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Home to one of the world’s most dynamic landscapes, Iceland is the legendary ‘Land of Fire and Ice’! Vast ice caps, active volcanoes, spouting geysers, bubbling mud pools and geothermal hot springs are all part of the exciting nature you may experience on this extraordinary island. Visits to Rotterdam, the beautiful Orkney Islands and the remote Faroes complete this very special cruise.
*The transfer service from Heathrow airport to London Tilbury Cruise Terminal; from the Cruise Terminal to the central London hotel and back to Heathrow airport is included in the tour price. If you would prefer to be picked up from an alternative airport or location, please contact us for additional mileage costs.
To enhance the enjoyment of your cruise, a program of optional shore excursions will be available at extra cost in advance of the cruise departure for pre-registration. Please note certain ports may only be accessible by the use of a smaller tender vessel.
The Columbus operates a cashless system on board and all incidental expenses will be charged to your account. The ship operates under a UK pound sterling currency policy and a gratuity of £7 per person, per night (approximately $10) will be debited to your account automatically.
You will be met at Heathrow airport for your transfer to the cruise ship (journey time approximately 1 hour 45 minutes). Check-in on the ship is normally available from 2pm. On arrival at London Tilbury Cruise Terminal, we board the Columbus and begin our journey, taking time to relax in our cabins or on deck and enjoying the use of the ship’s range of leisure facilities.
We cruise into Rotterdam where we have time to discover this diverse city with its absorbing maritime tradition and patchwork of architectural styles. Admire the sparkling skyscrapers and impressive port or visit the fascinating food markets.
After a day at sea we drop anchor in Kirkwall. The capital of the amazing Orkney archipelago, the Royal Burgh of Kirkwall sits almost exactly in the center of Mainland, dividing the island into East and West. The magnificent St Magnus Cathedral, a legacy of the town’s rich Viking heritage, dominates Kirkwall’s skyline. In its shadow, the town is a cluster of grey stone buildings lining narrow, flagstone streets. Excursions explore these beautiful islands whose history can be traced back some 6,000 years through Neolithic standing stones and the magnificent archaeological site of Skara Brae. Modern day Orkney is a hive of creative activity and its craft workshops are perfect for a special souvenir.
Once the site of an annual Viking gathering, Tórshavn is today one of the smallest and most pleasant capital cities in the world. It sits on the southern tip of Streymoy, one of 18 islands in the Faroese archipelago. Tinganes is the old part of the town where characteristic, red wooden buildings with turf-covered roofs cluster on a narrow peninsula. It juts into the natural harbour around which the modern town has been built. The Faroe Islands have a wild and dramatic landscape, which is a magnificent backdrop to optional excursions showing how islanders live on this remote and unspoiled archipelago.
Surrounded by snow-capped mountains and cascading waterfalls, Seyðisfjörður is a welcoming town booming with creativity and rich in history. Home to approximately 700 people, the town has been an important trading center from the 19th century up to modern times, thanks to its natural harbour and proximity to the European continent. The colorful, Norwegian-style wooden houses, dating from the early 20th century, render this village unique in Iceland. Walking trails around town, out along the coast, or by the Fjarðará River, allow for many pleasurable and relaxing experiences.
Akureyri lies at the head of the 60-kilometre long Eyjafjördur – the longest fjord in Iceland. The capital of the north, which was founded as a trading post, is today an attractive town with colorful houses and well-kept gardens. It is also home to both the northernmost botanical garden and northernmost golf course in the world. Optional excursions highlight Iceland’s extraordinary landscapes including surreal rock formations, the lunar-like pseudo-craters at Skutastadir and the stunning, crescent-shaped Godafoss Waterfall. Laufas Folk Museum, or Myvatn Nature Baths, Iceland’s newest spa, are relaxing alternatives.
Situated just below the Arctic Circle, Isafjördur is the largest town in the Westfjords region of Iceland. It sits on a gravel spit that stands out into the Skutulsfjördur flanked on three sides by towering mountains. There are only three roads leading out of the town and all are through tunnels. The Maritime Museum traces the life and history of the settlement where fishing has been, and remains, the area’s main source of income. The Westfjords region is a nature lover’s paradise and a popular excursion visits the magical island of Vigur, which is home to a large eider duck colony and vast bird population.
Part old Norse, part modern city, the Icelandic capital has a quirky character of its own. Although Reykjavík is one of the world’s smallest capital cities, it is home to almost half of Iceland’s population. Mosaics, murals and sculptures are found throughout the oldest part of the town where brightly colored houses with tin roofs are watched over by the towering Hallgrimskirkja Church. The classic ‘Golden Circle’ featuring vast lava fields, bubbling mud pools, crashing waterfalls and spouting geysers, is a popular optional excursion along with the chance to bathe in the famous geothermal Blue Lagoon.
After a few days at leisure on the ship, we arrive back in London Tilbury where we disembark and are met for the transfer to our central London hotel. From here we have free time to explore Europe’s most exciting capital city and stay overnight.
You will be picked up from your central London hotel and transferred to Heathrow airport for your flight home.
The impressive Columbus cruise ship joined the Cruise & Maritime Voyages fleet in June 2017 and combines all the benefits of smaller ship cruising with an impressive choice of dining options, lounges, activities and entertainment. Fully air-conditioned throughout, facilities include three restaurants and a bistro, seven lounge areas, six entertainment venues including a two-decked and tiered Palladium Show Lounge, a library, a shopping arcade and wellness centre offering a sauna and gym plus massage and beauty treatments (at an extra cost). Out on deck, there are two swimming pools and a large screen for outdoor movies and sporting events. All cabins are en suite with flat-screen TV, hairdryer, fridge and personal safe.