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Leave from Tromso, and enjoy 5 days in Bear Island, Svalbard and Jan Mayen among the alluring icy blue waters of the polar region as we sail past glaciers calving icebergs and chance encounters with Polar Bears, walrus and whales. Then experience the cultural and natural wonders along the north an east coasts of Iceland.
Known as the Arctic gateway, Tromso is a remote Norwegian city at 69° north, 250 miles above the Arctic Circle, where you can take in the soft glow of the midnight sun. Make time to attend a midnight concert at Tromso’s distinctive Arctic Cathedral or learn more about early polar explorations at the Polar Museum. Famed for the Northern Lights on winter nights, you can find out more about this natural spectacle at the Science Centre.
The greatest bird cliff in the Barents Sea is on Bear Island, or Bjørnøya, Svalbard’s southernmost island. Thousands of breeding seabirds - Atlantic puffin, northern gannet, glaucous gull, great skua, black-legged kittiwake, little auk, common guillemot and Brünnich’s guillemot colonies nest on the steep cliffs south of Sørhamna around Kapp Kolthoff. Only Zodiacs can come alongside, where distinctive sea stack rock columns, impressive sea caves and tunnels, such as Perleporten, have been created by the battering seas.
Located deep inside the Arctic Circle, approaching the Svalbard archipelago feels a lot like sailing towards the edge of the world. Known as the kingdom of the polar bears, we’ll be hoping to spot some of its subjects as we explore some of the most varied polar landscapes in the Arctic. Down in our Zodiac boats, we’ll get close to the gargantuan glaciers, rapidly retreating from the oceans that they feed. In the north of the archipelago, past the magnificent fjords, the remaining sea ice offers the perfect hunting ground for polar bears. Closer to Longyearbyen, the landscape is punctuated with large areas devoid of snow and ice alongside vast tundra and exposed beaches. Alongside Svalbard’s 3,000 polar bears, this Arctic wildlife hotspot is also home to walrus, Svalbard reindeer, ringed seal, the arctic fox and many species of marine mammals and seabirds.
As you cruise to your next port of call, spend the day at sea savoring the ship’s facilities and learning about your destination’s many facets from the knowledgeable onboard experts. Listen to an enriching talk, indulge in a relaxing treatment at the spa, work out in the well-equipped gym, enjoy some down- time in your cabin, share travel reminiscences with newly found friends: the options are numerous.
The snow-covered stratovolcano Beerenberg dominates the ice cap and glaciers at the northeast end of Jan Mayen Island. Halfway between Svalbard and Iceland, the only residents on this Norwegian island are members of the Norwegian Armed Forces or working at the meteorological station. During a nature walk to the station, and along the black sandy beach, you can see numerous plant species. Nesting northern fulmars, Brünnich’s and black guillemots and little auks make the island an important birding area.
As you cruise to your next port of call, spend the day at sea savouring the ship’s facilities and learning about your destination’s many facets from the knowledgeable onboard experts. Listen to an enriching talk, indulge in a relaxing treatment at the spa, work out in the well-equipped gym, enjoy some down- time in your cabin, share travel reminiscences with newly found friends: the options are numerous.
Home to some 18,000 residents, Akureyri stands proud as the Land of Fire and Ice’s ‘Capital of the North’. It’s the gateway to some natural wonders including the Myvatn region, Dettifoss waterfall, Godafoss waterfall and Asbyrgi canyon. But before you rush off, take some time to explore: Iceland’s winsome second city is colourful, cosy and utterly enchanting – even the red traffic lights are cute. Instagrammers will adore heart-shaped stop signs. Enjoy the quaint harbourfront; climb the steps to the towering Akureyri Church; stroll around Lystigardurinn, the city’s Arctic botanical garden; visit the Laufás Turf Houses; get in the festive spirit early at the Christmas House (Jolahusid); admire the exhibits at the Akureyri Art Museum or the Hof cultural centre; or take a dip in the outdoor, geothermal swimming pool.
Arrive today in the charming, tiny fishing harbour of Ísafjördur. The village’s touristic highlights include the Westfjord Heritage Museum and The Museum House (Old Hospital). Located at the heart of the Westfjords peninsula, it’s a great jumping-off point for exploration so journey by Zodiac to the island of Vigur – the pearl of the Western Fjords. The second-largest island in the fjord, measuring two kilometres by 400 metres, it’s a significant seabird colony, which is home to arctic terns, puffins, black guillemots and eider ducks. As one of only two inhabited islands in the fjord, Vigur is also the site of a single farm, which has been in the same family for generations. During your time on the island, you might see Iceland’s only windmill, the country’s smallest post office and oldest boat, which was built more than 200 years ago and in regular use until relatively recently.
Considered one of Iceland’s most impressive, this thunderous waterfall in the Westfjords region gives the impression of a bridal veil as it spreads its tumbling waters down a series of ever- growing cascades. Dynjandi is one of the most photographed sights in Iceland. Walking up to it takes 15 minutes passing five smaller waterfalls. Nearby, Hrafnseyri is the birthplace of Jón Sigurdsson, 19th-century leader of the Icelandic Independence movement. The museum includes an Icelandic turf house.
Despite its small size, you won’t be short of things to see and do in this diminutive but dramatic city. To get your bearings, take the elevator to the top of Hallgrímskirkja. This church, designed by famed Icelandic architect Gudjón Samuelsson is one of the most distinctive buildings in town. When you return to earth, visit the city’s other renowned building Harpa Concert Hall, located at the heart of Reykjavík's regenerated harbour – also the home of the Maritime Museum. Speaking of cultural spaces, tour the National Museum to learn the story of Iceland from past to present. The Reykjavík Art Museum houses an impressive contemporary collection including eye-catching pieces by Erró. And, of course, just 50 kilometres outside the city lies Thingvellir National Park, the site of Iceland’s original Viking parliament.
Only 150 guests.
Polar Class 5.
Swan Hellenic's brand-new ship has been designed to journey to off the beaten path destinations and remote polar regions in style and comfort. The Vega, named after the first ship to cross the Arctic Northeast Passage, incorporates a PC5 ice-strengthened hull combined with extra-large stabilizers to make your journey as smooth as possible.
All is included on your expedition. All you need to purchase is your international flights and your travel insurance.
All excursions in Svalbard are included on this trip of a lifetime. Zodiac cruises, hikes, wildlife watching and more.
One night pre-cruise accommodation with breakfast in a 4/5-star hotel in Tromso or onboard.
Your Parka and boots are provided onboard. No need to pack bulky jackets and heavy boots. The parka is yours to keep.
No one likes paying for the extras, so we've included all meals, tips for the crew, alcohol and drinks, as well as standard wifi.
Seriously - 24-hour room service is also included in your fare. Enjoy some late night snacks or breakfast in bed.
Featuring modern Scandinavian inspired design showcasing unobstructed views and oceans of outside space
All our polar trips are offered at the exact same price as the ship or tour operator, including any incentives or specials. There will never be a price difference and you won’t pay more when travelling with us. What you will get however, is unbiased advice on the best voyage for you and unparalleled access to over 1,000 polar experiences.
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Travelling solo? These voyages have a limited number of cabins available with no single supplement - you get the cabin to yourself.
Unfortunately all free singles have been sold. Single price now 1.5X.
Contact us as these are limited and fill up fast.