Day 1 Thursday 15 August, 2019 Depart Australia
Today we board our overnight flight to Amsterdam.
Day 2 Friday 16 August, 2019 Amsterdam, The Netherlands
This morning we arrive at Amsterdam airport. After clearing Customs, we will be met by our private coach and transferred to Amsterdam for our sightseeing tour where we will enjoy a city canal cruise with fantastic views of the 17th-century buildings lining the canals. We will then transfer to our hotel. This evening enjoy an included welcome dinner.
Day 3 Saturday 17 August, 2019 Amsterdam
A free day in Amsterdam. You may want to visit the wonderful Van Gogh museum or the famous Rijksmuseum.
Day 4 Sunday 18 August, 2019 Embarkation
We will have free time this morning for last minute sightseeing and shopping. Early afternoon we transfer to the port to board MS Rotterdam for our voyage to Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe and Shetland Islands and Scotland.
Day 5 Monday 19 August, 2019 At sea
The morning will be free to explore the wonderful facilities of the ship. This afternoon join us for a fun group game of bingo, with prizes for the winners.
Day 6 Tuesday 20 August, 2019 Torshavn, Faroe Islands
The Faroe Islands lay north-west of Scotland midway between Iceland and Norway. They constitute a self-governing island territory of Denmark with a language and culture of their own. With their volcanic origin, the 18 islands are rugged and rocky. The islands are renowned for their incredible natural scenery, and their bountiful bird life. The Faroe Islands turn extraordinarily green during the summertime. We will have a boat cruise exploration of the extraordinary Vestermanna cliffs. We will see these dramatic formations and the puffin birds that the inhabitants used to climb the cliffs to capture eggs. One of the highlights of the tour! We then have some time in the capital city Torshavn.
Day 7 Wednesday 21 August, 2019 Eskifjordur, Iceland
This friendly, prospering little town is stretched out along the main fjord of Reyðarfjörður. Its setting is magnificent: it looks directly onto the mighty mountain Hólmatindur (985m), rising sheer from the shining blue water. A visit here provides a fascinating look at how life has been lived on the Icelandic coast for centuries. As was true in the 1700s, when Eskifjörður’s economy was driven by the local herring catch, fishing remains central to this day even while the town has become increasingly known as a port of call for cruise ships.
Day 8 Thursday 22 August, 2019 Akureyri, Iceland
This morning we arrive in Akureyri, the unofficial capital of northern Iceland. We travel through the stunning northern Icelandic scenery to the town of Húsavík. Nestled on the edge of Shaky Bay (Skjálfandi Flói), Húsavík is globally recognised as one of the best locations in the world from which to watch whales. In fact, there is a higher chance of seeing whales in Húsavík than from any other place in Iceland. In one of the highlights of the tour we take a whale watching boat trip and, hopefully, will get up close to the whales. We then drive through dramatic Icelandic landscapes before returning to the ship.
Day 9 Friday 23 August, 2019 Isafjordur, Iceland
After arriving in Isafjordur, our tour heads through the centre of town with a stop at the Ósvör 19th-century fisherman’s hut, restored in 1988. We drive through Bolungarvík village and back to Ísafjördur with views of the magnificent mountains and Westfjord – a beautiful but sometimes harsh landscape. We will also see Buná Tunguá River and the waterfall in Tunguskogur, and sip fresh mountain water that flows down the stream. We will also experience the awesome beauty of the fjords on the north western coast of Iceland. Mountains rising from the sea with breath-taking scenery make this a memorable day. Make sure you have your camera ready!
Day 10 Saturday 24 August, 2019 At sea
Today we will continue to enjoy the facilities and activities available on the ship. This afternoon join us for a fun group game of bingo, with prizes for the winners.
Day 11 Sunday 25 August, 2019 Cruising Prince Christian Sound
Today we will cruise through Prince Christian Sound. It is like a fjord, certainly ice-carved, but rather than going from the ocean to a glacier or land, a Sound is opened to the ocean at both ends, from east Greenland, to west Greenland. It is a shortcut, a secret passage, a magical segue and the Sound is completely protected from wind out of the north by high rugged mountains. High jagged mountains, sheer cliffs, a myriad of waterfalls and glaciers, near and bold, or distant and mysterious wrapped in a diaphanous mist of their own design. As the ship makes its way through Prince Christian Sound, we catch sight of the ice sheet on the northern side of the fjord.
Day 12 Monday 26 August, 2019 Nanortalik, Greenland
Greenland’s southernmost town, Nanortalik is surrounded by the steep mountain peaks of Tasermiut Fjord – whose rugged landscape and lush vegetation attracts serious climbers all year long. Inside the fjord are the ruins of an Augustinian monastery and the towering trees of the Qingua Valley. In this region, the northern lights dance across the sky in the evenings and polar bears have been known to drift by on ice floes. Visit the old town around the colonial harbor and the museum which includes exhibits of rare Norse clothing. This harbour is thought to be the last point of departure of the Norse voyagers when they sailed to or from Greenland. The importance of the site is evidenced in the ruins of boathouses.
Day 13 Tuesday 27 August, 2019 Paamiut (Frederikshab), Greenland
This fishing town is situated on a low-lying peninsula backed by towering black volcanic mountains. There are no shore excursions available for Paamiut, and guests will no doubt enjoy walking into the town and visiting the beautiful church, which is reminiscent of the stave churches of Norway and boasts excellent acoustics. The local museum has photos of the whaling history, and examples of local arts and crafts, which are also offered for sale in the town. The town is the hub of numerous thousand-year old paths leading into the countryside. If the weather is good, guests might wish to take one of these for a while to get the feel of the place. Keep a sharp eye out for whales in the sea, and sea eagles in the sky or on the peaks.
Day 14 Wednesday 28 August, 2019 Qaqortoq, Greenland
Qaqortoq viewed from the sea is a remarkable sight. Colourful houses dot steep hillsides, and the old town square surrounded by buildings from the colonial days creates a delightful historical atmosphere. On our sightseeing tour we will visit the museum and the Great Greenland Tannery before taking a short boat trip to Hvalsey Church. Dating from the period of Viking settlement around the year 1000 this is South Greenland’s most famous Viking ruin. Long before Columbus ever had the idea of sailing west to try to find a shorter route to India, the Norse settlers from Scandinavia had established themselves in Greenland. We will learn about the life of Viking farmers and the trade links that the Norse maintained with Europe.
Day 15 Thursday 29 August, 2019 Cruising Prince Christian Sound
The morning will be free to explore the wonderful facilities of the ship. This afternoon join us for a fun group game of Trivia, with prizes for the winners.
Day 16 Friday 30 August, 2019 At sea
A day to enjoy the facilities of the ship.
Day 17 Saturday 31 August, 2019 Reykjavik, Iceland
This morning we arrive at Reykjavik, the capital and largest city of Iceland, and the gateway to Iceland’s stunning natural wonders, which range from ice fields to boiling thermal pools. After docking we will board our coach for a tour of the Golden Circle visiting the world-famous high-temperature Geysir geothermal area with spouting springs of various formations. This is where the name Geyser originated. We see the nearby spectacular Gullfoss waterfall (Golden Falls), where you can watch enormous quantities of water tumble violently into a deep, meandering gorge. We also see the site of Iceland´s ancient parliament and the place where you can see the American and Eurasian tectonic plates pulling apart at the rate of a few centimetres per year.
Day 18 Sunday 1 September, 2019 Reykjavik, Iceland
We continue our sightseeing tour of Reykjavik with an overview tour of the city including the presidential residence at Bessastaðir, Hofdi House and the Perlan building. We will visit the town of Hafnarfjörður and see Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavik’s iconic cathedral. There will be time for lunch and a stroll through the Old Town, home to the Icelandic parliament and the Town Hall, before sightseeing at the famous blue lagoon.
Day 19 Monday 2 September, 2019 At sea
The morning we will continue to enjoy the facilities and activities available on the ship. This afternoon join us and other group members for a fun game of Scattergories.
Day 20 Tuesday 3 September, 2019 Lerwick, Shetland Islands UK
This morning we arrive in Lerwick, the only town in Shetland and we begin our tour with a brief panoramic orientation drive of this tiny capital dating from the 1600s. From there, we’ll head to the Central and West Mainland visiting Scalloway, the former Shetland capital. Here we will visit Scalloway Castle built in 1600 by the tyrant Earl Patrick Stewart, using forced labour. We will also visit the Scalloway Museum, which houses a special Shetland Bus exhibit, depicting the village’s unique role in World War II when German occupation of Norway resulted in a stream of refugees heading to Shetland. We continue through the Tingwall Valley with its Norse heritage and we will stop and see the famous Shetland ponies.
Day 21 Wednesday 4 September, 2019 Inverness, Scotland
Today we arrive at Inverness, near the famous Loch Ness. It is the largest Scottish loch by volume, indeed experts say that it contains more freshwater than all the lakes of England and Wales combined! On our tour today, we first visit the Loch Ness Exhibition Centre in the pleasant village of Drumnadrochit. Next, we make the short journey into bonnie Glen Urquhart, famous for its native woodlands and wide variety of wildlife that they support. Urquhart Castle is a magnificent castle that dates from the 14th century and was one of a chain of garrisons that controlled the Great Glen. Nowadays it’s a popular place with “Nessie” spotters who scan the waters of the loch that are deeper here than the North Sea!
Day 22 Thursday 5 September, 2019 Edinburgh, Scotland
Today we visit Edinburgh, the royal and ancient capital of Scotland and one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. On our sightseeing tour we see the ancient Royal Mile with its cobbled streets forms the backbone of the medieval Old Town which leads from the Palace of Holyroodhouse (HM The Queen’s official residence in Scotland) all the way to Edinburgh Castle. We will enjoy a guided tour of the castle, home to the Scottish Crown Jewels and the historic Stone of Destiny. Enjoy the view from the castle which is simply stunning. We also visit the parks highest point, Arthurs Seat, an ancient volcano, that sits 251m above sea level giving an excellent view of the city; it is also the site of a large and well preserved fort.
Day 23 Friday 6 September, 2019 At sea
Today we will continue to enjoy the facilities and activities available on the ship.
Day 24 Saturday 7 September, 2019 Disembarkation
Amsterdam, The Netherlands This morning we arrive back in Amsterdam. After disembarking we are transferred to the airport for our flight back to Australia.
Day 25 Sunday 8 September, 2019 Arrive Australia
We arrive back in Australia today and the tour ends.