Svalbard & Norway – Polar Bears and Fjords

Arctic Norway Cruise

  • Fram
  • Scenic Exploration
  • 256 Capacity
  • 13 Days
  • 2015 View Departure>
    • 2015
    • Sep 23 Wed Offer
  • Price from
  • $6,236

Summary : Experience Spitsbergen National Park and the Arctic wilderness on a breathtaking journey through the high north of Spitsbergen taking in Norway’s coastal hidden gems and the charming city of Bergen. En route, learn more about the fascinating history of explorers and whalers, experience the wildlife of the high Arctic and discover Norway’s inspiring fjords while keeping an eye out for whales, walrus, reindeer, foxes and polar bear. Visit small and isolated islands, settlements and charming fishing villages on this Arctic trip of a lifetime.

Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking

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Itinerary
Day 1
Longyearbyen, Norway

Arrive in Longyearbyen and relax in your hotel with the day at your leisure.

Day 2
Longyearbyen / Barentsburg

After an included breakfast, you’ll have some time to explore Longyearbyen on your own or the possibility to discover its surroundings during an optional excursion. Afterwards enjoy an included lunch at your hotel before being transferred to the pier for embarkation.

Enjoy your first stop on the voyage at the Russian settlement of Barentsburg. Svalbard is Norwegian sovereign land; however, due to the Svalbard Treaty of 1920 all signatory states have equal right to establish themselves with activity in Svalbard. This Russian “company town” has existed since 1935, but you can go back even further in time and find history of coal exploration in Grønfjorden (Green Harbor) where Barentsburg is situated. The town is constructed around the entrance of the coal mine and you will find an exotic collection of Russian artifacts and architecture.

Day 3
Northwest Spitsbergen National Park

North West Spitsbergen National Park in local slang is called The Northwest Corner. Scattered with islands, fjords and beaches, it has a long history of exploration. When Willhelm Barentz discovered Svalbard in 1596, this was the land he saw. He named it Spitzbergen, reflecting the sharp and steep mountains in the area. Magdalenefjorden is one of the fjords that we aim to visit. Experience whaling’s important role in the cultural heritage at a whaling station from the 16th century.

Discover the high latitude islet of Moffen situated above the 80th parallel features a bird sanctuary with a known walrus haul-out. Its atoll-like shape with a lake in the middle made it the perfect spot for early whalers to seek shelter in foul weather.

Day 4
Hornsund, Svalbard

Welcome to another beautiful day in the Arctic. The landscape of Hornsund is largely alpine with the majestic Hornsundtinden rising high above. Discover Mt. Bautaen which in English means obelisk and its resemblance to a giant Viking sword. Let your imagination run wild while spending the day in these extraordinary surroundings.

Day 5
Bjørnøya Island, Svalbard

Isolated and situated the furthest south in the Svalbard Archipelago, Bjørnøya Island has been noted to have the largest concentration of sea birds in the Northern Hemisphere. The overhanging cliffs represent an extremely important breeding habitat where the cold waters from the Arctic Ocean meet the warm Gulf Stream currents.

Day 6
Tromsø, Norway

The Gateway to the Arctic with a high frequency of Northern Lights activity, Tromsø is a lively, colorful town rich in Arctic history. Surrounded by the dramatic Lyngen Alps, blue fjords and hundreds of islands, Tromsø’s forests are an array of fall colors come September with crisp frost shimmering in the morning light.

Day 7
Bleiksøya / Tindsøya

Spend the morning whale watching around Bleiksøya, a small uninhabited island outside of Andøya in Vesterålen. The island is a nature reserve and home to a 160m (525ft) active bird cliff. After lunch, make a boat landing at Tindsøya and visit its two villages: Skipnes and Tinden. Historically, Skipnes was a fishing and farming village, but has been rebuilt for leisure and local tourism. Tinden was protected as a cultural heritage site in 1994 – enjoy its main house and wharfs from the late 1800’s.

Day 8
Trollfjord / Svolvær / Å

During the early morning hours, visit magnificent Trollfjord. To the west are the Raftsundet Alps climbing 1,200m (3,937ft) above sea level. The Trollfjord slices right into these mountains. Navigate into its narrow entrance where mountain walls rise directly out of the sea and you feel as though you can reach out and touch its sides.

After breakfast visit Svolvær, a town of 6,000 inhabitants making it the largest town in Lofoten. It is a cultural center with many artists, art workshops, galleries and schools. Enjoy the terraces of the waterside cafés and restaurants while soaking up spectacular mountain views and the bustling life in the harbor.

Å is situated in the outermost part of the Lofoten Islands and is one of Norway's most authentic traditional fishing villages. There may be time this evening to spend strolling around and taking in the unique atmosphere of this charming village.

Day 9
Hamarøy / Kjerringøy

Hamarøy is probably best known as the home of Knut Hamsun, the famous writer and winner of Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920. Dominated by small fjords, woodland and coastal mountains, there are several nature reserves and a few small villages. The Knut Hamsun Centre is situated among a beautiful landscape surrounded by nature that remains virtually untouched since Hamsun’s days. The Centre’s tower offers an impressive view over the area that provided inspiration to write his prize winner Growth of the Soil.

Discover Kjerringøy, a peninsula with only 300 inhabitants. Kjerringøy is an old trading center containing 15 historic buildings in a unique setting. Gain insight into Norwegian coastal culture and see how everyday life was at the end of the 19th century.

Day 10
Træna / Lovund

Træna holds more than 1,000 islets, rocks and skerries and less than 500 inhabitants. Situated on the Polar Circle, 33 nautical miles off the coast of Sandnessjøen, arrive at Træna in the morning and weather permitted go ashore. Spend the afternoon in Lovund best known for its puffin colony on the rocky north slope of the island. Around 390 people live in Lovund with salmon farms providing their main livelihood with plentiful valleys and mountains as recreational areas.

Day 11
Frøya

Frøya’s charm is in its people and plentiful small hills. Surrounded by more than 5,400 islets and reefs, its highest point is only 74m (242ft). Visit their community center and learn more about the archipelago and their way of life.

Day 12
Åndalsnes (2014) or Atloy (2015)

2014 Departure:
Spend the day in Åndalsnes, a popular destination at the foot of northwest Norway’s spectacular mountains. With peaks rising 1,800m (5,905ft), it is a natural hub for various mountain sports.

2015 Departure:
Attempt to make landings both in the morning and in the afternoon in the archipelago, taking you to some of the most interesting sites of the area. Your Expedition Leader Karin is planning to open her private boat house, so that you can get a deeper understanding of how her Grandfather made a life for himself and his family here as a fisherman. This is a village so small and authentic that the mailboxes are only marked with the first names of their owners - they all know each other, so no last names are necessary! Here you may join an optional guided tour of the islands.

Day 13
Bergen, Norway

Arrive in Bergen in the morning and disembark the ship.

Notes

The above itinerary is a guide only, as the exact program depends on weather and ice conditions and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.

Travel Insurance:
Although travel insurance is not mandatory to participate in this voyage, ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.

Included:
1 hotel night in Longyearbyen pre-voyage including breakfast and lunch; transfer from hotel to ship in Longyearbyen; onboard cabin accommodations; lectures, shore landings and guides; coffee and tea; suites include a range of additional complimentary amenities such as drinks with meals; wind/water-resistant jacket.

Not Included:
Airfare; travel insurance; luggage handling; passport and visa expenses; optional excursions and gratuities; alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks except as mentioned; items of a personal nature such as laundry; fuel surcharge may apply.