In the wake of Celts and Vikings

SH Vega
12 Nights
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Discover the Viking and Celtic heritage of the North Atlantic on this voyage from Dublin to Reykjavik. Explore medieval sites like Orkney's mysterious Ring of Brodgar, hike the rugged landscapes of the Faroe Islands and Iceland, and watch seabird cliffs teeming with life at Latrabjarg and Rathlin Island. As you retrace the ocean pathways of Norse explorers and Celtic monks, encounter the rich cultures shaped by these dynamic historic forces.

Trip Highlights

Take a guided walk over the fascinating basalt columns that make up the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland
Explore Skara Brae, northern Europe’s best-preserved Neolithic village predating Stonehenge
Visit the cosiest capital on Earth, the Faroe Islands’ Tórshavn, with turf-covered churches and rainbow-coloured homes
Keep watch for spouting and breaching orca and humpback whales


Day 1
Dublin, capital of Ireland, seamlessly blends grit and beauty with Georgian squares, parks and canals. It boasts a rich literary heritage, home to renowned writers like Oscar Wilde and James Joyce. Literary attractions include Trinity College Library, housing the 9th-century Book of Kells, and the James Joyce Centre. The vibrant pub culture, with landmarks like the Guinness Storehouse and Temple Bar, adds to its lively charm.
Iona Island, Scotland
Day 2
Iona, in the Inner Hebrides off the western coast of Scotland, holds over a thousand years of spiritual history. With a population of barely 100, the island remains mostly untouched. Iona is renowned for its abbey, established by St. Columba and his Irish followers in 563 CE. In these serene cloisters, the priceless Book of Kells was created, which was later taken to Ireland in 807 CE to safeguard it from Viking raids.
Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Day 3
Portree is the largest town, capital and gateway to the Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides. fringed by cliffs, Portree's harbour, with a pier designed by engineer Thomas Telford, is surrounded by colourful homes and is best photographed from the viewpoint next to the Royal Hotel. Popular as a base for hiking, to the north is the Old Man of Storr, a rocky pinnacle popular with hikers.
Ullapool, Scotland
Day 4
The dramatic village of Ullapool on Scotland’s west coast sits on fjord-like Loch Broom, the narrow waters curling away into the distance below the misty mountains. The countryside is packed with wonders: Corrieshalloch Gorge, steep, narrow and with the roar of rushing water; Achmelvich Beach, a crescent of pure white sand and turquoise waters protected by rocky outcrops; and the Bone Caves, where bones of reindeer and polar bear have been found.
Stromness, Orkney Islands, Scotland
Day 5
Ramshackle Stromness is an 18th century stone seaport, barely changed since Captain Cook's ships stopped in 1780. The Pier Arts Centre housing modern art is often described as a "little seaside Tate". Just 12 km north, prehistoric Skara Brae is Northern Europe's best preserved Neolithic village, predating Stonehenge and the Giza pyramids
Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland
Day 6
Nearer Norway than the Scottish mainland, the solid, stone-built town of Lerwick is the capital and only town of the Shetland Islands, a subarctic Scottish archipelago with Viking roots. The port has a Dutch flair with 17th-century Fort Charlotte. In the island's south, Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse Settlement reveals an exceptional archaeological site spanning 5,000 years of history. Around 1,500 tiny Shetland ponies roam freely on the islands.
Day 7
Cut adrift in the Atlantic, between Scotland and Iceland, the Faroes are a self-governing archipelago in the Kingdom of Denmark. On the southern tip of Streymoy, the largest of the 18 islands, the lively little capital of Tórshavn (Thor’s Harbour) charms with its rainbow-hued clapboard warehouses, grass-roofed wooden churches and the quaint old quarter, Tinganes. Off the radar for many, the Faroes are fast becoming known for their scenery.
Day 8
With Viking-era origins, Djupivogur, a tranquil fishing village with fewer than 500 residents, is renowned for its unhurried pace of life and the art installation 'The Eggs at Merry Bay,' featuring 34 granite eggs representing local bird species. Nearby, Vatnajökull National Park, covering 14 percent of Iceland, offers a wild expanse with Europe's largest ice cap, Vatnajökull Glacier, thundering glacial rivers and active volcanoes.
Grimsey Island
Day 9
Grímsey is a remote island located 40 km off Iceland’s north coast. Many people travel here for the purpose of setting foot in the Arctic Circle, the only place in Iceland where you can. The island is also home to fewer than 100 people, but over one million seabirds. Birdlife thrives here thanks to the lack of egg predation and the well-stocked surrounding seas. Grímsey has one of Iceland’s largest tern nesting sites and largest puffin colonies.
Day 10
Home to some 18,000 residents, Akureyri stands proud as the Land of Fire and Ice’s ‘Capital of the North’. It’s the gateway to some natural wonders including the Myvatn region, Dettifoss waterfall, Godafoss waterfall and Asbyrgi canyon. But before you rush off, take some time to explore: Iceland’s winsome second city is colourful, cosy and utterly enchanting – even the red traffic lights are cute. Instagrammers will adore heart-shaped stop signs. Enjoy the quaint harbourfront; climb the steps to the towering Akureyri Church; stroll around Lystigardurinn, the city’s Arctic botanical garden; visit the Laufás Turf Houses; get in the festive spirit early at the Christmas House (Jolahusid); admire the exhibits at the Akureyri Art Museum or the Hof cultural centre; or take a dip in the outdoor, geothermal swimming pool.
Day 11
Surrounded by fjords in the Westfjords region, Ísafjördur is a bustling fishing town in northwest Iceland with colourful wooden 18th- and 19th-century houses in its old town, Neskaupstadur. Nearby, Sudavik is home to the Arctic Fox Centre. Iceland’s only mammal, the arctic fox, lives on the lush tundra of Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, the northernmost peninsula in the Westfjords with two of Europe’s largest bird cliffs.
Vigur Island
Day 11
A jewel of the Westfjords, Vigur is the fjord's second-largest island and a thriving seabird sanctuary. Flocks of arctic terns, puffins, guillemots and eider ducks nest atop rocky cliffs. As one of only two inhabited islands, Vigur supports a family farm continuing the centuries-old eiderdown harvest across 3,500 nests. This remote pillar also houses Iceland's sole windmill, its tiniest post office and a 200-year-old, still-seaworthy rowing boat.
Dynjandi Waterfall
Day 12
Considered one of Iceland’s most impressive falls, the thunderous Dynjandi waterfall in the Westfjords region gives the impression of a bridal veil as it spreads down ever-growing cascades. The walk takes 15 minutes passing five smaller waterfalls. Nearby, Hrafnseyri is the birthplace of Jón Sigurðsson, 19th-century leader of the Icelandic Independence movement. The museum includes an Icelandic turf house.
Cruising Latrabjarg Cliffs
Day 12
The dramatic 400-metre high Látrabjarg cliffs stretch 14 km along Iceland's and Europe's westernmost edge. As the largest seabird cliff in Europe, Látrabjarg is home to thousands of breeding birds: Atlantic puffins, gannets, guillemots, fulmar and kittiwakes as well as 40 percent of the world's population of razorbills belonging to the auk family.
Day 13
Make sure there is sufficient timeto explore this diminutive but dramatic capital city. Despite its small size, you won’t be short of things to see and do. To get your bearings, take the elevator to the top of Hallgrímskirkja. This church, designed by famed Icelandic architect Gudjón Samuelsson is one of the most distinctive buildings in town. When you return to earth, visit the city’s other renowned building Harpa Concert Hall, located at the heart of Reykjavík's regenerated harbour – also the home of the Maritime Museum. Speaking of cultural spaces, tour the National Museum to learn the story of Iceland from past to present. The Reykjavík Art Museum houses an impressive contemporary collection including eye-catching pieces by Erró. And, of course, just 50 kilometres outside the city lies Thingvellir National Park, the site of Iceland’s original Viking parliament.