Scottish Islands, Norwegian Fjords & Svalbard 15 days aboard MS Expedition
An amazing north Atlantic journey from Edinburgh to the Arctic! The first portion of your exciting Arctic cruise will see you exploring the wild and rugged Orkney & Shetland Islands with their ancient sites and birdlife, before crossing the North Sea to explore the charming towns and fjords of the Norwegian coast. If that wasn’t enough adventure for one trip, you will then set sail high into the Arctic to sample the remote and spectacular Svalbard archipelago. Explore each day on foot and by sea, discovering UNESCO World Heritage Sites, stunning waterfalls and forests, dramatic fjords and glaciers, Arctic wildlife and unique culture.
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 >
Special Guest LecturerExclusive to this voyage, Doug Allan, a multi award winning polar photographer and cameraman, will be your special guest lecturer. Doug has been on over 20 expeditions to Svalbard to film its wildlife, and knows the wonders of this area more than most. Read more >
- Experience spectacular Svalbard with its dramatic scenery and wildlife including polar bears!
- Orkney & Shetland Islands
- Stunning Norwegian coastline
- Birds and whale sightings
- Historic and UNESCO World Heritage 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
ITINERARY14 Nights 15 Days
- Day 1 | Edinburgh, Leith
- Day 2 | Orkney Islands
- Day 3 | Shetland Islands
- Day 4 | Olden
- Day 5 | Geiranger
- Day 6 | Trondheim
- Day 7 | Torghatten & Vega Island
- Day 8 | Svartisen & Vikingen Island
- Day 9 | Lofoten Islands, Svolvaer & Trollfjord
- Day 10 | Tromsø
- Day 11 | At Sea & Bjørnøya (Bear Island)
- Days 12 - 14 | Svalbard
- Day 15 | Longyearbyen
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 from 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 an included 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, our first adventure along the stunning Norwegian coastline will see us take a cruise through the beautiful Olden Fjord where we will disembark to take a short bus ride to the Birksdal area. From here we will venture to the nearby Briksdalbreen glacier in Jostedalsbreen National Park, either by way of a moderately strenuous hike or via a trolley ride that will take you most of the way. Whichever way you choose, please note that the last quarter mile of the journey will be on foot, but, truly, the views will be worth it!
Likely to be one of the highlights of your trip, today we will sail into the stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site of Geirangerfjord, where you can enjoy an included coach tour to Dalsnibba surrounded by spectacular mountains, lush green trees and waterfalls. Make sure to have your cameras ready for a day of incredible scenery! If you fancy stretching your legs, a 10km mountain hike through the area will also be available.
On day 6 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 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 may 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!
Today will bring us to Tromsø, the capital of northern Norway. Tromsø is known as the "Gateway to the Arctic" as it was the embarkation point for many Arctic expeditions and today you can enjoy an included guided tour of this unique city to learn all about its past. You can choose to either join a mountain hike for some incredible views over the city, or take the guided walk through the city streets before taking the cable car to the mountain top. A delicious lunch of traditional open-faced sandwiches can be enjoyed overlooking the city and there will be time to visit the Polar and Tromsø Museums before heading back to the ship to begin your journey to Svalbard.
At Sea & Bjørnøya (Bear Island)
As we leave the stunning fjords of mainland Norway behind and head towards the pristine wilderness of the Svalbard archipelago your ship will sail past the mist-shrouded Bjørnøya (Bear Island). Weather permitting there may be the chance of a Zodiac excursion along the coastline. Bear Island even from afar has spectacular views and is home to thousands of species of birds like fulmars, kittiwakes, guillemots and gulls. As we continue our sail there will be informative and entertaining lectures and presentations from your onboard experts on everything from the wildlife you can expect on the next part of your journey to the history of Arctic exploration.
As we arrive in the stunning Arctic wilderness of Spitsbergen our first area for exploration will be Hornsund with its deep fjords, mountains and massive ice sheets. A flexible itinerary here will allow for your captain and expedition team to select the best areas to explore by Zodiac in search of wildlife encounters and spectacular photo opportunities. Shore walks and Zodiac adventures bring us up close to mystical landscapes, icebergs, and wildlife including walruses, seals, reindeer, Arctic foxes and, with a little luck, polar bears!
As we sail up the west coast of Svalbard we will ontinue to explore this icy wonderland in search of unique wildlife encounters and scenic experiences. Soak up the sights and sounds of the area, with its wildflowers on the tundra, huge glaciers, nesting birds and sea mammals like polar bears, whales and walruses.
Today your thrilling Norwegian Fjords, Scotland and Svalbard expedition will come to an end as your ship sails through beautiful Isfjorden and into Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of Svalbard. After disembarkation a transfer will be provided to the airport for your homeward travel or to a downtown location should you wish to spend more time in this unique Arctic town. There are a wide variety of Arctic adventures that can be enjoyed in Longyearbyen and please feel free to contact a member of the WILDFOOT team if this is something which may be of interest.
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
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