MS Spitsbergen
13 days

The Scottish Isles – Whisky and Wildlife from the Hebrides to the Shetlands

Price from
£ 2945
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
MS Spitsbergen
13 days

The Scottish Isles – Whisky and Wildlife from the Hebrides to the Shetlands

Price from
£ 2945
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included
  • Visit the Inner and Outer Hebrides, Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands
  • Engage in bird and wildlife spotting, especially in St. Kilda and the Treshnish Isles
  • Taste authentic Scottish whiskies from the barrel at various distilleries in Islay
  • Enjoy a private visit of Duart Castle on the Isle of Mull hosted by the Clan Chief

Hurtigruten offers unique expedition cruises to some of the most remote and pristine waters of the world. As with all expeditions; nature prevails. Weather, and ice and sea conditions, sets the final framework for all Hurtigruten’s operations. Safety and unparalleled guest experiences are at all times our top priorities. All our indicative itineraries are continuously evaluated for adaptions, whether this is due to constraints the elements unexpectedly presents – or exciting possibilities nature and wildlife offer. That is why we call it an expedition.

The Scottish Isles – Whisky and Wildlife from the Hebrides to the Shetlands
  • Day 1
    Glasgow (Greenock), Scotland

    ‘Dear Green Place’

    Estimated time of departure is 22:00

    Our voyage starts in Glasgow (Greenock). Meaning ‘Dear Green Place’ in Gaelic, Glasgow boasts over 90 parks and gardens. Famous for its Victorian as well as art nouveau architecture, it is home to such institutions as the Scottish Ballet, Opera and National Theatre. This is definitely a city you’ll want to explore more before you board MS Spitsbergen.

    Day 1
    Glasgow (Greenock), Scotland

    ‘Dear Green Place’

  • Day 2
    Belfast, Northern Ireland

    Charming Industrial Capital

    A city of industry and elegance, Belfast is the birthplace of the Titanic, as well as being the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland. It is a gateway to a glorious countryside of pretty villages and a beautiful rugged coast with pristine beaches and breathtaking clifftop walks. Experience Giants Causeway, hike through spectacular scenery or explore what this impressive city has to offer.

    Day 2
    Belfast, Northern Ireland

    Charming Industrial Capital

  • Day 3
    Peel, Isle of Man

    From Royalty to Races

    A seaside town, the pretty port of Peel was the 14th century capital of the island and seat to the King of Mann. Winding lanes of merchants’ houses, bear witness to the 19th century fishing schooners built here which traded from Ireland to Shetland. Peel Castle, connected by causeway and reputedly built by Magnus Barelegs, King of Norway, dates from the 11th century. Museums in town display vintage bikes and cars; a connection to the more modern high-speed racing that occurs on the island.

    Day 3
    Peel, Isle of Man

    From Royalty to Races

  • Day 4
    Islay, Scotland

    Land of Scottish Whisky

    Once the seat of the MacDonalds, Lords of the Isles, this is ‘whisky island’, world renowned for its peaty single-malt whiskies and many distilleries. As a stop-off for wintering geese and migrating birds, there is good bird spotting. In the charming little town of Bowmore, there are a handful of small shops, an interesting round church, plus superb cliff-top walks and a well-known golf course.

    Day 4
    Islay, Scotland

    Land of Scottish Whisky

  • Day 5
    Oban and Craignure, Isle of Mull, Scotland

    Meeting a Clan Chief in his Castle

    Known as the ‘Gateway to the Isles’, the little town of Oban reached its heyday when the railway arrived, adding to its life as a busy fishing port. Now a popular holiday spot, the Victorian buildings cluster round the port, ferries come and go, heading out to the distant Hebrides. Many cafés have seafood-focused menus, and the distillery provides tours to sample a local dram of whisky.

    This evening we visit the Isle of Mull where we are fortunate to have a private guided visit to the dramatic 800-year-old Duart Castle, one of very few castles remaining in the ownership of the family. We will be hosted by Sir Lachlan MacLean, the Clan Chief himself. The Castle houses much MacLean memorabilia and our visit will include the kitchen, Sea Room and Edwardian bedrooms as well as a private reception in the Banqueting Hall. The Castle is very much the type of building you would expect a Highland Chief to live in; it is simply furnished, austere and has an air of no-nonsense solidity and age.

    Day 5
    Oban and Craignure, Isle of Mull, Scotland

    Meeting a Clan Chief in his Castle

  • Day 6
    Isle of Iona & Treshnish Isles, Scotland

    Pilgrims and Puffins

    World famous for its religious connections, Iona was settled in 563AD by the Irish missionary, St Colomba. The much-restored Abbey remains a place of pilgrimage and peace.  Wide views from the beach, known as ‘The Bay at the Back of the Ocean’ stretch west towards the Outer Hebrides.

    We will explore the Treshnish Isles, a group of distinctive volcanic islands which are home to a wealth of wildlife, from nesting puffins to colonies of kittiwakes, razorbills, guillemots and Atlantic grey seals.

    Fingal’s Cave, immortalised by Mendelssohn’s glorious ‘Hebrides Overture’, is on the cave-riddled island of Staffa. The basalt columns here are a northern extension of the Giant’s Causeway. Discovered by the Vikings and also in 1772 by Sir Joseph Banks, viewed by Queen Victoria, Sir Walter Scott and Samuel Johnson, this is one of Scotland’s most famous islands. It is best viewed from the sea where the colour of the waters within the cave and its rising columns are at their most impressive.

    Day 6
    Isle of Iona & Treshnish Isles, Scotland

    Pilgrims and Puffins

  • Day 7
    Loch Scavaig and Isle of Canna, Scotland

    ‘The Garden of the Hebrides’

    Surrounded by the high peaks of the Skye Cullins, Loch Scavaig leads to one of the most romantic and dramatic lochs in Scotland – freshwater Loch Coruisk. Painted by Turner and a popular destination for the Victorians, this is a powerful landscape promising great hiking and kayaking.

    We head to the Isle of Canna, which is the most sheltered of the Small Isles, known as ‘the Garden of the Hebrides’.  Linked by causeway to the island Sanday with its puffin colonies, Canna is green and grassy and has delightful flora and butterflies. Once privately owned by Sir John Lorne Campbell, the island is now the property of The National Trust for Scotland.

    Day 7
    Loch Scavaig and Isle of Canna, Scotland

    ‘The Garden of the Hebrides’

  • Day 8
    St. Kilda, Hirta Island, Scotland

    Reclaimed by Nature

    Any visit to this distant and wild archipelago, with its breathtaking sea cliffs, is totally weather-dependent. As a UNESCO double World Heritage Site and the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the National Trust for Scotland, it is an unforgettable experience. The outlying stacs and islands, which are the remains of a volcanic crater, provide ledges for thousands of nesting seabirds. Minke whales are frequently seen around the swirling waters of the archipelago.

    Once home to Britain’s most remote island community, it was evacuated in 1930 at their own request after 5,000 years of continuous habitation. The tiny museum that remains is a record of how hard life was on this exposed island.

    Day 8
    St. Kilda, Hirta Island, Scotland

    Reclaimed by Nature

  • Day 9
    Stornoway, Lewis & Harris, Scotland

    Capital of the Outer Hebrides

    Originally a Viking settlement, Stornoway is the main town of the Western Isles and the capital of the Isle of Lewis, which is the largest and most northerly of the Outer Hebrides.  A bustling harbour and waterfront with museums and art galleries are overlooked by the handsome Lews Castle which we invite you to explore with us. Further afield are mills and cottages where hard-wearing Harris Tweed is woven. There are tiny folk museums, the world-famous Callanish Standing Stones, and the mysterious Carloway Broch - the best-preserved fort in Scotland dating back more than 2,000 years.

    Day 9
    Stornoway, Lewis & Harris, Scotland

    Capital of the Outer Hebrides

  • Day 10
    Kirkwall, Orkney

    In Memory of Magnus

    Kirkwall is the largest town and the capital of the Orkney archipelago. The first mention of a settlement here is in a saga from 1046, and the name Kirkwall derives from the Norse `Kirkjuvagr´ (Church Bay). Today, Kirkwall has a population of 8,500, and is one of the most attractive and well-preserved small towns in Scotland. The community is dominated by the famous St. Magnus Cathedral. A local saga tells the story of how Magnus, kidnaped from the islands, refused to fight with the Vikings or condone their violence. Magnus eventually returned home, only to be put to death for his pacifism, and the church was named in his memory.

    Day 10
    Kirkwall, Orkney

    In Memory of Magnus

  • Day 11
    Fair Isle, Shetland Islands, Scotland

    A Scenic Stop for Birds

    Lonely Fair Isle with its high red-sandstone cliffs and gentle rolling fields is a vital stop for migrating birds and has had a permanent Bird Observatory since 1948. Synonymous with unique geometric knitwear possibly of Spanish or Scandinavian origin, the island also boasts a mini ‘Lighthouse Keepers’ golf course and a friendly, self-sufficient population.

    Day 11
    Fair Isle, Shetland Islands, Scotland

    A Scenic Stop for Birds

  • Day 12
    Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland

    At the Centre of Scotland’s Shetland Islands

    Lerwick is the main port of the Shetland Islands and by far the northernmost town of Scotland.  Founded in the 17th century as a fishing port, today Lerwick is a bustling, cosmopolitan town. The old waterfront is still active with visiting yachts and working fishing boats. The area boasts some of Shetland's most attractive scenery and an extraordinary concentration of archaeological sites, including two remarkable Iron Age villages.

    Day 12
    Lerwick, Shetland Islands, Scotland

    At the Centre of Scotland’s Shetland Islands

  • Day 13
    Bergen, Norway

    City of Seven Mountains

    Estimated time of arrival is 08:00

    We bid farewell after a voyage of discovery. Before heading home, wisit the fish market and stroll through Bergen´s historic harbour area, fronted by wooden houses dating back as far as the 1300s. You can also take a trip up to nearby Mount Fløyen via funicular tram for views over the city and surrounding mountains.

    Day 13
    Bergen, Norway

    City of Seven Mountains

Departures

  • 2021
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
    12 May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
12 May 2021

Current offers on this cruise:

Book with CONFIDENCE

Valid until 30/04/2021

Free rebooking on 2021 cruises

Full flexibility to rebook your 2021 cruise to 2021 or 2022. Zero rebooking fee, zero stress.

Easy refund on 2021 or 2022 cruises

Receive your refund, including the previously non-refundable deposit. Minus a cancellation fee.

What's included

Included in your voyage

Expedition Cruise

  • 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
  • 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 and advanced biological and geological microscopes
  • 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
  • Informal gatherings with the crew such as daily recaps and preparation for the day to come

Landing Activities

  • Escorted landings with 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 in your voyage

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team 

Notes

  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change
  • Please ensure you meet all entry and boarding requirements
  • No gratuities expected
A large ship in the water
A group of people posing for the camera
Photo: Stefan Dall / Hurtigruten
Enjoy Norway's Coastal Kitchen on the new MS Spitsbergen
Photo: © Tor Farstad

Your ship

MS Spitsbergen

Year built 2009
Year of refurbishment 2016
Ship yard Estaleiro Navais de Viana do Castelo (POR)
Passenger capacity 335
Beds 243
Car capacity 0
Gross tonnage 7,344
Length 100.54m
Beam 18m
Speed 14.5 knots
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