Norway – Voyage to the Arctic

An Arctic expedition voyage has to be the ultimate adventure for any family looking for a unique experience. This is a holiday to bring families together, for those looking to spend perhaps a last hurrah before the kids are off to university or just simply for all ages to enjoy some ever-decreasing wilderness and wildlife in a truly remote setting. A fabulous mix of mainland activities and polar maritime exploration – this is an adventure to remember.


  Tromso wildlife cruise
  Midnight sun kayak
  Svalbard husky sledding, ATV & hike
  Arctic voyage to see polar bears
  Glaciers, reindeer, walrus & whales
  Oslo bike tour & museums

14 days from £4,800 pp

Plus international & internal flights from £950

A two-week holiday for a family of four, including a 7-day cruise with the rest of the time spent on Svalbard, Tromso and Oslo, will cost around £19,200 (excluding internal & international flights).

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Norway – Voyage to the Arctic day-by-day itinerary

Day 1, Tromsø

Welcome to the Arctic Circle! When you arrive in Tromsø, make your own way to your hotel. Situated high above the Arctic Circle, Tromsø is surrounded by mountains, fjords, and islands with majestic views in all directions.

During the summer months you will enjoy the Midnight Sun, or 24 hours of daylight, meaning you can maximise your time here – just make sure that you do get some shut-eye in the Land that Never Sleeps….

Day 2, Tromsø
This morning you will experience the stunning scenery around Tromsø on a wildlife cruise out into the Arctic Sea. Spot sea birds such as sea eagles, eider ducks, and puffins as well as seals, otters and dolphins whilst cruising around the beautiful fjords.

The remainder of the day is free for you to explore Tromsø. There is an excellent polar museum as well as the Fjellheisen cable car which offers spectacular panoramic views of Tromso (you can choose to hike or take the easy way).

This evening you can enjoy the unique experience of a Midnight Sun Kayak Expedition. While paddling you may enjoy the rich wildlife found in these waters including small porpoise whales that bob up next to your kayak. From white, sandy beaches to high mountainous peaks, this is a picturesque setting that will leave you with lasting memories of this magical coastal world.

Day 3, Longyearbyen
Today you will fly further north to Longyearbyen, the capital of Svalbard, the main island of the Spitzbergen Archipelago. Welcome to the Arctic proper! On arrival, you will be met and transferred the short distance to the town centre. Warning – do not go beyond the town limits without a guide, the polar bear warning signs will give you a clue as to why…

Svalbard is one of the world’s most northerly inhabited regions. It is a magical land of polar bears (there are more polar bears than people in Svalbard), arctic foxes and reindeer; a land of tundra, glaciers and icy mountains.

Day 4, Embarkation
This morning you could enjoy a fun-filled expedition with husky dogs, heading out to the vast wilderness of this mesmerising landscape on a sled on wheels. Alternatively, you could drive Outlander ATVs into Advent Valley, making several stops along the way at historical sites where your guides will share their knowledge and personal insights about nature, coal mines and culture.

Later this afternoon you will transfer to your polar expedition ship. After embarking, you will enjoy a welcome drink and safety briefing from your knowledgeable expert guides and crew. In the early evening, the ship sails out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of your voyage.

Day 5-10 Arctic Voyage
Enjoy a weeklong expedition in the footsteps of so many polar explorers. Head towards the north of the archipelago in the company of numerous seabirds, surrounded by stunning glacial scenery, in search of the star of the show – the polar bear. Voyage routes vary according to weather and ice conditions. As many landings will be made as safely possible, zodiac cruises will give you the opportunity of getting you up close to the wildlife and glaciers and kayaking is also available.

The emphasis is on immersing yourself amongst this spectacular scenery in as active a way as possible – whether this is on foot ashore, from the waterline in RIBs or kayaks, or from the decks of your expedition vessel, which offers superb views out over the tundra. And of course, the Polar Bear Alarm is a constant!

Cruise through Raudfjorden, an expansive fjord spilling with glaciers. The cliffs and shoreline also support thriving seabird colonies. Cruise within sight of the 3-mile face of the precipitous Monaco Glacier, a favourite feeding spot for thousands of kittiwakes, and thus a popular polar bear hunting ground. Hinlopen Strait is home to bearded seals, ringed seals, and polar bears and there is even the possibility to spot blue whales.

Land ashore and hike amongst the reindeer, pink-footed geese and walruses. You will also cruise among the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in Zodiacs to view the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet.

The northernmost point of your voyage could be Nordaustlandet, in the Seven Islands. Here you reach 80° north, just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole. Polar bears inhabit this region, so the ship may park for several hours among the pack ice before wheeling around west again.

While retracing your route, keep watch for polar bears and the elusive Greenland (bowhead) whales. You will also sail the edge of the continental shelf where fin whales forage. At the mouth of Kongsfjorden, you have a good chance of sighting minke whales. Walruses can be spotted in Forlandsundet and during your landing at Alkhornet, you can observe seabirds nesting on the sea cliffs, Arctic foxes searching below for fallen eggs and chicks, and reindeer grazing the sparse vegetation.

This is Arctic wildlife and wilderness at its best – and that Polar Bear Alarm just keeps going off…

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Day 11, Disembarkation
A sad farewell to your ship and crew as you disembark in Longyearbyen and transfer to your hotel. Time to get your land legs back!

This afternoon you will say a swansong to Longyearbyen on a scenic hike to the iconic mountain of Platafjellet, known as the Roof of Longyearbyen. This popular hike is a favourite among locals because of its proximity to the town centre and the wonderful panoramic views from the top, towards Hiorthfjellet mountain and Advent Valley.

For those who are looking for a real challenge, it may be possible to tackle the infamous Arctic Challenge – kayak across the fjord then ascend 1,000 metres in elevation to the summit of Hiorthfjellet where miles of untouched Arctic stretch out at your feet. This is an 11hr expedition for older, fit families only.

Day 12, Oslo
A free morning to pick up any last-minute souvenirs of your Arctic experience. Svalbard enjoys a unique duty-free status in Norway so this is the time to get a little spending done. You will then transfer to the airport for your flight to Oslo (usually via Tromso). On arrival in Oslo, you will make your own way to your hotel.

With a population of just 500,000, Oslo may be Norway’s capital, but it is a fraction of the size of many European cities. It is wonderfully compact and sits in a picturesque location on the banks of Oslo Fjord, backed by forested hills. It’s an eclectic mix of old and modern, with futuristic structures towering above medieval buildings and churches. There are pavement cafes, chic boutiques and extensive parks.

Day 13, Oslo
Enjoy a morning guided bike tour of Oslo. On this 3-hour city tour, you’ll cover more ground on two wheels than you could on foot and get a complete picture of Norway’s capital.

Afterward, you could choose to visit the Norwegian Maritime Museum (by ferry of course!) or the Kon-Tiki Museum which houses Thor Heyerdahl’s raft, and the Fram Museum where you can actually step aboard the original vessel that took Amundsen to the Antarctic for his successful journey to the South Pole. You can also take the light rail up Holmenkollen, to see the extraordinary ski jump.

This evening perhaps head down to the docks, which have been recently revitalised and offer many superb restaurants. Or you could head to Mathallen for an early dinner. This is a huge food hall where adventurous eaters can sample Norwegian delicacies including whale steaks and cured meat. Fussier kids may prefer the wood-fired pizza stall but there’s something for everyone!

Day 14, Departure
Make your own way to the airport for your flight home.

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