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Isle of Iona, Scotland

Norway and Scotland: Fjordlands and the Inner Hebrides

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard National Geographic Orion
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Sail through the heart of fjord country and experience the unforgettable beauty of western Norway’s stark cliffs and the windswept isles of Scotland on this 8-day voyage. Kayak below emerald mountains in the dramatic Sognefjorden, and step ashore at Undredal to explore its 12th-century stave church. Cross the North Sea to encounter rich marine life, as well as the fascinating intermingling of Nordic and Celtic cultures. Visit a Shetland pony farm, a Fair Isle seabird research station, the marvelous Stone Age megaliths of the Orkneys, and the sacred Christian sites of Iona. Perhaps dive the historic wrecks of Sapa Flow or hike to the lighthouse on Sumburgh Head, and discover the unique heritage of the Inner Hebrides archipelago on your way to beautiful Dublin.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Bergen, Norway | Embark
Day 2 : Sognefjorden, Norway
Day 3 : Isle of Noss and Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland
Day 4 : Mousa and Fair Isle, Shetland Islands
Day 5 : Kirkwall, Orkney Islands
Day 6 : Stornoway, The Isle of Lewis
Day 7 : Iona and Staffa, Inner Hebrides, Scotland
Day 8 : Dublin, Ireland | Disembark

Highlights

  • Kayak the mirror-like waters of Norway’s Sognefjorden
  • See Viking longhouses, Stone Age megaliths, and Iron Age fortifications
  • Get up close to spectacular wildlife—Shetland Ponies, puffins, and more!
  • Hike to the lighthouse at Sumburgh Head and explore the gardens at Loch Ewe

Ship

National Geographic Orion

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Isle of Iona, Scotland The beautiful Noup Head cliffs in Westray. The pristine and remote landscape of the Falkland Islands The dramatic coastline of the Shetland Islands Ring of Brodgar is a unique stone circle in Scotland.

Day 1 Bergen, Norway | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Arrive in Bergen, perched on a fjord and ringed by seven hills. After an overview of this beautiful city, embark National Geographic Orion in time for lunch and set sail into the heart of Norway's fjord country.

Day 2 Sognefjorden, Norway

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Norway's glacier-carved western coast boasts some of the most dramatic landscapes in the world. Cruise deep into the sublime Sognefjorden, the third longest in the world, and launch kayaks and Zodiacs to explore its mirror-like waterways. In the picturesque village of Undredal, take a hike up the mountain for an amazing fjord view, see the town's 12th-century stave church, and sample its famous brown goat cheese, Brunost. 

Day 3 Isle of Noss and Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sail across the North Sea and glide past the cliffs of Noss to view nesting seabirds before arriving in Scotland's Shetland Islands, a rugged archipelago of about 100 islands and islets. Explore Lerwick, a town where Norse and Gaelic cultures intermingle, and see the countryside dotted with Shetland ponies. Then examine Bronze Age ruins and Viking longhouses at the extraordinary prehistoric settlements of Jarlshof and nearby Old Scatness—UNESCO candidates which are part of "The Crucible of Iron Age Shetland." Later, take in a cacophony of puffins, guillemots, and razorbills as you walk to the lighthouse at Sumburgh Head. Learn Shetland dancing, or watch your fellow guests learn!  A local dance troupe performs for you in Lerwick.

Day 4 Mousa and Fair Isle, Shetland Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Zodiac in to the uninhabited isle of Mousa, a UNESCO World Heritage candidate and the third element in "The Crucible of Iron Age Shetland." Hike to an Iron Age broch, or stone tower, built circa 100 BC, looking for storm petrels along the way. The next landing is tiny and remote Fair Isle, situated between the Shetland and Orkney Islands. Visit the island's bird research station, and spot some of the roughly 250 species of flowering plants that grow here. Browse local handicrafts including intricately patterned Fair Isle knitwear, which is renowned worldwide. 

Day 5 Kirkwall, Orkney Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Vikings held a strategic foothold in the Orkney Islands for hundreds of years, and their Norse heritage is apparent in local legends and traditions that endure today. Explore a treasure trove of Stone Age sites, including the megaliths of the Ring of Brodgar and the 5,000-year-old stone-slab village of Skara Brae. Step inside the medieval St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall, which took nearly 300 years to complete. This evening a musical event features Julie Fowlis, whose Gaelic voice is recognizable from the soundtrack of Disney Pixar's "Brave." For experienced scuba divers, join a fantastic dive in Scapa Flow (an added cost).

Day 6 Stornoway, The Isle of Lewis

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Along the wild, western coast of Scotland lies the Isle of Lewis, steeped in history and legend. Visit to marvel at the massive neolithic Standing Stones of Callanish, which rival Stonehenge in the majesty of their setting. "There’s a saying in these isles that if you scratch the surface, it bleeds archaeology."

Day 7 Iona and Staffa, Inner Hebrides, Scotland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sail through the Sea of the Hebrides to the isle of Iona, the site of Scotland's first Christian settlement. Venture into an ancient nunnery and a 13th-century abbey. Explore St. Oran's Chapel and its royal burial grounds, where Celtic high crosses mark the graves of generations of Scottish kings. Then dock at Staffa, famed for its geometric basalt columns and deep-sea caves. A special treat is a Zodiac ride to the awe-inspiring Fingal's Cave for a close-up look at the place that inspired Felix Mendelssohn to write his "Hebrides Overture."

Day 8 Dublin, Ireland | Disembark

Arrive in Dublin and enjoy breakfast before disembarking and transferring to the airport for flights home. 

National Geographic Orion

Per person starting at
$7,990
National Geographic Orion's Category 1 Cabin.
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Category 1
Main deck with 1 or 2 portholes
National Geographic Orion's Category 1 Cabin.
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Category 1 Single
Main deck with 1 or 2 portholes
National Geographic Orion's Category 2 Cabin.
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Category 2
Main deck with window
National Geographic Orion's Category 3 Cabin.
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Category 3
Main deck with window
National Geographic Orion's Category 3 Cabin.
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Category 3 Single
Main deck with window
National Geographic Orion's Category 4 Cabin.
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Category 4
Upper and veranda decks with window
National Geographic Orion's Category 5 Cabin.
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Category 5
Upper deck with balcony
National Geographic Orion's Category 6 Cabin.
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Category 6
Veranda deck - suite

Notes

Single supplement varies by itinerary. A solo traveler matching program may be available, but is subject to availability.

Please Note: Flexibility is a hallmark of National Geographic expeditions, and often the day-by-day itinerary will change as you take advantage of rare wildlife sightings or photographers linger ashore through the golden hour of light. Extraordinary adventure is a guarantee.

Included in Cost:
  • Accommodations aboard ship
  • Meals indicated
  • Alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages aboard ship
  • Excursions
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees
  • Special access permits
  • Transfers to and from group flights
  • Use of kayaks and snorkeling equipment
  • Services of Lindblad Expeditions’ Leader, National Geographic photographer, naturalist staff and expert guides
  • Services of a ship physician
  • All gratuities
  • All port charges and service taxes

Not Included:
  • Air transportation
  • Extensions
  • Passport, visa, immigration fees
  • Meals not indicated
  • Travel protection plan
  • Items of a personal nature such as e-mail, laundry

Included

  • 7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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