Our expedition start in Bergen, a city surrounded by its famed seven mountains. Before departure you may wish to explore this cultural gateway to the fjords. After embarkation we invite you to enjoy our tasty dinner buffet, based on the best ingredients from the coast. We sail north from Bergen along the Hjeltefjord, the same route the Vikings once sailed to the Shetland Islands and beyond – we are heading to the high north. Spend the rest of the evening relaxing as you take in the spectacular landscapes, either from deck or in our panorama lounges.
Florø - Molde
If you wake up early the next day you have the chance to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the Nordfjord, followed by a delicious breakfast. As we sail past the West Cape, we experience a rare venture into open sea. Then the ship navigates through skerries and islands before reaching Ålesund. In the summer months we set course for the spectacular UNESCO-listed Geirangerfjord passing sheer, 800m cliffs and impressive waterfalls en route. In autumn we explore Hjørundfjord, situated amidst the majestic Sunnmøre Alps. In addition to the excursion “A taste of Norway”, we offer two new mountain hikes here. Its seclusion and unspoiled natural landscape give this fjord its special character. In winter you can enjoy a colourful and enlightening presentation about the Aurora Borealis on board.
Kristiansund - Rørvik
Today you wake up in beautiful Trondheim. The architecture and surroundings in Trondheim create a beautiful and almost mythical setting for any outing, whether you prefer a guided tour of the Nidaros Cathedral, kayaking on the river Nid and into the city’s smaller channels, or a casual walk or by bicycle through the Bakkland district. In autumn you can join the trip out to Munkholmen. Originally this was an ancient place of execution, before becoming a Benedictine monastery around the year 1000. In 1658 it was made into a fortress and prison, and later a customs station. In the afternoon the ship sets a northwest course, passing the beautiful Kjeungskjær lighthouse and numerous charming islets and rocky outcrops. In autumn you can learn more about navigation and lighthouses along the Norwegian coast during the Captain’s talk. After passing through the narrow Stoksund, the ship arrives at charming Rørvik.
Brønnøysund - Svolvær
The Arctic Circle marks the border to the Arctic region. In summer this means 24-hour daylight - often referred to as the ‘Midnight Sun’. During autumn and winter, being above this degree of latitude provides the best chances of experiencing the Northern Lights. We continue sailing along the beautiful coast of Helgeland up to Bodø. In spring there will be a presentation on board where your can learn more about the millions of migrating birds returning to the Arctic Coast during the nesting period. Later this afternoon the sight of the 1,000m high Lofoten Wall will appear on the horizon. The charms of the Lofoten Islands are revealed in all the small, picturesque fishing villages with their bohemian atmosphere. In winter, crossing the Arctic Circle is when the hunt for the Arctic light begins. We celebrate this with a presentation of ‘The Magic Light, Aurora Borealis’, where you can experience this phenomenon via pictures, words and music. After sailing through the narrow Raftsund, we stop at the entrance to the enthralling Trollfjord. Here we serve freshly made fish cakes out on deck. You will also hear the story of ‘The battle of Trollfjord’, which took place here in the winter of 1890.
Stokmarknes - Skjerøy
In summer, early birds can go ashore in Risøyhamn for our whale-watching excursion. The ship continues to Tromsø for a prolonged stay. In winter and spring you can complete your stay in Tromsø with a thrilling husky dog sledge ride. If you want to experience the peace and tranquillity of the sea in summer, why not join us on a kayaking excursion, or participate on a mountain hike on one of the mountains close to the city. The air up here is fresh and clear, and we get a beautiful view of the city and the impressive mountain chains around it. After an exhilarating day in Tromsø, we continue our northbound journey. In winter the Captain invites guests to taste stockfish on deck. The ship is now sailing into the area along the coast where you have the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights between September and March, and we gather on deck to search for this breathtaking phenomenon.
Øksfjord - Berlevåg
Enjoy the magnificent sub-Arctic landscape as we cross the 71st parallel on our journey towards the North Cape, the northernmost point on the continent. In summer, you might see herds of grazing reindeer and small camps belonging to the indigenous Sámi people. After brief early stops in Hammerfest and Havøysund we arrive in Honningsvåg, the gateway to the spectacular North Cape. Close to the North Cape you find one of the world’s most exciting nature reserves, Gjesværstappan. Join the bird-watching safari during spring and summer to experience Finnmark’s largest flock of puffins, together with large numbers of kittiwakes. The Hurtigruten ship continues north, sailing in the heartland of the indigenous Sámi people. We pass their ancient sacred site, the rock formation Finnkirka, and as we approach our next stop, the fishing village Kjøllefjord. Ever so often local fishermen visit us during winter and spring to share their catch of the day (King Crab and Cod) with us out on deck. Here you have the opportunity to learn more about the Sámi people, as well as exploring the wonderful scenery all year round on our different excursions. In winter you can join us on an unforgettable snowmobile trip to one of Europe’s most extreme and exciting natural areas.
Båtsfjord - Kirkenes - Berlevåg
Early birds can see Vadsø and just after breakfast we arrive in Kirkenes, putting us at 30° East, further east than Istanbul and St. Petersburg. The Russian border is close by, and you may find it intriguing that the road signs are written in both Norwegian and Russian. Depending on the season, there are several ways to make a visit to the Russian border. During spring you may still be able to participate in our winter activities and excursions. You could explore the Arctic winter on a snowmobile, driving over a frozen fjord. On our dog sledge adventure the huskies eagerly transport you across the frozen landscape, taking you through the arctic wilderness. You can also visit the Snow Hotel and see the reindeer. Our Arctic bush craft excursion in autumn provides you with an insight into this season; how people have harvested, stored, hunted and fished for centuries. As the ship starts its voyage south, you can first enjoy a wonderful lunch followed by views of arctic wilderness from deck or the panorama lounge. There will be a presentation on Pomor trade history in the winter season. The ports previously visited by night on the northbound journey are now seen by day. In the afternoon the ship docks in Vardø again, Norway’s easternmost port. Weather permitting, we may invite you to experience ice bathing in the Arctic Ocean during winter season. On board there will also be a presentation of "Life in the sea" in spring, and in winter local Arctic divers will bring displays and give a lecture out on deck about life in the ocean. We continue along the Varanger peninsula to Båtsfjord before reaching Berlevåg in the evening.
Mehamn - Tromsø
In the middle of the night we dock at Mehamn, where it is possible to join an unforgettable snowmobile trip through one of Europe’s most extreme and exciting natural areas in winter. In Honningsvåg you can enjoy an excursion and breakfast at the North Cape while discovering hidden parts of Finnmark. Before stopping in Hammerfest, you can enjoy an ‘Energy coffee’ and a short introduction to ‘Melkøya - The northernmost natural gas terminal’ on board. In autumn we invite you to taste dried reindeer meat on deck. In Hammerfest you can participate on a mountain hike or join a city guiding and see the UNESCO-listed Meridian Column, erected in 1854 to commemorate the first precise measurement of the globe. We continue south to Øksfjord. In winter our crew will teach you how to tie maritime knots on deck. After crossing open water, we will make a brief stop at the old trading post of Skjervøy before sailing through the beautiful Lyngenfjord in spring. Surrounded by the snowy peaks of the Lyngen Alps, we may be visited by a local fisherman and enjoy a taste of local freshly caught prawns. We dock in Tromsø known as “the gateway to the Arctic” just in time to enjoy a Midnight Concert at the Arctic Cathedral. Alternatively a walk around town will give you the chance to enjoy a local brew in one of the many friendly pubs.
Tromsø - Stamsund
We arrive at Harstad this morning, where you have the opportunity to participate in one of the classics in Hurtigruten’s excursion programme: A taste of Vesterålen. The Risøyrenna channel is just 7m deep, and was made especially for Hurtigruten in the 1920s, providing an "inside route" between Harstad and Sortland. The sand banks are visible through the clear, green water. Risøyhamn is a small village with only 200 inhabitants, and we make a short stop here to deliver passengers, groceries and mail. From this port you can also join in on a spectacular whale watching experience during wintertime. Then we continue via Sortland to Stokmarknes, where Hurtigruten was founded more than 120 years ago. Continuing south it looks like we are sailing straight into the mountain wall, but the captain finds an opening and sails through the narrow Raftsund. As a tribute to the fishing history in this region, our chef shows how to fillet the catch of the day on deck in winter. Now we reach the spectacular Trollfjord, only 2km long and 100m wide, with majestic mountains surrounding it. If the weather and time permits it – the captain will take a detour in here. Join a sea eagle excursion to see the king of birds up close. Reaching Svolvær, you can choose from several excursion options in summer, spring and winter. From Svolvær we continue on to Stamsund, where the majestic peaks of the huge Lofoten wall can be viewed. We leave the islands during the evening and set course for the mainland.
Crossing the Arctic Circle at 66°33’N is an important ‘rite of passage’ today. We celebrate this with a taste of our Arctic traditions out on deck. Another highlight is sailing past the Seven Sisters mountain range. All seven mountains are between 900 and 1,100 m high, and it is easy to understand how these ‘ladies’ have inspired ancient myths. We take a short stop at Nesna, an idyllic old trading post before moving on to Sandnessjøen. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Vega Islands is close to our call in Sandnessjøen and can be visited on an optional excursion during summer. In Brønnøysund we offer an excursion to the Norwegian Aquaculture Centre.
Trondheim - Ålesund
Today gives you another opportunity to explore the city of Trondheim. The city walk through Trondheim is a journey through its 1,000-year history. Back on board, the ship heads out of the majestic Trondheimsfjord, which is 170km long and up to 25km wide. Like all other Norwegian fjords it is deep, 577m at most. As we sail along the coast you’ll realise the importance of fish to Norwegian coastal communities. Kristiansund’s location has provided the town with a wealth of opportunities in the fishing, shipbuilding and oil industries. This town is now regarded as Norway’s ‘cured cod capital’ because of its long time export of salted dry fish. Here you can join a trip to the Atlantic Road, one of Norway’s most visited tourist destinations. As we cross the open sea to Molde, known as the ‘city of roses’, you will notice the steep, grey, pointed peaks of the Romsdal Alps.
Ålesund - Bergen
During the night, the ship will call at Ålesund, Torvik, Måløy as the world’s most beautiful voyage is drawing to a close. But before we dock in Bergen there are still a few nautical miles of fascinating scenery ahead of us, such as the picturesque Nordfjord below the enormous Jostedals glacier. We will make a call at Florø, a modern town which is the oldest in Sogn og Fjordane county and the westernmost in Norway. A few nautical miles south of Florø we navigate the estuary of the mighty Sognefjord. You also get the best views of the archipelago en route. And finally you disembark in Bergen.
Classic Norwegian Fjords (Roundtrip)
This ultimate voyage is by Lonely Planet described as “The World’s Most Beautiful Voyage”. We take you from Bergen to Kirkenes and back in 12 days. See 34 ports and cover over 2,500 nautical miles, which allows you to explore every inch of the coastal magic Norway has to offer. Any time of year, it’s a voyage like no other. The drama of the scenery and the wildlife will stir the explorer in you. Exactly 22 of the ports lie north of the Polar Circle – and you will be given the opportunity to join excursions tailor-made to match your exploration level. Whatever you miss on the northbound sailing during night, you are able to see in daylight on the southbound sailing.
In the classics league
There is a reason famous travel routes are ‘famous.’ Each offers epic landscapes and the distinctive ability to transport the traveller through time and turn fleeting moments into life-long memories. This Route rightly earns its place in the hall of fame of iconic traveller routes along with other classics like the Orient Express, Europe’s Danube, and the revered Route 66. On this trip you get nothing but spectacular experiences. Visit cities like Bergen, Ålesund and Trondheim, before we cross the Polar Circle and sail into Tromsø. Southbound you get to see Lofoten and Trollfjorden in broad daylight, before we sail along the Helgeland coast, passing the Seven Sisters mountains. Let yourself admire the overwhelmingly beautiful west coast on our way to our final destination, Bergen.
No matter what time of the year you travel with us, you will be surrounded by beautiful nature wherever you turn. Still, every season has its own charm.
Experience stunning shades of light all over the coast, when sailing with us during wintertime. The southern parts of Norway will have purple, yellow and warm glowing skies as far south as Bergen. As you reach Trondheim, the Lofoten Islands, Tromsø and the North Cape, you have a chance to experience the Blue Hour when the indirect sunlight creates a soul stirring blue light every morning and evening. So on our winter voyages, you can experience a great variety of beautiful types of light.
With spring comes the return of the warmth and daylight, which is like an infusion of vitamins, kick-starting life along the Norwegian coast. The migratory birds return, meaning the coast is teeming with life. Spring is also a time of celebration and May witnesses the festivities of Norwegian National Day (17 May), when the coastal communities become a blaze of colour and tradition. We also visit the beautiful Lyngenfjord, with its majestic mountain backdrop and unique nature.
Summer is the most popular time of year for exploring Norway’s coast. The long, light days during the summer months seem to energise both nature and people. Even as far south as Bergen, you can experience 19 hours of daylight. Flowers bloom, rivers fill with fish and giant waterfalls cascade towards the ocean, creating a picture-perfect setting for a summer holiday. North of the Arctic Circle you can experience the Midnight Sun – a natural phenomenon. Daylight in the middle of the night is an intense experience, and you may have to force yourself to go to bed.
Our autumn sailings include a visit to the incredibly beautiful Hjørundfjord. Majestic mountains surround this narrow fjord, and we offer several excursions that let you explore this spectacular area. Enjoy a spectacular voyage during this season, as the fresh and clear coastal air enhances the intense red and yellow that fills mountainsides, hilltops and woods. From the deck, you may see the sharp profiles of the highest peaks sprinkled with the first snow, against the background of an ice blue sky. Gradually, the evenings get darker and the days shorter. With a bit of luck, the Northern Lights will appear and give you a magical experience.
Make it your own
Exactly how you want to explore the Midnight Sun, the Northern Lights, the delicious local food, and the natural beauty is entirely up to you. On a roundtrip voyage with us, you will not only feel like an explorer, you will be one!
Discover Norway’s entire coastal route with 34 ports. Named by Lonely Planet as the world’s most beautiful voyage. Polar Circle crossing and special celebration. 50+ excursions to choose from.
Length: from 87,4 to 138,5 meters
Passenger Capacity: from 400 to 1000
Built: 1964 - 2003
All our ships include large lounges and deck space affording perfect views to the changing scenery, creating a proximity to nature throughout the ship. This atmosphere gives you the energy to participate on our on board activities and excursions that take you even closer to the coast.
On our ships you will find a wide range of comfortable cabins, from exclusive suites with their own balcony and extras, to cosy inside cabins. We have divided them into four categories; Expedition Suite, Arctic Superior, Polar Outside and Polar Inside with different amenities and extras.
MS Lofoten, our old time favourite, was launched in Oslo in 1964, and provides you a voyage of real nostalgia and intimate informal atmosphere. Special features: special programme that enhances the heritage of Hurtigruten and the feeling of the '60s. Four-course special made dinners. Activities specially made for voyages with Ms Lofoten. Two sun decks. Panorama lounge. Bar and café. Extra lounge in the aft.
Arrive to Iquitos, embarkation, orientation, and jungle walk in Amazonas
AM: Arrive to the Amazon city of Iquitos: Our crew will be expecting your arrival at the airport, then transfer all together in our comfortable private vehicle. We will start you off with a lunchbox as we begin a panoramic tour of Iquitos city. After the tour we will travel over paved road to the city of Nauta, 95 kilometers away. Nauta is literally the "end of the road" where you will embark on the Delfin. Along the way, you will see vibrant "terra firma" (non-flooded forest) and various aspects of daily jungle life. Arrive to Nauta port: Nauta is a small riverside town on the banks of the Marañon River and was the first city founded in the department of Loreto. Once we reach Nauta, you will enjoy a VIP greeting at our private port along the shores of the Marañon River where the vessel awaits you. PM: Embarkation: Aboard Delfin, you will be served by our qualified staff who will introduce you to your exquisite and cozy suite, specially equipped with all the amenities for the experienced traveller as yourself. Orthopedic beds, pure cotton sheets, pillows of 100% pure natural latex, cotton bathrobes, air conditioning, and private bathroom with Spanish style hot water showers are all framed with a spacious private terrace we are sure you will enjoy to the fullest. PM Marayali / Pauhuachiro: Our first excursion will be done by skiff where we visit our first location populated by sloths, iguanas, and recently a new favourite location for anteaters. Birdwatchers are likely to check off their bucket list, the yellow rumped caciques and the very elegant egrets. Happy Hour and orientation: While the Delfin begins its initial navigation, you will enjoy the most fantastic panoramic views from the elegantly outfitted observation area located on our third deck. Our bartender will be waiting to serve you with an exotic cocktail made with regional fruits and pisco, the beloved national brandy liquor of Peru. Then, your naturalist guide will give you an overview of your journey's schedule, activities, route, highlights, wildlife and vegetation to keep your eye out for, geographical and historical background, and other useful details. The third deck features an entertainment center which offers use for film presentations, as well as extensive literature about the area (fauna, flora, etc.) There is also a completely equipped bar so you can test any combination of regional and international liquors and aromas that the bartender will be happy to provide for you to enjoy under the spell of the beautiful Amazonian afternoons and night, and the sweet breeze of the rainforest. Moreover, should you have any doubts or questions, our guides are always fully at your service. PM Confluence of the 3 Rivers: Better known as the “Union de los Rios” we will toast and witness the distinguished colours of the 3 rivers. It is known that the Ucayali River, which in turn confluences with the Marañón River upstream of Iquitos, Peru, to form what countries other than Brazil consider to be the main stem of the Amazon River. Great photo opportunity as you witness your first Amazon Rainforest Sunset. Our vessels all have an open bridge policy, so you are welcome to learn about the navigation systems and spend time with the driving captain at any time. Moreover, should you have any doubts or questions, our guides are always fully at your service. After dinner we invite you to the third deck were you can enjoy stargazing while we cruise in to the depths of the Amazon Rainforest. PM Amazonas Night Time Jungle Walk : Just before settling down for dinner we will take you out to your first jungle walk. And how exciting it will be to see what goes bump in the night. We take this opportunity to enjoy a small village along the rivershore and our guides will share with you some interesting legends of the Amazon as you sit around a small campfire.
Fundo Casual & Yanayacu
AM: Fundo Casual: The walk at Fundo Casual jungle trail will take you deep into the rainforest on terra firme (non-flooded forest) where your guide will point out the dynamic creatures and vegetation of the Amazon. Be sure to keep an attentive eye open for spotting surprises! PM Yanayacu: Later, we start cruising through the Yanayacu and , peeking into different creeks and lagoons. This is one of the best preserved and protected zones of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Your guide will use his expert eye to pinpoint all the biodiversity of this region. If you want to interact directly with the waters of the Amazon, go out on one of our paddle boards. You will even have the opportunity to swim in the jungle river along with the famous pink dolphins!
Pucate River & Yanayaquillo
AM Pucate River: After a delicious breakfast, we will visit the Pucate River, a calm river where we can explore the shoreline spotting monkeys in the treetops or enjoy an early day swim. PM: Yanayaquillo: After a delicious lunch you will start cruising through the creeks of Yanayaquillo, peeking into different creeks and lagoons. This is one of the best preserved and protected zones of the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve. Your guide will use his expert eye to pinpoint all the biodiversity of this region. This is also a popular dolphin feeding spot so we won´t be the only one enjoying our happy meal here.
Nauta Caño Creek & Piraña Caño Creek / San Francisco
AM Nauta Caño Creek: After breakfast, we will explore Nauta Caño Creek and its various delights via skiff. You will also fish for the famous carnivorous piranhas! As night approaches, your guide will take you on a night safari in search of caiman alligators and night birds. PM Piraña Caño Creek / San Francisco: This lovely creek which leads to a lagoon is an ideal place to spend the afternoon in search of birds and playful monkeys. As your naturalist guide spots various creatures for you, also try to pinpoint some yourself now that you’ve been in the jungle for a few days and have trained your eye a bit! Next we will visit the community of San Francisco will include a short skiff ride and jungle walk to meet local villagers who have called Amazonia their home for generations. Here we will visit a market featuring amazing arts and crafts from the local women. Following this visit will be a jungle walk with our guides to search for nocturnal creatures
Manatee Rescue Center: disembarkation & visit to ACOBIA mantee center
AM: Disembarkation: With heavy hearts, the staff will wish you farewell as you begin your departure. At the port of Nauta, our ground crew will be waiting to take you by our private vehicle back to the city of Iquitos, about 95 kilometers journey by paved road. The Rescue & Rehabilitation Center of River Mammals (ACOBIA): On our way from Nauta back to Iquitos airport, you will visit the Rescue & Rehabilitation Center of River Mammals (ACOBIA) where you will have the chance to meet baby manatees and learn about these wonderful and docile creatures and why they are on the endangered species list. You will also have the chance to pet and feed these kind manatees. As well, there are also some other animals cared for by the center that have been rescued from capture for the intention of being turned into pets and other threatening conditions. We welcome you to donate to this ambitious organization and education center as you wish. Our land personnel will wait for you at the airport and give your boarding passes and help you check in. Airport departure: Our staff will be on hand to help you with your luggage and check in at Crnl. FAP Francisco Secada Vignetta International Airport in Iquitos. The return flight (additional charge) will take you directly to the city of Lima, the capital of Peru. At the security gate, your guide and Delfin crew will say goodbye. We truly hope that you enjoyed your stay and Amazon travel experience with us!
Please Note: this Itinerary based on High Water Season. Itineraries vary based on whether the travel dates fall in the high water/rainy season or low water/dry season. The itineraries are subject to change due to weather conditions at certain times of the year. The water levels of the rivers also vary from time to time, as well as the hours of sailing. Excursions may be modified at the discretion of Delfin III crew.
Amazon River Cruise (5 days) Delfin III
Our newest vessel, the Delfin III, offers guests an immersive rainforest experience while simultaneously treating them to the highest levels of luxury. This brand new vessel is also the largest in our fleet, with capacity for up to 43 passengers. The ship has been beautifully finished with the finest details, hardwood floors, designer furniture, and handmade Peruvian artifacts. The itineraries have been carefully planned and are set to offer an unforgettable experience. Guests will have no shortage of up close rainforest experience and gourmet food to compliment.
Guests have the option of four room classes. On the first deck there are 8 Suites complete with floor to ceiling panoramic windows as well as 2 spacious Corner Suites facing the front of the ship. The second deck is comprised of 10 Upper Suites and the largest of all, the Owner's Suite. The top deck features beautiful indoor and outdoor lounge, a sundeck with plunge pool, a spa and gym, and of course the bar.
Board your ship at 8.00am for planned 9:00am departure > cross Cambridge Gulf and sail into Western Australian waters > join our expedition staff in the lounge for an informative introduction to the Kimberley > with fellow travellers and friendly Coral Expeditions’ crew, enjoy the Captain’s welcome drinks.
King George River and Falls
Discover the first of the Kimberley’s ‘big’ rivers, the mighty King George > board Xplorer, our specially designed excursion vessel and explore scenic gorges > take to our inflatable Zodiacs and cruise close to the base of magnificent King George Falls, the tallest single-drop waterfalls in Western Australia, towering some 80 metres above the river below > visit secluded Tranquil Bay for beach walking and exploration.
Vansittart Bay DC3 and Jar Island
Join our Expedition Leader on a walk across salt flats to view the wreckage of a US Air Force DC3 which crash landed on the beach during World War II > visit Jar Island and discover the island’s outstanding rock art gallery > with our Guest Lecturers, see fine examples of the Kimberley’s mysterious Bradshaw Paintings (Gwion Gwion), dating back some 20,000 years.
Hathaway’s Hideaway and Mitchell Falls
Anchor in Winyalken Bay > travel ashore aboard Xplorer to explore the maze of natural sandstone caves known as Hathaway’s Hideaway > consider an optional scenic heli-flight over the Mitchell Plateau for close up views of the mighty four-tiered Mitchell Falls (additional expense) > this evening enjoy a spectacular Indian Ocean sunset as we indulge in a gourmet Aussie Beach BBQ.
Bigge Island and Careening Bay
Discover the rock art gallery on Bigge Island featuring fine examples of both Wandjina and Bradshaw art > hear from our Guest Lecturers about these traditional art forms and the myths from the dreamtime that inspired them > explore Careening Bay; named by early explorer Phillip Parker King after his ship ‘HMC Mermaid’ was careened for repairs during his second voyage of discovery in the Kimberley > our Expedition Team will lead us to the site of a remarkable boab tree bearing the inscription ‘HMC Mermaid – 1820’, still clearly visible almost 200 years later.
Prince Regent River and King Cascades
Cruise the mighty Prince Regent River aboard Xplorer to breathtaking King Cascades, an unusual and picturesque waterfall cascading over terraced rock formations > enjoy a picnic lunch at beautiful Camp Creek, where there is also time for a cooling dip in the freshwater pools.
Montgomery Reef and Doubtful Bay
Savour a truly unforgettable moment as Montgomery Reef ‘rises’ out of the ocean as the tide ebbs > join our Expedition Staff aboard the Xplorer and Zodiacs to experience this natural phenomenon up close > discover the reef’s diverse marine life including turtles, manta rays and reef sharks > cruise through scenic Doubtful Bay.
Raft Point and Ruby Falls
Cruise through Kuri Bay, home of the south sea pearl industry > travel ashore at imposing Raft Point and visit a secluded and very interesting Aboriginal rock art gallery to view Wandjina art and some of the Kimberley’s most well-preserved Bradshaw Paintings (Gwion Gwion) > explore Red Cone Creek and enjoy a leisurely swim at Ruby Falls.
Horizontal Falls and Bucaneer Archipelago
Meander through the Buccaneer Archipelago, home to over 800 islands > in Talbot Bay the region’s 12 metre tides create an amazing spectacle, the unique Horizontal Falls, described by legendary naturalist Sir David Attenborough as “one of the greatest natural wonders in the world” > the amazing power of the falls is revealed when the region’s 12 metre tides turn, forcing millions of litres of water to rush through the narrow gaps between cliffs > board the Zodiacs for an exhilarating ride through the falls > explore Silica Beach on Hidden Island with its stunning white sands and crystal clear waters.
Explore Pender Bay and subject to weather and tides, visit the Lacepede Islands, a series of low islands consisting of coarse sand and coral rubble lying atop a platform reef > this nature reserve has been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area as it supports up to 18,000 breeding pairs of Brown Boobies and Roseate Terns, possibly the largest such population in the world > board the Zodiacs and explore the island’s lagoon, keeping an eye out for many species of marine birdlife including Australian Pelicans, frigate birds, egrets, gulls and terns > the islands are also renowned as Western Australia’s most significant breeding grounds for the Green Turtle, often seen nesting > this evening we reflect on this wonderful expedition with new-found friends as we enjoy the Captain’s farewell drinks.
Arrive in Broome
Our adventure along the Kimberley Coast concludes in Broome this morning at 8:00am > if you’re not transferring directly to the airport why not spend the day visiting world-famous Cable Beach or stroll the historic streets of Chinatown in central Broome > post cruise transfers included.
Please Note: this itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel.
Ancient Lands of the Kimberley
We invite you to discover the remarkable Kimberley Coast. Home to towering waterfalls, rugged outback landscapes, ancient Aboriginal art and abundant wildlife there is simply no place on earth quite like the Kimberley, and no better way to discover it than by small ship.
Join us to experience all of the icons of the Kimberley Coast over ten unforgettable days cruising between Darwin and Broome. In the north, discover the majestic King George River with its towering 80-metre twin falls and the mysterious Bradshaw (Gwion) Paintings of Bigge Island. Explore the Mitchell Plateau and cruise the Kimberley’s ‘big’ rivers before experiencing beautiful King Cascades, remarkable Montgomery Reef and the amazing natural phenomenon of the Horizontal Falls in the south.
This is a land steeped in ancient Aboriginal culture and the legends of Australia’s pioneering past. Travel ashore to view the world’s oldest known indigenous rock art, the mysterious Bradshaw (Gwion Gwion) paintings and soak up the history of early explorers such as Phillip Parker King who first charted this spectacular coastline almost 200 years ago. With two landings most days, with Coral Expeditions you will enjoy more opportunities to fully immerse yourself in the magic of the Kimberley. Aboard our unique ‘Xplorer’ excursion vessel and fleet of inflatable zodiacs, and with the expert local knowledge of our experienced guides, you are assured of making the most of every minute of your expedition, and do it all in total comfort and unrivalled style.
Discover the mighty King George River and get in close to the soaring falls on our Zodiac excursions • Visit and learn about ancient rock art with our expert Expedition Team • Explore Hathaway’s Hideaway and the maze of sandstone caves • Indulge in gourmet Aussie beach BBQ as the sun sets over the Indian Ocean • Aboard our Xplorer tender, cruise the Prince Regent River to King Cascades • Experience the tidal phenomenon that expose Montgomery Reef and create the unique Horizontal Falls • Spot amazing marine life and enjoy bird watching
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 63 metres
Passenger Capacity: 72 (in 36 rooms)
Built: 2005 / Refurbished: 2016
Launched in 2005, Coral Discoverer set a new benchmark standard for small ship cruising in Australia. Refurbished in November 2016, she continues to raise the bar to new levels of sophistication in expedition cruising in the Southern Hemisphere.
The 1800-tonne Coral Discoverer is the grand vision of Coral Expeditions, pioneers in expedition and adventure cruises around Australia, Papua New Guinea and South East Asia. Her shallow draught and manoeuvrability allow her to go where larger vessels cannot. Her tender vessel, Xplorer, can seat all 72 passengers for excursions to beaches and rivers. Coral Discoverer is equipped with latest technology active stabilisers to ensure comfortable cruising in open waters and is fitted with modern safety and navigation equipment and wireless internet facilities.
Coral Discoverer was built to the exacting international SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) standards and specifications in Cairns, Australia, with one aim in mind; to create the ultimate small ship cruising experience. Australian flagged, and staffed entirely by an Australian and New Zealand crew, your experience aboard Coral Discoverer will be unique.
After the refurbishment, the Sun Deck has evolved to become a new social space and the hub of on board community living. This area has been converted into an undercover deck area complete with round ‘Explorer Bar’ with bar stools and sun deck with lounges and an area for outdoor exercise equipment.
Guest accommodation has also received a substantial upgrade with the addition of six Bridge Deck Balcony Staterooms providing coveted inside/outside living quarters. Each of our other Stateroom grades has also received a full upgrade with updated bathroom fixtures, soft furnishings and artwork making for an even more comfortable stay on board Coral Discoverer.
The Coral Discoverer offers five different grades of staterooms, ranging from Bridge Deck Balcony Staterooms to Main Deck Staterooms. Bridge Deck Balcony Staterooms are on the top deck and have private balconies opening out from French windows. All rooms are furnished with contemporary flair and feature original artwork, a small private en-suite, individually-controlled air-conditioning, an iPod dock, ample storage and Australian toiletries. All staterooms are serviced daily. Each stateroom is spacious, sized between 15sqm (161 square feet) to 20 sq. (215 square feet) and has either a balcony, feature picture windows or porthole windows. Most staterooms can be configured to either junior king or twin bedding.
Embarkation between 3-4 pm. Welcome Cocktail. Dinner on board.
Malaga - Motril for Granada
Morning arrival in Motril. Optional full day excursion to Granada & visit to Alhambra.
Porto Banus for Ronda
Full day optional excursion to Ronda. Late in the afternoon visit Marbella.
Porto Banus - Gibraltar
Morning arrival in Gibraltar & optional half day excursion.
Cadiz for Seville
Full day optional excursion to Seville. Optional excursion to the Cathedral, the Alcazar Palace, the Maria Luisa Park
Cadiz for Jerez de la Frontera
Optional excursion to Jerez de la Frontera. Afternoon optional guided tour of Cadiz and Sanlucar de Barrameda.
Optional half day excursion to Silves and travel to the picturesque city of Monchique. Return to Portimao.
Disembarkation 7 to 10 am.
Additional charges: port taxes & fees: € 330,- pp
Please Note: itineraries can be changed at the discretion of Variety Cruises and of the Vessel's Captain in case adverse weather conditions - winds of 6/7 beaufort or more depending on the vessel- on port authorities not allowing a vessel to leave port or in case of other extraordinary conditions. Such itinerary changes do not entitle automatically passengers to any refunds but Variety Cruises guarantees that passengers are disembarked at the advertised port of disembarkation on time for their flights.
Spain & Portugal
Experience a harmonious balance between conventional cruising and private yachting, along with an exciting voyage of discovery, unravelling the glories of Spain and Portugal. Each day you will discover a new port of call, a hidden cove with crystal blue waters to cool you, a glimpse of ancient history to amaze you and rich cultural diversity to intrigue you. Seville, built along the Guadalkivir river with several UNESCO classified monuments and a rich Moorish and Spanish heritage. Grenada with her brilliant architectural jewels such as the Alhambra Palace. Jerez de la Frontera, an Andalusian world famous for its architecture, sherry and fine horses. Ronda, birthplace of bull fighting. Gibraltar, a British outpost right in the South of Spain.
Malaga; birthplace to Picasso, this important cultural infrastructure and the artistic heritage have culminated in the nomination of Malaga as a candidate for the 2016 European Capital of Culture.
Motril; Motril is located on a hill, on the slope of Sierra Lújar. It enjoys a mild subtropical climate, which make it the ideal sun-and-beach destination, all year round. Cadiz; Cádiz, the oldest continuously inhabited city in Spain and one of the oldest in Western Europe, has been a principal home port of the Spanish Navy since the accession of the Spanish Bourbons in the 18th century. The city is a member of the Most Ancient European Towns Network. Lisbon; the city of Lisbon is rich in architecture; Romanesque, Gothic, Manueline, Baroque, Modern and Postmodern constructions can be found all over Lisbon. Lisbon has two sites listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site: Belém tower and Jerónimos Monastery.
Vessel Type: Motor Yacht
Length: 54 m
Passenger Capacity: 42
Built/Refurbished: 2001 / 2013
The Harmony "G" is a modern vessel with a sleek high-tech look very similar to the private yachts to be found in the famous ports of the world. The 53 meter long / 7.2 meter wide Mega Yacht Harmony G was launched in January 2001 and renovated in 2009-10 and in 2013. It complies with the most stringent SOLAS safety regulations, while its powerful engines and state of the art stabilizers allow for safe and comfortable cruising.
Life on board centers around the Indoor / Outdoor lounge and its American bar, on Upper Deck. The classy dining room located on Main Deck is surrounded by large windows. The spacious Sun deck is the ideal place to bask in the sun, read a good book or just gaze at the scenery. The swimming platform on Harmony G stern enables you to swim when weather and anchorage conditions permit.
Embarkation starts at 13:00. Get settled, and later join your fellow “sailors” for a Welcome Reception with dinner.
Split – Krka NP National Park – Zadar
Depart from Split early in the morning to Primošten with visit of the Krka National Park, with its magnificent waterfalls. Afterwards, coach to Vodice, return to the ship and enjoy lunch, while sailing to Zadar, a city of exceptional history and rich cultural heritage. In the late afternoon, set out on a walking tour of Zadar historical centre and admire the old walls built in 16th century by Venetians as a defence from Turks. Also see the 16th century Port Gate where the Venetian lion still guards the entrance, the Square of the Five Wells, Church of St. Donat, the Roman Forum and the largest cathedral in Dalmatia, St. Anastasia. Your evening is at leisure in town.
Zadar – Kornati National Park – Zlarin
Morning departure for the Kornati National Park containing more than 140 islands, islets and rocks. Afterwards we continue to Zlarin, a typical small Dalmatian village widely known for tradition of hunting and processing corals, where we will overnight. Tonight enjoy Captain`s dinner on board.
Zlarin – Vis
Leaving Zlarin we will have an early morning cruise towards the island of Vis, once a strategic naval Yugoslav base and closed to the public. Due to this isolation, Vis has a special charm – “the Mediterranean as it once was” making it really interesting to visit. Situated on the northern side of the island, Vis has developed near the remains of the ancient Issa, first urban center in Croatia. Upon arrival in town of Vis join the orientation walking tour to visit the remains of the Roman thermal place and views of the beautiful Villae Rusticae situated along the waterfront. Overnight in town Vis.
Vis – Biševo (Blue cave) – Hvar
We will have an early morning cruise towards small island Biševo to visit the Blue cave, a magnificent natural phenomenon (entrances to be paid on the spot – approx. 7 EUR). As sometimes weather conditions can be very unpredictable, the possibility of our visit will depend on those conditions, however you will be notified of this on time. Continue to the island of Hvar, Croatia’s sunniest island with swim stop in one of the secluded bays. Hvar is a favourite holiday destination for international celebrities and yachters; thus, beyond all the glitz and glamour, Hvar town is a charming seaside resort with 8 centuries of architecture waiting to be explored. On a walking tour, breathe in the pine scented breeze, as you absorb vistas of the old town with the picturesque little streets and the first public theatre in Europe. Enjoy some free time to pop into craft shops or cafes, tucked into old Venetian palaces. Your evening is free to explore Hvar on your own.
Hvar – Bol / Milna
Enjoy a relaxing cruise as we sailing towards to our final island destination – the island of Brac where swimming is planned at the most famous beach in Dalmatia – Zlatni Rat near Bol – whose pebbles shifts from side to side as the wind and waves constantly change in shape. Bol is a typical fishermen’s village converted into a popular tourist destination. We will either moor up in the port of Bol on the southern side of the island, or in the waterside town of Milna. The island of Brac is famous for its native Mediterranean pine trees, relaxing atmosphere, and beautiful secluded bays. You’ll spend your afternoon swimming and relaxing in either of these stunning areas, with the evening reserved to experience a local restaurant or waterside café.
Bol / Milna – Split
Embrace your last morning cruising the Dalmatian coast as we make our way back to Split. Enjoy your final swim stop in one of Brač island`s secluded bays and then have a lunch while we cruise into Split Harbour in the afternoon. This UNESCO World Heritage city bases the city centre in and around the stunning Diocletian’s Palace, the Roman emperor Diocletian’s retirement palace from 295-305 AD. Stroll through the palace basement filled with market stalls and outside experience the historical architecture of this beautiful palace. See the remnants of Split`s Roman heritage, it`s Renaissance and Gothic structures, Jupiter`s temple, The Peristyle and many other unique sites. Overnight in Split.
Disembark after breakfast.
Additional charges: Port fees € 25,- pp
Central Croatia Luxury Cruise
Starting and finishing in the beautiful city of Split, this cruise visits a few of the less visited islands making this a really interesting cruise. The beautiful walled port of Zadar was built in 16th century by Venetians as a defence from Turks and is a delightful stop. We will also visit Kornati National Park, comprising of more than 140 islands, islets and rocks.
Another highlight will be Vis which has a special charm – “the Mediterranean as it once was” making it really interesting to visit. Weather permitting we will also have an early morning cruise towards small island Biševo to visit the Blue cave, a magnificent natural phenomenon.
We will cruise for around 4 hours most mornings, stopping for a swim en route. After lunch on board we will have plenty of time to enjoy a guided walk or to explore the towns and ports where we are moored. In the evening you are free to explore to cafes and restaurants of the towns.
7 nights cruise from Split to Zadar and back to Split • Arrival & departure transfer from/to Split airport or hotel • Captain’s dinner • Buffet breakfast daily • 6 lunches with 4 courses starting with the 4 course welcome dinner on Day 1 • Water 0.5 L per person per day • Complimentary fresh fruits available daily • Professional Cruise Manager throughout • Daily cabin servicing •
Free Wi-Fi on board • Whisper technology enhanced touring • Sightseeing tours of Krka National Park, Zadar, Kornati National Park, Vis, Hvar, Split included in price
M/S Arca Fiumana is a modern deluxe vessel launched in 2017, with maximum capacity of 38 passengers in 19 twin and double cabins. All cabins are modern and fully equipped with A/C, LCD TV, safe deposit box, fire alarm, internal communication system between room and bar.
Bathrooms are equipped with toilet, shower, wash basin, hair dryer, slippers, bathrobe, and for added convenience cosmetic package. All cabins are sound-proof and each cabin comes with the fire-proof doors. A fully air-conditioned upper deck dining room can accommodate all passengers at once, yet offer a great degree of privacy for each guest. There is free wireless internet (Wi-Fi), loudspeakers, audio-system, and a direct telephone communication cabin-bar on board. The kitchen is made in line with the latest HACCP standards. An extension of the restaurant is outdoors, on the covered part of the upper deck, spacious enough for all passengers and tables, chairs and including one public lavatory. To make the most of every swimming opportunity, there is a platform with a ladder for easy access to the water, as well as small swimming pool at the rear of the ship. Electricity on board: 220V.
The gateway to Greenland
Your flight from Copenhagen arrives in the evening in Kangerlussuaq where MS Fram is waiting for your embarkation.
The land of Midnight Sun and dog sledges
The land of Midnight Sun and dog sledges
As we start cruising north, you can look forward to encountering gigantic icebergs, fjords and spectacular landscapes, as well as small villages and larger towns. Sisimiut is situated 40 km north of the Arctic Circle. The name means “the people living in a place where there are fox dens”. This is the second largest town in Greenland, a modern settlement that maintains ancient traditions. Our optional shore excursions include hikes, boat trips and sightseeing. You can also watch local artists sculpt jewellery and crafts from bone, leather and metal, or taste Greenlandic specialities in a local restaurant. Qeqertarsuaq is the only town situated on the old volcanic island of Disco. Greenlandic legend says that two seal hunters were annoyed that the island stood in their way. Using a single hair from an infant, they towed the island up north behind their kayaks. A witch in Ilulissat did not like this lush, green island approaching, and cast a spell on it to run aground. This verdant island in the midst of ice offers amazing Arctic experiences. Join optional excursions like a guided town tour, kayaking or an ice cruising boat trip. If you like archaeology and history, you should definitely pay a visit to the local museum. Feel free to stroll around the settlement on your own. Qasigiannguit is dubbed the “Pearl of the Disco Bay" and is Greenland's forgotten paradise. Nature still dominates everyday life here. The settlement is home to one of the oldest houses in Greenland. It was built in 1734 and is today the town’s museum with some of Greenland's finest ancient artifacts and exciting collections. Join a settlement walk, visit the museum and the local church or stroll around and discover the settlement on your own. The town of Uummannaq is situated in scenic surroundings at the foot of a heart-shaped mountain. Our optional excursions include meeting the locals or taking a tender boat excursion to a landing at Qilakitsoq where mummies from the Thule era were found. In Ukkusissat the local citizens await at the pier and provide entertainment with song and dance, before proudly escorting us to their village. Illorsuit lies at the mouth of the Uummannaq Fjord. There are only 90 people living in this traditional hunting and fishing community. You may find that many houses dry whale meat and fish on the front porch, right next to the laundry. This is a scenic outpost rarely visited by tourists. We may also visit a location near Saqqaq, around 70°N, 51°W, that was without an official name until 2013. The place has special significance to Friederike Bronny, one of our Expedition Team members. As a young geologist student, she spent a year in a tent in this small valley. She also visited the spot several times later as an Expedition Leader. A few years ago, MS Fram was planning to land here, and the captain needed to inform the authorities. Unfortunately, this particular site didn’t have a name. So the captain said, ‘At Hurtigruten we call it “Camp Frieda”.’ Not long after, the authorities relayed back that, from that moment on, Camp Freida would be the official name of the position. Witness the true power of nature on a visit to the Eqip Sermia Glacier, which calves icebergs into the open ocean. We will use the ship’s tender boats to go ashore in this beautiful area. If you're feeling more active, you can take a short hike on your own in the area. Everybody who goes ashore is invited to a barbecue dinner with a beautiful view over the glacier. Ilulissat is set in the stunning scenery of the Ilulissat Icefjord. The area was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2004. Just outside the town, at the mouth of the fjord, you can often see enormous icebergs that have run aground. They originate from the Jakobshavn Glacier, one of the most productive glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere. These mighty icebergs are unique and no two are alike. Marvel at how they change from white and blue to shades of orange and red when the iceberg surface is struck by the midnight sun. Hear the icebergs’ soundtrack of cracking and rumbling, as the sounds echoe from one end of Ilulissat to the other. We offer a variety of optional shore excursions such as hikes, historic town walks and a boat tour to the Icefjord. Itilleq means "the hollow", and as its name suggests, this small settlement is situated in a hollow, majestically surrounded by high mountains and glaciers. With the Arctic Circle passing just 200 metres south of the village centre, Itilleq can rightly claim the title of ‘the Arctic Circle Village’. The 130 people who live here are mainly engaged in hunting and fishing activities. The island has no fresh water, so its inhabitants have to use a facility that makes fresh water from seawater. The town's church has an interesting history: It was built in Thule (Umanak, North Greenland) in 1930 and was moved to Itilleq in 1963.
See the Ice Sheet up close
As we reach Kangerlussuaq, your expedition with MS Fram has come to an end. Take the opportunity to join a final excursion to the Greenland Ice Sheet. This vast icy wasteland stretches 1,500 miles north and reaches heights of up to 3,200 metres above sea level. The road to the edge of the Ice Sheet boasts beautiful natural scenery, ranging from Arctic desert and tundra with low growing shrubs, to hilly terrain offering breathtaking views over the landscape. Your plane to Copenhagen leaves late in the evening.
The stylish capital of Denmark
You arrive in the Danish capital early in the morning and may even have the time to explore "Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen" before you head home.
Please Note: this is an expedition where the elements rule, and the weather, wind and ice conditions will determine our final schedule. Safety is paramount and the captain will decide the sailing itinerary during the voyage. Therefore, this itinerary is just an indication of what you can experience, and why every expedition with us is unique.
Discover the Heart of Greenland
Like no other polar destination, Greenland offers close interaction and unique cultural experiences together with breathtaking nature. In the Disco Bay area, colourful villages cling to rough, rocky hills surrounding the inland ice. 80% of Greenland is covered by ice and we recommend you always have your camera handy as icebergs of every imaginable shape and size may appear at any time.
Enjoy exploring rarely visited settlements, lively towns and the abandoned solitude of Qullissat. Touch an iceberg with your bare hands and marvel at the power of nature in Ilulissat Icefjord. With daily landings and excursions including kayaking, hikes and other activities, you will discover the authentic Greenland and meet the people that call this wilderness home. At many of our stops, you are welcomed into open homes for a traditional “kaffemik”, providing a fascinating insight into local lives.
The Disco Bay area is also home to a large number of whales. Some of them live here, while others travel all the way from the Caribbean during summer. There is a very good chance to encounter Humpback, Fin and Greenland whales.
Vessel Type: Expedition
Passenger Capacity: 276
MS Fram is designed for sailing in polar waters, holds the highest safety standards and is the perfect size for optimum nautical manoeuvrability and guests comfort. With space for only 276 guests, you are sure to get to know many of your fellow travellers. You will share stunning sights and memories of a lifetime long after returning home. The Norwegian word Fram means “forward”, lifting expectations of the voyage at hand.
MS Fram was built in 2007 with one mission in mind, to bring her guests closer to nature, wildlife and unforgettable experiences. As well as offering numerous lounges in which to relax, our more active guests can use our well-equipped gym. Meanwhile, on deck, our Jacuzzis guarantee you surreal memories when passing the towering icebergs of Antarctica or Greenland.
(Sunday): Dubrovnik, Croatia
Embarkation between 3 pm and 4 pm. Welcome dinner. Overnight in port.
Dubrovnik, Croatia – Korcula, Croatia - Budva, Montenegro
Early morning sailing to Korcula, Croatia. Enjoy a refreshing morning swim stop near Korcula, before arriving at Korcula port in the afternoon. Afternoon optional excursion in Korcula Town or in Korcula Town and to LUMBARDA Village for wine tasting. Overnight at sea to Budva, Montenegro.
Budva, Montenegro - Paxos island, Greece
Enjoy a morning swim stop near Budva. Mid day arrival at the well-preserved medieval town of Budva. Afternoon optional sightseeing excursion to Old Budva and to Cetinje, a museum town. Explore Budva’s vast cultural heritage and Venetian architecture. Overnight at sea to Paxos, Greece.
Paxos Island, Greece
Short stop in Corfu for clearance and continue to Paxos. Sail into a nearby bay for a refreshing swim stop and a BBQ lunch on board. This afternoon, arrive in the unique port of Paxos. Overnight in port.
Paxos Island, Greece – Corfu, Greece
Early morning sailing to Corfu, the Grand Lady of the Ionian Islands and the greenest island in Greece. All day optional excursions to explore Corfu’s imperial past, the impressive historic centre declared UNESCO World Heritage site and the byzantine churches, or to take a scenic tour through the lush Corfu countryside and old high hill villages. Overnight in port.
Corfu, Greece - Saranda, Albania - Kotor, Montenegro
Early morning sailing to the charming town of Saranda, boasting the most attractive waterfront on the Albanian Riviera. Join the optional excursion to the nearby archaeological site of Butrint. Afternoon sailing to Kotor, Montenegro.
Early morning navigation in the Bay of Kotor, the deepest natural fjord in the Mediterranean. Take a refreshing swim in the bay or join the optional excursion to the well-preserved, fortified medieval Old Town. Overnight in port.
Kotor, Montenegro - Dubrovnik, Croatia
Early in the morning sailing to Dubrovnik. Arrival 09:00 - Disembarkation at 9 am after breakfast.
Additional charges: Port charges: € 350,- pp
The Adriatic Odyssey – Tales of 4 Countries
Sail on board the luxurious Panorama sailing cruiser to some of Europe’s most stunning coastlines. Dubrovnik is one of Europe’s best preserved cities, and Kotor Bay is an absolutely stunning fjord-like bay with steep sides plunging into the glassy waters dotted with tiny islands that often have a single church or just a few buildings clinging to them. We will also visit underrated Albania and lush Corfu.
Other highlights include Corfu, the Grand Lady of the Ionian Islands and the greenest island in Greece, the charming town of Saranda, boasting the most attractive waterfront on the Albanian Riviera and the nearby UNESCO World Heritage site of Butrint – A major archaeological site dating back to Greek and Roman times. We will cruise in the Bay of Kotor, the deepest fjord in the Mediterranean and spend a night in the unique port of Paxos.
Enjoy a refreshing morning swim stops near Korcula, Budva and Paxos. Explore Budva’s vast cultural heritage and Venetian architecture. Discover Corfu, the Grand Lady of the Ionian Islands and the greenest island in Greece. Visit the Bay of Kotor, the deepest natural fjord in the Mediterranean.
Vessel Type: Motor Yacht
Length: 52 metres
Passenger Capacity: 34
Built/Refurbished: 2000 / 2015-16
The elegant Motor Yacht Callisto is true to her name: Elegant, classic. She was fully refit / rebuilt in 2000 and was thoroughly renovated in in 2015-16. This classy Motor Yacht has performed several Atlantic Ocean crossings, and has also sailed along the most interesting coastal sites of Europe, North and West Africa. The M/Y Callisto is of the “boutique” category of cruiser, and offers the highest standard of accommodation, comfort and safety. The yacht’s public areas are cosy and generous, decorated with rich fabrics, handsome woodwork, gleaming brass, antiques and fine works of art. During the day, life on board centres around the indoor and outdoor areas including the Upper deck Indoor and Outdoor lounge/bar and dining areas as well as the cosy Library located on the Sun Deck. The lounge/bar and dining room on the Upper deck are connected by the gallery, displaying exquisite art and adding to the overall feeling of elegance and style. In the evening you can relax in the ship’s lounge, enjoy a drink overlooking the stars or relax with a book in the library with its wraparound windows. The spacious lounge and bar area on the Upper Deck is surrounded by large picture windows and opens onto the Outdoor Dining area. The yacht features a broad Sun Deck for sunbathing and the swimming platform on Callisto’s stern enables you to swim off the ship when in sheltered bays. Service on board is provided by your Captain, the Cruise Coordinator and your experienced Marine and Hotel crew members.
London to Dubrovnik, Croatia
Fly by scheduled flight. On arrival, transfer to the Panorama II and embark. Enjoy Welcome Drinks and Dinner this evening. Moor overnight.
Dubrovnik is a breathtaking sight and its many historic and cultural treasures have earned it the designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Founded by the Romans in the 7th century, it eventually came under the influence of the Byzantine Empire, then Venice, Hungary and finally Turkey. This morning our local guides will lead us through the bustling old town taking in the beautiful civic buildings, the Rector’s Palace, the Romanesque- Gothic Dominican and Franciscan Monasteries and the Sponza Palace. After lunch we have free time to explore further at our own pace and perhaps walk along the city walls to enjoy the views.
Be on deck early this morning as we sail through the stunning fjord-like scenery into Kotor. On arrival at our berth, a morning walking tour will explore this Medieval town and UNESCO World Heritage Site. This really is an extraordinary place full of marvellous architecture and pretty town squares. Our walk will include the 12th century cathedral of St Tryphon, the ancient town gates, the Maritime Museum and Romanesque churches including St Luke’s. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy the afternoon to explore at your own pace. This evening is free to enjoy dinner in one of the local restaurants. Moor overnight.
There will be a choice of activities today and on the full day tour we will drive from Kotor through the Montenegro countryside. We will cross the border into Albania to reach Shkodra which was founded in the 4th century BC and has been occupied by the Romans, Serbians and Venetians. Here we will visit the Rozafa Castle which rises majestically on a rocky hill just outside the city, and explore the museum within the walls. We will continue into the countryside for lunch where we will enjoy a slow food experience of Albanian specialities before returning to the Panorama II which will have relocated to Shengjin port. Alternatively you may prefer to stay on board and enjoy a day cruising through the Kotor fjord and along the coast.
From our berth in Durres we embark on a full day tour to include the Albanian capital of Tirana. Here we will see the fascinating nuclear bunker built by the dictator Enver Hoxha in the 1970’s and only opened to the public in 2014. This five storey underground building is packed with original artefacts from the communist period. We continue to the National Museum where we will learn of Albanian history from ancient to modern before walking through the city centre to see the Mosque, Clock Tower and the ‘Bloku’ area of the city. It is here where the politburo officers once lived, an area forbidden to ordinary Albanian citizens. We will enjoy lunch in the city before returning to Durres which was colonized by the Greeks in 627 BC and still has the remains of a 15,000 seat amphitheatre, the second largest in the Balkans. We will explore the Medieval city before returning to the Panorama II this afternoon.
Located around ten miles from the port of Vlore, Sazan is Albania’s largest island albeit at only 2.2 square miles. Having been under Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman control due to its strategic location it was occupied by the Italians in 1914 and only returned to Albania in 1947. During the Cold War the Russians built a submarine base and the Albanian Communist regime built a military base complete with bunkers and tunnels which could withstand a nuclear attack or western invasion. Since 1992, following the end of communism, the island has fallen into disrepair but we are able to explore this derelict base and ruined buildings which still contain original furniture and the tunnels. We return to the ship for lunch and this afternoon explore the rest of the island which is situated in the Karaburan – Sazan National Marine Park.
Sarande for Butrint
Our last call in Albania sees us discover the archaeological and ancient city of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the ruins that feature the remains of many eras and cultures. From the Hellenistic period there are temples, the promenade and the 4th century BC theatre. From the Roman era are the public baths, gymnasium and fountains. From the Byzantine era we see chapels and the large Basilica of St Peter and St Paul, whilst the Venetians are represented by a watchtower and a small castle with commanding views over the Straits of Corfu. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy an afternoon cruising.
The port of Katakolon will be our base today for our excursion to Olympia. Pastoral and lush, Olympia’s plentiful ruins are shaded by Aleppo pines and olive trees. The fame of Olympia rests upon the Olympic Games. During the celebrations that accompanied the Games, competitors, while not forgetting that they were Athenians, Spartans or from other city states, remembered that they were Greeks and regarded an Olympic victory as the highest honour. We will see the gymnasium, the stadium and the palestra or wrestling school. We will also explore the Altis, or sacred precinct of Zeus, which houses structures including the Temple of Zeus, one of the largest temples on the Greek mainland and the Archaeological Museum which houses some fine sculptures and artefacts from the site. After our visit enjoy free time for lunch and an afternoon at leisure in Olympia before returning to the ship.
Delphi & Corinth Canal
From our berth in Itea, we will drive through lush olive groves up to Delphi, stunningly situated upon a mountain terrace and one of Greece’s most important sites of antiquity. Our visit begins at the Castalian Spring, erupting from the spot where Pegasus is said to have struck his hoof. We will continue up the Sacred Way, passing the treasury of the Athenians and the bases of many monuments, the temple of Apollo, the 5000 seat theatre dating from the fourth century BC and the ancient stadium. Return to the vessel for lunch and be on deck later this afternoon as we transit the Corinth Canal. Completed in 1893 and only 6.4 kilometres long and 21.5 metres wide, it is only small ships like ours which can now make this journey.
Nafplion’s sheltered location below a rocky headland and large natural fortress crowned by a Venetian castle is perhaps unrivalled in Greece. From here we will enjoy a scenic drive through the Argos Plain, once ruled by Agamemnon, conqueror of Troy, to the famous citadel of Mycenae. High above the confluence of two boulder-strewn ravines, Mycenae is entered by way of the Lion Gate. Once inside the gate, we will explore the Royal Palace, the shaft graves and the remains of the city walls. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy an afternoon at leisure.
Athens to London
Disembark after breakfast and enjoy a panoramic drive through Athens before transferring to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.
Adriatic & Aegean Odyssey
This is not an itinerary which a large cruise ship could operate but one which is ideal for the Panorama II. Sailing from Dubrovnik to Athens we will explore a magnificent array of ancient ruins and attractive towns and villages during our guided excursions, combined with some relaxing, day time sailing allowing time to appreciate the beautiful scenery of the region. Our journey will start with an overnight and full day in Dubrovnik before we sail south to Albania, calling into wonderful Kotor along the way. Unusually we have dedicated four days to Albania, a fascinating country where one of the highlights of our explorations will be the marvellous site of Butrint where settlement can be traced back to the 8th century BC. Our route continues to ancient Olympia and Delphi and on through the Corinth Canal to charming Nafplion and finally to Athens. By the end of the voyage you will have seen and learnt so much and exploring in small groups, our trips ashore will be a pleasure. Whether your interest lies in ancient history, modern politics or simply the joy of experiencing new places, this journey has something for everyone.
Discover Dubrovnik with its many historic and cultural treasures. Explore Kotor – a medieval town and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Join a full day tour to the Albanian capital of Tirana. Visit pastoral and lush Olympia.
Vessel Type: Sail Cruiser
Length: 54 metres
Passenger Capacity: 49
Built / refurbished: 1993 / 2008 / 2012 / 2015
Launched in 2004, fully renovated in 2012 and upgraded again in 2015, the two-masted Panorama II is a 164 foot motor sailer accommodating just 49 guests. If you find large resort style vessels accommodating many thousands of passengers attractive then of course this isn’t the vessel for you. However, if you prefer an informal and warm atmosphere more akin to a private yacht combined with an itinerary dedicated to both discovery and relaxation then you need look no further.
All the cabins on board Panorama II are designed for comfort and have a nautical feel with light fabrics and wood trimmings. Cabins range in size from 97 to 173 square feet and those located on the Upper and Main Decks are equipped with windows, while those on the Lower Deck have portholes. Cabins either have twin beds or fixed double beds. Facilities include en suite bathrooms with showers, cabin TV (for DVD only), mini-fridge, safety deposit box and hairdryer.
The public areas include a main lounge and bar with comfortable sofas, a restaurant located on the Lower Deck and the Upper Deck al fresco dining area where meals can be enjoyed when weather permits. There is also a swimming platform enabling guests to swim when weather and anchorage conditions permit and the Upper Deck provides a generous semi covered or sun exposed space with sun loungers and chairs, ideal for relaxation and fantastic views.
Located on the Lower Deck, the indoor dining room seats all passengers in a single, unassigned seating and offers generous buffet space. The aft area on the Upper Deck provides a generous semi covered area where guests can enjoy meals al fresco with wonderful views, weather permitting. Food is served at the table or displayed on the hot and cold buffets stands. The menu is Greek and international, with a focus on local specialties. On each itinerary, we have included the opportunity for you to dine ashore independently allowing you to experience the local flavours.
During the day, life on board focuses around the indoor lounge area, and the indoor dining room, as well as the open and inviting deck areas. These are natural gathering places and perfect for enjoying your meals al fresco, settling into a comfortable chair with a good book or socialising with your fellow passengers and enjoying the views. The swimming platform on Panorama II’s stern enables you to swim off the yacht when weather and anchorage conditions permit (only applicable for voyages around Greece).
Juneau, Alaska/Embark Ship
Our Forest Service Special Use Permit for Tongass National Forest enables you to hike and kayak in wild and remote areas of Southeast Alaska. To begin your Alaska Cruise, we will take an early afternoon flight from Seattle to Juneau. Meet your naturalists and visit Mendenhall Glacier, set in the dramatic Mendenhall Valley, located just 12 miles from downtown Juneau. Embark the ship and take the time to settle into your cabin before dinner. After dinner onboard, take a few hours to yourself and explore the port of Juneau.
Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness
Voyage into Tracy or Endicott Arm, both spectacular glacially carved fjords. We’ll also pass the Sawyer Glacier, which has been described as bluer than any blue on earth, or the towering Dawes Glacier. If conditions permit, we'll use our expedition landing craft to provide unparalleled up close views of the glacier. Keep an eye out for harbor seals, porpoises and arctic terns.
Search for humpback whales as we head towards the small, true Alaskan town of Petersburg on Mitkof Island. Explore a unique Southeast Alaskan ecosystem, the "muskeg," with stunted trees and carnivorous plants. There is an opportunity for optional flightseeing or bike riding. Enjoy a Dungeness crab feast this evening.
Frederick Sound and Chatham Strait
These waters are prime areas for both killer whales and humpback whales. It's not uncommon to observe their fascinating behaviour — breaching, tail-slapping and variations on feeding — as we fill the deck and listen to the play-by-play from our expert naturalists. We'll explore spectacular bays and inlets, following bear trails and salmon streams. Once ashore, we’ll have the opportunity to walk along a quiet forest trail. The still waters are excellent for kayaking, offering another option for up close exploration.
Icy Strait and the Inian Islands
Cruise among the Inian Islands, where an abundance of Steller sea lions reside. Hike nearby islands, kayak, and search for whales in the rich waters of Icy Strait. Conditions permitting, we'll lower the ship’s hydrophone to listen in on the whales’ communication.
Glacier Bay National Park
We spend the entire day amidst the coves, fjords, tidewater glaciers and majestic mountains of Glacier Bay National Park. You’ll see glaciers that end abruptly at the water’s edge and observe them “calving” — tons of ice crashing into the sea — accompanied by an exhilaratingly thunderous sound. Mountain goats scaling the peaks as well as harbor seals, Steller sea lions and puffins are some of the creatures we may observe. A visit to Tidal Inlet may bring the sight of brown bears lumbering up the hillside. A native Tlingit interpreter joins us onboard to share the legend of the area.
Southeast Alaska’s Islands, Bays and Fjords
Today, nature is our guide as we set forth with the flexibility to take advantage of wildlife and weather conditions. We may stop at an isolated beach to take a closer look at tide pools, beachcomb, and hike stunning forest trails. Keep an eye out for old bear tracks worn into the soil as you move from forest to meadow. Sightings of bald eagles are very common. If conditions permit, we'll do some kayaking, always watching for marine and terrestrial life.
After breakfast we disembark in Sitka, southeastern Alaska’s only oceanfront town. Sitka has a strong Russian heritage, which is readily apparent as you visit the onion-domed St. Michael’s Russian Orthodox Church. At the Raptor Rehabilitation Center, we have close views of species normally seen at a distance in the wild — bald eagles, hawks, falcons and owls.
Please Note: all day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.
Exploring Alaska’s Coastal Wilderness
Unique, immersive style of travel
Exploring Southeast Alaska on our expeditions is an unrivalled experience, and your guarantee of an in-depth encounter with all its wonders.
Every day is active and engaging
You’ll have the opportunity to hike over spongy earth on trails used by bears for centuries or along boardwalks built over bogs and winding through forests. You’ll take expedition landing craft past floating icebergs for closer looks at glaciers, and each day you’ll have the option to walk or kayak, and to join a different naturalist as you choose: there are no assigned groups.
Encounter iconic and abundant wildlife
Brown bears, humpback whales, orcas, steller sea lions, bald eagles, sure-footed mountain goats on steep cliffs. The wildlife of Alaska is legendary—see it in abundance.
Travel in excellent company
Explore under the sure guidance of an expedition leader, five veteran naturalists, including a National Geographic certified photo instructor and an undersea specialist, plus a wellness specialist––the largest and most knowledgeable expedition team in Alaska. Their knowledge and passion for Alaska is the key to your once-in-a-lifetime experience.
See more of the region’s landscapes and habitats. Encounter incredible and varied wildlife. See the Alaska undersea through live video. Benefit from our 30+ years of experience and relationships in Alaska to see all you came for and more.
National Geographic Quest
Vessel Type: Expedition Ship
Length: 72 metres
Passenger Capacity: 100 guests (in 50 cabins)
Built: 2005 Refurbished: 2016
Registry: United States
Formally the Via Australia the National Geographic Quest is a state-of-the-art, purpose-built expedition vessel made for exploring coastal waters, shallow coves, and fast-moving channels where wildlife congregate while sailing with the luxury of supreme comfort. Spacious cabins, open decks for wildlife viewing, and specialty tools for exploration make it the ideal platform for sailing in the remote areas of Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, Costa Rica, Panama, and Belize.
Designed with decades of expedition experience in the region, National Geographic Quest more than comfortably accommodates 100 guests in 50 cabins. Her twin expedition craft landing platform allow us to rapidly get on and off the ship to take advantage of wildlife sightings and to ensure we maximize our time off the ship exploring. Created with a shallow draft, Quest draws only nine feet of water allowing her to sail into places where much larger ships cannot go.
PUBLIC AREAS: Global gallery; fitness centre; LEXspa; lounge with full service bar and facilities for films and presentations; observation deck; mudroom with lockers for expedition gear, and a partially covered sundeck with chairs and tables. Our ‘open bridge’ provides guests an opportunity to meet our officers and captain and learn about navigation.
MEALS: Served in single seatings with unassigned tables for an informal atmosphere and easy mingling. Breakfast is a wide selection buffet and dinner is served family-style. Menu emphasises local fare.
CABINS: All cabins face outside with windows or portholes, private facilities and climate controls. Some cabins have balconies.
EXPEDITION EQUIPMENT: Expedition landing craft, a fleet of 24 kayaks, Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), hydrophone, splashcam, underwater video camera, video microscope, snorkelling gear for all guests (where applicable).
SPECIAL FEATURES: Guest internet access, elevator, National Geographic certified photo instructor, a video chronicler and undersea specialist.
WELLNESS: The vessel is staffed by a Wellness Specialist and features a gym with an elliptical machine, treadmill, exercycles, handweights and resistance bands. Treatments in the LEXspa are available by appointment.
Board at Cairns’ Trinity Wharf at 4:00pm - cruise Trinity Bay - welcome drinks - views of Double Island and the pretty seaside village at Palm Cove - Captain’s Welcome Seafood Buffet.
Historic Cooktown and the Reef
Discover historic Cooktown - stroll the wide main street and see buildings dating back to the 1870s - walk to the botanic gardens where you may see kangaroos and wallabies - visit James Cook Museum to see original artefacts from his ship ‘Endeavour’ - snorkel over the reef on a desert island- glass bottom boat tours - optional SCUBA diving.
Lizard Island and Ribbon Reefs
Enjoy the morning on Lizard Island, one of Australia’s most beautiful tropical islands - discover the legend of Mary Watson - snorkel from the beach over giant clam gardens - optional early morning hike to Cook’s Look for stunning views over the reef - afternoon at Ribbon Reef #9 on the rarely visited outer Barrier Reef - snorkel and SCUBA dive and glass bottom boat tours.
Full day to discover the pristine Ribbon Reefs - Ribbon Reef #3 - Rachel Carson Reef - snorkelling, optional SCUBA diving - glass bottom boat tours with the Marine Biologist - marine biology presentation at the onboard display tank.
Thetford Reef and Sudbury Cay
Return to Trinity Wharf, Cairns at 8:00am and enjoy some time to explore -
re-embark at Cairns’ Trinity Wharf at 10:00am - cruise Trinity Bay - Thetford Reef snorkelling - glass bottom boat tours - fish feeding display - optional SCUBA diving - Sudbury Cay drinks ashore - Captain’s Welcome Seafood Buffet.
Hinchinbrook Channel and Pelorus Island Beach BBQ
Cruise the scenic Hinchinbrook Channel, separating Hinchinbrook Island from the mainland - possible sightings include crocodiles, dolphins, whales, turtles and dugongs - interpretive commentary and mangrove tour - discover a private tropical island - guided bushwalk - gourmet Aussie beach BBQ meal - snorkel and dive over the island’s fringing reef showcasing a giant clam garden - kayaking and glass bottom boat tours - relax on the sandy beach.
Dunk Island Rainforest and Nathan Reef
Rainforest walk on tropical Dunk Island with naturalist guides - look for the striking electric-blue Ulysses butterfly - afternoon to discover colourful Nathan Reef - snorkel, SCUBA dive and glass bottom boat tours - interactive marine biology presentation at the onboard display tank.
Fitzroy Island and Cairns
Idyllic bushwalks and hikes - snorkel over the fringing reef - beachcombing on the white sands of Nudey Beach - enjoy the resort facilities - cruise concludes at Trinity Wharf, Cairns at 1:30pm.
Please Note: due to weather, tides or mechanical reasons itineraries may be subject to change without notice.
Great Barrier Reef Cruise (North)
For guests with more time and a great sense of adventure, our 7-night Cairns – Lizard Island – Hinchinbrook Island – Cairns cruise offers the ultimate Great Barrier Reef experience! Combining both our 3 and 4-night cruises you will discover everything that this memorable region has to offer; the best parts of the Reef, spectacular rainforest trails and beautiful tropical islands including Lizard and Dunk, and the stunning Sudbury Cay.
Discover the very best of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef in unrivalled style, our 7-night cruise offers the ultimate experience that will make you want to return again and again.
Please note: post cruise transfer to city centre hotels or Cairns airport is included.
The complete Great Barrier Reef experience • Snorkel over colourful coral gardens, stroll golden sandy beaches and wander rainforest trails • Secluded gourmet beach BBQ • Experience the World Heritage-listed reef from our private moorings away from the tourist crowds • Be guided by an expert Marine Biologist on glass bottom boat and snorkelling tours • Informative presentations and educational documentaries • History and cultures of the region and early explorers
• Join an optional resort or certified SCUBA dive on the outer reef
Coral Expeditions II
Vessel Type: Motor Catamaran
Length: 35 metres
Passenger Capacity: 46
Built: 1996 refurbished in 2015
Refurbished during early 2015, Coral Expeditions II is fully equipped for the ultimate Great Barrier Reef cruising experience. Australian flagged, registered and staffed, Coral Expeditions II was purpose-built for cruising in our region and is the ideal size to access the very best parts of the Great Barrier Reef.
The 22 onboard rooms feature traditional maritime stylings with wood panelled walls. You can choose between double and twin bedded rooms, each fully equipped with a private en-suite, air conditioning and ample storage space. All rooms feature large picture windows, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the spectacular scenery.
The ship’s spacious lounge is a great place to relax and enjoy a drink from the cocktail bar in air-conditioned comfort, and features a comprehensive reference library and plasma screens. The large Sun Deck is another popular place to relax and take in the sights, with comfortable deck chairs and teak furnishings. You will also enjoy the opportunity to dine al fresco under the magnificent stars over the Great Barrier Reef.
Meals are served in the atmospheric Dining Room, and with space for all guests to dine during one sitting and no assigned seating, meal times are a great opportunity to get to know your fellow travellers.
Coral Expeditions II operates an open bridge policy, allowing you to spend time with the Captain and his maritime crew as we cruise. Follow our progression on the ship’s charts and chat with the Captain, or simply sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery. Coral Expeditions II is fitted with modern safety and navigation equipment.
Arrive this afternoon and transfer to the MS Serenissima, sail this evening.
We will spend a day and a half taking a close look at the magnificent landscape of the area known as Finnmark. This wilderness area is home to many thousands of Sami people and we will visit North Cape Hall with its panoramic views and exhibits of the history of the Cape. There will be the opportunity to explore the wildlife and scenery on foot and by Zodiac. The deeply carved fjords and unspoiled islands of this little-known area are just perfect for expedition cruising. We hope to use our Zodiacs to explore the magnificent bird cliffs at Gjesvaerstappen Island home to thousands of gannets, guillemots, puffins and razorbills. We will round the North Cape and see the monument erected on top of the 307 metre cliff of Mageroya Island and drive to the North Cape Plateau from the port of Skarsvag.
Our first call in Russia will be at the historic city of Murmansk. Founded in 1916, the city of Murmansk today has a population of approximately half a million. Murmansk was the last city founded in the Russian Empire and during the Cold War was a centre of Soviet submarine activity. After clearing Russian customs we will have the afternoon to discover more of the city. See the impressive Palace of Culture and the Memorial Complex to the Defenders of the Polar region with the imposing statue of Alyosha facing out to sea. You can then choose to visit the Museum of the Northern Fleet detailing the formation of Russia’s first navy and the Murmansk convoys during the World War II or alternatively see the Museum of Regional Studies devoted to the history of the Pomor and Lappish people as well as the flora and fauna of the area. If time permits we also hope to visit the Lenin Icebreaker, launched in 1957 as the world’s first nuclear powered ship and now a museum.
We have three days exploring this remote and little visited area. Whilst we have a planned itinerary it will be subject to change based on weather conditions and local authorities however we hope to visit a number of the small communities and islands. Zodiacs will land us at Morzhovets Island where we can visit the lighthouse, see the abandoned military unit or join a walk to see the birdlife at the lakes. We may visit the Kanin Peninsula which divides the White and Barents Seas and hope to see owls, plovers and divers. Visit Shoina Village on the Kanin Peninsula, which was once the second largest port in the area after Murmansk but now has a population of just 300 as the town has been engulfed by sand being washed up from the sea and blown ashore. It has been described as the “northernmost desert” in the world. Meanwhile at Dvorovaya Bay we will use Zodiacs to view the cliffs that are home to thousands of kittiwakes and guillemots that nest here in summer.
Sitting in the middle of the White Sea is the Solovetsky archipelago, a mythical, ethereal and timeless place. We will spend three days exploring this UNESCO site of outstanding natural beauty. It is on this isolated archipelago that we will find the Solovetsky Monastery. Within its extensive defensive walls are two 16th century cathedrals, housing some stunning icons and many other buildings including watchtowers and gates, icon-painting workshop, residential chambers and a number of workrooms which allowed this impressive monastery to exist in almost complete isolation. We will visit the botanical gardens, developed by the monks in the 19th century, where because of its microclimate all manner of vegetables and fruit are able to grow. The monastery was used by Stalin as a particularly harsh gulag, but in recent years a great effort has been made to restore the complex to some of its former glory. For the active there will be an opportunity to hike to Beluga Cape to view the Beluga whales that make this area home in the summer months or climb to the top of Sekirnaya Hill with wonderful panoramas over the island and White Sea. Making the most of the almost perpetual daylight we will call into some of the smaller islands. On Zayatsky Island we will see the 3rd century BC Neolithic structures, the fascinating labyrinths and the St Andrew wooden church ordered by Peter the Great in 1702. Meanwhile on Anzer we can take a scenic forest walk to the islands monastery.
Archangel lies on both banks of the Northern Dvina River near its exit into the White Sea and is spread over 40 kilometres along the banks of the river and numerous islands of its delta. In the 18th century this city was the centre of Russian ship building. Today, it is a timber-logging and fishing area. On our guided walk through its streets we will learn of its intriguing history and the area’s occupation by ‘White Russians’ immediately after the 1918 Revolution. During World War II, Archangel was a major port for both receiving from the allies and as a base for the North Sea Fleet. Amazingly, the surrounding waters are blocked by ice for up to 190 days a year, but through the use of ice-breakers remain open for most of the year. A city excursion will include the old quarter with its wooden houses, Trotsky Prospect and the Orthodox Church. Also see the 17th century Merchant Yard, the site of Russia’s first shipyard and home to a museum devoted to the history of the city. This evening we enjoy a Russian folk show on board before we clear Russian customs and start our journey back to Norway.
Spend the day at sea, enjoy the lecture programme or find a spot on deck.
After a morning at sea we return to Norway at the island of Vardo, the oldest town in northern Norway and the country’s easternmost community. Today it is a prosperous fishing town which has had an interesting past. Here we find the 18th century, star shaped Vardohus Fortress built as a defence against Russia and also the Steilneset Memorial which honours the victims of the 17th century Vardo Witch trials. At the Pomor Museum we can learn about the “pomor trade” between Russia and Norway which was based on the bartering of fish and corn up until the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. We may also be able to see the nearby island of Hornoya which is home to around 80,000 nesting seabirds including puffin, guillemots and kittiwakes.
Spend the morning cruising before we arrive in the world’s most northernmost town during lunch. During World War II the city was the Germans main U-boat base in Finnmark and a supply centre for their vessels attacking Russia however during their retreat in 1945 the city was destroyed. This afternoon we can visit the Museum of Reconstruction which documents the rebuilding of the region and also the Polar Bear Society which showcases the town’s proud traditions of hunting and fishing in the Arctic. Also see the Meridian Column, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which commemorates the 19th century survey conducted by Russian scientist, Friedrich Struve, to determine the arc of the global meridian and calculate the size and shape of the earth. Alternatively enjoy a walk up to the Salen viewpoint offering views over the bay and islands.
Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for your flight back home.
Exploring the White Sea
For decades the White Sea was a forbidden area and today because of its geographic isolation it remains a region of great mystery. During this voyage we will have six days in the region where we will concentrate on Archangel and the Solovetsky Islands. It was on the Solovetsky Islands that Stalin built one of his infamous Gulags, the ‘Red Army’ established a vital submarine base and an important shipbuilding industry was founded.
The most fascinating aspect of the Solovetsky islands is the 16th century Solovetsky Monastery. This vast Medieval fortress with its fascinating and turbulent history is remarkably well preserved. It is believed that Vikings, both English and Norman came to the White Sea to fish and trade for furs up until the 13th century when global cooling made navigation difficult. In 1553 captain Richard Chancellor was shipwrecked in the White Sea whilst seeking a northern sea route to China. Never one to miss an opportunity, he negotiated trade privileges with Ivan the Terrible which opened diplomatic relations between England and Russia and resulted with a monk from the ancient Nikol-Karelski Monastery becoming the first Russian ambassador to England.
The region is awash with intriguing history, much of which both ancient and modern will be brought to life by our local guides and our guest speaker. Beginning our journey in Norway’s northern port of Tromso we also have the opportunity of exploring the region of the North Cape as well as Murmansk, the largest city north of the Arctic Circle in the world. Here we will visit the cemetery of the officers and soldiers of the Allied Forces who bravely manned the convoys during World War II. To add to your experience, you will be joined on board by an expert team including naturalists who through onboard briefings and lectures will add to your understanding of the geology, flora and fauna of the region.
Enjoy a journey to the Northern Cape and beyond • Discover Russia’s White Sea
• Sir Tony Brenton onboard! Sir Tony Brenton is a distinguished British diplomat and commentator on public affairs issues. He is now also a regular commentator and contributor on international affairs on the BBC and in such publications as the Daily Telegraph
Vessel Type: Small Ship
Length: 87 meters
Passenger Capacity: 107
Built/refurbished: 1960 / 2013Prior to her life as the MS Andrea she spent many years cruising the Norwegian coast as the Herald Jarl. The decision by the Norwegian owners, Hurtigruten to invest in much larger new vessels, presented an opportunity to the American company, Elegant Cruises to purchase the vessel in 2002. After a substantial refit of over $20 million in Sweden, she began her new life of worldwide cruising.
Perhaps, one of the best known and loved features of this vessel is its unique style. During the major refit in Sweden, the then owners commissioned Swedish interior designers to create a Gustavian style interior. This bright Swedish 18th century influenced, country house style works particularly well on a vessel of this vintage, providing intimacy and classic nautical sensibility often lacking in larger vessels.
Accommodating just under 100 passengers, the 59 cabins are attractively designed for comfort and convenience and are fully air conditioned with a modern shower and toilet, telephone, flat screen televisions and other thoughtful appointments. There are eight different grades of cabin arranged over five decks and with the exception of the five inside cabins, all staterooms feature either windows or portholes.
The free seating Venice Restaurant accommodates all guests in one sitting. In addition, there is an outside dining area for when weather and itinerary permit. A new addition to the vessel is a Lido area on Deck 5 with a bar and jacuzzi.
Other facilities on board include two lounges, a small library with two computers for internet access, a spacious observation deck, fitness area, massage and an elevator. The vessel is equipped with Zodiac craft allowing us to visit remote places where normal tender arrangements are not possible.
The European captain, officers, expedition staff, and crew offer a first class service and have been selected for their professionalism and caring attitudes. The atmosphere on board is warm and welcoming and dedicated to discovery and relaxation.
Use your leisure time in Reykjavik to discover the unique charm of the world’s northernmost capital. The OCEAN DIAMOND docks in Old Reykjavik Harbour in the heart of the city, a five-minute stroll from the main squares, shopping and dining. The ship departs in the evening.
Stykkisholmur is the starting point of our adventures on the Snaefellnes Peninsula. Often called “Iceland in Miniature” because of its it diverse landscapes, the area is home to bird-rich Breidafjördur Bay and Snaefellsjökull glacier, which sits atop a 700,000-year-old dormant volcano that was featured in the Jules Verne novel Journey to the Center of the Earth.
Today‘s destination is Isafjördur, an idyllic town in the Westfjords region. This secluded peninsula is connected to the Icelandic mainland by only a narrow strip of land and includes many roadless areas where cars have never been. The landscape includes jaw-dropping views of dramatic fjords carved by ancient glaciers, sheer table mountains that plunge into the sea and pristine North Atlantic vegetation.
Siglufjördur and Grimsey
By morning we reach the fjord town of Siglufjördur, once the hub of the global herring industry and now enjoying a rebirth in popularity. Learn about the golden age of herring at the award-winning Herring Era Museum located on the vibrant harbour-front. In the early afternoon we head to uninhabited Grimsey Island. Located about 25 miles (40 km) off the mainland on the Artic Circle, the island harbours a variety of bird species including puffins, guillemots and gulls. Later we set sail for Akureyri, Iceland’s lovable second largest city.
Ranging inland from Akureyri, we visit the fascinating Lake Myvatn region, where the schizophrenic landscape looks as if “heaven and hell” have clashed. One side of the lake features rugged volcanic remnants, while the other side is blessed with lush vegetation and varied bird life. Summer shore excursion options include a journey to Askja volcano via Super Jeep.
In the early morning hours we steam into Skjalfandi Bay and Húsavík. Often called the “Whale watching capital” of Iceland, the town’s offshore waters are home to 15 different whale species, as well as dolphins and 30 variety of bird. Watching these graceful ocean giants in their Arctic habitat is an unforgettable experience.
Iceland’s East Fjords are best explored from the impossibly picturesque port of Seydisfjördur, nestled between the sea and steep mountains. Activities include seal spotting, horseback riding, kayaking and guided hikes of the Vestadalur area.
Today’s port of call is Djupivogur fishing village in southeast Iceland, starting point for an optional excursion to Vatnajökull glacier.
Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands)
Located off Iceland’s south coast, the Westman Islands were formed by submarine volcanic eruptions around 10,000 years ago. Surtsey Island emerged from the sea in 1963 and is one the youngest land masses on earth. We go ashore on Heimaey, the only inhabited island, where half-buried houses remain from a violent 1973 eruption. During the shore landing there is time for bird watching and you might even spot whales.
After breakfast we bid farewell to the OCEAN DIAMOND as we sail back into Reykjavik. Explore inland areas like the Golden Circle and its famous Gullfoss waterfall via our Air & Ground package or other post-cruise programs. Or simply hang out in Reykjavik, a perfect city for those who want to refresh their spirit in a place that combines invigorating outdoor activities, great food and world-class entertainment.
Please Note: all routes and excursions are provisional and subject to change as weather, sea and ice conditions may affect the itinerary.
Experience an unforgettable journey around Iceland aboard the OCEAN DIAMOND. Discover this mystical land steeped in Viking traditions and volcanic landscapes rarely seen anywhere else on earth. This voyage reveals a diverse array of natural wonders and the Icelandic way of Life. A range of exciting shore excursions offers countless ways to interact with Iceland’s culture, nature, history and people.
Admire black-sand beaches, erupting volcanoes, lumbering glaciers and thunderous waterfalls while at the same time swimming in hot springs, betting on when geysers will erupt, and hiking across barren rocky deserts. Be introduced to many facets of the island, learn more about the country and its people, wildlife as varied as wild horses and whales, culture and cuisine, stories and legends. Most cities and towns are located along the coast and can easily be reached by boat. However, our numerous shore excursions give you the opportunity to explore the interior of Iceland as well.
Ocean Diamond PC
Vessel Type: Expedition
Length: 124 metres
Passenger Capacity: 199
Built / refurbished: 1974 / 1986 / 2012
Thanks to two stabilizers that significantly reduce roll and an ice-strengthened hull (ice class 1D), the super yacht OCEAN DIAMOND is the ideal ship for expeditions in the Arctic region. Due to the ship’s compact size, we can take passengers to places off the traditional cruise routes to experience all the highlights of both Iceland and Greenland.
With a maximum of 199 passengers, the OCEAN DIAMOND features a range of modern onboard amenities and is staffed with outstanding officers and crew, as well as bilingual expedition leaders and guides. The 107 cabins and suites, all of them elegantly designed, offer modern amenities and exterior views. The ship’s own Zodiacs are available for shore excursions. After a busy day of exploration, passengers can browse books or DVDs in the well-stocked Polar library or enjoy views of the spectacular Arctic scenery from the panorama salon.
Features: exterior views, facilities en suite, flat-screen TVs and DVD players, chef-prepared meals (all meals and daily snack included), bar staffed by a professional bartender, presentations by local experts, massage and wellness programs, library with a large collection of polar books and DVDs, internet access (limited), theatre-style auditorium with state of the art AV equipment. Cabin Features: all cabins are equipped with shower/toilet, television, closet, refrigerator, hairdryer and access to satellite phone. Cabins are cleaned daily and there is turn-down service. In case of illness, food and drinks can be served in the cabin during dining hours.