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Island Holidays
Established 1987

Westfjords of Iceland

Scenic sailing cruise, whale safari (Orcas), ski mountaineering and snowshoeing


This tour includes: Ísafjörður • Lonafjörður, Hrafnsfjörður, Hesteyrarfjörður or Veiðileysufjörður • Hornbjarg (Hornstrandir Nature Reserve) • Hornstrandir or Adalvik • Latrabjarg (Snæfellsnes Peninsula) • Breidafjördur • Snæfellsjökull volcano • Keflavik

Separated from the main island of Iceland by a 7 km isthmus, West Fjordlands is the most remote, the oldest and the least visited area of Iceland. The scenery is spectacular, with table mountains dropping precipitously to the sea and the coastline carved by numerous fjords. Described as "a must-see for any serious explorer", the area is rich in natural history and folklore.

Route map

Westfjords of Iceland 2015 Route – Click to zoom in

Key facts

  • Westfjords of Iceland: Whale Safari, Ski Mountaineering and Snowshoeing
  • Expedition cruise with specialist expedition leaders
  • This holiday is currently unavailable. Please contact us if you'd like to be informed about future tour dates.
  • Vessel: S/v Rembrandt van Rijn
  • Tour leader: Oceanwide Expeditions
  • * Please note that the prices quoted are for cruise only and do not include flights or hotel accommodation. We will arrange your flights and any accommodation but as fares and rates are subject to change, prices are quoted on request.

The ship

S/v Rembrandt van Rijn was built as a herring lugger early last century. She was rebuilt as a three-mast passenger sailing schooner in 1994. The vessel underwent a complete rebuilding and refurbishment program and the communication and navigation equipment has been completely renewed according to the latest SOLAS regulations.

S/v Rembrandt van Rijn

The Rembrandt is well suited for expedition cruising among small islands and offers excellent open deck viewing areas, even when under sail. The two inflatable rubber crafts (zodiacs) enable landing and wildlife viewing opportunities in otherwise inaccessible areas. Read more about the Rembrandt van Rijn

Your itinerary

Day 1
Scheduled flights from the US arrive in the morning, and from Europe in the afternoon at Keflavik International Airport. There are frequent Flybus connections from airport to Reykjavik ( this Flybus shuttle service is not included in the price). On day 1 , passengers will be collectively transferred to the ship from centrally located hotels in Reykjavik (t.b.d.) to Ísafjörður by chartered highland bus. The bus shuttle takes approx. 7 hours. Embarkation starts earliest at 16.00 hrs local time in port of Ísafjörður. The ship will depart in the evening.

Day 2
We enjoy a great scenic cruise. We aim for sheltered fjords of Hesteyrarfjörður, Veiðileysufjörður, Lonafjörður or Hrafnsfjörður in to anchor and snowshoe hike from here. The mountains are not that high but alpine slopes will offer promising outings. The snowshoe walkers opt for an easy route into the valleys and shore lines. The Westfjords are a great place to watch the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) during the winter months. End of March / early April we should still witness them.

Day 3
We hope to find a calm area in the bay of Hornvik surrounded by rugged mountains. Here, at the northern tip of Iceland we hope to be able to snowshoe up to a view point, Hornbjarg, an impressive rock face towering the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. In summer the cliffs and valleys are inhabited with birds, the fjords offer moments of silence and tranquillity, and Arctic fox proudly roams the mountains and inlets. If the weather doesn't allow a cruise along the Northern tip of Hornstrandir, we find great alternatives for landings near Adalvik.

Day 4
We sail towards the Snæfellsnes Peninsula and pass by the massive bird cliff of Latrabjarg. Its early in the season and bird life is about to wake up for spring nest searching activities. We enjoy the hours at sea where we watch out for Orcas and other marine wildlife.

Day 5
We spend the day at sea in Breidafjördur in search for more marine wildlife. We hope to see Orcas here.

Day 6
Day at sea heading South around the Snæfellsnes Peninsula known though Snæfellsjökull volcano with its height of 1446 m, regarded as one of the majestic symbols of Iceland. It is the highest mountain on the peninsula and its summit is topped by a glacier. The volcano can be seen on clear days from Reykjavík, a distance of about 120 km. The mountain is also known as the setting of the novel Journey to the Center of the Earth by the French author Jules Verne.

Day 7
Early morning disembarkation in Keflavik. The nearby Keflavik international airport can be reached by privately organized taxi.

Disclaimer: This itinerary is dependent on sea and ice conditions. The final itinerary will be decided by the ship's captain and your Expedition Leader to maximize opportunities.