition experience. We gather together to learn, enjoy a drink, sing a song or share a yarn – connecting with one and other. The three lounges aboard Ocean Endeavour are fantastic public spaces for seminars, events and dialogue.

The Ocean Endeavour’s private spaces are stylish and comfortable. All cabins have private washroom facilities, a phone for internal calls, radio, TV and air-conditioning.

Ocean Endeavour’s crew is experienced, and friendly. Her shallow draft and maneuverability allow her to access isolated fiords, bays and secluded communities. The stylish vessel is at home among the glorious settings we seek. Enjoy the class and comfort of a boutique hotel, while venturing to some of the world’s last great frontiers aboard the Ocean Endeavour!

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