Faroe Islands, Iceland, Spitsbergen – Island Hopping In and Around the Arctic (Northbound)

Faroe Islands, Iceland, Spitsbergen – Island Hopping In and Around the Arctic (Northbound)

Faroe Islands, Iceland, Spitsbergen – Island Hopping In and Around the Arctic (Northbound)

Faroe Islands, Iceland, Spitsbergen – Island Hopping In and Around the Arctic (Northbound)

Travel information 14 days MS Spitsbergen, MS Fram
May 25, 2022
May 30, 2022
Price from
$ 9,204
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Discover the history and natural wonders of five wild, beautiful islands in and around the Arctic, across four countries.

Island hopping expedition-style

Explore Bergen’s UNESCO-listed Bryggen district, with its fish market and colorful wooden houses along the wharf, before sailing to Lerwick in the Shetland Islands. Sample the variety of fish dishes here, from salmon and shellfish to lythe, ling, and John Dory. Next, we head to Tórshavn in the Faroe Islands, a city where the modern stands side by side with the ancestral in a truly Scandinavian landscape. You’ll then experience the peaceful and soothing atmosphere of Elduvík before we sail to Iceland.

The land of ice and fire

Our first stop in Iceland is Bakkagerði, a tiny village on the coast of Borgarfjörður Eystri that is said to inhabit many elves. This pristine wilderness hosts top-class bird watching opportunities. Then explore Húsavík, called Iceland’s ‘Whale Capital’. If you’re lucky, you might spot a few of these giants of the sea before we head to Akureyri, Iceland’s youthful ‘Northen Capital’.

Exploring Spitsbergen

We’ll sailing north and attempt to land at Jan Mayen, home to the world’s northernmost active volcano. During our two days in Spitsbergen, we’ll attempt several exciting landings in different parts of the Svalbard Archipelago. As you explore this rugged, untouched wilderness, keep your eyes peeled for the ‘King of the Arctic’: the regal polar bear.

Faroe Islands, Iceland, Spitsbergen – Island Hopping In and Around the Arctic (Northbound) Faroe Islands, Iceland, Spitsbergen – Island Hopping In and Around the Arctic (Northbound)
  • Day 1

    Your Expedition Begins

    Estimated time of departure is 6:00 PM

    Your journey starts in the bustling port city of Bergen. Founded in 1070 A.D., Bergen was Norway’s capital for many years. You’ll see that the city hasn’t lost any of its local character, heritage, or charm.

    Hop aboard a funicular to climb up Mount Fløyen. The ride to the mountaintop takes just six minutes. The summit is over 1,000 feet high. Bask in stunning views of the city, surrounded by seven mountains and the sea. You might even spot your expedition ship docked below.

    Back in the center of the thriving and compact city of Bergen, spend time strolling along its cobblestone streets and alleyways. Want to taste a local specialty? Drop into one of the many cafés or pubs and order a half-liter of local Hansa beer.

    Immerse yourself in Bergen’s history by heading to the Old Bergen Museum. This open-air museum showcases what Bergen was like in the 1700s and 1800s. Another highlight is the ancient architecture of the Fantoft Stave Church, which displays a beautiful combination of Pagan and Christian styles.

    Don’t miss the historic UNESCO-listed Bryggen district, with its fish market and colorful wooden houses along the wharf. This area dates back to the 14th century and now houses boutique stores selling Norwegian arts and handicrafts.

    After embarkation and check in, you’ll have time to settle in to your cabin. Everyone must go through a mandatory safety drill just before departure. Then you’ll have time to walk around and explore the ship. The welcome dinner in the evening ends with a toast by the captain, who will wish everyone an enjoyable expedition. After meeting your Expedition Team, you’ll be ready to start your adventure.

    Day 1

    Your Expedition Begins

  • Day 2

    The center of Scotland’s Shetland Islands

    Lerwick is Scotland’s northernmost town and has grown over time to accommodate one-third of the population of the Shetland Islands. This is a place where Scandinavian roots run strong and are celebrated by those that live here. Listen to the locals’ Norse-influenced dialect and visit the Lerwick Town Hall to admire the stained-glass windows that chronicle events from the Viking period.

    Built on the herring trade in the 17th century, Lerwick still lands more fish than the whole of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland combined. You can taste this in its gastronomy. Sample the variety of fish dishes available here, from salmon and shellfish to lythe, ling, and John Dory. Or, try some traditional reestit mutton soup, made with local mutton (sheep).

    Shop for souvenirs and gifts in the local boutiques along Commercial Street or visit the Shetland Museum to learn more about the town’s Norse heritage and culture. Take a look around the galleries, where Pictish carvings are displayed alongside dainty Shetland lace shawls. Stand on the top of Fort Charlotte, an artillery fort with an intriguing past, located in the center of town. Then take in the remarkable views that stretch across Lerwick and beyond to the island of Bressay.

    Gray and common seals are frequent visitors to Lerwick’s beaches. If you spend some time along the waterfront, you might spot one of these delightful mammals poking its head above water near shore. Don’t forget your binoculars! The Shetland Islands are famous for their unique birdlife, with species such as Red-throated Divers, redshanks, and curlews breeding here.

    Day 2

    The center of Scotland’s Shetland Islands

  • Day 3
    Tórshavn, Faroe Islands

    The Oldest Capital in the World

    A city sits on the southeast coast of Streymoy (the largest of the Faroe Islands) where the modern and the ancestral sit side by side in a truly Scandinavian landscape. Wander the cobbled alleyways that weave between the traditional Faroese turf-roofed homes and the brightly colored wooden houses that look like they’re straight from a storybook.

    Tórshavn means ‘Thor’s Harbor’ in Danish. Norsemen named it after the god of thunder himself when they founded it in the 10th century, meaning that it may be the oldest capital in northern Europe. Visit the local museums and travel back in time to learn about the city’s origins or to better understand the flora, fauna, and geology of the Faroe Islands.

    Make use of the free bus service to get around the city and have an authentic island life experience! Choose between traditional or more contemporary meals in one of Tórshavn’s restaurants, or take a break in one of its picturesque cafes. At Svartifoss Waterfall, you’ll forget you’re in the middle of a city! Relax on the mossy rocks and take in the view as you listen to the rushing water.

    The Faroe Islands are mostly devoid of trees. Rocky hills covered in a layer of soft grass stretch almost all the way to the shoreline. As you explore the open plains, you’ll probably come across sheep. Along the seafront, spot various kinds of seabirds soaring above. Try to spot a Faroese Starling, with its beige-tipped metallic wings, or an Eider Drake, with its distinctive green patch on the back of its neck.

    • Included Explore Torshavn (Walking Tour)
    Day 3
    Tórshavn, Faroe Islands

    The Oldest Capital in the World

  • Day 4

    Charming village on the Faroe Islands

    The village of Elduvík sits on the Funningsfjørður inlet in the Faroe Islands. Its shore lies at the end of a long, lush valley with towering green mountains on both sides. The river Stórá runs through the middle, splitting the village in two. Only 23 people inhabit Elduvík, which has a peaceful atmosphere and soothing natural surroundings.

    Wander the streets and admire the small, rustic houses. Almost all of them were built in the style of traditional Icelandic village houses, with painted or tarred wooden walls. Many of the roofs are covered in grass instead of slate, a traditional element that offers much-needed insulation and protection from the weather.

    Despite having so few inhabitants, this remote village has a school, church, dock, and pier. Wander around and get a taste of village life. Visit the church inaugurated in 1951 so the residents of Elduvík wouldn’t have to travel to the nearby town of Oyndarfjørður every week for service.

    The songs of seabirds and the bleating of sheep form a chorus with the fjord’s crashing waves, creating Elduvík’s subtle soundscape. Listen to the sounds of Faroese nature and feel the cool sea air on your face as you stand on the pier and look out over the sparkling water, with the nearby island of Kalsoy rising above the waves in the distance.

    Day 4

    Charming village on the Faroe Islands

  • Day 5
    At sea

    Relaxing at Sea

    Enjoy a relaxing day at sea with onboard lectures while we set course towards Bakkagerði. Grab a drink, sit at the bar, and chat with your new shipmates. You may be surprised at how much you have in common!

    For a truly relaxing experience, soak in a hot tub out on deck. Don’t forget to keep your eyes open for marine life and seabirds.

    Join the Expedition Team in the Science Center to learn about what you’ll encounter in northern Iceland, the next leg of your expedition. Learn about Iceland’s stunning landscape, culture, and its populations’ belief in the Hidden People. Icelandic elves. There might even be a chance to improve your knitting skills in one of our workshops.

    Day 5
    At sea

    Relaxing at Sea

  • Day 6

    The Land of the Elves

    With stunning rhyolite peaks on one side and the majestic Dyrfjöll mountain range on the other, the coastal village of Bakkagerði could not be more scenic. According to regional folklore, a large population of elves call this tiny village home, on the coast of Borgarfjörður Eystri. In fact, the village derives its name from the rocky hill named ‘Alfaborg’, the supposed home of the elf queen herself.

    With around 100 people, the settlement of Bakkagerði is well off the typical tourist path and offers lovely views, peace, and quiet. You can easily explore the very small town by foot. Sample fresh fish in one of the cafés—the tasty fish soup is a local favorite.

    The main draw, however, is the area’s natural beauty, which makes for fantastic hiking. Shades of pink, blue, and yellow rhyolite rocks give way to lush green valleys along its multiple hiking trails. Look around in any direction and be rewarded by pristine wilderness. Take in the sights and sounds of the areas most prominent wildlife: the birds.

    The coastal cliffs of Bakkagerði are home to a wide variety of birds, including fulmars and kittiwakes. It’s also a great place to see Eider Duck farming, an Icelandic practice that is hundreds of years old. The end product is the very exclusive eiderdown, the most prized variety of down in the world.

    The undisputed stars of the show, however, are the puffins. If conditions allow, we’ll attempt to visit Hafnarhólmi, a fishing harbor home to a large puffin colony, which has some of the best birdwatching in Iceland. A boardwalk and several platforms allow you to get quite close to the puffins. For nature and bird lovers, this region is an absolute gem.

    • Included Local Living Walk of Bakkagerði
    Day 6

    The Land of the Elves

  • Day 7

    Top Spot for Whale Watching

    Welcome to Húsavík! Widely considered Iceland’s whale capital, this small town on Iceland’s northern coast has gained international popularity as one of the world’s best places to see whales.

    Húsavík looks out over the Skjálfandi Bay, which enjoys regular visits from various whale species, including humpback, minke, and the elusive blue whale, as well as white-beaked dolphins and harbor porpoises. If luck’s on your side, you may see one or more of these giants of the sea.

    It’s only fitting for a town so geared toward whales would have a museum to further your knowledge. If you want to learn more about these gentle giants, visit Húsavík’s highly informative Whale Museum.

    If you’re also interested in space travel, the Exploration Museum is fascinating. The astronauts involved in NASA’s Apollo Program space missions trained near Húsavík in 1965 and 1967. Iceland’s basalt rocks are a close approximation of lunar rocks and provided essential geology training. The museum’s main exhibition is centered around this groundbreaking endeavor.

    A little over one mile south of Húsavík, Kaldbakur, a pond, offers an extraordinary swimming experience. Not only is it a heitur pottur (a ‘hot pot’ or pool) heated by geothermal energy—you’ll also be swimming with goldfish!

    • Included Discover the Whale Capital of Iceland
    Day 7

    Top Spot for Whale Watching

  • Day 8

    Capital of Northern Iceland

    Akureyri is located near the base of the longest fjord in Iceland, Eyjafjörður. As we cruise along the fjord, enjoy incredible views of snow-capped mountain peaks and lush coastline. The fertile waters here also make it one of the best places in the country for spotting whales and dolphins. Species including humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins, and harbor porpoises are regular visitors, although blue and fin whales as well as orcas are sometimes seen here, too.

    Nicknamed ‘Iceland’s Northern Capital’, Akureyri is a lively university town. With a population of almost 20,000, it’s the largest metropolitan area outside of the populated southwest region. There is plenty to delve into here, including tasty restaurants and cafés and interesting museums. Check out the Akureyri Museum, which gives you insight into how Icelanders used to live. The Norðurslóð Museum of natural history also features exhibitions about the local environment and the history of settlers.

    You’ll be astonished and delighted by the array of flowers and foliage at the Arctic Botanical Gardens. Its serene atmosphere is an oasis of lush green in the most unlikely of settings. While you’re exploring the town, check out the striking architecture of Akureyri Church, designed by the famous architect Guðjón Samúelsson.

    On an optional excursion outside of town, you can explore natural treasures that rank among Iceland’s must-see sights. At Goðafoss Waterfall, the ‘waterfall of the gods’, you’ll marvel at the translucent turquoise water pounding against immense black rocks.

    The unique and beautiful geology of Lake Mývatn is located within a highly active volcanic area and includes shimmering waters and otherworldly colors. It’s also a great place to watch for birds, especially Eider and Harlequin Ducks. Watchers of the TV show Game of Thrones may also find a few sites familiar!

    • Included Akureyri City Walk
    Day 8

    Capital of Northern Iceland

  • Day 9
    At sea

    Toward Jan Mayen

    Enjoy a relaxing day at sea with onboard lectures while we set course for Jan Mayen. Days at sea can be as active or relaxing as you wish!

    Drop by the Science Center and find out more about the places you’re exploring. Its cutting-edge scientific equipment and extensive library will enhance your knowledge of Svalbard’s topography, history, and wildlife.

    Don’t miss the fascinating lectures given by members of the Expedition Team. They’ll recap your expedition so far, share their knowledge of the region, and prepare you for the adventures ahead. Lecture topics could vary from local history and storytelling to biology and geology.

    As we set off on our journey, perhaps spend some time getting to know the crew and your fellow explorers. Strike up a conversation at the bar and see what you and your shipmates have in common!

    Day 9
    At sea

    Toward Jan Mayen

  • Day 10
    Jan Mayen Island

    The isolated Arctic island with an active volcano

    Jan Mayen stands shrouded in mist in the middle of the Norwegian Sea. This island has snow-capped mountains, lush mosses, and lichens that seem to glow green against the black rock. This volcanic isle is about as remote as you can get. The atmosphere is surreal in this untouched wilderness and no permanent residents. It’s sure to be an unforgettable part of your Arctic adventure.

    Jan Mayen has two main areas. The north is dominated by Beerenberg, the northernmost active volcano on Earth. It last erupted in 1985 and is mostly covered in ice. The south is flatter and unglaciated, with a weather station that houses about 30 people in the summer, all of whom work for the Norwegian Meteorological Institute or the Norwegian Armed Forces.

    Even though no mammals are native to Jan Mayen, the island is far from empty. Designated an Important Bird Area, a large number of seabirds flock to the steep cliffs and slopes to breed. The island supports birds such as the Northern Fulmar, Brünich’s guillemot, and the little auk.

    The waters around this this prime destination for birders are rich with life, too. If the weather is calm, catch sight of one of the numerous whale species found in these waters, or even seals having a feast in the rich fishing grounds.

    Visits to Jan Mayen are extremely rare for travelers. Hurtigruten is one of the few who attempt landings on this Arctic island. If we’re successful, you’ll set foot on one of Earth’s most remote places, taking in views rarely seen by human eyes. You’ll also feel the sense of peace that comes from being surrounded by such pristine nature.

    Day 10
    Jan Mayen Island

    The isolated Arctic island with an active volcano

  • Day 11
    At sea

    Enjoy a day at sea

    Enjoy another day at your leisure aboard the ship. Rest, enjoy the ship’s amenities, and take stock of what you’ve experienced so far. Break a sweat in the indoor gym or relax in the sauna while admiring the view.

    Build excitement for the next part of your adventure by spending time in the library. Read up on upcoming places and attend the Expedition Team’s lectures in the Science Center.

    By now, you’ll likely have plenty of photographs and stories from different excursions. Share your experiences with your fellow explorers and new friends.
    There is no Internet in these remote areas, nor are there telephone masts to provide a cell phone signal. Free from emails and text messages, this is a rare opportunity to disconnect from the modern world.

    Enjoy being with the loved ones accompanying you. Get to know your like-minded explorers and take in quiet, uninterrupted moments while you appreciate the peaceful and awe-inspiring scenery around you.

    Day 11
    At sea

    Enjoy a day at sea

  • Day 12-13

    Svalbard’s rugged Arctic beauty

    Spitsbergen showcases Arctic beauty in all its rugged, untouched glory. This is a wilderness of steep mountains, stark glaciers, and eerily beautiful offshore islands. Over the next two days, we’ll attempt several exciting landings in different parts of the archipelago.

    Spitsbergen hosts some of the most dramatic fjords in the world. As we sail around this beautiful island under the midnight sun, take in immense U-shaped valleys brightened by lush arctic flora. Marvel at dramatic mountain ranges perfectly mirrored on the glassy surface of the waters. As we cruising silently through the water, you might hear the creaks and groans of ice chunks about to plunge into the sea.

    Of course, this region’s stunning terrain makes it perfect for outdoor adventure. We’ll attempt to take full advantage of any opportunities that come our way. Activities might include using our small boats (RIBs) to go ashore for hiking, participating in a beach clean-up, or launching our kayaks.

    Svalbard is one of those rare spots in the world where beauty and history collide. The Expedition Team will tell the stories of explorers who either conquered Svalbard or perished from its harshness.

    In summertime, polar bears trek along the coast’s drifting ice on the hunt for seals. With a bit of luck, we hope to spot one of these apex predators during our time in Svalbard. When all is said and done, you’re sure to relish your adventures in Svalbard, just like the great explorers who came before you.

    Day 12-13

    Svalbard’s rugged Arctic beauty

  • Day 14

    End of the Expedition

    Estimated time of arrival is 6:00 AM

    Your Arctic adventure around Svalbard is coming to its triumphant end. As you wind down from your expedition, you’ll have time to consider your recent experiences and the elated feeling of having been so close to the ‘top of the world’.

    After saying goodbye to the ship and its crew, you’ll be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Oslo.

    Many places in Longyearbyen hold the record for being the ‘world’s northernmost’ something or other. The world’s northernmost cinema, church, library, high school, supermarket—they’re all here. Cross each landmark off your list with a selfie!

    Consider joining the locals for a drink in the world’s northernmost craft brewery. Art lovers should definitely make time to visit Galleri Svalbard to admire diverse works of art inspired by the High Arctic.

    If you have time, grab some souvenirs from the local shops before heading home. A toasty Svalbard sweater or a box of local handmade chocolates are wonderful gifts for family and friends. Svalbard is a duty-free zone and Longyearbyen has a selection of sports and outdoor clothing shops. Why not stock up on supplies for your next expedition cruise?

    Whatever’s next for you, we wish you a safe onward journey and look forward to seeing you again! Post-Program:

    Guests sailing aboard MS Fram have the option of extending their stay in Longyearbyen with one of our unique Post-Programs. Please inquire for further details.

    Day 14

    End of the Expedition



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What's Included

Included in Your Expedition


  • Transfer from the ship to the airport in Longyearbyen after the expedition cruise


  • Flight in economy class from Longyearbyen to Oslo after the expedition cruise

Expedition Cruise

  • Expedition cruise in the cabin of your choice
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurant Aune
  • The Lindstrøm À la carte restaurant is included for suite guests on MS Fram.
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Please note that Wi-Fi and phone reception are very limited in the remote areas where we travel and streaming is not supported. When in Svalbard, there is no Wi-Fi or cell coverage, except in Longyearbyen or Barentsburg.
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to fill at onboard water refill stations
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organize and guide activities, both on board and ashore
  • Range of included activities

Onboard activities

  • Experts from the Expedition Team present detailed lectures on a variety of topics
  • Use of the ship’s Science Center which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
  • The Citizen Science program allows guests to contribute to current scientific research projects
  • The onboard professional photographer will give tips and tricks for taking the best landscape and wildlife photos
  • The ship has hot tubs, a sauna with a view, and an indoor gym
  • Participate in informal gatherings with the crew, such as daily recaps and the next day’s preparations

Landing activities

  • Escorted landings with small boats (RIBs)
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment needed for the activities
  • Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition photographers help configure your camera settings

Not Included In Your Expedition

  • International flights
  • Travel protection
  • Baggage handling
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team


  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change
  • Please ensure you can meet all entry and boarding requirements.
  • No gratuities are expected


A large ship in the water

MS Spitsbergen

Year built 2009
Year of refurbishment 2016
Shipyard Estaleiro Navais de Viana do Castelo (POR)
Passenger capacity 180
Beds 243
Car capacity 0
Gross tonnage 7,344
Length 100.54 m
Beam 18 m
Speed 14.5 knots

MS Spitsbergen will take you on a cruise beyond the ordinary. She cruises along the Norwegian coast from September to May and becomes part of our Global Expedition sailings the rest of the year.

Read more about MS Spitsbergen

MS Fram

Year built 2007
Year of refurbishment 2022
Shipyard Fincantieri, Italy
Passenger capacity 250 (200 in Antarctica)
Beds 276
Car capacity 0
Gross tonnage 11,647 T
Length 374 ft
Beam 66.3 ft
Speed 13 knots

The original Fram was the most famous explorer ship of its time and the achievements of her expeditions are unparalleled. The advanced technology on the MS Fram, in the spirit of the famous original, makes her exceptionally well suited for expedition cruises in polar regions.

Read more about MS Fram

MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo
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