Iceland by Sea Ocean Cruise Walking & Hiking Tour
Passage to the Land of Fire & Ice
Discover Iceland as the Vikings did... by sea! Aboard a luxury ship, journey toward the Arctic Circle. Sojourn on secluded islands with vast puffin colonies. Cruise down magnificent fjords toward unspoiled wilderness. Venture inland to explore the wild volcanic landscape. Feel your own saga unfold as you glide effortlessly through Nordic waters.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Small Luxury Ship
Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.
- Hike amid ancient volcanoes, bizarre rock formations, thundering waterfalls and pristine fjords as you voyage near the Arctic Circle
- Experience outings exclusive to Backroads guests through dramatic landscapes and on secluded islands with cliff-nesting birds
- Rejuvenate in mineral-rich thermal pools, venture near steaming mud pots and hidden cascades and witness geothermal power in action
- Indulge in the luxury of the intimate Ponant superyacht—with fine French cuisine, open-air lounges, a pool and spa treatments
Small Luxury Ship
DAYS 1-2 Begin your adventure in Thingvellir National Park | Trek through a geothermal valley past bubbling mud pots | Be swept away by magnificent Snæfellsjökull National Park | On foot, discover Iceland's quintessential landscapes, including seaside cliffs, otherworldly rock formations and rolling farmlands | Keep an eye out for kittiwakes, gulls and arctic terns | While our ship sails, grab a pair of binoculars and search for whales and seabirds.
DAYS 3-4 Greet one of the largest colonies of Iceland's most famous seabird, the Atlantic puffin (making their home here during April through August) | The vibrant green and grassy island of Grímsey is home to more than 60 species of birds | Marvel at beautiful basalt columns created when heavy lava flow met with the cold sea | Peek into Grjótagjá Lava Cave—a brilliant cavern where scenes of Game of Thrones were filmed | Take in the views of serene and surreal Lake Mývatn.
DAYS 5-6 Explore the charming village of Súdavík with views of the largest fjord in the Westfjords | Hike through a spectacular ravine with a mighty waterfall | Tour the bustling fishing town of Ísafjördur with our local guide | At Heimaey, climb to the crater rim of Eldfell Volcano, where panoramic vistas await.
DAY 7 Cruise to one of the country's most active geothermal regions | Trek near the active volcano of Mount Hengill | Hike along steaming waterfalls and take a dip in thermal waters | Head further into the breathtaking Reykjadalur Valley, past bubbling mud pots and a hidden cascade.
DAY 8 Enjoy a leisurely breakfast on board before bidding farewell and 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: 1-3
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 terrain on this trip is a mix of narrow rocky mountain trails, well-maintained paths and rolling headlands, with some steeper inclines and descents.
- All breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners
- Expert Backroads Trip Leaders, on ship and on shore
- Off-the-beaten path exploration
- Access to all ship amenities
- Impeccable and personalized service from ship staff and Backroads Leaders
- Exclusive activities that amplify your appreciation and understanding of the local culture
- Exclusive routes
- Gratuities on ship and on shore handled by your Backroads Leaders
- Exploring lesser known routes away from busy ports
- Easy-to-use route directions so you're free to explore independently
- Access to all ship activities and excursions
- Wine included with all onboard meals
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 ice fields, 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!). Please be sure to bring warm layers and waterproof 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.