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 traveler 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: Our first excursion will be done by skiff where we visit our first location populated by sloths, iguanas, and recently a new favorite location for anteaters. Birdwatchers are likely to check off their bucket list, the yellow-rumped caciques and the very elegant egrets. PM Confluence of the 3 Rivers: Better known as the “Union de los Rios” we will toast and witness the distinguished colors 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.
Yarapa River, Yucuruchi & Fundo Casual
AM: Yarapa River / Yucuruchi: Along the Yarapa River river, you will get to explore this tributary intimately. Start your morning with exploring by skiffs and listen closely for the sounds from within the mysterious jungle. After, we will venture to find the giant Amazonian water lily Victoria regia. This beautiful aquatic plant grows in small lagoons known as cochas. PM: 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!
Yanayacu River & Nauta Caño
AM: Yanayacu Pucate: This morning, you will start cruising through the Yanayacu and Pucate Rivers, 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! PM: Nauta Caño: After a delicious lunch we will visit Nauta Caño Creek where you will have the chance to do some kayaking. Also, go fishing for the famous piranha, a delightful and challenging experience you won't forget! As night approaches, your guide will take you on a night safari in search of caiman alligators and night birds.
Manatee Rescue Center, disembarkation & visit ti 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. 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 (4 days) Delfin III
The Amazon Rainforest is named after the Amazon River, the live force of the jungle. It is a unique ecosystem that harbors 1/3 of all living species in the world! The total extent of this incomparable tropical jungle is estimated to the complete land area of the United States. 28 billion gallons of its waters flow into the Atlantic every minute, diluting the salinity of the ocean for more than 100 miles offshore. The Amazon watershed is home to the world’s highest biodiversity. As well, it is home to more species of plants and animals than any other terrestrial ecosystem on the planet, and its biodiversity is so astounding that scientists regularly discover new species of flora and fauna.
Your Amazon journey takes off on arrival in Iquitos, were we will pick you up and take you to our vessel. In the following days, you will experience an ideal combination of natural wonders, dramatic scenery, indigenous cultural history, and a relaxed self-contained way to explore the rainforest while sightseeing nature at its best. Here in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve, you are about to explore one of the world’s most intriguing environments. Flora and fauna are abundant and time seems to stands still.
High Water Season (November to May) vs Low Water Season (June to October):
If seeing the glorious flooded forest and getting close-up looks at lots of birds and mammals (and enjoying a slightly cooler temperature) sounds attractive, then the flooded season might be the best choice. (Remember: despite its name it only gets about 10% more rain than falls in the dry season). If jungle hikes, seeing exotic migratory birds perch on trees as they pass through Amazonia, still having the chance to see monkeys and other mammals, and going on great fishing expeditions top your list, you might be happier choosing the hotter, less rainy dry season. Perhaps the best solution of all: choose one, and we hope that you will like it so much that you may want to return to experience the other season in the Amazon as well. Highlights Canopy discoveries in the treetops. Hiking & trail walks. Fishing for piranhas & other underwater wonders. Paddleboarding & Kayaking. Birdwatching & swimming with dolphins. Skiff explorations along the banks. Visiting native communities and much more!
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.
Arrive in Guayaquil; it’s a short drive to Hotel Hilton Colón, where we spend the night.
Guayaquil / Galápagos / Embark
After the 1 1⁄2-hour flight to the Galápagos, we’ll immediately board the ship. Over the course of the week, our exact routing depends on the National Park Service.(B, L, D)
The following is a representative sample of the islands we may visit during your week on board: Bartolomé This is an enchanting landscape where lava, mangroves and golden sand converge. Great walks and views abound, with a chance to snorkel with Galápagos penguins. Santiago Santiago offers close encounters with Galápagos fur seals along with an opportunity to study the inhabitants of the island’s countless tide pools. Santa Cruz Home to the Charles Darwin Research station; learn about the science done here and visit the neighboring captive breeding program for endangered species of Galápagos giant tortoises, run by their partners in conservation, the Galápagos National Park Service. Isabela A small black sand beach offers wonderful morning swimming. Enjoy a more challenging hike over rugged shoreline and a shorter walk within an iguana colony. Kayaking and deep water snorkeling opportunities are on offer. Fernandina This is the youngest island in the Galápagos and one of the most pristine tropical islands left on earth. Look forward to hikes over relatively recent lava flows, and spot marine iguanas, flightless cormorants, and Sally Lightfoot crabs. Floreana Snorkel among sea lions in the clear waters off Champion Islet. We may also find flamingos, pintail ducks and various shorebirds. Hike to a pristine white-sand beach, a favorite nesting site for sea turtles. Española The exclusive home to waved albatross (seasonal) and particularly colorful marine iguanas, Española is also a paradise for Darwin’s finches, sea lions galore, and the famous blue-footed boobies. Snorkel and stroll along the island’s lovely beaches. (B,L,D Daily)
Galápagos / Disembark / Guayaquil
Disembark and fly to Guayaquil. The late afternoon and evening are free to explore the city. Overnight Hotel Hilton Colón. (B)
Guayaquil / Home
This morning fly home. (B)
Please note: all day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.
10 Day Galapagos Expedition
Unique, immersive style of travel
Experiencing the Galápagos Islands on an expedition is an unrivaled experience. And our 360° approach is your guarantee of an in-depth encounter with all its wonders.
Encounter abundant wildlife
Blue-footed boobies. Flightless cormorants. Darwin’s finches. Pink flamingos. Sea lions on beaches or gamboling underwater. Giant tortoises grazing in the highlands. The wildlife of Galápagos is legendary for its uniqueness and lack of fear, allowing you the rare experience of being treated as an equal in the wild world. Each island contains endemic species, and you’ll have the opportunity to see a panoply of Galápagos’ creatures in their native habitats—on land and in the sea.
Every day is active and engaging
You’ll be able to snorkel nearly every day, sometimes twice a day. Each day you’ll have the option to walk, hike, kayak, or Zodiac cruise, and to join a different naturalist as you choose: there are no assigned groups.
Travel in excellent company
Explore under the sure guidance of an expedition leader, four handpicked naturalists, including a National Geographic certified photo instructor and an undersea specialist, plus a wellness specialist. Their knowledge and passion for the islands is the key to your once-in-a-lifetime experience.
See more of the archipelago’s varied islands and habitants. Have up close encounters with incredible wildlife. Experience the Galápagos undersea, too. Benefit from our 40+ years of experience and relationships in Galápagos to see all you came for and more.
National Geographic Endeavour II
Purpose built in 2005 for expedition cruising in the waters of Tierra del Fuego, the National Geographic Endeavour II underwent a major refit for Galápagos service in 2016 with an all new forward lounge, library, gym & spa along with new fixtures and furniture in cabins, new suites and other amenities throughout. Sophisticated and energy efficient lighting, air-conditioning, water-making and other technical features were also installed or replaced for year-round operation in equatorial waters. She is exceptionally nimble and manoeuvrable, with a shallow draft to get up close, great viewing from all public spaces, an expansive open-air observation deck, large windows in cabins and suites, and state-of-the-art tools for exploration.
Galápagos with the luxury of choice
Accommodating 96 guests in 52 cabins and suites, National Geographic Endeavour II caters to a sociable mix of families, friends, couples and solo travelers. The Galápagos cruise ship offers the choice of suites on two decks, all have a large window or windows. Her dining room accommodates our entire expedition community for a single seating, and unassigned table settings make for a gregarious experience for solo travelers and groups. The brand new forward lounge features a redesigned presentation space that offers all aboard chance to participate in evening Recaps or special guest events. Life aboard is casual in every respect.
Equipped for active exploration
National Geographic Endeavour II is equipped with cool tools for exploration that help you experience the full range of wildness on a Galápagos island trip.
Morning transfer to your Pandaw moored at Kampong Cham. A packed lunch will be provided on the coach and we will stop at Kampong Thom along the way. Once on board we will set sail upstream to moor overnight at Chhlong. Your guide or purser will collect your passports at the meeting point so we can arrange the immigration formalities. Please note: between mid of February and end of March we are expecting low water levels. Alternate itinerary and excursions will apply should we not be able to reach Kracheh and the river dolphins.
Kracheh and the Dolphin Grounds
Sail through the morning to reach Kracheh a charming French colonial river port, and after lunch visit the dolphin grounds travelling further upstream by local bus.
Sailing down river we stop at the very curious Monkey Temple, Wat Hanchey and Angkor Ban.
Whilst in Phnom Penh you will be provided with their own private cyclo. The Cyclo Centre Phnom Penh which provides the cyclos is a charity that provides basic welfare and medical services to cyclo drivers. You will visit the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and National Museum. In the afternoon, optional excursion (by coach) to the Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge's grim Tuol Sleng or S21 detention centre.
Explorations up Tonle River to a silver making village, Kampong Trolach, and Chong Koh either by ship or by coach depending on water levels. This river is very pretty and there is a vibrant local life to be viewed along the river banks and in lesser craft.
Sail for the border and formalities and then continue to Tan Chau for the evening.
Morning either visit a Moslem Cham tribal village and a cat fish farm in Chau Doc with our guide or do your own thing and take off on one of our mountain bikes. The local market is great and the Catholic Church well worth a visit. Afternoon Sampan boat excursion to Sa Dec via Vinh Long, along canals and backwaters and see the local market and the ancient house of Mr, Huyn Thuy Le, the 'lover' of Marguerite Duras, a famous French novelist whose book was immotalist in the film L’Indochine. Moor overnight at Cai Bei.
My Tho to Saigon
Early morning sail from Cai Be for My Tho, where passengers disembark in the early morning for a coach transfer to Saigon. Arrive late morning at around 10.30am.
Additional charges: port charges from: € 60,-
There can be no tapestry of river life as fascinating and varied as the River Mekong. Indeed there can be no more striking a cultural contrast as that between the bustling Vietnam delta and the tranquillity of Cambodia. We pass from the vibrant French colonial port of Saigon, through the vast delta so rich in human life and endeavour, to travel along the main channel into the rich countryside of Cambodia. With a full day in charming Phnom Penh we then explore remoter waterways as we progress to the great monuments of Angkor.
In Cambodia stop at the very curious Monkey Temple, visit the Hanchey Temple and Angkor Ban. Visit a Moslem Cham tribal village and a cat fish farm in Chau Doc.
Built in Rangoon in 2002 she was sailed round to Saigon under her own power and many a drama described in Paul Strachan’s Pandaw Story. This ship was designed especially for the Mekong and unlike our other P class ships does not have a flying bridge. The reason was so she could get under a road bridge. She did actually scrape under on her maiden but it was so scary that Paul Strachan, then standing on the bridge, never dared attempt it again. As a result, we ended up with this incredible 750 square meter teak deck that even has a full size billiard table.
The MP as she is affectionately known is our most spacious ship with wider promenades, a larger dining hall and more public space per passenger than any known ship afloat. Seriously!
In 2012 she was refitted and lower deck cabins removed in favour of a professional spa, gym, library lounge and office. She is quite justifiably the most splendid ship on the Mekong and the envy of anything that floats by.
The ship has quality mountain bikes for your independent exploration.
The Pandaw stateroom is the most celebrated feature aboard this ship, combining splendid colonial-era character with exquisite contemporary comfort.
Finished in brass and teak, the main and upper deck rooms are a spacious 15.6 sq.m, with the exception of the Zawgyi Pandaw which is 14 sq.m. As the space is much loved by all our passengers, we have ensured that with each ship we build, the stateroom remains essentially the same. Be advised: our cabins do not have mini-bars, satellite TV's, internet access or telephones. Passengers tend to choose Pandaw in order to escape from the tiresome features found in international business hotels.
At Pandaw we pride ourselves on offering a great choice of local cuisine and exotic foods. We source supplies and ingredients as locally as possible, always in accordance with strictly-monitored environmental health standards.
Breakfast is a buffet, while lunch features a buffet, plus soup, salad and a desert table, with the main course served at the table. Dinner is by waiter-service at the table.
We are happy to cater for individual dietary preferences. Passengers who prefer not to be served hot or spicy foods are offered delicious European-style alternatives and vegetarians are especially well catered for. Other special diets may be accommodated, by prior arrangement. Our chefs know that most passengers want to sample versions of the best, most characteristic dishes of each country they pass through.
Sunday Dubrovnik, Croatia
Embarkation between 3 pm and 4 pm. Welcome dinner and evening sailing to Split, Croatia. Overnight at sea.
Monday Split, Croatia
Arrive in Split in the morning. Croatia. Enjoy a morning optional walking tour to discover the city of Split, the former Imperial Resident of Roman Emperor Diocletian, dating back from the 4th century. After lunch on board, enjoy one more optional afternoon excursion to nearby Trogir, starting with a scenic journey along the Dalmatian Coast to this coastal tow. Late afternoon sailing to Rab.
Tuesday Rab, Croatia
Morning arrival in Rab. Enjoy a morning optional walking tour of Rab, a historic town of rare charm founded in Roman times along a narrow tongue of land, so when travellers approached from the sea, they could see it proudly atop the head of the bay. Discover cultural and historical monuments including the Church of Justina, the Church of St. John the Baptist, the Prince’s Palace. Later in the afternoon, we sail south passing between the beautiful Kornati Islands to reach Sibenik. Overnight at sea.
Wednesday Sibenik, Croatia
We reach Sibenik through a spectacular fjord. Our optional all day excursion will take us to the Krka National Park home to abundant indigenous flora and fauna, including over 200 bird species, before exploring the seaside city of Primosten and Sibenik old Town. Overnight in port.
Thursday Sibenik, Hvar, Korcula, Croatia
Early morning sailing and arrival in Hvar, the longest of the Croatian isles. Enjoy a morning optional walking tour to discover the island’s Venetian flavor. You'll discover a fascinating array of sights, including the Cathedral of St. Stephens with its treasury and bell tower, or the Arsenal, built in 1611 and housing Europe's oldest theater. Early afternoon leisurely sailing to Korcula. Late evening arrival in Korcula and overnight in port.
Friday Korcula, Croatia
Enjoy all day optional excursions in Korcula Town and to Lumbarda Village for wine tasting Guests will have the opportunity to drive and stroll through Milina - Bire family vineyards before reaching their house. Evening sailing and overnight at sea to the coastal town of Kotor in Montenegro.
Saturday Kotor, Montenegro-Dubrovnik, Croatia
Early morning navigation in Kotor, the deepest natural fjord in the Mediterranean. Join the optional morning excursion to the well-preserved, fortified medieval Old Town, featuring stunning fortifications including the 10th century city walls, the Baroque church of St Blaise. We leave Kotor after lunch and sail through the stunning fjord of Kotor Bay, before we enjoy a refreshing swim in the stunning Kotor Bay. Late evening arrival in Dubrovnik- Overnight in port.
Sunday Dubrovnik, Croatia
Disembarkation at 9 am after breakfast.
Additional charges: port charges: € 290,-
Please note: itineraries are subject to change.
The Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Discover the Tales of the Dalmatian Coast and Montenegro. Experience a harmonious balance between conventional cruising and private yachting, along with an exciting voyage of discovery, unravelling the wonders of Dalmatia and the Adriatic Sea. A cruise voyage unraveling the natural and ancient wonders of Dalmatia. The medieval treasures of Dubrovnik and Korcula island in Croatia; the stunning fjord of Kotor Bay in Montenegro; the Palace of Diocletian in Split; the island of Rab just off the northern Croatian coast; Hvar, covered in pine forests, with vineyards, fruit orchards & lavender fields. 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.
Discover the city of Split, the former Imperial Resident of Roman Emperor Diocletian. Visit Rab, a historic town of rare charm founded in Roman times along a narrow tongue of land, so when travellers approached from the sea, they could see it proudly atop the head of the bay. Explore the Krka National Park – home to abundant indigenous flora and fauna, including over 200 bird species. In Korcula have the opportunity to drive and stroll through Milina – Bire family vineyards before reaching their house. Enjoy Kotor, the deepest natural fjord in the Mediterranean.
Vessel Type: Luxury Yacht
Length: 54 metres
Passenger Capacity: 49
Built / refurbished: 1993 / 2009
Discover a 3 masted sail cruiser which can accommodate up to 49 passengers in 25 cabins. The Panorama was launched in 1993 and was renovated in 2009. This state of the art sail cruiser has performed several Atlantic Ocean crossings and has sailed from the Seychelles to Monte Carlo and from the Black Sea to Tunis and offers the highest standard of accommodation and comfort safety.
Originally a native Indian settlement and a French Fur trading post, Toronto is a delight to explore from Eaton Centre Shopping Mall, where you can find anything available in the world, to the north end’s Chinatown, to the Bata Shoe Museum. Discover Inuit Indian artifacts, the modern sculptures of Henry Moore and Pop Art in the Art Gallery of Ontario. Throughout the city, there are art museums and exhibits to fulfill every art lover’s dreams. Shoppers will delight in Queen Street West, where chic boutiques replaced this old warehouse area and Kensington Street, where retro bargains abound.
Cruising the Welland Canal
The Welland Canal connects Lake Ontario to Lake Erie, forming a key section of the St. Lawrence Seaway. Made up of 8 locks, the canal raises (or lowers) cruise ships a total of 328 ft. The journey through the locks is a breathtaking experience as you travel through the city of Welland. Of all the cities in the Niagara Peninsula, perhaps Welland best represents the cultural mosaic that truly is Canada. Known colloquially as the “Rose City”, you’ll see a beautiful town as you cruise through on the Welland Canal.
Niagara Falls, ON
Established in 1892, Niagara Falls is shared by both Ontario and New York, each laying claim to half of this area. Three waterfalls – Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls, and the Bridal Veil Falls – comprise Niagara Falls, which stands at 165 feet tall. Aboard the Hornblower Guardian, get up close and personal with the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls. This intimate experience brings guests as close as possible to the powerful mists of the falls for an exhilarating experience not to be missed.
Known as “The Rose City” or “City of Roses” for its several large parks and gardens on its waterfront, Windsor is Canada’s southernmost city, located directly south of Detroit, Michigan, across the Detroit River. Although known as the “Automotive Capital of Canada”, the city maintains 3,000 acres of green space, 180 parks, and 40 miles of trails. Tourist attractions include a lively downtown, Little Italy, the Art Gallery of Windsor, the Odette Sculpture Park, and the nearby Point Pelee National Park. Also not to be missed is the Charles Brooks Memorial Peace Fountain which actually floats in the Detroit River and has a colored light display at night. The fountain in the largest of its kind in North America and symbolizes the peaceful relationship between Canada and the United States.
Midland is the main town and economic center of the area located at the southern end of Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay’s 30,000 Islands. Points of interest in or near Midland include the Jesuit mission of Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, a living museum depicting 17th century missionary life. Also, one can visit the Huronia Museum and the adjacent Indian Village. For bird lovers, the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre is a habitat for Trumpeter Swans, Black Terns, and Least Bitterns. By the harbour there is a large statue of the trumpeter swan, considered the symbol of Midland.
Parry Sound, ON
Parry Sound is located on the eastern shore of Georgian Bay in Lake Huron. It is the world’s deepest natural freshwater port. The body of water that gives the town its name was named after the Arctic explorer Sir William Edward Parry. The modern townsite was established in 1857 and in the late 19th century rail service reached Parry Sound making it an important depot along the rail lines to Western Canada. The town was important during the First and Second World Wars with its explosives and munitions factory. The birthplace of hockey legend, Bobby Orr, the town also is known for its annual sailing regatta and performing arts festival.
Little Current, ON
Little Current is a community in the town of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands. The main town is on the northeast side of Manitoulin Island, a large island located at the northern end of Lake Huron and northwest of Georgian Bay. Manitoulin is the world’s largest freshwater lake island. Little Current is known for its swining bridge, a one-lane bridge and the only vehicular access to Manitoulin Island except for a daily passenger-vehicle ferry that runs from late spring to October.
Sault Saint Marie, ON
Located at the mouth of Saint Mary’s River, Sault Saint Marie was originally established by Jesuit missionaries in the 17th century. The rapid of Saint Mary’s River connects Lake Superior to Lake Huron and have provided trade access between the United States and Canada for hundreds of years. The combination of the native Ojibwa with the French and English settlers paint a unique and diverse cultural portrait to visitors.
Mackinac Island, MI
Located in the Straits of Mackinac, where the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan meet, Mackinac Island is a living Victorian town. Personal motorized vehicles are prohibited – all those visiting or living on the island travel by horse or horse drawn carriage, bicycle, or walking. While Mackinac Island is known for its opulent Victorian homes and hotels it has had a long history. Anishinaabe-Ojibwe tradition holds that the island was a sacred place populated by the first people and was home to the Great Spirit Gitchie Manitou. Because of its location, it was a Native American gathering place. Since then it has been the site of French missionary churches, a center of the fur trade, and later, the fishing industry, before becoming dependent on tourism to fuel the local economy.
Muskegon / Holland, MI
Muskegon boasts a rich history coupled with an inviting lakeshore culture. Referred to as “The Riviera of the Midwest,” Muskegon has grown from a fur trading and lumbering town to a vacationer’s paradise. The town preserves reminders of its industrious history through museums such as the USS Silversides Submarine Museum and the Muskegon Museum of Art. One of the most exciting landmarks in town is Heritage Landing, where the boardwalk hosts musical performances and dazzling fireworks shows. Through historic ships and lighthouses to restored mansions built by Muskegon’s most famous lumber barons, the history and scenery of this quaint Michigan town is nothing short of impressive. Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, Holland is a delightful town you cannot help but fall in love with. Hundreds of Dutch immigrants settled throughout the region in the 1800s in hopes of escaping religious and economic oppression. The genuine Dutch culture in Holland is a unique, vibrant, and exciting experience for all who visit.
Chicago is the third largest city in the United States, located at the southwestern tip of Lake Michigan. With its many attractions it attracts 33 million visitors a year. One can find upscale shopping along the Magnificent Mile. The 3,000 foot long Navy Pier is home to retail shops, restaurants, museums, exhibition halls, and auditoriums. Other museums and galleries in Chicago include The Museum of Science and Industry, The Oriental Institute (part of the University of Chicago, with an extensive collection of Egyptian and Near Eastern artifacts), The Chicago History Museum, and Hyde Park Art Center – among many, many more. Chicago is also a sports town, named best sports city in the United States by The Sporting News in 2006. It is also well known for its gritty urban blues music.
Additional charges: port charges from € 300,-
Great Lakes & Georgian Bay Cruise
The Great Lakes form the largest freshwater ecosystem on Earth with a melding of natural wonder and majestic beauty. Cruise through four of the Great Lakes (Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron, & Lake Michigan) and Georgian Bay and discover grand landscapes filled with indigenous wildlife. Witness geographic history as retreating glaciers have left their footprint along the shores with unique rock croppings and waterfalls. The most popular cropping is Flowerpot Rocks, located at the entrance to Georgian Bay. You’ll visit Niagara Falls, one of the largest and most dynamic waterfalls in the world. Step back in time on Mackinac Island. No mechanized transportation is allowed on the island, so horse and buggies and bicycles will allow you to explore this pristine island with its quiet streets adorned with opulent gardens and homes.
Stretching over 150 km, the Bay is considered the sixth Great Lake and contains tens of thousands of islands. It was named Georgian Bay by Lieutenant Henry Wolsey Bayfield of the Royal Navy in 1822.
Fill your days with exploration and discovery or simply relax and enjoy the view, either way, this cruise has it all.
Revel in the immensity of Niagara Falls by boat or from one of the many vista points at Niagara Falls State Park.
Home to the only authentic Dutch windmill in the U.S., Holland still holds onto its roots made when Dutch immigrants arrived in the mid-1800s. Visit Sainte-Marie among the Hurons near Midland for an interactive glimpse into Ontario’s first European Community.
Vessel Type: Small Ship
Length: 105 m
Passenger Capacity: 210
The Pearl Mist difference is felt as soon as you step on the ship. With 6 decks, the ship is the perfect size to provide an exceptional luxury experience without feeling overwhelmed. Our open sun decks give you plenty to do between ports, whether you’re admiring the view from one of our lounge chairs, enjoying the evening’s musical entertainment, or having a drink with friends under the sun shade. The ship is also equipped with viewing balconies, a library, a fitness area, a spacious glass-enclosed dining room, and an elevator to all stateroom decks.
Enjoy the spectacular scenery from your own private balcony. The exceptionally large and gracefully appointed staterooms aboard the Pearl Mist surround you with a warm and inviting atmosphere. The ship has been designed with a room for every preference, from our cozy private paradises to our massive luxury suites. Every stateroom is fully-stocked with everything you’d need to relax in your home away from home, with plenty of extras as well.
Points of Distinction:
Just 210 guests. Fully stabilized for comfortable coastal cruising. Large staterooms and suites with private balconies. Six lounges, each with a unique feel. Elevator to all stateroom decks. Exquisite cuisine with a regional flair. Open seating dining room accommodates all guests together. Personalized service tailored to your tastes. Wireless Internet throughout the ship.
Arrive in Inverness, and embark Lord of the Glens to the strains of a highland piper. Tonight, enjoy a reception and dinner on board while docked in Inverness.
Culloden, Clava Cairns & Loch Ness
Following an optional morning walk, visit Culloden, the infamous battlefield where “Bonnie” Prince Charlie’s Jacobite forces were defeated in 1746, and then see the ancient standing stones of Clava Cairns. Set sail this afternoon on the Caledonian Canal, built between 1803 and 1822 to connect Loch Ness with the Great Glen’s three other lochs. Enter Loch Ness, cruise past the romantic ruins of Urquhart Castle, and learn about the legendary monster said to inhabit the loch. Moor this evening at Fort Augustus.
Laggan Locks, Banavie & Glenfinnan
Ascend an impressive flight of locks that runs through the heart of Fort Augustus. Glide along the tree-lined canal known as Laggan Avenue, or hike or bike along the towpath and rejoin the ship at the first lock. Depart Laggan Locks and sail into Loch Lochy. Follow the canal to the town of Banavie, nestled in the shadow of Ben Nevis, Great Britain’s highest mountain. In the afternoon we travel to beautiful Glenfinnan, surrounded by mountains, where there are fine walking options. From Glenfinnan we’ll see the West Highland railway line’s renowned viaduct, made famous in Harry Potter movies. Welcome local musicians on board for a lively evening of music and song.
Loch Linnhe & Oban
Lord of the Glens descends Neptune’s Staircase, a set of eight interconnected locks, and continues through Loch Linnhe to the town of Oban, set on a picturesque bay on the Firth of Lorn. We’ll have time to explore this lively town on foot, visiting a whisky distillery and McCaig’s Tower, a monument on a hill overlooking the town and bay that was inspired by the Roman Colosseum.
Sound of Mull, Duart Castle, Iona & Tobermory
This morning we sail to the Isle of Mull, in the Inner Hebrides. Visit photogenic Duart Castle, an impressive fortress (with a dungeon!). Drive across Mull, then cross to Iona by ferry to explore this picturesque island. Visit the medieval abbey ruins and the rebuilt abbey church, and learn about the ecumenical movement based there. Stroll through St. Oran’s Chapel and the royal graveyard where generations of Scottish kings are buried, and enjoy a brief walking tour of Iona. Continue on to the picturesque town of Tobermory, with time in the evening to explore this colourful place if you wish.
Tobermory, Isle of Eigg or Isle of Rum & Inverie
This morning, explore Tobermory’s lively quayside on your own or on a walk led by our staff. Then we sail north to tiny Eigg, catching glimpses of the islands of the Inner Hebrides along the way. At Eigg you can get a sense of what life is like for the roughly 90 people who live on this island community. Look for marine animals and birdlife, including Atlantic seals, minke whales, dolphins, porpoises and a variety of seabirds. Alternatively, we may visit the Isle of Rum, renowned for spectacular Kinloch Castle. Then sail to the tiny village of Inverie, where you can have a drink at the most remote pub in the British Isles.
Isle of Skye
We sail from Inverie this morning, and spend the day on the Isle of Skye. At the Museum of the Isles, trace the legacy of the 1,300-year-old Clan Donald, the Lords of the Isles, who once ruled the west coast of Scotland, and take a walk through the woodlands in Armadale. You’ll then take a guided walk in the Cuillin Hills (weather permitting) amid some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery. Those who prefer not to hike can explore Eilean Donan Castle and the charming village of Plockton. Celebrate your Scottish voyage at a farewell dinner on board.
Kyle of Lochalsh & Inverness
Disembark in Kyle of Lochalsh and drive to Inverness for homeward bound flights.
Please note: all day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.
Scotland’s Highlands and Islands
Selected as a National Geographic Traveler magazine “Tour of a Lifetime” for its authenticity, immersion, sustainability and connection. Our Highlands and Islands expedition offers the most encompassing way to explore Scotland.
The highlights and seldom-seen Scotland
The only expedition of its kind, you’ll explore Scotland as few people have on an encompassing and enchanting voyage. Purpose-built for these waters, our gracious ship, Lord of the Glens is able to fit through narrow canals and stepped locks in the heart of the country and also navigate among the islands and their small communities along the coast. The result is a panoramic voyage, a rare expedition that offers an immersive, in-depth experience at a comfortable pace. See what it’s like.
Experience the sweep of history
You’ll walk among ancient stone monuments, weave your way through ruins of fantastic castles, and stroll through a sacred abbey. Learn the legacy of 1,300-year-old clans and visit the cemetery of Scottish monarchs. Experience the charm of modern Scotland through live music on board and a special visit to the tiny Isle of Eigg, home to about 90 souls. Your cultural experiences.
Travel in excellent company
Explore under the sure guidance of a veteran expedition leader, a historian, and a naturalist. Their knowledge and passion for Scotland is the key to your once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Sail through the heart of Scotland via the Caledonian Canal that bisects the country, plus explore remote and beautiful islands of the Inner Hebrides. Kayak Loch Ness, see the storied battlefield of Culloden, beautiful Glenfinnan, the historic Isle of Iona, and the isles of Mull, Eigg, and Skye. Travel to hauntingly beautiful moorlands, grand castles, sacred abbeys, and sweeping mountains.
Lord of the Glens
Vessel Type: Luxury Small Ship
Length: 46 metres
Passenger Capacity: 48
Until recently, size-limiting locks prevented travellers from seeing the Highlands from the remarkable vantage point of the inland waterway that links Scotland's most famous lochs. Now, with the style of a classic luxury yacht, the 48-guest Lord of the Glens journeys through this spectacular countryside in spectacular style.
The moment you step aboard the Lord of the Glens you are surrounded by the rich mahogany finishes of the reception area and lobby. The ship is magnificently appointed and brings to mind that one is in a stately country manor rather than a five-star ship.
Cabins: Cabins are tasteful, comfortable and spacious with wonderful outside views. Most cabins have large picture windows (four have two large portholes). Facilities include a private bathroom with shower, individually controlled air-conditioning and heating, satellite television, music system, hairdryer, telephone, safety deposit box, bathrobes and toiletries.
Public Areas: With all round teak decks, hardwood finished interiors and fine fabrics, the Lord of the Glens offers a stylish and relaxing ambience. The two lounges and two open-air viewing areas are social hubs aboard shop, and the small library and cozy bar are a refuge for the more solitary.
Meals: Served in the elegant single-seating Dining Room. Chefs create healthy, delicious cuisine served by an attentive staff.
Marina Zeas (Athens) - Kea
2:00-3:00 pm embarkation from Marina Zea. Depart via Cape Sounion to Kea. Leisure time to explore Kea’s tiny port, Korrisia after dinner. Departure in the early hours for Delos. Overnight at sea.
Delos (anchorage) - Mykonos
Optional morning tour to the unique archaeological site of Delos, antiquity’s most sacred island. On to the port of Mykonos, with a swim stop on the way. Free afternoon and evening to enjoy the island’s cosmopolitan lifestyle. Overnight in Mykonos.
Noon arrival in Santorini's famous port of Fira. Experience the stunning natural drama of the volcanic caldera. Optional tour to archaeological sites and typical villages with unique views over the Aegean Sea. Overnight sailing to Crete.
Rethymnon / Crete
Morning arrival at Crete’s famous and lively port of Rethymnon. Optional tour to the ancient city of Knossos near Heraklion. Late departure for Kythira. Overnight at sea.
Late morning swim stop and afternoon arrival to Kythira, a less known island gem now fast becoming a favourite among visitors to Greece. Evening at leisure to visit the picturesque main town of Chora and experience the subdued charms of this peaceful island. Overnight in Kythira.
Monemvassia - Nafplion
Early morning sailing to Monemvassia. Discover a remarkable medieval fortified town, with time at leisure to explore the uniquely preserved Byzantine and Venetian architecture and experience the beauty of the natural setting. The famous Greek poet Yiannis Ritsos, described his birthplace Monemvassia as a “stone ship” about to set sail, calling you for immediate boarding for a journey through time. This uniquely preserved medieval town is carved into the majestic grey rock like a sculpture. Depart for Nafplion in the early afternoon, with a swim stop on the way. Evening arrival at Nafplion. The old quarter is charming, with narrow streets and characteristic period architecture. Also, impressive medieval fortifications can be seen in the port and crowning the hills above. Overnight in Nafplion
Nafplion - Hydra or Spetses
Optional tour to Mycenae, the powerful walled palace of Agamemnon, the Homeric Achaean king.Early afternoon departure for the islands of Hydra or Spetses. Time at leisure to explore this picturesque port town. Overnight in port.
Marina Zeas (Athens)
Departure in the early hours for Marina Zea, Piraeus. Arrival and disembarkation after breakfast.
Additional charges: port carges € 245,-
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.
Enjoy a harmonious balance between conventional cruising and private yachting, along with an exciting voyage of discovery, unraveling the wonders of the Classical Greece. Athens and the Acropolis at sunset. The beautiful Cyclades, Kea, Santorini, Mykonos and the neighboring UNESCO-protected archaeological isle of Delos. Crete, the largest and southernmost Greek island. The crystal blue waters of the island of Kythira, a hidden gem of the Aegean sea. The Peloponnese with Monemvassia and Nafplion historical treasures. Hydra, an off-the-beaten-track island with her picturesque harbor. 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.
Discover the unique archaeological site of Delos, antiquity’s most sacred island. Visit the ancient city of Knossos near Heraklion. Explore Kythira, a less known island gem now fast becoming a favorite among visitors to Greece.
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.
Arrive independently in to Bali, take your private transfer to the Jimbararn Bay Beach Resort & Spa (or similar) We will meet in Sanur (Bali) in the morning and depart for either Padang Bai or Amed, on Bali’s the southeast and eastern coasts respectively, where the ship will be anchored and waiting for us. This is a pleasant and beautiful drive of either approximately 1 hour or 2.5 hours (depending on the departure point), and a great opportunity to see a little bit of the island. After we board the vessel you will have a chance to settle in before the captain gives the orders for the anchor to be lifted prior to crossing the Lombok Strait. This deep trench of water between Bali and Lombok marks part of a very important ecological boundary, which was first described by Sir Alfred Russel Wallace, the British naturalist. Wallace noticed that the flora and fauna of the islands to the west are home to Asiatic animal and plant species, whereas the islands to the east of the invisible ‘Wallace Line’ have a greater similarity to species found in Australia. In the afternoon we will make our first stop at one of the three Gili islands, a popular holiday destination just off Lombok’s northwest coast. We will spend a few hours here, during which time you can choose from a number of water activities: swimming, snorkelling, paddleboarding, kayaking or simply enjoying the beautiful white-sand beach.
Moored off the coast of North Lombok, we will enjoy a hearty breakfast before going ashore and boarding a private bus for a trip into the interior of the northern side of the island and the traditional village of Senaru. Here, we will be taken on a tour, by one of the local women-guides, of the simple thatched houses and gardens of fruits and spices, which will give us an insight into the culture of the indigenous Sasak people. Our mellow adventure will then lead us down a well-trodden flight of steps through the tropical forest to Sindang Gila, a roaring 40-metre tiered waterfall. The small gravel beach and flat rocks at the base of the falls are a meeting place for the local people, and if we want we can take a dip under the full force of the intense flow. Our walk will continue alongside an old irrigation canal offering panoramic vistas of rice fields stretching towards the sea. The area around Senaru and Bayan was the birthplace of Lombok’s unique Wektu Telu belief system in which ancient animist practices are combined with Islam. If we have time, we will visit Bayan Beleq, a grass-roofed mosque with woven bamboo walls. Said to have been founded in the 16th century, this is the oldest mosque in Lombok. We will also see some weavers and spinners demonstrating their age-old skills. After re-embarkation, we will explore one of the coral reefs near Gili Sulat, which is a marine conservation area.
Moyo & Satonda
This morning we will moor off Labuan Aji village on the island of Moyo, visit the village and then walk to Diwu Mba’i waterfall, where can swing on a rope and jump into the deep clear river pool below, or simply bathe in the refreshing cool water. Our next stop will be Satonda, a strange and mystical volcanic island with a sunken crater lake in its centre that was filled with saltwater when the nearby Mt Tambora erupted in 1815, causing a tsunami that flowed into the crater. The eruption was the biggest volcanic explosion in the collective memory of mankind; it had roughly four times the energy of the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa, and gave rise to the ‘year without a summer’ because of the effect on North American and European weather. Local people believe Satonda to be magical, and with this in mind, we will walk to the lip of the caldera to view the mysterious lake, alongside which are trees believed to be ‘wishing trees.’ Visitors to the island tie a small stone to a tree and make a wish. If your wish comes true, you are bound to return to the island to offer thanks. The seas surrounding the island are rich with soft and hard corals and colourful tropical fish, so we will spend the afternoon swimming and snorkelling. Another highlight of our visit to Satonda will be the sight of thousands of flying foxes that commute at dusk from the island to feed on the mainland, returning before first light the next day. Immediately after sunset, we leave for an overnight passage on a course due east.
Sumbawa & Banta
Today we will visit Wera, a Buginese settlement on the northeast coast of the island of Sumbawa, where the men build wooden boats along the black-sand shores and the village women spend days weaving brightly coloured cloth. Here we will visit the village and have a look at the hand-built boats in various stages of construction. Some of these boats are colossal in size, and it is fascinating to see how they are constructed. We will then proceed to the island of Banta, passing Sangean island, an active volcano towering 1800 metres above the surrounding waters. Banta island lies within the boundaries of the Komodo National Park; it is uninhabited and perfect swimming and snorkelling.
When we wake up, the boat will be anchored off the famous Komodo Island, one of approximately 80 islands that make up the Komodo National Park. We will go ashore at the ranger station in Loh Liang for an early morning ranger-led trek through the park searching for Komodo dragons. In this savannah-like setting of dry, rugged landscape, we will encounter, at a safe distance, these awe-inspiring, giant lizards – Indonesia’s living dinosaurs. We may spot deer, wild boar, sulphur-crested cockatoos, butterflies, rare orchids and jungle chickens among the strangle-fig trees and the distinctive lontar palms. After returning to the onboard we will cruise around the coast and visit Komodo village, where we can buy some local handicrafts. Later we will head to the gorgeous Pantai Merah ‘red-beach,’ which takes its name from the particles of red coral mingled with the sand. Here we will swim and snorkel over one of the richest reefs in Eastern Indonesia, relishing the unforgettable spectacle of the region’s many varieties of coral and marine life.
Today we will visit the ranger station of Loh Buaya on Rinca Island where we will have another ranger-led nature trek in search of more Komodo dragons, which are indigenous to this small group of islands. Rinca is also well known for its diverse wildlife, so we may spot monkeys, wild buffaloes and deer as well. From the top of the hills, the scenery is breathtaking. In the afternoon we can go snorkelling. With over 1000 species of fish in the waters of the national park, there is much more to this wildlife reserve than just dragons. In the evening we will go ashore to an island where you can enjoy a quintessential SeaTrek experience and a highlight for many guests. With your feet in the sand and the stars rising in the vast Indonesian sky, the crew will build a bonfire and prepare a beach barbecue as a final celebration of our memorable voyage.
Flores to Bali
After breakfast in Labuan Bajo, we will visit the local market or take a private bus to the inland village of Melo. Here, local ‘strongmen’ will perform the ‘Caci,’ a ritual whip-fight between two rivals in which the players, each armed with a rattan shield and a whip, will try to hit each other while dancing to the rhythm of traditional acoustic instruments. The men of Western Flores are famous for this test of daring and skill, requiring lightning quick moves to dodge the infliction of a wound. The winner is loudly applauded and cheered by the village. Besides this, the cultural group will also showcase other traditional dances. After the performance, we will have lunch on the boat before transferring you to the airport for your included flight back to Bali.
Please Note: every effort will be made to carry out our cruise itinerary as planned; however, our itineraries are subject to change at the captain’s discretion. When touring at sea, weather, currents, and even harbour masters don’t always co-operate with our planned itinerary, which sometimes make our planned schedules challenging or even impossible to carry out. For that reason, our written itineraries must be approached with reasonable flexibility. We reserve the right to make alterations due to circumstances beyond our control and/or other factors, in the best interests of all. It’s all part of the adventure.
Dances, Dragons and Magical Lakes
Vessel Type: Yacht
Length: 40 metres
Passenger Capacity: 14
Built / Refurbished: 1995 / 2014
The Katharina is a traditional Indonesian pinisi, built in 1995 in Kalimantan using only the very best grades of ironwood. Her slim hull was originally being planned for commercial sailing carrying freight before we spotted her in the making. We bought her and fitted her out as a cruising vessel, and then again in January 2014, the Katharina was the subject of a major interior refit. Working with the unique heritage this vessel represents, her transformation is a conservation exercise back to authenticity, using only the best traditional materials, shaped by highly skilled Indonesian craftsmen. Yet, what goes on behind the scenes is the use of the most up-to-date technology and she is now equipped with a super yacht grade AC station and we are optimizing our systems to the latest safety standards.
Not only is the Katharina very elegant on the water, she is also fast becoming a classic yacht, as very few of these original designs remain. Katharina’s overall length is 40 metres, providing comfortable accommodation for up to 14 guests in six cabins located below decks. All cabins offer creature comforts and necessary amenities including double beds or twins, private en-suite bathrooms, natural light, safety boxes, individually controlled air-conditioning and storage space including a safe.
Led by Captain Iwan, the Katharina is catered to by an all-Indonesian crew of 12, with each member dedicated to making your stay aboard truly memorable.
Arrive in Reykjavik, the world’s northernmost capital, which lies only a fraction below the Arctic Circle and receives just four hours of sunlight in winter and 22 in summer. Have a guided overview of the Old Town, including Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral with its 210-foot tower, and perhaps shed some light on Nordic culture at the National Museum, with its Viking treasures and artifacts, and unusual whalebone carvings on display. Embark National Geographic Orion.
Explore the West Coast of Iceland
National Geographic Orion navigates Iceland’s wild western frontier, sailing past the immense Latrabjarg cliffs, the westernmost point of Iceland and home to a huge population of razorbills. The cliffs are an area once famous for egg collecting; the men were tied to ropes and lowered like spiders down onto the ledges. Continue to Flatey Island, a trading post for many centuries, for walks around the charming little hamlet that grew here, and take a Zodiac cruise along the coast.
Located in the Western Fjords, Ísafjördur is surrounded by water on three sides, sculpted by glaciers. Renowned for its traditional eider down production, it is a picture postcard of traditional Icelandic life and a great place for hiking, kayaking and for spotting eider ducks.
Siglufjordur and Akureyri
Siglufjordur was the center of Iceland’s once-thriving herring industry. We stop by the Herring Museum for a talk and a tasting. Continue to picturesque Akureyri, backed by snow-capped mountains. Explore the old town, with its beautifully maintained period houses, or visit the botanical garden.
Lake Mývatn and Húsavík
Drive to Mývatn, the most geologically active area in Iceland. This is world-class field geology! See the bizarre mud pools at Hverarönd — so hot they actually bubble. At the Krafla geothermal area see the explosion crater at Viti and continue to an unforgettable sight: Godafoss, the waterfall of the gods. Meet the ship in Húsavík, and watch for whales as we sail north to the land of the midnight sun. Take Zodiacs ashore to the tiny island of Grimsey, which lies exactly on the Arctic Circle. Here we celebrate being officially in the Arctic, in the company of nesting arctic terns, fulmars, and puffins in burrows, all bathing, courting and fishing — another wonderful photo op.
Exploring Northeast Iceland
With plenty of rarely-visited coastline, this day is left open to explore Iceland’s rugged east coast. Join our naturalists for a hike or a Zodiac cruise to get a better view of the beautiful stacks at the end of the peninsula. Or, conditions permitting, we may have our first chance to kayak today under the steep cliffs.
Dock in Djupivogur to explore the vast Vatnajokull ice cap. Via small boat, get up-close and personal with the deep blue icebergs of the large ice lagoon of Jökulsárlón. Photo lovers may set off together with the National Geographic photographer.
Islands of Heimaey & Surtsey, Westman Islands
With plenty of rarely-visited coastline, this day is left open to explore Iceland’s rugged east coast. Join our naturalists for a hike or a Zodiac cruise to get a better view of the beautiful stacks at the end of the peninsula. Or, conditions permitting, we may have our first chance to kayak today under the steep cliffs.
Today we complete our circumnavigation of Iceland, disembarking in Reykjavík. Stop by the famous Blue Lagoon thermal baths, prior to our flight home. Whether you choose to enjoy the surreal bath and spa facilities or just stroll around the fascinating environs, the Blue Lagoon is unforgettable!
Please Note: all day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.
A Circumnavigation of Iceland
View one of Europe’s largest ice cap. Feel the percussive cascade and the spray of Godafoss Waterfall. Walk along lava fields and ice sheets. Zodiac cruise among magnificent icebergs in Jökulsárlón. Kayak into fjords and serene bays, or take a snowmobile jaunt on a glacier. Go hiking on magnificent and remote stretches of the coast. And cap off the adventure with a soak in the famous Blue Lagoon.
You’ll get out on adventures every day—to Zodiac cruise, hike and walk, or kayak for personal encounters with beauty and wildness. You’ll have a choice of activities, plus your choice of naturalists to join—for a moveable feast of personalities, insights, and interests. Choice also includes opting to relax, too. Enjoy the view from behind Explorer’s panoramic glass windows. Or visit the fitness center with its generous views of the vistas, or ease into the sauna or a massage in the Wellness Center.
Explore under the sure guidance of an expedition leader, an assistant expedition leader, eight veteran naturalists, a National Geographic photographer, plus a National Geographic certified photo instructor, a Global Perspective guest speaker, an undersea specialist, a wellness specialist and a video chronicler. Their knowledge and passion for the fascinating Arctic region is the key to your extraordinary experience.
National Geographic Orion
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 103 metres
Passenger Capacity: 102 (in 53 cabins)
Built: 2003 / Refurbished 2014
Engineered for maximum comfort and safety, Orion is equipped with the latest technology including large retractable stabilizers, sonar, radar, and an ice-strengthened hull. A shallow draft plus bow and stern thrusters provide the convenience of being able to manoeuvre close to shore. 14 Zodiacs ensure quick disembarkation and offer the ideal transport for up-close exploration.
National Geographic Orion meets strict specifications for environmental protection and the on board waste management systems meet the stringent Antarctic operational standards enabling us to travel to the most pristine environments. A host of advanced design features and technology ensures sustainable marine environmental practices.
National Geographic Orion accommodates 102 guests in 53 cabins, including several with balconies. She is spacious and modern, with a variety of public rooms that offer panoramic views of the passing landscape. Friendly and informal, Orion fosters a welcoming atmosphere where like-minded guests share in exceptional experiences and enrichment.
Her public rooms include a dramatic window-lined main lounge, as well as an observation lounge and library perched at the very top of the ship, with plentiful observation decks. The spacious lounge is the heart of our expedition community, and is suited for spirited cocktail hours, informative presentations and our nightly tradition of Recap. In addition, a dedicated theater provides a unique setting for specialist presentations or films and slideshows. Both the main dining room and outside buffet easily accommodate all guests at once for open seating dining. On selected nights, weather permitting, our dining room menu is also available on the outside deck.
While Orion interiors are elegant, life aboard is always casual, with no need for formal clothing. And you’ll find shipboard services like laundry, in-room cabled internet, and public-area Wi-Fi.
Ho Chi Minh City – My Tho – Cai Be
id farewell to the hustle and bustle of Saigon as we travel 70 kilometers south by land to My Tho to embark your boutique Ship. We will be served refreshing drinks and light lunch as the Ship steadily glides along the Mekong. We will bathe in the fading sunset on the balcony followed by a briefing at the lounge. Later, a welcome dinner awaits us. When approaching Cai Be, the Ship drops anchor midstream. Light lunch, afternoon tea and dinner are included. Overnight in Cai Be.
Cai Be – Sa Dec – Tan Chau
Every day, our journey starts with an invigorating Tai Chi lesson on the Sundeck just as the sun begins its gentle glow. Coffee and tea awaits the early bird. The day-tour starts with a visit to Cai Be’s boisterous and colourful floating market on a traditional sampan (a flat bottomed traditional Vietnamese wooden boat). During the ride, discover breathtaking landscapes along the river and quaff the rustic life on the Mekong Delta. The cruise will halt intermittently to allow us to observe how rice paste, rice paper, rice cookies, rice pop, rice wine and coconut candies are made, enjoy local life along the canals on the way back to the Ship for lunch. In the afternoon, we cruise to Sa Dec. Upon arrival, we embark a traditional sampan to tour Binh Thanh Island to visit an untouchable village. Here, every villager is involved in the process of making rattan mat and this give us the chance to interact with the old local people. We then board the Ship for a tranquil evening cruise towards Tan Chau. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included. The Ship will moor midstream overnight near Tan Chau.
Tan Chau – Border crossing – Phnom Penh
Welcome to the fish sanctuary of Vietnam. Begin your day with a hearty breakfast at the Dining Hall of your balcony. Brace yourself for a short excursion in Tan Chau, a pleasant town near the Cambodian border with sizeable Chinese, Kinh and Khmer community. Firstly, the journey takes you to the “evergreen” islands where you will be thrilled to learn the life of the locals. The inhabitants of these islands live on houses poised on high stilts – a centuries-old tradition in this part of the Mekong Delta. We stop to visit a fish farm located in the Tan Chau canal – this farm consists of floating houses and the villagers make their living by cultivating fish. You continue by boat to Tan Chau pier, disembark here and stroll around this colourful local market with lots of regional products. You return to the cruise Ship after your market visit. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included. Overnight we anchor midstream near Phnom Penh.
Phnom Penh was once the Paris of the East. Despite its rapid development, it has retained a lot of its rustic charm and elegance. Sightseeing in the morning will include the Killing Field outside town. Be prepared to be heart wrenched by this stark reminder of the genocide that transpired during Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge regime. Before lunch at a local restaurant, we will visit the Genocide Museum, see the dazzling white and gold edifice of the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, and witness exceptionally beautiful Khmer craft at the National Museum. We go back to the Ship by “cyclo” – traditional vehicle after our museum visit. Take a rest on your cabin balcony or the lounge and get prepared for an exciting evening event. The evening starts with a variety of cocktails served on the Sundeck. In late afternoon, we will be captivated by a comprehensive lecture on Cambodia’s modern history. BBQ dinner is served right after the lecture. Take a seat and enjoy the Apsara dance performance. Experience the brilliance and richness of this culture, the soothing sounds of traditional music, the calming scent of incense sticks and a barbeque on the Sundeck. It is indeed a truly marvellous experience, dining in the open with the moon and the starts as our companions. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included. Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Phnom Penh – Angkor Ban – Kampong Cham
We will depart before the break of dawn from Phnom Penh with a stop at the little known Silk island community. We will then return to the Ship and pass by the Mekong’s tranquil villages, exhilarating river life and sun-hardened fishermen on their shift boats. We will tour the rural Angkor Ban village where time stand still. We are transported back a hundred years into an era unaffected by modernity. The houses here are truly rustic, made by hand and without any concrete. But most of all, we feel overwhelmed by the unbridled warmth of the villagers. Travelers can take part in the daily activities of the villagers to experience village life first hand. Then, we are back to the Ship to cruise towards Kampong Cham. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included. Overnight in Kampong Cham.
Kampong Cham – Wat Hanchey
We will wake up in the early morning, truly energized to embark on a land journey to the pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey. Travellers either take a motor-taxi or climb 303 steps to the top. Located at the top of a hill overlooking the river, it offers one of the most breath-taking views in Cambodia. Built in the 8th century, this ancient structure, together with a bigger and newer addition underscores the superb architecture of the Chenla Empire which predates the mighty Angkor temple complex. We even get to engage in light banter with some of the monks in the area. We will return to the Ship to witness a blessing ceremony performed by orange-clad local monks. Lunch on board. We will then cruise towards Kampong Cham to visit Wat Nokor, a Wat built within the ruins of an ancient temple which holds a timeless story. Visit OBT project of Heritage Line and organization for Basic Training. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included. Overnight in Kampong Cham.
Kampong Cham – Kampong Chhnang
Before the sun peeks over the horizon, the cruiser sets sail towards Kampong Chhnang on the Tonle River – an amazingly narrow river – which glides through leafy swaths of the Southeast Asian jungle. We are greeted by cacophonous children who waive enthusiastically early in the morning when they bring their livestock for a bath in the meandering Tonle River. Then we approach Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia’s “Water World” where everything is on stilts balanced on water rich soil– it’s an awesome sight whilst practicing Tai Chi on the deck. Here we take a minivan to see the Khmer-styled pottery at the Aundaung Russey village. Then, it is back to the river for an adventurous motorboat excursion to the wetlands, floating houses and fish farms in the region. The village has no electricity and has around 600 inhabitants. We then return to the Ship for lunch while cruising the narrow and meandering Tonle Sap River. Your floating sanctuary will then cruise gently, in the afternoon, along the narrow and meandering Tonle Sap Lake. In the evening, a sumptuous spread will be served. And for the big entertainment – bring along your dance shoes and learn to jiggle the Cambodian way with our staff doubling up as dance instructors. (If you can’t dance, do not fret. Neither can our staff) Breakfast, lunch and dinner are included. Overnight in the middle of Tonle Sap Lake.
Tonle Sap – Siem Reap
The Tonle Sap (The Great Lake) is the flowing heart of Cambodia, giving love and life to this nation. The Tonle Sap has more fish than any other lake in the world and is home to an incredible variety of birds, including rare – and endangered – feathered life. This great lake dominates Cambodia and is the largest freshwater lake in Asia with abundant birdlife. This lake is so wide that one cannot see its shores from the middle of the lake. Enjoy the stillness of the water and the quiet tranquility on the way to Siem Reap. The water level varies a great deal according to the time of the year and the amount of rainfall recorded. Thus, minor changes to the itinerary may occur during different seasons. Our Heritage Line cruise liner comes to an end as we reach this city of the fabled Angkor temple complex. We bid farewell to the cruise as our journey comes to an end. But the memories and the friendships made on board linger on for a lot longer. We will cross the Tonle Lake at dawn and at 09:00am, we will disembark at the Siem Reap Port for onward coach transfer to the drop off point in town. Breakfast is included.
Additional charges: port taxes. From: € 60,- pp
The Ship could cruise along in Tonle Sap and dock near Siem Reap pier. It just takes 45 minutes for our coaches to transfer to the meeting point (Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa). The embarkation and disembarkation of the Ship will take place near Siem Reap pier. For downstream (REP-SGN) we will meet at noon (12:00pm) at the meeting point for check in formality. For upstream (SGN-REP) the coaches will drop you off around 10:00am at Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa. High water and low water season just make itinerary timing schedule changeable in Siem Reap, there will be no changes at other destinations.
The water level goes down and very low in Tonle Sap, so the Ships have to dock in Kampong Cham, where the embarkation and disembarkation will take place. It takes 4.5 hours for our coaches to transfer to the meeting point in Siem Reap (Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa). For downstream (REP-SGN) we will meet at 08:00am for the check-in formality. For upstream (SGN-REP) the coaches will drop you off around 13:30pm at Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa.
Vessel Type: River Boat
Length: 60 metres
Passenger Capacity: 54 (in 27 cabins)
The Jayavarman is the father of the Heritage Line Collection. A grandiose and majestic ship, but not too large that it becomes impersonal. The Jayavarman’s interior design is inspired by King Jayavarman’s legacy. Aptly named after the revered monarch of the Khmer empire, the god-king is regal but warm. He cuts a majestic figure and pays apt tribute to the golden age of cruise liners. But he is not too large. A nice, intimate size. Expectations are high for the god-king. He does not disappoint.
Life on the Jayavarman is one luxurious experience after another. You step out on to your private balcony, sipping your cocktail made with fruit from the land that envelops you. The sun sets gently and the charming countryside becomes a silhouette shining on the river. You soon realize that you’ve never been in a place so peaceful and so serene, occasionally punctuated by a child’s raucous laughter ringing from a nearby village.
Darkness descends, signalling the time for a traditional feast. Food from the region is served by waiters who, by now, have become your friends. They are proud to put on display their traditional attire and share their culture with you.
At every corner, every river bend aboard this luxurious and majestic ship, new sights and new experiences are ready and waiting to be found.
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.
Embarkation 3-4PM - Sailing at 5pm - Overnight at sea to Haimaey / Westmann Islands, Iceland.
Heimaey Island Westmann Islands, Iceland
We reach Heimaey Island in the morning and discover a community which almost disappeared during a 1973 eruption that buried 400 homes and create a mountain. Heimaey is also know as the Pompeii of the North and our Optional excursions will take us to 2 volcanoes and the Eldheimar Geological Museum to understand what happened in 1973 and to other sites around the island. We leave Heimaey in the afternoon and cruise west to Borgarnes. Overnight at sea.
In the morning we reach Akranes and disembark by tenders for our Optional full day excursion to Deildartunguhver, Europe's most powerful thermal spring, to the Hraunfossar and Barnafoss waterfalls area. We will stop in Reykholt which was at one time one of the intellectual centers of the island and had for many years one of the most important schools of the country. Here lived in the Middle Ages one of the most important persons in Icelandic history: Snorri Sturluson. He was a famous poet and politician whose records of the Old Norse language and mythology of medieval Iceland are invaluable to modern scholars. He lived and died here. Remains of his farm and a bathroom with hot pot and a tunnel between the bath and the house can still be visited. In the afternoon we rejoin the ship and sail to the Westfjords. Overnight at sea
Bildudalur- Isafjordur, Iceland
We sail past the Latrarbag cliffs which rise 450 m over the sea and reach Bildudalur. Our afternoon optional excursion will take us to the Dynjandi Waterfall and we will walk around Bildudalur and visit the Sea Monsters Museum. In the afternoon , we cruise around the Westfjords to Isafjordur.Evening arrival in Isafjorfur. Overnight in port
Isafjordur is a large fishing port in Wesfjords. Our afternoon optional excursion will take us to Bolungravik and then Osvor town where we will visit a restored fisherman's hut. Back in town we will visit the Maritime Museum and walk around the town known for its rich cultural heritage and merchant's homes dating from the 18th century. In the afternoon we sail to Siglufjordur . Overnight at sea
Siglufjordur - Husavik, Iceland
This morning we reach Siglufjordur, Iceland's northernmost city, very close to the Arctic Circle and possibly the most picturesque port of Iceland. Once known as the capital of Herring fishing. The optional walking tour through the city will take you to the port, the Herring Museum, the Folk Music center housed in Madame House, the oldest house in the city. After lunch we leave for nearby Husavik port. Late in the afternoon we sail in the Skjafandi Bay and reach Husavik, Europe's capital of whale watching. We will have time to stroll around this charming fishing village and visit the wooden church, the best preserved church in Iceland. Overnight in port.
Husavik - Akureyri, Iceland
This morning our full day optional excursion will take you from Husavik to Akureyri ( where you will meet the Callisto in the evening). You will visit the Lake Myvatn, Namarksard and Dimmuborgir, all fine examples of the volcanic world with lava fields, boiling and steaming mud pools, steam vents and craters. After lunch we continue on the Ring Road to reach Godafoss Waterfall - the Falls of the Gods - and will hear about the Kristni Saga, recounting the arrival of Christianity and the end of Paganism. We rejoin the Callisto in Akureyri the capital of Northern Iceland and we will spend some time walking around this colourful city visiting in particular the Art Alley. Overnight in port.
Disembarkation 6 AM -10 AM after breakfast.
Additional charges: port charges: € 260,- pp
Please Note: itineraries can be changed at the discretion of the Vessel's Captain in case of 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.
Iceland Cruise – Journey in the Land of Ice & Fire
Embark the elegant M/Y Callisto, the newest addition to Variety Cruises’ fleet of Mega Yachts and Motor Sailers. With the company of up to 34 fellow passengers, you will discover a fascinating country with amazing rugged landscapes, old legacies of the Vikings and the Norse.Visit Iceland in the summer months, the perfect season to sight humpback whales, orcas and dolphins. Discover Heimaey Island, the Pompei of the North. The Myvatn Lake, the Namarskard a striking geothermal field, and the Godafoss Waterfall. The quaint fishing village of Husavik. Siglufjordur a fishing town close to the Arctic cirle. Isasfjordur, and nearby Arnardalur Valley.
Visit Heimaey Island, the Pompeii of the North. Discover Myvatn Lake, Namarskard a striking geothermal field and Godafoss Waterfall (from Akureyi/Husavik). Visit the quaint fishing village of Husavik. Explore Siglufjordur, a fishing town close to the Arctic Circle. See Borganess with the Hraunfossar & Barnafoss waterfalls.
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.