Traveling aboard the new National Geographic Endurance, voyage to the far-flung archipelago of Svalbard, where fantastic formations of snow and ice set the stage for a remarkable adventure. As the spring sun rises higher in the Arctic sky each day, we let nature guide our course during this spectacular season. Probe the floes in search of polar bears, walruses, seals, and other wildlife. Walk on a frozen sea, kayak amid sparkling icebergs, and capture the dazzling springtime light alongside a National Geographic photographer.
This trip is offered in partnership with Lindblad Expeditions.
Depart on an overnight flight to Oslo and check in to our hotel upon arrival. In the afternoon, embark on a tour of Norway’s capital city. Stroll in a terraced park among the famed Vigeland sculptures—hundreds of life-size human figures by native sculptor Gustav Vigeland. Then visit the Fram Museum, dedicated to the wooden ship sailed by Norwegian pole explorers Nansen and Amundsen. Choose to explore the stunning waterfront around the Olso Opera House or walk atop the imposing walls of the Akershus Fortress, originally constructed in the 13th century.
Depart Oslo on a private charter flight and enjoy breathtaking vistas en route to Longyearbyen, the largest settlement in Svalbard. On arrival, visit the Svalbard Museum to learn about the natural and cultural history of Svalbard and the Arctic, from 17th-century whaling to modern scientific research. Longyearbyen is home to a diverse community of scientists from Russia, Germany, Thailand, and beyond, stationed on the island to study the Arctic environment or employed in nearby mining operations. Explore the Gallery Svalbard, home to permanent collections as well as exhibitions of local artists, and stroll down streets lined with colorful houses. Later, settle into comfortable accommodations aboard the National Geographic Endurance.
National Geographic Endurance through Day 9
A high Arctic archipelago between Norway and the North Pole, Svalbard is a place of deep fjords, snow-capped mountains, and massive sheets of ice. Our travel in the Svalbard archipelago is exploratory by design; we make the most of our days, keeping a flexible schedule to take advantage of the opportunities that arise. We'll travel aboard the National Geographic Endurance, the only ice-class passenger ship purpose-built for polar exploration, featuring a panoramic rooftop observation deck and an expedition base with state-of-the-art Zodiac loading bays for rapid response to wildlife sightings. Set out from the ship to search for Svalbard’s amazing wildlife in the water and on the ice. Spot walruses, bearded and ringed seals, and the legendary creature of the north—the polar bear. Curious polar bears have been known to approach close to our ship, offering exceptional opportunities to observe and photograph these mysterious denizens of the ice. We explore serene fjords in Zodiacs, gliding beneath tidewater glaciers and cruising around beautiful icebergs, and we step right off the ship onto the frozen sea. Don snowshoes to explore snow-blanketed landscapes in the tradition of history's most intrepid explorers.
As we travel north of the Arctic Circle, our team of experts will bring depth and insight to the experience. Alongside our National Geographic photographer, we take advantage of the incredible, ever-changing light of spring and the exceptional photographic conditions. With our seasoned captain, crew, and expedition leader at the helm, we navigate local ice and weather conditions with expertise. Our undersea specialist brings back images of the deep, revealing the marine life beneath the ice, and our experts are always on the lookout for wildlife that may be observed from the deck of the ship.
Disembark in Longyearbyen and enjoy time at leisure to glimpse life above the Arctic Circle. Stroll amid the colorful houses, or warm up with hot tea and a local snack. Fly back to Oslo this afternoon and spend the evening exploring the city's elegant streets or relaxing in our hotel.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport in Oslo for your return flight home.
- Norwegian Fjords Pre-Voyage Extension5 days from $4,590
- Iceland's Natural Wonders Post Voyage Extension4 days from $4,910
Before embarking on your expedition cruise, spend seven days venturing deep into Norway’s western fjordlands. Travel by train between snow-dusted peaks, and explore the majestic landscapes of the Sognefjorden—the longest and deepest fjord in Norway—on foot and by ship. Kayak the clear waters of the Sørfjorden, and hike past verdant mountainside orchards around Ullensvang. Marvel at the intricate architecture of wooden stave churches in medieval mountain towns, and enjoy the daily rhythms of life in farming villages up and down the fjords.
Depart on an overnight flight to Bergen, the gateway to the fjords. This picturesque coastal city was once a hub for the powerful Hanseatic League, which ruled northern Europe’s commercial activity from the 13th to the 15th centuries. Check in to our centrally-located hotel and enjoy a dinner of local cuisine.
Explore Bergen’s historic city center, from its colorful old wharf to the Hanseatic Museum, which details the history of German merchants in the region. Step inside St. Mary’s Church and the reconstructed Fantoft Stave Church. This intricate wooden church was originally built in 1150 on the edge of an inland fjord, but was moved to Bergen in the 19th century. Later, discover the home of Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg, and then ride the famed funicular to a peak providing panoramic views of the city and the bay.
Today’s adventure will take us through Norway’s spectacular fjordlands by train and ferry. Begin the day with a drive to Voss, known as the adventure capital of Norway. From here, catch a train to Myrdal for a journey amid towering green mountains. Then board the famed Flåm Railway and ascend some 2,900 feet in less than an hour, traveling through breathtaking valleys and along stunning fjords to reach the charming village of Flåm. After lunch, set sail from Gudvangen for a voyage through the Nærøyfjorden, part of a UNESCO World Heritage site, and two other arms of the famed Sognefjorden. Glide past the base of majestic peaks rising over 5,000 feet into the clouds, and spot the white streaks of waterfalls cascading down wooded mountainsides. Return to Gudvangen and drive to Bruraviga, enjoying superb views of Stalheim Canyon and Nærøydal Valley. Later, travel by ferry to Brimnes, then transfer to Ullensvang. Upon arrival, check in to our historic hotel situated on the stunning Sørfjorden, an arm of the Hardangerfjorden—the second longest fjord in the country.
Enjoy a day to savor the beauty of our idyllic surroundings, choosing from a variety of activities. Explore the clear waters and green shores of the Sørfjorden by kayak or canoe. Hike past lush cherry and apple orchards lining the edge of the fjord, or relax on the waterfront where composer Edvard Grieg spent his summers. Or choose to visit Ullensvang Church and the Hardanger Folk Museum to learn about the history of this captivating region.
Today, discover an array of wild and spectacular landscapes as we journey east to Oslo. Marvel at the delicate streams of Tvindefossen waterfall and the reflection of forested hills in the mirror-like surface of Oppheim Lake. Stop to view the dramatic Vøringsfossen waterfall as it plummets deep into Måbødalen valley. In the village of Ål, visit the Torpo Stave Church, constructed around 1192 and bearing the runic inscription of its builder. After lunch in the historic town of Gol, continue to Oslo and enjoy a free afternoon to explore Norway’s capital.
After breakfast, set out on your own to discover Oslo’s diverse cultural offerings, from the famed Vigeland Park sculpture garden to the stunning waterfront Opera House. In the afternoon, meet fellow travelers for a guided city tour before embarking on your expedition cruise.