Summary : Go deeper into the otherworldly fjords of Norway on this unique journey from Scotland across the Norwegian Sea to the fjords of Norway. Discover wonderous UNESCO World Heritage Sites like the Standing Stones of Stennes and the mystical Ring of Brodgar, visit archaeological sites, witness the curious clash of cultures in the Shetland Islands, and marvel at the stunning forests and waterfalls that line the fjords.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Triple/Quad Cabins
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Your trip begins near Scotland's incomparable capital city. Board the ship this afternoon in the suburb Port of Leith, to embark on a voyage to the Arctic. The Expedition departs in the evening through a lock which leads down to sea level before heading out to sail down the Firth of Forth. While on deck, keep a lookout for common eiders and northern gannets.
Visit historic and mystical sites by coach on this remote island. Explore the Standing Stones of Stenness, the intriguing Ring of Brodgar, and the village of Skara Brae.
There are few places in the world that offer as much as the Orkneys. Only six miles off the coast of Scotland, the islands are famous for their abundant marine bird life and dramatic coastal scenery. Enjoy an afternoon to explore the ancient history of the people of these Scottish Isles.
Continue northwards to the remote Shetland Islands. The Shetland archipelago is an engaging mix of Scotland and Scandinavia blessed with spectacular coastlines, varied and abundant bird life, and a number of archaeological sites that date back thousands of years. Opt to visit Jarlshof or join the Puffin Bus to focus on puffins and seabird photography at Sumburgh Head (weather dependent). Enjoy additional time to explore Lerwick.
Cross the famous North Sea to reach Norway. Opt for a historical walking tour of the city, or enjoy a funicular ride for amazing views of Bergen, then explore on your own for the afternoon.
Hop on the Flåm Railway, traveling through valleys and mountain passes to reach the scenic fjord of the Flåm district.
Cruise into the Olden Fjord before a short bus ride to the Briksdal area. Enjoy a moderate walk to Briksdalbreen glacier. For an easier option, take a trolley ride and a shorter walk to reach the glacier lake.
Sail deep into one of Norway's most beautiful and most visited fjords. Enjoy a coach tour to Dalsnibba, soaking in the views at this UNESCO World Heritage site. For the more adventurous, opt for a 6.2-mile mountain hike exploring the area and taking in amazing views of the fjord from above.
Continue on to Trondheim. Choose between hiking in Bymarka Nature Reserve before visiting the Sverresborg Folk Museum, or enjoying a city tour including the Folk Museum and the elaborate Nidaros Cathedral, built between 1070 and 1300. Enjoy a free afternoon to explore the area on your own.
The rugged coastline of central Norway features some of the world’s most beautiful scenery. The captain will negotiate with local Norwegian pilots to determine the best Zodiac landing options. Hike up to the famous hole in Torghatten, one of the most bizarre rock formations in Norway and a significant local landmark. Take in the fantastic views of the region and keep an eye out for Norway's mythical trolls. In the afternoon, head to the quaint and picturesque Vega Island, a UNESCO site. Wander the fishing villages, go on a guided nature hike, and appreciate the slow pace of life.
Visit Svartisen, Lovund, and Vikingen, to see beautiful glaciers and a globe sculpture which marks Vikingen as a point directly on the Arctic Circle.
The Lofoten archipelago is an enchanting area of picturesque villages by the sea backed with jagged peaks. Go ashore by Zodiac for a day trip of the area. Start by visiting the Tørrfiskmuseum to learn about traditional work of the islands before visiting Nusfjord, one of Norway's oldest and best-preserved fishing villages, for lunch at a local restaurant. Afterwards, stop in Henningsvær for time to see local art or explore the quaint fishing village. In the evening, stay on deck as you cruise into one of Norway's most famous fjords, the short yet dramatic Trollfjord. Search the cliffs on your continuing quest to spot trolls.
Enjoy a day off the coast with Zodiac excursions to search out the local marine life, including sperm whales.
Head back to the coast and visit Nordkapp in the Finnmark region. Take a scenic drive of this high, rugged, coastal plateau, keeping an eye out for wild reindeer. This will be the most northerly point of the trip at 71 º N.
Tromsø, the capital of northern Norway, is known as the "Gateway to the Arctic" as it was the embarkation point for many Arctic expeditions. Disembark in the morning.
Transfers to the Clarion Hotel the Edge or Tromsø Airport will be offered to passengers with flights scheduled after disembarkation.
Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice and weather conditions—and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
As a requirement of participation on the expedition, all passengers must purchase medical and emergency evacuation insurance with a minimum medical coverage of $200,000 and this insurance must cover personal injury, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, and evacuation expenses. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. Clients must be able to provide proof of insurance purchase and adequate coverage as per the required amounts above. We also strongly recommend that all passengers purchase comprehensive travel insurance which would include coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Arrival transfer from the meeting point to the ship; transfer from the ship to the airport or Clarion Hotel after disembarkation; shipboard accommodations and meals aboard the ship; coffee, tea, and water; Zodiac cruises; services of Expedition staff and naturalists; lecture and educational programs; parka; gear on loan (waterproof boots for US sizes 6 - 16). Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; travel insurance (required); passport and visa fees; discretionary gratuities; items of a personal nature including laundry, Wi-Fi, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (except coffee, tea and water); optional excursions; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos: © Laure Patricot (puffin)