Ireland & Scotland to Spitsbergen in Luxury
Ireland & Scotland to Spitsbergen in Luxury 12 days aboard L'Austral
This unique expedition will take you from the bustling Irish capital of Dublin to the remote frozen lands of Spitsbergen in the Polar Arctic, via beautiful Scottish Islands and the Norwegian fjords. On an incredible journey of discovery and exploration you will sail aboard a luxurious expedition ship to stop at several of the British Isles including the Orkney Islands before traversing the seas towards the majestic fjords of the Lofoten archipelago off the coast of Norway. Your trip will be rounded off with a two-day exploration of spectacular Spitsbergen, the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago. Zodiac cruises and shore visits will bring you up close to the incredible charms that these remote lands hold. And travelling in the company of expert guides including National Geographic photographers and destination experts you will soon learn all there is to know about these northern territories and the nature and wildlife that abounds.
Namibia Birding and Photography GuideAn accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country. Read more >
Wildlife Guide & PhotographerAndy is a 6th generation Falkland Islander, with a passion for wildlife, plants and photography. Raised in the Falkland Islands, Andy developed a close affinity with the Islands natural environment at a young age. School holidays where spent in the ‘camp’ or countryside with friends and family. For more than 10 years, Andy had the privilege of spending a time on Sea Lion Island, visiting his mother who managed one of the Islands premier tourist destinations. Read more >
Photographer and founder of the Travel Photographer Of The Year awardsA fascination with natural light and a passion with nature, landscape and travel underpin Chris Coe's photography. His images often have a striking simplicity and graphic quality. More recent work has introduced a subtlety with experimentation with both movement and light.Read more >
Falklands Expert & GuideBorn in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. Read more >
- Discover Scotland, Norway and Spitsbergen in ultimate luxury
- Cross the Arctic Circle
- Explore around five enchanting archipelagos including the Hebrides, Orkneys and Lofoten
- Witness wildlife including Arctic foxes, Svalbard reindeer, walruses, whales and myriad birds including puffins and Arctic terns
- Spectacular landscapes of ice floes, jagged mountains, icebergs, forests, icecaps, steep-sided valleys, cliffs, huge glaciers and glacier fronts
- Exciting Zodiac landings and land visits
- Hiking options available
- Full board accommodation on board, including bar/beverage service
- Flights from Longyearbyen to London post-voyage
- Transfers between airport and ship
- Zodiac cruises and shore excursions
- Entertainment and expert lecture programme
- Loan of rubber boots
- Expedition parka
ITINERARY11 Nights 12 Days
- Day 1 | Dublin
- Days 2 - 5 | Scottish Islands
- Day 6 | At Sea
- Days 7 - 8 | Lofoten & Tromso
- Days 9 - 11 | Bear Island & Spitsbergen
- Day 12 | Longyearbyen
Your adventure will begin this afternoon in the charming Irish capital of Dublin. We recommend arriving here a day or two early to experience some of Ireland’s unique atmosphere and beautiful sights. Embarkation will begin in the late afternoon.
Having boarded your luxury expedition vessel, you can spend some time settling in to your spacious cabin and familiarising yourself with the ship as we prepare to sail away from Dublin and into the Irish Sea towards Scotland.
The first area we will discover on this fascinating tour will be Scotland’s Inner Hebrides archipelago which we will arrive at on the morning of day 2. This morning we plan to visit the stunningly beautiful and historically rich Isle of Iona. There will be a number of optional excursions available here including a walking tour which has been voted the “best coastal walk in Britain” and a traditional weaving tour. Please enquire for full details on all of the available excursions throughout your tour of Scotland.
Later that afternoon we will move on to picture-postcard Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, one of the most beautiful natural seaports on Scotland’s West Coast. You can enjoy a walk around this charming restored ancient fishing village to see its brightly coloured buildings and visit the interesting Mull Museum and the An Tobar art gallery.
The following day we will visit the Isle of Skye, the largest island in the Inner Hebrides archipelago. Nicknamed the island of the mist, its romantic and magical landscapes have inspired some of the greatest authors and filmmakers, such as the poet Walter Scott and Virginia Woolf. We will sail along the Skye Bridge where some time on deck will reward in beautiful landscapes of rocky outcrops, basalt columns, sandy coves and cliffs, and wildlife sightings such as sea eagles and hopefully dolphins, otters, sea lions and seals. We will then make land at the beautiful bay of Portree to enjoy a number of optional scenic excursions including various walking routes and a visit to the Dunvegan Castle, the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland.
Sailing further north, our next stop will bring us to the fabulous Orkney archipelago where we will arrive at the capital of Kirkwall to discover its lively town with charming paved alleyways edged by old houses and craft shops. An enjoyable walk around the area will bring you to some must-see landmarks including Tankerness House, the oldest homestead in the town, and its remarkable red and gold stone St Magnus Cathedral. Optional excursions include walking tours, archaeological tours through one of the greatest concentrations of World Heritage prehistoric sites in Britain including Skara Brae, and a visit to the Highland Park Distillery, the northern-most of all the Scottish whisky distillers.
Our last stop in Scotland will bring us to Lerwick, the small and charming capital of the Shetland Islands. Here you can again choose to explore at your own pace through the quaint narrow streets and welcoming port area, or join an excursion further afield to discover some incredibly well-preserved and fascinating archaeological sites including the Jarlshof Settlement at Sumburgh, the Sumburgh Head bird cliff and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Geopark Shetland.
Leaving “Bonny Scotland” behind, we will now spend a relaxing day at sea sailing towards Norway’s western coastline. As we sail, you will cross the Arctic Circle and some time on deck should reward in multiple seabird sightings and some whale spotting opportunities. After a busy few days, a tranquil spa treatment could be on the cards, a spot of shopping in the boutique, or perhaps you may wish to join the onboard photographers to get some hints and tips on perfecting your photography skills. Your informative and entertaining lecture and talk programme will also keep you occupied and will cover everything from the wildlife and geology of the areas visited on your tour, to historic polar explorations.
Lofoten & Tromso
Today we will arrive way beyond the Arctic Circle to begin our discovery of the spectacular Lofoten Islands archipelago. Sailing along this jagged coastline of majestic alpine summits, sandy beaches and deep fjords will certainly be a day to remember, and as well as thrilling coastline cruising we will hope to make a stop at the beautiful UNESCO site of Nusfjord, as well as Reine and Leknes.
The following day we will enjoy a visit to Tromsø. Nicknamed the “Paris of the North”, Tromsø is home to extensive neoclassical architectural heritage including the stunning Arctic cathedral which is a must-see.
Bear Island & Spitsbergen
We now begin our sail towards the remote winter wonderland of the Svalbard archipelago for the final, and possibly most exciting, leg of our journey. On the way we will pass by the isolated and mystical lands of Bjørnøya (Bear Island), a historically important island that is home to enormous colonies of seabirds including guillemots, skuas, puffins, Tridactyl gulls and petrels. Some time on deck as we sail by will reward in fantastic photo opportunities and birdwatching treats.
As we reach the southeast coast of Spitsbergen, Svalbard’s largest island, our exploration of this Arctic territory will begin. We will arrive at beautiful Isbukta to enjoy an unforgettable Zodiac cruise along the front of the majestic Vasil’evbreen glacier. If conditions allow, we will then make land at the foot of the glacier to enjoy a memorable walk along the first section before visiting Stellingfjellet to see one of the largest guillemot colonies on the archipelago.
Sailing around to the southwest coast of Spitsbergen we will be on a constant lookout for wildlife including whales, walrus and Svalbard reindeer, and the spectacular landscapes will fill our cameras as we discover why these remote lands are considered to be “the crown of Arctic Norway”. Our final stop on your thrilling Arctic cruise will bring us to the Hornsund fjord which will perfectly showcase to you Spitsbergen’s delights. Reputed to be the most stunning of all the fjords, a cruise around here will reward in phenomenal views of 8 great glaciers slowly making their way down to the sea elegantly calving icebergs into the frigid and mysterious waters.
Upon arrival into Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of Svalbard, you will disembark and transfer to the airport for your flight to London, England where your itinerary ends. Numerous additional activities and excursions are available in Longyearbyen so please enquire for details should you wish to extend your stay in this unique Arctic town.
What Our Customers
Superlatives abound – a truly amazing experience...awesome. Thanks to all for making it such a memorable experience.
We have just returned from our Spitsbergen trip with Wildfoot and had to tell you what an amazing time we had! We saw 6 polar bears including a mother with 2 cubs as well as whales, walruses and lots of birds. The ship (Expedition) was really comfortable and the guides were so helpful and friendly. Thank you so much for making it all so easy.
I came to Wildfoot because a friend had booked with you when you were Antarctica Bound and they were right. Everything went perfectly, even when our flight was cancelled, you made sure we still made it to the ship with time to spare. L’Austral is a beautiful ship with first class service and food and the guides looked after us well. Very happy to recommend Wildfoot and L’Austral...
We had always wanted to see the Arctic and travelling all the way from Australia needed lots of information. After getting nowhere, we came across Wildfoot and found people who knew what they were talking about! Sara and John were so helpful and made the process easy, suggesting Iceland Greenland and Spitsbergen. This was perfect for us – amazing scenery and lots of wildlife, especially the polar bears in Spitsbergen. Thanks for everything. Ps, the ship was great too!
Just wanted to say thank you for suggesting a trip to Franz Josef Land as something different for the Arctic. We had a super trip and really enjoyed the Sea Spirit. Galapagos next!
Standing on the North Pole has been an ambition of mine since childhood and now I have done it! Thank you for making the process so easy - seeing polar bears and whales too was a real bonus.
The Sea Spirit expedition was excellent and the team organising it all were extremely good. 10 out of 10. Everything went very smoothly. The Iceland extension worked perfectly, all the organisation, connections etc. were excellent
The cruise was beyond my expectations. Got to see everything the captain wanted, even a polar bear mother with three cubs. Coal Miners Cabins were smashing. I did loads of birding and exploring over three days. All the people were great from the expedition leaders down to the passengers. So glad to have achieved my ambition of some 50 years standing and got amongst the ice of the Arctic, walked amongst it’s islands and witnessed the antics of its wonderful wildlife. What’s next??? I’ll need to speak with Sara again.
Thanks so much for enabling me to get to places I had always wanted to see from a very young age. “Ace” as my boys used to say!
Just wanted to send a quick note to say thank you very much for all your help in arranging our recent trip to Svalbard. Everything ran smoothly and the trip was a great success. Unfortunately I had to flew back a few days early and missed out on Isfjord Radio, which the rest of the team said was a brilliant place with amazing food, still the Basecamp Hotel and Nordenskiold Lodge were pretty amazing places, so I’m not complaining!
Writing back to tell you that the trip to the Arctic was all that it promised and more. It was a great wild-life sightseeing opportunity and the staff were really good.I had an excellent trip and have thousands of photos to go through.
I had an absolutely fabulous time won the Sergey Vavilov, it is an excellent ship. Sara was indeed right in her recommendation that they would be the most likely to push north into the ice to find the polar bears. We even circumnavigated Spitsbergen which was awesome and not o n the itinerary.It is such a wonderful way to take a trip when you are on your own – so if any of your potential single clients are unsure, definitely recommend it – I didn’t feel alone from the moment I stepped on board. I will be at the Birdfair next weekend and so will catch up with whoever is there – regarding this trip, and potentially my next!
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
We had a wonderful time, even though we didn't do all the places we were supposed to but we all felt were we went instead couldn't beaten. Saw animals I wanted to see. Bit worried what the food was like as some of the ships cooking leaves something to be desired, but food was very good. We thought all the guides were brilliant and informative, friendly and knowledgeable It was far better than we expected and even my husband thoroughly enjoyed it!
I wanted to let you know that I had a wonderful cruise in the Russian Far East. The landscape and destination were inspiring, we had some excellent wildlife sightings (sea otter, grey whale, Steller's sea eagle, snowy owl and Arctic fox were all firsts for me), and the Heritage team were superb. Rough seas forced a few changes to the itinerary but we also had some fabulous weather. All in all, a thrilling travel experience.Thanks once again for all your efforts
I thought you might like to know that this was an excellent holiday. Our guide, Brad, was absolutely wonderful, his enthusiasm and knowledge made the holiday even better. All in all the whole trip was excellent and we saw lots of bears, 24 on the first day. Fewer on the second and third days but still plenty, as well as arctic foxes,silver foxes and snowy owls. Even on the last day near the town we saw a bear on rocks by the beach.
What a great trip! Wildfoot built a great trip for us and every aspect was spot on. Our Iguazu guide was fun, interesting and helpful and all the transfers were timely and comfortable. The Antarctica Trip was superb - WIldfoot had given us the best advice and helped us choose the right ship and tour for what we wanted - A truly memorable Experience Thank You Wildfoot
How WILDFOOT creates your holiday Adventure
Talk to someone who knows. Our specialist consultants are here to help you every step of the way – here’s how..
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Visit the wildfoot website for inspiration on your choice of adventures and destinations, then call us and speak to one of our specialists for first hand advice. We can start the planning process straight away, if you are ready.
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Your specialist consultant will set the ball rolling and work with you to choose the right itinerary (and the right ship, if you are going to the arctic or antarctic) just for you, to suit your requirements and budget.
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We will answer any questions about your trip that may arise and, when you have paid your balance (12-15 weeks prior to departure), we will send you your detailed itinerary and go through it with you.
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