Day 1: Embark in the Netherlands
Embark at Vissingen, Netherlands.
Day 2: At Sea
Heading north and west from mainland Europe to Scotland.
Day 3: Aberdeen, Scotland
Today you arrive at Aberdeen, Scotland, famed as the "Granite City". More passengers will board the ship in Aberdeen. The lighthouse on Girdle Ness to the south as the North Sea is reached, was designed by the grandfather of Robert Louis Stevenson.
The Scottish waters offer excellent possibilities to spot Minke Whales, White-beaked Dolphins and Harbour Porpoises. Several other cetaceans, including Orcas (Killer Whales), are also native to these waters.
Day 4: Fair Isle, Shetlands
At Fair Isle in the Shetlands, you will visit a bird observatory from which you can see thousands upon thousands of birds. Then, on to Mousa with a well-preserved "broch" or circular stone tower, probably built by the Picts during their time here. By day we view Grey Seals, Black Guillemots, Red-throated Divers, Arctic Skuas and a wonderful Spring Flora. During a night excursion we will watch thousands of Storm Petrels return to their burrows or crevices.
Days 5 & 6: At Sea
During the two full days at sea there will be plenty of time to watch for the blow of a Minke, Fin or Blue Whale, which could herald a rewarding encounter with these gentle giants. Perhaps you might run into a pod of Orcas, who can often be quite curious about boats such as your expedition ship.
Day 7: Jan Mayen Island, Norway
Jan Mayen, situated 300 nautical miles north-east of Iceland, is a mysterious volcanic island of breath-taking beauty and mystique, dominated by Mt Beerenberg. From the slopes of the 2300m volcano, impressive glaciers spill into the sea. Until recently, the island was off-limits as it is a military base, and was rarely visited by tourists. But, with permission from the Norwegian authorities, you will be able to visit the weather station. A walk across the island to Kvalrossbukta where you will see the remains of a 17th century Dutch whaling station and a substantial colony of Fulmars. A sailing by Koksletta is also planned, where thousands of Little Auks and Brünnich's Guillemots breed close to a glacier, watched over by predatory Glaucous Gulls.
Days 8 & 9: North Spitsbergen
In the midnight sun the ship sails north along the edge of the sea-ice, looking out for different species of whales, dolphins, seals and a variety of seabirds, until the sea-ice stop forward progress. You will then sail to North Spitsbergen.
Depending on the position of the sea-ice, you will sail into one of the fjords in Northwest Spitsbergen, where there is the chance of seeing Polar Bears hunting seals as they sunbath on the fjord-ice.
Today you will view seabird colonies and possibly see more polar bears, as well as walruses, reindeer and Arctic foxes.
Arrive back in Longyearbyen, the administrative centre of Spitsbergen, for flights south to Oslo.
Please note: Itinerary subject to change due to weather and ice conditions