Faculty expertise and lectures

In addition to providing commentary throughout your trip, your Cornell CAU faculty leader will deliver three to four lectures during the tour on topics related to our travels.

Saturday, September 18

Reykjavik, Iceland

U.S. to Reykjavik

Depart on an overnight flight to Reykjavik, Iceland.

Sunday, September 19

Settlement Exhibition, Reykjavik, Iceland


Transfer from Keflavik Airport to your hotel. Enjoy an afternoon city tour to the Settlement Exhibition and Saga Museum. Gather this evening for a welcome dinner.

Fosshotel Reykjavik (Dinner)

Monday, September 20

Gullfoss, Iceland

Reykjavik, Geysir, and Gullfoss

Today we will see the three famed sites that make up the route known as the Golden Circle: Thingvellir National Park, Geysir geothermal field, and Gullfoss, the queen of Icelandic waterfalls. This afternoon we’ll visit the Friðheimar Greenhouses, where an Icelandic family uses geothermal water to provide heat to greenhouses growing tomatoes and cucumbers. After lunch at the farm, we will see a horse show providing an insight into the history of Icelandic horses, which were brought to Iceland by the first Scandinavian settlers around 900 CE.

Fosshotel Reykjavik (Breakfast, Lunch)

Tuesday, September 21

The Solfar Suncraft sculpture, representation of a Viking ship, Reykjavik, Iceland


Enjoy a free morning to explore Reykjavik. We will gather for lunch, then embark the Ocean Diamond later in the afternoon for our seven-night cruise.

Ocean Diamond (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Wednesday, September 22

The town of Stykkisholmur, Snaefellsnes peninsula, the western part of Iceland


Stykkishólmur is the starting point of our adventures on the Snæfellsnes peninsula. Often called “Iceland in miniature” because of its diverse landscapes, the area is home to bird-rich Breiðafjörður Bay and Snæfellsjökull glacier, which sits atop a 700,000-year-old dormant volcano that was featured in the Jules Verne novel Journey to the Center of the Earth. En route we’ll visit the small fishing village of Arnarstapi and the Shark Museum at Bjarnarhöfn

Ocean Diamond (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Thursday, September 23

Landscape and view of Isafjordur town, in the west fjords region, Iceland


Today’s destination is Ísafjörður, an idyllic town in the Westfjords region. This secluded peninsula is connected to the Icelandic mainland by only a narrow strip of land and includes many roadless areas where cars have never been. The landscape includes jaw-dropping views of dramatic fjords carved by ancient glaciers, sheer table mountains that plunge into the sea, and pristine North Atlantic vegetation. We’ll visit a typical Icelandic fishing village and then explore the Dynjandi waterfall. Comprising six different waterfalls, it is the highest and most impressive waterfall in the Westfjords region.

Ocean Diamond (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Friday, September 24

Lake Myvtan, Iceland


Today our port of call will be Akureyri, Iceland’s second largest city nestled at the head of Eyjafjörður, Iceland’s longest fjord. From Akureyri, we’ll visit the fascinating Lake Mývatn region, where the dramatic landscape looks as if “heaven and hell” have clashed. One side of the lake features rugged volcanic remnants, while the other side is blessed with lush vegetation and varied bird life. We’ll stop at the impressive black lava formations of Dimmuborgir and visit the spectacular Goðafoss waterfall (waterfall of the gods). On our return we’ll stop at the Mývatn Nature Thermal Baths where you can enjoy the soothing waters that have a unique composition of minerals.

Ocean Diamond (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Saturday, September 25

Whale watching in Husavik, North Iceland

Skjalfandi Bay and Húsavík

In the early morning hours, we steam into Húsavík, the “whale-watching capital” of Iceland. The town’s offshore waters are home to fifteen different whale species, dolphins, and thirty varieties of birds. From our RIBs (rigid inflatable boats), we’ll watch these graceful ocean giants in their Arctic habitat for an unforgettable experience. We’ll enjoy lunch together in Húsavík.

Ocean Diamond (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Sunday, September 26

Floating icebergs in the glacier lagoon of Jökulsarlon. Iceland


The fishing village of Djúpivoguris today’s starting point to enjoy an amphibious boat ride on the Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, Iceland’s deepest and most spectacular glacial lake. We will navigate among huge icebergs looking for seals and relish the rich colors and vibrant hues that make this area a photographer’s paradise.

Ocean Diamond (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Monday, September 27

Colorful volcanic rock formations on Westman Island, Iceland

Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands)

Located off Iceland’s south coast, the Westman Islands were formed by submarine volcanic eruptions around 10,000 years ago. Surtsey Island emerged from the sea in 1963 and is one the youngest land masses on earth. We’ll go ashore on Heimaey, the only inhabited island of the group, where half-buried houses remain from a violent 1973 eruption that devastated much of the town of Vestmannaeyjar. Tonight, we’ll gather for a farewell dinner.

Ocean Diamond (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Tuesday, September 28

Ocean Diamond

Reykjavik to U.S.

After breakfast we bid farewell to the Ocean Diamond as we sail back into Reykjavik. Connect with your flight back to the U.S.

Ocean Diamond (Breakfast)