In alliance with Smithsonian Journeys. This cruise is part of a collection of Ponant voyages that are specially-tailored for English-speaking travelers who want to engage with the world. In addition to the usual elements of the Ponant experience, the listed price for these voyages includes transfers to and from the ship, talks and discussions aboard ship by world class experts, and a shore excursion or activity in each port of call that encourages guests to embrace the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of the local environment and culture.
Discover the most beautiful and rugged landscapes...read more on the Icelandic west coast during this spectacular 8-day voyage. On the edge of the Arctic, between vast glaciers, vertiginous fjords, volcanoes, and boiling geysers, Iceland offers a kaleidoscope of wild landscapes. You will board Le Bellot in Reykjavík, the world's northernmost capital city. With its houses with colorful roofs and its lake that is home to countless ducks, the city offers a picture-perfect setting. The first port of call on your cruise is Heimaey.
This is the only inhabited island in the Westman archipelago. Choose to explore the volcanic island, which is summer home to millions of seabirds. Or enjoy an exclusive visit the world's first Beluga Whale Sanctuary where you can view its two residents from a safe distance by boat. You will then discover the bay of Grundarfjördur, from where you may choose to explore the villages along the Snæfellsjökull glacier-capped volcano or embark on a whale watching excursion in search of orcas and humpback, minke, sperm, and pilot whales.
Your ship will then reach Grímsey, a small, hard-to-reach island where, in certain places, the volcanic rock forms magnificent basalt columns. Sea birds such as guillemots and puffins reign here. Le Bellot then sails for Akureyri, where an excursion to the otherworldly Lake Myvatn area offers the opportunity to explore the geothermal field of Namaskard to see mudpots, steam vents, sulfur deposits, boiling springs, and fumeroles. Also see the spectacular Godafoss, the "Waterfall of the Gods." Alternatively, choose to relax in the thermal baths at Húsavík. At Isafjördur, explore Iceland's seafaring history at the Maritime Museum and enjoy a performance of traditional Icelandic folk songs performed by a group of local singers.
Or visit the abandoned village of Hesteyri, a 19th-centurty whaling community located along some of the most rugged landscape in the country. End on the outskirts of Reykjavík, where you'll have the opportunity to travel the Golden Circle, consisting of three spectacular sights: Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall, and the Geysir Geothermal Area. Another option offers a second opportunity to go whale watching in search of humpback, minke, and sei whales. The encounters with the wildlife described above illustrate possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed.