Summary : Dramatic scenery, abundant wildlife, and charming villages are the hallmarks of Norway adventure travel. The long days of Arctic summer allow ample time for exploration of magnificent landscapes by ship, during expeditionary Zodiac cruises, and on foot. Meet the hearty residents of timeless fishing villages and towns steeped in the history of maritime trade and exploration. On your Svalbard tour, wildlife is plentiful and the focus of your time, as the area is home to a wealth of species—including polar bears.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking
$999,999,999 to $0
Board your independent overnight flight to Norway.
Arrive in Bergen this afternoon and transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free for you to explore on your own, with dinner and overnight at your hotel.
After a leisurely morning and lunch at the hotel, set out to explore Norway’s second largest city. Pass by venerable King Haakon’s Hall, the Rosenkranz Tower, and the old wharf of Bryggen—a World Heritage Site whose picturesque medieval gable houses date back to the time of the Hanseatic League. After a drive past gracious suburban homes and gardens, and a stroll in the fresh air, visit the Troldsal concert hall for a short performance by a Norwegian pianist. Embark the Sea Adventurer this evening.
The serpentine route through the 12-mile-long Geiranger Fjord is one of Norway’s premier scenic wonders. Mountains laced with numerous breathtaking waterfalls tower on both sides. Take a short tour of the tiny village of Geiranger, then board coaches and climb the road to Flydalsjuvet Gorge for breathtaking views.
The island of Runde has a mere 160 human inhabitants, but it is home to more than half a million seabirds representing more than 230 different species—puffins, kittiwakes, gannets, fulmars, storm petrels, razorbills, shags, and guillemots. From Zodiacs look for the seals that rest on some of the smaller offshore islands. This afternoon, sail the western coast of Norway, weaving among the dramatic fjords with their verdant slopes and towering cliffs.
Weather permitting, board Zodiacs to explore the intriguing inlets, rocky shorelines, and deserted coves of this wildly rugged and pristine coast.
Officially north of the Arctic Circle, the 19th-century trading station of Kjerringøy lies on a sleepy peninsula bathed by turquoise seas and backdropped by soaring granite peaks. Tour the historic district, most of which has been preserved as an open-air museum. This afternoon the Sea Adventurer arrives at Røst, one of the 356 islands and rocky outcrops that make up the southern edge of Lofoten. By Zodiac explore the shores of this northern oasis that basks in the heart of the Gulf Stream, its mild climate attracting two million nesting seabirds to the cliffs of the outer islands.
Go ashore in Reine on Moskenesøy Island, one of the four main Lofoten Islands. Often hailed as the most scenic spot in Norway, the town sits on the shores of a blue-green lagoon surrounded by pinnacled mountain peaks. On an adjacent island visit the Lofotr Viking Museum, built at the site of an ancient Viking farm discovered in the early 1980s. This evening, as the ship cruises along the shores of Nordland and Trollfjord, watch for orca, minke, and pilot whales.
This morning disembark in Tromsø, known as the “Gateway to the Arctic.” A cable-car ride up 1,800-foot Mount Storsteinen offers amazing views. Visit the unique Arctic Cathedral, built in 1965 and famous for its dazzling wall of blue and gold stained glass. At the Tromsø Museum, exhibits offer a look at the fascinating Sami culture, a northern people whose livelihood depends on reindeer herding.
This morning go ashore in Skarsvaag and board a coach for the drive up to the 1,000-foot-high plateau that rises from the Barents Sea. The community of North Cape (Nordkapp) is commonly referred to as the northernmost point of the European continent. Here an impressive edge-of-the-world Visitors Center features historical exhibits and a film about the region. Return to the Sea Adventurer in time for lunch and set sail northward, across the Barents Sea.
For nearly three centuries, Bear Island—which sits halfway between North Cape and Spitsbergen—was the home of a major Barents Sea whaling station. Today, thousands of fulmars, kittiwakes, murres, dovekies, and multiple varieties of gulls make their home on the jagged cliffs and rocky pinnacles that rise vertically from the sea. Cruise by Zodiac along the eroded cliffs and make an island landing for a tundra walk among seasonal Arctic wildflowers to search for Arctic foxes.
Spend four days exploring the rugged coastline, spectacular narrow fjords, and offshore islands of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard Archipelago. The primary goal is to locate wildlife, which is found here in abundance during the short summer season. The nature of polar expeditions requires flexibility regarding the daily schedule of activities, and landings may be weather and tide dependent. This list serves as a guideline of the places you may experience:
Spitsbergen’s southernmost fjord, Hornsund, is backdropped by soaring mountain peaks and rolling tundra which bursts into bloom during the summer. The Polish research station, established here in 1957, is a base for international research and exploration. Numerous seabirds soar overhead and Arctic foxes and groups of reindeer are often spotted in the vicinity.
This seldom-visited and spectacular waterway with its tidewater glaciers is surrounded by soaring mountain peaks. Watch for foraging reindeer on land, while dovekies busily tend to their cliffside nests, hidden among the rocks.
A small, atoll-like island just a few feet above sea level, Moffen is a protected walrus sanctuary. Photographic opportunities abound with these massive creatures hauled out on the gravel shores. Polar bears and the rare Sabine’s gulls may also be found on this island.
A dramatically scenic fjord, rugged mountains rise from the permanent ice cap and the Monaco Glacier spills into the sea, a favored feeding ground for thousands of kittiwakes. Whales and seals are common sights.
Disembark this morning in Longyearbyen and explore this Arctic mining town and capital of Svalbard. The brightly colored buildings house a variety of small shops and restaurants, as well as the Svalbard Museum. In the afternoon transfer to the airport for your flight to Oslo, with dinner and overnight at your hotel.
After breakfast board your independent flight homeward.
All accommodations in hotels and on board as outlined in the itinerary; all onboard meals and group meals ashore, including soft drinks, beer, and wine with lunch and dinner; arrival and departure transfers on group dates; services of the expedition staff, including lectures, briefings, slide/film shows; all group activities and excursions; landing and port fees; all gratuities; emergency medical coverage (maximum benefit per paying passenger of $25,000)*; evacuation coverage (maximum benefit per paying passenger of $100,000)*.
All air transportation; excess baggage charges; airport arrival and departure taxes; transfers for independent arrivals and departures; passport and/or visa fees; travel insurance; items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar charges, alcoholic beverages, e-mail/fax/telephone charges.
*Emergency Medical & Evacuation Insurance:
Emergency medical coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $25,000 is included in the cost of this expedition, as well as evacuation coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $100,000. Insurance is underwritten by National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA. The policy will contain reductions, limitations, exclusions and termination provisions. All coverages may not be available in all states. Please note this coverage does not cover you against trip cancellation or for additional days of travel prior to and/or after the expedition trip dates. ExpeditionTrips strongly advises all clients to purchase travel insurance which includes trip cancellation and interruption coverage for the entire duration of your trip.