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10 days - Explore the Norwegian Lofoten Archipelago, Bjørnøya & Svalbard on a small cruising ship.
Join us on an expedition cruise along the dramatic coastline and magnificent fjords of northern Norway, via the seldom visited Bear Island to the pearl of the Arctic: Svalbard. It is a busy time of the year. The sea eagles are frequenting Lofoten and the impressive cliffs of Bear Island are teeming with tens of thousands of birds.
The adventure culminates in one of the world’s most magnificent wildernesses – Svalbard. This early in the season, Svalbard is characterised by a wonderful purity, pastel coloured skies and breathtaking sceneries. Here we keep our eyes open for polar bears, walrus and other Arctic animals, but above all we enjoy the stunning nature that surrounds us – ice formations and snow covered mountains, glistering glaciers and fjord ice.
- Day 1
- Arrive Bodø and cruise towards the Lofoten Islands.
- Day 2
- Zodiac around the spectacular island of Vedøya with its tens of thousands of nesting sea birds. and then sail to Reine
- Days 3 - 4
- At sea
- Day 5
- Bjørnøya - Bear Island
- Days 6 - 9
- Day 10
- Start Place
- Bodø, Scandinavia
- End Place
- Longyearbyen, Svalbard
- Destinations Visited
- 10 Days
- Group Size
- Easy independent voyage suitable for singles & couples
The ship was built in Denmark in 1992 to serve as a ferry on Greenland’s west coast. In 2004/2005 she was completely refurbished into a comfortable expedition ship and in 2018 she is undergoing a renovation of the passenger areas. M/S Quest takes 53 passengers and all 26 cabins are outside cabins with private facilities. The triple cabins have upper and lower berths. All other cabins have two lower berths or a double bed. In your cabin you find a desk with a chair and a cupboard for storage. The superior cabins are spacious and have armchairs and TV.
The owner’s cabin has a double bed, two large picture windows, a separate seating area and TV. In the dining room you are treated to delicious meals in between landings and in the panorama lounge you can enjoy breath-taking views of the surrounding landscape. Here you can listen to entertaining talks on the area’s flora, fauna and history. In the lounge you also find a bar and a small library. The ship has spacious observation decks, where you can enjoy the beautiful vistas. Passengers are welcome on the bridge around the clock and there is always something to see or search for. You are welcomed by an international crew and the atmosphere is relaxed and very friendly. There are five Zodiacs and five guides on board M/S Quest.
- 9 nights on board M/S Quest
- All meals on board
- Expedition leader andknowledgeable guides
- Guiding ashore and talks on board
- All excursions and activities
- An illustrated post expedition log
Flights to Bodø and from Longyearbyen. Travel and cancellation insurance. The customary gratuity to the ship’s crew. Personal expenses such as bar and shop charges.
Day 1 - Arrive Bodø and cruise towards the Lofoten Islands.
Arrive in Bodø, high along the Norwegian coast and embark your expedition ship M/S Quest. Once settled in your cabin, you are welcomed by the guides and crew. During the afternoon begin the voyage towards the dramatic Lofoten Islands.
Day 2 - Zodiac around the spectacular island of Vedøya with its tens of thousands of nesting sea birds. and then sail to Reine
After breakfast make a first trip in the Zodiacs around the spectacular island of Vedøya with its tens of thousands of nesting sea birds. Vedøya is also often frequented by eagles. Sail along the southern side of Lofoten, a vast collection of rocky islands rising from the sea, towards Reine. This charming fishing village, with characteristic talks on board introduce us to Bear Island’s exciting history.
Days 3 - 4 - At sea
At sea towards Bear Island.
Day 5 - Bjørnøya - Bear Island
Today we hope to reach this marvellous rocky island, situated in the middle of the Barents Sea. On the 400-meter high cliffs, hundreds of thousands of seabirds are nesting – puffins, guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes among others. As well as a spectacular Zodiac cruise along the impressive bird cliffs you will aim to make a landing on this rarely visited island. You then continue the journey and sail over night. Our next destination is Svalbard – one of the world’s most magnificent wildernesses.
Days 6 - 9 - Svalbard
It is spring in the Arctic and it is a powerful experience to witness the archipelago spring to life. We enjoy the stunning nature that surrounds us – sparkling ice formations, snow covered mountains and glistering glaciers. We start by exploring parts of Storfjorden and constantly keeping our eyes peeled for the Arctic wildlife. How far in we reach depends on the drift ice that often accumulates here this time of year. We continue towards majestic Hornsund, consisting of several fjords, which glaciers calve out shimmering blue icebergs. It is also a favourite haunt for polar bears. In Bellsund we hope to reach Vårsolbukta, where the little auks nest in tens of thousands.
These are examples of places you might visit, depending on the weather and ice conditions:
During this time of the year there is often a lot of drift ice in the vast Storfjorden between the islands of Edgeøya and Spitsbergen, but we try to get as far north as possible. On the island of Edgeøya are remnants of the first Pomors who came to the area in the 1600s. These Russian trappers came here to hunt polar bears, seals and reindeers. On the east coast of Spitsbergen lies Isbukta. In this spectacular bay we head out in our Zodiacs to enjoy the stunning views of the snow covered mountain peaks and the front of the impressive glacier Vasil’evbreen. The bay is also a popular spot for Sabine’s gulls, Arctic skuas and bearded seals.
Hornsund & Bellsund
The majestic Hornsund consists of several magnificent fjords along the west coast of Spitsbergen, where enormous glaciers calve out shimmering blue ice. This is one of the favourite haunts for some of Svalbard’s polar bears and if lucky we can spot one of them on the fjord ice. At the beautiful Vårsolbukta in Bellsund little auks nest by the tens of thousands. We go ashore and walk across the tundra to take a closer look at these charming birds swarming around us.
At the entrance of Isfjorden is the characteristic cliff Alkhornet. We go ashore to enjoy the beautiful tundra and its birdlife with barnacle geese, Brünnich’s guillemots, glaucous gulls, snow buntings and tens of thousands of kittiwakes. Some Arctic foxes are often seen in the rock crevices around the mountain and with some luck we might see these lovely little animals scurrying around, frantically looking for food.
Day 10 - Longyearbyen
We arrive in Longyearbyen and begin our journey home.
Please ask us about arranging your flights from Longyearbyen onwards. Don't leave it too late as these flights are popular during this 'polar bear' season.
Price per person
15 May 2019
15 May 2019
Please note: This itinerary is subject to change. Your exact route will depend on ice, weather conditions and wildlife. The crew always strive to maximise your experience. Please remember that flexibility is the key to a successful expedition!
Interactive Tour Map
Travel insurance is compulsory for all tours with 50 Degrees North. Please ensure that you have this organised as we will need to see proof of this upon issuing your tour documentation. Please contact us for a quote or visit http://www.suresave.net.au/