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Norwegian Fjords and Polar Bears: A Voyage from Edinburgh to the Arctic

Program Number: 20818RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/27/2014 - 6/21/2014; 5/27/2015 - 6/20/2015;
Duration: 25 nights
Location: Scotland/Norway
Price starting at: $11,598.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Small Ship Cruising
Meals: 66; 24 Breakfasts, 20 Lunches, 22 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Voyage from Edinburgh to the northernmost part of Norway to keep your appointment with the king of the Arctic: the polar bear. The mighty “ice bears,” walruses, seals, Arctic foxes and reindeer are among the magnificent wildlife awaiting you.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles on uneven, hilly and potentially slippery terrain. Shore landings and additional excursions by Zodiac boat.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Edinburgh (Scotland), 1 night; aboard M/S Expedition, 14 nights; Oslo (Norway), 1 night.



Day 1: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.


Days 2-3: Arrival Edinburgh (Scotland) / embark M/S Expedition:

An expert-led excursion includes Edinburgh Castle and St. Andrews. Lodging: Centrally located hotel.



Day 4: Orkney Islands:

Discover the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes the Standing Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar.



Day 5: Shetland Islands:

Explore the remote Shetland Islands, offering spectacular coastlines and an intriguing culture that mixes Scottish with Scandinavian.



Day 6: Nordfjorden (Norway):

Cross the famous North Sea through one of the largest offshore oil fields in the world. Stop for a walk to a glacier if time allows.



Day 7: Geiranger:

Sail deep into Geirangerfjord, a famously beautiful fjord surrounded by preposterously steep mountains.



Day 8: Munkholmen & Austratt:

Visit “Monks Island,” site of a Benedictine monastery built in the 11th century. Continue to Austratt, a noble manor beside a fjord.



Day 9: Torghatten & Alstahaug:

Sail along a rugged coastline offering breathtaking scenery. Possible Zodiac shore landing sites include Torghatten Mountain and the old trading village of Alstahaug.



Day 10: Svartisen & Vikingen:

Get an up-close look at the glaciers of Svartisen. Continue to the monument on the island of Vikingen which marks your passage north of the Arctic Circle.



Day 11: Lofoten Islands:

This enchanting archipelago is home to many seaside villages backed with jagged peaks. Learn about the cod fishing industry on the island of Aa. Navigate into Trollfjord, legendary home of the mythical Norse creatures.



Day 12: Tromso:

Discover the “Gateway to the Arctic,” the city from which so many Arctic expeditions have begun. Enjoy stunning views on a cable car ride.



Days 13-23: Arctic Svalbard:

Explore Bear Island, home to thousands of fulmars, kittiwakes, guillemots and gulls. Spend three days following a flexible itinerary to see the best of the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, located midway between mainland Norway and the North Pole. Based on ice and weather conditions, the captain chooses ideal spots to board the Zodiacs and make shore landings in search of walruses, seals, reindeer, arctic foxes and, of course, the mighty polar bear.



Days 24-25: Disembark / flight to Oslo / departure:

Lodging: Airport hotel.



M/S Expedition

Refurbished in 2009, this 345-foot, Finnish-Swedish Ice Class-rated expedition ship has lots of space for 132 passengers. A 360° Observation Deck and large common areas provide panoramic views of the sea and land around you. The ship boasts a fleet of 14 Zodiac boats. Complimentary Wellington boots provided for shore excursions.


Meals and Lodgings
   Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor
  Edinburgh, UK:Scotland 1 night
   M/S Expedition
  Aboard the M/S Expedition, At Sea 21 nights
   Rica Spitsbergen Hotel
  Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway 1 night
   Park Inn
  Oslo, Norway 1 night
 Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located in the stylish West End of Edinburgh’s city center, the Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor hotel combines a historical 1860s listed building with a chic and modern interior. Housed over two buildings – the main building and the Townhouse annex - the hotel boasts modern decor, yet retains stunning traditional features such as beautiful coving, ceilings and ornate staircases. Situated only 200 meters from Haymarket train station and a short walk from popular attractions including Edinburgh Castle, Princes Street and the Royal Mile, this unique Edinburgh hotel is the perfect base to explore Scotland’s capital.
  Ship Information: n/a
  Contact info: Grosvenor Street Haymarket
Edinburgh,  EH12 5EF UK:Scotland
phone: +441312266001
web: www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/united-kingdom/hilton-edinburgh-grosvenor-hotel-EDNGRHN/index.html
  Room amenities: •Clock Radio w/ MP3 Connection •LCD Flat Panel TV •Night Lights in Bathroom •Non-Smoking •On-Demand Movies •TV-Cable •TV-Standard Network •Work Desk with Adjustable Lamp •Automatic Door Closer •Double Locking Doors •Electronic Locks •Electronic Smoke Detector •Safe •Bathroom Amenities •Hairdryer •High Speed Internet Access •Iron •Iron/Ironing Board •Tea/Coffee Making Facilities •Telephone - Auto Wakeup
  Facility amenities: •Audio/Visual Equipment Rental •Express Mail •Fax •Meeting Rooms •Modem •Office Rental •Photo Copying Service •Printer •Secretarial Service •Baggage Storage •Elevators •Florist •Foreign Currency Exchange •Laundry/Valet Service •Lounge •Luggage Hold •Multi-Lingual Staff •Room Service •Safety Deposit Box For Your Accessibility Needs The Following Features Are Available: •Accessible elevators •Accessible meeting rooms •Braille elevator •Emergency pull cords bedside bed available •Emergency pull cords in bathroom available •Evacuation chair available to help evacuate a disabled person •Induction Loop System available at reception •Induction Loop System available in the meeting rooms •Inflatable chair available to assist in getting in and out of a bath •Level or ramp entrance into the building •Public Areas/Facilities accessible for physically challenged •Rooms accessible to wheelchairs (no steps) •Service support animals welcome •Visual alarms for hearing impaired in public areas •Wheelchair ramp for lobby/reception access .
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBD Contact Road Scholar Travel Services to book additional nights.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 M/S Expedition
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: The M/S Expedition provides an intimate small-ship cruising experience. Completely refurbished in 2009, she boasts spacious cabins, each featuring ocean-facing windows or portholes and private en-suite facilities. Large common areas and observation decks provide panoramic views of the distinctive landscapes of some of the world's most remote regions.
  Ship Information: Built: Helsingr Skibsvaerft, Denmark, 1972 Ice Class: Swedish/Finnish 1B Length: 105m (345ft) Breadth: 18.6m (61ft) Max Draft: 4.7m (15ft) Gross Tonnage: 6334 GRT Cruising Speed: 14.5 knots Stabilizers: Fins, Type Brown/AEG Max Group Size: 132 (Max Passenger Capacity: 140) Crew: 55
  Contact info: 19 Charlotte Street
Toronto, ON M5V 2H5 Canada
phone: 416-260-0999
  Facility amenities: 360° Observation Deck All cabins with private ensuite and outside views Raised Canada Goose Observation Deck Fleet of 14 zodiacs with four stroke engines Complimentary Wellington Boots for duration of your cruise Complimentary destination guides for every passenger Large headed mud room Lonely Planet Library Discovery Lounge Fine dining- international cuisine in one sitting Large aft-deck with barbeque facilities Polar Bear Club Gift Shop Medical Clinic Sauna Computer room with internet where available Gym Mobile phones for rent
  Smoking allowed: Yes

 Rica Spitsbergen Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: Svalbard's historic Spitsbergen Hotel is centrally located in Haugen in Longyeardalen, with superb views across the waters of Adventfjorden and the striking peak of Hiortfjellet. The hotel is within easy reach of the town centre, local attractions and tax-free stores.
  Ship Information: n/a
  Contact info: Longyearbyen
Longyearbyen,  9171 Norway
phone: +47 ) 79 02 62 00
web: www.rica-hotels.com/hotels/svalbardlongyearbyen/spitsbergen-hotel/
  Room amenities: All rooms are equipped with TV, telephone, shower, toilet and wireless internet access
  Facility amenities: Number of rooms: 88 Number of handicap rooms: 1 Non-smoking rooms: 88 Number of restaurants: 1 Number of bars: 1 Number of cafes: 0 Number of nightclubs: 0 Number of meeting rooms: 5 Lobbybar Conference facilities Lift Spa Swimming pool Children's pool Sauna Gym Solarium Free bike rental Wireless Internet Cleaning service Parking All night reception Roomservice Concierge service Wake-up call Safe Ice machine Play area Luggage room Check-in machines Fax and copymachine Guest PC Shoe shine service Currency exchange
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Park Inn
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Park Inn by Radisson Oslo Airport, Gardermoen Hotel offers comfortable accommodation just steps away from the airport terminal building. Only 20 minutes from the city centre, the hotel also provides access to top attractions like the National Gallery and the magnificent Akershus Castle. After working or sightseeing, guests can unwind in one of the stylish hotel rooms, which feature vibrant colours and window seats overlooking Gardermoen Airport. The hotel restaurant serves outstanding international cuisine, and visitors can also stop by the bar for a refreshing cocktail.
  Ship Information: n/a
  Contact info: Property Grn 207 - Brn 359
Terminal Building
Oslo,   Norway
phone: +47 67 02 40 00
  Room amenities: The Park Inn hotel boasts 300 spacious guest rooms just steps away from Oslo Airport. All accommodation options feature a sleek, simple design with soothing neutral tones accented by splashes of colour. In addition, each room includes a flat-panel TV, individual climate control and Free Wireless High-speed Internet to help guests stay in touch.
  Facility amenities: - Directly adjacent to Oslo Airport, this hotel is just a 20-minute train ride from the lovely city centre. - All 300 guest rooms feature bright colours, flat-panel TVs and Free Wireless High-speed Internet. - At the on-site RBG Bar & Grill, guests can indulge in gourmet burgers, signature grilled dishes and homemade local specialities. - Sleek and inviting, the hotel bar is the perfect place to unwind with a handcrafted cocktail or a glass of fine wine. - The hotel’s fully equipped fitness room helps guests refresh and rejuvenate after a long flight or a busy day of sightseeing. - Ideal for special events near Gardermoen Airport, the hotel offers 46 modern meeting rooms, an elegant ballroom and a large pre-function space.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
This program starts at approximately 6:00 pm with the program orientation in Edinburgh, Scotland. You will be staying at Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor that night.
  End of Program:
This program ends upon disembarking the ship in Longyearbyen, Svalbard. There will be a forced overnight in Oslo on the return home. You will be staying at Park Inn the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
We do not recommend driving to the site.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Edinburgh
  Transportation to site: All participants who purchase their air travel through Road Scholar Travel Services and are arriving in Edinburgh on Day 2 will be provided with a transfer from the airport to the group hotel.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Oslo
  Transportation from site: The Park Inn hotel is only a three-minute (100 meter), covered walk from the airport terminal. You will need to be able manage your own luggage (carts are available at the airport).
Equipment Requirements: Parkas are being provided by G Adventures to all passengers on this program. In order to receive your parka you must notify your program provider of your parka size. You may do so by calling 866-359-5966 or by emailing your size or order form to programinfo@roadscholar.org If Road Scholar does not receive a parka size for you, you will not receive a parka on board the ship. To make sure you receive the perfect sized parka, please refer to the sizing sheet and order form at the back of this packet. The deadline for submitting parka information is April 1, 2014. Parkas will be delivered to your cabin upon your embarkation and are yours to keep after the cruise. Please plan accordingly for your time in Edinburgh prior to obtaining your parka onboard. Waterproof boots are provided on board for use: Men's USA size 8-14 Women's USA size 3-9
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Depart US
(Tuesday, May 27)
   
 In Transit: In Flight

Day 2: Arrive in Edinburgh, Scotland
(Wednesday, May 28)
   
 Afternoon: Flights arrive in Edinburgh, Scotland. Your afternoon is free to unpack and relax at the hotel. In the late afternoon, meet your group leader and fellow travelers for a program orientation.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Hilton Edinburgh Grosvenor
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Edinburgh Highlights / Embark MS Expedition
(Thursday, May 29)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Discover Edinburgh on a panoramic city drive. See some of the city's most famous landmarks and neighborhoods, including (Old town area (the Royal Mile, Greyfriar’s Bobby and Grassmarket); New town area (Princes Street, Charlotte Square, St. Andrew’s Square and Heriott Row), Holyrood Palace and Edinburgh Castle visit.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local pub.
 Afternoon: Transfer to embark the ship in the Port of Leith. Your afternoon is free to unpack, explore the ship, and relax on board. The MS Expedition will depart this evening through a lock which will take you down to sea level.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Kirkwall, Orkney Islands
(Friday, May 30)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: There are few places in the world that offer as much as the Orkneys. Only six miles off the coast of Scotland, the islands are famous for their abundant marine bird life and dramatic coastal scenery. Our excursions today will focus not only on this but also on many of the mystical historical sites of the area. These excursions will include coach visits to the Ring of Brodgar, standing stones of Stennes and the 4500 year old village of Skara Brae. You will also see a famous Italian chapel and St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue exploration of Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Lerwick, Shetland Islands
(Saturday, May 31)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: We continue northwards to the remote Shetland Islands. the islands were under Norse rule until 1469, when they were given to Scotland as part of a Danish princessess dowry. The Shetlands are an engaging mix of Scotland and Scandinavia, with spectacular coastlines, varied and abundant bird life and a number of archaeological sites that date back thousands of years.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue exploration of Lerwick.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Nordfjorden, Norway
(Sunday, June 1)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Cross the famous North Sea, through one of the largest off shore oil fields in the world.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Depending on time, we may stop in Olden for a short bus ride to the Birksdal area and a walk to a glacier. There is a trolly-like car available for people who are unable to walk the full distance.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Geiranger, Norway
(Monday, June 2)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Sail deep into one of Norway's most beautiful fjords, into the mainland. The fjord is one of Norway's most visited tourist sites and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue to explore Geiranger.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Monks Island and Austratt
(Tuesday, June 3)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Sail towards Monks Island, which is just off the shore of Trondheim. The Benedictine monks built a monastery in the 11th century. Today it is a recreational area.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Later we visit Austratt, which has been a residence for many noblemen and noblewomen who played a significant role in Norway's development.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Torghatten and Alstahaug
(Wednesday, June 4)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: The rugged coastline of central Norway features some of the world's most beautiful nature. The mountain scenery and coastline offer breathtaking scenery and our Captain will negotiate with local Norwegian pilots to determine our best Zodiac shore landing options.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Our goal is to visit Torghatten, one of the most bizarre rock formations in Norway and a significant local landmark. We will also try to move towards the Treana archipelago that is comprised of over 1000 islands.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Svartisen and Vikingen
(Thursday, June 5)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Svartisen has a beautiful walk to a glacier with the chance of an easy walk along a road. It also has a more demanding walk all the way around a lake below the glacier. Vikingen has a globe marking the Arctic Circle.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue sailing the coast of Norway.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Lofoten Islands, Svolvaer and Trollfjord
(Friday, June 6)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: The Lofoten Archipelago is an enchanting area of picturesque villages by the sea backed with jagged peaks. Today we go ashore via coach on the island of Aa, where cod fishing is still a major part of the economy.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: In the evening be sure to be on deck as we 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.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Tromsø
(Saturday, June 7)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Explore this northern havel and be sure to visit the Arctic Cathedral, whose unique architecture is evocative of snow and icebergs, its stained glass windows are among the largest in Europe. Tromsø, the capital of northern Norway, is known as the "Gateway to the Arctic" since so many Arctic expeditions originated from here. We will spend the whole day learning about the history of past expeditions and exploring Norway's largest northern city. We will enjoy a coach tour to some of the major sites including the Polar and Tromsø Museums and weather permitting enjoy a stunning view from a cable car.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Field trip to Tromsø continues.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: At Sea
(Sunday, June 8)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Sail past Bear Island, explore mist-shrouded Bjørnøya - a birdwatcher's paradise featuring spectacular views, thousands of fulmars, kittiwakes, guilemots and gulls.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue sailing the Norwegian Sea towards the Svalbard Archipelago.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Hornsund and Bellsund
(Monday, June 9)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Days 14 and 15 will be spent exploring Hornsund and Bellsund. Svalbard is an archipelago of deep fjords, high mountains and massive glaciers. Our focus during our time here is searching for walruses, seals, reindeer, arctic foxes, and of course, the polar bear. Our flexible itinerary and experience here allow us to take best advantage of the ice and weather conditions. Each season we attempt to discover new landing sites to explore and enhance your expedition experience. Shore walks and zodiac adventures bring us up close to mystical landscapes, icebergs, and wildlife.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Hornsund is a fjord on the western side of the southernmost tip of Spitsbergen Island. The coastline of Hornsund is diversified, with a number of bays at the mouths of mountainous glacial valleys. Some of these bays have appeared as late as the beginning of the last century due to recession of glaciers.
 Afternoon: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 15: Hornsund and Bellsund
(Tuesday, June 10)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Bellsund cuts into Spitsbergen south of Isfjorden and splits into two branches: the fjords Van Mijenfjorden and Van Keulenfjorden. The landscape around here is characterized by high mountains where different geological structures can be seen clearly, including impressive folds. There are large bird cliffs in the area; fertilization by seabird droppings accounts for the surprisingly lush vegetation in some areas. The area holds cultural remains from several periods of Svalbard’s history, the most prominent being the era of mineral exploration and mining at the beginning of the 20th century.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Continue to explore the fjords along the coast of Spitsbergen Island. The captain of the ship and the naturalists on board, will determine when and where landings will be made, or if you will explore by zodiac.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Isfjord - Festningen and Alkhornet
(Wednesday, June 11)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: The highlight of Festningen (the fortress) is an impressive dike of rock that runs along the top of a small cliff where fossilized footprints of dinosaurs have been found.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Alkhornet features a towering horn of rock which is the nesting site for thousands of Guillemots and Kittiwakes, white foxes and reindeer take advantage of the lush tundra vegetation below the cliffs.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Longyearbyen
(Thursday, June 12)

Note: While it is our intention to adhere to the itinerary described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. On the first day on board, the Expedition Leader will give you an expedition overview.



   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Longyearbyen is the largest settlement on the archipelago of Svalbard with a population of about 2,060 people and about as many snowmobiles. This morning, meet with your group leader at the hotel for a brief presentation on Svalbard, and what you will see and experience during your expedition. Later, walk into town to see the Svalbard Museum (approximately 1 mile). Since opening in 1979, the goal of this unique museum is to help locals and visitors understand the relationship between nature, culture, landscape, human activity, technology and the environment in the Arctic. Following the visit you will have some free time to independently explore Longyearbyen.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own. There are several cafes and restaurants in town where you can sample local specialties, such as reindeer.
 Afternoon: Your afternoon is at leisure. Continue to explore Longyearbyen independently or relax on board and admire the breathtaking scenery.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 18: Svalbard Archipelago / Spitsbergen
(Friday, June 13)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Each day will be planned to take advantage of local ice and weather conditions. Distances are relatively short in the Archipelago and as there are no ocean crossings, the seas are normally calm.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Svalbard is one of the few places on the planet that offers such a wealth of diversity of natural and cultural history sites. During the next nine days you will visit ice covered seas, fjords with breathtaking mountain scenery and glaciers flowing into the sea around you. You will spend time steaming through the ice in search of polar bears hunting seals. Ivory gulls will be a highlight for the birders, while keeping a constant lookout for walrus hauled out on ice floes or on sandy beaches. Visit, ice permitting, spectacular bird cliffs filled with thousands of murres (guillemots) as well as kittiwakes and glaucous gulls. A little auk colony will also be on your agenda. Your shore stops will be highlighted by tundra flowers. You will have the opportunity to observe and discuss some of their adaptations to what is considered a harsh environment. At one or more stops, you may even see Svalbard's unique species of reindeer. They are much smaller than their southern relatives, but still carry impressive antlers. There is also the possibility of seeing arctic foxes. Svalbard is also a land of history; from whaling to reaching for the pole, to trapping, coal mining and war, you will visit some of these historic sites. Cruise in Zodiacs along the ice edge viewing seals or walrus, in fjords with glaciers spilling down to the sea or in front of specatcular seabird cliffs. You will have opportunities to walk on shore, observe and photograph the Arctic flora and fauna. Since you are in the land of the polar bear, your expedition staff will carry rifles and flare guns on shore for your protection.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19: Svalbard Archipelago / Spitsbergen
(Saturday, June 14)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Each day will be planned to take advantage of local ice and weather conditions. By not having a set itinerary, we take on an expedition spirit and are free to take advantage of the best that Svalbard has to offer. On board the ship, a team of naturalists, historians and other experts will present an in-depth educational program on Svalbard and the Arctic.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Krossfjord, Konigsfjord, Monaco Glacier, Hinlopen Strait, Northeast Land, Edgeoya, Hornsund, and Bellsund are just a few of the places we may visit.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 20: Svalbard Archipelago / Spitsbergen
(Sunday, June 15)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Each day will be planned to take advantage of local ice and weather conditions. By not having a set itinerary, we take on an expedition spirit and are free to take advantage of the best that Svalbard has to offer. On board the ship, a team of naturalists, historians and other experts will present an in-depth educational program on Svalbard and the Arctic.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Krossfjord, Konigsfjord, Monaco Glacier, Hinlopen Strait, Northeast Land, Edgeoya, Hornsund, and Bellsund are just a few of the places we may visit.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 21: Svalbard Archipelago / Spitsbergen
(Monday, June 16)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Each day will be planned to take advantage of local ice and weather conditions. By not having a set itinerary, we take on an expedition spirit and are free to take advantage of the best that Svalbard has to offer.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Krossfjord, Konigsfjord, Monaco Glacier, Hinlopen Strait, Northeast Land, Edgeoya, Hornsund, and Bellsund are just a few of the places we may visit.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 22: Svalbard Archipelago / Spitsbergen
(Tuesday, June 17)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Each day will be planned to take advantage of local ice and weather conditions. By not having a set itinerary, we take on an expedition spirit and are free to take advantage of the best that Svalbard has to offer.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Krossfjord, Konigsfjord, Monaco Glacier, Hinlopen Strait, Northeast Land, Edgeoya, Hornsund, and Bellsund are just a few of the places we may visit.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 23: Svalbard Archipelago / Spitsbergen
(Wednesday, June 18)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: Each day will be planned to take advantage of local ice and weather conditions. By not having a set itinerary, we take on an expedition spirit and are free to take advantage of the best that Svalbard has to offer.
 Lunch: On board the ship.
 Afternoon: Krossfjord, Konigsfjord, Monaco Glacier, Hinlopen Strait, Northeast Land, Edgeoya, Hornsund, and Bellsund are just a few of the places we may visit.
 Dinner: On board the ship.
   
Accommodations: M/S Expedition
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 24: Disembark MS Expedition / Overnight in Svalbard
(Thursday, June 19)
   
 Breakfast: On board the ship.
 Morning: This morning you will disembark the ship and transfer to the Rica Spitsbergen Hotel for 1 night. Join your group leader for a short walk to the Svalbard Museum.
 Lunch: On your own.
 Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to Longyearbyen.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Rica Spitsbergen Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 25: Departures / Forced Overnight in Oslo
(Friday, June 20)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to the airport for flights to Oslo.
 Lunch: On your own.
 Afternoon: Arrive in Oslo. There is no programming scheduled in Oslo. Tonight is a forced overnight due to flight schedules. The hotel is only a three-minute (100 meter), covered walk from the airport terminal. You will need to be able manage your own luggage (carts are available at the airport)
 Dinner: On your own.
   
Accommodations: Park Inn
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 26: Depart Oslo / Flights arrive to North America
(Saturday, June 21)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Make your own way back to the airport terminal (approximately 100 meters from the hotel) in time for your departure flights. We recommend arriving at the terminal 3 hours prior to your international flight. You will need to be able manage your own luggage (carts are available at the airport)
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Naturalist's Guide to the Arctic


Author: E.C. Pielou


Description: Our bestselling book on the Arctic, this guide covers the geography and climate, plants, birds and wildlife of the Circumpolar North.



A Traveller's History of Scotland


Author: Andrew Fisher


Description: This brief history of Scotland through the 1990s is wide-ranging, accessible and necessarily condensed. With a useful chronology, a list of monarchs and a historical gazetteer, this book marches confidently through the centuries.



A Woman in the Polar Night


Author: Christiane Ritter


Description: Ritter's classic account of living in a hut with her husband on the north coast of Spitsbergen in the 1930s "to read thick books in the remote quiet and, not least, to sleep to my heart's content" conveys the radiant beauty and magic of the Arctic.



Arctic Dreams


Author: Barry Lopez


Description: A dazzling meditation on the Arctic, breathtaking in scope. Lopez draws on his travels throughout the North, including Baffin Island, the Chukchi and Bering seas, Alaska, the Yukon and Greenland, interweaving natural history, accounts of early exploration, anecdote and lore into an indelible portrait of place.



Bradt Guide Svalbard


Author: Andreas Umbreit


Description: This excellent introduction to Spitsbergen, Franz Josef Land and Jan Mayen Island includes an overview of history, wildlife and nature, color photographs and maps.



Ice Bears and Kotick, Rowing on Top of the World


Author: Peter Webb


Description: In Webb's thrilling tale of circumnavigating Spitsbergen in an open rowing boat, he recounts the sheer exhilaration of survival and doing what one loves. This is a story for all those that ever wanted to run away to sea.



Innocents in the Arctic, The 1951 Spitsbergen Expedition


Author: Colin Bull


Description: A marvelous account of adventure and scientific inquiry, glaciologist Colin Bull recounts his role in the 1951 Spitsbergen Expedition with humor and humility. Drawn from Bull's field notes, journals and published reports, this book paints a compelling portrait of what it means to be young and daring.



Lonely Planet Edinburgh Encounter


Author: Neil Wilson


Description: This lively shirt pocket guide to the city, jammed with personal recommendations and photographs, also includes a pull-out map.



Orkneyinga Saga, The History of the Earls of Orkney


Author: Hermann Palssom, Paul Edwards


Description: A fusion of myth and legend, circa A.D. 1200, by an unnamed Icelandic author. The medieval chronicle has its center of action among the Orkney Islands, describing their conquest by Norwegian kings during the Viking expansion of the ninth century.



Spitsbergen Explorer Map


Author: Ocean Explorer Maps


Description: A detailed map of Svalbard for the traveler, at a scale of 1:1,000,000, with illustrated biographies of 27 explorers and a guide to wildlife on the reverse.



The Arctic, A Guide to Coastal Wildlife


Author: Tony Soper


Description: An essential handbook for the ship-based traveler, this compact guide to the plants, marine mammals and birds of the Circumpolar North features handsome watercolor illustrations and lively text. This new edition includes a section on the Bering Sea.



The Great White Bear


Author: Kieran Mulvaney


Description: A journalist with an affinity for the wild (he once lived on the shores of Cook Inlet), Mulvaney combines natural and human history, myth and eyewitness reports from Barrow, Churchill and other locales in this astute chronicle.



The Magnetic North


Author: Sara Wheeler


Description: Wheeler writes with zest and insight into the people, nature and future of the Circumpolar North in these marvelously recounted adventures, including tales of her time in Spitsbergen.



The Svalbard Passage


Author: Thomas Kirkwood


Description: This Cold War thriller, lush in the details of its Arctic setting, opens with a description and map of the Spitsbergen archipelago.



True North, Travels in Arctic Europe


Author: Gavin Francis


Description: Francis follows in the wake of ancient explorers and Viking settlers from Scotland and the Shetland Isles to the Faroes, Iceland, Greenland and beyond in this thoughtful tale of adventures across the Atlantic.





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