Day 1 — Tromsø, Norway
Embark Silver Cloud for your exciting 12-day Silversea Expedition — To the Land 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.
Day 2 — 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 puffins and even 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.
Days 3–7 — Cruise & Explore Svalbard
We will travel along the same routes as famous polar explorers such as Andrée, Nordenskjöld, Amundsen and Nobile. We will visit walrus haul-outs, might see reindeer, and maybe even spot the Arctic fox or 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.
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. Here are a few of the places we hope to visit:
-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.
-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.
-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.
-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.
-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.
Day 8 — Cruising the Greenland Sea
Our Expedition Team members will recap our experiences in Svalbard in the Lecture Theatre and will prepare you for the island of Jan Mayen. Other onboard diversions include spa treatments, a workout in the Fitness Centre, and, of course, exquisite dining experiences.
Day 9 — Jan Mayen, Norway
During the morning we intend to go ashore close to the Norwegian Meteorological Station. Apart from a nature walk leading up to the long black sandy beach on the eastern shore, we will enter the station in small groups and will hear about the work this remote outpost is conducting.
In the afternoon we continue sailing south. As we make our way toward Iceland, head out on deck to watch for seabirds and whales. When not attending an informative lecture, take some time to peruse the well-stocked Library, enjoy a fine cognac in the Connoisseur’s Corner or indulge in any of the other special amenities offered aboard ship.
Day 10 — Grimsey, Iceland
Just off the north coast of Iceland –and slightly above the Arctic Circle- is Iceland’s northernmost inhabited island. The island is small enough (only 5.3 km²) to be explored on foot and you are bound to meet one of the seventy hardy souls that make this island their home. The island’s sheer cliffs are home to huge seabird colonies, mainly Atlantic Puffins, Black-legged Kittiwakes, Northern Fulmars, Razorbills, and Common and Brünnich’s Guillemots. Still today the islanders abseil down the cliffs to collect bird eggs. You will have the opportunity to visit with islanders to get a first-hand impression of life on Grimsey.
Day 11 — Akureyri, Iceland
As we reach the mainland, we will get the choice of three different glimpses of Iceland: you can either focus on coastal culture, the beautiful seaside surroundings and visiting small fishing villages and the award-winning Siglufjordur Herring Museum, Iceland’s largest maritime museum, or you could instead look at the countryside culture, visiting small countryside churches, an Icelandic farm and seeing how life is when it is largely based on traditional livestock raising. The third choice would be to taste local delicacies on the mainland and on the small island of Hrisey. You will taste fresh and salted cod and get to see Iceland’s first micro-brewery –and of course can taste the local beer.
Day 12 — Isafjordur and Vigur Island, Iceland
Isafjordur has a well-preserved town centre from the 19th century and you can accompany a local guide dressed in 19th century clothing to see and hear what makes this place so special. You could also drive to Sudavik and the largest fjord of the Westfjords. The Arctic Fox Centre, a research centre, museum and coffee shop in one, is located there and you will have Icelandic live music at Sudavik’s beautiful and history-charged church. For those interested in horse-back riding, a small number of Icelandic ponies will be there to take you through the Sandar Valley, a 40-minute drive from Isafjordur. If you would like to taste some local food, choose the Sudureyri Food Trail –you will visit the eco-conscious fishing village of Sudureyri and while walking the town you will meet the locals and will be offered local produce and delicacies (mainly fish) at various points of your walk -an intercultural experience you are unlikely to forget.
Silver Cloud will reposition during lunchtime and will reach the privately-owned Vigur Island. Here we will offered guided walks around the small island famous for its Eider Ducks and eider down harvesting, as well as the abundant amount of puffins and terns that call the island their home. At the end of the walk you can enjoy the hospitality of the family of ten residing on Vigur and have a cup of coffee or tea and taste the cakes and cookies specially prepared for you.
In the evening you will have the opportunity to see the Voyage DVD which our onboard Photographer/Videographer has prepared, registering our adventures in the “Lands of Ice and Fire”.
Day 13 — Reykjavik, Iceland
Following breakfast, disembark Silver Cloud.
Kayaking -Weather permitting, 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 on board? Visit our shop http://www.shiptoshoretraveler.com/silversea 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:
Clothes for all types of weather, boot rentals, accessories and more
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