The Experience

DAY 1: U.S./Bergen, Norway (Via Copenhagen)
Depart on an overnight flight to Bergen.

DAY 2: Bergen, Norway/Embark
Arrive in the Hanseatic town of Bergen, the gateway to the fjordlands. Stroll historic Bryggens Wharf, a UNESCO World Heritage site, before embarkation. (L,D)

DAY 3: 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 4: Smola
Visit the scenic little island of Smola, where we have been specially invited by the locals to make the first-ever ship call. (B, L, D)

DAY 5: 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. (B,L,D)

DAY 6: Lofoten Islands
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. (B,L,D)

DAY 7: 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 border. (B,L,D)

DAY 8: Tromso
Tromso is known as the gateway to the Arctic, because so many Arctic expeditions originated here. Visit the Polar Museum and the Arctic Cathedral, where the unique architecture evokes snow and icebergs. (B,L,D)

DAY 9: At Sea
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 10: Bear Island
Zodiac around mist-shrouded Bear Island, populated by thousands of fulmars, kittiwakes, guillemots and gulls. This is a birdwatcher’s paradise. (B,L,D)
1 – 10 11 – 17
Please note: All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.

Extensions

Iceland’s Natural Wonders
POST-TRIP / 4 DAYS / FROM $3,760
Explore the geological wonders in the heart of the Icelandic wilderness: towering glaciers and gushing hot springs, boiling mud pools, lava fields and thundering waterfalls.

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