14 days

Scotland to Norway 2015

Scotland to Norway 2015

Geiranger Fjord

Shetland Islands

Alesund

Svartisen Glacier

Trondheim

Seven Sisters Waterfall

Trip rating
  • This mystical expedition cruise of the northern Atlantic, offers rich culture and wildlife experiences, including some rare opportunities that will delight those interested in birding. We’ll explore the medieval art and archeology of Britain’s northernmost archipelagos of the Orkney and Shetland Islands, before continuing east to the picturesque port of Bergen. Continuing northwards into the Norwegian Sea, we’ll discover the UNESCO-protected Vega Island, a veritable ornithologists’ dream.

    Our home for this voyage is the nimble small ship, Ocean Nova, which will afford us the opportunity to get up close and personal with much of the landscape. There will be plenty of time to venture into the fjords on our Zodiacs, allowing us to get even closer to cascading falls and make shore landings in otherwise inaccessible coves. We’ll conclude the voyage in Tromsø, called the ‘Gateway to the Arctic,’ and the last major habitation before the Arctic Circle.

     

    ADVENTURE OPTIONS

    KAYAKING
    Imagine gliding along the surface of a bay in the presence of icebergs and glaciers! Our kayaking adventures are the best way to feel at one with the sea. Taken in small groups of 10-16 people, multiple times per voyage, kayaking adventures are only done during calm weather conditions. We require you to have some prior kayaking experience, including the capability to do a wet exit.

     

     

    POSSIBLE LANDINGS AND WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS

    KIRKWALL, ORKNEY ISLANDS
    Kirkwall is the biggest town and capital of the Orkney Islands, an archipelago of almost 70 islands, with history dating back 8,500 years. Passengers will also have a chance to pay our respects to polar explorer John Rae, who rests in the shadow of the impressive St. Magnus Cathedral.

    FAIR ISLE, ORKNEY ISLANDS
    With a population of just 70 people, Fair Isle is the most remote inhabited island in the United Kingdom. It is also the best place to find rare birds in Britain with 27 first records.

    JARLSHOF, SHETLAND ISLANDS
    Lying at the southern tip of Shetland mainland, Jarlshof settlement has been described as “one of the most remarkable archaeological sites ever excavated in the British Isles”. Remains have been found there dating from 2500BC up to 1600AD.

     

    BERGEN
    Norway’s second-largest city, Bergen, offers a rich history dating back over 1,000 years. While here passengers will have a tour of the city, complete with World heritage sites, medieval houses, and the best street art in Norway.

    MOUNT AKSLA
    From the top of Mount Aksla there is a panoramic view of the archipelago, the beautiful town centre of Alesund, and the amazing Sunnmøre Alps. The top can be reached by either by foot or City Train.

    GEIRANGER
    The quaint town of Geiranger is located on what is considered to be one of the most beautiful fjords in all of Norway and is listed as a World Heritage site.

    SEVEN SISTERS WATERFALL
    The Seven Sisters Waterfall, also known as Knivsflåfossen, is loacated along Geiranger Fjord and is part of the Geiranger World Heritage Site. The tallest of the seven falls measures 820 feet.

    TRONDHEIM
    Trondheim is known as the historic capital of Norway. Walking through the quaint historic district, characterised by wooden architecture, you will find small, specialist shops and small, pleasant cafés. The Nidaris Cathedral, built over the grave of St. Olav, dates back to middle of the 12th century is also worth a visit when in Trondheim.

    MUNKHOLMEN ISLAND
    Munkholmen Island is located just off the coast of Trondheim. During the Viking age this was the main place for executions for enemies of the state, whose heads would be placed on stakes for all to see. The islet went on to become a monastery and prison, but today is a park, with sandy beaches facing the city.

     

    VEGA ISLAND
    Today we visit the UNESCO-protected Vega Island archipelago as we head north. Vega is an ornithologist’s dream. Chief among the bird population are eider ducks, raised for their feathers—the houses built for them to nest in can still be seen, alongside lighthouses, fishing villages and dramatic landscapes.

    ALSTAHAUG
    Alstahaug lies in the shadow of the Seven Sisters Mountain range. Here you’ll find a wonderfully preserved medieval church and some small communities scattered throughout the island.

    TRAENA
    Here you are able to hike through a long tunnel cut through the mountain up to a radar station on top. Traena has also been the site of many archaeological discoveries dating back to the Stone Age.

    SVARTISEN
    Svartisen glacier is actually two glaciers that meet in Holandfjord. The name ‘Svartisen’ comes from ‘svartis’, an old word which denotes the deep colour of blue in this ice and the contrast to the white snow and newer ice on the ice plateau itself.

    BLEIKSØYA
    In Bleiksøya you can see one of the most prolific bird populations in Norway. Here we should find large numbers of puffins, razorbills, sea eagles, cormorants and others in thousands.

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Aberdeen, Scotland

    We will join the Ocean Nova in Aberdeen in the afternoon, and sail north towards the Scottish Isles.  Consider arriving a few days early to explore all that the “Granite City” has to offer.

    Dinner

    Day 2 - Kirkwall

    The morning finds us in Orkney, an archipelago of almost 70 islands, with a history dating back 8,500 years to the first Mesolithic tribe that inhabited the area. We will travel back in time here, with visits planned to the Standing Stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar, Skara Brae, Skaill House and the Italian Chapel. We will also have a chance to pay our respects to polar explorer John Rae, who rests in the shadow of the impressive St. Magnus  Cathedral in Kirkwall. We may even have a chance to experience the vibrant and lively culture of today at a local pub.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 3 - Fair Isle, Orkney Islands

    We plan to visit Fair Isle, the most remote inhabited island in the United Kingdom. It is also the best place to find rare birds in Britain with 27 first records. Many of the 70 people who live on the island are artists, painters, writers, musicians and weavers, who are particularly famous for their
    intricately-knitted sweaters. Here we will also be introduced to the crofting culture. In the afternoon, we will visit the Broch of Mousa, the finest preserved example of Iron Age towers in Scotland.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 4 - Lerwick, Shetland Islands

    The Shetland Islands are known for their archaeological sites, and we will have a chance to visit a few of the most impressive. We visit Jarlshof, the prehistoric Norse settlement which dates back 2,500 years. Here we’ll see the progression of human civilization through the late Bronze and Iron Ages,
    as well as the Pictish and Norse eras and the Middle Ages. We’ll return back to modern times as we visit Lerwick, the capital and main port of the  Shetlands.  We return to the Ocean Nova for lunch and set sail for Norway.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 5 - Bergen, Norway

    We arrive at Norway’s second-largest city, Bergen, after crossing the North Sea. Here we’ll have our first taste of Norwegian Culture, with a rich history dating back over 1,000 years. We will have a tour of the city, complete with world heritage sites, medieval houses, and some of the best street art in Norway.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 6 - Alesund

    In the morning we should arrive in Alesund at the mouth of the Geiranger Fjord. We’ll have time today to explore this beautiful city and its Art Nouveau architecture. We’ll also travel up to the top of Mount Aksla for a spectacular view of the town.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 7 - Geiranger Fjord

    This fjord is considered to be one of the most beautiful in all of Norway and is a World Heritage Site. As we enter the fjord system, we’ll want to spend our time on deck, taking in the amazing views en route to the town of Geiranger, including the famous Seven Sisters waterfall. Here, we’ll have a chance to visit this quaint town, and hike in the nearby hills for spectacular views.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 8 - Trondheim

    In the morning we will call into Trondheim, the historic capital of Norway. We will walk through the quaint historic district, characterised by wooden architecture, where you can visit small, specialist shops and enjoy a coffee at one of the pleasant cafés. We will also visit the cathedral of the national sanctuary of Norway, Nidaris Cathedral, built over the grave of St. Olav. Work began in 1070, but the oldest parts still in existence date from the middle of the 12th century.
    In the afternoon, we will have a chance to visit tiny Munkholmen Island, just off the coast of Trondheim and learn about its fascinating history. During the Viking age this was the main place for executions for enemies of the state, whose heads would be placed on stakes for all to see. The islet went on to become a monastery and prison, but today is a park, with sandy beaches facing the city.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 9 - Vega Island

    Today we visit the UNESCO-protected Vega Island archipelago as we head northward. Vega is an ornithologist’s dream. Chief among the bird population are eider ducks, raised for their feathers - the houses built for them to nest in can still be seen alongside lighthouses, fishing villages and dramatic landscapes. The archipelago reflects the way fishermen and farmers have, over the past 1,500 years, maintained a sustainable living from eiderdown harvesting.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 10 - Alstahaug

    In the morning we arrive at Alstahaug, in the shadow of the Seven Sisters Mountain range. We’ll find a wonderfully preserved medieval church and some small communities scattered throughout the island.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 11 - Svartisen and Vikingen

    Today we will walk to the Svartisen glacier, which is actually two glaciers that meet in Holandfjord. This is the second largest glacier in Norway and really reinforces how far north we are. The name ‘Svartisen’ comes from ‘svartis’, an old word which denotes the deep colour of blue in this ice and the contrast to the white snow and newer ice on the ice plateau itself. In the afternoon, we cross the Arctic Circle and arrive at Vikingen, a tiny island with a big globe on top marking the Arctic Circle.
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 12 - Lofoten Islands

    We will navigate some of Norway’s northern fjords and take advantage of great hiking opportunities in this unspoiled region. The waters approaching the Lofoten Islands are well known for whale sightings, so your Expedition Team will be at watch on deck. We’re also likely to see sea eagles, cormorants and puffins. We may also visit the Refsvikhula Cave, whose cave paintings found in the 1980s date back 3,000 years. If time allows, we will also stop into Reine on Moskenesøy Island, one of the most beautiful villages in Norway.
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 13 - Bleiksøya and Nyksund

    Arriving at Bleiksøya in the morning, we will have a Zodiac cruise around one of the most prolific bird populations in Norway. Here we should find large numbers of puffins, razorbills, sea eagles, cormorants and others in thousands. In the afternoon, we will visit the tiny village of Nyksund which has become a colony for artists.
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 14 - Disembarkation in Tromsø

    Arriving in Tromsø in the morning, we will enjoy breakfast on the ship before you embark on your flights home. There is also an option to stay on the next voyage which journeys from Tromsø to Spitsbergen.
    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • On embarkation day, transfer from our recommended hotel to the ship
    • On disembarkation day, group transfer from the ship to our recommended hotel
    • Shipboard accommodation with housekeeping
    • Shipboard breakfasts, lunches and dinners
    • Shore landings included in daily program
    • Professional Expedition Leadership
    • All Zodiac excursions and transfers
    • Formal and informal educational presentations by the Expedition Team
    • Photographic Journal on DVD, documenting the voyage
    • The loan of a pair of waterproof boots for the duration of the voyage
    • An official Quark Expeditions parka to keep
    • Hair dryer and bathrobes in each cabin
    • Comprehensive pre-departure package including Quark’s Arctic Reader and map
    • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
    • All shipboard luggage handling
    • Emergency Evacuation Insurance to a maximum benefit of US$100,000 per person
    • Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock

    Not Included

    • Government arrival and departure taxes.
    • All airfares
    • Any meals on shore
    • Visa and passport fees, airport departure taxes
    • Any pre-voyage or post-voyage hotel accommodation
    • Laundry, postage, telephone calls, drinks, medical expenses
    • Travel insurance, emergency evacuation charges
    • Gratuities to staff and crew
    • Excess baggage charges.
    • Alcohol and soft drinks

    Safety Information

    Safety is paramount. Onboard you will be asked to participate in the obligatory lifeboat drill. We will also conduct important briefings on landing procedures and zodiac operations.

  • Map Itinerary

  • Our Ships

    Ocean Nova

    Ocean Nova

    Built in Denmark in 1992, the Ocean Nova delivers clean, crisp Scandinavian styling and has a reputation as an excellent ship for expeditions to Antarctica. Originally built to sail the ice-choked waters of Greenland, Ocean Nova’s ice-strengthened hull has enabled the ship to park in the ice of the Weddell Sea! With a glass-enclosed observation lounge, a presentation room on the top deck, and all ensuite cabins, this expedition vessel is a comfortable option for discovering the polar regions. With a maximum of just 83 guests, the Ocean Nova offers a more intimate, small group, expedition experience with all the benefits that affords.

    Departure Dates for the Ocean Nova

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PPSN15
Start City: Aberdeen
End City: Tromsø

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