Fair Isle, Jan Mayen & Spitsbergen Whale Safari 10 DaysAboard:
This North Atlantic Odyssey cruise will take you from the sub-Arctic to the heart of the Arctic in search of unrivalled marine wildlife encounters. With a special focus on whale watching, you will discover Fair Isle in the Shetland Islands before sailing north to explore the mysterious Norwegian volcanic island of Jan Mayen and the wildlife-filled wilderness wonderland of Spitsbergen.
- Search the waters of the North East Atlantic for a variety of marine life including numerous species of whale, orca and dolphins
- Discover the enchanting lands of Fair Isle on the Shetlands
- Explore the volcanic island of Jan Mayen
- Experience the wildlife paradise of Spitsbergen
- Search for sightings of polar bears, reindeers and other Arctic wildlife
- Spectacular scenery throughout
- Myriad birdlife
- Enjoy Zodiac cruises, snowshoeing and land walks
- In-field and on-board discovery and learning workshops, exhibitions and performances
- Full board accommodation on board with all meals, snacks and hot drinks
- All zodiac excursions and landings with expert guides
- Programme of expert lectures
- Loan of rubber boots
- Snowshoeing excursions
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.
Zoe’s abiding love of adventure travel has taken her to some of the most incredible wildlife-rich places on Earth. Her vast experience and genuine desire to share her knowledge makes her an outstanding and invaluable person to help you organise your wildlife adventure trip.
Mike has more than fifteen years hands-on experience in the industry, travelling to some of the most incredible wild places on the planet. His far-reaching knowledge and invaluable skills will ensure that your wildlife travel adventure is a dream come true.
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.
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All our itinerary holidays are fully customisable
Your adventure begins in Aberdeen where, after having arrived independently, you will make your way to the port to board your expedition vessel. As you settle in to your comfortable cabin and explore your new surroundings your ship will set sail towards the Shetlands. We recommend spending some time on deck this evening as you are likely to enjoy the first of many marine wildlife sightings since several cetaceans, including orcas (killer whales), are native to these seas.
Various air and land packages are available for transport to Aberdeen, please enquire for further details.
Fair Isle, Shetlands
Today we will make the first stop of our voyage as we visit the small island of Fair Isle in the Shetland Islands. World renowned for its varied and abundant birdlife as well as its traditional knitwear, Fair Isle is home to a fantastic bird observatory and just 70 human inhabitants. As we make land you can enjoy a walk to the observatory to see an abundance of sea birds and hopefully some grey seals as well.
At Sea - Whale Watching
Over the course of the next two days your expedition ship will be sailing north towards the Norwegian island of Jan Mayen, 300 nautical miles northeast of Iceland. As we sail you can enjoy the fantastic range of presentations and performances that are unique to your vessel. This includes a wide range of interactive workshops that explore such topics as astronomy, navigation, and other related fields. There will also be a program of lectures by noted naturalists covering everything from the geology and wildlife of the areas you will be visiting to the history of polar exploration.
Despite the activity on board, however, the main highlight of this portion of your voyage may be simply spending some time on deck or in the observation lounge seeking out sightings of the minke, fin, orca, and blue whales that are known to frequent the waters below.
Today brings us to the stark volcanic island of Jan Mayen where upon arrival we will be greeted by the spectacular sight of the snow-capped summit of Mt. Beerenberg. This area offers excellent scenic photo opportunities with broken glaciers grasping out into the frigid sea from the imposing slopes of this 2300m high volcano.
After making your way to land via Zodiac boat you can enjoy a gentle hike across the barren volcanic landscape to see the remains of a 17th-century Dutch whaling station. With permission from the Norwegian authorities, we also hope to visit the weather station here.
As we sail under the midnight sun we will make our way north along the edge of the sea ice to continue our search for marine wildlife sightings. This time spent at sea will be filled with exciting exploration as your captain and experienced crew expertly choose course to offer the best chances of wildlife encounters. As we sail we hope to spot bowhead whales, harp seals and a wide variety of seabirds. It is during this part of our journey that we are also most likely to encounter polar bears, so make sure to have your cameras on hand!
As we reach 79° north we will change direction to sail westwards to the rocky edges of the continental shelf of west Spitsbergen. Here we will be on the lookout for the fin whales and minke whales which are often spotted near the glacial mouths of the gaping Spitsbergen fjords.
The last place we will visit on our fulfilling North Atlantic voyage will be the visually spectacular area of Forlandsundet. This 88 km long sound is found between the main island of Spitsbergen and the narrow Prins Karls Forland and is home to an abundance of enchanting Arctic wildlife including large haul-outs of walrus. As with all polar expeditions, flexibility is the key, and should conditions dictate an alternative route we will instead sail into St. Johns Fjord or land at Alkhornet in the mouth of Isfjorden. Here we will find huge numbers of seabirds nesting on the cliffs, whilst Arctic foxes stalk below hoping for eggs and chicks to fall within their grasp. You will also be able to see reindeers here grazing on the sparse vegetation that covers that the landscape.
Your thrilling Arctic cruise will come to an end in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of Svalbard, where after breakfast you will disembark and bid a fond farewell to your expedition team and new-found friends. You may wish to spend some further time here exploring this unique Arctic town or enjoying some of the many extra excursions and activities that are on offer here. Please enquire for details of the land-based activities that we would be happy to arrange for you. Otherwise, it’s sadly time to make your way to the airport for your onward or homeward flights, filled with memories of the adventure of a lifetime.
A view from Above
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