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Arctic Saga: Exploring Spitsbergen via the Faroes and Jan Mayen

14 days

The Arctic Saga: Exploring Spitsbergen via the Faroes and Jan Mayen itinerary will have you traveling under the midnight sun to some of the most remote islands on the planet, where only a small number of adventurers have ever left their footprints. 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!

The Arctic has been inspiring explorers for centuries, and our expeditions offer the chance for you to discover why. We’re excited to host you on your unforgettable adventure! Feel free to reach out to our team of Polar Travel Advisers or your travel professional, who can answer your questions and provide assistance at any time.

Spitsbergen Destination Guide

Spitsbergen Destination Guide

Our Spitsbergen destination guide is your best resource for learning everything there is to know about the Realm of the Polar Bear. Visitors can experience some the Arctic’s best outdoor adventure, learn about a rich culture and history, explore Longyearbyen, the world’s northern-most town, and witness the midnight sun in all its glory.

The guide features details about what you can experience on our expeditions, useful travel tips and even a packing checklist.

 

Interested to see more of this voyage? Explore Spitsbergen in 360° Virtual Reality!

Day-by-Day Expedition in Brief

  • 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
  • Cruise in a Zodiac to explore diverse landscapes and wildlife

Day 1 — Embark in Aberdeen, United Kingdom

A bustling cultural hub, Aberdeen also offers a range of museums, galleries, theaters, shops, cafés and restaurants to explore.

Day 2 — Embarkation Day

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 — Exploring Fair Isle

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.

Days 4 and 5 — Exploring the Faroe Islands

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. 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.

Days 6 and 7 — At Sea

Say goodbye to the Faroes as we cruise toward the world’s most northerly volcanic island, Jan Mayen. Learn to identify seabirds gliding alongside your ship, attend dynamic presentations by your 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.

Days 8 and 9 — Exploring Jan Mayen

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.

Day 10 — At Sea

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 your Expedition Team looks out for whales, seals and a variety of seabirds.

Days 11 to 13 — Explore Spitsbergen

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 Lilliehöök Glacier.

Day 14 — Disembark in Longyearbyen

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.
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Adventure Options Add an Extra Rush of Adrenaline to Your Expedition

Every Quark Arctic voyage includes great daily outdoor activities including Zodiac cruises and hiking. We also offer kayaking on most of our voyages; a great way to experience the beauty of the Arctic in a more personal way. Contact a Quark Polar Travel Adviser to learn more about adventure options, including physical requirements.

Kayaking in the Arctic is probably one of the most intimate and inspiring ways you can explore the rugged coastlines and calm bays of the regions we visit.

Kayaking in the Polar Regions is highly weather-dependent, however we guarantee at least one outing throughout your voyage, but your kayak guides will take you out as many times as possible throughout your voyage.

Offered on most Arctic voyages, spaces are limited and require some kayaking experience. All equipment, guides and instructions are provided by Quark.

Pricing subject to change based on season. Please proceed to checkout or contact a Polar Travel Adviser for more details.