Set sail on an all new itinerary filled with discoveries, to the heart of the fascinating landscapes of Norway and Spitsbergen. National Geographic Expeditions together with PONANT bring you a 12-day expedition cruise from Glasgow to Longyearbyen, aboard Le Boréal.
You will first call at Kirkwall, capital of the Orkney Islands, where numerous seabirds, such as gannets and European shags, have taken up residence.
Le Boréal will then reach the Norwegian town of Geiranger and its sublime fiord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before crossing the Arctic Circle.
Further north, you will marvel at the mysterious charm of the Lofoten archipelago. These islands have landscapes of surreal beauty alternating between sea, spectacular fjords, mountain slopes, fine sand beaches and huts on stilts.
Continue your cruise with 4 unforgettable days in the heart of the Svalbard archipelago. Midway between Norway’s North Cape and the southern tip of Spitsbergen, you will sail past Bjornoya (Bear Island), where you will be able to see numerous seabirds. Finally, you will discover Hornsund, one of the most beautiful fjords in Spitsbergen, boasting an impressive glacier front, as well as Bellsund, whose lush valleys are sure to win you over.
We are privileged guests in these remote lands where we are at the mercy of weather, ice, tidal and current conditions. Landings on certain sites and the observation of certain wildlife cannot be guaranteed. They vary from day to day, making each PONANT cruise a unique experience. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will make every effort to ensure that your experience is as rich as possible, while complying with the safety rules and instructions imposed by the AECO.
Start your adventure in Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow which is overflowing with historic landmarks and a vibrant culture. The distinct architecture is reminiscent classic 19th-century fused together with modern early 20th-century dubbed ‘Glasgow Style’.The checkerboard layout makes the city easy to navigate with lively street entertainment around every corner.
Stornoway is the largest settlement in the Outer Hebrides. The busy port town is home to everything from bars & restaurants to gift shops and delis selling the best in Hebridean food and produce around. The friendly town boasts a number of several interesting attractions including the historic Lews Castle, Museum nan Eilean and Arnish Point Lighthouse.
Arrive early morning to Orkney archipelago in Kirkwall, which is an ideal stopover before heading into the Northern Isles. The welcoming town aptly means “church bay” which is paved with old houses, craft shops and of course the cathedral which is an architectural gem built with red and gold stone.
The first day at sea should be an opportunity to explore the facilities and activities onboard. Take a moment to relax in the spa or head to the fitness centre for a workout. There is plenty of entertainment to keep you and the whole family entertained as well as access to the upper deck which allow you to take in the journey from a spectacular viewpoint.
Heimaey is an Icelandic island in the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago.The island is famed after the Eldfell volcano which erupted in 1973 and nearly destroyed the island completely. The museum Eldheimar perfectly captures the devastation caused by the volcano, go back in time to 1973 and see a snapshot of life post-Eldfell. During your visit in summer, you may catch sight of the eight million puffins that descend on Heimaey every year.
Djúpavogshreppur is a small town and municipality located on a peninsula in the Austurland in eastern Iceland. The coastline consists of three magnificent fjords, Berufjörður, Hamarsfjörður, and Álftafjörður which create a striking landscape to explore. On land, the town is shadowed by Búlandstindur, a pyramid-shaped basalt mountain peaking at 1069m making foran incredible sight.
Cascading waterfalls, snow-capped mountains and fascinating architecture; welcome to Seyðisfjörður. The fjord, which has been carefully crafted by the ice age glaciers makes for a remarkable backdrop to this bustling town. The colourful Norwegian-style wooden houses that date back to the 20th century make Seyðisfjörður stand out as a unique Icelandic town.
Located in the Arctic Ocean, Jan Mayen Island is a volcanic island that sits beside Svalbard. The mountainous, uninhabited island is home to several volcanoes, the highest being Beerenberg in the north and a number of large lakes. In 2010 the island was granted a nature reserve to ensure the pristine preservation ofthe Arctic island and the marine wildlife that lives nearby. You may be able to spot some of the unique wildlife such as seabirds who bread on the island.
Enjoy the wide array of activities and entertainment on board during this day at sea. Fromtreating yourself in the spa to exercising in the fitness centre or having a swim in the swimming pool, there’s a choice for everyone. You can also enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, or simply visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
Isbukta is a bay in Sørkapp Land on the south-east point of the island Spitsbergen. The relatively small bay protects the immense glacier, Vasil’evbreen which is bigger than 20km in length. This stop is the perfect opportunity for a unique Zodiac® outing if the weather permits and get the chance to approach Stellingfjellet.
Bellsund is a 20km sound in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago. It is distinctly cut into two branches, the fjords Van Mijenfjorden and Van Keulenfjorden which together offer a stunning journey. You’ll be dwarfed by the high mountains which characterise the landscape along with rich wildlife that thrives in such diverse conditions.
Longyearbyen is the capital and largest settlement in Svalbard. It is the most northern territorial capital in the world with an extreme climate that sees winter hit temperatures of below 40 °C. With breath-taking glaciers, vast mountains and undisturbed nature, Longyearbyen is the perfect place to complete your once in a lifetime cruise.
National Geographic Expeditions has carefully chosen world-leading travel partners to create extraordinary travel experiences. Each expedition offers guests our unique access, knowledge and the ability to give back by supporting the National Geographic Society.
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