TUESDAY, APRIL 18, 2017 DEPART FROM SAN FRANCISCO
Depart San Francisco on a flight bound for Keflavik, Iceland. Select meals, snacks and refreshments will be served on the flight.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19, 2017 ARRIVE IN ICELAND
Morning arrival in Keflavik, Iceland. Upon arrival in Keflavik, your Music Contact International tour manager will greet your group at the airport. Together, board your waiting motor coach and transfer to the Reykjavik city airport where you will depart for the short flight (50 minutes) to the northern city of Akureyri while taking in our first glimpses of Iceland’s fascinating landscapes.
Upon arrival in Akureyri, take some time for lunch individually in the city center. This afternoon, transfer to your hotel in Akureyri to check in and refresh after your journey. Later, join your tour manager on an orientation walk around Akureyri, Iceland’s “capital of the North”. A special Welcome Dinner will be planned for your group at the hotel or local restaurant.
THURSDAY, APRIL 20, 2017 - WHALE WATCHING - CONCERT
After breakfast in the hotel dining room, embark on a whale-watching tour. The fresh air and sightings of these majestic sea creatures will be the perfect antidote to any lingering jet-lag. Iceland provides some of the best whale-watching in the world as more than twenty species have been recorded in Icelandic waters, coming here to feed on the abundant food available to them in the summer months. In addition to minke and humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins, and harbor porpoises, you will also see various sea birds such as puffins, gannets, guillemots, gulls, kittiwakes, arctic terns and more.
After some free time for lunch return to your hotel to prepare for your concert. This afternoon, visit a local retirement home where your singers will be invited to perform a concert* for the staff and residents. There will be ample opportunity to meet and mingle with your audience following the performance. Dinner is arranged for your group at the hotel in Akureyri or a nearby restaurant.
FRIDAY, APRIL 21, 2017 - MYVATN EXCURSION - FRIENDSHIP CONCERT
Following breakfast in the hotel, embark on a full-day excursion to Lake Mývatn, a place of almost unearthly beauty with incredible geological formations. The lake and its surroundings are also an internationally renowned bird watching paradise. Along the way, stop at Dimmuborgir, where you have the opportunity to take a walk in a moonscape of mesmerizing lava formations, and explore Námaskarð, a fascinating area dominated by sulfur pits and multicolored pools of boiling mud.
After a lunch stop, continue your excursion with a stop at the Goðafoss waterfall, the “waterfall of the gods”, so named because Iceland's lawspeaker in the year 999 tossed his carvings of the Norse gods into the raging falls in order to signify Iceland´s conversion to Christianity. After your tour, return to Akureyri to warm up for your performance.
Early this evening, visit a local church where the Singers Marin will be invited to perform a Friendship Concert* with an Akureyri women’s choir. Enjoy singing for a local audience and each other and getting to know one another through your shared love of music!
Dinner will be served to your group tonight to complement your concert schedule.
SATURDAY, APRIL 22, 2017 - TO REYKJAVIK
Enjoy breakfast, then check out of your rooms and load your luggage onto the motor coach. Transfer to Reykjavik, the world’s northernmost capital city and home to more than half of Iceland’s 320,000 inhabitants.
Upon arrival in Reykjavik, join your local guide on a guided walk to get a feel for this lively, picturesque city with its colorful, corrugated metal houses. The first settler, Ingólfur Arnarson, arrived in 874 and named the settlement Reykjavik, or “smoky bay”, after the steam rising from the earth. His farm was not alone for long as others began flocking to the area. After the Royal Danish government granted Reykjavik a charter as a market town, it began to firmly establish itself as Iceland’s capital. By the late 19th century, the population had increased to over 2,000, and at the time of Icelandic independence in 1944, it had grown to 45,000. Reykjavik boasts all of the attractions and cultural activities of any European city such as a symphony orchestra, ballet, theater, and opera as well as museums, discos, restaurants, and pubs, but it also has the unique advantage of being located amongst some of the world’s most breathtaking natural wonders like glaciers, waterfalls, geysers, and mountains. Among other things, you will see Höfði House, where Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev held their summit in 1986, the prominent Hallgrimskirkja (church), the fishing harbor, and the old city with the parliament and city hall. Following your tour, check in to your hotel and refresh. Dinner will be served to your group at a restaurant near the hotel tonight.
SUNDAY, APRIL 23, 2017 - GOLDEN CIRCLE - CONCERT
In the morning, have breakfast before departing by motor coach to Þingvellir, a remarkable and most historic site on the island. Þingvellir, located on Lake Þingvallavatn, the largest lake in Iceland, is the site of the world’s oldest democratic parliament founded in 930 and is now a national park. The beautiful canyon running through the park is actually the meeting point of two of the earth’s tectonic plates, and Þingvellir’s combination of natural phenomena and historical significance make it inseparable from the fabric of Icelandic national life.
Another highlight of the day will be the visit to Gullfoss, the Golden Waterfall, one of the most impressive waterfalls in the world. Here you will see thousands of tons of icy water thunder majestically down double falls into a deep canyon. Only a few minutes’ drive from Gullfoss is the famous Great Geysir which has given its name to hot springs all over the world. You will also have the opportunity to see one of the most active geysers in the area, Strokkur, which spouts up to 150 feet. After, continue on to Skálholt, the site of an ancient bishopric and take a look at the new church, which houses a mural by a gifted Icelandic modern artist. The Singers Marin will be invited to perform a concert* for a local audience at the church. Return to your hotel in Reykjavik and enjoy dinner served to your group at the hotel or a local restaurant.
MONDAY, APRIL 24, 2017 - SOUTH COAST EXCURSION - FRIENDSHIP CONCERT
Following breakfast in the hotel, board the coach for a trip over the mountain pass Hellisheiði which offers a magnificent view of the wide plains formed by glacial rivers, now used as fertile farmland in South Iceland. Proceeding eastwards you will have frequent opportunities to wonder at the snow-shrouded mountains including Hekla, the country’s most active volcano, and the towering, ice-capped volcano Eyjafjallajökull, which captured the world’s attention with its massive outbreak in 2010. Continue through the region where one of the best known of the Icelandic classical sagas, Njáls Saga, is set. A stop at the spectacular waterfalls Seljalandsfoss where you can actually walk behind the waterfall and Skógafoss is planned. From there, travel past Dyrhólaey, an awe-inspiring bluff with sheer cliffs, to the beautiful village of VÍk where you will take a break for lunch.
After the break, head for the seashore, which is flanked by steep cliffs where puffins and other sea birds nest, and where seals are sometimes spotted frolicking in the surf or on the black sandy beaches. In the sea just outside of VÍk, you will find the Reynisdrangar Rocks – 330 feet above sea level at their highest point. According to legend, the Reynisdrangar were formed when two trolls were trying to drag a three-masted ship to land. When daylight broke, they turned to stone. The tour continues to the impressive ice wall of the Sólheimajökull glacier, which has forged the landscape surrounding it, before returning to Reykjavik.
Early this evening, transfer to a Reykjavik church, such as Langholtskirkja or Neskirkja, where your choir will be invited to perform a Friendship Concert with a local women’s choir. Take some time to mingle with your hosts as you exchange over your shared love of music following the concert. In the evening, a farewell dinner will be served to your group. There will be ample opportunity to recount the highlights of your tour!
TUESDAY, APRIL 25, 2017 - KEFLAVIK TO SAN FRANCISCO
After breakfast, check out of the hotel and load your luggage onto the coach. Depart for the Keflavik Airport and your return flight home.
Depending on your flight schedule, there may be the opportunity to stop along the way for a visit to the Blue Lagoon, a unique oasis in a black lava field which owes its existence to a nearby geothermal power plant. Here you will have the opportunity to take a refreshing bath or swim in the pleasantly warm, mineral-rich water – an excellent activity before boarding your long flight home! The high natural levels of silica and minerals give the Lagoon its rich blue color.
We are accepting donations to help cover the costs to help our singers participate in this wonderful opportunity! Make a donation today!