Luxury Scotland,Norway,Bear Island & Svalbard
Scotland, Norway, Bear Island and Svalbard in Luxury 13 days aboard Silver Cloud Expedition
A spectacular itinerary taking in iconic John o'Groats, the last point on the Scottish mainland, the Shetlands and magnificent Norwegian fjords and then the rarely visited Bear Island before arriving in Spitsbergen and searching for the king of the Arctic, the mighty polar bear. All this on board your luxury expedition ship.
- Visit iconic John o'Groats
- Birds and history in the Shetland Islands
- Cruise the magnificent Norwegian fjords
- Call at remote Bear Island
- Wildlife and scenery in Spitsbergen
- Chance of seeing polar bears
- Highly qualified expedition team with experts in their field (marine biologists, ornithologists, historians and more)
- Excursions and activities, including explorations by Zodiac
- Complimentary expedition gear: backpack and water bottle on every voyage, Haglöfs parka for polar expeditions
- Personalised service with a butler for all suites and the highest crew to guest ratio in the industry
- Comfortable amenities with the largest expedition suites at sea
- Inclusive room-service, select wines, spirits and soft drinks throughout the ship
- Free WIFI* throughout the ship
- Onboard Gratuities
ITINERARY12 Nights 13 Days
- Day 1 | Leith
- Day 2 | John O'Groats
- Day 3 | Lerwick
- Day 4 | Geiranger
- Day 5 | Norwegian Fjords
- Day 6 | Leknes
- Day 7 | Tromso
- Day 8 | Bear Island
- Days 9-12 | Spitsbergen
- Day 13 | Longyearbyen
Embark the Silver Cloud and depart on your expedition – “To the Land of the Midnight Sun”. After settling into your suite and attending a safety drill we will be setting sail. Meet the members of your Expedition Team in the Lecture Theatre and attend the first of many memorable dinners in one of the restaurants.
John O’Groats, often called “the end of the road”, is a fantastic, unspoilt location. The most northerly point in mainland Britain, the RSPB’s reserve of Dunnet Head has stunning sea cliffs, with some very diverse coastal heathland and grassland habitats. Special plants such as spring squill, thrift and roseroot thrive there.The area around John O’Groats is recognised as one of the best places in the UK to see Atlantic puffins during their breeding season. Other seabirds include guillemots, northern fulmars, oystercatchers, shags, black-legged kittiwakes and a variety of gulls. During our Zodiac cruises we will view the nesting seabirds in the inlets, ledges and on the stacks. Grey and common seals, dolphins and orcas can also be often seen along the Caithness coast.
Charming sandstone buildings line the waterfront of this historic seaport. Lerwick is the northernmost town in Scotland and the capital of Shetland. Our morning excursion travels south, admiring the view of the magnificent Mousa Broch, the tallest and best preserved of all brochs in the world. You will continue down the west coast passing St Ninian’s Isle where the famous Pictish horde of silver dating from the 9th Century was found in 1958. Continue south to visit the remarkable archaeological site of Jarlshof. The site was uncovered by a violent storm in the winter of 1896/7, revealing an extraordinary settlement site embracing at least 5,000 years of human history. The site contains a remarkable sequence of stone structures – late Neolithic houses, a Bronze-Age village, an Iron-Age broch and wheelhouses, several Norse longhouses, a medieval farmstead, and the 16th-century laird’s house. Visit the remains of these village settlements with your guide.
You will then depart for the RSPB Reserve at Sumburgh Head where you will see Shetland’s first lighthouse, built in 1821 by Robert Stevenson. The cliffs around Sumburgh Head are on the southernmost tip of mainland Shetland and attract thousands of seabirds, including puffins, guillemots, shags and fulmars. Gannets are regularly seen off shore too. The seas here are home to various animals and you may be lucky enough to see harbour porpoises (neesicks), white-beaked dolphins and whales – orca, minke and even humpback whales are sometimes seen. Common seals often haul themselves out onto the rocks.
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.
As we head north along Norway’s magnificent shore, Silver Cloud will cruise along mountainous islands, through steep-walled fjords and narrow channels. Be out on deck to discover these special places. Our lecturers will present interesting talks and seminars, but you can also relax at the pool and let the impressive landscape go past while enjoying a drink. Have lunch al fresco and sample some of the exquisite cuisine prepared by our team of international chefs.
Leknes is a town on Vestvågøy in the Lofoten Islands connected by bridges and tunnels to the mainland. On our birding excursion we will look for gannets, cormorants, eider ducks, shags, great and Arctic skuas, black guillemots, kittiwakes and Arctic terns. En route, we pass the Borgpollen Bay where we may observe black and red-throated divers, tufted ducks and scaups. Further on, during a stop by Lake Storied we have the possibility to see black-tailed godwits, bluethroats, Slavonian grebes and a variety of ducks.
Alternatively, choose to visit the remarkably well-preserved Nusfjord Fishing Village and the Lofotr Viking Museum.
Because of many Arctic expeditions having started in Tromsø the town is known as the “Gateway to the Arctic” - visit the two museums dedicated to the Arctic: the Polar Museum and Polaria. You can also see the northernmost botanical garden with its surprising variety of plants growing this far north. Tromsø’s churches are quite interesting –the wooden Lutheran church in town or the “Ice Cathedral” on the mainland can easily be reached. A spectacular view of the town and the surrounding area can be had taking the cable car to the top of Storsteinen, 421 metres above sea level. You could also visit Norway’s northernmost brewery and taste its beer. There are many ways to keep you busy this morning.
During the afternoon Silver Cloud will head out to sea and our lecturers will take the opportunity to prepare you for our stay in Svalbard.
Explore the rugged coastline of this remote island. Close to 9 kilometres of cliffs are home to some of the largest bird colonies of the northern hemisphere. common and 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.
Leaving Bear Island head out on deck to watch for whales -white-beaked dolphins and minke whales are known to frequent the area.
Our flexible itinerary is dependent on weather and ice conditions. We will go ice cruising by ship and Zodiac and also hope to visit:
Hornsund – This is the southernmost fjord on the rugged west coast of Spitsbergen Island where we hope to see belugas, bearded seals, polar bears and many birds.
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.
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.
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.
Magdalenefjorden, where the remains of blubber ovens and a cemetery can still be seen.
Arrive and disembark
What Our Customers
Superlatives abound – a truly amazing experience...awesome. Thanks to all for making it such a memorable experience.
We have just returned from our Spitsbergen trip with Wildfoot and had to tell you what an amazing time we had! We saw 6 polar bears including a mother with 2 cubs as well as whales, walruses and lots of birds. The ship (Expedition) was really comfortable and the guides were so helpful and friendly. Thank you so much for making it all so easy.
I came to Wildfoot because a friend had booked with you when you were Antarctica Bound and they were right. Everything went perfectly, even when our flight was cancelled, you made sure we still made it to the ship with time to spare. L’Austral is a beautiful ship with first class service and food and the guides looked after us well. Very happy to recommend Wildfoot and L’Austral...
We had always wanted to see the Arctic and travelling all the way from Australia needed lots of information. After getting nowhere, we came across Wildfoot and found people who knew what they were talking about! Sara and John were so helpful and made the process easy, suggesting Iceland Greenland and Spitsbergen. This was perfect for us – amazing scenery and lots of wildlife, especially the polar bears in Spitsbergen. Thanks for everything. Ps, the ship was great too!
Just wanted to say thank you for suggesting a trip to Franz Josef Land as something different for the Arctic. We had a super trip and really enjoyed the Sea Spirit. Galapagos next!
Standing on the North Pole has been an ambition of mine since childhood and now I have done it! Thank you for making the process so easy - seeing polar bears and whales too was a real bonus.
The Sea Spirit expedition was excellent and the team organising it all were extremely good. 10 out of 10. Everything went very smoothly. The Iceland extension worked perfectly, all the organisation, connections etc. were excellent
The cruise was beyond my expectations. Got to see everything the captain wanted, even a polar bear mother with three cubs. Coal Miners Cabins were smashing. I did loads of birding and exploring over three days. All the people were great from the expedition leaders down to the passengers. So glad to have achieved my ambition of some 50 years standing and got amongst the ice of the Arctic, walked amongst it’s islands and witnessed the antics of its wonderful wildlife. What’s next??? I’ll need to speak with Sara again.
Thanks so much for enabling me to get to places I had always wanted to see from a very young age. “Ace” as my boys used to say!
Just wanted to send a quick note to say thank you very much for all your help in arranging our recent trip to Svalbard. Everything ran smoothly and the trip was a great success. Unfortunately I had to flew back a few days early and missed out on Isfjord Radio, which the rest of the team said was a brilliant place with amazing food, still the Basecamp Hotel and Nordenskiold Lodge were pretty amazing places, so I’m not complaining!
Writing back to tell you that the trip to the Arctic was all that it promised and more. It was a great wild-life sightseeing opportunity and the staff were really good.I had an excellent trip and have thousands of photos to go through.
I had an absolutely fabulous time won the Sergey Vavilov, it is an excellent ship. Sara was indeed right in her recommendation that they would be the most likely to push north into the ice to find the polar bears. We even circumnavigated Spitsbergen which was awesome and not o n the itinerary.It is such a wonderful way to take a trip when you are on your own – so if any of your potential single clients are unsure, definitely recommend it – I didn’t feel alone from the moment I stepped on board. I will be at the Birdfair next weekend and so will catch up with whoever is there – regarding this trip, and potentially my next!
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
We had a wonderful time, even though we didn't do all the places we were supposed to but we all felt were we went instead couldn't beaten. Saw animals I wanted to see. Bit worried what the food was like as some of the ships cooking leaves something to be desired, but food was very good. We thought all the guides were brilliant and informative, friendly and knowledgeable It was far better than we expected and even my husband thoroughly enjoyed it!
I wanted to let you know that I had a wonderful cruise in the Russian Far East. The landscape and destination were inspiring, we had some excellent wildlife sightings (sea otter, grey whale, Steller's sea eagle, snowy owl and Arctic fox were all firsts for me), and the Heritage team were superb. Rough seas forced a few changes to the itinerary but we also had some fabulous weather. All in all, a thrilling travel experience.Thanks once again for all your efforts
I thought you might like to know that this was an excellent holiday. Our guide, Brad, was absolutely wonderful, his enthusiasm and knowledge made the holiday even better. All in all the whole trip was excellent and we saw lots of bears, 24 on the first day. Fewer on the second and third days but still plenty, as well as arctic foxes,silver foxes and snowy owls. Even on the last day near the town we saw a bear on rocks by the beach.
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