FROM THE HIGHLANDS TO THE HIGH ARCTIC
This unique voyage departs from Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland and starting point of our expedition. The famous Castle rising above the city gives immediate evidence of Edinburgh’s rich history. While the Town area boasts medieval architecture, the New Town accommodates newer 18th century buildings. We then cross the Arctic Circle on our way to the rarely visited island of Jan Mayen.
After stopping at Jan Mayen we continue to Spitsbergen in the renowned High Arctic archipelago of Svalbard. We explore the fjords on the west side of the island in search of polar bears and other iconic wildlife. We complete the Arctic experience by enjoying stunning scenery and visiting places rich with polar history.
Day 1: Embarkation in Leith (Edinburgh), United Kingdom
Welcome to Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland and starting point of our expedition. The famous Castle rising above the city gives immediate evidence of Edinburgh’s rich history. While the Town area boasts medieval architecture, the New Town accommodates newer 18th century buildings. Each corner of Edinburgh’s old streets opens beautiful unexpected vistas of green hills or a blue flash of distant sea.
In the afternoon, we welcome you aboard the deluxe expedition ship M/V Sea Spirit. Explore the ship and get comfortable in your home away from home for the extraordinary adventure to come.
Kirkwall is a small, quiet town, with a gentle pace of life. The town is the capital of the remote and amazing Orkney archipelago. Kirkwall is first mentioned in Orkneyinga saga in 1046. Such a long history has left a rich heritage that we explore today. The most famous are the sandstone St Magnus Cathedral, considered the finest medieval building in the north of Scotland, the Bishop’s Palace and the Earl’s Palace.
Included tour “Ancient treasures of Orkney with St Magnus Cathedral.” Depart Kirkwall and head into the west of Mainland, Orkney’s largest island. This tour passes through the gentle rolling landscape of Orkney and into the Neolithic Heartland of Orkney; an area designated as a World Heritage Site due to its wealth of pre-historic archaeology. Passing the Standing Stones of Stenness, we will stop at the Ring of Brodgar; a huge ceremonial circle of stones dating back almost 5000 years. We then continue on to the 5000-year-old village of Skara Brae, beautifully interpreted in the visitor centre. See the remarkable dwellings revealed from beneath the sand dunes by storms only 150 years ago.
Hear some of the stories from your guide today en route back to Kirkwall. Once back in the island capital we will take a tour of St Magnus Cathedral, built by the Vikings during their 500 year reign over the islands.
National Geographic Traveler had designated Faroe Islands as “authentic, unspoiled and likely to remain so”. It seems that the Nature spares no colours in “painting” the islands. Deep-green hills, bright blue sea, colourful houses and boats, orange-red puffins’ beaks make the sceneries unforgettable. We stop at the capital of the Faroes —Torshavn.
Included tour “Kirkjubøur.” During the Middle Ages, Kirkjubøur was the ecclesiastical and cultural centre of the Faroes. Here was the Bishop’s residence until the Reformation, when the Faroese diocese was abolished. The imposing ruin of Saint Magnus Cathedral still dominates the site. Construction of the Cathedral is thought to have begun in the late-thirteenth century, as the style of the building is from the best period of Gothic architecture, common to West Norwegian church building of that time. Tradition has it that it was never finished; yet recent research has revealed that it was probably roofed at one time. The Roykstovan, standing on the wide, stone foundation of a portion of the Bishop’s palace, has been the home of the farmers in Kirkjubøur for centuries and occupied by the same Faroese family for 17 generations. Covered with a traditional turf roof, it is a large building made of logs, which are said to have come drifting all the way from Norway some 700 years ago. The farmhouse interior reflects the lifestyle of a large Faroese farm. On our way to and from Kirkjubøur, we have a magnificent view to the west of the islands of Koltur, Hestur, Sandoy, and Vágar.
Day 5 : At Sea
Presentations and workshops by our expert staff, as well as our range of onboard recreation facilities, ensure that this day at sea is not idly spent. Seabird viewing and whale sightings can be enjoyed from panoramic open decks as well as exterior stateroom windows and balconies.
Polar bears and other quintessential Arctic wildlife can be spotted anytime, anywhere in and around Svalbard. We exploit every opportunity to experience excellent wildlife viewing, to discover incredible scenery, and to walk in the footsteps of the historic polar expeditions that came before us.We anticipate exploring the spectacular fjords, coasts, and islands in the western part of Svalbard. This area contains the archipelago’s most impressive scenery and some of the Arctic’s best wildlife viewing opportunities. Deep fjords and narrow channels are flanked by jagged snowy mountain peaks. Immense tidewater glaciers calve icebergs into turquoise waters. Fields of flowering tundra are home to grazing reindeer and playful Arctic fox. Bountiful inshore and offshore waters are home to walrus and a wide variety of whales. The whole area is alive with migratory birds, including numerous rare species, taking advantage of summer’s fecundity in 24-hour daylight.To complete the Arctic experience we also explore places rich with history. Our area of exploration contains the historical remnants of whaling camps, coal mining operations, trappers’ cabins, staging areas for historic attempts to discover the North Pole, and even an abandoned polar research station. The days are filled with memorable excursions, sumptuous meals, presentations by our experts, and enough stunning scenery and wildlife to fill your camera and overwhelm your emotions.
Like some of the birds we see in the Arctic and Antarctica, our m/v Sea Spirit is migratory and follows the sun, northbound in the summer and southbound in the winter, always ready for spontaneous discoveries — a pod of whales, a family of polar bears or a glaciated mountain vista. She is highly maneuverable and capable of navigating the narrow fjords of East Greenland and entering the small bays of Spitsbergen. In 2017, she was renovated to offer a unique mixture of adventure and comfort for our sophisticated travelers.
Onboard, we create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere for all our guests. They are united by one goal — to have a memorable wilderness experience and to become real polar adventurers. We believe that first-hand travel to such places makes one an ambassador for conservation, and helps strengthen our resolve to protect these natural environments for future generations.
Length: 90.6 meters (297 ft.)
Beam: 15.3 meters (50 ft.)
Speed: 15 knots
- Group transfer to the ship on day of embarkation;
- Shipboard accommodation;
- All meals on board throughout the voyage;
- Tea and coffee station 24 hours daily;
- All scheduled landings/excursions (subject to weather and ice conditions);
- Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader & Expedition Team;
- Branded Poseidon Expeditions parka;
- Rubber boots for shore landings for the time of the cruise;
- Welcome and Farewell cocktails;
- All port fees;
- Group transfer to airport or central location upon disembarkation;
- Pre-departure materials;
- Digital Voyage Log;
- Wi-Fi on board.
RATES DO NOT INCLUDE:
- Visa and passport fees (if applicable);
- Luggage and trip cancellation insurance;
- Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages other than those for special events and celebrations;
- Personal expenses such as laundry and telecommunication charges;
- Mandatory Emergency Evacuation Insurance to a minimum benefit of US$ 200,000 per person;
- Staff gratuities.