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Explore charming Scandinavian fishing villages

Southern Scandinavia

Example 15 Day Cruise aboard MS Maud
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On this 15-day voyage, showcase nature’s scenic masterpieces against modern-day engineering triumphs, where sand dunes, rocky shorelines, fjords, waterfalls, and majestic cliffs overshadow man’s architectural and navigational feats. Transit the impressive Kiel Canal and sail through the “inside passage” of Sweden, sailing past numerous islands and islets. We visit charming fishing villages, bustling summer marinas, National parks, and a marine biosphere, as well as a big city brimming with culture. A wonderful itinerary that embraces diversity and the beauty of this remote area. Explore the areas on foot, by kayak, or with the fleet of small expedition boats. 
Parliament building in OsloPeaceful homes on the shores of the Baltic SeaOslo's skylineExplore charming Scandinavian fishing villages
Highlights
  • Visit the marine biosphere of the spectacular Koster Islands
  • Explore four countries in one extraordinary voyage
  • Discover the northernmost point of Denmark
  • Enjoy the 61-mile transit of the Kiel Canal
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Dover, England | Embark

This expedition begins as we set sail from Dover and make our way to the European coast.
 

Day 2: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy a day at sea as we head towards the European coast.

Meet our Expedition Team, who prepare you for exciting adventures ahead. Listen to talks by these experienced explorers who share their extensive knowledge, or maybe you just want to kick back and relax in a comfy lounge.

Admire the views, try some of the ship’s cuisine that caught your eye on the menu, or settle into a good book while enjoying this day at sea. 

Day 3: List, Sylt, Germany

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Experience nature in a landscape of vast sand dunes, wide sandy beaches, majestic cliffs and flowering heathlands.

List sits at the northernmost tip of Sylt, famous as the northernmost point of Germany.  With its charming harbour and old mariners' houses, List has a romantic beauty and natural charm, ideal for a day exploring on foot.

Stroll around the town or enjoy a walk over the grass-covered sand dunes heading to one of the lighthouses in the area. Or enjoy the island’s culinary specialty, oysters – farmed here since the 16th century.

Mudflats lie out to the Wadden Sea, which can be viewed at low tide, along with the only shifting sand dune in Germany.

Day 4: Kiel Canal and Kiel, Germany

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Built-in 1895 and widened in 1907, the Kiel Canal connects the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.

Here is one of the world’s most important and busiest shipping routes, you will see many ships and vessels transiting the canal whilst enjoying the picturesque scenery. 

Enjoy a scenic passage during our 61-mile transit, overlooking lush countryside; there are bridges to admire, quaint villages, and magnificent landscapes en-route.
We will have a short technical stop in Kiel allowing you enough time to stretch your legs and visit the maritime city.
 

Day 5: Skagen, Denmark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Skagen (pronounced skain) is located at the top of Denmark northernmost tip, where the Baltic and the North Sea meets.  The region’s beauty and light has long-attracted artists and painters, destinated to capture its characteristic natural essence and wide, white, sandy beaches. Discover the lively town centre with a bustling marina, museums, galleries and shops, or venture outside of town to explore endless beaches.

Designated as a rare, authentic natural beauty spot by the World Wide Fund for Nature, Skagen’s many attractions are sure to delight those with a particular talent for photography.

Day 6: Lysekil, Sweden

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Our first destination is the cozy seaside resort of Lysekil. With its beautiful archipelago setting, Lysekil and the surrounding area offer plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure.

Go on a stroll and discover the town’s beautiful architecture. The old town, Gamlestan, is a charming well-preserved neighborhood, perfect for a summer walk. Stop by some of the local cafes and restaurants to enjoy the region's renowned seafood.

In the afternoon, we continue on our scenic journey along the coastline of Sweden and head to Smögen to enjoy the evening.

When we arrive at Smögen you’ll discover picture-perfect rows of fishermen’s houses and beautifully restored cottages with their lovingly tended gardens. Soak up the lazy summertime holiday atmosphere whilst watching local fishing boats unload their daily catch down at the harbor.

Later, Smögen’s busy waterside boardwalk is the ideal way to spend a long summer evening. If you fancy it, why not try some räckmacka - a Swedish open-top shrimp sandwich that is beloved here.

Day 7: Fjällbacka, Sweden

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The tiny town of Fjällbacka was once the summer favorite for the Swedish movie star Ingrid Bergman. Today, the town is a lively summer resort with brightly colored houses, and there's a real idyllic feel to the place. Lovers of Nordic Noir crime novels may recognize it as the setting of Camilla Läckberg’s novels – which isn’t surprising as it’s also where the writer was born.

The picturesque resort town takes it name from the high cliffs ‘Fjället’ which overlook it. While you’re here take a stroll along the quayside, explore the old part of the town and stop by one of the lovely seaside restaurants. For stunning views of  Fjällbacka and the surrounding sea, climb up the wooden steps to the cliffs of Vetteberget.

The area has several nature reserves that are great for coastal walks. Along the way, why not take a dip in the sea from the beaches or the rocks?

A short drive away you’ll find the Vitlycke Museum, which is located in the Tanum UNESCO World Heritage Centre, where over 600 rock carvings dating back almost 4,000 years are located. There’s a period farm here, and you can explore replica Bronze Age buildings.

Included Guided walking

Day 8: Koster Islands, Sweden

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today we’ll explore the stunning archipelago of Bohuslän, which stretches along Sweden’s beautiful west coast from Gothenburg. You’ll want to be out on deck as we cruise along the channel past picturesque fishing villages set in glorious nature, enchanting islands, up to Kosterhavet National Park.

The Koster Islands – North Koster and South Koster – sit in the center of Kosterhavet Marine National Park. On North Koster, you can take in the rugged, dramatic and austere landscapes on foot, and see the rubble-stone fields at Valnäs. From Högen, the highest point on the island marked by two lighthouses, you’ll be treated to magnificent views of the whole archipelago.

You’ll be charmed by coastal meadows, ancient forests, sandy beaches and secluded bays on South Koster, where you can explore easily on foot or by bike. From the local church, you can climb up to the impressive viewpoint at the top of Valfjäll. Learn about the local history and fishing heritage of the islands at the museum on Långegärde Pier.

As the islands are mostly car-free, it’s ideal for walkers, with marked paths and trails to suit all fitness levels, and opportunities to take detours along the way. Don’t forget to bring your swimwear as there are plenty of great bathing spots. A cable ferry connects the islands so you’ll have the chance to explore both islands.

This area is dotted with skerries and rocky isles, and if conditions allow, we’ll make the most of it by kayak and expedition boat cruising. Where possible, snorkeling offers a superb way to explore Kosterhavet’s underwater marine life. You might see crabs, shoals of mackerel and rare seaweeds.

After an active day of exploring, you’ll return to MS Maud ready for a delicious meal and a good night’s sleep.

Day 9: Oslo, Norway

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
As well as being the capital of Norway, Oslo is known for its museums as well as its green spaces and was recently awarded the European Green Capital award.

Sitting amidst forested hills on the Oslofjord, Oslo has a small city centre, ideal to explore on foot.  Close to the centre, you can enjoy trekking through the forest with its picturesque scenery and calming location.

Explore a fortress, a sculpture park or the botanical garden; or perhaps visit one of the many excellent local museums such as the Fram Museum, the Viking Ship Museum or the Kon-Tiki Museum.  Oslo has no shortage of cultural experiences and we look forward to sharing them with you.

Day 10: Kragerø, Norway

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Kragerø boasts a long history of art and culture and attracts and inspires famous artists, drawn to the fine Norwegian light unique to this area.  Amble through the towns charming narrow streets and alleyways to discover the assortment of art galleries and charming cafes, or venture further afield for a longer walk or more adventurous hike.

The area is ideal for kayaking, as there are over 490 islands to explore in this large archipelago.

Kragerø is also perfectly situated to spend the day exploring the Telemark Canal.

One of the most beautiful waterways in the world, the Telemark Canal is carved into the rock and consists of eight locks and 18 lock levels, and is 65 miles long.
On completion in 1892, it was called the “eighth wonder” and is a living heritage site.  With old walls and locks well preserved along the waterway, spot old lock-keepers houses, sawmills, and watchmen’s cottages.

There is a distinct contrast between the agricultural districts, wilderness, and the old industrial sites which make this a fascinating destination.  Spend the day exploring the area or join us on one of our exciting excursions with the Expedition team.
 

Day 11: Lysefjord, Norway

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
We sail as deep as possible into imposing Lysefjord towards the iconic viewpoint at Preikestolen. Lysefjord is 40 kilometers long, up to 422 metres deep and boasts some of the most striking vertical cliffs of all the Norwegian fjords. 

Preikestolen, also known as Pulpit Rock, is perhaps the most famous tourist attraction in Norway and the popular subject of many social media posts. As we approach Preikestolen, we hope to be treated to a fine view of this incredible rock formation from below. We might also see the equally renowned Kjæragbolten where a giant boulder seems precariously wedged in a mountain crevasse. 

You’ll have an optional excursion to do the five-hour guided hike to the Preikestolen viewpoint 604 meters above Lysefjord. If you’ve remained on the ship, you can spend time out on deck drinking in the magnificent scenery, and looking up at the majestic mountains towering above you. After a scenic cruise of the fjord and collecting our tired but exhilarated hikers, we set sail for Dover, leaving the fjords, islands, and stunning Scandinavia behind. 

Day 12: Rosendal, Norway

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Rosendal sits snugly between high mountains and beautiful valleys and is located on the Hardangerfjord, the second largest fjord in Norway.

Rosendal is known for its baronial manor, the smallest “palace” in Scandinavia, and now one of the most significant museums in Western Norway.  Located at the mouth of the fjord, this castle is the only manor of its kind in Norway and is surrounded by a beautifully landscaped park.

The surrounding areas have magnificent waterfalls, lakes, and glaciers, such as the Bondhus Lake and Folgefonna Glacier, along with historic villages all set in a spectacular landscape.

Spend the day hiking in the surrounding mountains, visit the Barony and its magnificent gardens, or just enjoy learning about the fascinating history of the town – after all, this is also where the ship “Gjøa”, was built and used by Roald Amundsen on his historic expedition through the Northwest Passage.

Day 13: Farsund, Norway

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
We’ve now reached the southern coast of Norway, and will spend the day exploring Farsund on the Lista peninsula, which has a fascinating history and some of the best beaches in the area, popular for surfing, kiting and birdwatching.

When you arrive, look out for Farsund’s Marina Watchman, dressed in traditional costume to welcome boats and visitors. In Farsund, you can take in the wonderful scenery on a long beach walk or enjoy an outdoor sauna followed by a brisk dip in the sea.

Nordberg Fort, one of the few coastal forts built by the Germans during the Second World War, is well worth a visit. Aside from the battlements, outposts and trenches, you’ll get a great view over the Lista coastline, and you can learn more about its history at the Lista Museum.

You may notice an unusual fascination with Americana in Farsund, and especially in Vanse, from American cars, flags, diners, and even a road called Route 8. This stems from a wave of emigration from the area to the USA in the mid-20th century that has created close ties to America. This bond is celebrated at the end of June at the annual American Festival, with a program of fun events.

While spring and autumn offer the best spotting of migratory birds in the area, the combination of sandy beaches, grassy dunes, fertile soil and wetland areas around Farsund and Lista create an attractive habitat for many birds year-round so keep a lookout.

Outside of Farsund, Lista Lighthouse is a popular attraction. You can climb the 132 steps to the top of this operational lighthouse for fantastic views over the peninsula. Next to it, you’ll find an art gallery, an information center and a café, as well as a bird hide, for those who might want to do some spotting.

Day 14: At sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
It’s your final day at sea for you to enjoy at your leisure.
You may want to take one last soak in the hot tub, relax in the ship’s lounge, edit your photographs, or join the Expedition team as they review the highlights of your memorable trip.

Day 15: Dover, England | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Pass the white cliffs of Dover during the early morning hours and dock at the city’s harbour. After breakfast, it’s time to leave your home for the past fortnight.

Ship/Hotel

MS Maud

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$8,237
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Polar Inside (I2)
Cabins on decks 6 and 7 that sleeps up to two people, with limited/no view, and double bed or flexible sleeping, kettle and TV.
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Polar Outside (L2)
Cabins on deck 4 that sleeps up to two people, with limited or no view. Flexible sleeping arrangements, kettle and TV.
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Polar Outside (J2)
Cabins on decks 6 and 7 that sleeps up to two people, with limited/no view, and double bed or flexible sleeping, kettle and TV.
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Polar Outside (N2)
Cabins on deck 4 that sleeps up to two people, with a double bed or flexible sleeping arrangements, kettle and TV.
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Polar Outside (O2)
Cabins on decks 4 that sleeps up to two people, with a double bed or flexible sleeping arrangements, kettle and TV.
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Arctic Superior (QJ)
Cabins on deck 6 that sleep up to two people, with a limited/no view, separate beds, and a TV.
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Arctic Superior (P2)
Cabins on deck 6 that sleeps up to two people, with double bed or flexible sleeping arrangements, kettle and TV.
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Arctic Superior (U2)
Cabins on decks 7 and 8 that sleeps up to two people, with a double bed or flexible sleeping arrangements, kettle and TV.
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Mini suite (Q2)
One-room suite on deck 6 and 7 that sleeps up to two people, with TV, seating area, coffee making facilities and minibar.
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Suite (M2)
One or two room suites on deck 7 that sleeps up to two people, with a TV, coffee making facilities, minibar and private balcony.
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Owners Suite (MX)
Two-room suite on deck 8 that sleeps up to two people, with a TV, Internet access, and private balcony.
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Grand suite (MG)
One or two-room suites on decks 7 and 8 that sleeps up to two people with a TV, seating area, dining table, coffee making facilities, minibar and some with bathtub. Some also come with scenic bay window or a private balcony.
Included
  • 14 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches, 14 Dinners
  • 14 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Wine, beer, juice, and soft drinks served with lunch and dinner on board ship
  • Coffee and tea are included throughout the day. Beverages (beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water in all ship restaurants)
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with very limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
  • À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm included for suite guests
  • Photography Guide on Expedition Team
     
  • Complimentary Expedition Jacket
  • Loan of Boots, Trekking Poles, & All Equipment for Activities
  • Photos & Film/Video Footage from the Voyage Shared in The Expedition Logbook
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Luggage Handling 

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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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