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Encounter a dramatic volcanic landscape of geysers, hot springs, waterfalls, glaciers and black sand beaches

Iceland is a country that begs to be explored, and you’ll navigate to hard-to-reach areas, unlocking the secrets of the west coast on this 8-day small ship adventure cruise. Experience rugged landscapes, ancient stories of Vikings and the Norse, and exceptional wildlife viewing opportunities. Aboard the M/Y Callisto, surrounded by rich fabrics, woodwork, antiques and fine works of art, cast off from Akureyri and cruise past soaring coastal cliffs lined with birds to the far north-western reaches of the island, where few travellers tread. Disembark to learn about Iceland’s unique heritage and culture, exploring historic museums and towns – from tiny fishing villages to the country’s northernmost city Siglufjordur. Walk to waterfalls of the gods, see Europe’s most powerful glacier, choose to visit volcanoes on an isolated island, then dock in fascinating Reykjavik. This cruise will reveal the inspirational, ancient, and untamed beauty of Iceland.

Akureyri, Iceland
Reykjavik, Iceland
Adventure Cruising
Physical rating
Min 7
Group size
Min 1, Max 34

Why we love this trip

  • Icelandic tourism is booming, but it’s still mostly land-based around the famous - yet well-worn - Golden Circle route. We’re the only adventure company offering this unique coastal itinerary.

  • This tour ticks off a few iconic Icelandic attractions like Godafoss and Barnafoss, but also some out-of-the-way spots like the volcanic Heimaey Island.

  • While bigger cruise liners have to moor out at sea and commute into shore via tender, we’ll drop anchor in the middle of port towns like Akranes or Isafjodur. You can hop on or off the boat as you please.

  • On Day 4 we sail directly beneath the incredible Latrarbag Cliffs, a sheer 450 metre wall of volcanic rock, home to millions of puffins and northern gannets.

  • Many land-bound Iceland itineraries never make it to the stunning West Fjordlands, and rarely to the fishing villages of the north coast. You’ll meet native herring fisherman and get a feel for the local way of life.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is a small ship adventure cruise, which means you’ll be sailing on a yacht with between 30 – 50 other people. The boat is spacious and comfortable, but it focuses more on the destination than on-board activities. Instead of a pool, we have the sea itself. Instead of a casino, we’ve got board games and a good book. There’s also no formal dress code to worry about. Wifi is available for a small charge.

  • Our ship moves under engine power, rather than sailing, so all cabins will experience light engine noise when the ship is moving (and occasionally when we drop anchor). It’s probably worth packing earplugs if you’re a light sleeper.

  • Unlike other ships that cruise through the night, we’ll spend our evenings docked at port. This will give you more time to dine ashore and enjoy the evenings in port. Cruising will mostly take place during the day.

  • Onshore activities and excursions will involve a bit of walking. You’ll be visiting ancient sites and historical places, and at times you may have to cross cobbled streets and uneven ground, sometimes in hot conditions. If you have any concerns, please speak to your group leader before taking part.

  • If you’re concerned about seasickness, there are seasickness tablets on-board. The ship will experience some roll and pitch in choppy conditions, however all of our ships come equipped with stabilisers to minimise movement. Most of our departures run in peak season, when the seas are calmer. Your crew will do all they can to minimise any discomfort.

  • There are no lifts (elevators) on-board our ships, so you’ll have to navigate a few steep flights of stairs on-board. Handrails are always available.

  • If you’re keen to swim off the boat, this may not be the tour for you. Even in high summer, the waters around Iceland are far too cold for a dip.


Embarkation will take place between 3 and 4pm. We overnight in port with time for an optional late afternoon walking excursion in Akureyri.
Meals Included
  • Dinner
This morning our full day optional excursion will take you from Akureyri to Husavik (where you will meet the Callisto in the evening).
Leaving Akureyri, we will head for Godafoss, Waterfall of the Gods - one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland; the water of the river Skjalfandafljot falls from a height of 12 m over a width of 30 m. Driving along the shores of Lake Myvatn our next stop is by the unique craters at Skutustadir before enjoying lunch in the area. Dimmuborgir lava labyrinth,is a paradise of towering lava castles, natural arches and countless unexplored grottos and we will spend time exploring the area, before headin to Namaskard thermal field. The gurgling purple and yellow sulphur cauldrons are so hot, they actually boil.
We rejoin the Callisto in Husavik and will spend some time walking around this colourful port. Overnight in port
Optional Activities
  • Lake Myvatn from Husavik to Akureyri full day tour - EUR123
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Morning sailing through the Skjafandi Bay to Siglufjordur. As always our Captain will inform you of whales’ sightings.
Midday arrival in Siglufjordur, Iceland’s northernmost city, very close to the Arctic Circle and possibly the most picturesque port of Iceland. Once known as the capital of Herring fishing. The optional walking tour takes you to visit the award-winning Herring Era Museum, with a fun and energetic performance of the herring salting show. You step back in time as herring girls salt and pack herring into barrels under the watchful eye of the manager. Get caught up in the lively accordion music and ring dancing before sampling traditional rye bread, local herring and Icelandic schnapps! Guests will hear a short introduction to the history of the herring fishing industry and be invited to explore the museum’s three buildings. Before heading to the ship we tour the Folk Music Center and learn about Reverend Bjarni’s work in collecting and preserving the country’s musical heritage. The Centre offers a chance to see and hear Icelandic musical instruments from centuries past and the performance of traditional Icelandic folk songs and rhymes.
In the afternoon, we sail for Isafjordur- Overnight at sea
Optional Activities
  • Herring Heyday & Siglufjordur 1/2 day tour - EUR90
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Morning arrival at Isafjordur, a large fishing port in Wesfjords. Our morning optional excursion will take us from Isafjordur harbour on a drive through the center of Isafjordur and the first stop is made at the outdoor exhibit of Osvor just outside Bolungarvik. Osvor is an old fisherman’s hut that was restored in 1988. Osvor is a perfect example of how life was for Icelandic fishermen until the beginning of the 20th century. From Osvor we drive to Bolungarvik for sightseeing in the village and visit the small church, were you’ll enjoy a music program. From Bolungarvik we drive back to Isafjordur, on the way you will be able to see Buna River and a waterfall in Tunguskogur and sip fresh mountain water that flows down the stream clear and refreshing. We drive around the old streets of Isafjordur and end in the maritime and folk museum. The museum is situated in one of the oldest houses in Isafjordur, beside it are 3 other houses, all from the same area, around 1780, and all well preserved. Icelandic refreshments including a snaps, dried fish and shark (preserved Iceland style) are served on request. This tour gives a good view of the West fjords. It emphasizes on the human side of the struggle to survive in times gone by, the beautiful but sometimes harsh landscape of the West fjords and the life of the inhabitants in recent times.
Overnight at Isafjordur, Iceland.
Optional Activities
  • Isafjordur Life and Culture 1/2 day tour - EUR105
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Morning optional excursion from Isafjordur to Bildudalur. The Callisto sails -without passengers who are joining the excursion - to Bildudalur. On the optional excursion, we will see the breathtaking scenery of the West fjords, harsh landscape, sharp mountain ridges, deep and beautiful fjords where the farmers and the villages cuddle together on a narrow strip of land. The West fjords are a favorite among many and for those who experience those fjords for the first time, are completely amazed of this mesmerizing and mystical scenery. Drive to Dynjandi waterfall, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. There is a bit of a walk up to the waterfall, but for those who want to see it up close are in for a treat, as they will also see smaller waterfalls surrounding Dynjandi. The bus takes us back to Bildudalur, where the elusive sea creatures have been given a worthy home at the Icelandic Sea Monster Museum. With a lively mix of words, images and videos, an action-packed multimedia display that culminates in a spectacular interactive plinth, the first of its kind in Iceland First-hand accounts from eye-witnesses, are joined on-screen by academic theories on the nature of sea monsters, while a variety of relics and artifacts relating to this mysterious branch of zoology appear throughout the museum as tangible evidence for their existence. From the museum a short walk will take us back to the ship through the little town of Bíldudalur. We rejoin the Callisto in port and sail South after lunch, cruising around the Westford coast line and sail past the Latrarbag cliffs which rise 450 m over the sea .Overnight at sea.
Optional Activities
  • Dynjandi Waterfall and Sea Monsters Museum 1/2 day tour - EUR164
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning we reach Borgarnes and disembark by tenders for our full day Optional excursion to Deildartunguhver, Europe's most powerful thermal spring and to the Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls area. We will stop in Reykholt which was at one time one of the intellectual centers of the island and had for many years one of the most important schools of the country. Here lived in the Middle Ages one of the most important persons in Icelandic history: Snorri Sturluson. He was a famous poet and politician whose records of the Old Norse language and mythology of medieval Iceland are invaluable to modern scholars. He lived and died here. Remains of his farm and a bathroom with hot pot and a tunnel between the bath and the house can still be visited. In the afternoon we rejoin the ship and sail to the Westfjords. Overnight at sea to Heimaey - Westmann Islands.
Optional Activities
  • Icelandic Viking Trails full day tour - EUR202
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Special Information
Please note, for 2018 departures, the ship will dock at Akranes instead of Borganes but the activity on offer will be the same
We reach Heimaey Island in the morning and discover a community which almost disappeared during a 1973 eruption that buried 400 homes and create a mountain. Heimaey is also known as the Pompeii of the North and our Optional half day excursions will make a first stop at “Sprangan”, a cliff where young islanders are taught the local sport of rope swinging. On we go to the Herjólfsdalur valley, where ruins of old farmhouses dating back to the year 650 AD are pointed out. The tour continues along the western part of the island, providing an opportunity to view the outer islands. Our drive back to the harbor takes us between two volcanoes, the 5,000 year old “Helgafell” and the considerably younger Eldfell whose history is somewhat more recent. At 2am on the night of January 23rd 1973, a massive eruption began in the eastern part of Heimaey. Almost all of the 5,000 inhabitants were safely evacuated to the mainland. Next stop is the viewpoint located at the base of this volcano. Our tour then continues over the new lava fields into the very centre of the volcano’s crater. From the crater we drive directly into town passing the ruins of a house buried in the lava, continuing through the main streets of town. On our way back to the harbour we make a stop at the “Skansinn” wooden church, donated to the people of the Westman Islands by the state of Norway by way of commemorating the millennium of Christianity in Iceland. We leave Heimaey in the afternoon and sail to Reykjavik. Overnight at sea.
Optional Activities
  • Heimaey Island Tour - EUR61
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Disembarkation will take place after breakfast.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast


7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners


Small Cruise Ship


Small Cruise Ship 7 nights

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Important notes

Your voyage is operated by our partner company, Variety Cruises.
On this itinerary, shore excursions are optional and are paid on board the ship in Euro’s. The price and a description of these excursions are listed in the day to day itinerary.
Adventure Cruising trips have a deposit of A$600 per person (different amounts apply in other currencies) and the balance is due 90 days before departure.
It is not possible to share with a stranger on a Variety Cruises voyage and single travellers must pay the Single Occupancy rate.
Children from the age of 7 can be accommodated on these voyages. Each boat has one cabin category that will accommodate a 3rd person allowing for triple sharing. Any child under the age of 18 must share with an adult.

Essential trip information

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