After a night’s steaming from Akranes, just to the north of Reykjavik, we woke to calm seas and cloudy but rainless skies off Flatey Island. With a hearty breakfast under our belts, a short Zodiac ride brought us ashore at a charming village hosting several colorfully painted houses, a small hotel, and the oldest lending library in the nation. But for many, the real draw was the abundant bird life along the cliffs just beyond the village.

After a fine lunch and a presentation in the lounge, we had a dry landing at the dock in Grundafjordur and set out for one of Iceland’s iconic mountains, Kirkjufell, and its associated waterfall. Along the way we passed lovely hillsides composed of stacks of basaltic lava flows, mantled with bright emerald colored grass.