A new cruise offering from Smithsonian Journeys and PONANT 

Encounter Iceland’s thrilling geological extremes—from glaciers to still-warm lava fields—on an 8-day voyage that includes some of the island’s most remote corners.  

Starting at: $6,010 Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Godafoss Waterfall  Landscape of Isafjordur in the West Fjords  Breaching whale in Icelandic waters  Iceland's Namaskard geothermal area near Lake Mývatn  Volcanic steam vent  Landscape of Skutustadir, near Lake Myvatn  Puffins along the cliffs of Iceland  Heimaey Island  The colorful capital of Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland Voyage: Land of Fire and Ice

Round-trip from Reykjavík Aboard the 184-guest Le Bellot

8 days from $6,010

A new cruise offering from Smithsonian Journeys and PONANT 

Encounter Iceland’s thrilling geological extremes—from glaciers to still-warm lava fields—on an 8-day voyage that includes some of the island’s most remote corners.  

or Call 855-330-1542

Experts

Jun 6 - 13, 2022 Departure
Elisabeth Ida Ward

Elisabeth Ida Ward

Assistant Curator of the Smithsonian Institution's special traveling exhibition, Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga, from 2000 to 2004, Elisabeth Ward went on to complete her Ph.D. in Scandinavian Languages and Literature from the University of California at Berkeley, and continues to lecture for Smithsonian Journeys. Dr. Ward has a long-term passionate interest in all things Icelandic. Listening to her mother, speak to her grandparents in the Icelandic language, Elisabeth became fluent over many years while growing up in Southern California and traveling to Iceland during the summer. As part of her Ph.D. research, Dr. Ward lived in Iceland from 2006 to 2010, receiving Icelandic citizenship. Her dissertation focuses on the medieval Icelandic narratives called the Sagas of Icelanders; Dr. Ward’s research reveals the relationship between those stories and the actual physical landscape of Iceland. She argues they are “co-constituted”, meaning one cannot be read without the other.

In addition to appearing on documentaries for the Smithsonian Channel and others, she also worked as the Program Director for Vikingaheimar Museum in Reykjanesbær, Iceland, and as the Director of the Scandinavian Cultural Center at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma Washington. Since 2005, she has served as a consultant for Walt Disney World’s Epcot Center helping to create exhibitions for their Norway Pavilion about the Vikings, Norwegian folk culture, and Norse mythology. She recently returned to California to take a position as Executive Director of the Los Altos History Museum. The daughter of an American serviceman who met his wife while stationed in Iceland in the 1960s, Elisabeth is the mother of a 16-year-old son who also has Icelandic citizenship.

Jun 6 - 13, 2022 Departure
Jim Zimbelman

Jim Zimbelman

Senior Geologist Emeritus, Center for Earth and Planetary Studies, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Jim has published >110 peer-reviewed manuscripts, geologic maps, and book chapters.  He is lead author of “The Volcanoes of Mars” (Elsevier, 2021) and he co-authored “Dune Worlds: How windblown sand shapes planetary surfaces” (Springer, 2014).  He is the 2020 G. K. Gilbert Award winner from the Geological Society of America, the 2013 Ronald Greeley Distinguished Service Award winner from the Planetary Geology Division of GSA, and the 1995 Professional Achievement Award winner from Northwest Nazarene University. His research interests include analysis of high-resolution imaging data of Mars, studies of long lava flows on planetary surfaces, and planetary sand transport processes.  From 2016 to 2020, he was Lead Curator for the new “Exploring the Planets” gallery at NASM (scheduled to open in 2022).  He has been Study Leader on numerous Smithsonian Journeys trips, including five SJ trips to Iceland, and two more NASA-supported research trips to Iceland.  He retired in September of 2020.

Aug 8 - 15, 2022 Departure
Scott Burns

Scott Burns

Scott Burns is a Professor Emeritus of Geology and Past-Chair of the Dept. of Geology at Portland State University where he just completed his 28th year of teaching. He was also Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at P.S.U. from 1997-1999. Scott has been teaching for 48 years, with past positions in Switzerland, New Zealand, Washington, Colorado and Louisiana. Dr. Burns specializes in environmental and engineering geology, geomorphology, soils, and Quaternary geology. Scott has won many awards for outstanding teaching, the most significant being the Faculty Senate Chair Award at Louisiana Tech University in 1987, the Distinguished Faculty Award from the Portland State Alumni Association in 2001, and the George Hoffmann Award from PSU in 2007. Based on his national leadership performance Scott was chosen to be a fellow of the Geological Society of America (2004) and a fellow with the Kellogg National Fellowship Program (1990 – 1993). He was president of the Downtown Rotary Club of Portland, Oregon’s oldest and largest Rotary club in 2009. Scott is a 6th generation Oregonian who grew up in Beaverton and is very happy to be "home" after a 25 year hiatus! He actively helps local TV, radio stations and newspapers bring important geological news to the public. Scott enjoys all sports, especially basketball, running, skiing, hiking, swimming, tennis, and golf.