Day 1 — Longyearbyen, Norway
Embark Silver Cloud for your exciting 9-day Silversea Expedition — Expedition Svalbard. You will be introduced to your Expedition Team and attend a Zodiac briefing as well as an Arctic regulations 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 Silver Cloud gets 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.
Day 8 — Kirkenes, Norway
As Silver Cloud sails through the Barents Sea, a series of lectures will emphasise the special history and natural history of Norway’s Far North.
Once we arrive in Kirkenes –the end of the famous Hurtigruten-Coastal/Postal service- one option will be to drive southward into the Pasvik Valley sitting between Russia and Finland. There we can go for nature walks to observe the valley’s unique birds and plants. The Pasvik Valley is one of the last wilderness areas in Europe and has Norway’s highest concentration of brown bears. The tour also includes a visit to Høyde 96, a former military observation tower dating from the Cold War affording good views of the Pasvik Valley.
Another option might be heading west along Munkefjord to visit Neiden, a small village near the Finnish/Norwegian border, and see Neiden church, St. George’s Chapel, and the Neiden Waterfall -and even briefly cross into Finland at Näätämö.
Day 9 — Skarsvag (for Nordkapp) and Gjesværstappan Islands, Norway
Today, Silver Cloud will round the North Cape, the northernmost point of Europe. At 71° 10’ 21” northern latitude, a sheer cliff raises 307 metres above the Arctic Ocean. Adventurous guests can join members of the Expedition Team for a challenging hike to Nordkapp, retracing the original route to the cape up a winding path. For those who prefer comfort, the Silver Cloud will anchor off Skarsvag, the “most northerly fishing village in the world”, and, weather conditions permitting, head ashore via Zodiac. We will travel by coach to the North Cape where you can admire the glorious scenery, stop in at the visitor’s centre and take photos at the famed globe monument. On a clear day the panorama is quite spectacular. On the return to Silver Cloud we will watch for reindeer grazing on the surrounding hillsides.
In the afternoon Silver Cloud will anchor off the Nature Reserve of Gjesværstappan Islands. We will use our Zodiacs to circumnavigate Storstappen, the largest of the islands, looking for European Shags, Common and Brünnich’s Guillemots, Black-legged Kittiwakes, White-tailed Sea-eagles and Europe’s largest Atlantic Puffin colony.
Day 10 — Tromsø, 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. Expedition Team members scheduled for this voyage are subject to change or cancellation.
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.