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Polar bears in the Arctic

Iceland & Svalbard - Reykjavik to Tromso

Example 16 Day Cruise aboard Silver Wind
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Be on the lookout for Iceland’s fabled wildlife – including 13 different species of duck – as you sail into the Arctic on this voyage. Watch out for whales as you wend your way past majestic red Devonian sandstone mountains into the fjordic paradise of Svalbard. Enjoy Zodiac cruises looking for the icon of the North, aka the emblematic polar bear and, weather permitting, enjoy shore walks and kayak outings along the rugged coastline.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Reykjavik, Iceland | Embark
Day 2 : Grundarfjorudur
Day 3 : Sudureyri | Bolungarvik
Day 4 : Siglufjordur
Day 5 : Husavik
Day 6 : At Sea
Day 7 : Jan Mayen Island
Day 8 : At Sea
Days 9-10 : Svalbard Northern Region
Days 11-13 : Svalbard Southern Region
Day 14 : Bear Island
Day 15 : Skarsvag (Nordkapp) | Gjesvarstappan Islands
Day 16 : Tromso | Disembark

Highlights

  • Visit the capital of Iceland’s land of ice, fire & natural wonder - Reykjavik
  • Search the ice and shorelines for seabirds, walruses, seals & polar bears
  • Walk to the historic research and weather station of Jan Mayen
  • View some of the largest bird colonies of the Northern Hemisphere

Ship

Silver Wind

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Hallgrimskirkja Church in Reykjavik North Icelandic Village Fishing village in the arctic Polar bears in the Arctic Scattered houses of Tromso
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Day 1 Reykjavik, Iceland | Embark

The capital of Iceland’s land of ice, fire and natural wonder, Reykjavik is a city like no other - blossoming among some of the world’s most vibrant and violent scenery. Home to two-thirds of Iceland’s population, Reykjavik is the island’s only real city, and a welcoming and walkable place - full of bicycles gliding along boulevards or battling the wind when it rears up. Fresh licks of paint brighten the streets, and an artistic and creative atmosphere embraces studios and galleries - as well as the kitchens where an exciting culinary scene is burgeoning. Plot your adventures in the city's hip bars and cosy cafes, or waste no time in venturing out to Iceland’s outdoor adventures. Reykjavik’s buildings stand together in a low huddle - below the whip of winter’s winds - but the magnificent Hallgrímskirkja church is a solid exception, with its bell tower rising resolutely over the city.

Day 2 Grundarfjorudur

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
As double acts go, Kirkjufellsfoss Waterfall and Kirkjufell Mountain are hard to beat. Said to be Iceland's most photographed spot, the perfectly symmetrical mountain taper of Kirkjufell complements the roaring waterfall and is said to be the most photographed spot in Iceland. That's a bold claim, considering the country's abundance of natural assets, but this natural duo is an undeniably unique and mesmerizing sight. Occasionally, as the sun fades away, a stunning trio is formed, with the northern lights dancing overhead, casting its ethereal green haze over the scene below. Reach the stirring views with a short walk from Grundarfjorudur town, or head out into the wilderness on horseback, along well-trampled bridleways. The mountain is known as Church Mountain, due to its isolated peak, which pierces the sky like a spire.

Day 3 Sudureyri | Bolungarvik

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sudureyri is a typical small fishing village in Iceland’s Westfjords at the entrance of Sugandafjord. Unlike most other fishing villages that date back hundreds of years, Sudureyri was only started in the early 20th century and has some 270 inhabitants. As the Sugandafjord is surrounded by high mountains, the only way to safely reach Sudureyri used to be by boat. Since the village has been connected to the outside world by tunnel (opened only in 1996) it has been visited by those interested in angling and fishing for cod and halibut in the fjord and open water. Just east of the village is the Lagoon, an area that has been dammed off. Cod has been released into the lagoon and visitors are encouraged to feed the fish -this actually is considered the village’s main attraction. The cod can easily return to open waters via a pipe place under the dyke’s road, but many seem to like being fed.

Although the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve is further north across the Isarfjardardjup, Bolungarvik is Westfjords’ and Iceland’s northernmost town. Despite its relative isolation, Bolungarvik has been settled for hundreds of years and is already mentioned in the settlement period of Iceland. Located next to rich fishing grounds and the cove of the same name, Bolungarvik has always been a place for fishermen and one of the town’s attractions is a replica of an old fishing station. Just to the northwest is Bolafjall Mountain which blocks off the wind and swell from the Atlantic Ocean. The view from the top (at 638 meters above sea level) not only covers Bolungarvik and the surrounding valleys and mountains, but several fjords and the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve. Although only 950 residents call Bolungarvik their home, this is the Westfjords’ second largest town. There even is a nine hole golf course (par 71) with 18 sets of tees.

Day 4 Siglufjordur

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A tiny town in the scenic north of Iceland, cosseted away by a jagged wall of mountain peaks, Siglufjordur is an isolated gem. With just over a thousand residents, Siglufjordur takes its name from the glassy fjord that stretches out nearby. Iceland's northernmost town, only a single-lane road tunnel, bored through the snow-capped mountains, provides a land link with the rest of the country. This evocative remoteness appealed to dark Nordic Noir writers - and the town has found recent fame as the star of the TV show Trapped. A much warmer welcome awaits you in real life than in fiction - fortunately. Siglufjordur is a historic Atlantic capital of herring fishing, and you can learn of the industry that gave the town its raison d'etre, and powered Iceland's economy at the award-winning Herring Era Museum.

Day 5 Husavik

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
There's simply nowhere better than Husavilk - the European capital of whale watching - for getting up close and personal with the majestic giants of the ocean. Feel the awe as whales breach the waves around you, before gulping in air and plunging away with almighty tale flicks. Pretty Husavik is framed by the majestic Húsavíkurfjall mountain, which swells up behind, creating a stunning backdrop for the town's tiny wooden warehouses, cherry red houses and undulating fishing ships. The little wooden church has been a beacon of light, guiding tired fishermen back to the shores of Iceland's oldest settlement, since 1907. Let the wind rip through your hair and the sea speckle your face, as you ride waves out among the region's almighty marine creatures, who throw their weight around so spectacularly. Sail among gentle giants in Shaky Bay, spotting humpbacks, minke whales and the world's biggest – blue whales. 

Day 6 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 7 Jan Mayen Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Humpback and minke whales cavort and feed in the waters around the impressive volcanic island of Jan Mayen with its towering ebony peaks and broad black lava beaches. The primordial landscape is dominated to the north by the 7,500 feet high (2,300 meters) Mt Beerenberg, an active volcano covered in glacial ice that last erupted in 1985. With permission from the Norwegian authorities, a landing is possible at this rarely visited outpost. Visitors may walk to the research and weather station, or beyond, for birds-eye views of the meteorological station and the long black sandy eastern shore of the island. Birds to be seen here may include Atlantic Puffins, Northern Fulmars, and Snow Buntings.

Day 8 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 9-10 Svalbard Northern Region

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Svalbard’s northern region is less influenced by the Norwegian Current coming through the Greenland Sea than the southern region and shows more ice. The northern part of the island of Spitsbergen shows quite a number of impressive fjords, bays and glaciers. The Nordaust Svalbard Nature Reserve includes Spitsbergen’s east coast, the Hinlopen Strait, Nordaustlandet and some islands further east like Kvitoya and Storoya. Several walrus haul-outs, spectacular glaciers, bird cliffs and bird islands, as well as surprising flora in Arctic deserts and the possibility to see polar bears and to visit historically important sites, make this an area prone for exploration. Ice conditions will dictate which sites can be seen.

Day 11-13 Svalbard Southern Region

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Svalbard’s Southern Region and specifically Spitsbergen’s west coast is less ice-clogged than the rest of Svalbard due to the moderating influence of the Gulf Stream. Several fjords cut into the western coast of Spitsbergen and have been used by trappers and hunters, as well as the different mining companies that tried to exploit the riches of the archipelago’s largest island of Spitsbergen. Remains of huts and mines, as well as active commercial and scientific settlements can be found and visited. Depending on the time of the season, glaciers can be visited on foot or by sea. Hornsund will reveal fascinating views of geological formations, craggy mountains, spectacular glaciers and a variety of seabirds and seals.

Day 14 Bear Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Bear Island is considered Svalbard’s southernmost island, roughly halfway between Spitsbergen and Norway’s North Cape. Although the last polar bears were seen in 2004, the name goes back to Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz and his visit in 1596. The island has been used to hunt walrus, for whaling, and even coal mining has taken place. The strategic location on the border of the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea has led to a meteorological station being set up by Norway near Gravodden on Bear Island’s north coast. Some two-thirds of the island is a relatively flat plain with shallow freshwater lakes and Ramsar Wetland, while the entire island and the surrounding waters are a Nature Reserve. Bear Island has also been designated an Import Bird Area as it is a staging area for Pink-footed and Barnacle Geese and the steep cliffs south of Sørhamna are home to thousands of breeding seabirds.

Day 15 Skarsvag (Nordkapp) | Gjesvarstappan Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
For those who like to travel far (very far) off the beaten track, then you have found your Nordic nirvana in Skarsvag. Large, sparsely populated (there are just 60 human year-round residents), and a joy to all those who revel in stark, unbridled beauty, Skarsvag also enjoys the auspicious title of being the world’s most northerly fishing village. But rolling hills, prolific birdlife and arctic fjords aside, Skarsvag is above all famous for its proximity to the North Cape. Found on the island of Magerøya, the most northernmost point of Europe above the arctic circle is a bucket list basic. Stand beneath the massive metal globe and gaze out onto the Barents Sea, where the only land between you and the North Pole is the Svalbard archipelago. This is truly the land of the midnight sun – in fact, you are so far north that the sun doesn’t even dip beneath the horizon between May and mid-July.

Almost a hundred islands and rocks make up the Gjesvӕrstappan Nature Reserve, one of Europe’s largest and most accessible nesting areas for Atlantic seabirds. Less than 10 nautical miles from Nordkapp more than one million nesting birds have been counted on Storstappen, the largest of the islands, and the minor islands next to it. One of the most significant Atlantic Puffin colonies in North Norway is found in this nature reserve. Zodiacs are the best way to look for the Atlantic Puffins, Razorbills, Black and Common Guillemots, Northern Gannets, White-tailed Eagles, and Arctic Skuas, Common Eider Ducks, Common Shags and Great Cormorants as well as various other species.

Day 16 Tromso | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Feel your heart flutter, as you catch your first glimpse of that famous emerald haze dancing across the stars, during your visit to this wonderful Arctic gateway. Located in the far north of Norway, a visit to Tromso beckons you to the extremes of this magical country, to explore a fairytale land of jagged mountains, glistening glaciers and husky-pulled sledges. Despite its remote location, you'll discover a perhaps surprisingly cosmopolitan city, with a healthy student population injecting plenty of energy. Sat 250 miles above the Arctic Circle - at 69° north - you can bathe in the midnight sun's glow during summer, before winter brings the thick blackness and starry skies of endless polar nights. The darkness doesn't stop the fun - with a polar night half-marathon taking place in January - but the return of the sun is always a reason for a celebration here.
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Deals

Capacity-Controlled Rates
Fares are based on double occupancy and are capacity controlled. Rates may fluctuate at any time and subject to change without notice.
Please contact us for more details and current pricing.

Per person starting at
$17,900
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Vista Suite
Twin beds or queen-sized bed. Large picture window providing panoramic ocean views and comfortable sitting area.
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Classic Veranda Suite
Twin beds or queen-sized bed. Teak veranda with patio furniture and floor-to-ceiling glass doors and comfortable sitting area.
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Deluxe Verdana Suite
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Medallion Suite
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Silver Suite
Twin beds or queen-sized bed. Teak veranda with patio furniture and floor-to-ceiling glass doors and a comfortable sitting area.
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Royal Suite
Twin beds or queen-sized bed; Two-bedroom has additional twin beds or queen-sized bed. Large teak veranda and a separate dining area and bar.
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Grand Suite
Twin beds or queen-sized bed; Two-bedroom has additional twin beds or queen-sized bed. Large teak veranda and a separate dining area and bar.
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Owner's Suite
Twin beds or queen-sized bed; Two-bedroom has additional twin beds or queen-sized bed. Large teak veranda and a separate dining area and bar.

Notes

INCLUDED IN THE CRUISE FARE
  •  Transfers (between airport/hotel and ship)
  •  1 night pre-cruise and 1 day-use post-cruise (on 2020, 2021 voyages)
  •  In-country flights when required by itinerary
  •  Guided Zodiac, land and sea tours, and shoreside activities led by the Expeditions Team
  •  Parka
  •  Enrichment lectures by a highly qualified Expeditions Team
  •  Spacious suites
  •  Butler service in every suite
  •  Unlimited Free Wifi
  •  Personalised service – nearly one crew member for every guest
  •  Choice of restaurants, diverse cuisine, open-seating dining
  •  Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship, including champagne, select wines and spirits
  •  In-suite dining and room service
  •  Onboard entertainment
  •  Onboard gratuities
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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen
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