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15-Day Viking Island Quest

SHIP: SEABOURN QUEST

Departs: Reykjavik, Iceland - Jul 8, 2020

Arrives: Southampton (London), England - Jul 23, 202

Savor Icelandic and Greenlandic fjords, then follow a chain of scenic Atlantic isles down along the British mainland to London.

Full Itinerary:

Day 0: Reykjavik, Iceland

  • JUL 8, 2020
  • DEPARTS 11:00 PM

Reykjavík, established by Viking settler Ingólfur Arnarson around 870 C.E, is the location of the first permanent settlement in Iceland. The census of 1703 recorded that Reykjavík had 69 residents and consisted of a farm and a church. The impressive statue of Leif Erikson, in the center of town, reminds all of Iceland’s Viking heritage. Its name translates to ‘smoky bay’, due to the geothermal nature of the surrounding area.

Day 1: Days At Sea

  • JUL 9, 2020

Come when you like, with whom you please, and be seated as you wish. The cuisine is exquisite and the service is flawless.

Day 2: Tasiilaq, Greenland

  • JUL 10, 2020
  • ARRIVES 08:00 AM
  • DEPARTS 05:00 PM

In Greenland, nature is big and almost overwhelming! You will be awed by towering mountains, huge distances, epic adventures, harsh weather and challenges that loom and beckon even in summer. The people of the Saqqaq culture arrived here from the north, the first to reach this part of Greenland. The Viking Norse first became familiar with this area when they made it their first landfall on the voyage from Iceland's Snæfellsnes peninsula to Greenland. Today that location is known as Tassilaq, and it is the largest town in Eastern Greenland with 2,000 inhabitants. The island where Tasiilaq is located was formerly known as Angmagssalik in Greenlandic, meaning ‘the place with capelin.’

Day 3: Skjoldungen Fjord, Greenland

  • JUL 11, 2020
  • ARRIVES 08:00 AM
  • DEPARTS 05:00 PM

Imagine a narrow fjord bordered by rugged peaks, vertical rock walls and serpentine rivers of ice plunging into the sea. This is Skjoldungen Fjord, named by Wilhelm August Graah after the honorific title Skjoldungen which, according to Norse mythology, was given to successors of legendary King Skjold to the Danish throne.

Numerous tidewater glaciers calve during the summer, releasing large chunks of ice that plunge into the fjord. Above, huge crevasses and free-standing pillars of ice, known as seracs, are silhouetted against a blue Greenlandic sky. Barren of large trees, Skjoldungen Fjord is carpeted in colorful dwarf birch and willow forests that may grow several feet high, as well as a variety of low-growing Arctic wildflowers.

Day 4: Days At Sea

  • JUL 12, 2020

A more casual, indoor/outdoor alternative for breakfasts and lunch, and regionally-themed dinners with table service nightly.

Day 5: Vigur, Iceland

  • JUL 13, 2020
  • ARRIVES 07:00 AM
  • DEPARTS 08:30 AM

The Westfjords in northwest Iceland is a remote and sparsely populated peninsula of steep, tall mountains cut by dozens of fjords. The lack of flat lowlands suitable for farming played a key role in keeping this region wild and sparsely populated. The raw and untamed natural landscape around Ísafjörður is characterized by a subarctic environment. A colorful show of blooming tundra wildflowers carpets the mountain slopes and valleys during the short, cool summer.

Vigur Island, second largest island in the Westfjords region, is one of the most renowned areas in Iceland for viewing nesting birds en masse. The area’s cliffs host an astonishing wealth of nesting birdlife, while the occasional arctic fox can be spotted patrolling the edges of the bird colonies in hope of an easy meal.

According to Icelandic history, Ísafjörður was first settled in the 9th century by a man called Helgi Magri Hrólfsson. The oldest house in Iceland, built in 1734, can be found in Ísafjörður and is now a part of a local museum.

Day 6: Husavik, Iceland

  • JUL 14, 2020
  • ARRIVES 07:00 AM
  • DEPARTS 03:00 PM

Husavik curls around the semi-circular Skjalfardi Bay on Iceland’s northern coast. It was the first Norse settlement on Iceland founded in 870 A.D. The name means ‘bay of houses,’ no doubt referring to the first farmstead on the island. The town’s skyline is dominated by the tall steeple of its picturesque, gingerbread-style church, built in 1907. Tourism has become increasingly important, and the bay has a well-deserved reputation for terrific whale-watching as several species frequent its waters. The Whale Museum capitalizes on that aspect. Other museums tout the history, including some ancient boats, and the history of human exploration, including a monument to astronauts. Nearby natural features include the horseshoe-shaped canyon Asbyrgi and several waterfalls.

Day 7: Eskifjordur, Iceland

  • JUL 15, 2020
  • ARRIVES 07:00 AM
  • DEPARTS 06:00 PM

In the deeply serrated Eastern Fjords of Iceland’s east coast, the fishing village of Eskifjordur is scattered along the shore under a looming peak. Founded as a trading post in 1789, it thrives today on the fishing industry. The townsfolk proudly claim the striated peak of Hólmatindur as their personal landmark., although the town takes its name from the other peak Mt. Eskja. The Maritime Museum, housed in a building dating from 1816, traces the history of the town and its linkage to the sea, as does the moving statue to lost mariners on the main road. Helgustadaman was once renowned for the crystalline spar mineral mined there, and a couple in the town have spent a lifetime collecting and cutting beautiful minerals and crystals from all over Iceland. Their display of over a thousand specimens is in their home but open to visitors. The town’s church also has displays of art.

Day 8: Days At Sea

  • JUL 16, 2020

Around the clock for service in your suite. Dinner from The Restaurant menu is served, course by course, in your suite or on your veranda.

Day 9: Isle Of Noss, Shetland Islands, Scotland, United Kingdom

  • JUL 17, 2020
  • ARRIVES 07:30 AM
  • DEPARTS 08:30 AM

The Isle of Noss is a small gem of an island offering one of the most spectacular wildlife sights in the world. Its truly striking landscape provides for the perfect environment that supports a colossal number of birds. Its grass-topped, vertical cliffs, some 500’ (152 m) high, plunge straight into the sea.

Established as a National Nature Reserve in 1955, Noss is home to over 300,000 breeding seabirds. The first sighting of Noss always imprints strongly on a visitor’s memories. Even those with no previous interest in birds cannot help being impressed by the stupendous aural chorus of around 150,000 adult birds and chicks at the peak of the breeding season. This wildlife reserve is an important colony for nesting gannets, shags, kittiwakes, razorbills, guillemots, herring gulls, fulmars and skuas. Without a doubt, a visit here is one of the most awe-inspiring wildlife experiences on earth. For that reason, Noss is often referred to as ‘Seabird City’ or the ‘Garden of the Cliffs.’

Day 9: Lerwick, Shetland Islands, United Kingdom

  • JUL 17, 2020
  • ARRIVES 10:00 AM
  • DEPARTS 08:00 PM

Lerwick, Britain's most northerly town, and is a small, bustling, cosmopolitan seaport with a population of over 7,000 people and fine architecture. Shetland Museum, located on Hay's Dock, is an award- winning attraction. Discover the island’s many secrets through its exhibits, and take a look in the boat shed, where you can see demonstrations of traditional boat building. Also of interest is the stone-walled town hall, built in 1884, displaying an impressive array of beautifully intricate stained glass. Towering St. Magnus Cathedral, constructed in 1863, is likewise well worth a visit.

Day 10: Copinsay Island, Scotland, UK

  • JUL 18, 2020
  • ARRIVES 06:30 AM
  • DEPARTS 07:30 AM

Copinsay Island is one of the Scottish Orkney Islands, situated off the east coast of the Orkney Mainland. After the last residents left Copinsay Island in 1958, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds purchased the island in 1972, as a reserve in memory of the renowned naturalist James Fisher. The island reserve consists of the main island of Copinsay and the four smaller islets of Corn Holm, Ward Holm, Black Holm and the Horse of Copinsay. The historic Copinsay Lighthouse sits atop 250’ (76 m) high cliffs that extend for a mile along the coast.

The islands’ vast seabird colonies include guillemots, kittiwakes, Atlantic puffins and razorbills. More than 1,000 pairs of fulmars nest on Copinsay, while every autumn, a colony of 2,000 grey seals comes ashore to pup. Grey seals are found on both sides of the Atlantic. Their Latin name, Halichoerus grypus, means ‘hooked-nosed sea pig’.

Day 10: Kirkwall, Scotland, United Kingdom

  • JUL 18, 2020
  • ARRIVES 09:00 AM
  • DEPARTS 11:00 PM

The Orkney Archipelago is a group of barren, treeless islands lying off northern Scotland. Strong winds sweep over its rugged wave-beaten coastline. They are typified by tall sandstone cliffs, moss-covered, metamorphic rocks, low-growing bushes and a carpet of plants, which cover the ground in a tapestry of emerald green. The largest town and the capital of Orkney is Kirkwall. It is an ancient Norse town, founded by Earl Rognvald Brusason who built his kingdom here. Early farmers first arrived on these shores over 5,000 years ago, and ancient remains from the Neolithic period pepper the landscape. The cultural significance of a number of these led to an extensive area being designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999. It was named ‘The Heart of Neolithic Orkney.’

Day 11: Scrabster, Scotland, United Kingdom

  • JUL 19, 2020
  • ARRIVES 08:00 AM
  • DEPARTS 06:00 PM

Scrabster is a wee settlement situated on Thurso Bay only a stone’s throw away from the much larger town of Thurso. Here one can find a wide variety of traditional shops, lovely cafes, spirited bars and restaurants. An important harbor for the fishing industry, the town of Scabster is set at the base of a small hill and its harbor holds a colorful array of fishing boats.

Day 12: PT2

  • JUL 20, 2020
  • ARRIVES 08:00 AM
  • DEPARTS 08:00 PM

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH AFAR

Day 13: Newcastle Upon Tyne, England, United Kingdom

  • JUL 21, 2020
  • ARRIVES 08:00 AM
  • DEPARTS 11:00 PM

Newcastle upon Tyne, clinging to the north bank of the River Tyne, grew around the Roman settlement Pons Aelius and was named after the castle built here in 1080 by William the Conqueror's eldest son, Robert Curthose. The port developed in the 16th century, quickly becoming one of the world's largest shipbuilding centers. Newcastle harbors a spirited mix of heritage and urban sophistication.

Day 14: Days At Sea

  • JUL 22, 2020

Offering luncheon buffets, salads, soups and freshly-baked pizza. Dinners feature a full menu in an al fresco setting.

Day 15: Southampton (London), England

  • JUL 23, 2020
  • ARRIVES 07:00 AM

The south of England boasts a dramatic coastline which encloses some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain. The landscape of hills and heaths, downland and forests, valleys and dales, is without rival. Southampton, the United Kingdom's premier passenger ship port, and home for many years to the great transatlantic liners of yesteryear, has a rich and varied heritage. The remains of the medieval town walls are among the best preserved in the country and fascinating monuments can be found all around the city.


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