Situated in the Atlantic Ocean and with Greenland as its western neighbour, Iceland is a remote volcanic island with mind-blowing landscapes and fascinating culture and history to please even the most discerning traveller. With most of the country uninhabited, much of Iceland’s terrain consists of plateaux, mountain peaks, and fertile lowlands. The landscape is characterised by volcanoes, thundering waterfalls, geysers, geothermal hot springs, black sand beaches, bubbling mud pools and lava fields. With many deep fjords that are ideal for kayaking and Zodiac cruising, and glaciers to explore including Europe’s largest, Vatnajökull, combined with splendid birdlife and friendly locals, a circumnavigation of Iceland is an experience not to be missed.

IMPORTANT NOTE: In order to experience some of Iceland’s incredible scenery, a number of the shore excursions on this itinerary require overland coach travel away from the coast.

Highlights


• Keep watch for blow holes, breaching and tail flukes as we spot whales in Húsavik

• Westfjords offer some of the remotest fjords, bays and pristine environments in Iceland – perfect for kayaking, hiking and bird-watching

• Visit Vatnajökull National Park featuring Europe’s largest glacier, glacial lagoons, black sand beaches, colourful mountains and rich birdlife, reindeers and seals

• On Heimay in the Westman Islands, see the remnants of houses buried by the 1973 volcanic eruption of Mount Eldfell and sail past UNESCO heritage-listed Surtsey Island, created by volcanic eruptions lasting 3.5 years starting in 1963

• Witness the incredible ‘heaven and hell’ contrast in landscape at Lake Mývatn – an area said to be the most geologically active area in Iceland

Arrive in Reykjavik and make your own way to our group hotel. Accommodation: Fosshotel (or similar)
After breakfast at the hotel, a transfer is included to the pier to board our ship, the Greg Mortimer. Sail into Hvalfjördur, a beautiful fjord just north of Reykjavik with wide areas of flat verdant land along majestic mountains, and beaches cut with creeks. The fjord is approximately 30 kilometres (19 miles) long and five (three miles) kilometres wide. The area is rich in bird life and is home to seals, perfect for Zodiac cruising, kayaking and hikes. Historically, Hvalfjörður was home to one of the main whaling stations in Iceland, with ships heading out into Faxaflói Bay. It was one of the most important naval stations in the North Atlantic during World War II, when Iceland was occupied by the Allies after the Nazis conquered Denmark. The old whaling station and a war museum can be found in the fjord.
Stykkisholmur is the starting point of our adventures on the Snaefellnes Peninsula, gateway Snæfellsjökull National Park. Stykkishólmur is located by Breiðafjörður Bay on the north of Snæfellsnes peninsula and is surrounded by wonderful views of the innumerable islands. One of the defining landmarks in Stykkishólmur are the old houses in the old city centre, some of which were owned by Danish traders, and every year in August there is a Danish town festival in Stykkishólmur called Danskir dagar or Danish days. The oldest house in Stykkishólmur is the Norwegian house, which dates back to 1832. The inhabitants take great pride in preserving the old houses and walking in the centre of town is like walking in another era. An area of diverse landscapes, characterised by lava fields and glistening fjords and home to bird-rich Breidafjordur Bay. The area is crowned by the magnificent, ice-capped Snæfellsjökull volcano, a 700,000-year-old dormant subglacial volcano, visible from Reykjavik on a clear day and immortalised in Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Disembark the ship at approximately 8.30 am to commence today’s full day (7 hours) excursion visiting the following areas: Arnarstapi was an important trading post in the past and had a much bigger population than it has now. Columnar basalt, ravines and grottoes surround the Arnarstapi pier. There is a large arctic tern colony in the village itself, and a walk along the coastline is a great way to see birds such as kittiwake, arctic tern and fulmar. You will also pass magnificent lava formations. The seaside and the cliffs between Arnastapi and Hellnar were made a Natural Reserve in 1979. A sculpture of Bardur Snaefellsas by Ragnar Kjartansson stands by the beach at Arnarstapi. At Bjarnarhöfn, you will enjoy a guided tour of the shark museum and have the opportunity to taste the famed cured shark. Though Grundarfjörður is not the most well-known town in Snæfellsnes, Mount Kirkjufell is certainly one of the most famous mountains in Iceland, if not the world. It is not unusual for photographers from all over the world to make their way to Grundarfjörður for the sole purpose of photographing this unique landmark which has even starred in a number of films. However, there is a lot more on offer in Grundarfjörður than just Mount Kirkjufell. Nature abounds, with vibrant birdlife and spectacular waterfalls. En route to Isafjordur, we sail past the immense Látrabjarg cliffs, Iceland’s westernmost point and home to a huge population of razorbills and puffins.
Over the next two days, explore the Westfjords region featuring outstanding landscapes with jaw-dropping views of dramatic fjords carved by ancient glaciers, sheer table mountains that plunge into the sea and pristine North Atlantic vegetation. The region features attractive towns such as Isafjordur, the famous Dynjandi waterfall, and spectacular fjords offering kayaking excursions, hiking trails, and bird-watching. In true expeditionary style, we keep our itinerary flexible to allow for spontaneity based on weather and sea conditions. We plan to visit Hornstrandir peninsula, one of Iceland’s remotest and most pristine regions filled with many deep and dramatic fjords, towering bird cliffs, stunning natural beauty and opportunities for wildlife encounters. Enjoy the bountiful silence and magnificent landscapes seen only by the few adventurers that make their way here.
Picturesque Akureyri is Iceland’s second largest city outside the capital area with a superb snow-capped mountain backdrop. Explore the old town, with its beautifully maintained period houses before heading inland to nearby Mývatn region – an area said to be the most geologically active area in Iceland. Shore Excursions (choose one of the following): Option One (up to 9 hours) The Goðafoss waterfall is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland. In the year 1,000 the Lawspeaker Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði made Christianity the official religion of Iceland. After his conversion, Þorgeir threw his statues of the Norse gods into the waterfall earning the waterfall its name - waterfall of the gods. Námaskarð is well-known for its sulphurous mud springs called solfataras and steam springs called fumaroles. Even though you won’t find any pure spring water in this wonderful geothermal site of Iceland, the beauty of the colourful minerals and the gigantic mud craters are truly impressive. Dettifoss is a waterfall in northeast Iceland and is reputed to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe. The falls are 100 metres / 328 feet wide and have a drop of 44 metres / 144 feet down to the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon. Ásbyrgi is a forested horse-shoe shaped canyon in Oxarfjordur. Asbyrgi is a part of Jökulsárgljúfur, within the Vatnajökull National Park. Option two (up to 7-8 hours) Akureyri Public Park and Botanic Garden The garden is one of the northern most botanical gardens in the world. The Public Park was opened in 1912 but the botanic gardens section was open in 1957. There are about 6,600 different species of plants grown in the garden, of which, 430 species are native to Iceland. The Goðafoss waterfall is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland. In the year 1,000 the Lawspeaker Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði made Christianity the official religion of Iceland. After his conversion, Þorgeir threw his statues of the Norse gods into the waterfall earning the waterfall its name - waterfall of the gods. Dimmuborgir is an area strewn with enormous lava rocks and cliffs. The formation of these extraordinary lava cliffs and pillars are the result of molten lava flowing over a pond in the eruption of Lúdentsborgir and Þrengslaborgir some 2,300 years ago. The most famous of these formations is “The Church”, aptly named, as this is a cave, open at both ends and with a dome-like ceiling. Námaskarð earns its well-known for its sulphurous mud springs called solfataras and steam springs called fumaroles. Even though you won’t find any pure spring water in this wonderful geothermal site of Iceland, the beauty of the colourful minerals is impressive and the gigantic mud craters are truly impressive. Mývatn Nature Baths: Drawing on a centuries-old tradition, the tastefully designed complex offers bathers a completely natural experience that begins with a relaxing dip amidst clouds of steam rising up from a fissure deep in the Earth´s surface, and ends with a luxurious swim in a pool of geothermal water drawn from depths of up to 2,500 metres / 8,200 feet. Both options will end with a transfer to Húsavik, where you can explore the small town at your own leisure before reboarding the ship to sail to Grímsey Island.
Located approximately 40 km (25 miles) off the mainland, Grímsey is a verdant grassy island, probably best known for its proximity to the Arctic Circle, which cuts across the island. Many people travel to Grímsey just to say they have stepped across the imaginary line. With a tiny population of approximately 100 inhabitants, it’s a fantastic place for Zodiac cruising, kayaking, and photographing seabirds such as guillemots, gulls and puffins. Leaving Grímsey to return closer to the mainland, we spend time scanning the waters of Skjálfandi Bay around Húsavik, a town known as the Iceland’s ‘whale watching capital’, home to up to 24 different whale species, as well as dolphins and 30 variety of birds. The largest animal on Earth, the blue whale, has also been spotted in Skjálfandi Bay, and if you are lucky, you might catch a glimpse of this magnificent creature as well as others, such as orcas, fin whales and pilot whales.
Mjóifjördur (meaning narrow fjord) is an 18 km (11 mile) fjord on Iceland’s east coast length is a little-known gem cherished by locals. Hidden between Nordfjördur and Seydisfjördur mountains that provide shelter and pleasant weather, the fjord is known by locals as an excellent place to soak in the peaceful surroundings and for its spectacular waterfalls – ideal for kayaking and Zodiac cruising. Mjóifjörður is an exceptionally beautiful, tranquil and remote area with spectacular cliffs, and because of the fjord’s still weather it has lush green hills and exceptionally rich flora lining its shores. It also has the impressive Prestagil (The Priest’s Ravine) and the Hofsárgljúfur Canyon with delightful rivers and waterfalls. If it weren’t for the weekly ferry that comes here once a week in the winter, the local people would be completely isolated. At Asknes are the remains of an old whaling station, the largest in the world at the time, built by the Norwegians around 1900, with over 200 workers. Today, on the way to the tiny village, Brekkuþorp, where only about 20 people live, a shipwreck on the shore acts as a haunting reminder of the town’s whaling past.
Höfn is a lively fishing town with a healthy population of 1,800, and gateway to Vatnajökull National Park – one of the most spectacular and special parts of Iceland, home to Europe’s largest glacier, Vatnajökull - our shore excursion for the day. We’ll visit Skaftafell National Park which was established in 1967, but from 2008 it became part of the larger Vatnajökull National Park, Europe’s second largest after Yugyd Va in Russia. Inside the national park you can find glacier tongues resting on the green fields of the lowland, Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, a glacial lagoon open to the ocean and filled with floating icebergs that wash up on shore and stand gleaming on the black beach, dubbed Diamond beach. The park also boasts colourful mountains and deep valleys, as well as rich birdlife, reindeers and seals.
Located off Iceland’s south coast, the Westman Islands (Vestmannaeyjar) were formed by volcanic eruptions around 10,000 years ago. Sail past Surtsey Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site that emerged from the sea in 1963 and is one the youngest land masses on earth. Westman Islands are surrounded by 15 other uninhabited islands and around 30 rocks and skerries offering refuge for rich array of seabirds. Westman Islands are considered to have the largest Atlantic puffin colony in the world, and when sailing around the islands it is not uncommon to see puffins but also whales and seals. Heimaey is the main island in the archipelago and it has the population of around 4,200. Ashore on Heimaey, the only inhabited island in the archipelago, we see half-buried houses that remain from a violent 1973 eruption and visit the impressive Eldheimar Museum to learn about the volcanic eruption. Eruptions are a big part of the history of Westman Islands where there are two volcanoes – one that erupted around 6,000 years ago and of course, Eldfell that erupted in 1973, forcing all of the island’s inhabitants to evacuate for the mainland. Serendipitously, due to bad weather the day prior to the eruption, all the fishing boats remained in the harbour and were able to help transport Heimaey’s inhabitants to the mainland. You can learn more about the story of the eruption and the aftermath at the fascinating Eldheimar museum, which includes a display of a house that was buried in ash during the eruption.
After breakfast, bid farewell to the expedition team, crew and newfound friends as you disembark in Reykjavik, where the voyage ends. A transfer to downtown Reykjavik or to the airport is included.
In true expedition style we encourage exploration and adventure, offering flexibility in challenging environments in a way that puts you among the action to see and do as much as possible. This itinerary is only a guide and subject to change due to ice and weather conditions.

Aurora Stateroom Triple

$ 9700 AUD pp
Aurora Stateroom Triple
Deck: 3 | Quantity: 6 | Size: 21.4m2 - 22.8m2 Cabin Features Three single beds Private En-suite Porthole window Desk area Closet space Room-controlled thermostat Safe for storing valuables 42" flat-screen TV

Aurora Stateroom Twin

$ 10700 AUD pp
Aurora Stateroom Twin
Deck: 3 | Quantity: 8 | Size: 15.8m2 - 22.8m2 Cabin Features Twin single beds Private En-suite Porthole window Desk area Closet space Room-controlled thermostat Safe for storing valuables 42" flat-screen TV

Balcony Stateroom - C

$ 12000 AUD pp
Balcony Stateroom - C
Decks: 4 & 6 | Quantity: 14 | Cabin and balcony combined size: 16.1m2 - 19.3m2 Cabin Features Twin or double bed Private En-suite Floor to ceiling window Desk area Closet space Private balcony Room-controlled thermostat Safe for storing valuables 42" flat-screen TV

Balcony Stateroom - B

$ 12300 AUD pp
Balcony Stateroom - B
Decks: 4 & 6 | Quantity: 21 | Cabin and balcony combined size: 18.2m2 - 19.3 m2 Cabin Features Twin or double bed Private En-suite Floor to ceiling window Desk area Closet space Private balcony Room-controlled thermostat Safe for storing valuables 42" flat-screen TV

Balcony Stateroom - A

$ 12400 AUD pp
Balcony Stateroom - A
Decks: 4 & 6 | Quantity: 23 | Cabin and balcony combined size: 18m2 - 21m2 Cabin Features Twin or double bed Private En-suite Floor to ceiling window Desk area Closet space Private balcony Room-controlled thermostat Safe for storing valuables 42" flat-screen TV

Balcony Suite

$ 13500 AUD pp
Balcony Suite
Deck: 4 | Quantity: 2 | Room Size: 25.4 - 26.1 m2 | Balcony Size: 9.1 - 10.8 m2 Cabin Features: Twin or double bed Private en-suite Full size window Desk area Closet space Private balcony Room-controlled thermostat Safe for storing valuables 42" flat-screen TV

Junior Suite

$ 14900 AUD pp
Junior Suite
Deck: 7 | Quantity: 4 | Room Size: 30.1 m2 | Balcony Size: 14.3 m2 Cabin Features: Twin or double bed Private en-suite Full size window Desk area Closet space Private balcony Room-controlled thermostat Safe for storing valuables 42" flat-screen TV Seperate lounge area

Captain's Suite

$ 16900 AUD pp
Captain's Suite
Deck: 4 | Quantity: 1 | Room Size: 35.9 m2 | Balcony Size: 10.4 m2 Cabin Features: Twin or double bed Private en-suite Full size window Desk area Closet space Private balcony Room-controlled thermostat Safe for storing valuables Seperate lounge area 42" flat-screen TV

Greg Mortimer

Vessel Type: Expedition

Length: 104 metres

Passenger Capacity: 120

Built: 2018

Capable of negotiating the strongest winds and waves, the Greg Mortimer is built to world-class polar standards – designed in close consultation with our expedition specialists, taking advantage of our more than 25 years of experience.

The Greg Mortimer redefines expedition cruising for the future, with just 120 passengers on board in the polar regions. Not only is the ship bigger to contend with adverse weather conditions, its added creature comforts make for a more enjoyable journey out on the open ocean. The Greg Mortimer remains true to our ethos and focus on multiple landings, flexible itineraries and family atmosphere – just with an improved home base!

As a modern and custom-designed ship, the Greg Mortimer is at the cutting edge of nautical technology. Robust, powerful and built with our guests in mind, this ship marks a significant investment in our fleet's capabilities. From the European Arctic to the depths of Antarctica, and other far-flung destinations in-between, the Greg Mortimer will make your journey a breeze!

Greg Mortimer X-BOWX-BOW™

Our expeditions face some of the worst Mother Nature can throw at us. However, this won't be problem on the Greg Mortimer with the introduction of the patented X-BOW™, created by Norwegian ship designer ULSTEIN. As one of the leaders in marine engineering, ULSTEIN's X-BOW™ is an inverted bow concept that's been built on over 100 vessels in the shipping industry. Excitingly, we are the first expedition cruise operator to utilise this technology for the challenging open ocean waves! 

Hydraulic viewing platforms 

Although there is no doubt that you'll love the aesthetics of the Greg Mortimer, we are all here to admire the spectacular landscape and spot the elusive wildlife in their natural habitat. To ensure you get the best views possible, the new ship features unique viewing platforms, custom-built for the Greg Mortimer. Accessed from Deck 5, the two platforms fold out hydraulically for unobstructed views of passing marine life and seabirds – make sure your camera is locked and loaded!

Zodiac launching platform

Zodiacs are a vital part of getting up close and personal on your adventure – sneaking into areas that the Greg Mortimer can't reach. On this new ship, there are specially designed launching platforms that enables us to load Zodiacs easily and quickly, allowing you to spend more time exploring on the two to three daily landings. There are 15 Zodiacs that are boarded from either side of Deck 3 (sea level), perfect for when there is a group of fluffy cute penguin chicks that we need a photo of! 

Activity Platform

Regardless of your destination, we offer a number of additional activities to allow you to see more of the environment. From kayaking and diving to climbing and ski touring, it's these optional activities that often leave the biggest impression on your trip as a whole. Onboard the Greg Mortimer, there is a spacious prep and loading platform for these activities and more – designed in consultation with our expert activity guides.

Environmentally friendly

Climate change and carbon emissions continue to be major issues that everyone needs to be aware of and actively managing. This includes reduced emissions into the air and sea, lower energy consumption, high fuel efficiency, reduced light pollution for minimal wildlife disruption and lower on-board plastic use. It's vital to also mention the state-of-the-art virtual anchoring technology of the X-BOW™, which means the ship can float anchorless while launching Zodiacs, kayaks etc, without disturbing delicate sea floor areas. 

Safety features

This starts with the return-to-port equipment – not compulsory on a ship of this size – which duplicates the propulsion system. This enables the ship to maintain operating systems and comfort in the event of engine failure. Furthermore, the Greg Mortimer is Polar Code 6 compliant, holds BV class and is fully compliant with the latest SOLAS requirements. It's also built with a Rolls Royce stabiliser system.  If there's an incident or accident during your adventure, the ship has an on-board, fully-stocked medical centre – where our trained medical team can provide necessary treatment in a timely fashion. Safety continues to be an issue that our team takes very serious and the Greg Mortimer allows us to create an environment where you can concentrate on the brilliant landscape and wildlife, without worrying about your wellbeing.

Ship Life

Greg Mortimer is designed to serve your every need. It's your bedroom, bathroom, lounge, dining room and even your observatory. Make yourself at home, the Greg Mortimer is yours to enjoy!

Observation Points

Let's face it – you don't want windowless rooms when travelling around some of the most beautiful locations around the world. This is why the Greg Mortimer is designed with plenty of dedicated observation spaces – ideal for keen bird spotters, wildlife watchers and those wanting to watch the scenery go past. From the indoor 180-degree lounge and outdoor 360-degree open deck, both on deck 8, to the 270-degree open sundeck on level 7, there are plenty of observation points to share around the ship! If these are full, then you can take up a spot on one of the two hydraulic viewing platforms on deck 5. Aurora Expeditions also has an open bridge policy, which means at any point you can come up to the bridge and check out what the captain and officers are up to. From watching navigational practices to observing mapping techniques, you can get a firsthand look at the inner workings of the Greg Mortimer. 

Shore excursions

Although the ship is fun, the real enjoyment comes from the many shore excursions that are available. Depending on the weather and itinerary, it's possible to take two to three landings daily, taking a look at everything from rock formations and ancient ruins to cute groups of penguins. We know time is of the essence in these wild locations, so the Greg Mortimer has been designed with 15 Zodiacs, which means you can maximise your time on shore. From four dedicated sea level launching platforms, transfers are quicker, safer and enable you to get closer to the action for a longer period of time. Just remember to charge your camera before you step onto the Zodiac!

Activity options

From kayaking and skiing to diving and climbing, these are one-in-a-lifetime opportunities that you need to take advantage of.  Aboard the Greg Mortimer there is a specially designed launching platform for all activities, a concept overseen by our activity experts. This area also includes individual lockers in the expansive mudroom and rapid drying areas for wetsuits so you can quickly get warm after exploring in the elements!  

Dining

From the moment you step onto the Greg Mortimer, we aim to give you the best hospitality service possible. Starting with the official Captain's welcome, as our guests, you're welcome to 24 hours complimentary coffee, tea and snack facilities in addition to the range of different menu options and courses for each meal. Meals are served in large dining room/restaurant with family style dining, perfect to swap stories with your new expedition family. Enjoy the range of house wine, beers and soft drinks included with dinner after a long day in the wild, preparing yourself for another exciting day to follow. On the last day of your trip, the team on the Greg Mortimer put on a special farewell four-course dinner and cocktails – a perfect way to reflect on your time on the ship and consolidate lifelong friendships with the people you've met on-board.

On-board entertainment

When you’re relaxing during a sea day or you have a little downtime on the ship between excursions, what is there to do onboard the Greg Mortimer? Plenty! On all our expeditions, there are experts who lead presentations in the spacious lecture room so you can understand the region a little better. These often include topics as broad as history and culture to biology and climate change, these presentations aim to educate and entertain. If you're keen to just watch the surroundings and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, you have access to two bars/lounges where the stunning floor to ceiling windows offer a special perspective on the landscape. The Greg Mortimer is also decked out with other facilities for your enjoyment. There is a library on Deck 5 with books and maps and a Wellness Centre complete with gym equipment, sauna and spa. Feeling a little sore after walking around all day? Treat yourself to a massage at the Wellness Centre and feels the aches disappear! Keen photographers and artists will revel in the multimedia room on Deck 5.

Cabin layout for Greg Mortimer

Sea Kayaking. From (1200.00 AUD)

Kayaking in the far-flung corners of the world is an experience guaranteed to refresh your soul. Paddling in small groups, you'll glide between ice floes, brash ice and icebergs dotted with wildlife.

Photography FREE

All of our expeditions and itineraries offer fantastic photography experiences. However, on selected expeditions, a photography expert will offer lectures and presentations.

Savings on Voyages aboard Greg Mortimer

Valid on select ship voyages only and select cabins.  Offer is valid on new bookings only which must be booked and deposited by 30 September, 2019, or until sold out.

Antarctica - Summer 2020/21 - Save up to 15% on voyages.

Arctic - Summer - 2020 - Save up to 20% on Iceland Circumnavigation, West Greenland Explorer - Save up to 15% on Iceland, Jan Mayen and Svalbard and Inuit Arctic and Beyond - Save 10% on all other remaining voyages on the Greg Mortimer. Summer - 2021 - Save up to 20% on voyages.

Global Expeditions - 2020/21 - Save up to 20% on voyages. 2019–2021 - Save 10% on Patagonia only treks or 15% off a Patagonia trek when combined with an Antarctic voyage.

Solo Travellers - Limited time offer: Book an Aurora Stateroom or Balcony Stateroom (Category C only) and pay a no single supplement for a sole use cabin - available until 30th September 2019 or until sold out.

Prices online do not show the discounted rates. Terms and Conditions apply, special offer is subject to availability, please contact us for more details.

Greg Mortimer
Iceland ExpeditionExpedition
11 Days from
$ 9700 AUD pp

or call us on

NZ Freephone
0800 945 3327

AUS Freephone
1800 107 715

to help you make your reservation

Get Our Latest Brochure

Featuring the latest small ship cruises to a number of destinations, our Small Ship Cruising brochure is carefully curated to include small ship cruises from expeditions to luxury cruises to the world's most fascinating destinations including Alaska, Cuba, Croatia, the Galapagos Island and the Antarctic and Arctic.

Our Associates Include

Adventure Canada
Heritage Expeditions New Zealand
Lindblad Expeditions
Noble Caledonia
UnCruise Adventures
Variety Cruises