Discover the stunning beauty of Iceland—one of the world’s most enchanting yet rarely visited destinations during the cruise around this extraordinary Nordic island nation. Aboard the five–star, M. V. Star Pride, cruise into ports, bays and inlets inaccessible to larger vessels and watch as landscapes of ancient Viking ruins, glittering glaciers atop simmering volcanoes and pristine beauty unfold. Expert naturalist guides provide insight on the unique nature and culture of Iceland. A pre–cruise extension to Reykjavik is also planned.
Complementary alcoholic & nonalcoholic beverages are included throughout the cruise!
Frequent study leader and historian, John Meffert is a long-time proponent of preservation. As former director of the National Trust’s Southern Office, John now serves as a consultant on heritage conservation services in his hometown of Charleston, South Carolina, where he has also served as the director of the Preservation Society of Charleston preserving the historic resources of the city.
Wednesday, July 25
Depart the U.S.
Thursday, July 26
This morning, arrive in Reykjavík, the world’s northernmost capital. See the idyllic recreational sports area of Laugardalur, where geothermal water keeps an Olympic‑sized outdoor swimming pool open year round. Continue to the Pearl, Reykjavík’s remarkable landmark glass dome built atop six 10-story hot water tanks, and admire a captivating view across the city from the dome’s observation deck. Tour the National Museum for a comprehensive overview of Iceland’s history, culture and heritage. Visit the iconic Hallgrímskirkja, a towering Lutheran church and the tallest building in Reykjavík. Pass by the colorful houses of Reykjavík before boarding the Star Pride. (b/d)
Friday, July 27
Enjoy the morning cruise to the awe‑inspiring Westfjords. On charming Vigur Island—home to one single farming family and thousands of puffins, Arctic terns, black guillemots and eider ducks—observe the birds in their natural habitat and see Iceland’s only windmill, built in 1840. Visit the country’s smallest post office and enjoy coffee and cakes served by our hosts in their well‑preserved, 19th‑century house. This afternoon, cruise up the dominant fjord of this remote 14-million‑year‑old region, Ísafjörður’s Djúp (“deep”), defined by rugged mountains. Near the town of Ísafjörður, visit the open‑air Ósvör Maritime Museum where restored traditional 19th‑century fisherman’s huts and fishing equipment vividly depict the harsh reality of the lives of generations of Iceland’s fishermen. Tour Ísafjörður’s Westfjords Heritage Museum to learn more about coastal art and culture and the fascinating maritime history of this remote outpost. Attend the Captain’s Welcome Reception on board the ship this evening. (b/l/r/d)
Siglufjörður/Arctic Circle/Grímsey Island
Saturday, July 28
Picturesque Siglufjörður is a small, historic fishing hub built from the success of the herring industry. Visit the award‑winning Herring Era Museum and enjoy a lively, music-filled performance, then sample traditional local herring and Icelandic schnapps. Return to the ship for the unforgettable cruise past the mountains of Eyjafjörður, Iceland’s longest fjord, to Grímsey Island and visit Grímsey Church, built out of driftwood in 1867. Officially cross the Arctic Circle, the top of the world, where the island is treeless but lush with grasses and mosses. See thriving populations of puffins and auks—their black and white coloring is similar to a penguin’s, but auks have the distinctive ability to fly and to dive into the water. (b/l/d)
Húsavík for Lake Mývatn
Sunday, July 29
Explore northern Iceland’s extraordinary natural landscapes, stopping at Námaskarð, an unearthly field of boiling, sulfurous mud pots, and the pseudocraters at Skútustaðir, formed when hot lava flowed over the wetlands 2,300 years ago. Walk among the surreal lava formations of Dimmuborgir, the mythic source of Icelandic folklore, and drive along the shores of cerulean Lake Mývatn, a birdwatcher’s paradise and a haven for many rare migratory birds and 14 species of Iceland’s bountiful wild ducks. Continue to Goðafoss, “Waterfall of the Gods.” According to legend, this spectacular waterfall earned its name when an Icelandic chieftain threw wooden statues of his Norse gods into its crashing waters, signifying his conversion to Christianity. (b/l/d)
Monday, July 30
Seyðisfjörður is a tranquil, 11-mile-long fjord that winds toward the charming, eponymous town, where well-preserved, colorful, chalet-style houses shelter beneath Mounts Strandartindur and Bjólfur (Beowulf in English). The glittering Fjarðará River cascades down from the verdant valley and runs through the center of town into the lagoon at the head of the fjord. Visit the town’s iconic Blue Church and observe a specially arranged cultural and musical performance. Continue to the Technical Museum to learn how technological advancements in mechanics, communication and architecture have shaped this island nation and enjoy light refreshments. (b/l/d)
Djúpivogur for Jökulsárlón
Tuesday, July 31
Enjoy a full-day scenic excursion along Iceland’s east coast from Djúpivogur to the Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. Enjoy a panoramic tour of historic Höfn, a small fishing village known for its stunning mountain views, including lunch. Then, board a small boat for a private cruise amid breathtaking icebergs and actually touch the ice that has calved off the outlet tidewater glacier, Breidamerkurjökull. (b/l/d)
Heimaey, Westman Islands/Cruise along Surtsey Island
Wednesday, August 1
Arrive at Heimaey Island, part of the Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands) archipelago, where the tall cliffs are inhabited by puffin, fulmar and guillemot bird species. Tour the Eldheimar Museum, which chronicles the fateful volcanic activity of 1973 that created Mount Eldfell, and see the incredible formation, also known as “Fire Mountain,” and its lava fields which are still warm to the touch over 40 years after its last eruption. Stop at the precipitous headland of Stórhöfði to observe Heimaey’s largest puffin colony and see the ruins of ancient Viking farmhouses dating from A.D. 650. This evening, cruise along the coast of Surtsey Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Created during volcanic activity between 1963 and 1967, it is one of the youngest islands on Earth and one of the most fragile; scientists are carefully monitoring the evolution of its flora and fauna. Join your traveling companions for the Captain’s Farewell Reception. (b/l/r/d)
Thursday, August 2
Disembark and transfer to the airport for your return flight to the U.S. or continue on the Greenland’s Ice Fjord and Glaciers Post‑Cruise Option. (b)
Please note that the ship’s cruising pattern and direction are dependent on weather conditions and are subject to change.