HÄFEN UND LANDAUSFLÜGE
Kirkwall on foot
- Dauer : 1h45
From the pier, you will be transferred to Kirkwall centre by coach passing by the ancient shoreline of Kirkwall that dates back to when the town was first founded by the Vikings. The shoreline is now a lovely flag stoned street which runs from the harbour to the centre of the town. En-route you shall hear stories of times gone by in Kirkwall.
Arriving at St Magnus Cathedral, a beautiful red and yellow sandstone building which dominates the skyline of Kirkwall, join your guide for a more in-depth visit. Tour the interior of the cathedral and learn about its 850-year history.
Next, visit the neighbouring Bishop’s and Earl’s Palaces, once belonging to Earl Patrick Stewart, who had the Earl’s palace built using forced labour.
Your walking tour ends at the Orkney Museum for a free visit (not guided). The museum tells the story of Orkney, from the Stone Age to the Picts and Vikings era, right through to the present day.
After the visit, you may choose to stay in the centre for some shopping.
- This excursion includes some steps at the palaces and the museum. We recommend you protect yourself from the rain. Participants will be split into groups of 25 persons. Appropriate dress is recommended to enter religious sites (shoulders and knees covered). Please note the cathedral may be closed due to short notice events. The tour ends in the gardens behind the museum. Your guide will remain a few minutes at the museum and then will escort guests wishing to go back to the shuttle bus and to the ship. Guests wishing to stay in town will be explained where to take the shuttle back to the ship, and a map will be given.
- Dauer : 2h30
The nature surrounding the town of Seyðisfjörður is a spellbinding display of waterfalls, mountains and the ocean. The hiking tour provides an excellent opportunity to explore the beauty of the Icelandic landscape.
This guided walk takes you on a hike up to a part of the Vesturdalur valley near Seyðisfjörður. The valley is a protected nature reserve due to its remarkable flora.
Upon reaching the abandoned town of Vesturdalseyri, you’ll see the ruins of the former town. The town was inhabited for roughly a century (1851-1963). Originally there was a whaling station and it was home to one of the largest cooperatives in the county. Despite its beautiful and sunny location the town declined with the last inhabitant leaving it in 1963.
As you continue your journey, walk past a series of beautiful waterfalls that will provide ideal photo opportunities.
You will then return back to the coach and return to the pier.
- This high-level hiking tour involves more than 2 hours of walking on uneven terrain. Participants should be in excellent physical condition. We recommend you wear good and comfortable walking shoes and dress in layers. This tour is only conducted in English.
Heritage & war relics from the Orkneys
- Dauer : 4h00
This excursion explores the southern side of the Orkney Islands, notably the awe-inspiring scenery of this part of the Mainland with its fascinating ruins dating back to the Second World War.
From the pier, leave the port and head south on a road which links the main island to the small southern isles. This road was built to restrict access to the Scapa Flow Bay. The Churchill Barriers, harbour walls built by Italian prisoners during the Second World War, offer an excellent observation point of the Scapa Flow naval base. Beyond the first wall, visit the Italian Chapel, a rare and moving testimony of faith in adversity, built by those same prisoners. Then visit an old distillery founded by a man of the church in 1798.
Highland Park Distillery is the northern-most of the Scottish whisky distillers and overlooks the town and Scapa Bay. Towards the end of the 18th century, Magnus Eunson, a pastor by profession and famous smuggler, would have distilled his amber nectar in the same place where the distillery is located today. There you have a chance to taste this famous Scottish whisky, before returning to Kirkwall for some free time to enjoy this pretty town, dominated by the magnificent 12th century, red sandstone Cathedral of St Magnus - known locally as the “Light of the North”, the finest medieval building in northern Scotland. Nearby there are many narrow, winding streets and lanes, which have hardly altered at all over the centuries.
From here, return to your ship at the quayside.
- The distillery tour will be conducted in English only and comments will be translated. Please note the order of the visits may be reversed.
Skalanes nature reserve
- Dauer : 3h45
Enjoy the unique opportunity to visit one of Iceland’s most remote places that even few Icelanders have witnessed.
The journey begins with a drive to Þórarinsstaðir where you’ll take a look at an important archeological site, with findings from the first years of settlement.
Then continue your drive through a green valley surrounded by high mountains. The valley is dotted with lonely-looking abandoned farms that remind the traveller that this peaceful landscape was once home to farmers and their families.
Reach your destination, the nature and heritage centre of Skálanes. Skálanes covers 1250 hectares and has the aim to create a site where the Icelandic environment and cultural history can be researched and interpreted whilst maintaining a model for sustainable tourism.
Accompanied by your guide, discover this area, home to about 47 different species of birds during the summer time. Sometimes seals and reindeers can be spotted and on rare occasions a whale can be seen off the coast. Eider ducks nest in great numbers around the pond.
After the walk, enjoy some refreshments before heading back to your ship after 30 minutes of driving.
Approximately 1 hour will be spent in the Skálanes area. This active tour involves approximately 3.5 km (2.2 miles) of walking on uneven terrain and some inclines. It is not recommended for persons with limited mobility. We recommend you wear comfortable walking shoes.Approximately 1 hour will be spent in the Skálanes area. This active tour involves approximately 3.5 km (2.2 miles) of walking on uneven terrain and some inclines. It is not recommended for persons with limited mobility. We recommend you wear comfortable walking shoes.Approximately 1 hour will be spent in the Skálanes area. This active tour involves approximately 3.5 km (2.2 miles) of walking on uneven terrain and some inclines. It is not recommended for persons with limited mobility. We recommend you wear comfortable walking shoes.
- Approximately one hour will be spent in the Skálanes area. This active tour involves approximately 3.5 km (2.2 miles) of walking on uneven terrain and some inclines. It is not recommended for persons with limited mobility. We recommend you wear comfortable walking shoes. This tour is only conducted in English.
Wonders of the East
- Dauer : 5h00
Upon leaving Seyðisfjörður, head over the impressive mountain-pass of Fjarðarheiði to Egilsstaðir, a town of about 2000 inhabitants and the commercial centre of East Iceland. From Egilsstaðir, continue along Iceland’s third largest lake, “Lagarfljót”. The lake’s bed lies 100 m below sea level, having been formed by glaciers over thousands of years. The lake is famous for the mythical monster that is said to reside far below.
Your journey continues along the lakeside to Snæfellsstofa, the visitor centre of the east side of Vatnajökull National Park. The visitor centre offers an interactive way to explore the region’s nature.
From there, drive to Skriðuklaustur, an unusual building of basalt blocks with white cement; it is the former home of one of Iceland’s greatest writers, Gunnar Gunnarsson. Today this building acts as a residence for artists and writers, both Icelandic and foreign.
Your journey continues to Hallormsstaður, one of the county’s most successful government forestry stations set in the beautiful Hallormsstaðarskógur forest. There, over forty species of trees from various parts of the world grow. We’ll stop in Hallormsstaðarskógur for a short walk.
Continue to Valþjófsstaður, a 13th century church estate and manor farm in Fljótsdalur. The church was consecrated in 1966 and contains many valuable items, among them an exquisite chalice and paten.
Next, reboard your coach for the return drive to your ship. A comfort stop will be made in Egilstaðir.
- Please note the order of the visits may be reversed. This tour is only conducted in English.
Pompeii of the North
- Hafen : Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar
- Dauer : 3h00
Leave from the perfectly formed natural harbour with its tall cliffs inhabited by multitudes of birds. Both the birds and their eggs have been an important source of food for the islanders. From there, drive from the pier into the Herjólfsdalur Valley where ruins of old farmhouses dating back to the settlement can be found.
The tour then continues along the scenic western part of the island, providing an opportunity to view the outer islands of the archipelago. The youngest island, “Surtsey”, was formed in a volcanic eruption in 1963; it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Your next stop will be the site of the largest colony of Atlantic puffins on Stórhöfði; here puffins nest during spring and the early summer months.
The tour continues to two volcanoes, the 5,000 years old Helgafell, “Holy Mountain”, and the considerably younger Eldfell, “Fire Mountain”, which erupted in 1973 making it necessary to immediately evacuate the islanders to the mainland. Stop here and walk to the viewpoint for a panoramic view, about 10 minutes.
As you continue onwards, drive over the new lava field making your way past the “Skansinn” – a fort where a wooden church, which was donated to the people of the Westman Islands by the state of Norway to commemorate the millennium of Christianity in Iceland.
Then, visit the new Eldheimar – ‘Pompeii of the North’ Museum where the history and aftermath of the 1973 eruption is explored. After the visit to the museum, head to the notorious Eldfell volcano to continue with your study of the fateful events before returning to your ship.
- We recommend you to wear good and comfortable walking shoes and dress in layers. Time and weather permitting, the hike up the Eldfell volcano is very steep and can be slippery. This tour is conducted in English only.
Circumnavigation of Heimaey
- Hafen : Heimaey, Vestmannaeyjar
- Dauer : 2h00
We begin our tour from the harbour that for a long time has been a shelter for the Icelandic fishing fleet, but was almost lost in the volcanic eruption on the island in 1973.
After some 15 minutes of walking, embark a boat to discover the island from the sea.
Sail past the cliffs surrounding the harbour to start an interesting and informative journey passing bird colonies with millions of inhabitants and exploring caves that can only be visited by boat.
The bird life you get a chance to see on this tour is magnificent, as the Westman Islands have one of the largest varieties of sea bird species in Iceland. These include puffin colonies of an estimated 6 to 8 million puffins. Nowhere else in the world can such large number of puffins be found in such close proximity to man.
In addition, the islands also house one of the world’s largest gannet and guillemot colonies. Numerous other species of nesting sea birds can also be seen. In addition to the bird life, whales are also often sighted, including orcas, dolphins and porpoises.
After viewing the island and bird cliffs from every angle, the boat tour (approximately 1 ½ hour) ends by sailing into Klettshellir (Cliff Cave) where a musical instrument is played on board. The acoustics in the cave provide a sensational experience. From there, return to the harbour.
- For this easy excursion, we recommend you to wear comfortable shoes, a wind and waterproof jacket and to take a warm pullover. Please be aware that this tour is weather depended and that circumnavigation may not be possible. This tour is limited to 85 participants and will be conducted in English only.
Geothermal landscape & Viking History
- Hafen : Reykjavík
- Dauer : 4h00
From the pier, drive to the enchanting Kleifarvatn Lake, one of the deepest lakes in Iceland, where a brief stop will be made to take some pictures.
Your tour continues to Krysuvik, a colourful hot-springs area, which contrasts sharply to the sand and the lava fields of the area. The landscape contrast continues as we ride down to the sea towards a green bay and then up towards the mountains through lava and lush green meadows. Then you will head to the geothermal fields of Krysuvik. In Krysuvik we can really witness the powerful jets of steam escaping from deep below the earth's crust and multicoloured pools of boiling mud of the solfataras. You will drive on across the impressive volcanic plateau of Reykjanes.
Then you will be guided over the lava-covered Reykjanes peninsula to the outskirts of the little town Njardvik, where we find the newly built Viking museum in which stands "Icelander" (Islendingur), a fully seaworthy replica of an average-sized Viking vessel, this in those times would have carried a crew of 70. To commemorate the thousandth anniversary of this countrymen navigating to and discovering North America, the shipbuilder Gunnar Eggertsson travelled on the "Icelander" to America and back again in the year 2000.
Homeward bound you will go back to the port, trough the Reykjanes lava fields, before arriving at the pier.
- For this moderate excursion, we recommend you wear comfortable shoes, a wind and waterproof jacket and to take a warm pullover. Please be aware that sights may be visited in a different order.
The Golden Circle
- Hafen : Reykjavík
- Dauer : 9h00
This classic excursion encompasses the “Big Three” - Gullfoss, Geysir and Thingvellir. They are collectively known as the Golden Circle, and provide a look at some of the scenic wonders for which Iceland is justly renowned.
On departing the pier, your journey begins with a drive inland to Thingvellir national park, about 48 km (30 miles) from Reykjavik. Your visit to this national park allows you to experience one of the most outstanding sceneries in the country. Thingvellir ranks at the top of Iceland's tourist attractions. In 2004 the site of Thingvellir was inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List. The area is surrounded by mountains and encompasses a vast lava plain of green moss and wild flowers. It is regarded by the Icelanders as a sacred place for in 930 the oldest legislative body in History, the Althing, first convened here. Of special note are the Law Speaker's rock and the remains of the turf shelters. These shelters were once used as dwellings during the two-week assemblies of the Althing which were held in the height of summer every other year.
Leaving Thingvellir your tour continues to the Gullfoss waterfall. The “Golden Waterfall” is the most famous of the country's many waterfalls. Here the river Hvita drops 96 feet (30 meters) in two falls, creating an awesome spectacle.
During your next stop at the geyser area, you will be able to see hissing springs and other geothermal phenomena. The active geyser “Strokkur” projects water every few minutes. Here, amongst these scenic surroundings lunch will be served in the Geysir-area. After lunch, and on your way back to the capital, a comfort stop will be made at Hveragerdi or at Thrastalundur. Back in Reykjavik, a short stop will be made at the Pearl vantage before arriving back at the pier.
- For this moderate excursion with lunch, we recommend you wear comfortable shoes, a wind and waterproof jacket, a hat and sunglasses and to take a warm pullover. Please be aware that sights may be visited in a different order.
Orkney's archaeological wonders
- Hafen : Kirkwall, Orkney
- Dauer : 4h15
During this scenic circular tour, explore the beautiful West Mainland of Orkney, location of one of the greatest concentrations of World Heritage prehistoric sites in Britain.
Passing through an area of rich farmland, rolling hills and moorland, fringed by magnificent cliffs, visit the great ceremonial Standing Stones of Stenness and Ring of Brodgar.
Further on, you will arrive at Skara Brae, the most exciting and best-preserved Neolithic village in Northern Europe. The remains of this 5,000-year-old Neolithic village are beautifully preserved and interpreted in a modern visitor centre. Lying beside the pretty, sandy crescent of the Bay of Skaill, this Stone Age settlement was completely buried under sand for thousands of years, until suddenly revealed during a fierce storm in 1850. Amongst the fascinating relics found here are tools, beads, pottery, and whalebone artefacts, spanning over a period of approximately 600 years of occupation, all based on the tough maritime economy. Looking across the village, it gives a good idea of how it looked all those centuries ago, and close inspection of the houses gives a unique insight into how our ancient ancestors lived.
The hardship of life in Skara Brae can be directly contrasted to Orkney's finest manor house, Skaill House, which is located nearby and constitutes the next stop of our journey through ancient Orkney. A powerful bishop built it on an ancient graveyard in 1620.
Finally, return to Kirkwall via Historic Scapa Flow, where you will pause to take photos from the coach. Hear stories of dramatic wartime experiences that make this one of the most renowned stretches of water in world.
- As there is a walk of around 1,000 yards (900 m) on uneven terrain between the car park, Skara Brae and the Skaill Museum, we advise you to wear comfortable walking shoes.
* je nach Verfügbarkeit