Arctic Saga: Exploring Spitsbergen via the Faroes and Jan Mayen

Arctic Saga: Exploring Spitsbergen via the Faroes and Jan Mayen

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14 Days From

$8741

$8501

Arctic Saga: Exploring Spitsbergen via the Faroes and Jan Mayen

14 Days Starting in Aberdeen and ending in Longyearbyen

Visiting: Arctic, Denmark

Tour operator:

Exodus Adventure Travels

Tour code:

POS

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 132

Physical rating:

Low, Leisurely

Age range:

18-99

Special diets catered:

Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements

Tour operated in:

English

Trip Styles:

Adventure Tours

Activities:

Sightseeing, Walking

From: $8741 $8501 Exclusive Tourhub Discount: -$240

NB: Prices correct on 15-Jun-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

Sailing across the North Atlantic, you’ll be immersed in the region’s rugged beauty and whaling and Viking history, visiting the awe-inspiring and unspoiled destinations of Fair Isle, the Faroe Islands, Jan Mayen and Spitsbergen. Towering fjords, massive glaciers, soaring sea stacks and coastal cliffs teeming with thousands of seabirds, like the amazing Atlantic puffin, will take your breath away. So too will the diverse wildlife of this far-flung region, from Svalbard reindeer to dolphins, seals and whales. Having continuous daylight for part of the voyage means optimum chances to spot these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat at any time of day… or night!



Highlights

  • Follow in the footsteps of the Norsemen on Fair Isle and the Vikings in the Faroe Islands

  • Explore the volcanic and glacier covered Jan Mayen island, in the heart of the North Atlantic Ocean

  • Encounter iconic Arctic wildlife, such as puffins, reindeer, whales and seabirds

  • Travel in a small expedition vessel

  • Accompanied by extremely qualified Expedition Staff

  • Cruise in a Zodiac to explore diverse landscapes and wildlife

Itinerary

Day 1


Arrive any time on Day 1 and make your way to your included hotel. The
gateway for your Arctic adventure, the Scottish city of Aberdeen, has many
monikers, but its most famous is Granite City, as it was once the granite
capital of the world. Wandering the streets, you’ll soon see why, as the
Victorian buildings sparkle in the sun. A bustling cultural hub, Aberdeen
also offers a range of museums, galleries, theaters, shops, cafés and
restaurants to explore.



Day 2


Today you will have some free time before being transferred to the port to
board your ship. As you set sail this afternoon, you’ll want to be out on
deck, camera in hand—the area’s coastal waters offer excellent
possibilities for spotting Bottlenose and White-beaked dolphins, Harbor
porpoises and Minke whales.



Day 3


The U.K.’s most remote inhabited island, the extraordinary Fair Isle is
located halfway between the Shetland and Orkney Islands. Boasting a rugged
beauty, Fair Isle’s landscape is diverse, with fields and moors dominated
by seaside cliffs and an astounding amount of sea stacks, natural arches and
caves.

Despite its small size, the island offers activities for history, nature and
photography buffs alike. Visit the museum to immerse yourself in local
artifacts, photos, knitwear and other historic memorabilia. Don’t forget to
snap a shot of the circa 1935 classic red phone booth by the post office!

In terms of wildlife, Orcas are native to the waters around Fair Isle, and
they sometimes come close in pursuit of seals. But the island is best known
for its coastal cliffs teeming with seabirds in spring and summer. The star
attraction is the Atlantic puffin, a clown-like bird that clings to the steep
slopes. Photographers will surely want to capture pictures of their bemused
expressions, and Fair Isle’s easily accessible grassy banks make it one of
the best places in the Shetlands to observe these colourful creatures.
Northern fulmars, kittiwakes, Storm petrels, razorbills and guillemots are
also likely to be spotted, soaring over the open waters.

Visitors to this community of crofters, artisans and artists may be able to
pick up a traditional Fair Isle sweater to keep you warm during the rest of
your arctic voyage. Be sure to pick one up, along with a matching hat, scarf
and mittens, at the town hall.



Day 4-5


Known for its beautiful, unspoiled landscape, with verdant pastures giving
way to rugged, steep cliffs, the Faroe Islands have a storied past, though
the details of the archipelago’s early history are a bit hazy. The first
settlers may have been seventh-century Irish monks seeking solitude on these
islands far removed from any continent. Their isolation ended in 800 AD, with
the arrival of Norse farmers, and Norwegian colonization continued throughout
the Viking Age. Today, many of the inhabitants of the Faroe Islands, now a
self-governing country within the Kingdom of Denmark, are descendants of
Norwegian Vikings.

We will have two days to explore this unspoiled and seldom-visited
archipelago made up of 18 rugged islands located about halfway between
Scotland and Iceland. The mighty North Atlantic is omnipresent wherever we go
with no place on the Faroe Islands farther than 3 miles (5 km) from its
shores. The sea has always dominated life on the Faroes – throughout
history as much as today: rich fisheries, magnificent ocean views and
thriving sea bird colonies make up this rare Nordic jewel – often referred
to as Europe’s best kept secret.

We will spend a day exploring the outer islands of the archipelago which are
separated by narrow sounds and fjords and delight in their surreal
landscapes, dramatic cliffs and rock formations, green valleys engulfed by
steep dramatic mountains, protecting small picturesque villages with colorful
turf-topped housed. Wind, weather and sea conditions will influence and shape
our activity options, but we will of course always keep our eyes out for
marine and bird life especially the iconic Atlantic puffin.

Our second day in the Faroes will be dedicated to the capital city of
Tórshavn, where the Vikings established their government in 825 AD. One of
the world’s smallest capitals, the picturesque Tórshavn has a relaxed vibe
and a number of historical and cultural sites. Meander the maze of narrow
laneways of the Old Town, admiring the quaint wooden houses with traditional
sod roofs and white paned windows. If you’re looking for more action, a
hike up to the historic fort, built in 1580 to guard against pirate raids,
offers stunning views of the port below. Or perhaps you prefer to wander the
charming harbor, filled with cafés, pubs and old warehouses, and simply gaze
out at the sea while sipping a latte.



Day 6-7


Say goodbye to the Faroes as we cruise toward the world’s most northerly
volcanic island, Jan Mayen. There are several activities to keep you engaged
while at sea. Learn to identify seabirds gliding alongside your ship, attend
dynamic presentations by the Expedition Team, relax in our polar library or
simply spend some time on deck, admiring the sea. With your binoculars and
camera at the ready, keep your eyes peeled for the blow of a Humpback, Blue
or Fin whale. Encounters with Minke whales or Orcas are also possible, since
their curiosity can bring them near the ship. If you’re lucky, you may even
see Harp seals.



Day 8-9


North of the Arctic Circle, about 280 miles (450 km) east of Greenland and
340 miles (550 km) north of Iceland, is the mysterious Jan Mayen, deep in the
North Atlantic Ocean. Often shrouded in thick fog, the small mountainous
island was declared a nature reserve in 2010 and is rarely visited, save for
the 18 rotating personnel of the Norwegian military and Norwegian
Meteorological Institute, who are the only inhabitants.

Landing here will be dictated by the weather and sea. If conditions allow, as
we approach, keep watch on deck as the spoon-shaped island’s highest summit
emerges. At 7,470 feet (2,277 metres) high, the breathtaking Beerenberg
volcano features a symmetrical cone shape and impressive glaciers that spill
into the sea. During the summer months, the island’s lower landscape is
covered with grass, moss and a smattering of hardy flowers that add a cheery
pop of color to the otherwise barren black lava terrain.

One site we hope to visit is Olonkinbyen and the surrounding area. Named
after Russian-Norwegian Polar explorer Gennady Olonkin, it’s the island’s
only settlement and the location of the meteorological station, where you may
have the chance to learn about Polar research while seeing how weather is
monitored at the top of the world. Another option might be the black sand
beach at Kvalrossbukta, where the remnants of a 17th-century Dutch whaling
station and a large fulmar colony can be found. In 1632, two Basque ships
landed at the small bay and plundered the station. A Dutch party was sent
here the following year to protect the land stations during winter, but all
seven men perished from scurvy. Whaling in the area came to an end about 20
years later.

If we’re fortunate, we may view the volcano and the stratified cliffs of
the spectacular north coast as we Zodiac cruise around the island, searching
for wildlife. Designated an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for
the large numbers of breeding seabirds, Jan Mayen supports colonies of
Northern fulmars, Little auks, Glaucous gulls, kittiwakes, and Black and
Brunnich’s guillemots (Thick-billed murres). And if we are fortunate, you
might see “sea parrots,” the Atlantic puffin again. The waters here are
rich feeding grounds for marine life, so keep a lookout for Minke, Fin, Blue
or Humpback whales.



Day 10


As we sail farther north, spend some time with your shipmates in the lounge,
swapping stories and photos, or pause for a moment on the bridge, joining in
as the Expedition Team looks out for whales, seals and a variety of seabirds.



Day 11-13


Rugged, wild, unspoiled and situated entirely within the Arctic Circle, the
largest island of the Svalbard archipelago is unforgettable. From immense
glaciers to Polar deserts, the landscape here is as varied as the wildlife.

As we explore the fjords of the southwestern corner of this magical island,
it won’t take long for you to see firsthand why Spitsbergen is the
“wildlife capital of the Arctic.” Some areas we hope to visit include
Hornsund and Bellsund fjords and the Lilliehook Glacier.

The possible landing sites at Hornsund, the island’s most southerly fjord,
have rich histories. En route to Isbjornhamna, a bay at the southern end,
where we hope to explore the former science station, you may have the
opportunity to discover old whale bones. You may spot Svalbard reindeer and
colonies of delightful Little auks.

A 12-mile (20 km) long sound, Bellsund lured miners a century ago to its
natural resources. Today, visitors come to Bourbanhamna and Calypsobyen to
see historic mining and trapper sites and marvel at the magnificent vistas.
It may also be possible to hike along the colourful tundra, dotted with
flowers bursting for a taste of sunshine. Viewing reindeer here is likely, as
they frequent the area.



Day 14


The time has come to say farewell to your newfound friends and Expedition
Team. After disembarking, spend the day exploring the frontier-style
settlement of Longyearbyen or catch your homeward flights. For the 2021
departure, you will be transferred to the airport for your included flight to
Oslo where your adventure ends. 



What's Included

  • Meals
    8 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 8 dinners.


* All meals while on the ship
* Beer and house wine during dinner
* All accommodation
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout and qualified Expedition Staff
* We can include flights from the UK.  Please contact us for a quote.

What's Not Included

  • Travel insurance

  • Single accommodation (available on request)

  • Visas or vaccinations

Food

All meals while on the ship included.Typical MealsThe ships galley offers
good quality service and cuisine throughout, with excellent chefs preparing
international menus including vegetarian dishes, accompanied by a wide
variety of drinks from around the world on sale.Breakfast: Buffet style –
unlimited tea and coffee, a selection of fruit juices, hot options including
bacon and eggs or omelettes, a selection of bread and toast and
jam/honey/marmalade, fruit and cereal.Lunch: Three course set meal, or the
occasional buffet or BBQ.Dinner: Three courses with a starter of soup, salad
or anti-pasto, a choice of three mains with at least one vegetarian and one
seafood option and a dessert of sweet pudding or ice cream or fruit, tea and
coffee.Vegetarians and vegans can be well catered for on this holiday -
please do inform us before departure of any special dietary requests so that
our local team can be well prepared.

Accommodation

The Arctic Saga: Exploring Spitsbergen via the Faroes and Jan Mayen voyage is offered on the Ultramarine which is a Polar Adventure Ship. Full board accommodation on the ship, generally on a twin share basis in a variety of cabin types, all with en suite facilities.



Polar Adventure Ships



These are small ice rated vessels well qualified for Polar waters. Intimate adventures are always more enjoyable with like-minded passengers and staff, so these voyages are for people who like flexible itineraries and plenty to keep them busy. Activities include frequent Zodiac excursions, trekking and many hours on deck in areas that other ships only dream about accessing. Food and staff are superb and every guest benefits from the technical advances of this superb fleet. Rest assured our Polar Adventure Ships enable any traveller to maximize their experience sensitively in the Poles.

Check out our Q&As

  • What is the maximum group size?

    132

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • Do you require a visa for this holiday?

    No visa required for British passport holders.

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    If you wish to make any changes to your booking, particularly if you need to alter any flights booked through us, please let us know as soon as possible. There is a booking or flight amendment fee of £40 per change and flight amendments often incur extra airline costs depending on the changes to be made and if the ticket has been issued or not.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Exodus has been trading since 1974

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Your final joining instructions and flight details, if booked with us, will then be sent out 2 to 3 weeks before departure. If you would like a hard copy posted, or if you require these any earlier, please contact the customer operations team. We advise that if you are booking connecting travel before receiving these, please ensure you leave plenty of time.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Travellers are welcome to opt to share a room with a tour member of the same gender for no additional charge. If you'd like your own room, we can request a single supplement so that you will have your own room throughout.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    You are welcome to meet the group after the tour has departed however there is no reduction in rate for joining a tour after the departure date.

Reviews of this operator

Gergana Racheva  

Very helpful and prompt service

06-Jan-2023

Very helpful and prompt service. I called to check for an already booked trip and once we sorted this, the agent was ready to help me with another booking as well. He actually waited for me to book my flight tickets, answered all my questions, informed me of all my options. Exodus is a tour company I am using regularly due to the quality of their trips, ease of booking and helpfulness of their customer service team

Trustpilot
Tim Hardy  

Stunning walking. Walking the Amalfi Coast

04-Nov-2021

This trip takes you through the most beautiful parts of the Mediterranean walking with a guide and also discovering the wonders of Pompeii and Vesuvius. The hotel had a nice feel as family run, spotless and comfortable rooms, we were well looked after for breakfasts and dinner each day, and the barmen fixed some mean cocktails for us.!

Paul Green  

It's amazing what you can do in a week! Cycling the Dalmatian Coast.

08-Oct-2021

This holiday was extremely enjoyable. The itinerary is well planned and the route takes you to a variety of destinations. Not having been to Croatia before I didn't know there were so many beautiful small islands and I loved the ferry and catarmaran rides. The coastal route we took was dramatic and the World Heritage sites in Split and Dubrovnik very interesting and worth visiting. The Adriatic Sea was warm, blue and inviting, good for swimming even in October. The hotels we stayed in varied in size from medium to large. I particularly liked the one just outside Dubrovnik as I had a sea view. Tourists were plentiful in Split and Dubrovnik but in the other places we stayed there was an end of season feel and it was quiet on the roads and in the resorts. The food was good and our guide was always able to recommend a nice restaurant for our evening meal. The weather in October was good for cycling - not hot, partly cloudy most days and one day it rained!

Mrs Y Morrison  

Fabulous company and trip

06-Jan-2023

We went overland from Cape Town to Zimbabwe through Botswana and Namibia. What a fantastic trip. Our first time with Exodus although we have travelled extensively around the world. We would highly recommend this company for such a brilliant trip - we got everything and more all at a good price. Thanks to everyone involved. We are looking at our next trip!

Trustpilot
John Edwards (Google Reviewer)  

I went cycling in Albania...

19-Aug-2023

I went cycling in Albania with exodus as my first holiday with them. Such a well organised and wonderful experience where I met multiple fellow travellers who have been advocates of them for many years. You can't argue with happy repeat customers and I'm planning my next adventure with them soon

Rob Burridge (Google Reviewer)  

I'v just come back from...

17-Jul-2022

I'v just come back from an amazing Wildlife & Wilderness trip in Botswana and I highly recommend Exodus Travels. Our guide Brian, was extremely knowledgeable on both the wildlife and history of Botswana and neighbouring countries. The other three staff, Abbis, Chief & Mr T, who accompanied us through out our 2 week trip, put in the hard work and made sure our camp was always prepared and that we we're well fed and looked after. The tour took us to some beautiful places and we saw some amazing wildlife, and on several occasions this was due to Brian's knowledge of the area and wildlife behaviour. Exodus have been very quick to respond to any queries I had, and the whole experience ran smoothly. I was also pleased to hear that during lockdown they provided staff with food packages 👍. I'd normally go on self organised trips, however, with this trip, the tour and guide Brian took us to places not possible otherwise and showed us things that we would'v missed out on. All of which were the highlights of the tour.

Daphne Partridge (Google Reviewer)  

After 14 roup adventure holidays...

26-Nov-2023

After 14 roup adventure holidays with Exofus we would not hesitate to recommend them as an excitingholiday company. They take you off the beaten track but offer great support and expertise :)

Alison Payton (Google Reviewer)  

I've done 8 trips in...

17-May-2023

I've done 8 trips in the last 14 years with Exodus, and have been rewarded with a 10% discount on all future bookings. I feel very confident that I'll receive pleasant, efficient service, and have the unusual holiday experience that I'm looking for each time. I've trekked to the top of snow-capped peaks, wild-camped in the desert, seen amazing spectacles of nature, visited 4 capital cities in a week, and learned about local culture and experienced local hospitality in a way that I simply wouldn't on a conventional holiday. The quality of the accommodation and guides can vary, but this is mainly down to cultural differences and things that Exodus can't control. I've only ever complained once, my complaint was taken seriously, and I was sent a discount voucher - you can't say fairer than that. I remain a loyal customer.

Jacquelyn Moore (Google Reviewer)  

Food came quickly. Staff very...

07-Mar-2024

Food came quickly. Staff very friendly and polite . However the chef or person preparing the food did not seem to read the menu! If it says a meal should come with vegetables, you should not have to ask for them. They served shepherds pie with garlic bread! The munchies ice cream sundae said it should come in a glass with a flake but came in a little bowl with just a few munchies! When asking the staff were happy to replace and correct but customer should get what they order and what menu says first time round!!

johanna leonor (Google Reviewer)  

If you like to be...

07-Sep-2023

If you like to be mistreated Exodus is perfect for you. If you enjoy terrible choices for hotels and pseudo restaurants Exodus is perfect for you. Careless about their clients and loveless about their propositions. Exodus has been a dissatisfaction and disappointment about every dealing i and my group have had with him. Especially a man called Simone who just cares about the money he can get from you couldn’t care less about service.

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    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of exodus adventure travels charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

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