Summary : Cruise along the dramatic coastline and gorgeous fjords of northern Norway to Svalbard, realm of the polar bear. Sail to Nusfjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Norway's oldest fishing hamlets. Discover legendary Bear Island and be one of the few to ever set foot on its mystical remote shores. Observe 400-meter vertical cliffs teeming with thousands of nesting seabirds. Marvel at Svalbard's glittering ice, snow covered mountain tops, midnight sun and magnificent wildlife aboard a small expedition vessel with experienced guides.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking
$999,999,999 to $0
Arrive in Bodø and embark your expedition ship. Once situated in your cabins, you are welcomed by the guides and crew. During the afternoon, begin your voyage towards the dramatic Lofoten Islands.
After breakfast, make a first trip in the Zodiac crafts around the spectacular island of Vedøya with its tens of thousands of nesting sea birds. Vedøya is also often frequented by eagles. Sail along the southern side of Lofoten, a vast collection of rocky islands rising from the sea, towards Reine. This charming fishing village, with characteristic wooden houses, overlooks Kirkefjord with high mountaintops in the
background. It is not difficult to see how it has been voted Norway’s most beautiful place.
Today visit Nusfjord. This is one of the most well preserved and picturesque fishing communities in the area, included on UNESCO’s World Heritage list of unique wooden structures. Go ashore and explore this historic little village with its distinct atmosphere and cod fisheries. Continue your cruise along the Lofoten wall and later arrive at the magically beautiful Trollfjorden. Afterwards, head out to sea and set course for Bear Island. After a few hours, reach a well-known whale watching area that stretches along the continental shelf and keep your eyes open for these marvelous creatures of the sea.
Your sea journey continues further north. The interesting lectures on board introduce you to Bear Island’s exciting history.
Explore this fascinating rocky island in the middle of the Barents Sea from your solid Zodiacs. Because of the remoteness, only the odd ship can stop by for a rare visit. Vertical 400-meter cliffs rise in the distance as you approach, and here you find one of the largest seabird colonies in the North Atlantic. Tens of thousands of guillemots nest here, as well as puffins, razorbills, kittiwakes and glaucous gulls. Your main goal is to go ashore and explore Bear Island by foot. Continue your journey into the Arctic waters and your next destination is Svalbard – one of the world’s most magnificent wildernesses. This vast glaciated archipelago welcomes with a mix of midnight sun, pack ice and dramatic mountain chains. Not to mention the extraordinary wildlife!
It is early in the season so your route the following days will depend on the weather and ice conditions. Below are examples of places you might visit:
During this time of the year there is often a lot of drift ice in the vast Storfjorden between the islands of Edgeøya and Spitsbergen, but you try to get as far north as possible. On the island of Edgeøya are remnants of the first Pomors who came to the area in the 1600s. These Russian trappers came here to hunt polar bears, seals and reindeer. On the east coast of Spitsbergen lies Isbukta. In this spectacular bay we head out in Zodiacs to enjoy the stunning views of the snow covered mountain peaks and the front of the impressive glacier Vasil’evbreen. The bay is also a popular spot for Sabine’s gulls, Arctic skuas and bearded seals.
Hornsund & Bellsund
The majestic Hornsund consists of several magnificent fjords along the west coast of Spitsbergen, where enormous glaciers calve out shimmering blue ice. This is one of the favorite haunts for some of Svalbard’s polar bears and if lucky you can spot one of them on the fjord ice. At the beautiful Vårsolbukta in Bellsund little auks nest by the tens of thousands. Go ashore and walk across the tundra to take a closer look at these charming birds swarming around you.
At the entrance of Isfjorden is the characteristic cliff Alkhornet. Go ashore to enjoy the beautiful tundra and its birdlife with barnacle geese, Brünnich’s guillemots, glaucous gulls, snow buntings and tens of thousands of kittiwakes. Some Arctic foxes are often seen in the rock crevices around the mountain and with some luck you might see these lovely little animals scurrying around, frantically looking for food.
In the morning, leave the ship in Longyearbyen and begin your journey home.
Please read this itinerary as a guide only; your exact route and program will vary depending on ice and weather conditions – and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to a successful expedition.
Nine nights on board the ship; all meals; coffee/tea/cookies; an experienced Expedition Leader and knowledgeable guides; lectures on board and guiding ashore; all excursions and activities; comprehensive information material before the expedition; an illustrated post expedition log.
Flights to Bodø and from Longyearbyen; mandatory travel and cancellation insurance; passport and visa expenses; customary gratuity to the ship’s crew; excess baggage charges; personal expenses such as beverages and shop charges.