national geographic endurance luxury norway cruise spitsbergen polar bear cruise

Norway's Fjords and Arctic Svalbard

  • Overview

    IMPORTANT: This voyage travel in reverse / Starts: Oslo, Norway / Finishes: Bergen, Norway

    Onboard the brand new National Geographic Endurance, follow Norway’s fjord-carved coast, from the charming town of Bergen, past the North Cape to the ice and wildness of the Svalbard archipelago, for a perfect balance between the charmingly scenic and the spectacularly wild. Explore Tromso and Bear Island on the way to Svalbard in the high Arctic, where polar bears prowl and walruses haul out on rocky shores.

    “The land divides us, the sea unites” Norwegians have said for centuries. The sea here carves a 1,100-mile-long coastline (longer than the U.S. west coast) and on this expedition, we’ll explore almost the full-length of its varied contours––from the jaw-droppingly lovely Norwegian fjordlands to the heart-pounding icescapes of Svalbard. Venturing far off the beaten track plied by big cruise ships, our nimble ships enable us to:

    • Explore the rare northern fjords, threading the ice-carved narrows and standing on the bow as the captain noses up to glacier termini
    • Actively explore: hike, walk, and kayak through stunning scenery
    • Follow the bucket-list-worthy fjord-carved coast
    • Make for the wilder wilds of Svalbard to see ice, bears, and Arctic wildlife
    • Enjoy superlative photos ops and on-board photo assistance
    Duration: 17 days
    Passengers: 126 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Oslo, Norway
    Disembarkation Point: Bergen, Norway
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Mandatory extra flight
    Single Supplement: Unavailable
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Oslo, Norway/Thon Hotel Bristol

      Arrive in Oslo, the capital city where each year the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in the presence of the King of Norway. Our introduction to Oslo begins with a stroll among the famed Vigeland sculptures--hundreds of life-size human figures set in rolling parklands. Next we visit the Polar Ship Fram Museum, dedicated to Norwegian explorers Nansen and Amundsen. The evening is free to try one of the harbor restaurants or turn in early. Overnight at the Thon Hotel Bristol, or similar.

    • Day 2 - Oslo/Longyearbyen; Embarkation Day

      Depart Oslo on a charter flight, and enjoy breathtaking vistas en route to Longyearbyen. Embark National Geographic Explorer.

    • Day 3/7 - Exploring Svalbard

      Svalbard lies north of the Arctic Circle, where the summer midnight sun never sets. In true expedition style, we let nature dictate our day-to-day movements here and this, by the way, is one of the great attractions of this expedition. Our flexible itinerary and years of experience here allow us to take the best advantage of ice and weather conditions.

      With our fully stabilized, ice-class expedition ship, we are able to probe deep into the ice where polar bears hunt. Join our spotters on the Bridge, scanning the ice and islands for huge walrus, bearded and ringed seals, arctic foxes, reindeer, some of the largest whales on Earth — and polar bears. A sighting brings everyone rushing in excitement to the ship’s bow! Our expert staff gets you out daily. Depending on conditions, we may land on Edgeøya to hike the tundra, abloom with summer wildflowers. We often sail deep into Hornsund, where even first-time kayakers can paddle in a quiet cove surrounded by sparkling bergs.

      We may venture to the stunning Monacobreen glacier, or get close-up views of the iconic creatures of the ice by Zodiac. Back aboard, view underwater video from our ROV taken 1,000 feet below the surface, or spend time on deck with a National Geographic Photographer getting tips in an inspiring landscape. Every day is different, every day an adventure.

    • Day 8 - Bear Island

      Zodiac around mist-shrouded Bear Island, populated by thousands of fulmars, kittiwakes, guillemots and gulls. This is a birdwatcher's paradise.

    • Day 9 - Tromso

      Tromso is known as the “gateway to the Arctic” because so many Arctic expeditions originated here. Visit the Polar Museum and the Arctic Cathedral, where the unique architecture evokes snow and icebergs.

    • Day 10 - Tysfjorden

      There’s no denying that the Norwegian fjords are beautiful, and today we explore places along the Norwegian coastline that raise the standard of landscape-pulchritude to new heights. Our nimble ship enters Tysfjorden, where mile after mile of vertical walls surround us and only a few small villages cling to the rocky shores. Zodiac and kayak along steep-walled fjords, and find inspiration in the birch forests and tumbling waterfalls. The u-shaped valley of Hellemobotn cuts nearly to Sweden and has a trail to hike almost to the border.

    • Day 11 - Lofoten Islands

      The Lofoten Archipelago is an enchanting area of picturesque villages by the sea backed with jagged peaks. By Zodiac, we view nesting seabirds: Atlantic puffins, razorbills and guillemots. Later, we go ashore on the island of Vaeroy, where cod fishing is still a major part of the economy. Be on deck as we cruise into one of the most famous fjords in Norway, the short yet dramatic Trollfjord, and search the cliffs for Norway's mythical beings: trolls.

    • Day 12/14 - Exploring the Fjords of Norway

      The coast of Central Norway is rugged with mountainous islands and steep-walled fjords. The Expedition Leader and Captain will discuss with the local Norwegian pilots the many landing possibilities where options are many: Zodiac along vertical rock faces, paddle serenely in a deep fjord surrounded by cascading waterfalls, or venture ashore for a hike with our naturalist staff. Over the years, we’ve discovered a number of special places, including Melfjord. This narrow channel is surrounded by high granite cliffs polished smooth by massive glaciers, and is one of the most spectacular spots on our voyage.

    • Day 15 - Nordfjord

      Today we enter lovely Nordfjord, the "gateway to the glaciers". We spend the morning at the end of the fjord, where we are transported up the Loen Valley via coach through some incredibly beautiful scenes: a turquoise-colored lake on one side and breathtaking mountains all around. A number of relatively flat trails lead along valleys shaped by massive glaciers (more strenuous hikes are also an option). And, we walk to a tongue of the large Briksdal Glacier. This afternoon be on deck as our ship sails back out of the fjord amid high peaks.

    • Day 16 - Bergen: Disembarkation day

      Disembark our ship in Bergen, set on a lovely fjord, and transfer to the airport for homeward-bound flights.

    Please consider that our voyages are expeditionary in nature. This means, that there are no concrete itineraries, your captain and expedition leader will utilise their vast experience to chart the best course for your expedition depending on the climatic and environmental conditions. Mentioned highlights and wildlife cannot be guaranteed.

  • Highlights & Activities

    Kayaking

    We pioneered kayaking in polar geographies, allowing our guests to have unprecedented personal experiences in the ice.

    Now, nearly all our ships carry types of kayaks designed to get guests of all experience and fitness levels out on the water comfortably and safely. And more than just a token few, we carry a veritable fleet to ensure everyone who wants to can.

    Included

    Charter Flights

    The National Geographic Explorer operates with a mandatory charter flight package on this departure;

    Longyearbyen, Svalbard - Oslo, Norway

    AUD 910 per person

    Norway's coastline

    Norway’s profound natural beauty, is difficult to look past as one of the best coastlines in the world to explore from sea. Incredibly diverse geologically, Norway’s coastline is simply one of the most beautiful in the world, picture perfect coastal villages, incredible rock formations, a jagged coastline where fjords penetrate deeply into the country's interior, teeming wildlife and the opportunity to see the Northern Lights in all their magnificence from late August. On top of Norway’s natural beauty is of course their primeval history.

    In search of Polar Bears

    To many people, the polar bear is the Arctic. The sight of such an impressive silky white bear wandering the frozen Arctic seas in search of seals symbolizes the cold, isolated nature of the Arctic so well. Polar bears are marine mammals because they spend so much of their lives away from land. In the high Arctic where there is always some sea ice to travel on, polar bears range over ice floes in the pack ice hunting seals all summer. In some areas (e.g. southern Hudson Bay, southern Svalbard) they are simply forced to come ashore. Polar bears rarely venture inland.

  • Inclusions

    Free Bar & Gratuities

    The National Geographic Explorer will cover the costs of your bar tab and expedition gratuities*
    *On select items only

    Expedition Team

    Every expedition sails with a veteran expedition leader, an assistant expedition leader, and a team of eight naturalists, many of them polar veterans, of a variety of specialties: zoology, biology, ornithology, geology, polar history, and more. Other members of the 15-person team include an undersea specialist, a photographer, plus a certified photo instructor, a Global Perspectives guest speaker, a video chronicler, and a wellness specialist. Together they provide you with a greater understanding and appreciation for this extraordinary and diverse geography.

    Excellent food

    Our chefs use fresh, local ingredients whenever possible, including sustainably caught fish, and other local and indigenous products. Breakfast and lunch are buffet-style; dinner is served. There are fish or meat choices at every meal, and our chef will happily accommodate vegan or other special diet requests.

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    Not included in your Expedition

    - Airfares unless stated in the itinerary
    - Passport and Visa expenses
    - Baggage / cancellation / interruption and medical travel insurance
    - Mandatory waterproof gear not provided
    - Laundry expenses
    - Bar expenses
    - Internet and Wifi expenses
    - Gratuities
    - Massage services
  • Map
    Lindblad explorer norway svalbard
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    A next-generation expedition ship, purpose-built for polar navigation.

    Endurance is a next-generation expedition ship, purpose-built for polar navigation. A fully stabilized, highly strengthened, ice-class Polar Code PC5 (Category A) vessel, it is designed to navigate polar passages year-round, and safely explore unchartered waters, while providing exceptional comfort. Its patented X-BOW® is key to its design; its powerful wave-slicing action provides an extremely smooth ride in even adverse conditions, and even reduces spray on deck, for superior observation. She carries a full suite of expedition tools and offers a variety of experience-enhancing amenities.

     

    TOOLS FOR EXPLORATION:

    Expedition Landing Craft
    Key to our operation is our fleet of expedition landing craft, which we use to land in places that would otherwise be inaccessible. With 8 of these boats and two loading stations used every time we disembark, we’re able to transfer guests off the ship quickly, so you can be out on adventures, not idly waiting. The expedition landing craft we use is 19 feet long, powered by four-stroke outboard engines, and are capable of comfortably carrying 10-12 people. They are widely recognized as the safest and most versatile small boats afloat.

    Remotely Operated Vehicle
    Capable of reaching 1,000 feet, far beyond the range of any Scuba diver, the ROV allows you to literally view parts of the undersea that are as unexplored as the moon. Chances are you, like many of our guests, will be struck by how surprisingly colourful undersea life is in these unlikely places. And this glimpse may fundamentally change how you view the ocean.

    Kayaks
    National Geographic Endurance will be equipped with a fleet of kayaks large enough to ensure everyone who wants to can paddle at every opportunity.

    Consequently, prior kayaking experience isn’t necessary—many of our guests have their first kayaking experience in extraordinary locations. Our custom-designed floating platform lets us deploy kayaks from the ship, or any location we want—including far from shore. Kayakers are usually free to explore where they want within boundaries set by the undersea specialist and officer of the watch.

    Underwater camera
    Our undersea specialist will dive often during your expedition, even in Alaska, with cold-water gear, to shoot high-definition, Cousteau-like footage of the deep. Colourful nudibranchs, swimming, plant-like crinoids, and mysterious fish with antifreeze blood that thrives in the frigid sea will give you an entirely new appreciation of the marine environment.

    Video microscope
    Naturalists will use the video microscope to help explain all elements of the environment, including tiny organisms that are the building block of the marine ecosystem. Spellbinding live views of krill at 80x magnification fills the high-definition screens in the lounge with vivid detail and fills every onlooker with a sense of wonder at the importance of otherwise unobservable creatures.

    Hydrophone
    This underwater microphone is deployed to listen to the vocalizations of marine mammals. Real-time transmissions of their eerie, haunting sounds can be broadcast through the ship or recorded for later playback. Few experiences in nature are as captivating as watching humpback whales feed close to the ship as their vocalizations play through the ship’s PA system.

    Electronic charts
    An electronic chart showing the ship’s location, course, and speed is almost always on display in the lounge.

    Open bridge
    You’ll find our captains are engaged, knowledgeable members of your expedition who are eager to share their passion with you. Venture’s open bridge features comfortable spaces to sit, enjoy the view, drink your morning coffee, or simply chat with the officers.

     

     

     

    Features & Facilities
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 5
    Guests #: 126
    Crew #:
    Ice Class: PC5
    Speed: 16
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built: 2020
    Length: 124m
    Width:
    Draft: 5
    Tonnage: 1250
    Registry:
    Elec Outlets: 2 Flat
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
national geographic endurance cat 1 cabin

Category 1

01 May 2020 - 17 May 2020
Fore Deck with two large windows, Alcove seating, Relax chair 183 square ft.
AUD 24,280pp
AUD 24,280pp
national geographic endurance cat 2 cabin

Category 2

01 May 2020 - 17 May 2020
Fore Deck with two large windows, Alcove seating, Relax chair 205 square ft.
AUD 24,990pp
AUD 24,990pp
national geographic endurance cat 3 cabin

Category 3

01 May 2020 - 17 May 2020
Main Deck—Suite with balcony and sofa 205 square ft.
AUD 30,550pp
AUD 30,550pp
national geographic endurance cat 4 cabin

Category 4

01 May 2020 - 17 May 2020
Lounge Deck—Suite with balcony and sofa, 205 square ft.
AUD 33,920pp
AUD 33,920pp
national geographic endurance cat 5 cabin

Category 5

01 May 2020 - 17 May 2020
Bridge Deck—Suite with balcony and sofa 205 square ft.
AUD 37,640pp
AUD 37,640pp
national geographic endurance cat SA cabin

Category SA (Single)

01 May 2020 - 17 May 2020
Main Deck—Suite with balcony and sofa 140 square ft.
AUD 37,990pp
AUD 37,990pp
national geographic endurance cat SB cabin

Category SB (Single)

01 May 2020 - 17 May 2020
Lounge Deck—Suite with balcony and sofa 140 square ft.
AUD 42,390pp
AUD 42,390pp
national geographic endurance cat 6 cabin

Category 6

01 May 2020 - 17 May 2020
Bridge Deck—Junior Balcony Suite with large balcony, sofa bed 344 square ft.
AUD 43,290pp
AUD 43,290pp
national geographic endurance cat 7 cabin

Category 7

01 May 2020 - 17 May 2020
Bridge Deck—Large Balcony Suite with large balcony, sofa bed, bathtub, walk-in closet 430 square ft.
AUD 47,950pp
AUD 47,950pp