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Polar bears in the Arctic

Through the North Atlantic

Example 11 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Atlantic
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From Orkney, Shetland and Faroe Islands via Jan Mayen to Svalbard. Early summer's cruise from the green islands of Scotland and North Atlantic to the Arctic islands of Jan Mayen and Svalbard. Sail together with the migrating birds, and hopefully, spot polar bears hunting from the sea ice. The cruise starts in Aberdeen on the Scottish East Coast. Embark the comfortable Ocean Atlantic. First stop is Kirkwall, the fascinating capital of Orkney Islands, then cozy Lerwich on Shetland. After a day at sea spotting for seabirds and whales, reach the enigmatic and isolated island of Jan Mayen. We travel north with the spring until we reach the snow-covered mountains of Svalbard. Spot the iconic polar bear on the ice and make Zodiac cruises in the vicinity of Edgeøya. Venture into the dramatic fjords of Hornsund, Bellsund, and Isfjorden before we reach Longyearbyen.
Grass covers the houses of the Faroe Islands, blending them into the landscape.Ring Of Brodgar, OrkneyWalking through vast arctic landscapes. Colorful homes in Longyearbyen, SvalbardPolar bears in the Arctic
  • View unique Arctic wildlife, including polar bears, walrus, and reindeer
  • Visit Hornsund, one of the preferred hunting areas for polar bears
  • Visit the spectacular glacier fronts and steepwalled fjords of Spitsbergen
  • Discover the rich history in Kirkwall including a visit to Skara Brae
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Aberdeen, Scotland | Embark

The journey begins in Aberdeen in North East Scotland, where MV Ocean Atlantic is located by a dock in the Dee River. Board the ship in the afternoon, where the cabins are designated. After the mandatory security review and drill, the ship sails out through the mouth of the Dee River towards the North Sea.

Day 2: Shetland Islands: Lerwich

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Ocean Atlantic approaches Lerwich near the "Main Land" of Shetlands in the morning, and after breakfast, say your farewell to the ship and its crew.

The island of Shetland consists of more than 100 islands and shores, of which only 15 are inhabited year-round. The islands form the northernmost part of the British kingdom, located approximately 300 km north of the mainland of Scotland. This "central" location in the North Atlantic has through the ages led many seas to the islands, and the Scandinavian heritage still shines through dialects, folklore and place names.
In the morning, it is possible to take a short bus ride out on the main island (not included in the travel price). You must include a visit to Clickimin Broch, a unique example of the architecture of the Bronze and Iron Age. We’ll also look at Fort Charlotte more closely, built in 1665 - enjoy the great view of the old city from its fortress.

Afterward, return to Lerwich and the ship in the middle of the day. The rest of the day is for enjoying leisure before departing in the afternoon.

Day 3: Faroe Islands: Tórshavn | North Atlantic

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, arrive at Tórshavn, possibly the smallest capital in the world, ruling the scattered 18 islands that make up the Faroes. Centered around the charming grass-roofed Parliament on Tinganes, Tórshavn is now an almost bustling modern city with shops, cafés, and even three traffic lights!
By midmorning, you can participate in an optional bus excursion where you can look a bit back in history. Drive out of the capital and over the mountains to the south. As the climate on Faroe Island is ‘stable unstable’ it is not unlikely that you can drive through the cloud base and experience some fog on the way. But if you wait a moment, it also not unlikely that it is clear up. Arrive in Kirkjubøur, the most important historical site on the islands. Kirkjubøur was in medieval times the Episcopal center of the Faroe Islands, and also its undisputed cultural center. Visit the ruins of the impressive Magnus Cathedral that perhaps never was completed, and the St. Olav church – the only remaining medieval church on the Faroe Islands. Upon the return to ‘Havn’ – as Tórshavn is often just called – you can go for a leisurely stroll through the old citadel near the harbor. A visit to the Art Museum and the Nordic House is also very recommendable.

(The excursion is part of the excursion package and is not included in the price of the trip).

The sailing northwards towards Jan Mayen is probably go through Vestmanna Sound, along the west-facing shore of Streymoy and the south side of Mykines. But the route depends on winds, sea, and comfort. Spend day number 6 at sea and enjoy the ship’s many facilities.

Day 4: At Sea towards Jan Mayen

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Listen to a lecture from an experienced expedition staff, see a film about Arctic nature – or go out on deck to catch glimpses of migrating birds and hopefully some whales.

Day 5: Jan Mayen

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Approximately in the middle of the North Atlantic lies the enigmatic volcanic island of Jan Mayen. And if not exactly in the middle, at least it is located precisely on the Mid Atlantic Ridge, the reason for its volcanic existence. And enigmatic it is, not only because of its isolation but also due to the almost perpetual clouds and fog that hovers above it. 

Jan Mayen belongs to Norway, and the mountain Beerenberg is one of the higher of Norway’s 300 summits above 2,000 meters. The island is inhabited by only 18 persons, running the meteorological station and the Norwegian Defence.

You can try to go ashore at the narrowest part of the island, from either south or north, depending on the prevailing wind and surf. The volcanic origin is visible all over with cinder cones, lava flows and the Mount Fuji-like appearance of Beerenberg looming above.

After a pleasant stroll on the narrow isthmus, board the Zodiacs and Ocean Atlantic to continue the voyage north.

Day 6: At Sea towards Svalbard

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Lectures, movies or maybe a game are some of the activities and this sea day.

Day 7: Svalbard

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
While the ship is getting closer towards the islands of Svalbard, it is possible to spot the largest island, Spitsbergen during the afternoon.

The route for this day and next are much depending on conditions. Not least the pack ice coming from Arctic Sea as well as from calving glaciers, and also solid winter sea ice. The vessel has an ice class of 1B and the Captain can be able to safely approach the edge of the ice to give us the opportunity to spot the first polar bear, hunting for seals.

Day 8: Edge Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The ships continue as far east and north toward Edgeøya as the ice allows in a search for wildlife. Seals laying on the ice, birds on their way to the sea for feeding – and of course as always, the polar bear.

Day 9: Hornsund, Spitsbergen

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Return to the west coast of Spitsbergen, and hope to enter Hornsund, the southernmost fjord on the island. The west coast enjoys the warmer water coming up through the Atlantic, so winter ice should have melted – at least on the outer coast. But a few stray icebergs can alter the plans.

Hornsund is often called ‘Svalbard in a nutshell’ because of the abundance of dramatic terrains and rich wildlife. You can try and go ashore in Gåshamna, which has remains of trappers, Russian settlers and blubber boilers.

Day 10: Bellsund, Spitsbergen

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Bellsund has some of the richest coal layers in Svalbard, and Svea Mine far into the fjord was formerly one of the biggest communities on the island. But prices went down, and the coal mine is currently being dismantled.

Stay in the fjord entrance and make landings at the Vårsol Bay. The biggest attraction here is the little auk cliff. Tundra is richly fertilized by hundreds of thousands of little auks, which the Svalbard reindeer love to graze. You can go for a nice walk along the beach – and spot remains from early industrial eras.

During lunch, we’ll cross the fjord along the 4 km long (but quite narrow) island of Akseloya. Make a Zodiac landing at Calypsobyen in Recherche Fjord. Coal was extracted here in the early 1900s, but the enterprise never attained full production. Today, Calypsobyen offers an exciting landing that gives visitors a glimpse of the era of Neo-Industrialism, when all opportunities for profit were tried out. A pleasant walk can be made on the tundra behind the buildings.

Day 11: Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen | Disembark

Early in the morning, the ship has returned to the starting point in Longyearbyen. After breakfast and farewell greetings to the expedition team and crew, disembarkation takes place. A transfer is arranged to the airport.

Please note that all the outings and landings rely on weather, sea and ice conditions being favorable both for the ship to access the areas, as for the zodiacs and kayaks to maneuver under adequate conditions, ensuring the safety of all the passengers and staff.

For this reason, during moments of harsh weather and throughout the entire trip, Ocean Atlantic has excellent public areas such as wellness/sauna, restaurant, bar and a library for the passengers to spend their spare time. The ship is staffed by experts in the field who also share great lectures along the way, ranging from exploration history to biology, geology, ice, and wildlife.


Ocean Atlantic

Coffee Lounge

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
Category G
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Category G - Single
Size 9-10 m². Cabins feature a single bed, private bathroom, and a porthole. Located on Columbus Deck (Deck 4).
Category F
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Category F
Size 18-21 m². Large Inside Triple Cabin, featuring a double or two single beds, and a fold-out single bed, a relaxing sitting area, and a bathroom with a bathtub, and a porthole. Located on Marco Polo Deck (Deck 5).
Category E
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Category E
Size 18-21 m². Large Inside Cabin, featuring a double or two single beds, a relaxing sitting area, and a bathroom with a bathtub. Located on Marco Polo Deck (Deck 5).
Category D
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Category D
Size 11-12 m². Featuring two single beds, private bathroom, and a porthole. Located on the Columbus Deck (Deck 4).
Category C
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Category C
Size 12-13 m². This Standard Cabin has two single beds, private bathroom, and a window. Located on the Marco Polo Deck (Deck 5).
Category B
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Category B
Size 20-23 m² Featuring a double bed or two single beds, a sofa bed that enables triple accommodation, a relaxing sitting area, private bathroom and windows. Partly obstructed view. Located on the Magellan and Hudson Deck (Deck 7 & 8).
Category A
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Category A
Size 19-24 m². Featuring a double bed or two single beds, a relaxing sitting area, a private bathroom, and windows. Located on the Marco Polo Deck (Deck 5).
Premium Suite
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Premium Suite
Size 35 m². These 2-room suites are designed with a large double bed or two twin beds, an elegant living room, a large private bathroom, and windows. Located on the Marco Polo Deck (Deck 5).


  • 11-day cruise and accommodations
  • Flight Longyearbyen to Oslo
  • English-speaking guides.
  • Zodiac landings.
  • Near-port town walks with the expedition team.
  • Bus excursion on Shetland from Lerwich.
  • Information briefings and lectures by the expedition team.
  • Full board on the ship.
  • Free coffee, tea and afternoon snacks on the ship.
  • Airport transfer from ship to airport in Longyearbyen.
  • Taxes and tariffs.
  • Hotel accommodation before/after the voyage.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Cancellation insurance.
  • Extra excursions and activities not mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Single room supplement.
  • Meals not on board the ship.
  • Beverages (other than coffee and tea).
  • Tips for the crew (we recommend USD 14 per person per day).
  • Personal expenses.
  • Anything not mentioned under 'Inclusions'.
  • Required Emergency Evacuation Insurance of at least $200,000. Please let us know if you need help arranging this.



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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.
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