Norway's Arctic Fjords & Arctica
Oslo (Norway) - Bergen (Norway) aboard the National Geographic
May 24 - June 9, 2013 (16 nights)
Follow the length of Norway's majestic fjord-carved coast from Bergen to the glaciers and polar
bears of the Arctic Svalbard archipelago -- one of the few places remaining where Nature provides highlight after
Heading north among Norway's thousands of islets on this enchanting Arctic cruise, the scenery becomes
overpoweringly dramatic. This is the fjordlands—a region that stretches 1,000 miles. Each fjord is different from
its neighbor: roaring waterfalls, granite cliffs and tiny villages that cling to the steep sides of the fjord
Then just 350 miles north of Norway's mainland, lies the Svalbard Archipelago, a wilderness region of massive
icebergs, deep fjords, ice-capped mountains—and the masters of the Arctic, polar bears. Only 600 miles from the
North Pole, Svalbard is the best place on earth to observe polar bears in their natural habitat--on the pack ice.
And no one gives you a more immersive and respectful Arctic cruise experience there than we can.
NOTE: The May 24, 2013 departure will operate as an 18-day itinerary, beginning in
|Day 1 - Oslo
Arrive this morning in Oslo, the capital city where each year the
Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in the presence of the King of Norway. Our introduction to Oslo begins
with a stroll amid the famed Vigeland sculptures — hundreds of life-size human figures set in
rolling parklands. Next we visit the Polarship Fram Museum, dedicated to the wooden ship sailed by
Norwegian explorers Nansen and Amundsen. The evening is free to explore Oslo on your own. Overnight
at the Continental Hotel, or similar.
|Day 2 -Oslo/Longyearbyen,
Depart Oslo on a private charter flight to Longyearbyen, one of the
northernmost human settlements on Earth. Embark National Geographic Explorer and settle in to
shipboard life. (B,L,D)
|Day 3-6 - Exploring
Svalbard lies north of the Arctic Circle, where the summer midnight sun never
sets. In true expedition style, we let nature dictate our day-to-day movements here and this, by
the way, is one of the great attractions of this expedition. Our flexible itinerary and years of
experience here allow us to take the best advantage of ice and weather conditions. With our fully
stabilized, ice-class expedition ship, we are able to probe deep into the ice where polar bears
hunt. Join our spotters on the Bridge, scanning the ice and islands for huge walrus, bearded and
ringed seals, arctic foxes, reindeer, some of the largest whales on Earth — and polar bears. A
sighting brings everyone rushing in excitement to the ship’s bow! Our expert staff gets you out
daily. Depending on conditions, we may land on Edgeøya to hike the tundra, abloom with summer
wildflowers. We often sail deep into Hornsund, where even first-time kayakers can paddle in a quiet
cove surrounded by sparkling bergs. We may venture to the stunning Monacobreen glacier, or get
close-up views of the iconic creatures of the ice by Zodiac. Back aboard, view underwater video
from our ROV taken 1,000 feet below the surface, or spend time on deck with a National Geographic
Photographer getting tips in an inspiring landscape. Every day is different, every day an
|Day 7 - Bear
Zodiac around mist-shrouded Bear Island, populated by thousands of fulmars,
kittiwakes, guillemots and gulls. This is a birdwatcher's paradise. (B,L,D)
|Day 8 - At
Having explored the High Arctic, we’ll now set our sights for coastal Norway. If
weather conditions allow, we may search for marine mammals in areas we've found over the years they
are likely to frequent. (B,L,D)
|Day 9 - Tromso
Tromso, the capital of northern Norway, is known as the "Gateway
to the Arctic" since so many arctic expeditions originated here. We visit the Arctic Cathedral,
whose unique architecture is evocative of snow and icebergs. Its stained glass windows are among
the largest in Europe. And we visit the Polar Museum, with excellent exhibits on arctic nature and
|Day 10 - Tysfjorden
There’s no denying that the Norwegian fjords are beautiful,
and on the days to come we explore places along the Norwegian coastline that raise the standard of
landscape-pulchritude to new heights. National Geographic Explorer enters Tysfjorden, where mile
after mile of vertical walls surround us and only a few small villages cling to the rocky shores.
Zodiac and kayak along steep-walled fjords, and find inspiration in the birch forests and tumbling
waterfalls. The unspoiled Hellemobotn cuts nearly to Sweden and has a trail to hike almost to the
|Day 11 - Lofoten
The Lofoten Archipelago is an enchanting area of picturesque villages by the
sea backed with jagged peaks. By Zodiac, we view nesting seabirds: Atlantic puffins, razorbills and
guillemots. Later, we go ashore on the island of Aa, where cod fishing is still a major part of the
economy. Be on deck as we cruise into one of the most famous fjords in Norway, the short yet
dramatic Trollfjord, and search the cliffs for Norway's mythical beings: trolls.
|Day 12-13 - Exploring the Fjords of Norway
The coast of Central Norway is rugged
with mountainous islands and steep-walled fjords. The Expedition Leader and Captain will discuss
with the local Norwegian pilots the many landing possibilities where options are many: Zodiac along
vertical rock faces, paddle serenely in a deep fjord surrounded by cascading waterfalls, or venture
ashore for a hike with our naturalist staff. Over the years, we’ve discovered a number of special
places, including Melfjord. This narrow channel is surrounded by high granite cliffs polished
smooth by massive glaciers, and is one of the most spectacular spots on our voyage.
|Day 14 - Nordfjord
Today we enter lovely Nordfjord, included on our itinerary
since it is less touristed. We spend the morning at the end of the fjord, where we are transported
up the Loen Valley via coach through some incredibly beautiful scenes: a turquoise-colored lake on
one side and breathtaking mountains all around. A number of relatively flat trails lead along
valleys shaped by massive glaciers (more strenuous hikes are also an option). And, we walk to a
tongue of the large Jostedalsl Glacier. This afternoon be on deck as our ship sails back out of the
fjord amid high peaks. (B,L,D)
|Day 15 - Bergen/Disembark
This morning our ship sails into beautiful Bergen.
Once an important Hanseatic town, it is set on a fjord and known as the city of seven hills. We
transfer to the airport for flights home
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Basis of Rates:
All prices are based on two persons sharing a cabin, or a single where
noted. Shared accommodations are available on certain ships and categories. For more information, please refer to
our Share Guarantee Program section of our Terms and Conditions, or call us for details. All prices and fares are
quoted in U.S. dollars.
All accommodations aboard ships or in hotels per itinerary or similar, all meals and nonalcoholic beverages aboard
ship, meals on land as indicated, air transportation where indicated as included, shore excursions, sightseeing and
entrance fees, special access permits, transfers to and from group flights, use of snorkeling equipment and wet
suits, use of kayaks (where available), gratuities (except to ship’s crew), taxes and service charges, services of
a ship physician on most voyages, and services of our expedition staff.
Air transportation (except where shown as included), extensions, passport,
visa, immigration fees, scuba diving (where available), meals not indicated, travel protection plan, items of a
personal nature, such as alcoholic beverages, internet access, and laundry. Gratuities to ship's crew are at your
For all programs, airfare is an additional cost unless otherwise indicated. Sample airfares are subject to change.
We will gladly assist in making your air arrangements for a $50 per person service fee.
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