Day 1 — Longyearbyen, Norway
Embark Silver Cloud for your exciting 12-day Silversea Expedition — Lands of Fire and Ice. You will be introduced to your Expedition Team and attend a Zodiac briefing as well as an Arctic regulations refresher course that outlines the environmental policies we must all adhere to in order to enjoy the privilege of visiting this pristine region at the top of the world. Tonight we invite you to familiarise yourself with the elegant Silver Cloud, meet some of your fellow travellers and enjoy the first of many memorable meals in one of the restaurants.
Days 2–6 — Cruise & Explore Svalbard
Our flexible itinerary allows us to take advantage of favourable ice and weather conditions. Whether cruising by Zodiac amongst ice floes and icebergs or heading ashore for a guided walk, our adventures will bring us up close to mystical settings. Each day our Expedition Leader and Captain will determine our best course depending on changing weather, ice conditions and the wildlife we encounter. We will travel to see walrus haul-outs, might see reindeer, and maybe spot an Arctic fox or a bearded seal. Northern Fulmars will be our constant companions. We might even encounter a few whales. Several species frequent the area, in particular Minke and beluga.
Here are a few of the places we hope to visit:
-Magdalenefjorden – Found on Spitsbergen’s northwest coast, Magdalenefjorden was already seen by Willem Barents in 1596. Walrus was hunted here in later days and a whaling station was set up. The remains of blubber ovens and a cemetery can still be seen. Silver Cloud will enter this scenic fjord in Northwest Spitsbergen National Park and we might land at Graveneset for a short walk.
-Ice Cruising – With the strengthened hull of the Silver Cloud, we have the perfect platform to search for walrus and polar bears as we devote at least one day to exploring the pack ice north of Spitsbergen. Conditions permitting, our Expedition Leader may choose to take us out in the Zodiacs for an even closer look.
-Liefdefjorden – At the entrance to Liefdefjorden are several small island groups. On the Andøyane (Duck Islands) we may encounter polar bears looking for bird’s eggs. With our Zodiacs we might circumnavigate several of the islands, always on the lookout for active birdlife –when Arctic Terns circle specific areas it usually is a sign for polar bear presence on the islands.
-Monacobreen – Cruising past majestic red Devonian sandstone mountains we will reach the end of Liefdefjorden for a Zodiac cruise along the front of two different glaciers: Monacobreen and Seligerbreen. Monacobreen has a 5 kilometre long front and is a good place to look for seals, Black-legged Kittiwakes and Ivory Gulls.
-Fjortende Julibreen – The 14th of July Bay is located at the entrance of Krossfjorden. Here we will go ashore for a hike up to the 14th of July Glacier –conditions permitting, we will climb onto the glacier, or, alternatively walk to the Hanging Gardens, a beautiful plant oasis underneath a bird cliff.
-Hornsund – This is the southernmost fjord on the rugged west coast of Spitsbergen Island. Jagged mountain peaks tower above glacier-filled bays. Amidst floating icebergs, we will watch for bearded seals, the beluga whale and the king of the Arctic – the polar bear. Sightings are fairly common as the polar bear’s favourite food, the ringed seal, breeds in the fjord. The surrounding bird cliffs are home to thousands of pairs of nesting Little Auks. We may visit the remains of whaling stations and trappers’ huts.
Day 7 — Bear Island (Bjørnøya), Norway
As we near the southern tip of this arctic island, now a nature reserve, we will see thousands of seabirds diving into and out of the island’s steep cliffs. With our Zodiacs and favourable weather conditions, we will explore the rugged coastline. Close to 9 kilometres of cliffs are home to some of the largest bird colonies of the Northern Hemisphere. Common Guillemots, Brünnich’s Guillemots, Black-legged Kittiwakes, Northern Fulmars, and Glaucous Gulls are all found along the cliff. Other species have been observed, including Atlantic Puffins and Northern Gannets. Of the more than 120 species registered, slightly more than 30 actually breed on the island. The Expedition Team will provide insights into the environment, the terrain, and the wildlife that exist in these extreme conditions.
Leaving Bear Island head out on deck to watch for whales -white-beaked dolphins and minke whales are known to frequent the area.
Day 8 — Harstad, Norway
During the morning Silver Cloud will sail through the Andfjord to reach Hinnøya, Norway’s largest island. On the island is Harstad, our port-of-call for the afternoon and North Norway’s third-largest town.
The surrounding area has mountains, fjords, island, forests and many hiking trails. Harstad has (surprisingly) Scandinavia’s most unusual waterpark –located inside a mountain! North of Harstad is the Trondenes Historical Centre and the world’s northernmost medieval stone church –as well as one of the Atlantic Wall guns set up during WWII.
In the afternoon we will explore the town, the Historical Centre and offer hikes.
Day 9 — Tysfjord, Norway
The morning will be used to explore the area of Tysfjord by land or Zodiac. A long hike might lead to a gigantic waterfalls, while others might simply walk up to a beautiful cascade in this “alpine” area. This is the narrowest part of Norway and was formerly used by Sami reindeer herders of Sweden and Norway.
During the afternoon Silver Cloud will sail south, giving lecturers time to expand on Norway’s natural history.
Day 10 — Nordfjord and Melfjord, Norway
Nordfjord and Melfjord are part of the very scenic county of Nordland. Silver Cloud will cruise along the picturesque fjords with their lush slopes. Occasionally waterfalls will tumble down over the smooth rocks. The Svartisen National Park extends to the bottom of Nordfjorden, a branch of the Melfjord. Svartisen is one of the largest icecaps of the Norwegian mainland. The shoreline forms part of the border of the national park with dense birch forests in the fjord’s valleys. Hikes might be offered to a viewpoint above the fjord and Zodiac cruises closer along the shore. The narrow fjords with their steep mountainsides are impressive to see from sea level.
Day 11 — Vega Archipelago, Norway
The Vega Archipelago, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a myriad of islands scattered in the Norwegian Sea and home to one of Norway’s largest eider duck colony. Of the 6,000 Vega islands, 59 were once inhabited by families that made their living from fishing and from eider down harvesting. Today, there are no year-round residents, but the population returns in the summer to continue the 1,500-year-old tradition of caring for the eider ducks and harvesting their precious down. The eider ducks return to their breeding ground in the Vega Archipelago every year and lay their eggs from May into June. In the fishing harbor of Nes, we will visit the Eider Duck Museum, which provides insight into the islander's unique traditions as guardians of these birds and describes the process of producing eiderdown duvets. Nearby exhibitions detail the archipelago's UNESCO status and document the history of Lånan – the largest egg and eiderdown farm in Helgeland. Before returning to the pier we will stop in at the Coastal Museum to have a look at their motor collection and later make a brief visit to see the Vega Church in Gladstad, a wooden church dating from 1864.
Day 12 — Storfjord, Sunnylvsfjord and Geiranger, Norway
On our approach to Geiranger we will cruise Storfjorden. South of the village of Helsem the large fjord branches towards the east and the south. The 26-kilometre (16 mi) long Sunnylvsfjord to the south is one of the innermost branches of Storfjord. The fjord ranges from 600 to 2,000 metres (2,000 to 6,600 ft.) wide and the fjord reaches 452 metres (1,483 ft.) below sea level at its deepest point. The famous Geirangerfjord branches off to the west from the Sunnylvsfjord.
Of Norway’s many fjords, Geirangerfjord is doubtless the most beautiful. Impressive mountains, numerous waterfalls as well as farms clinging to the steep hillsides give the fjord its unique character. Our excursion takes us uphill past the wooden, octagonal Geiranger Church, through the wild Flydal valley where a scenic overview stop is made, and continues around hairpin bends to Lake Djupvatn, and the summit of Mount Dalsnibba (1,500 metres.) From here, there is an amazing panorama of mountains, waterfalls and lakes.
Alternatively (and weather permitting) the more energetic can spend a few hours kayaking the quiet and spectacular Geirangerfjord with two-person kayaks. Geirangerfjord is one of nature’s masterpieces and on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Its description as “the world’s most beautiful fjord” is no exaggeration and it is amidst this dramatic mountain setting that we can experience some spectacular sea kayaking. Our kayaks provide an amazing perspective from which to view the cascading waterfalls and steep mountain walls that rise as high as 1500m.
Day 13 — Kristiansund, Norway
After breakfast, disembark Silver Cloud.
Kayaking - Weather depending, Silver Cloud offers the opportunity to kayak in a small group under the guidance of certified kayak instructors. These special excursions are a chance to appreciate the fjords and shorelines in a peaceful silence.
Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your Expedition Leader and Captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather, wildlife activity and ice conditions.
Not sure what to wear while onboard? Visit our shop and gear up. We've got layers to keep you dry and warm, breezy wear to keep you covered and cool, and accessories to keep everything packed up and ready to go. So, no matter the weather, you'll be better prepared for your expedition.
Our Gear Shop has an expert outfitting staff and features all the essentials:
Make sure you get all your essentials today. We offer packages or individual items, for your convenience, and recommend you place orders at least 30 days before your embarkation date.