Each year, during the winter months, travelers journey to Iceland and venture out into the dark to see the magical but elusive northern lights (aurora borealis). This natural phenomenon is the product of collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere; the results are spectacular. Streaks of colorful light appear across the sky. The colors can vary from white to pink or purple and, most commonly, green. It is known that the best time to witness the lights in Iceland is from late September to mid-April, when the nights are the longest. This light show is truly dazzling and worth the pursuit.
Reykjavík, Northern Lights Cruise, Search for the Northern Lights, Golden Circle, Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss, Lava Exhibition Center, Vik, Seljalandsfoss, Skógar Museum, Skógafoss, Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon, Skaftafell National Park & Vatnajökull Glacier, Blue Lagoon
Day 1: Tuesday, December 27, 2022 Overnight Flight You’re on your way to Iceland, a land and culture forged by fire and ice. Where steaming lava fields and massive glaciers sculpt mountains and valleys, leaving thundering waterfalls and plunging fjords. In this land of many natural wonders, enjoy the rare opportunity to search for the aurora borealis — one of nature’s most dazzling light displays, also known as the northern lights.*
Day 2: Wednesday, December 28, 2022 Reykjavík, Iceland – Tour Begins Your tour opens in Reykjavík, Iceland’s capital city. Get acquainted with old town Reykjavík on a walking tour featuring the harbor, city hall, the Parliament building, and the nearby cathedral, dating back to 1796. Gather with your fellow travelers at a popular restaurant for dinner featuring Icelandic cuisine. This evening, take an exhilarating northern lights cruise** and sail into the darkness of Faxaflói Bay in search of the aurora borealis.* (D)
Day 3: Thursday, December 29, 2022 Reykjavík – Golden Circle – Lava Exhibition Center – Vík Travel the Golden Circle to experience renowned natural wonders, including the explosive Geysir thermal area, the double-cascade Gullfoss waterfall, and the famous Thingvellir National Park, where you’ll stand upon the crest of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Stop at the Lava Exhibition Center and delve into Iceland’s past and present volcanic eruptions. Continue to Vík. Drive out into the stillness of rural Iceland in search of the northern lights or venture out on foot. Enjoy three nights of searching to increase your likelihood of spotting the lights.* (B, D)
Day 4: Friday, December 30, 2022 Vik – Seljalandsfoss – Skógar Museum – Vík Journey to Seljalandsfoss, one of Iceland’s most famous and unique waterfalls.
Visit Skógar Museum and discover its turf-built homes and artifacts. Stand in awe before the impressive Skógafoss waterfall, one of Iceland’s tallest. Your journey continues to Reynisfjara, a volcanic sand beach surrounded by basalt formations and rich bird life. Look out over the natural rock formations at Dyrhólaey, a volcanic peninsula towering over the ocean. Get a sense of the local culture as you challenge your taste buds and sample traditional delicacies – hákarl (cured shark) and brennivín (schnapps). After dinner, gaze at the sky in search of the northern lights.* (B, D)
Day 5: Saturday, December 31, 2022 Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon – Skaftafell National Park – Vík Travel to Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon, filled with floating icebergs. Explore this extraordinary landscape and search for seals swimming in cold waters. Travel to Skaftafell National Park, gateway to Vatnajökull Glacier. Vatnajökull is known for having Iceland’s highest mountains and Europe’s largest ice cap. After dinner, continue searching for the northern lights dancing across the night sky.* (B, D)
Day 6: Sunday, January 1, 2023 Vík – Blue Lagoon Reykjavík Happy new year! Begin 2023 in Iceland. Drive along the south shore towards the Reykjanes Peninsula. Known for its rugged landscape, lava fields, and numerous hot springs, the peninsula is home to the Blue Lagoon. Take a dip in the warm, mineral-rich waters of the geothermal pool, located in the heart of a dramatic lava field. Return to Reykjavík for your farewell dinner and overnight stay. (B, D)
Day 7: Monday, January 2, 2023 Reykjavík – Tour Ends Depart for home with many incredible memories. (B)
ITINERARY AT A GLANCE
Day 1: Overnight Flight
Day 2: Centerhotel Plaza, Reykjavik
Days 3-5: Hotel Katla by Kea, Vik
Day 6: Centerhotel Plaza, Reykjavik
On some dates alternate hotels may be used.
Price per person through June 28, 2022:
After June 28, 2022:
A deposit of $999 per person (which includes cancellation waiver and insurance) is due upon reservation. Reservations are made on a first come, first served basis. Reservations made after the deposit due date of June 21, 2022 are based upon availability. Final payment due by October 28, 2022. Deposits are refundable up until June 28, 2022.
Included in price:
- Roundtrip transportation from Southern Illinois to STL
- Cancellation Waiver and insurance of $399 per person
- Round trip air from STL, air taxes and fees/surcharges
- Hotel Transfers
- Fully Escorted by Jane’s Journeys
Upgrade your in-flight experience with Elite Airfare. Additional rate of: Business Class $4,190
Your price is subject to increase prior to the time you make full payment. Your price is not subject to increase after you make full payment, except for charges resulting from increases in government-imposed taxes or fees. Once deposited, you have 7 days to send us written consumer consent or withdraw consent and receive a full refund.
IDENTIFICATION Passports are required for this tour at your expense. Certain countries require a minimum of 6 months passport validity from date of return home IMPORTANT: We recommend that our clients traveling abroad take a photocopy of their passport and applicable visas. It should be packed separately from your actual passport and visa. We also recommend leaving a copy at home with your emergency contact.
Effective immediately and until further notice, all guests will be required to bring one of the following: proof of vaccination (official vaccination certificate in paper or electronic form), proof of recovery from COVID-19 or a negative test result (FDA Approved diagnostic) for a test performed 72-hours or less from the start date of the tour with you on tour to verify information you will be providing to Collette when filling out the Wellness Declaration upon arrival.
Please note that all transfers will leave at pre-scheduled times. *The northern lights are in the Northern Hemisphere from September through April and are only visible when the sky is clear and free of clouds. As this tour is weather dependent, sightings of the northern lights are not guaranteed. Icelandic breakfasts are continental; included dinners are of a simpler nature due to the remote locations of the restaurants. Single accommodations are limited and are available on a first come, first served basis.
Coaches which may not be lavatory equipped may be used on this program. In this case, stops are made during travel periods. Due to the remoteness of the sites we visit, the travel time between restrooms may be up to 2 hours. **The northern lights cruise is weather dependent and may be postponed or cancelled in the event of adverse weather or sea conditions. This tour takes place in the winter. You can expect varying weather conditions with brisk days and limited daylight. We seek to best utilize your time while on tour; to account for the potential for adverse weather, some activities or days may need to be altered, shifted, or cancelled. In addition, museum visits and shopping may be affected by observance of religious or local holidays.
The overall activity level of this tour is a level 3. This means you’re an on-the-go traveler. You don’t want to miss a thing, so walking and standing for longer periods of time (1-2 hours) isn’t a big deal. You can navigate hills and uneven ground, climb into various modes of transportation (tuk-tuk, cable car, Zodiac, etc.), and could possibly anticipate changes in elevation. You can expect some longer days balanced with freetime to recharge or set out on your own adventure.
While you are searching for the northern lights, you will be walking and waiting outdoors. It is recommended that you wear sturdy non-slip snow footwear and warm clothing including thermals, hat, scarf and gloves. Most natural sites such as waterfalls, beaches, and lava fields require walking on unpaved, uneven surfaces rendered slippery by ice and rain. Sturdy footwear and ice crampons are required if you plan to walk in these areas or approach the waterfalls.
Please be advised many airlines do not provide advance seat assignments until check-in at the airport. Advance seating will be subject to the airline’s terms and conditions. Due to flight schedules, a post night may be required in some Icelandair gateway cities (at an additional cost). Please inquire at time of reservation.
Centerhotels is a hotel chain in Iceland. The exact hotel to be used while in Reykjavik will be available 60 days prior to your departure date.