Follow in the bough waves of some of the world’s great explorers on this spectacular expedition voyage from industry darlings, Silversea. You’ll begin in Tromso, the fjord-framed gateway to the Norwegian Arctic, its pretty harbour and mountainous surrounds bathed in the ever-present glow of the Midnight Sun. You’ll then set sail deep into the Norwegian Arctic, first to North Cape and remote Bear Island, home to thousands-strong colonies of nesting seabirds, then to the Svalbard archipelago, just 650 miles from the North Pole. Here, amid mighty ice floes, snaggletooth mountain ranges and creaking glaciers, you’ll go in search of the region’s extraordinary wildlife – polar bears, reindeer, seals and humpback whales to name just a few – in the company of your expert Expedition Team. And, you’ll experience it all from the luxurious comforts of your Silversea ship – Silver Cloud. Following a full refurbishment in 2017, she offers the highest space-to-guest and crew-to-guest ratios of any ship in her class, alongside indulgent spa treatments, five gourmet restaurants and elegantly appointed suites, many private verandas and all butler served.
As with all of our luxury holidays, you’ll begin this trip with included chauffeur transfers to your UK departure airport, and VIP lounge access on arrival, ensuring you start things off in style. Then, board your flight to Tromso where you’ll be met for a private transfer to your hotel. You’ll then have the rest of the day free, perhaps taking the chance to explore a city centre that’s home to a vast array of superb restaurants and bars or discovering more about the region’s natural world at the excellent Botanic Gardens and Polaria Aquarium. Further afield, the likes of fjord cruises and wilderness walks offer the chance to see it all first hand. Or, you might simply prefer to relax with a drink at the waterfront, watching the city and its surrounds bathed in the warm glow of the Midnight Sun.
Stay: Tromso hotel
Check out of your hotel this morning for a private transfer to the port and your luxury expedition ship, Silver Cloud. Settle into your suite – we recommend those with a private veranda – before acquainting yourself with your new home at sea. And there’s plenty to explore, with an on-board spa and a delightful pool deck among a host of highlights; it’s a wonderfully relaxing base for the days of Arctic adventure that lie ahead. Then, having set sail, enjoy your first taste of life on the ocean with dinner at one of the ship’s five dining options – there’s everything from the refined French classics of La Dame by Relais & Châteaux to the delicious Italian fare at La Terrazza.
Breakfast & Dinner included
Rise this morning to views of the towering bird cliffs at Gjesverstappan Nature Reserve, home to thousands-strong colonies of seabirds, including Atlantic puffins, cormorants, auks, fulmars and Arctic skuas. It’s then on to Nordkapp, or North Cape, mainland Europe’s most northerly point. Here, herds of reindeer graze on the tundra as sheer cliffs plunge dramatically into the crashing sea below. It’s place of drama and untamed beauty, where the sun doesn’t set between mid-May to late July.
Before arriving at Svalbard itself, you'll head to the desolate wilds of Bear Island, right at the archipelago’s southern tip. A spectacular nature reserve, this is a place of soaring cliffs and windswept bays home to millions of nesting seabirds and puffins. Explore its wild seascapes by Zodiac, perhaps making a landing if conditions are favourable, before returning to the ship to watch out for passing humpback whales from the ship’s deck.
In a land where polar bears outnumber people, the drama of nature is never far away. Be it in the plunging fjords and snow-dusted ranges, all drenched in the Midnight Sun’s eerie light, or the gargantuan glaciers that creak and groan as they slip towards the sea, Svalbard is nature on the grandest scale. In the archipelago’s southern reaches, the warm gulf stream keeps ice floes to a minimum, and it’s often possible to explore the region’s cragged shorelines on foot, while Zodiac tours will also bring you right up close to the fascinating geological formations in places such as Magdalenefjorden and Hornsund. With flexible itineraries decided, often on the day, by your Expedition Leader and ship’s captain, all designed to make the best of the conditions, you’ll be in with the best chance to spot reindeer, Arctic fox, walrus haul-outs and several species of whale including minke and beluga.
In the north, Svalbard’s landscapes are wilder still, but with the strengthened hull of Silver Cloud, you’ll be perfectly placed to tackle the pack ice to go in search of walrus and polar bears in the company of your expert guides. Zodiac cruises will bring you deep into remote fjords as you watch circling Arctic terns, black-legged kittiwakes and ivory gulls circling above the glaciers of Monacobreen and Seligerbreen, and there’s even the chance, weather permitting, to embark on a hike up the 14th of July Glacier at the entrance to remote Krossfjorden. It all makes for a truly unforgettable experience, made all the more special by the six-star service and facilities back on board.
Today you’ll arrive into Longyearbyen, Svalbard’s largest settlement. After a final breakfast on board, you’ll disembark Silver Cloud, perhaps taking the chance to enjoy a final kayak excursion to explore the surrounding fjords before your transfer to the airport and flight to Oslo. Spend the rest of the day – your first back in civilisation – at leisure, taking in the Norwegian capital's famous dining scene – the city is home to the world’s most northerly three-Michelin-starred restaurant, Maaemo – and exploring galleries that pay homage to such local heroes as Henrik Ibsen and Edvard Munch.
Check out this morning for a shared transfer to Oslo Airport and your flight to the UK. On arrival, you’ll be met by your chauffeur for the drive home.
"While Norway's northern reaches are well known for their dazzling Northern Lights displays in winter, a summer visit offers just as much excitement, especially in the remotes of Svalbard where the Midnight Sun casts its glow over a landscape of glaciers and fjords home to whales, walruses and polar bears. And, for me, there's no better way to explore this wild region than by expedition cruise. That's why I've chosen this extraordinary sailing with Silversea, which offers guests the perfect balance of adventure and luxury."
Year Round from: £8,280 pp
Other departure dates with similar itineraries are available in 2019/2020 - contact us for details.