essential cruise - Northern Isles & Iceland
A no-fly cruise sailing from London Tilbury
Experience the incredible natural beauty of Iceland - the land of fire and ice - on this spectacular voyage. Your first port of call will be the artistic Dutch capital, Amsterdam, before sailing towards the remote Shetland Islands. Discover charming Icelandic towns and villages and some of the most dramatic scenery on earth including enchanting lakes, national parks and reserves, cascading waterfalls and snow-capped mountains. We also spend time in Iceland’s magnificent capital, to explore its attractions and surrounding natural wonders including exciting whale watching and the geo-thermal Blue Lagoon.
- 12 nights cruise on Columbus
- 35 meals: 12 breakfasts (days 2-13) 11 lunches (days 2-12) 12 dinners (days 1-12)
- Afternoon teas and late night snacks
- Self-service coffee & tea (6am-10pm)
- Captain’s Cocktail Party
- Big show entertainment, cabarets and classical interludes
- Wide selection of leisure facilities & daytime activities
- Porterage on the cruise ship
- Services of the experienced Cruise & Maritime Voyages staff on board
- Port taxes
Day 1 - London Tilbury
At London Tilbury Port, embark Columbus (3T) in preparation for a late afternoon sailing.
Day 2 - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Arrive in Amsterdam, the beautiful Dutch capital with historic canals, charming bridges, trendy cafes and an artistic atmosphere. There are plenty of ways to discover this remarkable city, via a canal cruise or walking tour, but to make your tour all the more adventurous, perhaps discover Amsterdam on a tuk-tuk. Travel through the narrow streets, around the beautiful canals and past the highlights: the Jordaan District, Royal Palace, Wester Church, Anne Frank House and the numerous enticing art galleries and museums.
Day 3 - At sea
Enjoy a relaxing day at sea.
Day 4 - Lerwick, Shetland Islands
Lerwick is the main port for the Shetland Islands and a town with strong maritime links. Its fascinating history dates back to the 17th century when it was established as a trading port for Dutch herring fisherman. Enjoy a delightful optional walking tour past the charming merchant houses, Fort Charlotte, the Victorian Town Hall - hosting architecture which depicts the development and history of the region - and the Shetland Museum. Ship to shore tender service.
Day 5 - Kollafjørður, Faroe Islands
Arrive in the idyllic village of Kollafjørður today, beautifully situated along the northern shore of the Kollafjørður Fjord; the region is renowned for its wonderful trekking experiences through its narrow valley where stunning lush-green scenery is in abundance. You can join a unique excursion learning the life of the locals by visiting a Faroese family in their home and enjoying a delicious cup of coffee and cake. Or, explore the scenery on a hike to Streymoy Sill; depart from Kalbak Fjord to journey past cascading waterfalls and the rocky hillside to the top of the columnar basalt of Streymoy Sill. Start your remarkable hike 280m above sea level and a guide will explain the fascinating history of the landscapes along the way as you make your way to the top, where breathtaking views over the Island of Island of Vágar await.
Day 6 - Seyðisfjörður, Iceland
Seyðisfjörður is a picturesque town in the East Fjords hosting bright, multi-coloured houses, enchanting waterfalls and mighty mountains. Marvel at the wonderful scenery and attractions on an ‘Essence of East Iceland’ optional tour taking you to idyllic spots including Lagarfljót - Iceland’s third largest lake - Skriðuklaustur, Snæfellsstofa Visitor Centre - covering the east land of the Vatnajökull National Park - the historic 13th century church estate of Valthjófsstaður and Hallormsstaðarskógur forest. Alternatively, you may want to join the unique opportunity to explore Skálanes Nature Reserve, a place of stunning natural beauty with its charming rivers, incredible rock formations, snow-capped mountain views, sea cliffs and colourful meadows.
Day 7 - Akureyri
The stunning capital of the north, Akureyri has built a reputation for itself as Iceland’s second city with its array of art galleries, charming gardens, colourful houses, trendy cafes and upmarket restaurants. Tour this exciting region on a variety of excursions available today. Join the thrilling opportunity of a buggy adventure, discovering the beautiful countryside on an exhilarating ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle). Or, admire the stunning nature and flora when visiting the outstanding Fnjoskadalur Valley and Laufás Folk Museum, as well as viewing the Goðafoss - otherwise named the ‘Waterfall of the Gods’ - and the magnificent fjord of Eyjafjörður.
Day 8 - Ísafjörður
As the largest settlement in the magnificent west fjords peninsula but the least populated town in Iceland, Ísafjörður has remained a tranquil fishing town since first establishing itself as a trading post in the 16th century. Gain an insight into this trade, when travelling to Ósvör, the charming harbour for rowing boats. Here you visit a classic fisherman’s hut with a replica of the clothing used by Icelandic fisherman in the 20th century when difficult rowboat fishing was the way of the trade. Alternatively, discover the hidden natural gems of this enchanting region when visiting the first Icelandic botanic garden, Skrúður. Founded in 1909, Skrúður hosts charming paths to glorious green landscapes and flourishing flora, later explore the intimate village of Flateyri visiting an old bookshop and charming merchant’s home. Ship to shore tender service.
Day 9 - Reykjavik
This morning we arrive at the mighty Icelandic capital, Reykjavik renowned for stunning architecture. Whale watching is a popular attraction here and is on the list of adventures to choose from today. It is estimated that twelve to fifteen species of whale are seen swimming through Icelandic waters including blue, fin, minke, humpback and sei whales, hopefully you will see some from the decks. You may want to visit Reykjavik’s natural wonder, the spectacular Blue Lagoon, a spa located in a lava field in Grindavik; swim in the glorious geo-thermal, mineral-rich sea water renowned for healing properties and a temperature of approximately 37-39°C.
Days 10-12 - At sea
Enjoy our final days at sea as we sail back home. Simply relax, or join in with the onboard activities.
Day 13 London Tilbury
Arrive at London Tilbury Port.