Across The Arctic Circle
Aberdeen – Longyearbyen
- Visit Stone Age villages in the Orkney Islands
- Follow humpbacks migration to Norwegian coast
- Lofoten Islands’ majestic fjords and soaring granite walls
- Spot puffins, guillemots, fulmars and eagles
- Toast your crossing of the Arctic Circle
- Reindeer and ringed seals in Spitsbergen
Follow the Vikings’ way from northeast Scotland to the land of the midnight sun. Our enthusiastic historian and expert naturalist reveal the Orkney and Shetland islands, from Stone Age villages and Viking relics, to world class distilleries and spectacular birdlife. We follow migrating whales along Norway’s dramatic coast, visit picturesque fishing villages and toast our Arctic Circle crossing. In Spitsbergen, we enter a polar wonderland, where delicate wildflowers adorn tundra and the summer sun never sets. This spectacular wilderness is the breeding ground of walruses, reindeers, various birds and polar bears.
Day 1 – Aberdeen, Scotland
Our staff welcome you aboard Polar Pioneer mid-afternoon in Aberdeen, Scotland, before we start sailing north.
Days 2 to 3 – Orkney Archipelago
Among Orkney’s archipelago of 70 windswept islands, a treasure trove of archaeology, history and wildlife awaits. We follow the passage of time – from 5000-year-old, World Heritage-listed, Neolithic sites to Viking relics, from reminders of World War II occupation to present-day crofting communities. Imposing sea cliffs teem with seabirds, inviting our Zodiacs and kayakers to explore coastlines. At Fair Isle we visit traditional crofts to admire local knitwear and nearby colonies of fulmars, kittiwakes, guillemots, gannets, shags and puffins.
Day 4 – Shetland Isles
Warmed by Gulf Stream currents and near 24-hours’ daylight, the Shetland’s 100 islands are peppered with nature reserves and archaeological sites. These include the complex Stone, Bronze and Iron Age settlement of Jarlshof, the world’s best preserved broch (fortified Iron Age tower) on Mousa, and remnants of Viking conquest along the coast.
Day 5 – North Sea
As we sail towards Norway, our historian and naturalist delight us with fascinating talks and inspire our birdwatching.
Days 6 to 9 – Norway
An intricate maze of islands protects Norway’s coastline. We celebrate crossing the Arctic Circle and visit special places, like Sør Gjaeslingan, once home to a busy cod-fishing fleet. Today it provides fantastic birdlife, including kittiwakes, terns and skuas that migrate here each summer. Continuing north, we pass by Torghatten, a mountain with a distinctive hole through it, and learn the fable of lost love and a troll’s arrow. Majestic scenery delights in Lofoten Islands, from romantic beaches to narrow fjords hemmed by granite walls. Share the water with orcas, the skies with puffins.
Days 10 to 13 – Bear Island & Spitsbergen
We cross the Barents Sea, past often fog-shrouded Bear Island, favourite nesting ground for fulmars, kittiwakes, guillemots and gulls. Beyond Spitsbergen’s South Cape, we explore South Spitsbergen National Park, a sanctuary for barnacle geese and eider ducks, before entering the iceberg-laden waters of Hornsund. Surrounded by polar desert on a grand scale, we search for reindeer, ringed and bearded seals and the mighty polar bear. Learn of human history dating back 400 years and if lucky, we’ll encounter the elusive beluga whale.
Day 14 – Spitsbergen
We disembark in Longyearbyen, bid goodbye to expedition staff and are transferred to the airport for our onward journey.
2nd July 2019 – 15 July 2019
- Group sightseeing tour in Longyearbyen upon disembarkation (post voyage)
- Group transfer from Polar Pioneer to airport in Longyearbyen
- 1-year membership to National Trust of Australia, including entry into over 300 properties within the UK
- Accommodation on the Polar Pioneer in your chosen cabin category with daily cabin service
- All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage
- All shore excursions and Zodiac (inflatable boat) cruises
- Educational lectures and guiding services from our expert team
- Access to our on-board doctor and basic medical services
- A custom-designed polar expedition jacket to keep
- Free gumboot hire during the voyage
- Comprehensive pre-departure information
- Professionally produced voyage journal (one per booking)
- All entry fees to historic landing sites
- All port taxes and charges
Download Trip Dossier (PDF)
An excellent trip that take you to 3 seperate and unique environments (Scotland, Norway and Svalbard). Seeing the arctic wildlife, historical site and the beauty of the arctic landscape this cruise will be not easily forgotten. I really enjoyed the small number of passengers onboard the polar pioneer and the crew were always very friendly and helpful. I would defiantly recommend this cruise to other coates travellers. – Patrick Bates
To Make a booking please contact us to enquire about availability.