Flying from Oslo to Longyearbyen, explore the wilderness of the Svalbard archipelago, where polar bears prowl and walruses haul out on rocky shores. On your way to explore Norway’s fjord-carved coast, explore Tromso and Bear Island. This voyage offers a perfect balance between the charmingly scenic and the spectacularly wild.
Arrive in Oslo, the capital city where each year the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in the presence of the King of Norway. Your introduction to Oslo begins with a stroll among the famed Vigeland sculptures–hundreds of life-size human figures set in rolling parklands. Next, visit the Polar Ship Fram Museum, dedicated to Norwegian explorers Nansen and Amundsen. The evening is free to try one of the harbor restaurants or turn in early.
Overnight at the Clarion Hotel, the HUB, or similar.
Depart Oslo on a charter flight, and enjoy breathtaking vistas en route to Longyearbyen. Embark the National Geographic Endurance and set out to discover the High Arctic of Svalbard.
Svalbard lies north of the Arctic Circle, where the summer midnight sun never sets. In true expedition style, the crew let’s nature dictate the day-to-day movements here and this, by the way, is one of the great attractions of this expedition. The flexible itinerary and years of experience allow you to take the best advantage of ice and weather conditions. Join the spotters on the Bridge, scanning the ice and islands for huge walrus, bearded and ringed seals, arctic foxes, reindeer, some of the largest whales on Earth — and polar bears. A sighting brings everyone rushing in excitement to the ship’s bow!
Depending on conditions, you may land on Edgeøya to hike the tundra, abloom with summer wildflowers. They often sail deep into Hornsund, where even first-time kayakers can paddle in a quiet cove surrounded by sparkling bergs. Venture to the stunning Monacobreen glacier, or get close-up views of the iconic creatures of the ice by Zodiac. Back aboard, view underwater video from the ROV taken 300 metres below the surface, or spend time on deck with a National Geographic Photographer getting tips in an inspiring landscape. Every day is different, every day an adventure.
As the ship prepares to enter the high Arctic you will have another stop at Bear Island. Cruise around the coves and inlets by Zodiac viewing the bird life such as: fulmars, kittiwakes and guillemots.
Also known as ‘the gateway to the Arctic’ due to many Arctic expeditions originating here, Tromsø has a population of just over 14,000. Visit the Polar museum and the Arctic cathedral.
In the morning the ship will enter the fjord of Tysfjorden where there are only a few small villages dotted along the rocky shores. Explore Hellemobotn and the area’s side channels by Zodiac or kayak and you might also have the opportunity to do some hiking.
The Lofoten Archipelago is an enchanting area of picturesque villages by the sea backed with jagged peaks. By Zodiac, view nesting seabirds: Atlantic puffins, razorbills and guillemots. Later, go ashore on the island of Vaeroy, where cod fishing is still a major part of the economy. Be on deck as you cruise into one of the most famous fjords in Norway, the short yet dramatic Trollfjord, and search the cliffs for Norway’s mythical beings: trolls.
The coast of Central Norway is rugged with mountainous islands and steep-walled fjords. The Expedition Leader and Captain will discuss with the local Norwegian pilots the many landing possibilities where options are many: Zodiac along vertical rock faces, paddle serenely in a deep fjord surrounded by cascading waterfalls, or venture ashore for a hike with the naturalist staff. Over the years, National Geographic have discovered a number of special places, including Melfjord. This narrow channel is surrounded by high granite cliffs polished smooth by massive glaciers, and is one of the most spectacular spots on our voyage.
Today you will enter the lovely Nordfjord. Spend the morning at the end of the fjord, where you will be transported up the Loen Valley via coach through some incredibly beautiful scenes: a turquoise-colored lake on one side and breathtaking mountains all around. A number of relatively flat trails lead along valleys shaped by massive glaciers (more strenuous hikes are also an option). If weather allows, walk to a tongue of the large Briksdal Glacier. This afternoon be on deck as the ship sails back out of the fjord amid high peaks.
Today your journey on board the National Geographic Endurance will come to an end in the lovely town of Bergen. Set on a lovely fjord, surrounded by mountains it is a great place to finish this fantastic experience. Spend sometime exploring here or take a transfer back to the airport for an onward flight.