Beginning in historical Edinburgh, Scotland, cruise on a mystical North Atlantic journey and explore the various medieval towns of the Norwegian coast. Visit man-made and natural oddities, fantastic fjords, and search for trolls! Keep your eyes open for unique wildlife as we travel to Spitsbergen, the icy domain of the polar bear!
Day 1: Edinburgh, Port Leith – Scotland
Explore this fabulous Scottish Capital with 16C block towers and a range of Georgian and Victorian architectural masterpieces. Board the M/S Expedition and slip through a lock down to sea level.
Day 2: Kirkwall
In the Orkney Islands find abundant marine birdlife and scenic, dramatic coastlines. By couch, visit 4500 year old Skara Brae, the standing stones of Stennes and the Ring of Brodgar.
Day 3: Lerwick
The Shetland Islands were under Norse rule until 1469, given to Scotland as part of a dowry. The mix of Scottish and Scandinavian is interesting, as are the archaeological sites from thousands of years ago.
Day 4: Nordfjorden
Cross the famous Northsea with the largest offshore oil fields in the world. Hopefully have time to stop at Olden for a short bus ride and walk to a glacier.
Day 5: Geiranger
Cruise the length of this most beautiful Norwegian fjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The grandeur and expanse take your breath away.
Day 6: Monks Island & Austratt
Monks built a monastery on Monk’s Island in the 11th century; it is now a recreation area. And visit Austratt where Norwegian noblemen and noblewomen played a great role in development.
Day 7: Torghatten & Alstahaug
Discover the breathtaking scenery of central Norway’s rugged coast. Zodiac landings will hopefully include Torghatten, one of the most bizarre rock formations – a mountain with a hole in it. Excursions will try to include getting close to the Treana archipelago with over 1000 islands.
Day 8: Svartisen & Vikingen
At Svartisen you can take a beautiful walk to a glacier, or walk around a lake at the base of it. And Vikingen sits right on the Arctic circle; a globe sculpture shows off its position.
Day 9: Lofoten Islands, Svolvaer & Trollfjord
Be delighted by these colorful, picturesque villages by the sea and take an excursion to the island of Aa with its cod fishing. In the evening, spend time searching the cliffs of the short, dramatic Trollfjord for Northway’s mythical beings: trolls.
Day 10: Tromso
Known as the Gateway to the Arctic, Tromso offers many treats. There is an Arctic Cathedral to enjoy with huge stained glass windows, a Polar Museum, Tromso Museum and a cable car that offers exquisite views over the area.
Day 11: At Sea
Sail past Bear Island, and by misty Bjornoya with thousands of Fulmars, Kittiwakes, Guillemots and gulls.
Days 12-13: Hornsund and Bellsund
Svalbard, or Spitsbergen, is made up of deep fjords, high mountains and massive glaciers. Landing sites with the best vantage points will allow you to see wildlife up close; Polar bears live here as well as walruses, seals, reindeer and Arctic foxes.
Day 14: Isfjord – Festningen & Alkhornet
Festningen means fortress, and here you will find a dike of rock along the top of a small cliff where fossilized footprints of dinosaurs have been found. Alkhornet has lush vegetation on the tundra with reindeer and foxes, as well as a towering horn of rock with thousands of Guillemots and Kittiwakes.
Day 15: Longyearbyen
Disembark around 0800 and be transferred to the airport or the Radisson Blu Hotel. If you have time to explore this colorful frontier town, there are museums and vistas to enjoy.
PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of expedition cruising, itineraries are subject to change due to weather, ice conditions, natural and cultural events, wildlife viewing opportunities and other logistical considerations. In general, a ship's crew will endeavor to complete the itinerary provided, but the ultimate decision lies with the ship's captain and expedition leaders.