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Scottish Highlights and Norwegian Fjords - Expedition
14 days
Arctic, Norway, United Kingdom - Trip code ESN

Scottish Highlights and Norwegian Fjords - Expedition

Cruise into the fabulous Norwegian Fjords from Scotland, taking in the remote Orkney and Shetland Islands on the way... From Edinburgh we set sail to Britain's northern most archipelagos of Orkney and Shetland before continuing onto Norway. Go deeper into the otherworldly fjords of Norway on this unique journey through the Norwegian Sea. Discover UNESCO-protected wonders like the Standing Stones of Stennes, the mystical Ring of Brodgar and archaeological sites, witness the curious clash of cultures in the Shetland Islands and marvel at the stunning forests and waterfalls that line the fjords. Even after you come home, a part of you will remain here forever.

Trip highlights

  • Discover - the ancient Orkneys and enjoy the birdlife on the Shetland Islands
  • Sail into Norway's dramatic fjords - beneath glaciers and mountains
  • Explore medieval villages - enjoy mystical historical sites
  • Travel in small inflatable boats - explore glacial scenery and enjoy excursions to shore by Zodiac
Accommodation grade:
Premium
Our premium accommodation is hand-picked and chosen for its character, location or local importance. These properties have excellent facilities and a higher level of comfort and service. They provide the perfect wind down after an active day.
Trip pace:
Relaxed
You can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences on these Relaxed pace tours, with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings, but still come home feeling relaxed and refreshed.

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Edinburgh to Kirkwall

Our expedition begins in the outskirts of Scotland's Royal capital. Since the 11th century, Edinburgh, has been home to an extraordinary range of architectural contrast. From dark, medieval 16th century block towers, to classical Georgian and Victorian masterpieces. Listed as a World Heritage Site, Edinburgh is home to over 16,000 listed buildings. We board our expedition ship in the afternoon in the suburb port of Leith. The Expedition departs in the late afternoon, sailing towards Kirkwall.

Accommodation: Expedition(or similar)

Premium Boat
Single room available
Meals Provided: Dinner
Day 2 - Kirkwall to the Orkney Islands

There are few places in the world that offer as much variety as the Orkneys. Only 10km off the coast of Scotland the islands are famous for their abundant marine bird life and dramatic coastal scenery. Our excursions for today will focus not only on this, but also on the many mystical and historical sites of the area. These excursions will include coach visits to the Ring of Brodgar, the Standing Stones of Stennes and the 4500 year old village of Skara Brae.

Accommodation: Expedition(or similar)

Premium Boat
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 3 - Orkney Islands to the Shetland Islands

We continue northwards to the remote Shetland Islands. The islands were under Norse rule until 1469, when they were given to Scotland as part of a Danish princess's dowry. The Shetlands are an engaging mix of Scotland and Scandinavia, with spectacular coastlines, varied and abundant bird life and a number of archaeological sites that date back thousands of years.

Accommodation: Expedition(or similar)

Premium Boat
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 4 - Shetland Islands to Bergen

Today we'll enjoy a city tour of Bergen, including a stop at the museum of Edvard Grieg. The museum was built as a legacy to the famous Norwegian composer and pianist who was born in the city. We will follow on with a visit to the historical seaport district, which dates from the Hanseatic League. There will also be time to explore the city on your own and take in the local fish market, which is well worth a visit.

Accommodation: Expedition(or similar)

Premium Boat
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 5 - Bergen to Flam

In the morning, we cruise from Bergen to Flam. Hop on the Flåm Railway, travelling through valleys and mountain passes to reach the scenic fjord of the Flåm district.

Accommodation: Expedition(or similar)

Premium Boat
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 6 - Flam to Olden

Weather and time permitting, we hope to make a stop in Olden and take a short bus ride to the Briksdal area, where we can take a brief walk up to the glacier. A steep climb but it is worth the trek !

Accommodation: Expedition(or similar)

Premium Boat
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 7 - Olden to Geirangerfjord

We sail deep into one of Norway's most beautiful and frequently visited fjords. The Geraingerfjord was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2005. It is a 15km branch of the Sunnylvsford and it's tiny village of Gerainger, sits at the very tip. We will have plenty of time to explore the beautiful surroundings and waterfalls found within this magnificent fjord.

Accommodation: Expedition(or similar)

Premium Boat
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 8 - Geirangerfjord to Trondheim

Today, we will continue on to Trondheim.You will have the choice of either taking an afternoon hike to the Sverresborg Folk Museum, or you can enjoy a city tour which will include the Folk Museum and the elaborate Nidaros Cathedral, built between 1070 and 1300.

Accommodation: Expedition(or similar)

Premium Boat
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 9 - Trondheim to Svartisen, via Torghatten

The rugged coastline of central Norway features some of the world's most beautiful scenery. The captain will liaise with local Norwegian pilots to determine our best Zodiac landing options. At Torghatten, you can hike up the famous landmark, the mountain with a hole right through it. It is an easy walk and offers rewarding, panoramic views from the top. In the afternoon, we head to the quaint and picturesque Vega Island, another listed UNESCO site. You will have time to wander through the fishing villages and appreciate the slow pace of life found here.

Accommodation: Expedition(or similar)

Premium Boat
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 10 - Svartisen to Lofoten

Today we visit Svartisen and Vikingen. Svartisen is Norway's second largest glacier, and is the lowest accessible glacier in mainland Europe, at only 20m above sea level. We will visit Vikingen, a point directly on the Arctic Circle, which is marked with a Globe-shaped monument.

Accommodation: Expedition(or similar)

Premium Boat
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 11 - Lofoten

The Lofoten archipelago is an enchanting area of picturesque villages, backed with jagged peaks and perched by the sea. Go ashore via coach on the island of Å, where cod fishing is still a major part of the economy. In the evening, stay on deck as you cruise into one of Norway's most famous fjords, the short yet dramatic Trollfjord. Search the cliffs on your continuing quest to spot trolls, the mythical creatures of Norwegian legend.

Accommodation: Expedition(or similar)

Premium Boat
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 12 - Lofoten to the Norwegian Sea

Enjoy a day off the coast with Zodiac excursions to search out the local marine life such as orcas and other whale species.

Accommodation: Expedition(or similar)

Premium Boat
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 13 - Norwegian Sea to Nordkapp

Head back to the coast and visit Nordkapp in the Finnmark region. Take a scenic drive of this high rugged coastal plateau. This will be the most northerly point of the trip at 71 ° N.

Accommodation: Expedition(or similar)

Premium Boat
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 14 - Tromso

We arrive in Tromso, the capital of northern Norway, known as the Gateway to the Arctic as it was the embarkation point for many Arctic expeditions. We will disembark in the morning, after breakfast. We recommend booking some extra time in Tromso to explore the city further. The Arctic Cathedral is probably the most famous landmark of the city, but you can also enjoy wandering amongst the traditional wooden houses that are found here, some of which date back to the 1780's. The city is a cultural centre of the region, with many festivals taking place over the summer months.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Polar information

Ship information
At a nimble 105 metres (345 ft) in length, with a capacity to hold 132 guests, the Expedition is an ideal vessel to ply polar waters. The ship is large enough to provide stability, speed, spacious cabins and ample public space. Yet she is small enough to manoeuvre in remote areas and get you close to the action. Ship stabilizers ensure a smoother ride in rough waters, such as the infamous Drake Passage enroute to the Antarctic, allowing you to enjoy more of your time at sea. A fleet of ten zodiacs allows passengers to get out and actively explore the remote shores of our destinations. The Expedition is a speedy vessel. A top speed of 16 knots means you'll spend less time getting from A to B, and more time to explore your surroundings.

What's included?

Included meals
  • Breakfast: 13
  • Lunch: 12
  • Dinner: 13
Transport
  • Bus
  • Expedition
  • Zodiac
Trip staff
  • Expedition Crew
  • Naturalist(s)
Accommodation
  • 13 nights premium boat
Award Winning Explore Leaders
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Price Guarantee Promise
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Airport Transfers
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FairFX currency card
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Trip information

Country information

Arctic Region Holidays & Tours

Norway Trips

Climate

Seasonal Climate Despite the northern latitudes the climate in Norway is not extreme, due to the affects of the North Atlantic Drift. Between May and September is the best time to visit this region, with summer temperatures reaching the high teens and rain a regular feature year round along the coast. North of the Arctic Circle the sun does not set between the middle of May and the end of July, so you can expect to encounter the midnight sun during this period.

Time difference to GMT

+1

Plugs

2 Pin Round

Religion

Lutheranism

Language

Norwegian

United Kingdom Holidays & Tours

Climate

The UK has a temperate but very variable climate. In general the summers are warm with July and August being the warmest. The winters are cool and the lowest temperatures are recorded during January and February. Whatever the season it is advisable to be prepared for rain!

Time difference to GMT

0

Plugs

3 Pin Flat

Religion

Christian

Language

English

Budgeting and packing

Clothing

Parkas These will be provided by the ship operator. Please register your size with us before travel and we will arrange for your parka to be available in your cabin on arrival. Gloves Keeping your hands warm and dry can be a challenge. Thin polypropylene gloves can be worn underneath warm outergloves. This allows you some protection from the cold when removing your gloves to operate your camera etc. We strongly recommend that you bring more than one pair of gloves, in case one gets wet (or lost). Hat/Cap Warm, woollen hat/cap to protect your ears, as well as a scarf, neck gaiter or other face protection, such as a balaclava. Trousers Water-resistant trousers of coated nylon or, even better, Gore-Tex® are essential for your comfort. They can be worn over your regular clothes to keep you warm and dry. We suggest that you purchase trousers a few sizes larger than you normally wear as you will be wearing them over other clothing. Gore-Tex® or similar fabrics are excellent for keeping out wind and water without trapping excess heat. Rain gear and Gore-Tex® products can be found in any outdoor sport clothing store. In addition to your waterproof trousers, warm ski pants are suggested if you have them. Warm trousers such as jeans, corduroys etc are also good. Socks Warm wool socks worn over a thin pair of silk, polypropylene socks should provide enough warmth and insulation for your feet. Bring several pairs of socks, since you will inevitably get your feet wet. Outer Clothing Woollen, knit or cotton sweaters/tops, polar fleece tops (medium weight), several cotton turtlenecks and T-shirts for layering on and off the ship. Underclothing Thermal underwear is highly recommended as it will keep you warm without adding bulk. Most polar travellers prefer a lightweight version.

Footwear

Complimentary, used waterproof boots will be supplied onboard. However, guests might want to bring their own if they are the following sizes due to the limited quantities onboard: - men's UK size 12 & 13 1/2 - women's UK size below three & seven and above Guests must bring their own if they are: - men's UK size six 1/2 or smaller - men's UK size 13 1/2 or larger - women's UK size two or smaller - women's UK size nine 1/2 or larger These are rubber, waterproof boots that are just below your knees with a strong, ridged non-skid sole. You usually have to step from the Zodiac into icy water up to 30 cm high on most landings. Do not bring heavy, cumbersome boots that make it difficult to walk or boots with metal cleats as they cannot be used for landings. For maximum warmth, wear loose-fitting boots and two pairs of socks. Try out your boots before the voyage.

Luggage

20kg

Luggage: On tour

One main piece of baggage and daypack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so don't overload yourself.

Equipment

Sunglasses and sun cream Personal toiletries A refilllable water bottle Books/reading material Camera and memory cards (and something to protect the camera when out in the elements) Seasickness remedy Walking poles Personal First Aid

Tipping

Local crew
Tipping is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. It is an expression of satisfaction. The suggested amount is USD $10 - 15 per person per day spent on board. Of course, tipping is a personal choice and the suggested amount is set only as a guideline. The money is collected by the Hotel Manager at the end of the voyage and distributed among the crew and Expedition Staff. The Officers choose not to participate in the tipping pool.
Country Information

Arctic Region Holidays & Tours

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Foreign Exchange

Norway Trips

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Dinner price
£35.00 - 40.00
Beer price
£6.00 - 8.00
Water price
£2.00 - 3.00
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Norwegian Krona
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Take Norwegian Krona with you
Where To Exchange
Recommend you buy some Norwegian Krona before departing the UK (or whist in transit in Oslo).
ATM Availability
ATMs are available in Myre and at Oslo and Evenes Airports.
Credit Card Acceptance
Credit cards are generally accepted at many hotels and optional excursions may be paid for by credit card.
Travellers Cheques
Not recommended.

United Kingdom Holidays & Tours

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Lunch price
£10
Dinner price
£18
Beer price
£4
Water price
£0.8
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Pounds Sterling.
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Carry a combination of UK Sterling cash, ATM and credit cards.
Where To Exchange
Your tour leader will advise you on arrival.
ATM Availability
ATM's are widely available in main towns.
Credit Card Acceptance
Widely accepted.
Travellers Cheques
Can be exchanged at most banks and post offices.

Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Bus, Expedition, Zodiac

Ship description

At a nimble 105 metres (345 ft) in length, with a capacity to hold 132 guests, the Expedition is an ideal vessel to ply polar waters. The ship is large enough to provide stability, speed, spacious cabins and ample public space. Yet she is small enough to manoeuvre in remote areas and get you close to the action. Ship stabilizers ensure a smoother ride in rough waters, such as the infamous Drake Passage enroute to the Antarctic, allowing you to enjoy more of your time at sea. A fleet of ten zodiacs allows passengers to get out and actively explore the remote shores of our destinations. The Expedition is a speedy vessel. A top speed of 16 knots means you'll spend less time getting from A to B, and more time to explore your surroundings.

Cabins

Prices are based on the use of outward facing, category one cabins on the lower deck. Category one cabins are triple or quad share. They are comfortable with a private toilet and shower, and porthole. The Expedition has a number of different cabin categories, all outside facing and with two beds (apart from suites which have queen size beds). Some have larger windows. We can also offer single occupancy, subject to availability. Call us for details on the cabin choice to fit your requirements.

Essential information

FCO Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Essential Information

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa Information

All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related issues with the relevant Embassy prior to departure. For Norway and Scotland entry visas are not required for UK, AUS, NZ, CAN, USA citizens. Other nationalities should consult the relevant consulate.


If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Arctic Region Holidays & Tours

Norway Trips

Vaccinations

The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at http://www.explore.co.uk/Travelhealth/ and from your local healthcare provider.

United Kingdom Holidays & Tours

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory, we recommend protection against tetanus, diphtheria, polio and hepatitis A. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at http://www.explore.co.uk/Travelhealth/ and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure.

Dates, prices and booking

Date
Price from
Single room option
Tuesday 8 May 2018 - Monday 21 May 2018
This departure is guaranteed
ESN_2018
From £3349
Single room option
Show full details for this departure, including trip notes
All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
Joining Point
Town
Edinburgh (Port of Leith)
Time and place
15:00 at Apex Waterloo Place Hotel before 15.00 for luggage transfer - passengers will transfer at 16.00.
Information
Please make sure that you make your way to the Apex Waterloo Place Hotel before 13:00, as luggage will be transferred to the ship at that time. Meet back at the hotel no later than 15:00 for a group transfer to the Port of Leith at 16:00.
Ending Point
Town
Tromso
Time
10:00
Information
After disembarkation, you will be transferred to either the airport or the Clarion Hotel the Edge, depending on the time of your flight. Those transferred to the hotel, will have an opportunity to explore the town centre on their own, and then be transferred to the airport later in the day as per flight schedules. Transfer times will be confirmed, and communicated onboard prior to departure. Luggage storage at the Clarion Hotel the Edge will be available until time of departure.
If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
Download Trip Notes

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