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Scotland to Norway 2015

Trip Length

Trip Code

14 days PPSN15

Countries Visited

Norway - Arctic, United Kingdom

Start City

End City

Aberdeen Tromsø
Scotland to Norway 2015

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.

Scotland to Norway 2015


Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1: Aberdeen, Scotland

Meals included: 1 dinner

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.

Day 2: Kirkwall

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

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.

Day 3: Fair Isle, Orkney Islands

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

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.

Day 4: Lerwick, Shetland Islands

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

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.

Day 5: Bergen, Norway

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

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.

Day 6: Alesund

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

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.

Day 7: Geiranger Fjord

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

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.

Day 8: Trondheim

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

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.

Day 9: Vega Island

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

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.

Day 10: Alstahaug

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

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.

Day 11: Svartisen and Vikingen

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

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.

Day 12: Lofoten Islands

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

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.

Day 13: Bleiksøya and Nyksund

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

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.

Day 14: Disembarkation in Tromsø

Meals included: 1 breakfast

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.


Your Trip

What's Included

Transport

Not Included


What to know

Vaccinations

Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Please talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region.  We're travel experts, not doctors and defer to the medicos when it comes to inoculations.

Visas and Permits

Please ensure that you have all required visas for your trip – this is your responsibility. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.

Norway - Arctic
Visas are currently not required for Australian, New Zealand, US, Canadian or UK/EU passport holders wishing to visit Norway. Some EU nationals may travel in Europe using only an identity card, however it is your responsibility to check with the relevant authorities if this applies to you.

United Kingdom
Visas are currently not required for Australian, New Zealand, US, Canadian or EU passport holders wishing to visit the United Kingdom. Some EU nationals may travel in Europe using only an identity card, however it is your responsibility to check with the relevant authorities if this applies to you.

Insurance

You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.

Responsible Travel

Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.

Customs and Culture

Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in. Your leader will also help steer you though the complexities of local cultural norms.

Pre Departure Information
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.

Further Reading

Norway - Arctic

The Viking World by James Graham-Campbell: Traces the history of the Vikings by detailing excavated sites and artefacts.

Summer Light: A Walk Across Norway by Andrew Stevenson: Affectionate, illuminating account of a walk from Oslo to Bergen, revealing the magical appeal of this wonderland.

A Brief History of Norway by John Midgaard: Covers Norwegian history from prehistoric to modern times.

United Kingdom

Raw Spirit - Iain Banks

Stone Voices: The Search for Scotland - Neal Ascherson


Important Information

These notes should be read in conjunction with Peregrine’s Arctic - Pre Departure Information that is provided to you shortly after booking (or which can be requested prior to booking).

1. Itinerary.
Please note that due to the exploratory nature of this expedition, weather, ice, wildlife or other conditions may require changes be made to the itinerary and/or cancellation of certain shore excursions. Every effort will be made to adhere to the itinerary, within the limits of safety and time constraints. We shall fit in as many stops as is practical along the way allowing you to experience as much as possible of this wonderful area. The locations mentioned in this itinerary are just some of the highlights of our fascinating expedition of discovery and exploration and we shall attempt further landings wherever and whenever time and local conditions permit.

2. Budgeting:
Please allow additional funds for on-board expenses. Please remember that all on-board services are charged in US dollars and your on board account (bar, gift shop, medical, gratuities) can be paid for by either US dollars cash, US dollars travellers cheques and the following credit cards - Visa and MasterCard.

3. Clothes.
Please read our Arctic - Pre Departure Information carefully. You do not need to make expensive, specialist clothing purchases, but you must have adequate protection against the cold, and against possible wet conditions. (Sea spray is common onboard zodiacs). It’s recommended that you have warm, waterproof clothing available for use upon arrival to protect against inclement weather.

4. Onboard.
Some of your sailing will be in the open sea. Our ships are some of the most stable ships in their class but it is impossible to remove all motion. Unless you are certain you are impervious to the problem, you should take precautions against seasickness. Your doctor can advise you as to the best methods for avoiding this uncomfortable condition.

5. Gratuities.
We suggest you allow the equivalent of $US11-13 a day for gratuities for the crew and expedition staff. This is usually collected just prior to the end of the cruise. The amount can be paid by Visa or Mastercard

Peregrine Voyage Documentation
Once you have booked your voyage to the Polar regions with Peregrine, you will be required to complete a series of online forms. You will be sent a link via email (my polar forms) which will take you to an enrollment form, cruise contract, medical form, arrival/departure information form and expedition parka size order form. These forms must be completed.

About this Information

The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version.  If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!

Last Updated

1 April 2014


General Contact Details

Peregrine AdventuresPhone: 855-832-4859
E-mail: sales@peregrineadventures.com
Web: Visit Peregrine