Jewels of the North Atlantic


Next Departure
May. 28, 2021
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8 days
See the itinerary
, Boat, Bus Excursion, Kayaking, Lectures, Photography, Tastings, Trekking, Wildlife observations, Zodiac

The wondrous islands of Scotland, Faeroe Islands and Iceland.

Cruising from Scotland to the lush green islands of Orkney, Shetland, The Faroes and Iceland, this 8-day spring adventure rewards us with fair-lighted days and matchless landscapes and seascapes. Migrating birds, dolphins, and whales are only some of the sights we expect in this expedition.

Our journey begins on the Scottish East Coast in Aberdeen, where we embark Albatros Expeditions’ ice-class 1b vessel Ocean Atlantic, our home for the next 8 days. 

Our first stop is Kirkwall, the fascinating capital of Orkney, an archipelago known for its sandstone cliffs and Neolithic cities. Next up is the Shetland islands with its many varied bird species. We sail further north to the Faroe Islands, where Tórshavn, its capital and largest town, awaits us.  We follow the Faroe Islands coastlines further and call in at Klaksvik, which allows us to explore these pristine islands even more. After these days full of culture, history, whiskies and bird life, it’s time to head out on The North Atlantic sea and scout for whales and wildlife.  Then we will approach the Westman island of Surtsey, UNESCO Natural Heritage Site and youngest island of the world, and spend an exciting day in Heimaey, the largest island of the archipelago, before arriving to our destination: Reykjavík.

Day 1

Embarkation in Aberdeen

Our journey begins in Aberdeen in North East Scotland, where MV Ocean Atlantic is moored in the Dee River. Boarding is in the afternoon, where the staterooms are designated. After the mandatory security review and drill, we sail out through the mouth of the Dee River towards the North Sea.

Day 2

Orkney Islands. Historic Kirkwall – with possibility of visiting Skara Brae

During the night we will have sailed out into the waters between Outer and Inner Hebrides, and in the early morning we’ll reach the town of Kirkwall on the windy Orkney off the mainland of Scotland. Orkney is old Norse for the "seal islands", and, like the other North Atlantic islands, Orkney has a rich Viking story.

We depart Kirkwall and head into the west of Mainland, Orkney’s largest island. Along the way we will pass through rolling gentle landscapes into the Neolithic Heartland of Orkney, an area designated as a World Heritage Site due to its wealth of pre-historic archaeology. Passing the Standing Stones of Stenness, we will stop at the 5000-year-old ceremonial circle: the Ring of Brodgar. From here we continue to as history goes even further back to one of the oldest European civilizations. Skara Brae, Northern Europe's Pompeii, which was hidden for almost 5000 years before a massive storm (150 years ago) revealed the ancient settlement. The 10 small homes are almost ready for moving into, fully furnished and with sanitation - all made in stone.

Back in Kirkwall, we will visit one of the local distilleries for a tasting of some of the northernmost drops in Scotland. A fitting end to an excursion with such an amazing historical backdrop.

(The excursion is part of the excursion package and not included in the price of the trip).

For guests wishing to stay in Kirkwall, at short walking city tour will be arranged, passing by St. Magnus cathedral as well as the picturesque ruins from Bishop's and Earl's Palace.

Day 3

Shetland Islands. The harbour and fishing village of Lerwick

Ocean Atlantic approaches Lerwick near the "Main Land" of Shetlands in the morning. The island of Shetland consists of more than 100 islands and shores, of which only 15 are inhabited year-round. The islands form the northernmost part of the British kingdom, located approximately 300 km north of the mainland of Scotland. This "central" location in the North Atlantic has through the ages led many to the islands, and the Scandinavian heritage still shines through dialects, folklore and place names.


Once securely docked at the port, we depart through Lerwick towards Scalloway for a short scenic drive. From the elevated position we can enjoy the view of the charming village and the imposing Scalloway Castle. After a short photo stop, we continue eastwards through the area that is locally known as the “Black Gates” – an area where peat is still cut to use as fuel.

Following the road northwards our main destination of Clickimin Broch is only a short drive. There will be free time to discover this well preserved and restored Broch and learn more about life in the Iron Age.

 (The excursion is part of the excursion package and not included in the price of the trip).

Afterwards, we will return to Lerwick and the ship in the middle of the day. The rest of the day is for enjoying at leisure before departing in the afternoon.

Day 4

Faroe Islands. Torshavn and the North Atlantic

We arrive after lunch at Tórshavn, possibly the smallest capital in the world, ruling the scattered 18 islands that make up the Faroes. Centred around the charming grass-roofed Parliament on Tinganes, Tórshavn is now an almost bustling modern city with shops, cafés and even three traffic lights!

By mid-morning you can participate in an optional bus excursion where we will try to look a bit back in history. We drive out of the capital and over the mountains to the south. As the climate on the Faroe Islands is ‘stably unstable’ it is not unlikely that we will drive through the cloud base and experience some fog on the way. But if you wait a moment, it also not unlikely that it will clear up. We arrive in Kirkjubøur, the most important historical site on the islands. Kirkjubøur was in medieval times the Episcopal centre of the Faroe Islands, and also its undisputed cultural centre. We visit the ruins of the impressive Magnus Cathedral that perhaps never was completed, and the St. Olav church – the only remaining medieval church on the Faroe Islands. Upon our return to ‘Havn’ – as Tórshavn is often just called – you can go for a leisurely stroll through the old citadel near the harbour. A visit to the Art museum and the Nordic House is also very recommendable.

(The excursion is part of the excursion package and is not included in the price of the trip).

Day 5

Faroe Islands, Klaksvik. Possible excursion to Eysturoy island

During the morning we will have arrived to the little port of Klaksvik on the island of Bordoy, located in the eastern side of the island nation. The town is the second largest (4800 inhabitants) in the Faroes, with history dating back to Viking times. The port supports the fishing industry which still sets its mark on the town. We will be able to witness the atmosphere and the small open-deck boats as we dock.

By mid-morning you can participate in an optional bus excursion where we explore the nearby Eysturoy with its wonderful nature, high peaks and wildlife. We depart by coach through a tunnel that connects Bordoy and Eysturoy, and afterwards we pass along the long Skalafjord. This leads us to the small harbor village Gjogv, where we explore the area and maybe even walk the gorge that has given the village its name. We will have time to take some photos where some of the famous rock formations and cliffs are visible along our way. All in all, this roundtrip gets us some insights of the Faroese lifestyle and the truly spectacular natural beauty that the islands hold. An excursion that lets us test the famous tagline for the country: Unspoiled, Unexplored, Unbelievable.

(The excursion is part of the excursion package and not included in the price of the trip).

Day 6

On the sea towards the Westman Islands, looking for seabirds, dolphins and whales

Listen to a lecture from our experienced expedition staff, see a film about Arctic nature – or go out on deck to catch glimpses of migrating birds and hopefully some whales.

Day 7

Westman islands, Surtsey and UNESCO natural heritage sites and city walk in Heimaey

The Westman Islands were on the headlines of the world press in January 1973, when a volcano erupted in the Heimaey island. All 5,000 inhabitants evacuated, but most have now returned, and today the population is about 4,000. The Westman Islands are only 14 kilometers off the southwest coast of Iceland and consist of 15 green small islands and about 30 moorings.

When you go sailing, you can see the islands steep and grateful profiles in clear weather from a long distance. They are beautifully raised by the sea, and looking at them, one understands why an Icelandic poet would compare them with the sapphires in a silver ring.

The birdlife on these edges is unique and hosts, among other natural beauties, puffins and not least the "Queen of the Sea", the gannet.

We start the day by passing close to one of the world's newest islands, Surtsey. The island rose from the sea in 1963 and arrived in 2008 on UNESCO's list of world natural heritage sites. The island is closed to the public and only researchers are allowed.

In the morning we head to Heimaey, the only inhabited island in the archipelago where we can see the recently excavated houses from the 1973 eruption. 

Day 8

Reykjavik and disembarkation

In the morning Ocean Atlantic goes alongside in the port of Reykjavik. It’s time to say farewell to the crew and begin the disembarkation.


  • 8-day/7-night cruise in a shared outside double stateroom with private bathroom/toilet
  • English-speaking guides
  • Zodiac landings
  • Near-port town walks with the expedition team
  • Information briefings and lectures by expedition team
  • Full board on the ship
  • Free coffee, tea and afternoon snacks on the ship
  • Special photo workshop
  • Welcome and farewell cocktails   
  • Digital visual journal link after voyage, including voyage log, gallery, species list and more!
  • Taxes and tariffs


  • International flights to/from Aberdeen/Reykjavik.
  • Hotel accommodation in Abderdeen/Reykjavik.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Cancellation insurance.
  • Extra excursions and activities not mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Single room supplement.
  • Meals not on board the ship.
  • Beverages (other than coffee and tea).
  • Tips for the crew (we recommend USD 14 per person per day).
  • Personal expenses.
  • Anything not mentioned under 'Price includes'.


Optional Excursions

  • Orkney Islands - Kirkwall; Excursion to Skara Brae
  • Faeroe Islands - Torshavn: Excursion to Kirkjubøu
  • Faeroe Islands – Klaksvik: Excursion to the island Eysturoy and Gjógv
  • Historic buildings on the Orkney Islands, including the capital of Kirkwall
  • Faeroe’s Capital, Torshavn
  • Westman Island of Heimaey & Surtsey, UNESCO Natural Heritage
  • Abundant wildlife including whales and seabirds

Adventure options

Boat Trips

Wide-open spaces, crisp air, seemingly endless landscapes and the absence of modernity, enjoyed from the water's comfort during a delightful boat trip.

Bus Excursions

We now offer a variety of outings filled with stunning sights and interesting activities that will keep you wanting to come back for more.


The opportunity to simply set foot on the Polar regions is a great experience, but to walk amid its white emptiness on a mini expedition is truly an unbeatable adventure. 


Glide through the waters and take in the royal grace of the icebergs, see the varied birds and seals, and maybe even the whales in their natural habitat under the supervision of experienced kayak guides, who will...


Our primary focus is knowledge, and we apply this to every aspect of a journey. From the staff that forms our expedition team, to the routes our ship follows, and of course, the program onboard.


We always have a dedicated expedition photographer onboard to document the voyage and share their passion for photography through lectures and during landings and zodiac cruises.


A feast for your senses!

Wildlife Observations

One of the greatest pleasures of our expeditions, is being able to experience the Polar regions' wildlife from a safe distance, respectfully enjoying their beauty in their natural habitat.


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Departure dates

May. 28, 2021