Charming Copenhagen is a delightful city with so much to offer, whether you’re sipping a steaming brew as part of its coffee culture, wandering past the colorful row houses of Nyhavn, or taking a dip in the outdoor canal pools at Islands Brygge. Plus, you’ll gain insight into local culture during a panoramic sightseeing tour that include a food market visit.
Fly to Reykjavík
Begin your journey today with an overnight flight to Reykjavík, Iceland. Or, depart earlier and explore Copenhagen with an optional pre-trip extension.
Arrive in Reykjavík
Welcome to Iceland. If you purchased airfare with Vantage, a representative will meet you at the airport to assist with transfers to your hotel. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure to acclimate before joining your fellow travelers for a Welcome Briefing and Dinner at your hotel tonight.
Enjoy Reykjavík at your leisure
Following breakfast at your hotel, you’ll enjoy a day at leisure to explore Reykjavík on your own.
Destination Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional excursion. Set out on an optional tour of Iceland’s famed Blue Lagoon. Learn More
This optional excursion will introduce you to one of the Iceland’s top attractions: the Blue Lagoon. This manmade geothermal spa is located in a lava field near Grindvik where super-heated water is fed into the lagoon from nearby Svartsengi. The water’s high silica content creates soft white mud on the bottom of the lake, giving the spa its famous milky-blue shade. This is one of Iceland’s most visited attractions, and bathing in this otherworldly environment is considered a rejuvenating ritual.
Due to high call volume, we recommend you visit MyPortfolio to book this Destination Enhancement. Don’t wait — these optional experiences are limited to a select number of guests and are selling out fast!
Tour Reykjavík and embark the Ocean Odyssey
You’ll check out of your hotel today and embark the Ocean Odyssey to begin the cruise portion of your journey. Along the way, you’ll enjoy a tour of Reykjavík's highlights. Visit Hallgrímskirkja Church, Iceland’s tallest church, before continuing on to the Perlan viewpoint. This interactive natural history museum is housed inside an immense glass dome sitting atop six geothermal hot water tanks. You’ll also have time to visit Reykjavík’s city center before heading to the pier. Upon embarkation, you’ll have time to settle into your luxurious stateroom and explore your elegant cruise ship before enjoying your first of many skillfully prepared meals aboard.
Destination Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional excursion. Explore Iceland’s iconic Golden Circle on an optional tour. Learn More
Explore the Golden Circle on this optional excursion and discover some of Iceland's most prized natural attractions. Your first stop is awe-inspiring Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Renowned for its extraordinary landscapes, this remarkable site has a rich history stretching back to the Iceland’s first settlers. You’ll also stop to admire Gullfoss Waterfall and the hot springs of the Geysir geothermal field. Finally, pay a visit to a tomato farm and greenhouse, where you'll savor a taste of "Iceland's best Bloody Mary."
Visit the Vestmannaeyjar Islands and the “Pompeii of the North”
Located off the southern coast of Iceland, the Vestmannaeyjar Islands were formed by submarine volcanic eruptions 10,000 years ago. We’ll step ashore in Heimaey, the only one of these islands that is inhabited, and explore this unique landscape on a guided bus tour. You’ll see half-buried houses, the only remnants of a violent volcanic eruption in 1973. Known as the “Pompeii of the North,” the eruption of Eldfell Volcano engulfed over 400 buildings in 200 million tons of ash and lava. You’ll also visit the island’s Volcanic Center, where we’ll hear the story of the Eldfell eruption and learn about formation of Surtsey Island, the Earth’s youngest volcanic landmass. The island is named after Surtr, a fire giant from Norse mythology.
Delve into Djúpivogur’s history and geology
Head ashore with your Expedition Team today and explore the quaint coastal village of Djúpivogur on a leisurely walking tour. You’ll stop at Langabúð, a late 18th-century warehouse that now serves as the town's cultural center and site of its Heritage Museum. Next, head to Audun’s Stone & Mineral Museum. This region of Iceland abounds with agate, quartz crystal, and zeolite, and you’ll see many of these unique stones and geodes on display at this museum. Proceed to the Old Harbor area and view the unique granite artwork on display around the lovely waterfront, including the Eggs of Merry Bay sculpture. Almost three dozen large, granite eggs line the road along the bay in Djúpivogur as a tribute to the native birds of eastern Iceland. At the conclusion of your guided walk, you’ll have time to continue your explorations at your leisure.
Stroll through Seyðisfjörður and see the famous Blue Church
Following breakfast on board, head ashore with the Expedition Team for a guided walking tour of Seyðisfjörður. Surrounded by cascading waterfalls and the snow-capped peaks of Mt. Bjólfur and Strandartindur, this is a favorite destination for travelers. Just like many Icelandic ports-of-call, Seyðisfjörður’s history is deeply-rooted in its maritime industries. It’s easy to understand why, as this town boasts one of the best harbors in the country. You’ll stroll down a rainbow-tiled street, past colorful wooden houses, as you make your way to the Church in Seyðisfjörður. This powder blue structure is one of the most easily recognizable landmarks in Iceland. Following your tour of this picturesque village, you’ll have leisure time to continue exploring on your own.
Tour the glacial lagoon region of Jökulsárlón
Today’s included excursion will take you to Jökulsárlón, a glacial lagoon bordering Vatnajökull National Park. Calm, bright blue waters are dotted with calving glaciers that are carried out to sea via currents along a small channel. You will have the opportunity to view these glacial icebergs from the shores of Diamond Beach. The stunning contrast of bright blue icebergs against the black volcanic sand of this beach is truly a sight to behold.
Delight in your ship’s amenities during a day at sea
One of the true pleasures of a luxurious, small ship cruise is the onboard experience as you sail from one incredible destination to another. You’ll find everything you need to feel relaxed, pampered, and entertained today.
Onboard Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional onboard experience. Enhance your time on board with one of our Vantage-exclusive activities, including wine and whiskey tastings, a multicourse Chef’s Table Dinner, or an exclusive wine-pairing dinner. Learn More
Explore Europe’s best kept secret: the Faroe Islands
If you’re an early riser, hit the deck as we approach the Faroe Islands, and perhaps you’ll spot some wildlife. The 18 Faroe Islands form an autonomous region within the Kingdom of Denmark. The islands’ main industry is fishing and the 50,000 or so inhabitants enjoy a high standard of living. Your ship will dock on the island of Streymoy, in Tórshavn. Tórshavn was founded in the 10th century, and many historians believe it to be the oldest (albeit smallest) capital in Europe. The name means “Thor’s Harbor” and it’s fitting that the town be associated with the god of thunder, since the Faroes can be quite storm-tossed.
Your tour showcases the main attractions of Tórshavn, plus some of the surroundings. In Tinganes, the narrow neck of land that divides Tórshavn’s two harbors, you’ll see a cluster of modest, red wooden houses that was one of the oldest parliamentary gatherings in the world. Vikings would convene here for regular “Thing” meetings to resolve conflicts and establish laws. Contrast this with the contemporary Løgting or “Law Assembly” that serves as the Faroese Parliament. The office of the prime minister is also located here. At the National Museum of the Faroe Islands, you’ll see various displays celebrating the islands’ natural and cultural heritage. One of the most important is the Kikjubøstólarnirlso which are pew ends from the ancient St. Olav’s church. Dating from the 12th century, these national treasures feature elaborate carvings depicting the apostles and other biblical lore.
For the rest of the day, you may choose to relax or embark on an independent exploration. Perhaps you’ll stroll the side streets and admire the pastel-colored houses with their turf roofs. Or maybe you’ll amble down Tórshavn’s main shopping street, Niels Finsens gøta, in search of some stylish Faroese knitwear. Enjoy a little pre-dinner entertainment as a local Faroese folk troupe comes aboard to serenade us.
Relax on board with a day at sea
Indulge in the 5-star amenities aboard your luxurious small ship. Whether enjoying a pampering massage or savoring world-class cuisine, you’ll find everything you need to feel relaxed, pampered, and entertained today.
Have your choice of tours in the Shetland Islands: Explore Scalloway & Lerwick, or follow in the footsteps of the Vikings
Floating between the Atlantic and the North Sea, the Shetlands are as far north as you can go and still be in Scotland. But at the same time, centuries of Norse rule make these spectacular green jewels a unique cultural hybrid. If you are on deck, perhaps a flock of northern fulmars or gannets will herald our arrival as our ship makes its way towards Mainland, the largest of the archipelago’s 16 inhabited islands. Your ship will drop anchor in Scalloway, and from here you will have two choices for exploration — An exploration of Scalloway and Lerwick, or a tour that brings you to important Viking sites.
Your first tour choice introduces Shetland's past and present capitals on a Lerwick tour. The name Scalloway derives from an Old Norse phrase that means “bay with the large huts” and in this case, the huts were the ancient shelters built here for delegates to Tingwall, the parliament for Orkney and Shetland. In 1608, those huts were overshadowed by Scalloway Castle, the ruins of which still stand. You'll go on a guided walk of Lerwick and a trip to Clickimin Broch, where you'll visit a farm to learn about Shetland ponies. You’ll also visit Clickimin Broch, a defensive Bronze Age round tower. Before returning to ship, enjoy a guided walk around Lerwick and stop at a local farm that breeds the island’s iconic, stout Shetland ponies.
Your second and more active tour choice invites you to explore “In Viking Footsteps.” You’ll start with a motorcoach ride across the stunning countryside to Old Scatness on the southern tip of the island. It was here in the 1970s that an airport expansion project revealed the heretofore unknown presence of an ancient mound that was inhabited for nearly 2,000 years since the Iron Age. It includes a broch (round tower) and a village that was occupied by Iron Age, Pictish, and Viking people. Many of the Pictish houses were reused by the Vikings, who left many soapstone artifacts behind. From here you’ll head to Sumburgh and visit Jarlshof, which was occupied from about 2500 BC to AD 1500. It features rectangular Viking longhouses, and a 16th-century, fortified manor house.
Back on board, your afternoon will be at your leisure, and we welcome you to visit the Scalloway museum on your own, if you like. If conditions permit, perhaps this evening one of our expedition team members will host a stargazing session.
Enjoy a day at sea on the Ocean Odyssey
Enjoy another day to fully relax aboard your 5-star ship. Throughout the day, your light expedition team will be conducting different presentations on topics relevant to your destinations, and you’ll also have a moment to take advantage of your ship’s other amenities to refresh and restore yourself, perhaps visiting the sauna or enjoying a soothing massage in the spa.
Disembark the Ocean Odyssey and transfer to Edinburgh
The cruise portion of your journey comes to a close in Aberdeen, Scotland today. Following breakfast on board, you’ll disembark the Ocean Odyssey and transfer to Edinburgh, Scotland, where you will check into your hotel. Along the way, we’ll set out on a guided panoramic tour of this unforgettable city. Highlights of the Old Town include Edinburgh Castle, set high above the city on Castle Rock, and St. Margaret’s Chapel. Built around AD 1130, it is the oldest surviving building in town. Fast-forward to the 18th-century as you explore the New Town, with its elegant neoclassical and Georgian architecture. Both districts are jointly listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
When Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip set sail to visit their far-flung dominion, they did it aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia. You'll come aboard to inspect this elegant vessel, which still features the furnishings and décor favored by the Queen when the ship was launched in 1953.
Edinburgh at your leisure
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel, followed by a full day at leisure to explore Edinburgh at your own pace.
Destination Enhancement: Customize your journey when you add an optional excursion. Head out on a full-day excursion to St. Andrews, the home of golfing. Learn More
Set out on a full-day excursion of the beautiful Scottish town of St. Andrews, the delightful seaside “home of golf.” St Andrews Links, much like the game of golf itself, has evolved for more than 600 years. Today, more than 230,000 rounds are played over seven public courses. St Andrews Links Trust also manages a number of additional facilities including a golf academy, three clubhouses and four shops. St. Andrews is also the site of Scotland’s first university, which boasts notable alumni such as Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. During your optional tour, you’ll admire the charming, cobbled streets and green cathedral grounds before returning to Edinburgh.
After breakfast, you’ll transfer to the airport for your return flight home. Or, if you’re joining the post-trip extension right here in London you’ll stay on for three more days!
Please note: Ocean-cruising is not the same experience as river cruising; as such, you may experience fluctuating tides and weather patterns that may involve some rocking of your vessel. Itineraries will include all activities as planned except in extreme cases that can’t be controlled by your shipboard crew. The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Cruise Director or regional expert.