Thu, Dec 28: Overnight flight to Reykjavik, Iceland.
Fri, Dec 29: Arrive in Reykjavik in the early morning and transfer to hotel for early check-in. Rest and have breakfast at the hotel and lunch on your own. After lunch, grab your bathing suit and spend a relaxing afternoon in the Blue Lagoon. Drive through the “town of elves” before arriving to the most famous geothermal pool in the world, with the water temperature ranging from 98 to 102°F. Located in a large and dramatic lava field, the warm aqua-colored, mineral-rich water is reputed for its healing properties. Have leisure time to swim, have a drink from the swim up bar or shop for specialty products in their exclusive shop. Return to Reykjavik, stopping for an included Welcome Dinner – “Viking Style.” (Meals: Breakfast, Dinner)
Sat, Dec 30: After breakfast embark on the classic Golden Circle Tour, visiting the breathtaking Gullfoss, (“Golden Waterfall”) and Geyser. See some of Iceland’s most stunning sights, starting with the Geysir geothermal area where the Strokkur geyser shoots a column of water up to 98 feet into the air every four to eight minutes, a thrilling display of natural forces. Enjoy an included lunch buffet at the Hotel Geysir before continuing to Gullfoss, a waterfall created by the river Hvítá, which tumbles and plunges into a crevice some 105 feet deep. Pass by an area where the Icelandic Horses graze before capping off the tour with a phenomenal visit to Thingvellir National Park. Walk through the gap where the American and Eurasian tectonic plates are pulling apart at a rate of about one inch per year. While driving along, keep an eye out for the Icelandic horses that typically graze the landscape. Following the tour, return to the hotel and have dinner on your own. This evening, you may take an optional tour by Super Jeep to chase the bright dancing lights, which are also known as “aurora borealis” or the Northern Lights. (B,L)
Sun, Dec 31: When the sun rises in late morning, take off on a narrated city tour to see the most popular sights around Reykjavik, including the city’s iconic church, Hallgrimskirkja, which can be seen from almost everywhere in the city. The inspiration for the church’s unique design was none other than the fascinating shapes and forms created by lava when it cools into basalt rock. Ride the elevator up and take a few flights of stairs where a panoramic photo opportunity awaits. Before leaving the church, don’t miss the most notable feature: the remarkable twenty-five-ton pipe organ. Take the afternoon off to have lunch and get decked out for a special evening as you join your group tonight for an elegant three-course dinner at Harpa, the iconic concert hall in Reykjaviks downtown harbor overlooking the bay. Just after dinner, depart to witness a traditional brenna (bonfire). An Icelandic tradition where locals burn everything they wish to leave behind in the old year! Return to Harpa for dessert, a New Years Eve champagne toast and to watch hours of amazing fireworks while you dance the night away. (B,D)
Mon, Jan 1: Happy New Year! The day is at leisure to see more of Reykjavik or to take an optional tour to go snowmobiling. If you stay in town, visit some of the art galleries and museums, shop for traditional Icelandic hats and sweaters in the popular boutiques, or relax at the hotel. (B)
Tue, Jan 2: Return flight to Indianapolis, arriving the same day. (B)
Iceland’s largest hotel in the heart of the city and just a short walk from the main shopping area – an ideal starting point to experience the best of everything the city has to offer. Highlights: bright, spacious guestrooms with modern furnishing, wooden floors and contemporary design • in-room refrigerator • complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access • restaurant • bar/lounge • fitness center.
Northern Lights Tour: This is your chance (weather permitting) to witness cosmic collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth’s atmosphere. Auroral displays appear in many colors although pale green and pink are the most common. The lights appear in many forms from patches or scattered clouds of light to streamers, arcs, rippling curtains or shooting rays that light up the sky with an eerie glow. If the trip is canceled due to weather you will automatically go out on the next available evening to try again. Duration: 3-4 hours. Cost: $255
Snowmobiling Tour: Cross endless white snowfields on a snowmobiling adventure to see incredible scenery. The location will be chosen by snow conditions. Note: a valid driver’s license is required to drive a snowmobile. Duration: 7 hours. Cost: $485 per person, single rider; $425 per person, double rider