Day 1 London - Oslo
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your journey to London Heathrow Airport and a scheduled Scandinavian Airlines flight to Oslo. On arrival, we transfer to our hotel for the next two nights, the Oslo City (4T) in time for dinner.
Day 2 Oslo
This morning we enjoy a sightseeing tour of Oslo, which includes a visit to the Fram Museum, dedicated to the history of polar exploration. The museum houses the world’s most famous polar ship, the Fram, used by Fridtjof Nansen on his North Pole expedition and Roald Amundsen on his journey to Antarctica. You are free to explore the city independently for the remainder of the day. This modern city has several museums dedicated to the arts, including the evocative Vigeland Sculpture Park and the Munch Museum, home to the world’s largest collection of works by the pioneering expressionist, plus the interesting, open air Norwegian Folk Museum exhibiting traditional crafts.
Day 3 Oslo - Longyearbyen
We head to Oslo Airport this morning, for our flight to Svalbard via Tromsø. Upon arrival in the town of Longyearbyen this afternoon, we will transfer to our hotel, the Spitsbergen Hotel (4T). The rest of the day is free and, with the ‘Midnight Sun’ phenomenon occurring from June to August here, you will have plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
Day 4 - Longyearbyen - Barentsburg
We take a sightseeing tour of Longyearbyen this morning, the largest town on the unique island of Svalbard. This eerily beautiful arctic island is covered in much ice and home to a few thousand polar bears. Founded as a mining settlement in 1906, Longyearbyen is now home to over 2,000 people. Our tour ends at the pier, where we will embark our ship, the MS Nordstjernen (3T), an explorer-style vessel that undertakes exclusively Arctic sailing. We will call in at the intriguing Russian coalmining town of Barentsburg, where you might choose an optional visit to the Pomor Museum, which has exhibitions on local history and geology, and enjoy a lively folklore show. We leave this afternoon, sailing along the Isfjorden and the island of Prins Karls Forland, which is an important breeding site for walruses and a number of seabird species such as common guillemots. We arrive in Barentsburg after dinner, with opportunities to explore this quiet mining town.
Day 5 - Magdalenefjorden
We pass a large glacier as we sail the stunning 8km-long Magdalenefjorden this morning, a majestic fjord with jagged mountains, to make our first Polarcirkel boat landing. The Dutch navigator William Barents was the first to explore this enchanting fjord in 1596 and he was followed by 17th century English and Dutch whalers. The remains of blubber ovens have been found at Gravneset, as well as the stone gatherings which mark some of the many graves of Dutch whalers, dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. Look out for the Arctic Terns and walruses that inhabit the beautiful bay. Back on board we continue sailing through breathtaking scenes, with the occasional rumble and crack as ice splashes into the turquoise waters.
Day 6 - Woodfjorden - Liefdefjorden - Moffen
As we cruise the fjords of Svalbard towards the Monacobreen Glacier, we will pass a number of small islets where eider ducks nest during the summer. This is an ideal place for spotting polar bears hunting for eggs, and if the ice conditions are favourable, it may be possible for us to sail beyond 80 degrees north and towards the island of Moffen, where there is a good chance of seeing walruses and a variety of seabirds.
Day 7 - Kongsfjorden - Ny-Ålesund
As little icebergs float past our windows, we sail into the 26km-long Kongsfjorden, where we will enjoy superb views of the Kronebreen and Kongsvegen glaciers. On the fjord’s southern shore stands one of the world’s northernmost permanent settlements, the former coalmining town of Ny-Ålesund, which is now an important international centre for polar research. The Svalbard reindeer, unique to these islands, inhabit the surrounding tundra, along with polar bears, which occasionally make forays into the town itself.
Day 8 Longyearbyen - London
We disembark MS Nordstjernen in the early hours of this morning and transfer to Longyearbyen Airport for a scheduled Scandinavian Airlines flight to London Heathrow, via Oslo. On arrival, you will be met and guided to your Titan vehicle, for the journey home.