Lofoten, Bear Island & Svalbard 10 DaysAboard: M/S Quest
This exciting expedition aboard a small group polar vessel will take you through some of the most breathtaking scenery on earth to discover worlds of fjords, glaciers, mountains and abundant wildlife and birdlife. Sailing from the fjords of northern Norway, your ship will take you to the rocky islands of Lofoten to discover picturesque fishing villages, beautiful fjords and teeming bird cliffs before sailing on to the mysterious and seldom explored Bear Island which lies halfway between the Norwegian mainland and Svalbard and is a birdwatcher’s paradise. And if that wasn’t enough adventure for one trip we will then sail on into one of the world’s most magnificent wildernesses, the Arctic highlight of Svalbard, where we will explore along the southwestern coastline of Spitsbergen to discover its dramatic landscapes, impressive glaciers and fascinating wildlife.
- Cruise through the stunning Norwegian Lofoten Islands
- Explore rarely visited Bear Island
- Spectacular scenery in the Svalbard wilderness where fjords & glaciers abound
- Polar bears, whales, myriad birds and other wildlife
- Historical sites
- Full board accommodation on board ship
- Programme of lectures by expert guides
- Shore and Zodiac excursions
- Illustrated post-expedition log
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 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.
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.
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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Your expedition begins in the Norwegian town of Bodø, where after having arrived independently you will make your way to the port to board your polar expedition vessel. After settling in to your comfortable cabin, meeting your expedition crew and familiarising yourself with your new surroundings, we recommend making your way to deck to watch as your ship sets sail and charts course for the dramatic Lofoten Islands.
On the morning of day 2 our adventure will truly begin as we have arrived at the southern side of Lofoten, a vast collection of rocky islands rising from the sea that are simply a delight to explore. After breakfast the excitement will build as we board the Zodiac boats for the first time to enjoy a cruise around the spectacular island of Vedøya in search of the tens of thousands of nesting seabirds and eagles that are frequently spotted here. Over the course of the next 2 days we will also visit a number of charming picturesque fishing villages such as Reine and Nusfjord, one of the most well-preserved communities in the area. Here we will go ashore to explore this small historic village and see its UNESCO listed wooden structures and cod fisheries. As we continue our cruise along the Lofoten wall we will arrive at the magically beautiful Trollfjorden before making our way into the Barents Sea to head towards Bear Island on day 4. As we sail we recommend spending some time on deck as we pass one of the best whale watching spots in the area, and your programme of expert lectures and presentations will keep you entertained during your time at sea.
Today’s adventures will bring us to the fascinating and mysterious rocky outcrop of Bear Island, where we will board our Zodiacs for a thrilling exploration around the island. Our goal here will be to make land to explore this seldom visited area on foot to find one of the largest seabird colonies in the North Atlantic. The vertical 400-meter cliffs which rise dramatically from the sea are home to tens of thousands of guillemots as well as glaucous gulls, razorbills, puffins and kittiwakes. Very few expeditions manage to make a visit to this exceptionally remote area so you will be along the lucky few to have ever stepped foot on these enchanting lands.
After an exploration of the area we get back on board to sail on to Svalbard – one of the world’s most impressive and enthralling wildernesses.
Welcome to the wilderness wonderland of Svalbard, where stunning scenery and an abundance of Arctic wildlife combine to create one of the most fascinating places on earth. Over the course of the next 4 days we will explore along the southwest and southeast coasts of Spitsbergen, the largest and most beautiful island in the Svalbard archipelago. As with all polar expedition cruises, flexibility throughout our voyage will be key, and as we travel through this untamed wilderness your experienced crew and captain will determine the best course for unparalleled scenic and wildlife experiences based on ice and weather conditions and likelihoods of wildlife encounters. Your crew are there to ensure you experience the very best of what Spitsbergen has to offer. Exploring by ship, Zodiac and on foot, each day will bring a new experience and adventure. This could mean a wakeup call in the middle of the night as we sail by a polar bear on the ice, or spending more time in one destination than others due to the high concentration of wildlife. Whatever happens, this is sure to be the adventure of a lifetime!
Our route is likely to vary but there are some particular areas that we expect to visit during our time here. Our first stop is likely to be on the southeast coast and the island of Edgeøya where we will make land to enjoy a walk across the impressive tundra and see remnants of the first Pomors who came to the area in the 1600s. We also hope to visit the spectacular bay of Isbukta where we can enjoy a Zodiac cruise to see the beautiful snow covered mountain peaks and the front of the impressive Vasil’evbreen glacier, whilst also keeping an eye out for the Sabine’s gulls, Arctic skuas and bearded seals that are often found here.
Moving over to the southwest coast we will visit the majestic Hornsund to see the magnificent fjords and enormous glaciers that dominate the landscape. Here we will have our best chances of seeing the Kings of the Arctic…the iconic Polar bears! Next up will be Bellsund where we will visit beautiful Vårsolbukta where little auks nest by the tens of thousands and we can enjoy an exciting walk across the tundra.
Heading north towards Longyearbyen we will sail into the beautiful Isfjorden and the bird cliffs of Alkhornet. Here we will go ashore to discover the beautiful tundra and spot some of the abundance of birdlife that is usually found here including Brünnich’s guillemots, barnacle geese, snow buntings, glaucous gulls and tens of thousands of kittiwakes. We are also likely to see Arctic foxes here as they stalk below the cliffs searching for eggs and other treats that may have dropped from above.
Arrival in to the port at Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of Svalbard, sadly signals the end of our voyage. After breakfast you will disembark, bid a fond farewell to your expedition crew and begin your journey home filled with enchanting memories of your Arctic adventure.
Please note: Various land and flight packages are available for getting to and from Longyearbyen and Bodø, and also for extensions to your tour. Please enquire for further details.
A view from Above
Formerly named Sea Endurance, the M/S Quest was built in Denmark in 1992 to serve as a ferry on Greenland’s west coast. In 2004/2005 she was completely refurbished and now has a career as a small and comfortable expedition ship. The M/S Quest takes 53 passengers and all 26 cabins are outside cabins with private facilities. The triple cabins have upper and lower berths. All other cabins have two lower berths or a double bed. In your cabin you find a desk with a chair and a cupboard for storage. The superior cabins are spacious and have armchairs and TV/ DVD. The Owner’s cabin has a double bed, two large picture windows, a separate seating area and TV/DVD.
In the dining room you are treated to delicious meals in between landings and in the panorama lounge you can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Here you can listen to entertaining talks on the area’s flora, fauna and history. In the lounge you also find a bar and a small library. The ship has spacious observation decks, where you can enjoy the beautiful vistas. Passengers are welcome on the bridge around the clock and there is always something to see or search for. There is an international crew on board the M/S Quest and the atmosphere is relaxed and very friendly.
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