Faroe Islands, Iceland, Spitsbergen – Island Hopping In and Around the Arctic (Northbound)

Faroe Islands, Iceland, Spitsbergen – Island Hopping In and Around the Arctic (Northbound)

Faroe Islands, Iceland, Spitsbergen – Island Hopping In and Around the Arctic (Northbound)

Faroe Islands, Iceland, Spitsbergen – Island Hopping In and Around the Arctic (Northbound)

Travel information 14 days MS Spitsbergen, MS Fram
Departure
26 May 2023
Price from
5290 €
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Discover the history and natural wonders of five wild, beautiful islands in and around the Arctic across four countries. 

Island hopping expedition-style 

Explore Bergen’s UNESCO-listed Bryggen district with its fish market and colourful wooden wharfs before sailing to Lerwick in the Shetland Islands. Sample the variety of fish dishes here, from salmon and shellfish to lythe, ling and John Dory. Next, we head to Torshavn in the Faroe Islands, a city where the modern and the ancestral stand side by side across a truly Scandinavian landscape. You’ll then experience the peaceful and soothing atmosphere of Elduvik before we sail to Iceland.  

The land of ice and fire 

Our first stop in Iceland is Bakkagerdi, a tiny hamlet on the coast of Borgarfjörður Eystri that is said to inhabit many elves. Here, you’ll enjoy a pristine wilderness with top-class bird watching opportunities. Then you’ll explore Husavik, dubbed Iceland’s ‘Whale Capital.’ If you’re lucky, you might get the chance to see one or more of these giants of the sea before we head to Akureyri, Iceland’s youthful ‘Northen Capital.’  

Exploring Spitsbergen 

Sailing north, we’ll attempt to land at Jan Mayen, home to the world’s northernmost active volcano. During our two days in Spitsbergen, we’ll attempt several exciting landings in different parts of the archipelago. As you explore its rugged, untouched wilderness, you’ll be keeping your eyes peeled for the ‘Lord of the Arctic,’ the regal polar bear.  

Faroe Islands, Iceland, Spitsbergen – Island Hopping In and Around the Arctic (Northbound) Faroe Islands, Iceland, Spitsbergen – Island Hopping In and Around the Arctic (Northbound)
  • Day 1
    Bergen

    Your Expedition Begins

    26 May 2023
    Estimated time of departure is 6:00 PM

    Your journey starts in the bustling port city of Bergen. Founded in 1070 AD, Bergen was Norway’s capital for many years, and you’ll see that the city has retained a great deal of its local character, heritage and charm. 

    Hop aboard a funicular up to Mount Fløyen. The ride to the top of the mountain takes just six minutes. At the summit, 320 metres high, bask in stunning views over the city surrounded by seven mountains and the sea. You might even spot your expedition ship docked below.  

    Once back in the centre of Bergen, spend some time wandering the cobblestone streets and alleyways of this thriving, compact city. If you want a taste of a local specialty, drop into one of the many cafés or pubs and order a half-litre of local Hansa beer.   

    If you want to immerse yourself in Bergen’s history, then head to the Old Bergen Museum. It’s an open-air museum showcasing what Bergen was like in the 1700s and 1800s. Another historic highlight is Fantoft Stave Church’s ancient architecture – a beautiful combination of pagan and Christian styles.    

    Also, be sure to stroll through the historic UNESCO-listed Bryggen district with its fish market and colourful wooden wharfs. The area dates back to the 14th Century and now houses boutique stores selling a range of Norwegian arts and crafts.   

    After you check-in, you’ll have time to settle in your cabin. There is a mandatory safety drill just before departure after which you can walk around to explore the ship. The welcome dinner in the evening ends with a toast by the Captain, wishing everyone an enjoyable expedition. After meeting your expedition team, you’ll be ready to start your adventure. 

    Day 1
    Bergen

    Your Expedition Begins

  • Day 2
    Lerwick

    Centre of Scotland’s Shetland Islands

    27 May 2023

    Lerwick is Scotland’s northernmost town and has grown over time to accommodate a third of the Shetland Islands' population. This is a place where Scandinavian roots run strong and are celebrated by those that live here. Listen to the locals to hear the Norse-influenced dialect, and visit the Lerwick Town Hall to admire the stained-glass windows that chronicle events from the Viking period.

    Built on the herring trade in the 17th century, Lerwick still lands more fish than the whole of England, Wales and Northern Ireland combined. This is reflected in its gastronomy. Sample the variety of fish dishes available here, from salmon and shellfish to lythe, ling and John Dory. If seafood isn’t for you, why not try some traditional reestit mutton soup, made with local mutton.

    Shop for souvenirs in local boutiques along Commercial Street or visit the Shetland Museum to learn more about the town’s Norse heritage and culture. Take a look around the galleries, where Pictish carvings are contrasted with dainty Shetland lace shawls. Stand on the top of Fort Charlotte, an artillery fort in the centre of town with an intriguing past, and take in the remarkable views that stretch across Lerwick and beyond to the island of Bressay.

    Grey and common seals are frequent visitors on Lerwick’s beaches, so if you spend some time along the waterfront, you might get the chance to see one of these delightful sea mammals poking its head above the water near the shore. Don’t forget your binoculars, as the Shetland Islands are famous for their unique birdlife, with species such as red-throated divers, redshank and curlew breeding here.

    Day 2
    Lerwick

    Centre of Scotland’s Shetland Islands

  • Day 3
    Torshavn, Faroe Islands

    The Oldest Capital in the World

    28 May 2023

    On the southeast coast of Streymoy, the largest of the Faroe Islands, is a city where the modern and the ancestral stand side by side across a truly Scandinavian landscape. Spend some time wandering the cobbled alleyways that weave between the traditional Faroese turf-roofed homes and the brightly coloured wooden houses that wouldn’t look out of place in a storybook. 

    Named “Thor’s Harbour” in Danish, after the god of thunder, Tórshavn was founded by Norsemen in the 10th century and might very well be the oldest capital in northern Europe. Visit the local museums and be transported back through time to learn about the city’s origins, or gain a deeper understanding of the flora, fauna and geology of the Faroe Islands. 

    Make use of the free bus service to get around the city and get an authentic island life experience. Choose between a traditional or a more contemporary meal in one of Tórshavn’s restaurants, or sit for a while in one of its picturesque cafes. Visit Svartafoss Waterfall and you’ll forget you’re in the middle of a city! Relax on the mossy rocks and take in the view as you listen to the rushing water. 

    The Faroe Islands are mostly treeless, with rocky hills covered in a layer of soft grass that stretches almost all the way to the shoreline. As you explore the open plains you’ll probably come across sheep, and along the seafront you’ll be able to spot various kinds of seabirds soaring above. Try to spot a Faroese Starling, with its beige-tipped metallic wings, or an Eider Drake, with its distinctive green patch on the back of its neck. 

    • Included Explore Torshavn (Walking Tour)
    Day 3
    Torshavn, Faroe Islands

    The Oldest Capital in the World

  • Day 4
    Elduvík

    Charming Village of the Faroe Islands

    29 May 2023

    Located in the Funningsfjordur inlet in the Faroe Islands, the village of Elduvík lies by the shore at the end of a long, lush valley with towering green mountains either side of it. The river Stórá runs through the middle, splitting the village in two. Just 23 people inhabit Elduvík, and you’re sure to find its peaceful atmosphere and natural surroundings soothing. 

    As you wander the streets, admire the small, rustic houses. Almost all of them have been built in the style of traditional Icelandic village houses, with painted or tarred wooden walls. Many of the roofs are covered in grass instead of slate, a traditional style element that offers much-needed insulation and protection against the weather.  

    Despite having so few inhabitants, this remote village is complete with a school, church, dock and pier. Wander around and get a taste of village life. Visit the church, which was inaugurated in 1951, so the residents of Elduvík  would no longer have to travel to the nearby town of Oyndarfjørdur every week for service. 

    The songs of seabirds and the bleating of sheep combine with the crashing waves of the fjord to create Elduvík’s subtle soundscape. Listen to the sounds of Faroese nature and feel the cool sea air on your face as you stand on the pier and look out over the sparkling water, with the nearby island of Kalsoy rising above the waves in the distance. 

    Day 4
    Elduvík

    Charming Village of the Faroe Islands

  • Day 5
    At sea

    Relaxing at Sea

    30 May 2023

    Enjoy a relaxing day at sea with onboard lectures while we set course towards Bakkagerði. Sit at the bar, drink in hand, and get chatting with your new shipmates. You might be surprised at how much you have in common!  

    For a truly relaxing experience, soak in a hot tub up on deck. Don’t forget to keep your eyes open for marine life and seabirds.  

    Join the Expedition Team in the Science Center to learn about what you’ll encounter in North Iceland, the next leg of your expedition. You may learn about Iceland’s stunning landscape, culture and belief in the Hidden People, aka. Icelandic Elves. There might even be a chance to improve your knitting skills in one of our workshops. 

    Day 5
    At sea

    Relaxing at Sea

  • Day 6
    Bakkagerði

    The Land of the Elves

    31 May 2023

    With stunning rhyolite peaks on one side and the majestic Dyrfjöll Mountain range on the other, the coastal village of Bakkagerdi could not have a more scenic location. According to regional folklore, this tiny hamlet on the coast of Borgarfjörður Eystri inhabits a large population of elves. As a matter of fact, the hamlet derives its name from the rocky hill Alfaborg, the supposed home of the elf queen herself.  

    A settlement of around 100 people, Bakkagerdi is well off the typical tourist track and offers peace, quiet and lovely views. A short walk is all it will take to explore the town. You can sample freshly caught fish in one of the cafes; the tasty fish soup is a local favourite.  

    This area’s natural beauty, however, is the main draw and allows for fantastic hiking. Shades of pink, blue, and yellow rhyolite rocks give way to lush green valleys in multiple hiking trails. In any direction, you’ll be rewarded by a pristine wilderness and the sights and sounds of the prominent wildlife to be found here - birds.  

    The coastal cliffs of Bakkagerdi are home to a wide variety of birds, including Fulmars and Kittiwakes. This is also a good place to see Eider farming, which has been done for hundreds of years in Iceland. The end product is the very exclusive eiderdown, the most prized variety of down in the world.  

    The stars of the show, however, are Puffins. If conditions allow, we’ll attempt to visit Hafnarhólmi, a fishing harbour home to a large Puffin colony, and some of the best bird watching in Iceland. A boardwalk and several platforms will allow you to get really close to the Puffins safely. For nature and bird lovers, this region is an absolute gem. 

    • Included Local Living Walk of Bakkagerði
    Day 6
    Bakkagerði

    The Land of the Elves

  • Day 7
    Húsavík

    Top Spot for Whale-Watching

    1 June 2023

    Welcome to Husavik! Widely considered Iceland’s whale capital, this small town on Iceland’s northern coast has gained international popularity as one of the world’s best places to see whales. 

    Husavik looks out over the Skjálfandi Bay which enjoys regular visits from whale species including humpback, minke, white-beaked dolphin, harbour porpoise and the elusive blue whale. If you’re lucky, you might get the chance to see one or more of these giants of the sea.  

    It only fits that a town so geared towards whales would have a museum to match. If you want to learn more about these gentle giants of the ocean, you have to visit Husavik’s highly informative Whale Museum.  

    If you’re also interested in space travel, the Exploration Museum is fascinating. The astronauts involved in the Apollo space missions trained in Husavik in 1965 and 1967. Iceland’s basalt rocks are a close approximation of lunar rocks and provided essential geology training. The museum’s main exhibition is centered around this pioneering endeavor.   

    Just over a mile south of Husavik, Kaldbakur pond offers a swimming experience out of the ordinary if you’re looking for something a little different. Not only is it a heitur pottur heated by geothermal energy, you’ll also be swimming with goldfish. 

    • Included Discover the Whale Capital of Iceland
    Day 7
    Húsavík

    Top Spot for Whale-Watching

  • Day 8
    Akureyri

    Capital of Northern Iceland

    2 June 2023

    Akureyri is located near the base of the longest fjord in Iceland, Eyjafjörður. As we cruise along the fjord, you’ll have incredible views of snow-capped peaks and lush coastline. The fertile waters here make it one of the best places in the country to spot whales and dolphins. Species including humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises are regular visitors, although orcas and blue and fin whales have been seen here too.   

     Nicknamed ‘Iceland’s Northern Capital’, Akureyri is a lively university town. With a population of almost 20,000 it’s the largest metropolitan area outside the populated southwest region, meaning there’s plenty to delve into here including some top-notch eateries and museums. Check out the Akureyri Museum, which gives you an insight into how Icelanders used to live. The Nordurslod Museum of natural history also combines exhibitions about the local environment and the history of settlers. 

    You’ll be astonished by the array of flowers and foliage at the Arctic Botanical Gardens. Its serene atmosphere is like an oasis of lush green in the most unlikely of settings. And while you’re exploring the town, check out the striking architecture of Akureyri Church, designed by the famous architect Gudjon Samuelsson.     

    On an optional excursion outside town, you can explore natural treasures often considered some of the must-see sights in Iceland. At Goðafoss waterfall, nicknamed ‘waterfall of the gods,’ you’ll have the chance to see translucent turquoise water pounding against immense black rocks.  

    Located within a highly active volcanic area, Lake Mývatn has unique and beautiful geology, with shimmering waters and otherworldly colours. It’s also a great place for birds; Eider and Harlequinn Ducks in particular. Watchers of hit series Game of Thrones may recognise it. 

    • Included Akureyri City Walk
    Day 8
    Akureyri

    Capital of Northern Iceland

  • Day 9
    At sea

    Towards Jan Mayen

    3 June 2023

    Enjoy a relaxing day at sea with onboard lectures while we set a course for Jan Mayen. Sea days can be as active or relaxing as you choose!    

    Drop by the Science Center and find out more about the places you’re exploring. It has cutting edge scientific equipment and an extensive library to enhance your knowledge of Svalbard's topography, history and wildlife.  

    You won’t want to miss the fascinating lectures given by members of the Expedition Team. They’ll recap your expedition so far, share their knowledge of the region with you and prepare you for more adventures ahead. Lecture topics could vary from local history and storytelling to biology and geology. 

    As our journey gets underway, why not spend some time getting to know the crew and your fellow explorers. Strike up a conversation at the bar and see what you have in common with your shipmates! 

    Day 9
    At sea

    Towards Jan Mayen

  • Day 10
    Jan Mayen Island

    The Isolated Arctic Island with an Active Volcano

    4 June 2023

    In the middle of the Norwegian Sea, Jan Mayen stands shrouded in mist. It’s a snow-capped mountainous island streaked with lush mosses and lichens, which almost seem to glow green against the black rock. This volcanic isle is about as remote as you can get. It’s an untouched wilderness with a surreal atmosphere and no permanent residents, making it an unforgettable part of your Arctic adventure. 

    Jan Mayen has two main areas. The north is dominated by Beerenberg, the northernmost active volcano on Earth. It’s mostly covered in ice, and last erupted in 1985. The south is flatter and unglaciated, with a weather station that houses about 30 people in the summer, all of whom work for the Norwegian Meteorological Institute or the Norwegian Armed Forces. 

    Although there are no mammals native to Jan Mayen, the island is far from empty. Designated an Important Bird Area, large numbers of seabirds flock to the steep cliffs and slopes to breed. The island supports populations of birds including the Northern Fulmar, Brünich’s Guillemot and Little Auk.  

    Not just a prime destination for birders, the waters around Jan Mayen are rich with life too. If the weather is calm, you might be able to see one of a number of whale species nearby, or even seals having a feast in these rich fishing grounds.   

    For travellers, visits to Jan Mayen are extremely rare, and Hurtigruten are one of the few to attempt landings on this Arctic island. If we’re successful, you’ll be setting foot on one of Earth’s most remote places, taking in views seen by few others. You’ll also feel the sense of peace that comes from being surrounded by such pristine nature. 

    Day 10
    Jan Mayen Island

    The Isolated Arctic Island with an Active Volcano

  • Day 11
    At sea

    Enjoy a day at sea

    5 June 2023

    The day is at your leisure aboard the ship. Rest, enjoy the ship’s facilities and take stock of what you’ve experienced so far. Perhaps you’ll break a sweat in the indoor gym or relax in the panoramic sauna while gazing out at the view. 

    To build excitement for the next part of your adventure, spend some time in the library reading up on the places you have yet to visit, or attend lectures from the Expedition Team in the Science Center.  

    By now you’ll likely have plenty of photographs and stories from the various excursions, and you’ll be eager to swap experiences of the expedition so far with your fellow explorers.  

    In these beautiful yet remote areas, there is no internet, nor are there telephone masts to provide a mobile phone signal. Free from emails and text messages, this is therefore your rare opportunity to disconnect and detox from the modern world.  

    Enjoy just being with the loved ones accompanying you, getting to know your like-minded fellow explorers, and taking all the quiet, uninterrupted moments you want simply appreciating the peaceful, awe-inspiring scenery all around you. 

    Day 11
    At sea

    Enjoy a day at sea

  • Day 12-13
    Spitsbergen

    Svalbard’s rugged Arctic beauty

    6 June 2023 - 7 June 2023

    Spitsbergen showcases arctic beauty in all its rugged, untouched glory. This is a wilderness of steep mountains, stark glaciers and eerily beautiful offshore islands. Over the next two days, we’ll attempt several exciting landings in different parts of the archipelago. 

    Some of the most dramatic fjords in the world are located in Spitsbergen. As we sail around this beautiful island under the midnight sun, you’ll take in immense U-shaped valleys brightened by the lush flora of the arctic. You’ll see vistas of dramatic mountain ranges perfectly mirrored in the waters’ glassy surface. Cruising silently on the water, you might also hear the tell-tale creaks and groans of chunks of ice about to plunge into the sea. 

    Naturally, the stunning terrain of this region makes it ripe for outdoor adventure. We’ll attempt to take full advantage of any opportunities that come our way. Activities might include using our expedition boats to come ashore for hiking, participating in a beach clean-up or launching our kayaks.  

    Svalbard is one of those rare spots of the world where natural beauty and fascinating history combine. You’ll hear stories from our expedition team of the explorers who have either conquered Svalbard or perished from its harshness.  

    Summertime is also when polar bears trek along the coast’s drifting ice on the hunt for seals. With a bit of luck, we hope to spot one of these apex predators during our time in Svalbard.  When all’s said and done, we’re sure that you, like many explorers before you, will relish your adventures in Svalbard. 

    Day 12-13
    Spitsbergen

    Svalbard’s rugged Arctic beauty

  • Day 14
    Longyearbyen/Oslo

    End of the Expedition

    8 June 2023
    Estimated time of arrival is 6:00 AM

    Your Arctic adventure around Svalbard is over for this time. As you wind down from your expedition, you’ll have some time to look back on all your new memories, still holding onto that elated feeling of having just been quite literally near the “top of the world.” 

    After saying goodbye to the ship and its crew, you’ll take a transfer to the airport for your flight back to Oslo.  

    In Longyearbyen, you’ll often find many places hold the record for being the most north anything. The world’s northernmost cinema, church, library, high school, supermarket – they’re all here. You can chalk off each landmark with a customary selfie.  

    You can join the locals for a drink in the world’s northernmost craft brewery. Art lovers will definitely want to make time to visit Galleri Svalbard to admire diverse works of art inspired by the High Arctic. 

    If you have the time, grab some souvenirs from the local shops before heading home. A toasty Svalbard sweater or a box of local handmade chocolates would make a wonderful gift for family and friends. Svalbard is a duty-free zone and Longyearbyen has a selection of sports and outdoor clothing shops, so you could stock up on supplies for your next expedition cruise.   

    Whatever’s next for you, we wish you a safe onward journey and look forward to seeing you again!  Post-Programme 

    Guests sailing aboard MS Fram have the option of extending their stay in Longyearbyen with one of our unique Post-Programmes. Please enquire for further details. 

    Day 14
    Longyearbyen/Oslo

    End of the Expedition

Departures

2023

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
May:
26.

Current offers on this cruise:

  • Free rebooking

    Our booking policy ensures peace of mind when you book your next adventure.
    The benefits of the policy apply to any new bookings made between 16 February 2022 and 30 June 2022, for expedition cruises departing on or before 31 December 2022.
    See Special Offer

What's included

Included in your voyage

Transfers  

  • Transfer from the ship to the airport in Longyearbyen after the expedition cruise 

Flights  

  • Flights in economy class from Longyearbyen to Oslo after the expedition cruise 

Expedition Cruise  

  • Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice 
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurant Aune  
  • À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm included for suite guests on MS Fram  
  • Complimentary tea and coffee 
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Please note there is very limited Wi-Fi and phone signal in the remote areas we travel to and streaming is not supported. When in Svalbard, there is no Wi-Fi or mobile coverage except in Longyearbyen or Barentsburg. 
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to use at water refill stations on board 
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore 
  • Range of included activities 

Onboard Activities 

  • Experts on the Expedition Team deliver in-depth lectures on a variety of topics 
  • Use of the ship’s Science Center which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes 
  • Citizen Science programme allows guests to assist with live scientific research 
  • Professional onboard photographer gives top tips and tricks for the best landscape and wildlife photos 
  • Use of the ship’s hot tubs, panoramic sauna and indoor gym 
  • Informal gatherings with the crew such as daily recaps and preparation for the day to come 

Landing Activities 

  • Escorted landings with small expedition boats  
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment for activities 
  • Complimentary wind and water-resistant expedition jacket 
  • Expedition Photographers help with your camera settings  

Not included in your voyage

  • International flights  
  • Travel insurance 
  • Luggage handling 
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners 
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team  

Notes

  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions 
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change  
  • Please make sure you meet all entry and boarding requirements  
  • No gratuities expected 

Ships

Longyearbyen, Svalbard - MS Spitsbergen
Photo: Genna Roland

MS Spitsbergen

Year built 2009
Year of refurbishment 2016
Shipyard Estaleiro Navais de Viana do Castelo (POR)
Passenger capacity 180
Beds 243
Car capacity 0
Gross tonnage 7,344
Length 100.54m
Beam 18m
Speed 14.5 knots

MS Spitsbergen will take you on a voyage beyond the ordinary. She cruises along the Norwegian coast from September to May, and becomes part of our global Expedition sailings during the rest of the year.

Read more about MS Spitsbergen

MS Fram

Year built 2007
Year of refurbishment 2022
Shipyard Fincantieri, Italy
Passenger capacity 250 (200 in Antarctica)
Beds 276
Car capacity 0
Gross tonnage 11 647 T
Length 114 m
Beam 20.2 m
Speed 13 knots

The original Fram was the most famous explorer ship of its time, and the achievements of her expeditions are unparalleled. MS Fram brings on the heritage of the original Fram, using the most advanced technology to make her exceptionally well suited for expedition voyages in Polar Regions.

Read more about MS Fram

MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo

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