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Icebergs litter the seas throughout the Arctic

Crossing the Arctic Circle: Scotland to Norway

14 Day Sample Cruise aboard Ocean Nova (QU)
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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-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Embark Aberdeen, Scotland
Day 2 : Kirkwall, Scotland
Day 3 : Fair Isle, Orkney Islands
Day 4 : Lerwick, Shetland Islands
Day 5 : Bergen, Norway
Day 6 : Alesund, Norway
Day 7 : Geiranger Fjord, Norway
Day 8 : Trondheim, Norway
Day 9 : Vega Island, Norway
Day 10 : Alstahaug, Norway
Day 11 : Svartisen and Vikingen, Norway
Day 12 : Lofoten Islands, Norway
Day 13 : Bleiksøya and Nyksund
Day 14 : Disembark in Tromsø, Norway

Ship

Ocean Nova (QU)

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Icebergs litter the seas throughout the Arctic Keep your eye out for reindeer along your Arctic cruise Visit remote Arctic communities on your cruise A walrus pops up for to say hello Ocean Nova

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

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Arrive in Norway's second-largest city, Bergen, after crossing the North Sea. Here, have your 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

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 of 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

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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

  • 1 Breakfast
Arriving in Tromsø in the morning, enjoy breakfast on the ship before you embark on your flights home.

Ocean Nova (QU)

Per person starting at
$7,995
Quad Cabin
Quad
$7,995
Equipped with 4 twin beds, private facilities, and exterior views.
Triple Cabin
Triple
$8,595
Averaging 150 sq ft. Equipped with 3 twin beds. Located on Upper Deck with private facilities and exterior views.
Bridge Deck Twin Cabin
Bridge Deck Twin Cabin
$9,995
Averaging 88 sq ft. Equipped with one twin bed. Located on Upper Deck with private facilities and exterior views.
Upper Deck Twin Cabin
Upper Deck Twin Cabin
$11,495
Averaging 105 sq ft. Equipped with 2 twin beds. Located on Bridge Deck with private facilities and exterior views.
Upper (Lower Berth) Cabin
Upper (Lower Berth) Deck Twin
$10,495
Averaging 115 sq ft. Equipped with 2 twin beds. Located on Upper Deck with private facilities and exterior views.

Notes

-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.

Included

  • 13 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches, 13 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Kassandra Miller
Kassandra M

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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
Gale Cantor

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