The Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce &   the Museum of the Earth present:

Iceland! - Land of Fire and Ice

April 17 – 23, 2017

Unique, distinct, mysterious, legendary - Iceland remains a well-kept travel secret. Exploring Iceland’s glacier-scapes, steam chimneys and roaring waterfalls, it’s not difficult to imagine trolls and elves from Icelandic lore peeking out from hidden lava fields. Iceland’s raw natural beauty rates as one of the world’s truly unique wilderness environments. Combined with world class farm to table/sea to table cuisine, it’s an island nation waiting to be discovered by discerning travelers.

Land only double occupancy price is $2200 for members of the Chamber or the Museum of the Earth.

Non-member’s price is $2250.

Tour highlights include a visit to the Viking Museum, learning how Icelanders grow tomatoes in the depths of winter when ice covers the land, discovering the unique characteristics of the Icelandic horse through a demonstration at a farm, enjoying a Reykjavik city tour, joining locals at a thermal outdoor swimming center, and touring a geothermal plant. The full day “Golden Circle Tour’ includes: Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Gullfoss Waterfall and the famous geyser geothermal area. We will visit the famed “Blue Lagoon Spa” and learn what makes the blue in the lagoon, and feast on farm to table/sea to table delicacies!  Above all is the natural beauty of the country which stand as a backdrop to each day’s events.

ITINERARY:

DAY 1 – Monday, April 17, 2017

We will depart Toronto airport this evening for our 4-hour direct flight to Reykjavik’s Keflavik Airport.A charter bus will take the group from Ithaca to Toronto and back. You also have the option of getting your own flight from the departure city of your choice and meeting us at Reykjavik’s Keflavik Airport.

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DAY 2 – Tuesday, April 18, 2017

We arrive in Iceland in the morning. A private motor coach and our Icelandic guide will meet us at the airport and bring us to our first stop, the Viking World Museum and Café, just a short drive from the airport, where we will have a traditional Icelandic breakfast.

The museum, which opened in 2009, offers five different exhibitions, which are all connected to the Viking age in one way or the other and offers a unique opportunity to learn about the history and lifestyle of the Vikings of the North Atlantic a thousand years ago.  For example, a replica Viking boat provides tantalizing insights into oceanic voyages of this seafaring people. In addition, visitors can enjoy the magnificent view of the ocean from the Café.

After breakfast we will head to Reykjavik, the capital city of Iceland. We will begin our visit with a scenic tour of the city area including the historical residence of Icelandic presidents and Hafnarfjordur town.  We will then have a short walking tour and point out key attractions in this small, walkable city.  After checking into our hotel, mid-afternoon you will have a chance to rest or explore on your own. This evening we will enjoy our group welcome dinner.      Meals: B, D

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DAY 3 – Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Reykjanes Peninsula Tour 

After breakfast we will meet our motor coach and guide for a sightseeing tour around the Reykjanes Peninsula, a geothermal wonder where lighthouses outnumber villages. Iceland is one of the most volcanically active areas on earth and is well represented here.  Since the Middle Ages, a third of all lava that has covered the earth’s surface has erupted in Iceland.  This same geological activity is also responsible for some of the most dramatic features of Icelandic nature.  The mountainous landscapes, black lava fields and geothermal pools and geysers are the result of continuous interplay between volcanic activity and the natural elements.  Look for great landscape photo ops during your tour today.

We will also spend time at the bridge between continents where you can see the earth’s crust in action and walk from the Eurasian tectonic plate over to the North American plate.

To understand how Icelanders cope with long winters, the tour ends at Reykjavik's largest outdoor swimming pool in Laugardalur, which is heated with water from natural hot springs under the city. Here you can enjoy a swim and hot tubs with the locals before returning to your hotel. Meals: B

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DAY 4 – Thursday, April 20, 2017

Optional tour day – you decide how to spend the day.

Optional Tour # 1: Explore Iceland's South Coast

Drive along the south coast of Iceland, one of the country's most scenic regions, as far as Vik, a charming village surrounded by beautiful high bird cliffs. Along the way we stop at the gorgeous Seljalandsfoss waterfall, were you can walk behind it and through to the other side. We also stop at the majestic and much-photographed Skogafoss waterfall, with its 60-metre drop, and visit the Skogar folk museum, to get a taste of how Icelanders lived in centuries past. Other highlights include views of the stunning Myrdalsjokull glacier, the black sand coastline and the impressive Reynisdrangar rock formations.

Cost: $110.00      Teens: $52.00         Age 11 and Under – No charge

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Optional Tour #2 – Whale Watching

Whales and marine life in Iceland!

Whales are beautiful animals and one of nature’s most extraordinary sights. Our experienced guides on board will share with you their wealth of knowledge on the whales, as well as pass on some interesting facts and old sea stories about encounters with these magnificent creatures. The whales round these parts are not shy, often surfacing quite close to the boat, and, as our sea-fairing guides will tell you, to see a whale up close truly is a sight to remember. There is over a 90% viewing success (if you are in the unlucky few percent, you get another tour for free). This tour departs from the Old Harbor in Reykjavik.

Cost: $110.00                             Teens: $52.00

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Optional Tour # 3 – Icelandic Horse Riding  

Horse riding of a lifetime!

This tour offers an adventurous ride through the lava fields around Mt. Helgafell or Lake Hvaleyrarvatn. The Icelandic Horse is unique to the country of Iceland, bred since the settlement in isolation from the outside world. Enjoy its smooth riding qualities, namely the tolt gait. Ride through rough lava fields and look at different rock formations; maybe you will be able to spot a troll or two. The beautiful Blafjoll mountains tower above on the horizon   

Cost: $100.00              Teens: $50.00        Meals: B

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Day 5 - Friday, April 21, 2017

Golden Circle Tour, Icelandic Horse Farm Visit and an in-depth look at one of Iceland’s famed Geothermal Power Plants

The Golden Circle Tour will take you to:

Thingvellir National Park, a remarkable historical and geological site, which is located by Lake Thingvallavatn, the largest lake in Iceland. The beautiful canyon running through the park is actually the meeting point of two of the earth's tectonic plates. Furthermore, in this area the oldest form of parliament began meeting in 930.

Gullfoss Waterfall (the Golden Waterfall) where you will see thousands of tons of icy water thunder majestically down in double falls into a deep canyon. Geyser geothermal area where bubbling hot springs and geysers are abundant. Here you'll find Strokkur, Iceland’s Old Faithful, which spouts up to 100 feet. Our next stop is at Fridheimar Horse Farm for a professional display of the history and gaits of the Icelandic horse.  We will learn about one of the most magnificent horse breeds in the world, a breed that has been intertwined with the culture and history of the Icelandic nation through the centuries. We will be able to get close to the horses, take pictures and chat with the show riders.

Next we will also explore a typical hydroponic greenhouse where we will enjoy a lunch buffet. Imagine using geothermal power to produce a booming tomato crop that is distributed throughout the country in the midst of winter.  Our last stop will is a visit to the Hellisheiði Geothermal Power Plant. Icelanders’ use of clean, green geothermal energy has long surpassed any nation in the world.  More than 90% of all houses in Iceland are heated with geothermal energy.  Snow removal is not done with shovels and plows but by the ingenious use of the geothermal heat rising from the ground. The Hellisheidi Power Plant combines a high tech exhibition and a guide who explains the extraordinary ways in which geothermal energy influences every aspect of Icelandic daily life. This visit poses the question: Does the United States have geothermal resources it could exploit to produce energy?

Meals: B, L

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Day 6 – Saturday,  April 22, 2017

Today is at leisure to explore on your own.

Tonight will be our farewell group dinner.

Meals: B, D

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Day 7- Sunday, April 23, 2017    Departure 

Today we depart Reykjavik and on our way to the airport we visit the famous Blue Lagoon Spa. No trip to Reykjavik is complete without a visit to this renowned outdoor geothermal spa set in an otherworldly setting where lava and thermal water meet and complement each other. The Blue Lagoon's warm water and natural active ingredients of mineral salts, silica and blue green algae help you relax and unwind while its white silica mud gently cleanses and exfoliates the skin. The mineral salts balance and relax body and soul, leaving you both energized and relaxed for your flight home.

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TRIP PRICE: The land only double occupancy price per person is $2200. for Chamber/MOE members & $2250. for non-members.

Singe rooms are very limited. A single room supplement is $470 and available on a first reserved basis.

The airfare and private coach transfer from Ithaca to the Toronto airport are $790. You can make your own air arrangements and meet the group in Reykjavik, or book group transfer and air with Edventures.  This price includes transportation from the Reykjavik’s Keflavik airport to breakfast and a tour of the Viking Museum on the way to Reykjavik.

Airfare and Transportation to Toronto’s Pearson International Airport

Schedule for Group Flight:

April 17 Iceland flight 602 departs Toronto at 9:05 pm and arrives at 6:20 am on April 18.

April 23 Iceland flight 603 departs from Keflavik at 5:00 pm and arrives Toronto 6:55 pm.

The following elements are included in the price of the trip:

Five nights at the brand new Center Hotel Midgardur, Reykjavik https://www.centerhotels.com/hotel-midgardur;

Icelandic guide who will help make Iceland and its rich history and culture come alive;

Small group travel;

Full time tour manager;

Gratuities for guides and bus drivers;

Private motor coach transportation throughout the trip;

Entrance fees to attractions per itinerary;

Pre-departure documents;

Pre-departure meeting; and

Travel memories to last a lifetime!

 

SMALL GROUP FEE:  A small group fee of $200 per person will be charged if the group number is below 20 travelers.

DEPOSIT DUE UPON REGISTRATION: $500 per passenger and a completed registration form.

FINAL PAYMENT:  Edventures will send an invoice with the due date for payment. Payment can be made via personal check or you can pay with a credit card via PayPal. A nominal PayPal fee is added when paying by credit card.

 

TRIP INSURANCE is a personal choice, but is recommended. To get the best rates, you can compare costs online through agents like Squaremouth.com, InsureMyTrip.com or Totaltravelinsurance.com, which offer side-by-side comparisons. Please contact Edventures prior to purchasing trip insurance to assure that the trip is a “go.”

AVERAGE TEMPERATURES IN REYKJAVIK IN APRIL:

The month of April is characterized by rising daily high temperatures, with daily highs increasing from 40°F to 45°F over the course of the month, exceeding 51°F or dropping below 33°F only one day in ten.        Do you still have questions about the tour?  If so, contact Mary at Edventures:  (607) 387-3322 or goedventures@gmail.com.