Norwegian Fjords and Spitsbergen - An Arctic Adventure to the High North
See the spectacular fjords and scenery along the Norwegian coast, before exploring the wonders of Spitsbergen
Departures: 19 May 2017
MS Nordstjernen was built in Hamburg in 1956, so the city is an excellent starting point for this great expedition.
Esbjerg and at sea
We will spend the morning in Esbjerg before heading out to sea in the afternoon.
Lysefjord, Stavanger and Hardangerfjord
We start the day sailing into the magnificent Lysefjord, known for its scenic highlights, including the world-renowned Preikestolen or Pulpit Rock. Then, you have the opportunity to explore the city of Stavanger, the oil capital of Norway.
Hardanger and Bergen
On our journey towards Bergen, we will sail through Karmsundet and into Hardangerfjord, one of the longest fjords in the world. Although Bergen is Norway’s second largest city it retains a refreshing small-town charm. We recommend visiting the UNESCO World Heritage houses on the Wharf, Håkon’s Hall and Rosenkrantz Tower, St. Mary’s Church and Bergen Harbour with its famous fish market. Stroll through the picturesque streets, but don’t forget to look up – Bergen is surrounded by seven mountains.
Flåm, Nærøyfjord and Gudvangen
Beautiful Flåm is surrounded by steep mountains, roaring waterfalls and deep valleys. We recommend taking a trip on the Flåm Railway. The train journey offers the opportunity to see some of Norway’s wildest and most magnificent scenery. In Gudvangen in Nærøyfjord, you are sure to enjoy the view of the snow-capped mountains, wild waterfalls and impressive landscapes where tiny farms cling to the mountainsides.
Geirangerfjord and Ålesund
The Geirangerfjord is considered to be the most beautiful fjord in the world, and the scenery will take your breath away. Ålesund’s beautiful Art Nouveau architecture is known for its myriad of beautiful turrets, spires and steeples that give the town its distinctive character.
Trondheim was the first capital of Norway and is still the city where new kings receive their ceremonial blessing. The well-known Nidaros Cathedral is only one of many sights worth visiting during our time here.
Lofoten and Trollfjorden
We start the day in Lofoten’s 'capital', Svolvær. Continuing north, we take a detour into the magnificent Trollfjord before exploring the Vesterålen region.
We arrive at Tromsø, the Gateway to the Arctic. This is a lively, colourful town that boasts a rich Arctic history.
Close to Honningsvåg, you’ll find Europe’s northernmost point, the North Cape. Our journey takes us around the cape, leaving the Norwegian coast behind as we head towards Svalbard.
Enjoy a relaxing day at sea.
Longyearbyen and Barentsburg
The history of Longyearbyen is very much the history of coal mining, and remnants of the area's mining heritage can be seen everywhere. In the Russian settlement of Barentsburg, there will be opportunities to visit the Pomor Museum and see a lively folklore show.
Woodfjord, Liefdefjord, Moffen and 80° North
If the ice conditions allow, the day will be spent cruising towards the Monaco Glacier. If we are lucky, we may spot polar bears hunting for food. If the ice conditions are favourable, we will also sail past 80° North and on towards Moffen, an island that often plays host to walruses. On our way south, we will pass the beautiful Magdalenefjord during the night.
Krossfjord, Kongsfjord and Ny-Ålesund
Day 14 comprises a visit to Kongsfjord, the largest fjord on the north-west coast. We may also visit the adjacent fjord, Krossfjord. The landscape here varies from large tundra plains to alpine peaks with dramatic glaciers tumbling into the ocean. At the end of Kongsfjord, you’ll see the majestic Kongsbreen glacier. Later, we call on Ny-Ålesund, one of the world’s northernmost year-round communities. Previously a coal-mining community, it now houses an advanced High Arctic research station. Ny Ålesund was the starting point for numerous expeditions towards the North Pole. Names like Amundsen, Ellsworth and Nobile are strongly linked to this place and even today you can see the mast that the airship 'Norge' was moored to before her departure on the first trans-polar flight. A number of countries run their own national research stations here, and there is always plenty of research activity taking place over the summer months.
Located in central Spitsbergen, the Isfjord is the most extensive fjord system on Svalbard. We will spend the morning in the heart of the fjord, as we sail towards Longyearbyen. The landscape changes constantly – marvel at the immense U-shaped valleys, carved out of the mountains by the giant glaciers that covered the area some ten thousand years ago. We arrive in Longyearbyen on Friday morning at 1000 where our memorable adventure comes to an end.