Scottish Islands and Norwegian Fjords 14 daysAboard: MS Expedition
An amazing north Atlantic journey from Edinburgh, exploring the wild and rugged Orkney & Shetland Islands, with their ancient sites and birdlfe and then crossing the North Sea to explore the charming towns of the Norwegian coast as far as the North Cape, before disembarking at the Arctic city of Tromso.
- Orkney & Shetland Islands
- Spectacular Norwegian coastline
- Birds and whale sightings
- Historic sites
- Photo workshop and shore visits accompanied by expert photographers
- All meals and accommodation on board ship
- Photo workshops with photography expert
- Excursions as shown in itinerary
- Shore and Zodiac excursions
- Programme of lectures by experts
- Expedition parka
- Loan of rubber boots
- Transfers to and from ship
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.
Simon’s deep passion for and first-hand knowledge of a vast range of destinations all over the world gives him the ideal skills to help you create a truly unforgettable wildlife inspired adventure to the most exciting places on the planet.
Mike lives and breathes adventure travel and has a wealth of experience in some of the most exciting and inspirational destinations in the world. His expertise and first-hand experience afford him the skills to help build holidays to remember.
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.
Our popularitinerary Suggestions
All our itinerary holidays are fully customisable
Your journey begins in Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital, where after arriving independently you will be transferred to the Port of Leith for afternoon embarkation. Settle in to your new surroundings and prepare for adventure, and as your ship departs and sails down the Firth of Forth keep a lookout for common eiders and northern gannets on deck.
Our first stop brings us to the Orkney Islands, located just 6 miles off the coast of Scotland and world renowned for their abundant marine bird life and dramatic coastal scenery. We will make land at Kirkwall, the islands’ main town and take a coach trip to enjoy an afternoon of exploring the ancient history of the people of these Scottish Isles. On your trip you will visit historic and mystical sites at the standing stones of Stennes, the intriguing Ring of Brodgar and the village of Skara Brae.
After a short northwards sail we will arrive at the Shetland Islands which are a unique mix of Scotland and Scandinavia, with spectacular coastlines, varied and abundant bird life and a number of archaeological sites that date back thousands of years. Your time here can be spent with a visit to Jarlshof, the best known prehistoric archaeological site in the Shetlands, or you could join the Puffin Bus for an interesting trip focusing on puffins and seabird photography at Sumbrugh Head (weather dependent). There will also be time to explore Lerwick, the islands’ main port.
Having crossed the famous North Sea overnight, today we will arrive in Norway and disembark in Bergen, the gateway to the Norwegian fjords. Here you can enjoy an included afternoon city tour taking in a stop at the Edvard Grieg Museum, a visit to the historical seaport district and the fish market. If the city tour isn’t for you, you can opt to simply explore the city at your own pace or join a historical walking tour that ends at the Hanseatic Museum.
Today we arrive in Flåm where you can disembark to enjoy an exciting journey on the famous Flåm Railway through the spectacularly scenic valleys and mountain passes to the beautiful fjord of the Flåm district. The Flåm Line is a 20km (12.4 mi) route between Myrdal and Flåm which boasts an incredibly steep gradient and is a popular tourist bucket-list experience. This railway trip is included as part of your package.
This morning your ship will cruise into the scenic Olden Fjord where you can disembark and take a short bus ride to the Briksdal area. The main attraction here is the nearby Briksdalbreen glacier in Jostedalsbreen National Park which is reachable via a 20-30 minute walk. The walk is classified as “moderate to strenuous” with the grade being slightly uphill, but the footing is easy and the views as you reach the glacier lake really are worth the effort! Alternatively you can choose to take a trolley ride which will take you most of the way, meaning you will only need to walk the last quarter of a mile.
Today we will sail deep into the UNESCO World Heritage site of Geiranger Fjord, one of Norway’s most spectacular and most visited fjords. This 15km long fjord is surrounded by mountains, lush green trees, waterfalls, and several farms and affords amazing photo opportunities so have your camera on hand at all times. Here you can enjoy a coach tour to Dalnibba soaking up the incredible views along the way, or the more adventurous can opt for a 10km mountain hike to explore the area and take in the unforgettable spectacle of the view of the fjord from above.
We continue our journey through the stunning Norwegian Fjords as we arrive in Trondheim and disembark to enjoy the sights of this modern city surrounded by beautiful forests and mountains. There is much to explore here and today you can 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. The afternoon will be at your leisure and you can enjoy the pretty cafes, restaurants, bars and waterfront of Norway’s third largest city.
Torghatten & Vega Island
By now you will well know that the rugged coastline of central Norway features some of the world's most beautiful scenery and one of the highlights of this is Torghatten, one of the most bizarre rock formations in Norway and a significant local landmark. Today you can enjoy a Zodiac excursion to Torghatten and the Treana archipelago and your captain will negotiate with local Norwegian pilots to determine our best Zodiac landing options. Our goal is to visit Torghatten for a hike up to the famous hole in the mountain, which offers breathtaking views of the region.
Throughout your visit your expedition guides will offer information on the area, as well as an insight into Norway's mythical trolls, and your ship's photography expert will be on hand to offer advice on how to capture the perfect shot. Later we plan to Zodiac towards the Treana archipelago that is comprised of over 1000 islands and in the afternoon we will head to the quaint and picturesque UNESCO World Heritage site of Vega Island. Here you can enjoy a wander through the islands tiny and beautiful fishing villages, learn about the area’s history of eider down harvesting and enjoy a guided nature hike.
Svartisen & Vikingen Island
Today we will visit Svartisen, Lovund, and Vikingen, with the first stop being Svartisen, Norway’s second-largest glacier. Here you can choose to hike to one of the outlet glaciers of Svartisen, Engabreen, which ends at the lowest point of any glacier on the European mainland, at 20 meters above sea level. The first 30 to 45 minutes of the hike are easy with no incline, and the remaining hike is guided in small groups as it can be a challenging and complicated maze of rocky outcroppings leading to a close encounter with the ice. Everyone should reach a beautiful lookout over the lake. You can also opt to visit the café for waffles and coffee.
Later we will visit Vikingen Island, a small island that sits directly on the Arctic Circle and features a small statue of a globe celebrating its position on one of the five major latitude circles.
Lofoten Islands, Svolvaer & Trollfjord
Today's adventures bring us to the Lofoten archipelago, an enchanting area of picturesque villages by the sea backed with jagged peaks. We will make land on the island of Aa and go ashore by Zodiac to enjoy a coach trip through the area. Places you will visit include the Tørrfiskmuseum (Stockfish Museum) where you can learn about the traditional works of the islands, Nusfjord, one of Norway's oldest and best-preserved fishing villages, Henningsvær, Svolvær and the Viking Museum at Bøstad.
After an enjoyable day of sightseeing you will re-board as the ship cruises into one of Norway's most famous fjords, the short yet dramatic Trollfjord. Make sure to be on deck for spectacular photo opportunities and to search the cliffs for Norway’s mythical trolls!
Enjoy a day at sea sailing towards Nordkapp and take some time to relax on deck looking out for birdlife and marine life. Throughout the day we will make stops for Zodiac excursions off the coast in search of the local marine life including sperm whales.
As our fantastic itinerary comes to an end, today we head back towards the coast to visit Nordkapp in the Finnmark region. You can come ashore and take a scenic drive through 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.
Arrival into Tromsø this morning signals the end of our Scotland and Norwegian Fjords expedition, and after breakfast it will be time to disembark and bid farewell to our new-found friends. Tromsø is the capital of northern Norway and is known as the "Gateway to the Arctic" as it was the embarkation point for many Arctic expeditions. We recommend booking some extra time here to enjoy the town’s many sights including the Arctic Cathedral, whose unique architecture is evocative of snow and icebergs.
A transfer will be provided either to the Tromsø Airport or to the Clarion Hotel in downtown Tromsø if you are extending your stay.
A view from Above
The MS Expedition provides an intimate small-ship cruising experience. Completely refurbished in 2009, all cabins have ocean-facing windows or portholes and private en-suite facilities. Common areas include 360 degree observation deck, lounge, dining room, library, bar, gift shop, clinic, computer room, gym, sauna, gift shop and mud room. Passengers also have access to rubber boots. The ship has ice-strengthened hull, forward looking sonar and stabilisers.
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