Scotland, Jan Mayen & Spitsbergen in Luxury 12 daysAboard:
An excellent itinerary starting in Edinburgh and sailing to the wonders of the Orkney, Shetland, Faroe and Jan Mayen Islands before arriving in magical Spitsbergen. Aboard your luxury expedition ship you can visit the renowned High Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, exploring the fjords on the west side of the island in search of polar bears and other Arctic wildlife. With stunning scenery and iconic wildlife and birdlife at every turn this unique expedition offers the most luxurious way to see the Arctic in all its splendour.
We are delighted to announce that award winning photographer Rick Sammon will be joining this expedition to provide photo workshops and hints and tips to all guests. The expedition will also be lead by award winning author and expert historian of exploration, culture, photography and the environment, Dr. Huw Lewis-Jones.
- Breathtaking Jan Mayen Island
- The beautiful Orkney Islands, Shetland Islands & Faroe Islands
- Myriad birdlife
- Mighty Spitsbergen with its plentiful wildlife including polar bears
- Photo workshops with award winning photographer Rick Sammon
- Group transfers to and from ship
- Full board accommodation on ship
- All zodiac landings and excursions
- Welcome and farewell cocktails
- Programme of lectures by expert guides
- Expedition parka
- Loan of rubber boots
- All port fees
So much to experience
Too much to choose from? This is where we come in
Take advantage of our vast experience, passion and expertise to help you hand craft the perfect Arctic adventure for you.
Mike has more than 15 years of experience in the travel industry and continues to be inspired by the people, places and wildlife he discovers. His in-depth personal knowledge of a diverse range of destinations ensures your adventure itinerary will be a holiday like no other.
As Senior Travel Expert, Simon has an absolute wealth of experience in adventure travel in some of the most fascinating places in the world. With in-depth knowledge and fantastic organizational skills, Simon’s first-hand experience and genuine passion drive him to work to create your perfect itinerary.
With countless travel experiences and an enduring hunger for adventure, Zoe knows exactly what’s needed to craft a holiday of a lifetime. Her experience and generosity of spirit are legendary and she’ll help you build an itinerary that will make all your dreams come true.
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All our itinerary holidays are fully customisable
Independently arrive in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland and starting point of our expedition. You may wish to arrive here a day or 2 earlier to explore this beautiful city and its famed medieval architecture and rich history.
In the afternoon you will take a group transfer from a central location to Leith port to board your luxury Polar vessel M/v Sea Spirit. Settle in to your cabin, explore your new surroundings and prepare for the Arctic adventure that lies ahead.
Kirkwall, Orkney Islands
The first port of call on your Arctic expedition will be the Orkney Islands, and the quiet town of Kirkwall is where we will anchor. Kirkwall is the capital town of the remote and beautiful Orkney archipelago and it has a rich heritage that is a delight to explore. You can join an included tour of the “Ancient treasures of Orkney” as well as a tour through the St Magnus Cathedral, considered the finest medieval building in the north of Scotland.
Your tour will take you through the gentle rolling landscape of Orkney and into the Neolithic Heartland; an area designated as a World Heritage Site due to its wealth of pre-historic archaeology. You will see the Standing Stones of Stenness as well as the Ring of Brodgar; a huge ceremonial circle of stones dating back almost 5000 years. You tour will also include a visit to the 5000-year-old village of Skara Brae where you can see the remarkable Neolithic village which was revealed from beneath the sand dunes by storms just 150 years ago.
Fair Isle, Shetland Islands
Day 3 will bring us to Fair Isle in the sub-Arctic Shetland Islands archipelago. Fair Isle is located approximately half way between the Orkneys and the Shetlands and is a birdwatchers paradise. The lush grasslands and spectacular cliffs of the isle are teeming with birdlife and over 345 different species have been recorded here, the highest number for anywhere in the British Isles. Whilst exploring this beautiful island you can hope to see a variety of species including northern fulmars, kittiwakes, northern gannets, puffins, and great and Arctic skuas.
Torshavn, Faroe Islands
Unforgettable scenery greets us as we arrive in Torshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands, on Streymoy Island. A bright blue sea with colourful houses popping up on the landscape of the deep-green hills teeming with birds –National Geographic Traveller has described the Faroe Islands as “authentic, unspoiled and likely to remain so”.
Your visit here will include a tour of Kirkjubøur, the southernmost village on Streymoy, located just a 15 minute drive from Torshavn. In medieval times Kirkjubøur was the cultural and Episcopal centre and is the island’s most significant historical site. Your tour here will include visits to the medieval Magnus Cathedral and Roykstovan, a 900 year-old farmhouse/museum which is thought to be the oldest wooden house still in use today. On your way to and from Kirkjubøur you will have a magnificent view to the west of the islands of Koltur, Hestur, Sandoy, and Vágar.
You can spend your day at sea soaking up the luxuries of your unique polar vessel. Enjoy the onboard recreation facilities, share a drink or meal with your shipmates, relax in the library or spend time on deck watching seabirds follow the ship and looking for whale sightings.
Jan Mayen Island
After a relaxing day at sea, in the morning the breathtaking landscapes of Jan Mayen Island will come in to view. Home to the Beerenberg, the northernmost subaerial active volcano on the planet, Jan Mayen is wild and uninhabited (apart from some Norwegian weather station employees). During your time here you can take a visit to the weather station or enjoy a spot of birdwatching in search of the Northern fulmars, Kittiwakes, and Brünich’s guillemots that breed on the steep cliffs and slopes of the island.
Enjoy lectures and presentations from your onboard experts who will offer insights and prepare you for your forthcoming encounters with the unique Arctic wildlife and awesome landscapes of Spitsbergen.
As the awe-inspiring landscapes of Spitsbergen come into view this is where your true High Arctic wilderness experience begins. The spectacular fjords, coasts, and islands in the western part of Svalbard are a haven for wildlife and your ship will traverse through these lands in search of the polar bears, Arctic fox, reindeer, walrus, a variety of whales and an abundance of birds that call these lands their home.
This is a true expedition style cruise and as such the route taken will be heavily dependent on ice and weather conditions. Your experienced captain and expedition leaders will decide the itinerary and continually adjust plans as conditions and opportunities warrant. You can be assured that the best possible advantage will be taken to explore as much of this wild and remote corner of the Arctic as possible.
Throughout your time here you will experience the archipelago’s most impressive scenery and some of the Arctic’s best wildlife viewing opportunities. Deep fjords and narrow channels are flanked by jagged snowy mountain peaks and immense tidewater glaciers calve icebergs into turquoise waters.
Your days will be filled with exciting Zodiac excursions and land visits, and as well as the scenery and wildlife there will also be time to discover the rich history and geological features of the area including the historical remnants of whaling camps, coal mining operations, trappers’ cabins, staging areas for historic attempts to discover the North Pole, and even an abandoned polar research station.
After breakfast you will bid farewell to your shipmates in the town of Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of the Norwegian territory of Svalbard. A transfer to the airport or to the town center will be provided. You may wish to spend some further time here and if so, be sure to see the excellent Svalbard Museum and take advantage of the quality cultural and dining opportunities in this fascinating Arctic settlement.
A view from Above
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