SEATTLE, WA: June 20, 2019 – Hurtigruten, the Norwegian expedition line will be sailing two unique itineraries in 2020 that circumnavigate the land of fire and ice, Iceland. Both expeditions are aboard MS Fram, Hurtigruten’s classic ship that was named after the most famous expedition vessel of its time. The vessel will be undergoing a complete refurbishment in the spring of 2020. Cruise & Travel Report will provide updates regarding the refurbishment as news becomes available.
These two itineraries are set to offer incredible opportunities to see the unique terrain of Iceland, a geological wonder featuring geysers, glaciers, mountains, and waterfalls. From cruising in and out of the stunning coastline’s nooks and crannies to searching for the wondrous wildlife that call this region home—northern fulmars, northern gannets, Arctic terns, kittiwakes, Atlantic puffins, humpback whales, harbor seals, and so much more
Each of these voyages will be led by Hurtigruten’s Expedition Leaders who are there to safeguard both explorers and Iceland’s pristine environment. The Expedition Team Leader and Assistant Expedition Leaders are experts on safety and sustainability, making sure your exploration of these remote destinations is done right. Together with guest lecturers and scientists, voyages will be enhanced with first-hand knowledge and fascinating insights, ensuring complete safety during landings, and guaranteeing the lightest possible footprint in this pristine environment.
During these voyages of Iceland, the Expedition Team will lead the way on short hikes and guided landscape explorations, flora and fauna spotting, cultural site visits, community walks and small boat cruises. Briefings occur before each landing, making you aware of any potential risks and of strict protocol regarding local wildlife.
Both on and off the ship, lectures are held on a wide variety of specialist topics that include local culture and folktales, Viking history, biology, sea ice, glaciers, geology, photography and storytelling, just to name just a few.
Highlights of both journeys include:
- Visiting Látrabjarg, the westernmost point of the country. A line of remote bird cliffs, this region is one of the best places for birdwatching in the entire country. Passengers will more than likely to spot razorbills, guillemots, kittiwakes, fulmars, puffins, and more.
- Exploring Akureyri, known as ‘the capital of the North,’ and home to beautiful botanical gardens. Founded in 1912, the garden contains almost every plant found in Iceland, as well as 7,000 foreign plants. A day here also offers opportunities to visit Lake Mývatn and Goðafoss Waterfall, the spectacular ‘Waterfall of the Gods.’
- Stepping across the Arctic Circle on Grímsey Island. While there is a monument dedicated to the Circle, true explorers may want to use a GPS device to calculate its exact location, as it shifts from year to year.
- Entering the narrow harbor of Heimaey Island, formed by a famous volcanic eruption in 1973. The island’s size actually increased by 15% after the eruption and on our visit, you’ll be able to walk along the lava flow and observe the countless steep cliffs, perfect habitats for local seabirds.
Hurtigruten is the world leader in exploration travel. As the largest cruise operator in polar waters, and with 125 years of know-how, we offer immersive experiences to some of the world’s most pristine and remote destinations, including Antarctica, Alaska, Arctic Canada and the Northwest Passage, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Svalbard, and more. Hurtigruten’s fleet consists of 14 expedition ships, custom built for adventure travel. In addition, three new groundbreaking ships will be delivered: MS Roald Amundsen in 2019, MS Fridtjof Nansen in 2020, and a third new build in 2021. These will be the most advanced and environmentally friendly expedition vessels at sea, as well as the world’s first hybrid electric-powered cruise ships. Hurtigruten is an industry leader in sustainability, with a deep commitment to improving the marine environments we call home.