Experience significant variety during this expedition cruise as the ship follows spring northward. From the warm spring days off the coast of Scotland and fjords of Norway to the midnight sun of Svalbard – the light will astound. This time of year there is significant bird activity, both migrating and nesting. Reaching farther north, it is possible to see reindeer, the majestic Polar bear and other Arctic wildlife. This program is also a human story with archaeological sites and charming coastal northern communities - 14 nights/15 days
Friday, May 28 (Scotland)
Embark in Dundee where Scott’s ship, Discovery was built and is now a museum.
Saturday, May 29 (Orkneys)
The ancient mysteries are not fully explained which perhaps makes the Ring of
Brodgar, standing stones of Stennes and Skara Brae even more intriguing.
Sunday, May 30 (Shetlands)
An early morning visit to Mousa Broch provides heightened bird activity and
interesting light. Then from Lerwick set off to explore the archaeological sites of Jarlshoff and Scatness. Before returning to the ship in Lerwick, visit Sumburgh Head to see seabirds and the Stevenson Lighthouse.
Monday, May 31 (Norway)
The ship’s first landfall in Norway is the culturally rich city of Bergen. Of particular note are the Hanseatic Houses and the home of composer, Edvard Grieg.
Tuesday, Jun 1 (Norway)
Join the early morning Zodiac cruise to experience the din of half a million birds
around Runde Island. Then it is on to Ålesund to learn about the local sea life at the aquarium and wander
amongst the Art Nouveau architecture of the town.
Wednesday, Jun 2 (Norway)
From Trondheim, take a very short ferry ride to Monk Island for an early
morning visit. Exploration of the city includes the Folk Museum (collection of traditional Norwegian buildings), 11th Century Nidaros Cathedral, and also some free time to wander the city.
Thursday, Jun 3 (Norway)
Hear the legend of the “hole in the mountain” and enjoy the countryside with a
leisurely stroll or make a more active hike through the “hole” of Torghatten Mountain. In the evening, celebrate crossing the Arctic Polar Circle at the island of Vikingen where the Polar globe serves as a marker for the Arctic
Polar Circle position.
Friday, Jun 4 (Norway)
The ship cruises into Holandfjorden. From the shore it is a short walk through a
birch and willow woodland to the edge of a lake from where the Svatissen Glacier can be seen. For the more energetic a four mile walk reaches the base of the glacier for a closer view.
Saturday, Jun 5 (Norway)
The Lofotens are unbelievably picturesque with dramatic mountain peaks,
charming sheltered coastal communities and tranquil sheep pastures. An evening cruise in Trollfjord is a dramatic end to a lovely day.
Sunday, Jun 6 (Norway)
Tromsø is considered the “Gateway to the Arctic” and is home to interesting Polar Museums and the Arctic Cathedral. A ride up in the cable car to the tundra high above provides an excellent view and a chance to walk the tundra.
Monday, Jun 7 (Norway)
Zodiac cruising around Gjeasværstappen is a fantastic way to see kittiwakes and guillemots overhead or puffins in rafts on the water or nesting on the shore. Later the ship rounds Nordkapp (North Cape) at 70°N, considered the northernmost point of mainland Europe.
Tuesday, Jun 8 (Bjørnøya)
En route in the Norwegian and Barents Seas the ship reaches Bear Island.
Weather permitting there will be a Zodiac cruise along the bird filled cliffs and caves and a visit to meteorological station if conditions allow.
Day 13 & 14:
Wednesday – Thursday, Jun 9 & 10 (Svalbard)
The last two full days of the cruise are spent
exploring Spitsbergen in the fantastic Norwegian Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. It is early spring here and time to keep a constant watch for wildlife – walrus, whale, seal, reindeer, Arctic fox, Little auk, kittiwake, Ivory gulls and of course, the mighty Polar Bear.
Friday, Jun 11 (Svalbard)
Disembark in the charming Arctic town of Longyearbyen.
All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions and in order to take advantage of opportunities to see wildlife.