North Atlantic Saga, 11 Days
Starts: Aberdeen, Scotland
Ends: Reykjavik, Iceland
- DAY 1: Aberdeen, Scotland
Begin Your Adventure
Board the?Ocean Endeavour for an evening departure after enjoying some self-guided exploration in Aberdeen.
Many of the historic stone buildings here are made of locally quarried granite; high in mica, they can sparkle like silver.
The city is also famed for its forty-five parks, gardens, and floral displays. Though it is now a modern city, Aberdeen retains its old-world charm.
- DAY 2: Kirkwall, Orkney
Visit the Heart of Neolithic Orkney UNESCO World Heritage Site
Wander through the stone walls of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you’ll find the 4,000-year-old Ring of Brodgar.
Tour the Hall of Clestrain, childhood home of Arctic explorer John Rae and take in the sights of the city of Kirkwall, dominated by the massive St. Magnus Cathedral, dating from 1137.
- DAY 3: Fair Isle
Enjoy Birdwatching at a Quaint Island Community
Journey to charming Fair Isle, once a Viking hub and now an idyllic island colony of artists and shepherds.
Keep your binoculars handy to spot some of the 350 bird species that the island boasts, including puffins and great skuas in substantial numbers.
Take a tour of the local museum, dedicated to preserving island heritage.
- DAY 4: Sumba, Suðuroy Island, Faroe Islands
Immerse Yourself in Faroese Culture & Spectacular Hiking
Visit the village of Sumba on Suduroy Island, population 239 and occupied since the seventh century—it is also a stronghold of Faroese chain dancing.
Hike the foothills of nearby Beinisvord Mountain, affording spectacular, panoramic views of the region.
See for yourself why the island is famed for its dramatic cliffs towering over the North Atlantic and enjoy this paradise for birds, including European storm petrels and Atlantic puffins.
- DAY 5: Thorshavn
Visit Galleries, Shops, and Restaurants
Explore the splendid little city of Thorshavn ("Thor’s harbour"), the Faroe Islands’ capital and a former Viking trading centre.
Be sure to stop in at the treasured national art gallery at Nordic House, surrounded by gorgeous grounds with walking trails.
Experience excellent shopping, restaurants, and pubs.
- DAY 6–7: Western Faroe Islands
Soak in Dramatic Mountains & Waterfalls
Travel to the northwestern shores of Eysturoy and Streymoy islands, perfect for hiking, birding, and photography.
You’ll love these charming villages connected by high-tech tunnels through mountains and beneath the ocean floor, a unique and startling infrastructure feature of the Faroes.
Take the perfect photo at the Mulafossur waterfall in Gasadalur, a small village home to about twenty people reached via one such tunnel—but look for the old switchback trail over the mountain, once used by the local postman when this village was only accessible by foot!
- DAY 8: Mykines Island
Delight in Excellent Birdwatching
Make a stop at Mykines, the westernmost of the Faroe Islands and a geological marvel, where great columns of basalt tower thirty metres above the ocean.
Enjoy excellent birdwatching on the islet of Mykinesholmur, connected by a forty-metre footbridge to the western end of Mykines, famed for its sea stacks and a lighthouse dating to 1909.
The island has been identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International.
- DAY 9: At Sea
Deepen your understanding of the environment, cultures, and history of the region as we steam across the North Atlantic towards Iceland.
Enjoy workshops and presentations, watch a documentary, and get out on deck!
- DAY 10: Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands), Iceland
Marvel at Volcanic Landscapes
Witness geology in action at Vestmannaeyjar, lying off the south coast of Iceland and comprised of fourteen islands, numerous rocks, and skerries.
Learn about the compelling history of this volcanically active area that has experienced two major eruptions in recent times.
1963 saw the formation of the island of Surtsey and the Eldfell eruption ten years later destroyed much of Heimaey, the largest of the Vestmannaeyjars.
Enjoy a beautiful Zodiac cruise searching for the numerous species of seabirds that nest in the steep rock faces along the ocean cliffs here.
- DAY 11: Reykjavik, Iceland
Wave a Fond Farewell
Complete your journey in Reykjavik, Iceland’s cosmopolitan capital that was established in the year 874 CE.
Food, culture, and nightlife abound, while the National Culture House preserves treasures like the Poetic Edda and the Norse Sagas in their original manuscripts.
Disembark the?Ocean Endeavour in the morning and say your farewells in what is widely considered one of the cleanest, greenest cities in the world.