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Arctic village

White Sea Expedition

Example 13 Day Cruise aboard Silver Explorer
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Drift into the Arctic Circle and explore a variety of villages and islands at the top of the world. Rarely do travelers have a chance to glimpse life in such raw and remote environs. Explore the rare, Neolithic labyrinths of Zayatsky island. Learn the maritime history of Murmasnk, a seafaring city halfway between Moscow and the North Pole. This is a unique glimpse at a seldom-seen part of the world.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Tromsø, Norway
Day 2 : Gjesværstappan Islands, Norway
Day 3 : Murmansk, Russia
Day 4 : Sem Islands, Russia
Day 5 : Shoina Village and Kanin Peninsula, Russia
Day 6 : Pyalitsa Village and Chapoma Village, Russia
Day 7 : Bolshoi Solovetskiy and Zayatskiy Islands, Russia
Day 8 : Arkhangelsk, Russia
Day 9 : Morzhovets Island, Russia
Day 10 : Cruising the White Sea, Russia
Day 11 : Kirkenes
Day 12 : Skarsvag (Nordkapp), Mageroya, Norway
Day 13 : Tromsø, Norway

Highlights

  • Search the seas for beluga whales and narwhals
  • Tour the Solovetskiy Monastery – a UNESCO world heritage site
  • Go ashore for nature walks across the Arctic tundra and taiga
  • Photograph landscapes in the light of the Midnight Sun
  • Cruise the bird cliffs of Gjesværstappan by Zodiac
  • Observe reindeer and Arctic fox
  • See a multitude of seabirds such as skuas, auks, kittiwakes and guillemots
  • Visit historic sites of early settlers

Ship

Silver Explorer

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Arctic village A herd of arctic caribou feed through the snow. Quaint fishing village in Norway The stunning fjords of Norway Traveler photographing a rift lake in Russia.

Day 1 Tromsø, Norway

Embark Silver Explorer for your exciting – “White Sea Expedition”. Tonight you are invited to attend a special Sail-away cocktail party and to meet the Expedition Team who will be your companions for this special adventure.

Day 2 Gjesværstappan Islands, Norway

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning you will go out in your Zodiacs to cruise the Gjesværstappan Islands. The islands contain several seabird colonies and have therefore been designated a nature reserve in 1983. The land area of the reserve is less than 2 square kilometres, but the reserve also includes almost 6 square kilometres of the sea surrounding the islands. The largest colonies of cliff-breeding seabirds are mainly located on Storstappen, the biggest of the islands. While you are circumnavigating Storstappen, be on the lookout for puffins, kittiwakes, guillemots, Razorbills, fulmars, cormorants, Arctic Skuas, and with luck, majestic White-tailed Eagles, keep an eye out for seals. During the afternoon you will be passing nearby North Cape and the lecture team will prepare you for the varied points of your White Sea expedition. In the evening the Captain would like to invite you to his Welcome cocktail party.

Day 3 Murmansk, Russia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Founded only in 1916, Murmansk is the world’s largest city north of the Arctic Circle. Once cleared into Russia, you will go on a city tour including the major cargo port and its impressive fleet of nuclear-powered icebreakers, the Orthodox Church, Savior-on-Waters, a lighthouse with panoramic views of the city, and the Murmansk Museum. The city has many monuments that attest to its short, but intense history, its maritime heritage, and its military importance during World War II.

Day 4 Sem Islands, Russia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
As your journey continues further east you will cruise along the northern coast of the remote Kola Peninsula, a wilderness of vast tundra, mountains, spectacular waterfalls, and some of the oldest forests in Europe on its southern side. You will take advantage of the long hours of daylight to explore the islands and their birdlife by Zodiac. Your on-board naturalists may also lead a hike ashore pointing out the plants and wildlife unique to this remote area.

Day 5 Shoina Village and Kanin Peninsula, Russia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your journey continues southward along the Kanin Peninsula’s coast. Founded in the 1930’s by fishing families, the abundance of fish brought more and more fishermen to Shoina village and a collective farm was organized, leading to 1,500 people living there in the 1950’s. Because of the extensive trawling the sea floor was destroyed, leading to sand dunes spreading across the landscape. Half the village is now buried under sand and only 300 souls still remain in Shoina. You will have a look at the village and sand dunes, but another reason for us to go here is the Shoyninsky State Nature Reserve just to the north. Both there and in the nearby Shoyna marsh the Lesser White-fronted Goose, as well as Brent and Barnacle Geese have important flyways into Russia’s extreme Arctic.

Day 6 Pyalitsa Village and Chapoma Village, Russia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The two subsistence fishing villages you visit today are located on the southern side of the Kola Peninsula and are quite small. Pyalitsa, said to have been founded in the 16th century, would once have been a locally important settlement to trade commodities from further inland, but today has only 14 inhabitants. Chapoma Village, just slightly further west has 81 inhabitants. Tidal and weather conditions permitting you might get the experience of Atlantic salmon spawning in the nearby river, while the expedition staff will offer a variety of exploratory hikes.

Day 7 Bolshoi Solovetskiy and Zayatskiy Islands, Russia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the western White Sea, the six islands of this remote, rarely visited archipelago have been inhabited since the 5th century BC and important traces of human presence have been found here from as far back as the 5th millennium BC. An expansive monastery was founded here in the 15th century and was later transformed into one of Stalin’s infamous Soviet gulags – a political prison camp. A vast medieval fortress, the monastery is remarkably well preserved and has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. You will explore its network of covered passages and tunnels that connect the many churches and chapels, botanical gardens, and common buildings, which include watchtowers, residential chambers and a number of workrooms. During the afternoon you will go ashore on Zayatskiy Island where prehistoric labyrinths and burial mounds are believed to be the remains of temporary Neolithic settlements.

Day 8 Arkhangelsk, Russia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning, as you make your approach, head out on deck to watch for the Beluga whales commonly found in the waters of the White Sea, especially during the summer season. At Russia’s far northwest corner, Arkhangelsk is situated on the coast of the storied White Sea. Due to its geographic isolation, this region has long held a mysterious fascination for outsiders. Arkhangelsk was first established as a shipbuilding center and became well known to the West for its occupation by “White” Russians during the Russian Civil War and for its role as a base for the North Sea Fleet. Arkhangelsk has also achieved fame as the gateway to the Arctic for the number of notable expeditions that began here. Today, join your on-board historians for a guided tour of the old quarter where you will learn of the Pomors and of ancient Russian culture as you explore centuries-old wooden buildings, the Orthodox Church and the excellent collections at the Museum of Fine Arts.

Day 9 Morzhovets Island, Russia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today you will cross the Arctic Circle again on your journey north. Morzhovets Island is the last piece of land before entering the Barents Sea. Almost half of the island’s 110 km² consists of lakes, while the rest of this flat island is tundra. Morzhovets 12 inhabitants live in Severny Gorodok, the only settlement on the island, to man the meteorological station and a lighthouse. You will go ashore, looking for wildlife on the tundra and lakes.

Day 10 Cruising the White Sea, Russia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your journey continues in a westerly direction as you cruise along the Kola Peninsula’s coast towards the Norwegian-Russian border. Peruse an array of titles and topics in the well-stocked Library, enjoy a fine cigar and cognac at the Connoisseur’s Corner or watch a movie in your suite. All accommodations feature an interactive television system that allows you to watch your choice of complimentary films or documentaries and even broadcasts from The Theater in the comfort and privacy of your suite or stateroom. During the late evening you will have your outward clearance in Murmansk and will continue towards Norway.

Day 11 Kirkenes

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
As you cruise through the Barents Sea, a series of lectures will emphasise the special history and natural history of Russia’s and Norway’s Far North. Once you arrive in Kirkenes –the end of the famous Hurtigruten-Coastal/Postal service- you might drive southward into the Pasvik Valley sitting between Russia and Finland. There you can go for nature walks to observe the valley’s unique birds and plants.

Day 12 Skarsvag (Nordkapp), Mageroya, Norway

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today Silver Explorer will round the North Cape, the northernmost point of Europe. At 71° 10′ 21″ northern latitude, a sheer cliff raises 307 metres above the Arctic Ocean. Adventurous guests can join members of the Expedition Team for a challenging hike to Nordkapp, retracing the traditional route to the cape up a winding path. For those who prefer to arrive in comfort, Silver Explorer will anchor off the shore of Skarsvag, the “most northerly fishing village in the world”, and, weather conditions permitting, head ashore by Zodiac. You will travel by coach to the North Cape where you will admire the glorious scenery, stop in at the visitor’s center and, of course, document our presence at the famed globe monument with many photographs. The panorama is unforgettable. On your return journey to the ship you will watch for reindeer grazing on the surrounding hillsides.

Day 13 Tromsø, Norway

  • 1 Breakfast
You will arrive at Tromsø in the early morning. Following breakfast on board, disembark Silver Explorer.

Silver Explorer

Per person starting at
$9,250
Silver Explorer's Adventurer Cabin
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Adventurer Class
6 cabins on Deck 3, 180 sq. feet, Twin or Queen beds, 2 portholes.
Silver Explorer's Explorer Cabin.
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Explorer Class
4 cabins on Deck 4, Twin or Queen beds, 180 sq. feet with view window.
Silver Explorer's View Suite.
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View Suite
12 suites on Deck 3, 230 sq. feet with view window, Twin or Queen beds.
Silver Explorer Vista Suite.
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Vista Suite
16 suites on Deck 4, 194 - 230 sq. feet with large window, Twin or Queen beds.
Silver Explorer's Veranda Suite
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Veranda Suite
8 suites on Deck 5, 215 sq. feet with French balcony, Twin or Queen beds.
Silver Explorer's Expedition Suite.
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Expedition Suite
4 suites on Deck 3, 430 sq. feet with 2 view windows, Twin or Queen beds.
Silver Explorer Medallion Suite.
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Medallion Suite
2 suites on Deck 7, 358 sq. feet with private veranda, Twin or Queen beds.
Silver Explorer's Silver Suite.
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Silver Suite
6 suites on Deck 5, 430 sq. feet with 2 French balconies, Twin or Queen beds.
Silver Explorer Grand Suite.
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Grand Suite
2 suites on Deck 7, 650 sq. feet with large private veranda, Twin or Queen beds.
Silver Explorer's Owner's Suite.
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Owner
2 suites on Deck 7, 540 sq. feet with large private veranda, Twin or Queen beds.

Notes

-The supplement for single occupancy in a Vista, Veranda or Midship Veranda Suite ranges from 25% – 100% above the double occupancy fare, depending upon the sailing and suite selected. Single supplement for a Silver or Medallion Suite (Silver Shadow and Silver Whisper), Owner’s, Grand or Royal Suites are 100% above of the double occupancy fare. Suites for single and third guests are capacity controlled.
-All prices are in US Dollars, Cruise-Only per person based on double occupancy.

Included in cruise fare:
Suite accommodations, onboard meals and entertainment, gratuities aboard ship (except spa), complimentary beverages aboard ship (including select wines, champagnes, spirits, soft drinks, water, tea and coffee. All fares are quoted in US dollars, are per guest and based on double occupancy.
Not included in cruise fare:
Airfare, hotel accommodations, transfers and luggage handling, optional shore excursions, meals ashore, fuel surcharges, accommodations whilst ashore, casino gaming, laundry or valet services, purchases from the ship boutiques or any item or service of a personal nature such as medical care, massages, spa treatments, private fitness instruction, hair styling and manicures. Some champagne, premium wine and spirit selections, caviar, cigarettes and cigars are not included in your fare and may not be available at all times.

Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather and wildlife activity. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.

Included

  • 12 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 12 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Kevin M

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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
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