Day 3-9 Expedition cruising
- 7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners
Your exact itinerary depends on weather and wind conditions. Potential destinations include:
Summer Isles & Handa
Sail towards the Summer Isles and go ashore on the largest and the only inhabited island of the archipelago – Tanera Mòr. Those who walk up Meall Mòr, the highest point on the island, are rewarded with a magnificent view. Also visit the little post office that has issued its own postage stamps since 1970. Later, reach the small island Handa. During the summer season the island’s dramatic sandstone cliffs become home to an estimated 100,000 breeding seabirds such as puffins, razorbills and guillemots.
Stromness & Kirkwall
In a private bus from the charming town of Stromness travel to the 5,000-year-old village of Skara Brae and see the remarkable dwellings that were revealed from beneath the sand dunes by storms only 160 years ago. This is the heart of Neolithic Orkney, designated as a World Heritage Site due to its wealth of pre-historic archaeology. Today it is western Europe’s best preserved prehistoric village. Continue to the Ring of Brodgar – a huge ceremonial circle of stones dating back almost 5,000 years. Your day ends in Kirkwall, where you visit the beautiful St. Magnus Cathedral.
Westray was extensively occupied in the Norse period, but today it was a tranquil haven with scattered farms and a rich birdlife with species such as Arctic skua, gannet, guillemot, razorbill, and purple sandpipers. Weather permitting, you will go ashore and wander along the coastline in search of seabirds and to marvel at the dramatic views.
Located halfway between Orkney and Shetland, this small island claims to be the best place to find rare birds in Britain, with at least 27 first records and also hosts a famous bird observatory. Fair Isle is also a traditional knitting technique used to create patterns with multiple colors.
The moorland and the dramatic cliffs of Hermaness are home to gannets, cormorants, guillemots, and puffins. Here, you also find a large colony of great skuas, known as the flying pirates. Even the giants are said to have settled here. Unfortunately, a giant called Herman, the namesake of the island, is said to have been lured away by a mermaid…
The island’s eroded, volcanic cliffs form an interesting coastline consisting of cliff ledges, stone columns, arches, blowholes, and caves. The most famous cave is Kirstan Hol, and during a calm day, it is possible to sail through its labyrinths. On the island, you also find several Neolithic graveyards and what is said to be the remnants of a 13th-century house that belonged to Duke Hakon.
If you look at a map it may be difficult to imagine that this small island is inhabited, but these four square kilometers of rock and pasture boast of more than 70 residents. The dramatic landscape, the birdlife, and the interesting history make a visit here unforgettable.
In the 1850s some 20 people lived on the island, but today it does not have any permanent inhabitants (not counting the sheep that graze here). The scenic sandstone cliffs of Noss are home to an array of nesting seabirds and if lucky you might see porpoise and otter in the surrounding waters.
Day 10 Lerwick, Shetland Islands
- 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Lerwick is the capital and main port of the Shetland Islands. By strolling around the streets, you can feel the history that still dwells here. The town also houses a beautiful museum, where you get acquainted with the island's fascinating history and culture. Then head out to sea towards the Norwegian coast and beautiful Bergen.
Day 11 Bergen
- 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today explore the hanseatic city of Bergen, surrounded by high mountains and deep fjords. Popular sights include Bryggen Museum, the Bergenhus fortress, and the fish markets. Take the cable car up to the highest of Bergen´s seven mountains, Mount Ulriken, from where you get a spectacular view of the city.