We did a back-to-back circumnavigation of the Baltic Sea on the Orion and loved the experience so we decided the way to see Iceland was by circumnavigation. This trip was amazing and is at the top of my list of recommendations to friends. We did the heli-hiking extension and it was an "over-the-top" experience. I highly recommend this extension for anyone that wants to see Iceland from places many never venture to. You must be adventurous and able to hike on rough terrain. Our guide Gaddi Hrafn Sigurjonsson, from Asgard Beyond was fabulous. He took us on hikes and was there to encourage us to experience the wild beauty of Iceland. I will enclose a couple of photos from our lunch on the top of a mountain and hiking across the glacier. We talked to a number of guests on the ship about taking the extension, and the feedback was it was too expensive. I would say yes, expensive, but a once in a lifetime experience, well worth every penny. I think Nat Geo and Lindbland could do a better job of marketing this heli-hiking adventure.
The staff was amazing. We especially want to call out Peter Wilson, Expedition Leader, Karen Veles, Naturalist, Madalena Patacho, Naturlist, James Coleman, Naturalist and one staff member that has been with Lindblad for many years, Chris who was a server in the lounge and restaurant. His customer service and engagement with the guests was first class. We heard he started as a dishwasher and has been promoted to his current customer facing role. It is nice to know that Lindbland is a family and promotes from within. The first time we met Peter Wilson he was a Naturalist and now is leading expeditions. Our trip to Iceland on the Explorer is filled with fine memories that will be with us forever. We are even considering going back in the winter for a different experience.
Spacious, comfortable room, well designed for a lot of storage. Cozy bed and large bathroom for a ship.