Join us aboard the MS Island Sky for an expedition which combines an indepth exploration of the remote and little visited Faroe Islands with time spent exploring Iceland, one of the most extraordinary and dramatic lands on the planet. A journey by small ship is the ideal way to get up close to nature and explore areas inaccessible to larger vessels and an expedition such as this can only be undertaken by a special vessel with the self-sufficient qualities of the MS Island Sky. With her expert team and fleet of Zodiacs we will be able to land on remote beaches and cruise close to shorelines and cliffs crowded with birdlife. With just over 100 travelling companions, the atmosphere on board is warm and friendly and ashore with our local experts we will divide into small groups thereby enjoying a more comprehensive and peaceful experience.
We will set sail from Oban, enjoying the opportunity to visit St Kilda before sailing north to the Faroe Islands. Once a stopping point for Viking explorers, this mysterious collection of 18 islands set in the North Atlantic, halfway between Norway and Iceland, is a paradise for walkers and bird watchers. The intriguing history of the islands can be traced back to the Irish monks who settled here in the 6th century and the 9th century seafaring explorers who traversed the North Sea. Here, a highlight will be seeing the many puffins and other sea birds nesting and we will spend three days exploring the villages and rolling hills of these distant isles before venturing further north to Iceland.
Iceland is without doubt one of the most extraordinary and dramatic lands on the planet and whilst exploring the island we will witness the immense scale of the landscape dominated by towering snow-capped mountains, thundering waterfalls and spontaneous erupting geysers as we learn of the centuries old legacies of a Viking and Norse heritage. Europe’s least populated country offers the visitor a truly unparalleled experience of elemental forces at work. We will visit some of its most dramatic areas and, whilst we sail its waters, will look out for humpback whales, orcas, white-beaked dolphins and observe the colonies of seabirds.
Embark the MS Island Sky this afternoon. Transfers will be provided from Glasgow Airport and Glasgow Central Station at a fixed time. Sail early this evening.
Awake this morning in St Kilda, a remarkable uninhabited archipelago some fifty miles beyond the Outer Hebrides. Dominated by the highest cliffs and sea stacks in Britain, Hirta, St Kilda’s main island was occupied on and off for at least two thousand years, with the last 36 Gaelic speaking inhabitants evacuated at their own request in 1930. Immediately after the evacuation, the island was bought by the Marquess of Bute to protect the island’s thousands of seabirds including puffin and fulmars, and in 1957 it was bequeathed to The National Trust for Scotland. St Kilda is one of only two dozen UNESCO World Heritage Sites with dual status reflecting its natural and cultural significance. The local ranger will join us on board before our expedition staff lead a number of guided walks on the island. Later, cruise past one of the largest gannetries in the world, Stac Lee.
Over lunch we will arrive at Suduroy, the southernmost island of the Faroe Islands. From the port of Tvoroyri we will have a choice of activities. Choose to join an island drive passing the beautiful scenery as we drive between the villages seeing the stunning geology, fjords, tunnels and architecture of the island and end at the southernmost point and the Akraberg lighthouse. In Porkeri we will take the ridge-top road which winds up the mountainside for wonderful views towards the steep cliffs on the west coast, the Beinisvoro promontory to the north and the luscious grass slopes to the east. To locals, this delivers the essence of the Faroe Islands with mountains and fjords, villages and valleys, birds, sheep and nature. Alternatively, those feeling active may wish to join a hike to Hvaanhagi, a beautiful, uninhibited place north of Tvoroyri on the east coast of Suduroy. The view is fantastic towards the three islands Litla Dímun, Stora Dimun and Skuvoy.
From our berth this morning we will join a guided tour through Torshavn over the hills to Kirkjubour, the island’s oldest cultural centre, where we see the ruins of the 13th century St Magnus Cathedral and the 11th century church, still in use. We also visit the 900-year old ‘Roykstovan’, the old bishopric, considered to be the oldest wooden house in Europe. For those feeling active we will arrange a hike in the hills surrounding the town to discover the local flora and fauna. After lunch on board, we will drive to the beautiful village of Saksun, an isolated settlement situated beneath steep majestic mountains. We visit Duvugaroar, an old farmhouse, which is now a museum and visit a traditional Faeroese wooden church in Kollafjord.
Vestmanna is our base this morning as we explore the northwest corner of Streymoy and the nearby cliffs. We will board local boats to explore the vertical cliffs that climb almost 1500 feet, sailing into grottos carved by the surf over the years and watching the thousands of seabirds including puffins, guillemots, fulmars and kittiwakes that nest here each summer. Return to the ship for lunch and spend a relaxing afternoon on board sailing towards Iceland.
Today we will see the shimmering white Vatnajokull Glacier, Europe’s largest glacier, sometimes called an icecap. The 600 metre thick ice surmounts active volcanoes, one of which erupted in 1996, creating a crater on the surface of the glacier, a most unusual phenomenon. We will drive to the otherworldly glacial lagoon of Jokulsarlon, a dramatic drive through some of the finest scenery that Iceland offers. Once we reach Jokulsarlon, the 100 metre deep glacial river lagoon which is full of large icebergs, carved from the glacier Breioamerkurjokull, we will embark on a cruise on the pristine water, sailing in between the blue, white and black ice.
Enjoy the benefits of our small ship as we explore the lesser known fjords in the south east of Iceland. This morning we hope to land at the small town at Neskaupstadur for a chance to visit the excellent museum which features the local art gallery, Museum of Natural History and Maritime Museum. The more active can hike to the avalanche barriers behind the town, offering great views of the surrounding areas. This afternoon we cruise through Mjoifjordur where we can enjoy the wilderness of this remote area.
Over breakfast we arrive in Husavik, known as the whale capital of Iceland. There will be a choice of excursions to choose from. Using local boats explore Skjalfandi Bay looking for one of the 15 species of whales, the most popular being humpback, minke and blue whales, as well as white beaked dolphins and many different kinds of birds. After lunch on board we have the afternoon to explore the pretty town including time at the excellent whale museum, the exploration museum and quaint local church. Alternatively, visit the Lake Myvatn-Krafla area, a fine example of the volcanic world with lava fields, boiling and steaming mud pools and steam vents of sulphur and craters. The area illustrates the sheer magnitude of Iceland’s forces at work. The lake itself, with beautiful natural rock formations and hot springs, is also a unique ecosystem and the largest migratory bird sanctuary in Europe. We will offer time in the natural baths before returning to the ship.
Spend the morning on Grimsey Island. The Arctic Circle bisects this island which is known for its tiny community, basalt cliffs and large variety of birdlife. On arrival join our expedition team members for a nature walk on the island. Over lunch we sail to Siglufjordur, a picturesque town that enjoys an idyllic setting in a small fjord backed by mountains. Here in the early 1900s, a booming economy due to the herring industry resulted in a prosperous town with some marvellous Icelandic architecture. Stroll through the town and visit the Herring Era Museum. Be on deck early this evening as we sail down Eyafjordur, on the lookout for whales, during our approach to Akureyri.
Akureyri is a delightful town on the north coast of Iceland and not what you would expect to find in such a remote location. In summer months the gardens and window boxes are ablaze with colour. On a morning tour we visit the spectacular Godafoss Waterfall where water from the Skjalfandafljot river falls from a height of 12 metres over a width of 30 metres. From Godafoss we return to the charming town of Akureyri and visit the botanical garden which was founded in 1912 and grows examples of every species indigenous to Iceland as well as an extensive collection of high-latitude and high-altitude plants from around the world. Our tour ends at the Art Alley, where artisans keep their workshops and galleries. Return to the ship for lunch and sail to Hrisey Island this afternoon where you can join nature walks. The island is known for its rich and diverse bird life and approximately 40 species of bird’s nest on the island.
In the early morning we will sail by the Hornbjarg Cliffs. These stunning cliffs rise 534 metres from the sea and are one of the largest centres for puffins in Iceland. We continue to the Western Fjords, an isolated but spectacular area of Iceland. Arriving in the early afternoon we will explore Isafjardardjup with the MS Island Sky and depending on local weather conditions, we hope to land on Vigur, a serene little island with only five residents but home to many more puffins, eider ducks, black guillemots and Arctic terns. We will also visit Iceland’s only extant windmill dating from the 19th century.
During breakfast we will cruise past the Latrabjarg cliffs, the westernmost point of Europe. Later on, we sail to Stykkisholmur located in Breidafjordur Bay and surrounded by an archipelago of islands. The town is famed for its beautiful and well preserved old houses and is also the gateway to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula which is dominated by the Snæfellsjokull volcano, regarded as one of the symbols of Iceland and known as the setting for Jules Verne’s “Journey to the Centre of the Earth”. Enjoy an afternoon tour which will include a drive through the lava landscape to the glacier visiting pretty fishing ports and beaches along the way or spend the afternoon at leisure in the town.
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your flight back home.
This voyage is a combination of both expedition style cruising and small ship destination cruising. Whilst we will be alongside most days, we will be at anchor and the vessel’s Zodiacs will be utilised to transport passengers ashore when visiting St Kilda, Grimsey, Hrisey Island and Vigur Island. The use of the Zodiacs will be key to the operation of the planned itinerary. If you have any queries pertaining to the use of Zodiacs or the level of fitness required for this voyage please do not hesitate to ask one of our experienced travel consultants.
Itineraries are subject to change.
Bridge Deluxe Balcony Suite
Balcony Suites The Premium Balcony Suites on the Promenade Deck measure 20.2 square metres and feature a walk-in wardrobe, en-suite bathroom with shower and a private balcony measuring 5.6
Promenade Owner's Corner Suite
The two corner suites on the Promenade Deck measure 22.6 square metres and feature one window facing to the side and two forward facing portholes, a walk-in wardrobe and ensuite bathroom with shower.
Caledonian Superior Suite
Suites on the Caledonian Deck measure 21.6 square metres and feature en-suite bathrooms with bath tub and shower (except for suites 329, 330 and 331 which feature only a shower), spacious wardrobe and large window.
The Premium Suites on the Promenade Deck measure 20.2 square metres and feature a spacious wardrobe, en-suite bathroom with shower (cabins 431 and 432 feature a bathtub) and a large window.
Promenade Prem. Balcony Suite
The Premium Balcony Suites on the Promenade Deck measure 20.2 square metres and feature a walk-in wardrobe, en-suite bathroom with shower and a private balcony measuring 5.6
Castle Deck Standard Suite
Vessel Type: Luxury Small Ship
Length: 90 metres
Passenger Capacity: 116
Built / refurbished: 1992 / 2010 / 2017
Sister ship to Hebridean Sky. Island Sky and Hebridean Sky are truly sisters. Built in the same Italian Shipyard, both boast spacious, well-appointed suites, stylish common areas, and redundant core technology that allows them to operate smoothly, even under the most challenging of conditions. Both ships are all-suite, all-inclusive small expedition vessels with touches of elegance throughout. The Island Sky is scheduled for additional upgrades in 2017, including the addition of tinted sliding glass doors to all cabins on the Promenade Deck.
Complimentary Wine or Beer with Dinner
Complimentary Coffee/Tea station
On-board MD and Facilities
Dedicated Passenger Service Manager
Pre-voyage hotel night
Complimentary Expedition Jacket
Elevator serving all passenger decks
Upgraded WIFI Internet
Library with computers
Panoramic Top Deck Observation Platform
Bar/Lounge with Live Entertainment
Lounge with Audiovisual Facilities
DVD Movie Library
Tinted sliding glass doors in all cabins on the Promenade Deck
Great expeditions require great food! Our team of world-class chefs offer breakfast, lunch and dinner menus that change daily. They have boat-loads of creativity, so you are sure to experience a variety of remarkable cuisine throughout your voyage.
All Suites Feature:
Your choice of queen-sized or two twin-sized beds
Sitting area with sofa and side chair
Flat Screen TV with DVD/CD player
Independent temperature controls
Marble-appointed bathroom with fine toiletries
220 square feet or more
Sofa can be converted to bed for third person
PLEASE NOTE - DECK PLANS CAN VARY.
• Voyage on board in selected cabin category
• House wine, beer and soft drinks with lunch and dinner on board
• Expedition team
• Shore excursions as per the itinerary (Note: Some itineraries have optional excursions as per the specific exclusions)
• Port Charges/ Taxes
• Transfers as per the itinerary (Note: Transfers are offered in conjunction with group flights only when booked together, both can be taken off if included in the itinerary and credited)
Trip specific inclusions;
Day 1 - Transfers will be provided from Glasgow Airport and Glasgow Central Station at a fixed time
International flight from Reykjavik to London. Can be removed resulting in a reduced fare
All meals while on board
• Passport and Visa costs where applicable
• Travel insurance
• Beverages other than those listed in inclusions
• Meals when not on board the ship unless otherwise stated
• Pre and post voyage accommodation unless otherwise stated
• Optional excursions as per specific itinerary
• Any items of a personal nature
Note: This voyage is a combination of both expedition style cruising and small ship destination cruising. Whilst we will be alongside most days, we will be at anchor and the vessel’s Zodiacs will be utilised to transport passengers ashore when visiting St Kilda, Grimsey, Hrisey Island and Vigur Island. The use of the Zodiacs will be key to the operation of the planned itinerary.