JOURNEYS

Take a 360-Degree Cruise Around Iceland

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Kristi Glen

Discover otherworldly Iceland in a way that suits your travel style, whether that’s taking advantage of Windstar’s all-inclusive packages or cruise-only options, sticking to the iconic highlights, or venturing off the beaten path. This country, unrivaled in raw beauty, has become a hot travel destination for good reason. And Windstar’s Around Iceland itinerary takes you to the main hubs as well as lesser-known areas and ports of call that only smaller ships can access.

The all-suite, newly transformed Star Breeze hosts just 312 guests, and departs from Reykjavik, circles the island, and arrives back in Reykjavik seven days later. Along your Icelandic journey, you can explore remote fjords, raging waterfalls, and traditional fishing villages nestled in smaller ports that have fewer residents than a large cruise ship carries. You can hike across 4,000-year-old lava fields, witness volcanic islands being born, and perhaps spot puffins and whales playing. Add in Windstar’s award-winning service and expertly guided trip excursions, and you have an Icelandic experience that helped earn Windstar the top spot in AFAR Travelers’ Awards for Small-Ship Cruises.

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Trip Designer

Windstar

Windstar knows the way to private yacht-style cruising with intriguing and port-intensive itineraries and authentic local experiences. With two classes of yachts—Wind Class or All-Suite Star Plus Class—and packages ranging from Cruise Only to All-Inclusive, Windstar offers customizable experiences to perfectly suit your personal travel style. As the Official Cruise Line of the James Beard Foundation, Windstar also celebrates regional flavors with locally sourced cuisine and recipes from some of the world’s most recognized chefs. And their private yacht style cruises visit places the bigger ships can’t reach. All aboard!
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Trip Highlight

Mývatn Nature Baths

Nearly everyone’s heard of Iceland’s iconic Blue Lagoon. Take the path less traveled and enjoy in Iceland’s gorgeous, rugged scenery while literally immersing in the Icelandic lifestyle with a soak in the healing, geothermally heated waters of the Mývatn Nature Baths.
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Rudy Balasko

DAY 1Reykjavik

Your Icelandic adventure kicks off in cosmopolitan Reykjavik, so spend some time exploring this fascinating capital city. Soak up the nonstop summer sunlight while floating in the curative thermal waters of the nearby Blue Lagoon or go check out the breathtaking Gullfoss Waterfall and Thingvellir National Park. If you’d rather stay in the city, Reykjavik is buzzing with eclectic architecture, world-class museums (the Reykjavik Art Museum and National Gallery are must-sees), and a vibrant culinary scene—put the creative Icelandic cuisine at the Michelin-starred Dill on the top of your list.
Big panorama of city of Heimaey taken from the top of Eldfell volcano.

Big panorama of heimaey volcano taken from the top eldfell volcano

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DAY 2Heimaey Island and Surtsey

In 1963, a sailor off the coast of Iceland spotted smoke on the sea. Initially thought to be a boat fire, the smoke was actually the result of volcanic eruptions from beneath the sea—Surtsey Island was literally being born. Before circling the primordial land of Surtsey, you’ll visit Heimaey Island, where volcanoes have almost destroyed the town on several occasions, and see the notorious Eldfell volcano, as well as delight in the largest colony of Atlantic puffins. Then it’s off to see Surtsey Island from the comfort of the Star Breeze and have a front-row seat to the intriguing flora, rock formations, and sea caves of this still-evolving UNESCO World Heritage Site.
A town in a river valley

DAYS 3 AND 4Seydisfjordur

Next stop is Seydisfjordur, a quaint town tucked at the end of an 11-mile-long waterway. Famous for its multi-colored wooden buildings and towering mountains—it’s also home to the Skalanes Nature Reserve, which teems with wildlife. Outdoor adventures abound here; one thrilling option is to take a guided Chasing Waterfalls tour into the Vestdalur Valley and to the abandoned town of Vestdalseyri. On your way back, you’ll pass gorgeous waterfalls galore, so keep your camera ready.
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Typical street of Akureyri downtown, Iceland

Jose Arcos Aguilar

DAY 5Akureyri

Today you’ll venture to the end of Iceland’s longest fjord and to its second-largest city, Akureyri. In the summer, flowers blanket the area and the snow-capped peaks are ethereal. Akureyri may be just a stone’s throw from the Arctic Circle, but it’s surprisingly hip and vibrant. Must-sees include the Listagil’s art galleries, the Icelandic church, the botanical garden, and the shops along Hafnarstraeti. Outdoor lovers can also mount an Icelandic horse for the day or take a soak in the sky-blue Mývatn Nature Baths.
Colorful sailboats by the coast

DAY 6Isafjordur

On day six of your journey, you’ll visit the charming—and multifaceted—town of Isafjordur. Aside from its large fishing industry, the town boasts a renowned music school, hosts epic music festivals, and is surrounded by magnificent fjords. After a morning of exploring, discover the magic of the fjords on a guided Calm Fjord Kayaking tour. Paddle out, get close enough to almost touch these geological wonders, and breath in the crisp, clean air.
Waterfalls from a moss-covered cliff

DAY 7Grundarfjordur

Located between an epic mountain range and the wild sea, Grundarfjordur is the last striking stop on your journey before returning to Reykjavik, and what a way to cap things off! The main attraction here is Snæfellsjökull National Park, a massive otherworldly area dotted with regal glaciers, lava fields, waterfalls, caves, and basalt cliffs.

Get an up-close-and-personal look at it with a guided hike to the 4,000-year-old Berserkjahraun Lava Field, where green moss partly covers ancient black lava rocks surrounded by pyramid-shaped mountains and the sea. Aside from its rugged beauty, the lava field is also famous for the legend surrounding it. As lore goes, a man fell in love with a chieftain’s daughter long ago and was tasked with building a path over the lava before he could marry her. As locals tell it, he went “berserk” while doing so.
A rainbow over a canyon of waterfalls

DAY 8Return to Reykjavik

On your eighth day, you’ll circle back to where your Icelandic adventure began—Reykjavik. Along your journey, you’ve seen storybook fjords and cascading waterfalls, 4,000-year-old lava fields, and volcanic islands still being created. You’ve visited small fishing villages and hopefully popped into an art gallery and a music hall or two. And you’ve relished in Windstar’s delightful amenities the entire way. As you arrive back in the capital, you could enjoy a five-star meal in the city and toast your trip. Iceland has a way of changing those who are lucky enough to visit it. You are now one of them.