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Coastal village in the arctic

Expedition North

Example 13 Day Cruise aboard Silver Explorer
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Learn Viking lore and legends on this voyage north to the Arctic Circle. Behold the majesty of the silent landscapes as you search for Polar Bears, walrus, Arctic fox and seals. Explore deep fjords and lava caves, sulfur pits and boiling mud pools. A trip to the remote Jan Mayen Island completes this fascinating and unforgettable cruise.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Reykjavik, Iceland
Day 2 : Isafjordur and Vigur Island, Iceland
Day 3 : Siglufjordur and Grimsey, Iceland
Day 4 : Húsavík, Iceland
Day 5 : At Sea
Day 6 : Cruise & Explore Jan Mayen Island, Norway
Day 7 : At Sea
Days 8-12 : Cruise & Explore Svalbard
Day 13 : Longyearbyen, Norway

Highlights

  • Cruise amidst pristine landscapes of rugged mountains and massive glaciers
  • Explore deep fjords and lava caves
  • Watch for whales: Minke, beluga, humpback, blue, fin, and sei
  • Visit historic whaling sites and remote Jan Mayen Island
  • Learn of Viking lore and legends
  • See geothermal sulphur pits, boiling mud pools, and lava formations
  • Search for polar bear, walrus, reindeer, Arctic fox, and seals

Ship

Silver Explorer

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Coastal village in the arctic Svalbard reindeer Walking through vast arctic landscapes. Looking out over an iceberg-filled lagoon in Jokulsarlon, Iceland Homes in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway

Day 1 Reykjavik, Iceland

Embark the Silver Explorer and depart on your exciting 13-day Silversea Expedition – Expedition North. This evening, you will participate in a mandatory safety drill and a mandatory Zodiac briefing. Your Expedition Team and important members of the crew will be introduced before we invite you to familiarize yourself with the elegant Silver Explorer, meet some of your fellow travelers and enjoy the first of many memorable meals in The Restaurant.

Day 2 Isafjordur and Vigur Island, Iceland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning, the Silver Explorer will go alongside in Isafjordur (the Ice Fjord). Although the town has only 2.600 inhabitants it is the largest town in north-western Iceland. Like in many other ports of Iceland, fishing was the main industry, but has declined. Isafjordur can boast to have been settled as early as the 9th century. During a town walk we will see some important historic buildings, many of them dating back to the 18th century, among them the oldest building dating back to 1734 in the local folk museum. Isafjordur has Iceland’s largest collection of old timber houses. The Westfjords Heritage Museum’s theme is based on fishing as well as the life of the fishermen and has, apart from old boats and fishing gear, a collection of almost 200 accordions. Isafjordur is also gaining importance as the entry to the Nature Reserve of Hornstrandir. A centre for the study of the Arctic fox is located in the next village. During lunch Silver Explorer will relocate and anchor off Vigur Island. A little more than a mile in length and about 450 yards wide, this green oasis punctuates the waters of the Isafjardardjup fjord east of the town of Isafjordur. The island is home to a single farming family and has some meticulously preserved historical landmarks including Iceland’s only windmill, built in 1840 and used until 1917 for grinding imported wheat from Denmark; and a 200-year-old rowing boat, which is still in use to ferry sheep to the mainland. Summer is the best time to see large numbers of Atlantic Puffins, Arctic Terns and Black Guillemots. One of the export articles from this small island was eider down and we can see where the eider ducks nest and how the down is collected and cleaned. Prior to heading back to the ship, refreshments will be served at Viktoría House, a wooden farmhouse erected in 1862. We will also have the opportunity to visit one of the smallest post offices in Europe, where we can send home a postcard or two.

Day 3 Siglufjordur and Grimsey, Iceland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Siglufjordur was the capital of the herring, but steep mountain slopes once kept this fjord secluded. Today two tunnels connect the town and fjord with the outside world, permitting an easier access to hiking in the vicinity. During the morning we will have a look at the small town and its award-winning museum. Located some 60 kilometres north-east of Siglufjordur, Grimsey lies on the Arctic Circle. The small community lives on the western side of the island and even has a short runway for smaller planes. If you want, you can actually cross the Arctic Circle via a bridge slightly north of the small airport terminal. Because of the rich waters seals and whales are frequently seen. These riches were already known in medieval times when Norwegian king Olafur requested the island as a gift. Apart from fish the locals hunted birds and collected eggs –a practice still done to some extent today. At Grimsey’s southeast corner is an automatic lighthouse from where you have a good viewing point of the cliffs. Slightly further south you have cliffs of beautiful basalt columns. The east side has the highest cliffs (up to 100 metres) but bird colonies can be found all around the island- except for the village. Fortunately, the island is rat and mice free and egg-collecting has been reduced. Birds seen include Black-legged Kittiwakes, Northern Fulmars, Atlantic Puffins, Razorbills, Black Guillemots, Common Guillemots and Brünnich’s Guillemot. Apart from Iceland’s largest Atlantic Puffin colony Grimsey has also one of the largest tern nesting sites. We will spend the afternoon ashore, looking for the different attractions and birds.

Day 4 Húsavík, Iceland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning we awake in the idyllic Skjálfandi fjord, which is the blend of the Skjálfandafljót (a glacier river) and the salmon-rich Laxá, a freshwater river. Húsavík is quaint village, where we go ashore. From Húsavík, we tour along the shores of the Tjörnes Peninsula where large Atlantic Puffin colonies can be found, along with a splendid view of Grímsey Island on the Arctic Circle. In Jökulsárgljúfur –a glacial river canyon- we venture into the mystical realm of Viking lore. Our stop at Ásbyrgi reveals a lush horseshoe-shaped canyon, where legend claims an airborne horse, Sleipnir, belonging to the Norse god, Odinn, shaped the canyon when accidentally touching the ground. Next, a stop is made at Hljodaklettar or “Echo Rocks” where we will walk up to the cliffs and enjoy our lunch. Afterwards, we head to the mighty Dettifoss waterfall, with the greatest volume of any waterfall in Europe –it featured prominently in the film “Prometheus”. Marvel at the seething sulphur pits and boiling mud pools near Námaskard; and trek over the sand dunes of Hólasandur. Alternatively, sail from Húsavík in a local boat across the bay to the magnificent mountains of Kinn that rise more than half a mile (1,000 metres) above sea level. During the cruise, learn more about the many species of whales – Blue, Fin, Humpbacks, Minke and Sei – that may be seen on the trip. Since summer is prime whale watching season, we may see any of a number of them. Following our adventure, we will visit the award-winning Húsavík Whale Center, where we will learn about the habitats of whales around Iceland before returning back to the ship.

Day 5 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Our Expedition Team will recap our visit to Iceland and prepare you for the next stop, Jan Mayen. Gather in The Theater to hear their talks about Jan Mayen’s interesting history and to learn more about the island’s remarkable nature. Other on-board diversions include spa treatments, a workout in the Fitness Center, and, of course, exquisite dining experiences.

Day 6 Cruise & Explore Jan Mayen Island, Norway

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Humpback and Minke whales may be seen while we approach this volcanic island of towering ebony peaks and broad black lava beaches. The primordial landscape is dominated to the north by the 7,500-foot-high (2,300-metre-high) Mt Beerenberg, an active volcano covered in glacial ice that last erupted in 1985. With permission from the Norwegian authorities, we will make a landing at this rarely visited outpost to visit the research and weather station. Walks to the station and beyond will permit birds-eye views of the meteorological station and a view of the long black sandy eastern shore of the island. Bird observations may include Atlantic Puffins, fulmars, auks and Snow Buntings. In the afternoon we will continue our cruise north towards Svalbard. Alternatively, enjoy the magnificent wildlife and stunning scenery aboard a traditional oak fishing boat. There is perhaps no better place in the world to see the friendly minke whale – than Skjalfandi Bay. Normally quite timid creatures, they have been known to approach the boats and surface right alongside. Whales are often encountered within 20 minutes of leaving the harbour and appear to take as much interest in humans as we do in them. Boisterous white beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises frequently join the party and sometimes humpback and other large whales are spotted. Following our adventure, we will visit the award-winning Húsavík Whale Centre, where you will learn about the habitats of whales around Iceland before returning to the Prince Albert II for a late lunch.

Day 7 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
As you make your way toward Svalbard, head out on deck to watch for seabirds and whales. Attend informative lectures that will prepare you for the different sites and activities in Svalbard. Peruse an array of titles and topics in the well-stocked Library, enjoy the finest cigars and cognacs at the Connoisseur’s Corner or indulge in any of the other special amenities offered aboard ship. Before reaching Svalbard a briefing regarding rules and regulations for the Arctic, and Svalbard in particular, will be given.

Day 8-12 Cruise & Explore Svalbard

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Svalbard, an expansive archipelago of the Arctic Ocean north of Norway, is one of the last major European wilderness areas with pristine mountains, fauna, deep fjords, picturesque icebergs, and massive ice sheets. The goal of this voyage is to locate wildlife and spend the maximum amount of time possible hiking on the tundra. Spitsbergen is home to approximately 3,000 polar bears and you can hope to encounter a good number of them during your trip. You will travel along the same routes as famous polar explorers such as Andrée, Nordenskjöld, Amundsen and Nobile. You might get to see the indigenous reindeer, trek along beaches where groups of walrus are hauled out along the shoreline, and maybe even spot the Arctic fox or bearded seal. Seabirds, such as Ivory Gulls, auks and sometimes Atlantic Puffins, will be your constant companions. You might even encounter a few whales. A variety of known species frequent the area, in particular the Minke and beluga.

The flexible itinerary allows the ship to take advantage of favorable ice and weather conditions. You will search for walruses, seals, reindeer, Arctic foxes and polar bears. Shore walks and Zodiac landings will bring you up close to the mystical settings and passing icebergs. In the true spirit of adventure cruising, each day your Expedition Leader and Captain will determine the best course depending on changing weather, ice conditions and the wildlife you encounter.

Here is a list of places you may visit:
Hornsund The southernmost fjord on the rugged west coast of Spitsbergen Island. Jagged mountain peaks tower above glacier-filled bays. Listen for the crash of white thunder as huge chunks of ice fall into the fjord. Amidst floating icebergs jewels, watch for bearded seals, the elusive beluga whale and the king of the Arctic – the polar bear. Sightings are fairly common as the polar bear’s favorite food, the ringed seal, breeds in the fjord. The surrounding bird cliffs are home to thousands of pairs of nesting Little Auks. You may visit the Polish research station or the remains of whaling stations and trappers’ huts.
Ice Cruising With the strengthened hull of the Silver Explorer, You have the perfect platform to search for walrus and polar bears as you devote at least one day to exploring the pack ice around Spitsbergen. Conditions permitting, your Expedition Leader may choose to take you out in the Zodiacs for an even closer look.
Kongfjord or Kings Bay Cutting into the west coast of Spitsbergen and reaching inland about 15 miles (24 kilometres) and spanning up to 6 miles (10 kilometres) wide, Kongfjord is a splendid place to behold. Together with your on-board geologist, you will explore its complicated geological formations and visit the 14th of July Glacier, where you might hike onto the glacier itself. You can also hope to land at Blomstrand, named in memory of a Swedish chemist, to see the remains of a former marble quarry, its machinery and some of the huts.
Magdalenafjord This majestic fjord is normally accessible year-round because of the influence of the West Spitsbergen Current or Gulf Stream. A ship’s cruise will permit closer looks at the glacier with in the fjord. Landing via Zodiac, you will walk along the beach and search for wildlife. Remains of graves from the whaling times are found here, too.
Liefdefjorden At the entrance to Liefdefjorden are several smaller island groups. On the Andøyane (Duck Islands) you may encounter polar bears looking for bird’s eggs. With your Zodiacs you will circumnavigate several of the islands, always on the lookout for active birdlife –when Arctic Terns circle specific areas it usually is a sign for polar bear presence on the islands. Cruising past majestic red Devonian sandstone mountains you will reach the end of Liefdefjorden for a Zodiac cruise along the front of two different glaciers: Monacobreen and Seligerbreen. Monacobreen has a 5 kilometre long front and is a good place to look for seals, Black-legged Kittiwakes and Ivory Gulls. Make your first stop at Djúpalónssandur for a short, refreshing walk to the shore of the Atlantic Ocean where strange rock formations are found. After a short drive past the cliffs of Londrangar, arrive in the tiny fishing village of Arnarstapi. Here find an idyllic setting with interesting lava formations and an abundance of birdlife. Many stories and sagas are connected to this area, lending an even more mysterious appeal to these stunning surroundings. At Arnarstapi, a refreshing walk takes you along a pathway with many interesting geological phenomena and rich bird life. A scenic drive takes you to Budir, famed not only for its dramatic, black lava surroundings but also for its yellow sand beach. You might be lucky enough to spot seals as they bask on the skerries out in the bay. Continuing over “The Old Hag’s Pass” or Kerlingarskard, head towards Stykkisholmur, where you will make a short spiritual stop at Helgafell.
The Holy Mount. A lot of local history and charm is attached to this stop. Even those not up to the climb will be sure to enjoy listening to the guide tell tales of local heroines and the combination of spiritual forces connected to this holistic site. A short visit to Stykkisholmur, before returning to Grundarfjördur and lunch at Hotel Búdir.

Day 13 Longyearbyen, Norway

  • 1 Breakfast
Following breakfast, disembark Silver Explorer and transfer to the airport for your charter flight to Oslo.

Silver Explorer

Per person starting at
$9,950
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

  • 8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 8 Dinners
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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
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