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ICELAND - LAND OF ICE & FIRE

from £1925
Cruise northern oceans and experience natural wonders. Hear the crack and low thunder of glaciers tumbling into the sea, marvel at the rush of super-heated geysers and see volcanoes against the Arctic sky.

Cruise northern oceans and experience natural wonders. Hear the crack and a low thunder of glaciers tumbling into the sea, marvel at the rush of super-heated geysers and see the volcanoes against the arctic sky. Iceland's fragile crust creates some of nature's greatest spectacles. We also visit remote fjords on the north and east coast. In September it is possible to see the Northern Lights.

 SHORE WALKS AND EXCURSION HIGHLIGHTS:

 Reykjavík - From Iceland’s capital we go on our special version of the classic Golden Circle tour. Visit the thundering waterfall at Gulfoss, see the steaming water spout at Geysir and walk in the Thingvellir National Park where the American and European continents meet. If we have two nights here we also include a walk through Steam Valley near Hveragerdi.

 Akureyri - On Iceland’s north coast, we travel to M.vatn Lake, a remarkable place for birds and volcanic landscapes.

 Seydisfjördur - From this port on Iceland’s east coast, we walk with a local guide to see beautiful waterfalls and a variety of Icelandic vegetation. Wild crowberries and blueberries can be found here in August.

 Isafjördur - The largest town in the western fjords and an ancient trading post. A local guide takes us along the Folafotur peninsula, rich in wildlife including birds, seals, Arctic foxes and whales.

 Eskifjördur - We join a local guide for a trip to the remote Holmanes Peninsula for a fascinating walk through the nature reserve where eider ducks nest in the spring. There are over 150 plant varieties here, as well as many sea birds.

 Tórshavn - We come ashore in the capital of the Faroe islands for a walk across the island from the remote village of Kirkjubour. On the walk there are views across to neighbouring islands.

 


Holiday Highlights

  • Glaciers, geysers and volcanoes and the famous Golden Circle Tour from Reykjavik
  • Rich flora and opportunities for bird watching
  • NEW in 2020: Beautiful trail through wetlands with great views of the river, gushing through the canyon over 12 waterfalls in Ísafjörður.
The holiday inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What's included in this holiday Items that are covered in the cost of holiday price.

    A shore visit programme organised by us and led by your tour leader. Almost all transport costs for our walking and sightseeing programmes from the ports visited. Occasionally there may be an optional museum entrance or cable car fare to pay for locally. Details are in our Holiday Information Sheets.

    Walking tours with local guides around many of the cities we visit.

    Tips to the restaurant staff on the ship – we ask you to tip your cabin staff, however.

    A full on board entertainment programme including stage shows, ship’s band and musicians, comedy and guest speakers. You can enjoy as much or as little as you choose.
Whats not included in this holiday Items that are not covered in the cost of holiday price.

  • Entrance fees to some museums and historic buildings (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Insurance
Please select Departure Date to view:

Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

This departure: Grade 4/SS

  1. Day 1

    Today you board Boudicca in Dover and set sail for Iceland.

    Check in for the cruise begins one hour prior to embarkation. Embarkation at the cruise terminal usually begins three hours before departure and closes one hour prior to sailing.

    At Dover you will be greeted by Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ staff, including porters who will arrange for your luggage to be delivered to your cabin. There will be a letter from your Ramblers Cruise & Walk Holidays’ leader in your cabin informing you of the place and time for you to meet the rest of the group.

    Sailing time is usually from mid afternoon to early evening and will be confirmed on your travel documents.

  2. Day 2

    We have a day at sea to relax and enjoy the ship’s facilities. There is usually a range of activities available on board – you may choose to join a fitness class or visit the onboard gym, attend one of the on-board lectures, treat yourself to a treatment in the spa, stroll along the deck, or just simply relax in one of the lounges with a coffee and a book from the library. Each evening a Daily Times newsletter will be placed in your cabin, detailing events and timings for the following day.

    As we approach Iceland on Wednesday evening there should be good views of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, the one which caused the ash cloud in 2010.

  3. Day 3

    From Kirkwall, the capital of the Orkney Islands, we take a coach across the island of Mainland to the Kitchener Memorial, from where we walk across moorland and along cliffs to Scara Brae, on arrival at which there should be time for a visit before returning to the ship.

    10km, 100m , 3 ½ hours

    Occasional changes to the ship’s schedule means we cannot guarantee there will be time to visit Scara Brae, so we do not include the entrance ticket (around £8) in the price of the cruise.

  4. Day 4 to 5

    We have two further days at sea as we head towards Iceland. (‘Fair Isle, Faroes, Southeast Iceland’… where have you heard those names before?). As we approach the coast on Wednesday evening we should be able to see the Eyjafjallajökull that caused so much grief back in 2010 when it erupted and covered much of Europe in an ash cloud.

  5. Day 6

    Today we undertake a Ramblers Cruise & Walk version of the famous Golden Circle Tour from Reykjavik, which showcases south west Iceland’s amazing landscapes. This includes time at the massive Gulfoss waterfall, a walk through the Thingvellir National Park where the land is split by a massive fissure, and time at Geysir to see the famous geyser. We walk for about an hour at Thingvellir, and less at Gulfoss and Geysir.

  6. Day 7

    A 40 minute drive from Reykjavik brings us to the ‘Steam Valley’ Just north of Hveragerdi. Our walk here takes us past steaming fumaroles to a spot where it is possible to take a dip in the thermal heated waters.

    7.5km, 300m ascent & descent, 3 ½ hours

    Returning the same way we drive back to Reykjavik for free time to explore the city before boarding Boudicca.

  7. Day 8

    Early in the morning, before arriving in Isafjörður, we sail past the 14km long cliffs at Latrabjarg which mark the westernmost point of Europe, excluding some of the Azores. These cliffs, at 441m, are also Europe’s highest bird cliffs and home to millions of birds, including puffins, northern gannets, guillemots and razorbills during the breeding season.

    On coming ashore, we have the opportunity to visit the small town of Ísafjörður (population 3,500), view the peaks surrounding the fjord from a coastal route and then to walk up on to the hills over-looking the fjord for some splendid views across the town and surrounding countryside.

    10km, 3.5 hours, 250m

    Later this evening we will enjoy views of the craggy fjords and cliffs of northwest Iceland. We cruise past the cliffs at Hælavíkurbjarg & Hornbjarg down to the amazing sea peaks of Drangaskörð, amongst the most remote and rugged places in Iceland and only accessible by sea or on foot. Coast views don’t come much more spectacular than this.

  8. Day 9

    We come ashore in Akureyri at the southern end of Eyjafjörður on Iceland’s northern coast. As we cruise along the fjord we pass by the island of Hrisey, rich in birdlife.

    Today we have an excursion to the bird watching and volcanic areas centered on Myvatn Lake, one of the highlights of any visit to northern Iceland. An early start is sometimes necessary to take full advantage of the day and we may have to have a late dinner.

    Our first stop is at the mighty Godafoss waterfall, ‘the waterfall of the gods’ and one of the most beautiful in Iceland. At the northern end of Myvatn we go bird spotting amidst the craters by the lakeshore for some rare northern species. Next is the Dimmuborgir lava field followed by a visit to the tectonic plates at Grjotagia where is is possible to stand with one foot on the American and one of the European plate. We should also be able to walk at the Viti crater lake where there are superb lava landscapes from recent volcanic activity. A really great day!

  9. Day 10

    From the port we walk south through meadows and beside the river bank. There are good views of waterfalls, which can be spectacular after rain, and we may pass close to an arctic tern nesting area.

    6.5km, 70m ascent & descent, 2 ½ hours

    Back in a pretty small town of Seydisfjörður the Blue Church is well worth a look.

  10. Day 11

    We have an afternoon in the capital of the Faroe Islands. We take a bus out to Kirkjubour and return on foot across open moorland with good views out to neighboring islands and the possibility of spotting some of the local birds.

    10km, 3 ½ hours, 260m ascent & descent

    We don’t leave the island until around 21.00 so there will be time to look around Torshavn. There are churches dating from Viking times and a vicarage from the seventeenth century.

  11. Day 12 to 13

    We have a couple of final days at sea to mull over the amazing sights we have seen in Iceland, as well as taking it easy on Boudicca, enjoying the food and many enjoyable features the ship has to offer.

  12. Day 14

    You arrive in Dover around 07.00 for disembarkation after breakfast.

Trip Map

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Our Accommodation on this holiday

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday. If you are on a multi-centre holiday, these are highlights of the places where we stay. Please refer to your Holiday Information sheet (which can be found under View Departures & Book), for your departure date and for all your accommodation details.

Balmoral

Balmoral is named after the Scottish residence of the British Royal Family, and is the largest of Fred. Olsen’s ocean-going cruise ships, yet is still small enough to navigate size-restricted waterways such as the Kiel Canal, providing fantastic scenic cruising opportunities. Balmoral retains the warm, intimate and friendly atmosphere that the Fred. Olsen fleet is renowned for. Featuring 710 well-appointed rooms and suites and a selection of comfortable lounges, bars and inviting public areas, which have been recently extensively refitted and improved, Balmoral provides guests with ample space in which to relax and enjoy the facilities on board.  

View the deck plan for Balmoral

There is always an array of superb entertainment on offer throughout the day, from lectures and hobby classes to enjoy on sea days as well as shows, reviews and evenings of cabaret and comedians, ensuring you can make the most of your time on board. Whether it's watching the evening show at the beautifully refurbished Neptune Lounge; taking in stunning views over a traditional Afternoon Tea at the Observatory Lounge; sampling premium gins at the Lido Bar; or having a refreshing pint at the Morning Light Pub, you'll find there are plenty of places to unwind on board ship. 

On board facilities also include two swimming pools, a fitness centre including a sauna, steam room and beauty salon, two sun decks, Jacuzzis, several lounges and bars, a card room, small casino, library, coffee shop, gelato bar, internet room and restaurants. The ship has a medical centre, a boutique, a shop where you can buy essentials such as sun cream or toiletries, and there is also a self service laundrette and ironing room on board.

All guest cabins are are equipped with climate control, an interactive smart TV, hairdryer, desk, phone, fridge (which can be stocked as a mini-bar) and tea and coffee making facilities as standard.  Allocated cabins will be an inside cabin unless you have paid a supplement to upgrade. 

Your cabin steward will keep your cabin in immaculate condition, replacing any linen or towels as or when required. Separate towels are provided for poolside use. Balmoral operates a satellite telephone system, with telephones in each cabin, and personal mobile phones enabled for international roaming should work on board. The voltage on board the Balmoral is supplied at 220 volts (requiring a continental style 2-pin plug).

Payment on board is in Sterling, and a credit account system is operated on board allowing purchases to be charged to your account which must be settled at the end of your cruise.


Black Watch

Black Watch is sleek, intimate and harks back to the days when cruise ships were revered for their style and charm. The ultimate home-from-home at sea; Black Watch is spacious with a friendly and familiar feel, and provides guests with a traditional cruise experience.  Having undergone a thorough refurbishment in late 2016, Black Watch features a selection of stylish suites and rooms, restaurants and spacious public rooms that provide up to 804 guests with everything needed for a comfortable, enjoyable and stress-free stay on board, while retaining the elegant style of a traditional cruise ship. 

View the deck plan for Black Watch

Black Watch has several restaurants; welcoming bars and lounges offering an array of music, dance, comedy and entertainment. There are inviting open deck spaces; and a teak-lined promenade.  You can soak-up the sunshine at the Marquee Bar; or enjoy the sophistication of a Traditional Afternoon Tea, accompanied by breathtaking views, in the Observatory. To satisfy your caffeine cravings, visit The Bookmark Café for luxurious coffees and indulgent chocolates. In the evening, settle-in amongst the familiar surroundings of the Morning Light Pub; then take in the after-dinner show in the Neptune Lounge. In the Lido Lounge you can simply sit back with a drink in hand, or hit the dance floor!  Black Watch also has an upgraded 4K, 3D cinema if you fancy a ‘movie night’.

On board facilities also include two swimming pools, a fitness centre including a sauna, steam room and beauty salon, two sun decks, Jacuzzis, several lounges and bars, a card room, small casino, library, coffee shop, internet room and restaurants. The ship has a medical centre, a boutique, a shop where you can buy essentials such as sun cream or toiletries, and there is also a self service laundrette and ironing room on board.

All guest cabins are are equipped with climate control, an interactive smart TV, hairdryer, desk, phone, fridge (which can be stocked as a mini-bar) and tea and coffee making facilities as standard.  Allocated cabins will be an inside cabin unless you have paid a supplement to upgrade. 

Your cabin steward will keep your cabin in immaculate condition, replacing any linen or towels as or when required. Separate towels are provided for poolside use. Black Watch operates a satellite telephone system, with telephones in each cabin, and personal mobile phones enabled for international roaming should work on board. The voltage on board the Black Watch is supplied at 220 volts (requiring a continental style 2-pin plug).

Payment on board is in Sterling, and a credit account system is operated on board allowing purchases to be charged to your account which must be settled at the end of your cruise.


Boudicca

Named after the British warrior Queen, Boudicca offers a sense of timeless elegance not seen or experienced on modern 'megaships'. The emphasis is on providing an intimate and more traditional cruise experience. Up to 880 guests can cruise aboard Boudicca, and the ship has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment of the ship's suites, bedrooms, restaurants, lounges and facilities.

View the deck plan for Boudicca

Boudicca's bars and lounges feature comfortable seating, ample space and are open throughout the day, so you'll always find somewhere to unwind, marvel at ever-changing scenery and enjoy a range of fantastic entertainment. You can also indulge in luxurious coffees and chocolates at the Bookmark Café, sip a cold beer or refreshing cocktail in the sunshine at the Marquee Bar; or enjoy a traditional Afternoon Tea accompanied by spectacular views at the Observatory.  If you’re feeling more active, take a dip in one of the three heated pools, visit the fully-equipped Fitness Centre, join a class or walk a mile around the Lido Deck's open promenade 

On board facilities also include two swimming pools, a fitness centre including a sauna, steam room and beauty salon, two sun decks, Jacuzzis, several lounges and bars, a card room, small casino, library, coffee shop, internet room and restaurants. The ship has a medical centre, a boutique, a shop where you can buy essentials such as sun cream or toiletries, and there is also a self service laundrette and ironing room on board.

All guest cabins are are equipped with climate control, an interactive smart TV, hairdryer, desk, phone, fridge (which can be stocked as a mini-bar) and tea and coffee making facilities as standard.  Allocated cabins will be an inside cabin unless you have paid a supplement to upgrade. 

Your cabin steward will keep your cabin in immaculate condition, replacing any linen or towels as or when required. Separate towels are provided for poolside use. Boudicca operates a satellite telephone system, with telephones in each cabin, and personal mobile phones enabled for international roaming should work on board. The voltage on board the Boudicca is supplied at 220 volts (requiring a continental style 2-pin plug).

Payment on board is in Sterling, and a credit account system is operated on board allowing purchases to be charged to your account which must be settled at the end of your cruise.