Call to book01904 521 936
Tour Search

Northern England, The Faroe Islands & Iceland

(8 reviews)

Experience the magic of the lands of ice and fire

17 days From £1,995 per person

2020 Tour code: IIO20

About the tour

Experience the lands of ice and fire on a cruise aboard the CMV Marco Polo. Discover the cities, castles and heritage railways of northern England before setting sail to explore some of the remotest destinations in Britain and Iceland.


What’s included


Days 1-2 - Meet in York

Your cruising holiday begins in the historic city of York, where you meet your group and Tour Manager at your hotel. Enjoy some time to get acquainted with the city ahead of our first dinner together at the hotel.

On Day 2 We discover much of the city's long and fascinating story on a guided walking tour of its main attractions. These include the incomparable Minster, which is one of Europe's largest and most ornate Gothic cathedrals, and the Shambles, a quaint street of cobbled streets and beautiful, overhanging, timber- framed houses that has remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages.

Following the tour, you have the chance to continue sightseeing at your own pace. Perhaps venture to the fantastic Railway Museum? Located in a convenient and apt position next to York's beautiful Victorian railway station, enjoy exploring the multitude of locomotives that this wonderful museum has on offer.

  • Day 1 - Dinner
  • Day 2 - Breakfast
Day 3 - The Settle-Carlisle Railway

After breakfast this morning, we transfer by coach to Settle railway station where we take a journey on the famous Settle-Carlisle Railway (Standard Class). The 72-mile route is regularly voted one of the world's top railway journeys, and for good reason.

Enjoy the marvellous passing scenery of the North of England, from rolling verdant hills to wild and windy moorlands. We continue by rail to Hexham, boarding our coach to Northumberland for three nights at the White Swan Hotel in Alnwick.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Ribblehead Viaduct
Days 4-5 - Alnwick Castle and Lindisfarne

This morning we enjoy a guided tour around the beautifully landscaped Alnwick Gardens as well as impressive Alnwick Castle. Famous as a filming location for Downton Abbey, we are treated to a 'behind the scenes' tour of the imposing structure.

We cross the wild Northumberland countryside to the Holy Island of Lindisfarne on Day 5, taking a journey into Britain's spiritual heritage with a visit to the island's famous priory. In the afternoon we continue to Bamburgh, a scenic coastal town dominated by its magnificent Castle since the 12th century.

  • Day 4 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 5 - Breakfast, Dinner
Alnwick Castle
Days 6-8 - Embarkation, and the Shetland Islands

We leave Northumberland today, travelling by coach to Newcastle to meet the CMV Marco Polo which begins sailing to Aberdeen after embarkation. Arriving in Scotland on Day 7, you have free time to look around before we set sail again. Mooring in Lerwick, the largest town in the Shetland Isles, on Day 8 gives you time to explore independently.

  • Day 6 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 7 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 8 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Days 9-10 - Faroe Islands

This morning we reach Tórshavn, the Faroe Islands' vibrant capital. Although one of the world's smallest capitals, Tórshavn is packed with an array of attractive, varied architecture. Perhaps take the optional tour to some of the islands' coastal villages, or the excursion to visit the grottoes around the sheer rock walls of the Vestmanna sea cliffs.

Day 10 is spent at sea as we make the crossing to Iceland.

  • Day 9 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 10 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Days 11-13 - Reykjavik

We arrive in Reykjavik this morning. Here there is an option to visit the famous and beautiful Blue Lagoon on an optional excursion that takes you around the island's classic 'Golden Circle' of thermal activity. Days 12 and 13 are at leisure

  • Day 11 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 12 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 13 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 14 - At sea

Today is spent at sea. Your time upon the open ocean is the perfect chance to spot the Northern Lights. At this latitude, all you need are clear skies thanks to the lack of light pollution so far from land.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
CMV Marco Polo
Days 15-17 - The Orkney Islands and homeward bound

Following a free day in Klaksvik, second largest town of the wild and rugged Faroe Islands, we set sail this evening, arriving in Kirkwall, capital of the Orkney archipelago, on Day 16. From here, we moor back in Newcastle before catching the train to York on Day 17.

  • Day 15 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 16 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 17 - Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


The White Swan Hotel, Alnwick

The White Swan Hotel, Alnwick

View hotel

The Principal York

The Principal York, York

View hotel


Settle-Carlisle Railway


MS Marco Polo

Enhance your holiday


UK rail connections


75% of travellers would recommend this tour

Based on 8 verified reviews

Powered by Feefo


Submitted 14/07/2019

We both thoroughly enjoyed the holiday. Hotels were great, Linden especially, excellent room and food if a little pricey for drinks but we expected that in a hotel. The Ship was fine but not our personal favourite. Iceland did not disappoint, the sea was calm for the North Atlantic and the weather was sun if a little chilly.


Submitted 14/07/2019

One star deducted due to dissatisfaction with hotel

Mrs J James

Submitted 07/07/2019

The guides were very knowledgeable and helpful. The schedule and tours were great.

Mr S Bower

Submitted 21/07/2018

weather spoilt it and caused us to miss one of our ports and tour as ship not safe to enter.


Submitted 12/07/2018

Holiday was varied and interesting. Minus points included no arrangements for the group to meet up on the ship and confusion over disembarkment tomes

Ms B Tesler

Submitted 19/08/2017

I loved the 5 days when the guide was with us. The accommodations and tours were great. I felt, as many others did, that we would have liked a couple of dinners or organized tours once we got on the ship. After 5 days of 'bonding' we all missed each other once on the ship! This itinerary was fantastic though. The total tour was maybe a bit over priced, although I am a single traveler, so I had a supplement. Our guide was wonderful.

Tailor made for you

Customise this tour with Great Rail Journeys Independent

Northern England, The Faroe Islands & Iceland

Experience the magic of the lands of ice and fire


Helen Laverack
Lynne Broadley
Luke Simpson
Related inspiration from our journey blog