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November 8 – 14, 2011

The Northern Lights & Lava Fields

Join the ASP in the far north for a winter's night tour in search of the Aurora Borealis. To further enhance your experience, the enrichment program will be led by popular astronomer, lecturer Dr. Alex Filippenko.

Enrichment Lecturer
Dr. Alex Filippenko, U.C. Berkeley Professor

Northern Lights and Lava Fields Tour includes:

  • Roundtrip air from selected USA gateways
  • Airport/hotel transfers
  • Five (5) nights accommodations at the four star Grand Reykjavik Hotel
  • Scandinavian buffet breakfasts daily, 1 salmon lunch and 3 special dinners
  • Reykjavik City tour including Hallgrimskirkja, Hofidi House and the Pearl
  • Blue Lagoon including bathing in a mineral-rich pool, geothermal-heated water
  • Full day tour: Thingvellir landmark, Gulfoss Falls, the Great Geyser
  • Astronomical lecturer: Dr. Alex Filippenko
  • Aurora watching in the countryside
  • South Shore Tour Icelandic Folk Museum
  • Optional excursion: Icelandic horse rides, Westman Islands, Art tour with local artist



Tuesday, November 8, 2011 —Depart the U.S.A. – Iceland
An early evening departure from the USA to begin the Icelandic adventure in search of the aurora borealis from your respective gateway.
In-flight Meals

Wednesday, November 9, 2011 —Reykjavik, Iceland
Greet your guide at Keflavik airport. After arrival in Reykjavik, we are transferred to the Blue Lagoon to bathe in a natural, mineral-rich pool of geothermal heated water (90 – 100 F) in the middle of a lava field. After a bountiful breakfast, check-in at the Grand Reykjavik Hotel. After a rest, a city tour orients you to this bustling cosmopolitan city.
Weaving our ways through narrow alleys framed with old timber houses, we learn about the life of the Icelandic capital from its very beginning to the present day. We visit Hallgrimskirkja-Church and enjoy a photo stop at Höfði house, where the Reagan/Gorbachev summit meeting took place in 1986. We continue to district of the University, the Nordic house and National Museum. Enjoy the panoramic view over Reykjavik, the fjord and mountains from the balcony at the Pearl.

Thursday, November 10, 2011 —Geysers, Volcanoes, & Lava Beds
After a Scandinavian buffet breakfast, travel to Thingvellir, the majestic, dual folding Gulfoss Falls and the Great Geyser. Enjoy a Soup and Salmon lunch before continuing to the huge volcanic crater lake of Kerid.

Friday, November 11, 2011 —Reykjavik – Aurora
The Astronomy magazine enrichment program begins today with a lecture and Q&A with the experts. This afternoon continue on the tour of the South Shore and viewing Mt. Hekla. Visit the Skogafossa waterfall and the Folk Museum. We finish the day in the seaside village at Stokkeseyri. Return to Reykjavik, in search of the Northern Lights.

Saturday, November 12, 2011 —Reykjavik – Aurora
Today is at leisure to take advantage of the optional excursions around Reykjavik such as horseback riding on the famous Icelandic horses or an art tour led by a local artist. The astronomical program continues tonight as we continue our search of the aurora.

Sunday, November 13, 2011 —Reykjavik
Enjoy another day of museums, shops or perhaps an excursion to Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands). We venture to the South Shore tonight for the famous Icelandic lobster. Late-night stargazing before returning to Reykjavik.

Monday, November 14, 2011 —Depart Reykjavik – U.S.A.
Enjoy the spa facilities of the Grand Reykjavik Hotel before the afternoon flight from Reykjavik back to the U.S.A.