Follow the Viking trail aboard the new National Geographic Endurance on a voyage from Norway to the far-flung islands and archipelagos of the Arctic. Cruise the famed Norwegian fjords and the magical Lofoten islands, explore Bronze Age sites in Scotland’s Shetland Islands, and delve into the legacy of the Vikings amid the turf-roofed cottages of the Faroes. Then trace Iceland’s most remote shorelines, witnessing geological wonders from volcanoes to thundering waterfalls.
|Day 1||Oslo, Norway||Explore the capital city of Norway|
|Day 2||Embark Tromsø||After a chartered flight to Tromsø embark on your voyage|
|Day 3||Tysfjorden||Explore the dramatic coastline and zodiac trips.|
|Day 4||Lofoten Islands||Explore this enchanting region with your experts|
|Days 5 & 6||Fjords of Norway||Kayak or go ashore to explore these beautiful fjords|
|Day 7||At Sea/Shetland Islands||Relax and enjoy the on board facilities, great bird watching opportunities|
|Day 8||Lerwick/Foula||Dock here and learn about it’s Norse and Gaelic History|
|Day 9||Tórshavn, Faroe Islands||Discover the Faroe Islands, part of the archipelago within the Kingdom of Denmark|
|Day 10||Mykines||Take a zodiac ashore in this tiny village|
|Days 11 & 12||At Sea/Raudanes or Langanes Peninsulas, Iceland/Grímsey||Sail upto Iceland’s rugged East Coast|
|Days 13 & 14||Ísafjördur/Flatey Island/Látrabjarg||Enjoy these unique town’s with a rich history|
|Day 15||Westman Islands||Spend the day at these islands formed by volcanic eruptions|
|Day 16||Reykjavik, Iceland||Disembarkation|
Launching in 2020, the National Geographic Endurance is a next-generation expedition ship, purpose built for polar navigation. The Category A vessel is a fully stabilized, highly strengthened ship designed to navigate polar-passages and uncharted waters all year round. Designed to provide an extremely smooth ride in even the most adverse of conditions, reduced spray on deck and wave-splicing action making for superior observation.
Arrive in Oslo, the capital city of Norway. Enjoy a stroll amoung the Vigeland sculpture, hunderds of life-sized human figures in a park. Continue on the Polar Ship Fram Museum which is dedicated to Norwegian explorers Nansen and Amundsen. You have the evening at your leisure to enjoy a good night’s rest and perhaps visit one of the nearby restaurants.
Take a charter flight to from Oslo to Tromsø known at the “gateway to the arctic” due to the large number of Arctic Expeditions that originated here. Visit the Arctic Cathedral, where the unique architecture evokes icebergs; and persue the Polar Museum which showcases the ships, equipment and seafairing traditions of early Arctic Settlers. In the afternoon you will board the National Geographic Endurance and set sail for an unforgettable adventure.
Explore the dramatic, glacier-carved Norwegian coastline of Tysfjorden, where the fjord’s almost vertical walls surround the ship. By Zodiac and kayak, get closer views of the birch forests, tumbling waterfalls, and small villages on the rocky shore. Nearby, the U-shaped valley of Hellmobotn cuts nearly to Sweden and has a trail to hike taking you almost to the border.
Start your day on deck as we glide into Trollfjorden, one of Norway’s most dramatic fjords. The Lofoten archipelago boasts an enchanting landscape of picturesque villages framed by jagged, granite peaks that rise straight from the sea. Explore the many islets, and go ashore at Værøy to hike and kayak. Seek out Atlantic puffins, razorbills, and guillemots on a Zodiac cruise.
Carved by glaciers over millions of years, Norway’s northern coast is laced with steep-walled fjords, mountainous islands, and chiseled peaks. Cruise in a Zodiac along vertical rock faces, kayak through serene fjords, or go ashore on a secluded sandy beach to hike amid verdant valleys and birch forests.
Spend a relaxing morning at sea as we sail toward the Shetland Islands, an archipelago of about one hundred islands and islets located north of the Scottish mainland. Glide past the towering cliffs of Noss to view murres, puffins, kittiwakes, and other seabirds.
Dock in Lerwick, a town where Norse and Gaelic cultures intermingle. Explore the town, delve into local culture and history at the Shetland Museum & Archives, or embark on a bird-watching or geology walk. Alternatively, venture to the prehistoric settlement of Jarlshof to examine its Bronze Age ruins and Viking longhouses. In the afternoon, continue to Foula, a stark but spectacular island edged with towering cliffs and blanketed with peat bogs, where people are drastically outnumbered by puffins.
This morning, arrive in the Faroe Islands, an autonomous archipelago within the Kingdom of Denmark. The legacy of the Vikings persists here, reflected in the language of the Faroese and their love of the sea. Browse Viking artifacts at the historical museum in Tórshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands; wander through 12th-century St. Olav’s Church; and discover the archaeological site of Kirkjubøur, a medieval farming and religious village.
Zodiacs take you ashore on Mykines island, known for its breathtaking views and for the hundreds of puffins that make their home here. Stroll through the tiny village along unpaved streets, passing whimsical turf-roofed houses and a turf-roofed church; and see the islands tiny lighthouse, tethered down with guy wires.
After a day at sea, awake along Iceland’s rugged eastern coast, an unspoiled stretch of rocky outcrops, hidden coves, and hills that beckon hikers. You may visit one of several locations in this region. Depending on the weather and tides, go for a Zodiac cruise to view the sea stacks near Rauđanes peninsula or hike along a stretch of the Langanes peninsula. Continue to Grímsey on the Arctic Circle.
Located in the Westfjords region, the town of Ísafjörđur lies on a tiny spit jutting out into the water against a backdrop of steep hills. Spend time hiking and watching for nesting seabirds in this remote setting. The next day, visit Flatey island, a fishing and trading post for centuries. Navigate the coast by Zodiac to see where Erik the Red is believed to have set sail around the year 982, bound for Greenland. Sail past the soaring Látrabjarg cliffs, the westernmost point of Iceland and home to teeming populations of bird species, including razorbills and puffins.
Spend the day in the Westman Islands, one of the world’s younger archipelagos, formed by undersea volcanos some 11,000 years ago. In 1973, the isle of Heimaey was threatened by lava flows that nearly closed off the harbor. Visit the Eldfell volcanic crater, where the earth is still hot, and take in views over landscapes engulfed in lava rock. You’ll also be able to spy Surtsey, one of the world’s youngest islands, which was formed by volcanic eruptions between 1963 and 1967.
Disembark in Reykjavík with options to visit either the famous Blue Lagoon thermal baths or hot springs, a geothermal power plant and a horse farm before your unforgettable experience comes to an end.