Crossing the Arctic Circle: Scotland to Norway Cruise

Quark Expeditions
Icebergs litter the seas throughout the Arctic
Quark Expeditions
Keep your eye out for reindeer along your Arctic cruise
Quark Expeditions
Visit remote Arctic communities on your cruise
Quark Expeditions
A walrus pops up for to say hello
Quark Expeditions
Ocean Nova
The comfortable lounge
Triple Cabin
This mystical 14-day expedition cruise of the Northern Atlantic offers rich culture and wildlife experiences, including some rare opportunities to delight birders. Explore the medieval art and archeology of Britain's northernmost archipelagos of the Orkney and Shetland Islands before continuing east to the picturesque port of Bergen. Continue north into the Norwegian Sea to discover UNESCO-protected Vega Island - a veritable ornithologists' dream.

Day 1

    Embark Aberdeen, Scotland

    Arrive in Aberdeen. Embark the Ocean Nova in the afternoon. Settle in to your cabin and familiarize yourself with the ship and her crew. Sail toward the Scottish Islands. Consider arriving a few days early to explore all that the "Granite City" has to offer.

    Day 2

      Kirkwall, Scotland

      This morning finds you in Orkney, an archipelago of almost 70 islands, with a history dating back 8,500 years to the first Mesolithic tribe that inhabited the area. Travel back in time here, with visits planned to the Standing Stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar, Skara Brae, Skaill House and the Italian Chapel. You also have a chance to pay your respects to polar explorer John Rae, who rests in the shadow of the impressive St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall. You may even have a chance to experience the vibrant and lively culture of today at a local pub.

      Day 3

        Fair Isle, Orkney Islands

        Plan to visit Fair Isle, the most remote inhabited island in the United Kingdom. It is also the best place to find rare birds in Britain with 27 first records! Many of the 70 people who live on the island are artists, painters, writers, musicians, and weavers - who are particularly famous for their intricately-knitted sweaters. Here you are also introduced to the crofting culture. In the afternoon, visit the Brock of Mousa, the finest preserved example of Iron Age towers in Scotland.

        Day 4

          Lerwick, Shetland Islands

          The Shetland Islands are known for their archeological sites, and you have the chance to visit a few of the most impressive. Visit Jarlshof, the prehistoric Norse settlement which dates back 2,500 years. Here you can see the progression of human civilization through the late Bronze and Iron Ages, as well as the Pictish and Norse eras and the Middle Ages. Return back to modern times as you visit Lerwick, the capital and main port of the Shetlands. Return to the Ocean Nova for lunch and set sail for Norway.

          Day 5

            Bergen, Norway

            Arrive in Norway's second-largest city, Bergen, after crossing the North Sea. Here, have you first taste of Norwegian culture, which has a rich history dating back over 1,000 years. Take a tour of the city, complete with world heritage sties, medieval houses, and some of the best street art in Norway.

            Day 6

              Alesund, Norway

              In the morning, arrive in Alesund at the mouth of the Geiranger Fjord. You have some time today to explore this beautiful city and its Art Nouveau architecture. You can also travel up to the top of Mount Aksla for a spectacular view of the town.

              Day 7

                Geiranger Fjord, Norway

                This fjord is considered to be one of the most beautiful in all of Norway and is a World Heritage Site. As you enter the fjord system, you may want to spend your time on deck, taking in the amazing views en route to the town of Geiranger, including the famous Seven Sisters waterfall. Here you have a chance to visit the quaint town and hike in the nearby hills for more spectacular views.

                Day 8

                  Trondheim, Norway

                  In the morning, call into Trondheim, the historic capital of Norway. Walk through the quaint historic district, characterized by wooden architecture, where you can visit small specialty shops and enjoy a coffee at one of the pleasant cafés. Also visit the cathedral of the national sanctuary of Norway, Nidaris Cathedral, built over the grave of St. Olav. Work began in 1070, but the oldest parts still in existence date from the middle of the 12th century.

                  In the afternoon you have a chance to visit tiny Munkholmen Island, just off the coast of Trondheim, and learn about its fascinating history. During the Viking age this was the main place for executions for enemies of the state, whose heads would be placed on stakes for all to see. The islet went on to become a monastery and prison, but today is a park with sandy beaches facing the city.

                  Day 9

                    Vega Island, Norway

                    Today visit the UNESCO-protected Vega Island archipelago as you head northward. Vega is an ornithologist’s dream. Chief among the bird population are eider ducks, raised for their feathers - the houses built for them to nest in can still be seen alongside lighthouses, fishing villages and dramatic landscapes. The archipelago reflects the way fishermen and farmers have, over the past 1,500 years, maintained a sustainable living from eiderdown harvesting.

                    Day 10

                      Alstahaug, Norway

                      Arrive in the morning at Alstahaug, in the shadow of the Seven Sisters Mountain range. Find a wonderfully preserved medieval church and some small communities scattered throughout the island.

                      Day 11

                        Svartisen and Vikingen, Norway

                        Today walk to the Svartisen glacier, which is actually two glaciers that meet in Holandfjord. This is the second largest glacier in Norway and really reinforces how far north we are. The name "Svartisen" comes from "svartis," an old word that denotes the deep color of blue in this ice and the contrast to the white snow and newer ice on the ice plateau itself.

                        In the afternoon, cross the Arctic Circle and arrive at Vikingen, a tiny island with a big globe on top marking the Arctic Circle.

                        Day 12

                          Lofoten Islands, Norway

                          Your ship navigates some of Norway’s northern fjords and you can take advantage of great hiking opportunities in this unspoiled region. The waters approaching the Lofoten Islands are well known for whale sightings, so your Expedition Team is at watch on deck. You are likely to see sea eagles, cormorants and puffins. You may also visit the Refsvikhula Cave, whose cave paintings found in the 1980s date back 3,000 years. If time allows, also stop into Reine on Moskenesøy Island, one of the most beautiful villages in Norway.

                          Day 13

                            Bleiksøya and Nyksund

                            Arriving at Bleiksøya in the morning, take a Zodiac cruise around one of the most prolific bird populations in Norway. Here you should find large numbers of puffins, razorbills, sea eagles, cormorants and others in thousands. In the afternoon, visit the tiny village of Nyksund which has become a colony for artists.

                            Day 14

                              Disembark in Tromsø, Norway

                              Arriving in Tromsø in the morning, enjoy breakfast on the ship before you embark on your flights home.
                               QuadTripleUpper/LowerUpper Deck TwinBridge Deck Twin
                              2015-May-27$7,995$8,595$9,995$10,495$11,495
                              Kayaking excursion: $595 per person
                              Places
                              Arctic, Europe, Norway, Scotland, Fair Isle, Aberdeen, Tromso, Bergen, Lofoten Islands, Geiranger, Lerwick, Alesund, Trondheim
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                              -Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double or triple occupancy. Request the Twin or Triple Share Program where we match you with a cabin mate of the same gender. Even if we are unable to find a cabin mate for you, no single supplement will be charged.

                              -Emergency medical evacuation coverage for a minimum of US$100,000 per person required. Contact us for details on arranging travel insurance.
                              Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting.

                              Deposit & Payment

                              Initial deposit is 20% (minimum $1000), and most travelers will call our office and pay the deposit with a credit card. We accept Visa, Mastercard, AmEx, and Discover. Alternatively, you can send a check to our Missoula, Montana, office or register online at: https://www.adventure-life.com/forms/register

                              Final payment is due 130 days prior to departure.

                              Final payment by bank transfer, check or Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or AmEx. Credit Card payments subject to 3% convenience fee and maximum $15,000 charge.

                              Booking last minute? No problem! Please contact one of our trip planners, and we can get you on your way if booking less than 130 days prior to departure.

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                              Cancellation Policy

                              Days Prior to departureFee
                              180 Days or more$1200 per person
                              179-120 DaysEntire deposit
                              119 Days or less100% total cost