This expedition-style cruise from Edinburgh to Longyearbyen is your chance to discover some historically significant and wildlife-rich destinations of Scotland and the Arctic. Cruising aboard the small, luxury expedition ship, the Sea Spirit is the perfect way to visit difficult-to-access locations where tourist value far exceeds tourist numbers. Begin in the historic Orkney Islands archipelago, then head to the Fair Isles, a birdwatchers paradise where over 345 species have been recorded to inhabit before crossing the Arctic circle and exploring the unforgettable landscapes of Spitsbergen.
|1||Edinburgh, Scotland||Explore Edinburgh, embark the Sea Spirit|
|2||Kirkwall, Orkney Islands||Tour of the history of Orkney|
|3||Fair Isle, Shetland Islands||Birdwatcher's paradise, spot fulmars, kittiwakes, northern gannets and puffins|
|4||Torshavn, Faroe Islands||Explore the colourful town of Torshavn|
|5||At Sea||Partake in presentations and workshops by experts or enjoy one of the many onboard facilities|
|6||Jan Mayen||Enjoy the breathtaking landscapes on this active volcanic island|
|7||At Sea||Listen to invited speakers as they prepare you for meeting the unique wildlife and landscapes of Spitsbergen|
|8 - 11||Spitsbergen||Polar bears, whale, arctic foxes, stunning landscapes and scenery|
|12||Longyearbyen, Svalbard||After breakfast dismebark the sea spirit and transfer to airport or city centre.|
The Sea Spirit was built in Italy in 1991. She’s a very comfortable ice-strengthened, small (114 guests), all-suite expedition ship. The vessel was updated in late 2010 and had additional refurbishment in April 2017. All suites have private facilities and exterior views. Some of the suites feature private balconies for enjoying fantastic landscapes of Antarctica.
She has a fleet of ten rubber inflatable zodiac boats for landings, an experienced crew, and a set of retractable fin stabilizers for smooth sailing. This ship features an open bridge, 2 rear outdoor viewing areas, an outdoor viewing area at the front of the vessel, a bar, lounge, presentation room and dining area all lined with windows. There is also a gym on-board as well as a library and media centre.
Welcome to Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland and starting point of our expedition. The famous Castle rising above the city gives immediate evidence of Edinburgh’s rich history. While the Town area boasts medieval architecture, the New Town accommodates newer 18th century buildings. Each corner of Edinburgh’s old streets opens beautiful unexpected vistas of green hills or a blue flash of distant sea. In the afternoon, you will be welcomed aboard the luxury expedition ship M/V Sea Spirit. Explore the ship and get settled in your comfortable and spacious suite.
Kirkwall is a small, quiet town, with a gentle pace of life. The town is the capital of the remote and amazing Orkney archipelago. Kirkwall is first mentioned in Orkneyinga saga in 1046. Such a long history has left a rich heritage that you will explore today. The most famous are the sandstone St Magnus Cathedral, considered the finest medieval building in the north of Scotland, the Bishop’s Palace and the Earl’s Palace.
Fair Isle is a real paradise for birdwatchers. Huge numbers of birds inhabits the lush grasslands and spectacular cliffs. Over 345 species have been recorded here – more than anywhere else in Britain. During your walk across the island, you can hope to see northern fulmars, kittiwakes, northern gannets, puffins, and great and arctic skuas.
National Geographic Traveller had designated Faroe Islands as “authentic, unspoiled and likely to remain so”. It seems that the Nature spares no colours in “painting” the islands. Deep-green hills, bright blue sea, colourful houses and boats and orange-red puffins’ beaks make the scenery unforgettable.
Presentations and workshops by our expert staff, as well as our range of onboard recreation facilities, ensure that this day at sea is not idly spent. Seabird viewing and whale sightings can be enjoyed from panoramic open decks as well as exterior stateroom windows and balconies.
Jan Mayen hosts landscapes of breathtaking beauty and northernmost sub-aerial active volcano on the planet – the Beerenberg. The island is wild and uninhabited not including members of Norwegian weather station. The signboard at the entrance door says (translated from the Norwegian): “Theory is when you understand everything but nothing works. Practice is when everything works but nobody understands why. On this station, we combine theory and practice in a way that nothing works and nobody understands why”. Northern fulmars, Kittiwakes, and Brünich’s guillemots breeding on steep cliffs and slopes represent the bird life of Jan Mayen..
The lectures of invited speakers will prepare you for meeting the unique Arctic wildlife and awesome landscapes of Spitsbergen.
This is a real expedition in a true High Arctic wilderness. As such, your route and exploration opportunities here are heavily dependent on the weather and sea ice conditions the ship encounters. Your experienced captain and expedition leader decide the itinerary and continually adjust plans as conditions and opportunities warrant. You can be sure that the best possible advantage will be taken of the circumstances presented to us by Nature in this wild and remote corner of the Arctic.
Polar bears and other quintessential Arctic wildlife can be spotted anytime, anywhere in and around Svalbard. Your expedition team exploits every opportunity to experience excellent wildlife viewing, to discover incredible scenery, and to walk in the footsteps of the historic polar expeditions that came before you.
The expedition team anticipate exploring the spectacular fjords, coasts, and islands in the western part of Svalbard. This area contains the archipelago’s most impressive scenery and some of the Arctic’s best wildlife viewing opportunities. Deep fjords and narrow channels are flanked by jagged snowy mountain peaks. Immense tidewater glaciers calve icebergs into turquoise waters. Fields of flowering tundra are home to grazing reindeer and playful Arctic fox. Bountiful inshore and offshore waters are home to walrus and a wide variety of whales. The whole area is alive with migratory birds, including numerous rare species, taking advantage of summer’s fecundity in 24-hour daylight.
To complete the Arctic experience you will also explore places rich with history. The area of exploration contains the historical remnants of whaling camps, coal mining operations, trappers’ cabins, staging areas for historic attempts to discover the North Pole, and even an abandoned polar research station. The days are filled with memorable excursions, sumptuous meals, presentations by experts, and enough stunning scenery and wildlife to fill your camera and overwhelm your emotions.
After breakfast, disembark the Sea Spirit where you’ll say farewell to your fellow expeditioners and either transfer to the airport or to the town centre if you wish to spend more time here.