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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
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

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: Koster Islands, Sweden

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today we spend time exploring the scenic archipelago of Bohuslän.

One of the world’s finest coastlines to explore by boat, the archipelago covers almost 280 kilometers of Sweden’s western coast and is an area of outstanding natural beauty.  We sail through the “inside passage” before arriving at the Kosterhavet National Park.  Sailing so close to so many islands, we will see small piers, towns and picturesque summer houses, before we cruise north to arrive at the Koster islands.

As part of a marine biosphere, Koster consists of two relatively large main islands, North Koster and South Koster, both prime for exploration by foot or on bike. The two islands are filled with meadows, forests, sandy beaches and rugged cliffs. Multiple walking trails, as well as beaches good for swimming can be found here.

There is a cable ferry connecting the islands, which have their own unique qualities - South Koster is reasonably flat and good for cycling, whilst North Koster is more rugged and with more plant life and wildflowers.  Both islands have small settlements to be explored. Perhaps with a stop for lunch or a fabulous ice cream? 

With fishing and farming being a focus in the area, there are cultural and heritage sites dotted throughout these islands as points of interest.

The area is sprinkled with skerries and rocky isles and should condition allow, we make the most of it by kayak and small boat cruising.  As it is a Marine National Park, nearly all underwater, an ideal way of exploring the area is by snorkel.

This is Sweden’s first Marine National Park, which is largely car-free and mostly a nature reserve, where the many types of flora and fauna are protected.   There is a great National Park visitor center providing detailed local information, as well as a photographic exhibition and interactive presentations.   Either of the Koster Islands is a perfect spot for nature trekking and hikes in the sublime landscape.

Day 7: Weather Islands, Sweden

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Made up of hundreds of islands and islets, the aptly named Weather Islands has one of Sweden’s windiest and warmest climates.

With lush green scenery as well as barren rocks, you will find one of Bohuslän's largest seal colonies in the area, together with numerous sea birds.  Join the Expedition team as we spend the day exploring this nature lover's paradise on foot, by kayak or by small boat cruising.

Day 8: Käringön, Grundsund and Smögen, Sweden

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A full day of exploration begins with a quick stop in Käringön, where, should conditions allow, guests will be able to join the optional excursion of small boat cruising to Grundsund.

Grundsund is a charming fishing village located on the island of Skaftö, with traditional boathouses and small cottages dotting the rocky shoreline.  With fewer than 700 inhabitants, the well-conserved fishing village boasts a beautiful harbor canal dividing the village and is a delight to stroll through. Or, walk along the newly-constructed wooden promenade, stretching along the waterfront to a footpath enabling you to explore the rugged coastline at leisure.  Grundsund is also ideal for kayaking and small boat cruising.

After lunch, continue your scenic voyage along the coastline of Sweden and head to Smögen to enjoy the evening.

Stroll through rows of fishermen’s houses and beautifully restored cottages with their lovingly tended gardens, before taking in the lazy summertime atmosphere whilst watching local fishing boats unload their daily catch down at the harbor. Smögen’s busy waterside boardwalk is the ideal way to spend a long summer evening. 

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: Farsund, Norway

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Farsund has a fascinating history, which includes hosting pirates in the early 1800s.

The area has some of the best beaches in Southern Norway, making it ideal for shoreside walks or even bird watching. Every summer, Farsund celebrates its heritage during the “Kaperdagene” festival – translated as “Pirate Days”.  The origins of this carnival are rooted in the Napoleonic War of 1804, when the area was ravaged by conflict, causing years of hardship for the locals, who turned to plunder passing ships for their survival.

Take a walk along the old railway line for spectacular views of the fjord, crossing a 100-year old swing bridge and passing a protected oak forest.

Consider visiting the Lindesnes Lighthouse in the nearby Lindesnes municipality.  Dating back to 1656, this is Norway's oldest lighthouse as well as the southernmost tip of the Norwegian mainland.

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: Lysefjord, Norway

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Lysefjord is 40 kilometers long and 422 meters deep at its deepest. Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock), the most famous tourist attraction in Ryfylke, towers an impressive 604 meters over the fjord. This is a flat mountain plateau of approx. 600 square meters.  We hope to have a fine view of Preikestolen before heading back out of the fjord.

As we sail quietly down the fjord, impressive mountains tower above us.  Spend time lost in thought, out on deck drinking in the scenery, or take a comfy seat in the Observation Lounge with its enormous windows designed for this very moment.

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
$7,453
Select a Date
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.

Notes

Included 
  • Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurant Aune and Fredheim
  • A la carte restaurant Lindstrom included for suite guests
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with very limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to use at water refill stations on board
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore
  • Range of included activities
Onboard Activities
  • Experts on the Expedition Team deliver in-depth lectures on a variety of topics
  • Use of the ship’s Science Center which has an extensive library, biological and geological microscopes and samples
  • Citizen Science programme allows guests to assist with live scientific research
  • Professional onboard photographer gives top tips and tricks for the best landscape and wildlife photos
  • Use of the ship’s hot tubs, panoramic sauna and indoor gym, outdoor gym
  • Informal gatherings with the crew such as daily recaps and preparation for the day to come
Landing Activities
  • Escorted landings using our fleet of small expedition boats
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment for activities
  • Complimentary wind and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition Photographers help with your camera settings before landings
Not Included
  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team
  • Spa treatments

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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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