Circumnavigation of Iceland (Le Bellot)

Circumnavigation of Iceland (Le Bellot)

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Iceland—a land of hot springs, glaciers, lava fields, and waterfalls—is a nature lover’s paradise.

Explore Iceland’s fabled Golden Circle—Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall, and the Geysir Center.
View vast colonies of breeding seabirds; kittiwakes, thick-billed murres, guillemots, fulmars, and comical puffins.

Meet the residents of colourful fishing villages and stroll through archaeological sites that recall the height of Viking exploration. Photograph Iceland’s stunning landscapes—bubbling hot springs, glittering glaciers, soaring volcanoes, and plunging waterfalls.

Expedition leaders
Born in New Zealand, Brent has been an avid birder since childhood. In 2005 he completed his Ph.D., studying the breeding biology of Australasian gannets in New Zealand. His passion for travel, birds, and the ocean has led him to many corners of the world working on small expedition vessels. In his “spare time,” Brent conducts ecological research, conservation work, and co-owns a bird-guiding business. Brent is also the author of Birds of New Zealand: A Photographic Guide.

Jim hails from the city of Cobh, County Cork, Ireland and is a highly respected ornithologist and ecologist with more than 40 years of birding experience in the Antarctic, Ireland, Europe, and Africa. He is a full-time freelance wildlife filmmaker, broadcaster, and the author of four books—three on Irish birds and one on the whales and dolphins found in the waters surrounding Ireland.

He was national chairman of Birdwatch Ireland, Ireland’s equivalent of the Audubon Society and is a former director of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group.

What’s included:
• Port activities and excursions including cultural tours, nature walks, and Zodiac cruises
• All gratuities
• All accommodations
• World-class lecture and expedition team
• All onboard meals and group meals ashore, including soft drinks, beer, and wine with lunch and dinner
• All entrance fees, taxes, and landing and port charges
• Arrival and departure transfers on group dates
• Gift certificates for recommended expedition gear
• Medical expense coverage and emergency evacuation insurance

• Airfare from your home city/Reykjavík and Reykjavík/home city
• Excess baggage charges
• Airport arrival and departure taxes
• Transfers for independent arrivals and departures
• Passport and/or visa fees
• Travel insurance
• Items of a personal nature such as laundry, alcoholic beverages, (other than listed at left), and other incidentals
• Email/Internet/fax/telephone charges

Know Before You Go
For most activities, a relatively moderate level of exertion is required. You will need to climb, unaided, in
and out of Zodiacs for excursions ashore. Many of the landings will be “wet” and require that you wear waterproof, knee-high boots. Ashore, you must be able to walk moderate distances, unaided, over
occasionally rough and often slippery terrain. The shore excursions accommodate both those who enjoy gentle strolls and those who prefer more active hikes.

Temperatures throughout will range from lows in the 40s°F to the high 50s°F. Please note that temperatures on the water may feel cooler. Flexibility is a must, as itineraries are subject to change, and
landings may be tidal or weather dependent.

Trip Name
Circumnavigation of Iceland (Le Bellot)
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition / Cruise Ship Length: 131 metres Passenger Capacity: 184 Built: 2019-2020 Featuring innovative and environmentally-friendly equipment, elegantly designed staterooms, spacious suites with large windows, and lounge areas that open onto the outside, this new limited-capacity yacht boasting just 92 staterooms and suites will offer you a truly unique cruising experience. As the first ship in a new series that remains true to the Ponant spirit, Le Bellot will embody the unique atmosphere that is the cruise line’s hallmark: a subtle blend of refinement, intimacy and comfort. Aboard this ship that flies the French flag, you will experience the incomparable pleasure of an intimate cruise, with the possibility of exploring an ever-increasing range of destinations in an ethnic-chic ambiance with luxury service. Experience a luxurious setting where the accent is on authenticity and passion for travel. RESTAURANTS As it is an essential part of French culture, gastronomy will naturally have pride of place aboard this new ship. To the back of Deck 4, you will find a 260 m² panoramic restaurant which can accommodate all of our passengers in a single sitting. Designed differently to that on our other ships, this dining area, which opens onto the outside, will have a buffet of salads, desserts and cheeses at your disposal. Our discreet and attentive crew will provide table service for hot meals. In a relaxed atmosphere, an outdoor grill on Deck 3 will serve grilled meats with a variety of salads and desserts. PUBLIC AREAS Le Bellot has many common areas that are designed and equipped to meet all of your needs while preserving the intimacy of each passenger. A 140 m² reception area includes: A reception/concierge desk, An excursions desk, The ship’s administrative services, The sales office, manned by our Guest Relations Officer, Our 50 m² boutique which sells clothing, jewellery, beauty products, postcards and various accessories, Toilets accessible to passengers with reduced mobility. A new hydraulic platform with adjustable height provides:   Easier boarding than on any other cruise ship, Easier Zodiac embarkation and disembarkation for expeditions, Easier access to the sea for swimming and practising various water sports such as kayaking or paddle-boarding. A pool deck offering: A pool with a panoramic view, equipped with a counter-current swimming system, A pleasant solarium, An outdoor bar and lounge with armchairs and sofas. A 200 m² main lounge which can accommodate all of our passengers to share convivial moments and to host activities organised during the day or evening. Lastly, a theatre that seats 188, equipped with: The latest sound and lighting technology, A LED wall as the stage backdrop, for the projection of high-resolution images and videos.


Day 1 - Day 1 Reykjavik, Iceland
Arrive in the Icelandic capital this morning and transfer to our hotel. Lunch and the remainder of the day are at leisure to enjoy this fascinating and colorful city. Gather this evening for a welcome reception followed by dinner and overnight at our hotel.
Day 2 - Day 2 Reykjavik / Embark Le Bellot
After breakfast, set out to explore Iceland's classic scenic wonders known as the Golden Circle. Begin with Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, surrounded by mountains and encompassing a vast lava plain of green moss and wildflowers. Continue to Gullfoss Waterfall where the Hvita River drops 96 feet in two voluminous cascades. The Geysir Center is a huge geothermal field of both boiling and tranquil, multi-hued hot springs and bubbling mud pools. Then visit a traditional farm where Icelandic horses are raised. After lunch in these picturesque surroundings proceed to the pier, making a photo stop at a scenic viewpoint before boarding Le Bellot.
Day 3 - Day 3 Flatey Island / Látrabjarg
By Zodiac, trace the coastline of Flatey Island before going ashore for a walking tour of the village. View the uniquely painted island church and the restored houses of islanders who earn a living fishing for cod and lumpfish. This evening sail past Iceland's westernmost cape, the Látrabjarg cliff, a breeding ground for millions of seabirds.
Day 4 - Day 4 Ísafjördur
After breakfast step ashore in Ísafjördur, the trading and cultural center of the West Fjords. A cultural tour reveals the history and daily life of one of Iceland's oldest fishing settlements and visits the region's scenic highlights. This afternoon, enjoy free time in town to browse the local shops.
Day 5 - Day 5 Siglufjördur
In the afternoon, visit Siglufjördur, once the undisputed herring fishing capital of the Atlantic. The Herring Era Museum vividly depicts this period and a lively song and dance reenactment, accompanied by local delicacies, brings the herring boom era to life.
Day 6 - Day 6 Akureyri / Húsavík
After an early breakfast, depart on a full-day inland tour of the Mývatn region. Thousands of years ago, volcanic eruptions created this dramatic landscape of labyrinthine lava formations, seething sulfur pits, and boiling mud pools. Oasis-like Mývatn sits on the edge of a vast highland lava desert; one of Europe's richest waterfowl breeding areas, it supports enormous numbers of breeding ducks and whooper swans. Continue to Húsavík to reboard Le Bellot. Be on deck this evening to watch for humpback, minke, fin, orca, and sei whales, along with dolphins and harbor porpoises.
Day 7 - Day 7 Grímsey Island
Though Grímsey Island sits astride the Arctic Circle, it enjoys a mild climate and is covered with rich vegetation. Weather permitting, go ashore to visit the Viking hamlet of Sandvik, home to about 100 permanent residents who earn their living from fishing and fish processing. A Zodiac cruise along Grímsey's basaltic cliffs provides fantastic views of the incredible birdlife which includes kittiwakes, razorbills, fulmars, and puffins.
Day 8 - Day 8 Thistilfjord Bay
Explore stunning Thistilfjord Bay by Zodiac, cruising past chiseled headlands and dramatic sea stacks that rise from the bay.
Day 9 - Day 9 Seydisfjördur
The 11-mile cruise along Seydisfjördur showcases a scenic wonderland of stunning geology, cascading waterfalls, and soaring mountains. At its head, a natural harbor shelters the fishing town of the same name, renowned for its brightly painted 19th-century wooden buildings. Options this morning include Skalanes Nature Reserve to explore an important archaeological site and search for 47 species of birds, or a hike to the magnificent Hengifoss Waterfall.
Day 10 - Day 10 Höfn
Situated on a large, enclosed bay, the fishing community of Höfn is also the gateway to Europe's largest glacier. While most of Iceland is pastoral and green, its southeastern corner is covered by the shimmering white Vatnajökull Glacier, a 1,000-foot-thick ice field. A spectacular drive brings you to a fleet of waiting snowmobiles for an exhilarating guided excursion across the vast expanses of glittering whiteness. After lunch, set out on an unforgettable boat ride on Jökulsárlón Lake to cruise among aquamarine icebergs.
Day 11 - Day 11 Heimaey Island / Surtsey Island
On Heimaey Island, visit the Herjolfsdalur Valley to view ruins of farmhouses dating back to 650 AD. From Storhofdi, the views over the island are simply breathtaking. You will also pass between two volcanoes, one that formed 5,000 years ago, the other formed quite recently in 1973. Drive right across the younger volcano's crater and into the town known as the "Pompeii of the North." Later this afternoon circumnavigate Surtsey Island, a fire-and-brimstone result of a 1963 eruption. Today, approximately 56 species of vascular plants grow on the island and seals haul-out to breed on its shores. Nearly 90 species of migrating birds use the island as a rest stop.
Day 12 - Day 12 Reykjavik / Disembark
After breakfast, disembark for a fascinating tour of Hellisheiði Geothermal Power Plant where you will learn about geosciences, geothermal technology, and the environmental history of the area. Continue to the famous Blue Lagoon for lunch before departing for the airport and your independent flight homeward.
Day 13 - Please Note:
Based on the expeditionary nature of our trips, there may be ongoing enhancements to this itinerary.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type


    • Explore Iceland's fabled Golden Circle—Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall, and the Geysir Center.
    • View vast colonies of breeding seabirds; kittiwakes, thick-billed murres, guillemots, fulmars, and comical puffins.
    • Meet the residents of colorful fishing villages and stroll through archaeological sites that recall the height of Viking exploration.
    • Photograph Iceland's stunning landscapes—bubbling hot springs, glittering glaciers, soaring volcanoes, and plunging waterfalls.
    • Cruise by Zodiac in search of whales, seals, and other marine mammals that congregate here in the summer months.