- Aboard the National Geographic Explorer (2019 departures) or the new National Geographic Endurance (2020 departures), venture north to seek out Arctic wildlife—including walruses, seals, reindeer, and polar bears—with our highly skilled naturalists.
- Board Zodiacs or kayaks and glide into inlets and coves hidden among Norway’s soaring fjords.
- Capture stellar images of epic landscapes and wildlife, enhancing your technique as you shoot alongside a National Geographic photographer.
- Glide beneath the seabird-dotted cliffs of the Lofoten Islands, and discover colorful fishing villages.
On a carefully-crafted itinerary that we’ve perfected over time, set out to explore some of the most stunning landscapes of the north aboard the National Geographic Explorer or the new National Geographic Endurance. Follow Norway’s fjord-carved coast from charming Bergen to Tromsø, discovering tiny fishing villages on our way to the icy shores of Svalbard. Spend five days exploring Svalbard with a world-class expedition team, kayaking deep into ice-fringed inlets; hiking windswept islands; and searching for iconic wildlife—including the majestic polar bear.
This trip is offered in partnership with Lindblad Expeditions.
Depart on an overnight flight to Bergen, the gateway to Norway's fjords. Ringed by seven hills, this beautiful city was once an important Hanseatic trading center. Discover Bergen’s maritime history on a guided walk of Bryggen—the city's colorful old wharf, and a designated UNESCO World Heritage site. Later, settle into your accommodations aboard the National Geographic Endurance or the National Geographic Explorer.
National Geographic Endurance or National Geographic Explorer through Day 15
This morning, we begin our exploration of Norway's dramatic fjords. Glide through the little-known Nordfjorden and travel overland to see the jagged peaks and turquoise lake of Lodalen Valley. Using tips and tricks from our National Geographic photographer, capture the lake's unique color, caused by rock dust from nearby glaciers. Then hike through deep, glacially carved valleys to Kjenndal Glacier, an arm of Jostedal Glacier—the largest ice sheet glacier in continental Europe.
Along the stunning fjord-laced coast of central Norway, cruise in a Zodiac beneath vertical rock faces, paddle a kayak past countless waterfalls, and go hiking with our naturalists. As we make our way north to the Arctic Circle, explore hidden gems such as Melfjorden, a spectacular narrow channel that cuts between high granite cliffs. View snowcapped mountains reflected in the fjord's clear waters, and spot the few colorful houses that are perched on shore.
Due to the warm currents of the Gulf Stream, the magical Lofoten islands experience relatively mild temperatures year-round. Travel among the archipelago by Zodiac and witness how the good weather creates a haven for wildlife such as otters and moose, as well as some of the largest concentrations of seabirds in Europe— from sea eagles to Atlantic puffins, razorbills, and murres. Go ashore at the island of Værøy, where fishing remains a major contributor to the local economy. Later, find a spot on deck as we cruise into Trollfjorden, one of the most dramatic fjords in Norway.
This morning, enter the long fjord of Tysfjorden, where only a few small villages cling to the rocky shores. Hike the U-shaped valley of Hellemobotn, whose fjord reaches far inland and ends just a few miles from the border of Sweden.
Tromsø is known as the “gateway to the Arctic” for the numerous Arctic expeditions that originated here. Visit the Polar Museum, which showcases the ships, equipment, and seafaring traditions of early Arctic settlers. Observe the high concentration of historic wooden houses on Tromsø's tree-lined streets, and step into the Arctic Cathedral, where the unique architecture evokes snow and icebergs.
We now set our sights on the high Arctic, taking advantage of opportunities to explore Bjørnøya, or Bear Island—the southernmost island of the Svalbard archipelago. Cruise past the eastern highlands of Miseryfjellet mountain and view sea caves and rock pillars carved out of the rocky shore. Glide a Zodiac into the coves and inlets of this mist-shrouded isle, and use your binoculars to take in the spectacular sight of tens of thousands of fulmars, kittiwakes, and murres communing on the sheer granite cliffs.
Svalbard lies north of the Arctic Circle, where the summer sun never sets. Extended daylight hours and a flexible itinerary allow us to make the most of our time here in the far north. With our fully stabilized, ice-class ship, we probe the floes in search of wildlife. Join our spotters on the bridge, scanning the edges of the pack ice for massive walruses, bearded and ringed seals, arctic foxes, reindeer, and polar bears; and venture ashore with our naturalists to hike tundra abloom with wildflowers. Sail deep into beautiful fjords to kayak quiet coves surrounded by sparkling icebergs, and board Zodiacs to view tidewater glaciers and spectacular ice formations. Enjoy nightly recaps and talks by our National Geographic expert on the natural wonders we encounter, and view underwater video footage taken some 1,000 feet below the surface by our remotely operated vehicle (ROV).
Disembark in Longyearbyen and visit the Svalbard Gallery and Svalbard Museum. Then board our charter flight to Oslo and check in to our hotel.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight.