Set sail from Scotland and its beautiful isles en route to the Norwegian fjords and the remote shores of Svalbard on this dazzling 15-day odyssey along the fjord coastline of Norway. Explore the glaciers that carved the stunning landscapes, visit arctic islands by Zodiac in search of wildlife, walk through history at UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and so much more. Every day of this journey reveals a new icy wonderland on the water.
Day 1 Edinburgh
The expedition begins near Scotland's incomparable capital city.
Board the ship this afternoon in the suburb Port of Leith, to embark
on a voyage to the Arctic. The Expedition departs in the evening
through a lock which leads down to sea level, before heading out to
sail down the Firth of Forth. While on deck, keep a lookout for common
eiders and northern gannets. Please make sure to be at the Leonardo
Hotel before 13:00 as luggage will be transferred to the ship at that
time. Meet back at the hotel no later than 15:00 for a group transfer
to the Port of Leith at 16:00.
Day 2 Kirkwall/Orkney
There are few places in the world that offer as much as the Orkneys.
Only six miles off the coast of Scotland, the islands are famous for
their abundant marine bird life and dramatic coastal scenery. Enjoy an
afternoon to explore the ancient history of the people of these
Scottish Isles. Take a guided coach tour of the many mystical
historical sites on the island. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site
the Ring of Brodgar, the standing stones of Stennes, and the 4500 year
old village of Skara Brae.
Day 3 Shetland Islands
The Shetland archipelago is an engaging mix of Scotland and
Scandinavia blessed with spectacular coastlines, varied and abundant
birdlife and a number of archaeological sites that date back thousands
of years. Visit Lerwick and discover the unique mix of Scotland
Scandinavian culture in the area. Opt to visit Jarlshof, a remarkable
archaeological site where Neoloithic houses and several Norse
longhouses were discovered after a violent storm uncovered the
settlement. Another option for your time here is to join the Puffin
Bus to focus on puffin and seabird photography at Sumbrugh head. Each
tour option will allow a few hours to explore Lerwick after. With your
free time, opt to enjoy the Shetland Museum or take a walk through the
Day 4 Olden
Cruise into the Olden Fjord before a short bus ride to the Birksdal
area. Enjoy a moderate hike to Briksdalbreen glacier, or, for an
easier option, take a trolley ride with a shorter walk to make it to
the glacier lake. Stretch out your legs on a hike from the Birksdal
area to the nearby Briksdalbreen glacier in Jostedalsbreen National
Park. For the first 20-30 mins the grade is uphill (moderate to
strenuous), but the footing is easy. If you'd rather not make the
trek, hop on the trolley to take you most of the way. As you approach,
you'll need to walk the last quarter mile to reach the glacier lake.
The views are worth the effort!
Day 5 Geiranger
Sail deep into one of Norway's most beautiful, and most visited,
fjords. Enjoy a coach tour to Dalsnibba, soaking in the views. For the
more adventurous, opt for a 10km mountain hike exploring the area and
taking in amazing views of the fjord from above. The fjord is one of
Norway's most visited tourist sites and has been listed as a UNESCO
World Heritage Site. The fjord is 15 km (9.3 mi) long, surrounded by
spectacular mountains, lush green trees, waterfalls, and several
farms. Have a camera ready for some spectacular photo opportunities.
Day 6 Trondheim
Continue on to Trondheim. Choose between hiking in Bymarka Nature
Reserve before visiting the Sverresborg Folk Museum, or enjoying a
city tour including the Folk Museum and the elaborate Nidaros
Cathedral, built between 1070 and 1300. Enjoy a free afternoon to
explore the area on your own. Trondheim is a modern city surrounded by
beautiful forests and mountains, and is home to the remarkable Nidaros
Cathedral. Built over the burial site of Saint Olav, the king of
Norway in the 11th century, Nidaos Cathedral is the traditional
location for the consecration of the King of Norway.
Day 7 Torghatten/Vega
The mountain scenery and coastline offer breathtaking views. The goal
is to visit Torghatten, one of the most bizarre rock formations in
Norway and a significant local landmark. Enjoy a short, but scenic,
coach ride into the Treana archipelago. Our goal is to visit
Torghatten, one of the most bizarre rock formations in Norway and a
significant local landmark. We will also try to move towards the
Treana archipelago that is comprised of over 1000 islands. Expedition
guides will provide information on the local areas, and the ship's
photography expert will be on hand to offer advice on how to capture
the perfect shot. Access one of the small islands and picturesque
fishing villages of Vega by Zodiac. Learn about life on the island
from a local guide and hear how the unique farming techniques and
elder down production gained the island UNESCO World Heritage site
Day 8 Svartisen/Vikingen
Visit Svartisen, and Vikingen, to see beautiful glaciers and a globe
sculpture which marks Vikingen as a point directly on the Arctic
Circle. Svartisen is Norway’s second-largest glacier. Hike to one of
the outlet glaciers of Svartisen, Engabreen, which ends at the lowest
point of any glacier on the European mainland, at 90 meters above sea
level (in 2018). The first 30 to 45 minutes of the hike are easy with
no incline. The remaining hike is guided in small groups as it can be
a challenging and complicated maze of rocky outcroppings leading to a
close encounter with the ice. Everyone should reach a beautiful
lookout over the lake. Opt to visit the café for waffles and coffee.
Day 9 Lofoten Islands
The Lofoten archipelago is an enchanting area of picturesque villages
by the sea backed with jagged peaks. Go ashore by Zodiac for a day
trip of the area. Start by visiting the Tørrfiskmuseum to learn about
traditional work of the islands before visiting Nusfjord, one of
Norway's oldest and best-preserved fishing villages for lunch at a
local restaurant. After, stop in Henningsvær for time to see local art
or explore the quaint fishing village. In the evening, stay on deck as
you cruise into one of Norway's most famous fjords, the short yet
dramatic Trollfjord. Search the cliffs on your continuing quest to
Day 10 Tromsø
Tromsø, the capital of northern Norway, is known as the "Gateway to
the Arctic" as it was the embarkation point for many Arctic
expeditions. Learn about past Arctic expeditions and opt for some
hiking or to explore the city on your own. Spend the day exploring
Norway's largest northern city. Choose between hiking on the mountain
top overlooking Tromsø, or wandering the city's streets before taking
a cable car to the mountain top. Enjoy a delicious lunch of
traditional open faced sandwiches while gazing over the city. Everyone
will have a chance to visit some of the major sites including the
Polar and Tromsø Museums and (weather permitting) enjoy a stunning
view from a cable car.
Day 11 At Sea/Bjørnøya
Sail past Bear Island. Weather permitting, there may be an
opportunity to explore mist-shrouded Bjørnøya by Zodiac - the weather
is temperamental, so this is a 50/50 chance. Bear island even from
afar has spectacular views, thousands of species of birds like
fulmars, kittiwakes, guillemots and gulls.
Day 12 Hornsund
Our flexible itinerary and experience here allow us to take the best
advantage of ice and weather conditions. Each season we attempt to
discover new landing sites to explore to enhance your expedition
experience. Shore walks and Zodiac adventures bring us up close to
mystical landscapes, icebergs, and wildlife.
Day 13 Svalbard
Soak in the sights and sounds of Svalbard. Glaciers, nesting birds,
sea mammals like polar bears, walruses and whales plus land mammals
like the Arctic fox and reindeer all call this region home.
Day 14 Svalbard/Longyearbyen
Continue exploring the icy wonderland of Svalbard.
Day 15 Longyearbyen
After disembarkation at approximately 8:00am, you will be transferred
to either the airport or the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel, depending on
the time of your flight. Those transferred to the hotel will have an
opportunity to explore the town centre on their own, and then be
transferred to the airport later in the day as per flight schedules.
Transfer times will be confirmed, and communicated onboard prior to
departure. Luggage storage at the Raddison Blu Polar hotel will be
available until time of departure. We are pleased to offer an early
morning disembarkation and transfer to the airport for those
passengers with flights departing Longyearbyen around 2:30am
(dependent on airline schedules).