Scottish Islands, Norwegian Fjords & Svalbard 15 daysAboard: 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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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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