Iceland by Sea Ocean Cruise Family Multi-Adventure Tour - 20s & Beyond
Passage to the Land of Fire & Ice
Join us for a journey in Iceland—an island nation of geologic wonder and Nordic tradition. Sailing on a luxurious ship, extraordinary vistas and new adventures unfold at every turn. Boiling mud pots, crashing waterfalls, breaching whales, singing Arctic birdlife, postcard-perfect hamlets. There's no place on Earth quite like it. Your Iceland discovery awaits.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Small Luxury Ship
Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.
- Explore this island nation with 130 volcanoes (with about 30 active systems!), Europe's largest glacier and a summer sun that never sleeps
- Hike volcanic moonscapes and crater rims, craggy seaside cliffs and untamed islands on off-the-beaten-path excursions
- Discover fishing villages and windswept coastlines with panoramic views of the blue north Atlantic, snowy mountains and jagged rock formations
- Relax on board your luxurious and intimate Ponant superyacht, where fine French cuisine, open-air lounges, a pool and spa treatments await
Small Luxury Ship
Kick off your Iceland adventure with a hike in the rugged landscape around active volcano, Mount Hengill | In the stunning Reykjadalur Valley, discover bubbling mud pots, hot springs and a steaming waterfall—dip a toe (or take a soak!) in the thermal warm waters | Journey through Snæfellsjökull National Park's quintessential landscapes—seaside cliffs, otherworldly rock formations and rolling farmlands | Hike along the coast, looking for kittiwakes, gulls and arctic terns | Standing on a black-sand beach, catch the sight of dramatic rocks emerging from the sea | While sailing on our luxurious ship, grab a pair of binoculars and search for whales and seabirds.
Head out on foot to explore the emerald green island of Grímsey—home to over 60 species of birds and, between April and August, one of the largest colonies of the Atlantic puffin | View striking basalt columns formed by heavy lava flow meeting the cold sea | Between the North Atlantic and snowcapped mountains, bike along Eyjafjördur through quaint fishing villages.
Join our local guide to explore the town of Ísafjördur | Stroll through the village of Súdavík with views of the largest fjord in the Westfjords | Hike through Valagil ravine and see a mighty waterfall | On the island of Heimaey, climb to the crater rim of Eldfell Volcano, where panoramic vistas await.
Hike to the heart of the Seltún geothermal area | Climb up a lunar-like landscape amid an array of red, orange and golden hues | Sweeping views unfold of picturesque Kleifarvatn Lake and surreal Green Lake | Pass a quiet tarn, jagged cliffs, vibrantly green pastures and ancient lava fields with impressive vistas of the North Atlantic Ocean and Mount Keilir | Gather for a farewell dinner on ship and toast your unforgettable journey | Enjoy a leisurely breakfast on board before disembarking in Reykjavík or Hafnarfjördur.
These luxurious and sleek vessels have an intimate French atmosphere and boast an open-air bar, three lounges and a team of master chefs crafting gourmet dishes. (pool, spa)
The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. View cancellation policy
Click on dates for pricing, itinerary variations and to book your trip. Price is per person, double occupancy.
Activity Level: 1-2
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next—and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do. LEARN MORE.
Note: The hiking terrain on this trip is a mix of maintained and un-maintained rocky mountain trails including some exposed areas.
- All breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners
- Expertise and services of our experienced Trip Leaders
- Snacks and beverages between meals
- Additional guides and experts from the region on many trips
- Van shuttles to support a variety of route options
- Comprehensive Travel Planner with detailed pre-trip information
- Private guided tours at museums, historic sites, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the Travel Planner
- All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
- Special events, including wine tastings and other select attractions as mentioned in the Travel Planner
- On biking and multi-adventure trips with biking, use of fully equipped Backroads titanium bike plus helmet and accessories
- Trailercycles, carriers, and kid-sized helmets for Family Trips
- Equipment and experienced guides for kayaking, rafting, snorkeling, sailing and canoeing as described
- Park and other entry fees
- Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the Travel Planner
- Select coach transfers
- Baggage transfers and porterage
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
The ships we sail on are like floating luxury hotels, so you can visit a new destination each day without touching your suitcase once you've settled in. Our ships are custom‐designed with a variety of inviting spaces that offer plenty of room for both relaxing and socializing. These ships are vastly smaller than most cruise ships, with up to just 150 passengers on our river trips and up to only 250 on our ocean trips.
We sail with up to 30 Backroads guests per group. Occasionally there may be more than one Backroads group onboard and you may cross paths with the other group on routes or at restaurants. When this occurs, each group will have their own dedicated onboard Backroads leaders.
If you're new to Backroads active cruise trips, there are a few things you need to know. Although our average group size is larger than a typical Backroads tour, our ship-based trips feel smaller and much more intimate than a typical cruise.
Additionally, even with an itinerary subject to fixed nautical schedules, we get out and explore far beyond the cruise norm. Although our time ashore may be shorter than an average Backroads Hotel trip, you still have the option to select a route that matches your pace. In larger cities, you can decide to shift gears and opt for less active site-seeing activities. It's important to note, our time ashore can be limited due to changes in the nautical schedule and ship tendering.
Being onboard a ship provides the benefit of being able to take advantage of ship amenities: the fitness room, spa, sauna and swimming pool. In addition, there is the opportunity to relax in the inviting common spaces or the privacy of your room, complete with balcony. Your Trip Leaders will have information on the array of options to choose from.
If having longer routes or more flexibility to explore is important for you, we recommend choosing one of our River Cruise or Hotel trips. If you love meeting new people and having more time to relax aboard the ship, and enjoy the ease of unpacking once, you'll love our approach to active ocean cruising. Nobody does it like we do.
On our active cruises, we seek out diversity by including regionally authentic and inventive meals for onshore lunches. Most on-ship meals feature French traditional cuisine while other meals, though delightful, feature international cuisine meant to appeal to a wide cross section of passengers and may at times feel more conventional and less reflective of the region than on Backroads Hotel trips.
In contrast to our Hotel trips, which typically have similar room categories, the Ponant ships offer a wide range of stateroom categories to choose from. The top-tier staterooms often fill fast, so book as early as possible if this is important to you.
The combination of Iceland's prolific waterfalls, vast icefields, vibrant green landscape and warm ocean currents makes this island like no other place in the world. The island's climate can be as surprising as its terrain, with weather patterns and microclimates that can bring sun, wind, fog, sleet, rain and snow all in the same day (or hour!). It's often very cold and wet, so please be sure to bring warm layers and waterproof shoes and gear for every day of the trip.
In addition, the fluctuating weather may result in delays to port departures and trip itinerary changes, but rest assured that your Backroads Trip Leaders are always prepared to make necessary adjustments to ensure a great trip while keeping safety the top priority.