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Epic Iceland

Iceland is without doubt one of the most extraordinary and dramatic lands on the planet and we are offering the opportunity to join this unique itinerary combining the ‘Land of Ice and Fire’ with visits to the Faroe Islands, Shetland Islands and Orkney Islands. During our summer expedition we will explore some magnificent landscapes and learn more of the centuries old legacies of a Viking and Norse heritage. Setting sail from Reykjavik our voyage takes us to some of Iceland’s stunning landscapes from huge ice-caps and glaciers to active volcanoes, gurgling mud pools, steaming hot springs and lava fields. Witness the immense scale of the landscape dominated by towering snow-capped mountains and thundering waterfalls and spontaneous erupting geysers as we learn of the centuries old legacies of a Viking and Norse heritage.

We continue on to the wild and ruggedly beautiful landscapes of the Faroe Islands which are a paradise for walkers and bird watchers. The history of the islands can be traced back to the Irish monks who settled here in the 6th century and the 9th century seafaring explorers who traversed the North Sea and claimed Orkney, the Shetland Islands, Iceland and Greenland. Continuing our journey south we also call into the Shetland Islands where we will explore Britain’s most northerly inhabited island and the remarkable archaeological site of Jarlshof. Our last day of exploration is spent in the Orkney Islands where we will visit Noup Head, an RSPB reserve on the sea cliffs and home to up to 100,000 nesting seabirds.

A journey by small ship is the ideal way to get up close to nature and explore areas inaccessible to larger vessels and an expedition such as this can only be undertaken by a special vessel with the self-sufficient qualities of the MS Serenissima. With her expert team and fleet of Zodiacs we will be able to land on remote beaches and cruise close to shorelines and cliffs crowded with birdlife.

What's incuded: Economy class scheduled air travel from London to Reykjavik • 12 nights aboard the MS Serenissima on a full board basis • House wine, beer & soft drinks with lunch and dinner on board • Shore excursions • Gratuities • Transfers • Port taxes.

01 July, 2020 to 13 July, 2020 Make a booking request for Epic Iceland, departing on 01 July, 2020

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Standard Stateroom £ 5395 GBP pp
10 to 11.5 sq meters. The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower (please note cabins 601 - 605 and 507 have a bath with shower attachment) and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily. Due to the very nature of the ship, the cabins vary in shape and size, adding to the vessel’s overall charm.
view cabin photo
Classic Stateroom £ 5645 GBP pp
14 to 19 sq meters. The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower (please note cabins 601 - 605 and 507 have a bath with shower attachment) and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily. Due to the very nature of the ship, the cabins vary in shape and size, adding to the vessel’s overall charm.
view cabin photo
Superior Stateroom £ 6295 GBP pp
11.5 to 18 sq meters. The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower (please note cabins 601 - 605 and 507 have a bath with shower attachment) and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily. Due to the very nature of the ship, the cabins vary in shape and size, adding to the vessel’s overall charm.
view cabin photo
Deluxe Stateroom £ 6745 GBP pp
11 to 25 sq meters. The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower (please note cabins 601 - 605 and 507 have a bath with shower attachment) and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily. Due to the very nature of the ship, the cabins vary in shape and size, adding to the vessel’s overall charm.
view cabin photo
Standard Single £ 6795 GBP pp
7 to 12.5 sq meters. The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower (please note cabins 601 - 605 and 507 have a bath with shower attachment) and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily. Due to the very nature of the ship, the cabins vary in shape and size, adding to the vessel’s overall charm.
view cabin photo
Junior Suite £ 7295 GBP pp
21 sq meters. The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower (please note cabins 601 - 605 and 507 have a bath with shower attachment) and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily. Due to the very nature of the ship, the cabins vary in shape and size, adding to the vessel’s overall charm.
view cabin photo
Serenissima Suite £ 8495 GBP pp
25 sq meters. The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower (please note cabins 601 - 605 and 507 have a bath with shower attachment) and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily. Due to the very nature of the ship, the cabins vary in shape and size, adding to the vessel’s overall charm.
view cabin photo
Owner’s Suite £ 8495 GBP pp
22 sq meters. The cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience. All cabins are fully air conditioned with an en-suite bathroom with shower (please note cabins 601 - 605 and 507 have a bath with shower attachment) and a selection of toiletries in addition to a hairdryer, robes and slippers. All cabins come equipped with telephone, flat screen television, safety deposit box and other thoughtful appointments. Bottles of still and sparkling water are replenished daily. Due to the very nature of the ship, the cabins vary in shape and size, adding to the vessel’s overall charm.
view cabin photo

Epic Iceland itinerary:

show reverse itinerary
Day 1 London to Reykjavik, Iceland.
Fly by scheduled flight. On arrival transfer to the MS Serenissima and embark. Set sail this evening.
Day 2 Latrabjarg & Vigur Island.
During breakfast we will cruise past the Latrabjarg cliffs, the westernmost point of Europe and home to a huge number of birds including puffins, northern gannets, guillemots and razorbills. After lunch on board we explore Isafjardardjup with the MS Serenissima and, depending on local weather conditions, we hope to land on Vigur, a serene little island with only five residents but home to many more puffins, eider ducks, black guillemots and Arctic terns. We can also visit Iceland’s only extant windmill dating from the 19th century.
Day 3 Grimsey Island & Siglufjordur.
This morning we head to Grimsey Island where there will be time to enjoy a nature walk on the island. The Arctic Circle bisects Grimsey which is known for its tiny community, basalt cliffs and large variety of birdlife. After lunch we arrive to Siglufjordur, a picturesque town that enjoys an idyllic setting in a small fjord backed by mountains. Here in the early 1900s, a booming economy due to the herring industry resulted in a prosperous town with some marvellous Icelandic architecture. Stroll through the town and visit the Herring Era Museum.
Day 4 Akureyri.
This delightful town on the north coast of Iceland is not what you would expect to find in such a remote location. In summer months the gardens and window boxes are ablaze with colour. On a morning tour we visit the spectacular Godafoss Waterfall where water from the river Skjalfandafljot falls from a height of 12 metres over a width of 30 metres. From Godafoss we return to the charming town of Akureyri and visit the botanical garden which was founded in 1912 and grows examples of every species indigenous to Iceland as well as an extensive collection of high-latitude and high-altitude plants from around the world. Our tour ends at the Art Alley, where artisans keep their workshops and galleries. You can then choose to either return to the ship for lunch and enjoy a free afternoon in the town or continue to the Lake Myvatn-Krafla area which is a fine example of the volcanic world with lava fields, boiling and steaming mud pools and steam vents of sulphur and craters. The area illustrates the sheer magnitude of Iceland’s forces at work. The lake itself, with beautiful natural rock formations and hot springs, is also a unique ecosystem and the largest migratory bird sanctuary in Europe. We will offer time in the natural baths before returning to the ship later this afternoon.
Day 5 Husavik.
Over breakfast we arrive in Husavik, known as the whale capital of Iceland. This morning we will use local boats to explore Skjalfandi Bay looking for one of the 15 species of whales, the most popular being humpback, minke and blue whales, as well as white beaked dolphins and many different kinds of birds. After lunch on board we have the afternoon to explore the pretty town including time at the excellent whale museum, the exploration museum and quaint local church.
Day 6 Seydisfjordur.
This morning we arrive at the natural harbour of Seydisfjordur which has preserved its fishing heritage from the early 19th century and its architectural style. Either enjoy a morning at leisure to explore independently or for the keen walkers there will be the opportunity to join an energetic hike up the river trail through a verdant landscape of wildflowers. Sail this afternoon towards the Faroe Islands.
Day 7 Torshavn, Streymoy, Faroe Islands.
After a morning at sea we arrive this afternoon in Streymoy. After lunch on board join a guided tour through Torshavn over the hills to Kirkjubour, the island’s oldest cultural centre, where we see the ruins of the 13th century St. Magnus Cathedral and the 11th century church, still in use. We also visit the 900-year old “Roykstovan”, the old bishopric, considered to be the oldest wooden house in Europe. For the more active we will arrange a hike in the hills surrounding the town to discover the local flora and fauna.
Day 8 Vestmanna.
Vestmanna is our base for today as we discover the northwest corner of Streymoy and the nearby cliffs. This morning we will board local boats to explore the vertical cliffs that climb almost 1500 feet, sailing into grottos carved by the surf over the years and watching the thousands of sea birds including puffins, guillemots, fulmars and kittiwakes that nest here each summer. After lunch on board we will drive to the beautiful village of Saksun, an isolated settlement situated beneath steep majestic mountains. Call at Duvugaroar, an old farmhouse, which is now a museum and visit a traditional Faeroese wooden church in Kollafjord.
Day 9 Muckle Flugga & Unst, Shetland Islands.
After a morning at sea we reach the Shetland Islands in the early afternoon. We will cruise around Muckle Flugga, a small rocky island home to thousands of gannets and puffins as well as rare arctic-alpine plants, before arriving in Unst at lunchtime. Unst is Britain’s most northerly inhabited island and at the Heritage Centre we will learn about the islanders struggles over the centuries and the industries that have prospered whilst the Unst Boat Haven is dedicated to the history of the islands distinctive wooden boats which descend from Viking craft. We also visit Saxa Vord with views over Hermaness National Nature Reserve and Muckle Flugga stacks.
Day 10 Lerwick.
From the Shetland capital we will visit the remarkable archaeological site of Jarlshof. The site was uncovered by a violent storm in the winter of 1896/7, revealing an extraordinary settlement site embracing at least 5000 years of human history. The site contains a remarkable sequence of stone structures – late Neolithic houses, a Bronze- Age village, an Iron-Age broch and wheelhouses, several Norse longhouse, a Medieval farmstead, and the 16th century laird’s house. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy a free afternoon to explore this historic port. Tonight, we will be entertained by local musicians as we overnight in port.
Day 11 Mousa & Fair Isle.
This morning we sail the short distance to Mousa to see the 40 foot defensive tower built by the Picts more than 2000 years ago, and the tallest, best preserved example of an Iron Age broch (tower) in Britain. Return to the ship for lunch before we anchor off the remote island of Fair Isle in the early afternoon. Located midway between the Shetland and Orkney islands, the tiny population of sixty or so islanders always extend us a warm welcome. Enjoy a walk across the island, perhaps visiting the Bird Observatory, searching out the puffin slopes, visit the community hall for a cup of tea or maybe purchase some of the famous knitwear.
Day 12 Westray, Orkney Islands.
Spend the morning in the Orkney Islands as we explore the islands to the north of the mainland. On Westray we will visit Noup Head, an RSPB reserve on the sea cliffs and home to up to 100,000 nesting seabirds. We also see Notland Castle, an incomplete fortress built in the 16th century by Gilbert Balfour, Mary Queen of Scots Sherif of Orkney whilst in the main village of Pierowall we find the Westray Heritage Centre housing Neolithic carvings. Return to the ship for lunch and spend a relaxing final afternoon at sea as we return to the Scottish mainland.
Day 13 Aberdeen, Scotland.
Disembark after breakfast. Transfers will be provided to the train station and Aberdeen Airport at a fixed time.
Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Epic Iceland reverse itinerary:

show main itinerary
Itineraries are subject to change.
Disembark after breakfast. Transfers will be provided to the train station and Aberdeen Airport at a fixed time.
Spend the morning in the Orkney Islands as we explore the islands to the north of the mainland. On Westray we will visit Noup Head, an RSPB reserve on the sea cliffs and home to up to 100,000 nesting seabirds. We also see Notland Castle, an incomplete fortress built in the 16th century by Gilbert Balfour, Mary Queen of Scots Sherif of Orkney whilst in the main village of Pierowall we find the Westray Heritage Centre housing Neolithic carvings. Return to the ship for lunch and spend a relaxing final afternoon at sea as we return to the Scottish mainland.
This morning we sail the short distance to Mousa to see the 40 foot defensive tower built by the Picts more than 2000 years ago, and the tallest, best preserved example of an Iron Age broch (tower) in Britain. Return to the ship for lunch before we anchor off the remote island of Fair Isle in the early afternoon. Located midway between the Shetland and Orkney islands, the tiny population of sixty or so islanders always extend us a warm welcome. Enjoy a walk across the island, perhaps visiting the Bird Observatory, searching out the puffin slopes, visit the community hall for a cup of tea or maybe purchase some of the famous knitwear.
From the Shetland capital we will visit the remarkable archaeological site of Jarlshof. The site was uncovered by a violent storm in the winter of 1896/7, revealing an extraordinary settlement site embracing at least 5000 years of human history. The site contains a remarkable sequence of stone structures – late Neolithic houses, a Bronze- Age village, an Iron-Age broch and wheelhouses, several Norse longhouse, a Medieval farmstead, and the 16th century laird’s house. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy a free afternoon to explore this historic port. Tonight, we will be entertained by local musicians as we overnight in port.
After a morning at sea we reach the Shetland Islands in the early afternoon. We will cruise around Muckle Flugga, a small rocky island home to thousands of gannets and puffins as well as rare arctic-alpine plants, before arriving in Unst at lunchtime. Unst is Britain’s most northerly inhabited island and at the Heritage Centre we will learn about the islanders struggles over the centuries and the industries that have prospered whilst the Unst Boat Haven is dedicated to the history of the islands distinctive wooden boats which descend from Viking craft. We also visit Saxa Vord with views over Hermaness National Nature Reserve and Muckle Flugga stacks.
Vestmanna is our base for today as we discover the northwest corner of Streymoy and the nearby cliffs. This morning we will board local boats to explore the vertical cliffs that climb almost 1500 feet, sailing into grottos carved by the surf over the years and watching the thousands of sea birds including puffins, guillemots, fulmars and kittiwakes that nest here each summer. After lunch on board we will drive to the beautiful village of Saksun, an isolated settlement situated beneath steep majestic mountains. Call at Duvugaroar, an old farmhouse, which is now a museum and visit a traditional Faeroese wooden church in Kollafjord.
After a morning at sea we arrive this afternoon in Streymoy. After lunch on board join a guided tour through Torshavn over the hills to Kirkjubour, the island’s oldest cultural centre, where we see the ruins of the 13th century St. Magnus Cathedral and the 11th century church, still in use. We also visit the 900-year old “Roykstovan”, the old bishopric, considered to be the oldest wooden house in Europe. For the more active we will arrange a hike in the hills surrounding the town to discover the local flora and fauna.
This morning we arrive at the natural harbour of Seydisfjordur which has preserved its fishing heritage from the early 19th century and its architectural style. Either enjoy a morning at leisure to explore independently or for the keen walkers there will be the opportunity to join an energetic hike up the river trail through a verdant landscape of wildflowers. Sail this afternoon towards the Faroe Islands.
Over breakfast we arrive in Husavik, known as the whale capital of Iceland. This morning we will use local boats to explore Skjalfandi Bay looking for one of the 15 species of whales, the most popular being humpback, minke and blue whales, as well as white beaked dolphins and many different kinds of birds. After lunch on board we have the afternoon to explore the pretty town including time at the excellent whale museum, the exploration museum and quaint local church.
This delightful town on the north coast of Iceland is not what you would expect to find in such a remote location. In summer months the gardens and window boxes are ablaze with colour. On a morning tour we visit the spectacular Godafoss Waterfall where water from the river Skjalfandafljot falls from a height of 12 metres over a width of 30 metres. From Godafoss we return to the charming town of Akureyri and visit the botanical garden which was founded in 1912 and grows examples of every species indigenous to Iceland as well as an extensive collection of high-latitude and high-altitude plants from around the world. Our tour ends at the Art Alley, where artisans keep their workshops and galleries. You can then choose to either return to the ship for lunch and enjoy a free afternoon in the town or continue to the Lake Myvatn-Krafla area which is a fine example of the volcanic world with lava fields, boiling and steaming mud pools and steam vents of sulphur and craters. The area illustrates the sheer magnitude of Iceland’s forces at work. The lake itself, with beautiful natural rock formations and hot springs, is also a unique ecosystem and the largest migratory bird sanctuary in Europe. We will offer time in the natural baths before returning to the ship later this afternoon.
This morning we head to Grimsey Island where there will be time to enjoy a nature walk on the island. The Arctic Circle bisects Grimsey which is known for its tiny community, basalt cliffs and large variety of birdlife. After lunch we arrive to Siglufjordur, a picturesque town that enjoys an idyllic setting in a small fjord backed by mountains. Here in the early 1900s, a booming economy due to the herring industry resulted in a prosperous town with some marvellous Icelandic architecture. Stroll through the town and visit the Herring Era Museum.
During breakfast we will cruise past the Latrabjarg cliffs, the westernmost point of Europe and home to a huge number of birds including puffins, northern gannets, guillemots and razorbills. After lunch on board we explore Isafjardardjup with the MS Serenissima and, depending on local weather conditions, we hope to land on Vigur, a serene little island with only five residents but home to many more puffins, eider ducks, black guillemots and Arctic terns. We can also visit Iceland’s only extant windmill dating from the 19th century.
Fly by scheduled flight. On arrival transfer to the MS Serenissima and embark. Set sail this evening.
* = Indicative
Map for Epic Iceland
Serenissima, the ship servicing Epic Iceland

Serenissima

Vessel Type: Small Ship

Length: 87 metres

Passenger Capacity: 95

Built / refurbished: 1960 / 2013 / December 2018

Prior to her life as the MS Andrea she spent many years cruising the Norwegian coast as the Harald Jarl. The decision by the Norwegian owners, Hurtigruten to invest in much larger new vessels, presented an opportunity to the American company, Elegant Cruises to purchase the vessel in 2002. After a substantial refit of over $20 million in Sweden she began her new life of worldwide cruising. She underwent another significant refurbishment in December 2018 and her capacity was reduced to 95.

Perhaps, one of the best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During the major refit in Sweden the then owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create a Gustavian style interior. This bright Swedish 18th century influenced, country house style works particularly well on a vessel of this vintage, providing intimacy and classic nautical sensibility often lacking in larger vessels.

Accommodating just 95 passengers, the 53 cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience and are fully air conditioned with a modern shower and toilet, telephone, flat screen televisions and other thoughtful appointments. There are eight different grades of cabin arranged over five decks and with the exception of the five inside cabins, all staterooms feature either windows or portholes.

The free seating Venice Restaurant accommodates all guests in one sitting. In addition there is an outside dining area for when the weather and itinerary permit. A new addition to the vessel is a Lido area on Deck 5 with a bar and Jacuzzi.

Other facilities on board include two lounges, a small library with two computers for internet access, a spacious observation deck, fitness area, massage and an elevator. In areas such the United Kingdom and Norway the vessel is equipped with Zodiac craft allowing us to visit remote places where normal tender arrangements are not possible.

The European captain, officers, expedition staff, and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming and dedicated to discovery and relaxation.

Serenissima DeckSerenissima suite

Serenissima Owners Suite | The Small Cruise Ship Collection

Serenissima lounge | The Small Cruise Ship Collection

Serenissima cruising | The Small Cruise Ship Collection

Cabin layout for Serenissima
• Travelling with You - Ragnar Hauksson. Ragnar is a native of Iceland. He graduated from the University of Iceland in 1981 with Icelandic studies as his main subject and German as by-subject. He speaks English, German and the Scandinavian languages fluently in addition to his mother tongue of Icelandic. Since graduating from the Iceland Tourist School 1988, Ragnar has had extensive experience as a guide leading tours of various natures throughout his homeland. In the past twenty five years, he has been to almost every corner of his country and is intimately familiar with the sights, sounds, colours, and smells of Iceland. He is equally able to appreciate the ample bird life, admire the variety of plants species, and marvel at the volcanic craters and geothermal activity that is so unique to Iceland. He has also taken part in a number of voyages on expedition cruise ships in the North Atlantic and Arctic in the past fifteen years. – In addition to his guiding work, Ragnar works as a free lance translator of books and articles into Icelandic. In his discussions, Ragnar has the ability to intertwine the history and the folk and fairy tales of the North Atlantic nations together with everyday life of modern societies in those countries.
Enquire now about Epic Iceland

Travel on the Serenissima

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