Following in the wake of early Polynesian navigators, this voyage takes you to the farthest reaches of Oceania. From remote and enigmatic Easter Island, to the historically significant Pitcairn Islands through the “low islands” of the Tuamotu Archipelago to Tahiti, you’ll visit islands that are virtually inaccessible and untouched. The voyage begins in one of the most isolated landfalls of Polynesia: Easter Island. Walk the length of untouched tropical beaches, meet the descendants of H.M.S. Bounty mutineers, and drift dive or snorkel through an atoll pass.
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 sun never sets. Here, in true expedition style, your nature guide will be the learder. The flexible itinerary and years of experience in the archipelago allow the team to take the best advantage of ice and weather conditions. With a fully stabilized, ice-class ship, probe deep into the ice in search of wildlife. Join spotters on the bridge, scanning the edges of the pack ice for huge walruses, bearded and ringed seals, arctic foxes, reindeer, and polar bears. Venture ashore to hike the tundra, abloom with wildflowers. Sail deep into beautiful fjords and kayak quiet coves surrounded by sparkling icebergs. Board Zodiacs to view tidewater glaciers and spectacular ice formations. With a National Geographic photographer, experts, and seasoned naturalists, the most of every day is made. Enjoy nightly recaps and talks about the natural wonders you encounter, and view underwater video footage taken some 1,000 feet below the surface by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). On this extraordinary voyage, every day is different, and every day is 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.
Off Norway’s northern coast lies the mountainous island of Sørøya, known for its scenic bays, pristine nature reserves, and long sandy beaches. It also is renowned for its large populations of skrei, or cod, which migrate to these waters during winter and spring. The plan is to make an in-depth visit to this beautiful island, with opportunities to explore its surrounding fjords by Zodiac and kayak, and hike on shore.
Senja, the second largest island in mainland Norway, is characterized by dramatic mountains, colorful fishing villages, and a coastline split by beautiful fjords. In the southern part of the island, you’ll find Ånderdalen National Park —more than 180 square kilometres of pristine wilderness that is home to reindeer, elk, red foxes, and more. Spend a day exploring the island and fjords, and, if you wish, join the naturalists on a spectacular hike.
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.