North Atlantic Saga – Scotland, Faroe Islands and Iceland

004223 - W20

Emerging from the mists of legend, the north Atlantic isles are wonders of geology, ecology, and human history. From the craggy coastline of Scotland, past the staggering cliffs of the Faroe Islands to the volcanic plains of Iceland, this expedition charts a course unlike any other on Earth.

Not Included
Tour Notes
  • Stand among the Neolithic standing stones of Stenness and Brodgar
  • Wander the prehistoric villages of Skara Brae and Jarlshof, c. 3180 BC
  • Follow the Viking explorers on sea-routes recorded in the Norse sagas
  • Be among the few to sail the dramatic seascapes and cliffs of western Faroes
  • See one of the world’s newest islands, the volcanic Surtsey in Iceland

Tour Code:
004223 - W20

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Overview of the North Atlantic Saga

Join us as we explore ancient Neolithic ruins on rugged Celtic islands, and sail into the sagas of Norse explorers bound for far-flung Arctic shores. Hikers and bird-watchers alike will delight in the puffins and skuas that wheel over wave-battered headlands. You’ll experience local culture in villages that have been occupied since ancient times, and meet modern-day fishermen working the same waters that fed their forebears.

Find seabird populations abounding in their vast nesting grounds. Photograph exquisite wildflowers in early summer bloom. Visit newborn islands, picturesque communities, and sprawling glaciers. Join the lucky few who have travelled in the wake of the Vikings from Aberdeen to Rekyavík—charting an ancient course between modern ports, amid the mythic islands of the north Atlantic!

Day 1: Aberdeen, - the adventure begins in the Granite City

Aberdeen—the Granite City, or the Silver City—is the third most populous urban area in Scotland. Many of Aberdeen’s buildings are of locally quarried granite; the high mica content of this stone can sparkle like silver. The traditional industries of fishing, paper-making, shipbuilding, and textiles, have been overtaken by the oil industry since discovery of North Sea oil in the 1970s. Aberdeen’s heliport is one of the busiest in the world. The city is famed for its forty-five parks, gardens, and floral displays.

We board the Ocean Endeavour in the evening.

Day 2: Orkney, Heart of Neolithic Orkney - a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Wander through the stone walls of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you’ll find the 4,000-year-old Ring of Brodgar. Tour the Hall of Clestrain, childhood home of Arctic explorer John Rae and take in the sights of the city of Kirkwall, dominated by the massive St. Magnus Cathedral, dating from 1137.

Day 3: Fair Isle - birdwatching at Quaint Island community

Journey to charming Fair Isle, once a Viking hub and now an idyllic island colony of artists and shepherds. Keep your binoculars handy to spot some of the 350 bird species that the island boasts, including puffins and great skuas in substantial numbers. Take a tour of the local museum, dedicated to preserving island heritage.

Day 4: Sumba, Suðuroy Island, Faroe Islands - Faroese culture and fantastic hiking

Visit the village of Sumba on Suðuroy Island, population 239 and occupied since the seventh century—it is also a stronghold of Faroese chain dancing. Hike the foothills of nearby Beinisvørð Mountain, affording spectacular, panoramic views of the region.

See for yourself why the island is famed for its dramatic cliffs towering over the North Atlantic and enjoy this paradise for birds, including European storm petrels and Atlantic puffins.

Day 5: Tórshavn - the island's capital city with charming harbour and old town

Explore the splendid little city of Tórshavn (“Thor’s harbour”), the Faroe Islands’ capital and a former Viking trading centre. Be sure to stop in at the treasured national art gallery at Nordic House, surrounded by gorgeous grounds with walking trails. Experience excellent shopping, restaurants, and pubs.

Day 6 - 7: Western Faroe Islands - dramatic mountains, cliffs and waterfalls

Travel to the northwestern shores of Eysturoy and Streymoy islands, perfect for hiking, birding, and photography. You’ll love these charming villages connected by high-tech tunnels through mountains and beneath the ocean floor, a unique and startling infrastructure feature of the Faroes.

Take the perfect photo at the Múlafossur waterfall in Gásadalur, a small village home to about twenty people reached via one such tunnel—but look for the old switchback trail over the mountain, once used by the local postman when this village was only accessible by foot!

Day 8: Mykines Island - excellent birdwatching

Make a stop at Mykines, the westernmost of the Faroe Islands and a geological marvel, where great columns of basalt tower thirty metres above the ocean.

Enjoy excellent birdwatching on the islet of Mykineshólmur, connected by a forty-metre footbridge to the western end of Mykines, famed for its sea stacks and a lighthouse dating to 1909. The island has been identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International.

Day 9: At Sea - learn onboard and relax out on deck

Deepen your understanding of the environment, cultures, and history of the region as we steam across the North Atlantic towards Iceland. Enjoy workshops and presentations, watch a documentary, and get out on deck!

Day 10: Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands), Iceland - marvel at volcanic landscapes

Witness geology in action at Vestmannaeyjar, lying off the south coast of Iceland and comprised of fourteen islands, numerous rocks, and skerries. Learn about the compelling history of this volcanically active area that has experienced two major eruptions in recent times. 1963 saw the formation of the island of Surtsey and the Eldfell eruption ten years later destroyed much of Heimaey, the largest of the Vestmannaeyjars.

Enjoy a beautiful Zodiac cruise searching for the numerous species of seabirds, including the famous puffin, that nest in the steep rock faces along the ocean cliffs here.

Day 11: Reykjavík

Complete your journey in Reykjavík, Iceland’s cosmopolitan capital that was established in the year 874 CE. Food, culture, and nightlife abound, while the National Culture House preserves treasures like the Poetic Edda and the Norse Sagas in their original manuscripts.

Today disembark the Ocean Endeavour and transfer to the airport. Or, extend your trip in Iceland by booking on the Iceland Circumnavigation cruise, one of the many fine escorted tours available or a self-drive in Iceland.

  • Eleven days of on-board accommodation in the cabin category booked
  • Shipboard meals, afternoon tea, 24-hour coffee, tea and snacks
  • Hors d’ouevres and snacks during evening recaps
  • Expertise and guidance of expedition staff
  • On-board educational programming and interactive workshops
  • Evening entertainment
  • $250 Discovery Fund Fee
  • Nikon Camera Trial Program
  • Sightseeing including museum entries, park access and port taxes
  • Zodiac tours
  • On-site archaeology workshops
  • Local community-based performances, presentations and demonstrations
Not Included
  • Local community-based performances, presentations and demonstrations
  • Mandatory medical / evacuation insurance
  • Additional touring options such as bicycle rentals
  • Personal expenses
  • Additional expenses in the event of delays or Itinerary changes
  • Discretionary gratuities to ship’s crew (suggest US$15 per passenger, per day)
  • Visas, or inoculations, if required
  • Possible fuel surcharges as assessed by the cruise company
Tour Notes

Save 10% off regular berth cost, based on double occupancy, for new bookings made and under deposit by December 15, 2017. This special offer can be combined with the pay in full promotion.
Singles: Free single supplement! Singles get their own cabin in categories 3-7 aboard the Ocean Endeavour at no additional cost–subject to availability.
Multiple expedition savings: Book multiple expeditions with Adventure Canada in a single calendar year aboard the Ocean Endeavour and receive 10% off the total berth cost of Arctic itineraries and 20% off the total berth cost of east coast itineraries!
30 Under 30: Save 30% on the berth cost of travellers under thirty aboard Ocean Endeavour expeditions!
Children & Infants: Children under two travel for free, and children between two and four pay for charter flights only!

Some of these promotions can be combined to off even more savings! To check availability for any of these special offers and applicable terms and condition, just give us a call!

Disclaimer: We do our utmost to ensure that information posted on our website is correct at the time of publication, however trip details are subject to change without notice by the suppliers and operators involved. We update the information as soon as possible when changes are advised to us, however, we cannot assume responsibility for such changes made by the suppliers and operators.