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From the Norwegian Fjords to the Baltic Sea

From the Norwegian Fjords to the Baltic Sea

From GBP £7,995

Description

A voyage along Norway’s beautiful coastline offers the traveller scenery on an epic scale. The immense size of the magnificent fjords, the cascading waterfalls, the picturesque fishing villages and dramatic snow-capped mountains with farms clinging to their slopes are a sight to behold. The region is simply perfect for exploration by small ship and with over 30 years of experience in operating cruises in Norway, we believe we have the perfectly balanced itinerary featuring as it does a combination of majestic fjords, small towns, cultural history and wildlife.

We begin in the Arctic Circle at Tromso from where we sail south to the enchanting Lofoten Islands for a full day to explore the villages and experience life on the islands. For those interested in the history of the region we visit Trondheim, Norway’s capital during the Viking Age until 1217, and Haugesund from where the Viking Kings ruled for over 500 years. We will also have the opportunity to spend a day in Bergen, visiting the historic old wharf of ‘Bryggen’ and enjoying a private concert of Edvard Grieg’s music before we sail to the northernmost tip of Denmark for a day in the delightful resort of Skagen. Our days will be spent on guided excursions with local guides, on walks with our naturalists and on deck of the MS Hebridean Sky as we cruise amongst the fjords. There will also be ample time to relax and enjoy the summer days independently whilst in some of the delightful towns such as Smola, Lillesand, Kragero and Denmark’s Helsingor, places which the larger cruise vessels in the region are unable to access.

Trip Name
From the Norwegian Fjords to the Baltic Sea
Days
15
Overview
Vessel Type: Expedition Length: 90.6 metres Passenger Capacity: 118 Built / Refurbished: 1992 / 2016 The MS Hebridean Sky is one of our three flag ships and sister vessel to the MS Island Sky and MS Caledonian Sky. All three vessels were built in the same ship yard in Italy at similar times and share the same excellent attributes that make them three of the finest small ships in the world. Formerly known as the Sea Explorer, the vessel underwent a multi-million pound refurbishment in Sweden in Spring 2016 before being re-launched as the MS Hebridean Sky. Your Suite. On board there are 59 exceptionally spacious and well-designed suites. All feature a sitting area and fourteen suites have private balconies. The feeling of luxury is enhanced by the wood panelling and brass which predominates throughout the vessel conveying the atmosphere of a private yacht. The passenger accommodation is arranged over five decks and all suites have outside views with suites on the Scott and Shackleton Decks featuring private balconies. Each suite affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring vanity unit with sink and walk-in rainfall shower, large wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool and excellent storage. There is a minifridge, flat screen television and a telephone in each suite. Refillable water bottles, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort. Additional facilities include a programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted Molton Brown toiletries and individually controlled air-conditioning and heating. Soft hues and blended tones enhance the traditional maritime style making the passenger accommodation an inviting and relaxing place to be. The beds in each suite can be configured as twins or double with the exception of suite 601 and 602 which feature fixed double beds. The impressive Hebridean Suite, located on the Shackleton Deck consists of a separate bathroom and sitting room with extra large balcony stretching the length of the suite. Additional benefits of booking this marvellous suite include complimentary mini-bar stocked with your preferences and complimentary laundry. Your Space. The spacious and finely decorated public rooms on board the MS Hebridean Sky include a large lounge on the Byrd Deck featuring a selection of seating options from individual armchairs and sofas to side cushioned benches. Daily briefings given by the Cruise Director and talks from Guest Speakers and expedition staff take place in The Lounge which is fitted with the highest standard of presentation equipment including multiple screens. In addition to the Lounge, there is also The Club, located on the Mawson Deck which features the main bar where the onboard pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The Club also offers a 24-hour tea and coffee station. Towards the aft of the ship on the Mawson Deck is The Library which is well stocked with reference books pertaining to the destinations the vessel is visiting and a selection of essential reads. A collection of games and devices to access the internet via the ship’s satellite can also be found in the library. Access to the ship’s satellite Wi-Fi via your own device is complimentary on board (signal strength varies depending on location and demand). The Dining Room which can seat all guests at one sitting is located on the Amundsen Deck and is a bright and charming setting to enjoy the delicious meals on board. Outside there is a rear Lido Deck located on the Scott Deck where meals are served in warm weather under shade. Whilst heaters and blankets make dining al fresco comfortable in cooler climates. Further to this, on the top Shackleton Deck there is an observation area which offers a fantastic platform for spotting wildlife complete with deck furniture, ideal for relaxing with a book or catching up with fellow travellers. You will also find a clinic and Doctor on board and a lift that serves all decks. Additionally there is a small hairdressers with appointments made on request. Your Dining. It is quite a task to create a dining experience as that found on board our Sky vessels when you are cruising in far-flung corners of the globe, indeed it takes a team of highly talented chefs to deliver fresh, varied dishes no matter where you are at sea. Fortunately, our catering teams are well adapted to the world of small ship cruising where no two days are the same and the menus are often scheduled and tailored around the days’ excursions. With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the cuisine on board is of a consistent superior quality that befits such vessels. Where possible and when it meets their high standards, our accomplished chefs will obtain local produce in markets. Such purchases enhance the well-stocked larders and enable the chefs on board to exhibit their culinary skills and bring a local touch to the varied menus, emphasising the international expertise of the chefs on board. Afternoon tea and pre-dinner canapés take place every day in either the comfort of the Lounge or out on the Lido Deck when the weather is favourable. Tea and coffee are also available 24 hours a day. Special diets can be catered for with sufficient notice. In keeping with the informal atmosphere on board, when dining you are able to choose your seating arrangements at your leisure. Whether that be joining a table of four to six other passengers outside on the Lido Deck in the evening’s sunshine or whether you prefer to enjoy meals in the à la carte restaurant. For those travelling alone, our onboard friendly restaurant staff will take care to ensure you are seated with other like-minded travellers. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order on request. Lunch and dinner are à la carte with an excellent choice of dishes, with the menu reflecting the daily catch or local delicacies. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with both meals and there is also a comprehensive wine list with a wide selection of new and old world wines from which to choose. The onboard catering and restaurant staff are experienced at sea and enthuse a passion for superb service. Whether it be ensuring you have an outdoor blanket as you enjoy the crisp sea breeze on the Lido Deck or sharing their knowledge of the characteristics of the days’ wine selections, you will experience a service on board like no other. You may also enjoy sumptuous barbeques on deck whilst at times, the chef will make your dish to order at special pasta or stir fry stations. For Your Comfort. The MS Hebridean Sky is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilizers to minimize the ship’s motion. During your voyage we hope to offer the opportunity to visit the Captain and Officers on the Bridge to check the vessels progress by charts and learn more about your journey. There is also a dedicated channel on your television in your suite showing the routing of the vessel along with technical information and estimated times of arrival and departure from port. On board you will also find a clinic and Doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to a specific area on deck. Life Onboard. If large resort-style vessels accommodating many thousands of passengers are your ideal, then our ships are not for you as you will not find endless entertainment, round the clock buffets and the people management which is so much a part of today’s big ship on board style. However, if like us you prefer a more peaceful life at sea you will find our flagships the perfect vessels. When choosing your next voyage the choice of vessels is astounding. You can select a ship carrying in excess of 4000 passengers with impersonal service or join us aboard the MS Caledonian Sky, MS Island Sky or MS Hebridean Sky where peace, high quality service and attention to detail are the order of the day. We promise there will be no organised entertainment, fancy dress, deck games or any of the usual big ship experiences. Instead, the atmosphere is warm and convivial and more akin to a private yacht or country hotel in which you can learn more about the wonders of nature, culture and ancient civilisations in the company of like-minded people. A little music in the lounge or bar after dinner, Guest Speakers and informative port briefings from our Expedition Leader or Cruise Director and of course good food with wine included at lunch and dinner, all contribute to make any voyage aboard these wonderful vessels a memorable and joyful experience. After a day ashore you will return to the comfort and peace of an exceedingly comfortable ship. The daily programme on board is in the capable hands of our Cruise Director or Expedition Leader and staff who coordinate with the Captain and Officers to make the most of each day. Briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage together with a ‘Daily Programme’ that is distributed every evening to your suite outlining the next day’s activities. Dress on board is casual and relaxed and there will be no ‘black tie’ evenings.

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1 London to Tromso, Norway.
Fly by scheduled indirect flight. Arrive this afternoon and transfer to the MS Hebridean Sky.
Day 2 - Day 2 Lofoten Islands.
Our first day of exploration sees us in the Lofoten Archipelago, an enchanting area of picturesque villages with jagged granite mountain peaks forming a dramatic backdrop. We will disembark in Svolvaer and drive to the Viking Museum at Borg which has an exhibition of items found by archaeologists, as well as recreations of Viking homes. After lunch we continue the day with a scenic drive to Vikten, home to a local glassblower’s studio and then to Nusfjord, where we discover why this charming fishing hamlet is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its restored fishing cabins and quaint atmosphere. Our day ends in Reine where the ship will have sailed to meet us.
Day 3 - Day 3 Bronnoysund & Torghatten.
Arrive this morning at Bronnoysund, our base for a visit to Mount Torghatten, one of the most famous landmarks on the Norwegian coast. A fairly strenuous walk will take you to the ‘hole’ in the mountain which has been eroded by the sea. For those wishing to have a more relaxing morning our naturalists will lead some gentler walks along the water’s edge. Spend the afternoon at sea.
Day 4 - Day 4 Trondheim.
Founded in AD 997 by Viking King Olav Tryggvason, Trondheim was Norway’s first capital city and we will discover its historical treasures today. We will drive past the old wooden buildings and visit the 11th century Nidaros Cathedral built over the grave of St Olav. We continue to Ringve Manor, a typical manor house of the Trondelag district and home to Norway’s only musical instrument museum, before enjoying a panoramic view of the city from the Sverresli viewpoint.
Day 5 - Day 5 Smola.
We enjoy the benefits of our small ship as we visit one of the smaller islands along the coast. Smola is one of 5,000 islands in an archipelago off the mainland of Norway. Here we find traditional working fishing villages such as Veiholmen, where we explore the lively community and museum, and the abandoned village of Brattvaer with its wellpreserved buildings offering a window into the past. If conditions permit our expedition team will lead some walks through the landscapes. These islands also have the densest population of white-tailed eagles in the world which we hope to spot.
Day 6 - Day 6 Alesund & Runde.
Awake in Alesund and spend the morning in one of the most beautiful towns in Norway. It is a great place to explore the streets with their Art Nouveau buildings. Those feeling active can take a walk-up Mount Aksla taking the 418 steps for magnificent views of the town, islands and Sunnmore Alps. Be on deck later this afternoon as we cruise by the bird cliffs at Runde, one of the largest nesting cliffs in Norway and home to half a million birds.
Day 7 - Day 7 Loen, Nordfjord.
Today we leave the charming village of Loen and take a drive to the Kjenndal valley where we board a small boat to experience the lovely Loen Lake, passing through mountains covered by protruding glacier arms. We arrive at the Kjenndalsbre Fjellstove where we enjoy a short break with homemade Norwegian waffles. We continue our visit to the Kjenndalsbre glacier viewpoint, an arm of the mighty Jostedals Glacier, the largest in mainland Europe. After lunch on board enjoy some free time in Loen before we set sail in the late afternoon.
Day 8 - Day 8 Bergen.
We arrive this morning in the lovely fjord capital of Bergen. On our guided excursion we will drive past the fish market, Nordnes peninsula and Bergen Theatre on our way to Troldhaugen, the home of Norway’s most famous composer, Edvard Grieg. Here we explore the house and gardens before enjoying a private concert of his music. We return to the ship for lunch via the Hanseatic Quarters of ‘Bryggen’. This afternoon is at leisure.
Day 9 - Day 9 Rosendal.
Sail this morning into Hardangerfjord, the third largest fjord in the world. We will anchor and use our Zodiacs to land at Rosendal from where we drive along the fjord towards Maurangerfjord, experiencing the idyllic scenery and farms on the way and viewing the magnificent Langfoss waterfall. From the small village of Sunndal we will walk to Bondhus Lake which is surrounded by a fascinating landscape of fjords and mountains. After lunch on board we have free time to explore the town.
Day 10 - Day 10 Haugesund.
It was in Haugesund where, a thousand years ago, King Harald Fairhair united Norway into a single kingdom, and it was from this area that the Viking Kings ruled Norway for more than 500 years. On a morning tour we will visit the 13th century St Olav’s church before learning about the Viking Age at the Nordvegen Heritage Centre. After lunch on board the afternoon is free to explore this small town independently. Alternatively join us as we visit the charming old town of Skudeneshavn which consists of 130 white wooden houses originating from the 1800’s, when herring fishing was at its peak.
Day 11 - Day 11 Lillesand.
Enjoy a relaxing morning cruising before we arrive at one of Norway’s best-kept secrets, the charming summer resort of Lillesand. Using our small ship, we navigate the small islands and skerries which dot the coastline making the approach to the town from the sea a truly memorable sight. We will enjoy a few hours ashore in Lillesand exploring the old town.
Day 12 - Day 12 Kragero.
Surrounded by nearly 500 islands and skerries, Kragero is a charming town and a popular summer retreat. This morning we will head inland to the Telemark Canal which when completed in 1892, was described as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’. We will join one of the local boats as they transit the 18 locks, lifting the ship 72 metres above sea level and enjoy the changing scenery as we travel from the sea to the mountains. Returning to Kragero for lunch we have the afternoon at leisure explore independently.
Day 13 - Day 13 Skagen, Denmark.
Skagen is a 600 year old market town situated in the far north of Denmark where the breathtaking scenery and light have inspired poets, artists and musicians over the years whilst the area around Skagen has been designated as a rare, authentic natural beauty spot by the World Wide Fund for Nature. We will visit Grenen, the northernmost part of Denmark where the North Sea meets the Baltic and where the daily movement of sand has created a spit that is constantly moving. See the 14th century Sanded Church named after Saint Laurence, the seafarer’s and Skagen’s patron saint, which sunk beneath the sand in the 18th century and where today, only the tower of the ancient church is visible. This afternoon is at leisure.
Day 14 - Day 14 Helsingor.
The Danish King, Eric of Pomerania built a fortress in the early 15th century to enforce the collection of dues for all ships wishing to enter the Baltic. In the following century Frederick II rebuilt the castle into a magnificent Renaissance castle, Kronborg was considered at the time to be the strongest fortress in Europe. The castle is known to many as ‘Elsinore’ the setting for Shakespeare’s tragedy, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. We will enjoy a morning exploring the castle and the old town before returning to the ship for lunch. This afternoon you can choose to explore further at your own pace.
Day 15 - Day 15 Malmo, Sweden to London.
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to Copenhagen airport for our scheduled flight to London.
Day 16 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
15-07-202329-07-2023GBP £7,995Amundsen Deck Standard Suite
15-07-202329-07-2023GBP £10,195Byrd Deck Superior Sole
15-07-202329-07-2023GBP £10,295Shackleton Deck Owner's Balcony Suite
15-07-202329-07-2023GBP £11,495Shackleton Deck Hebridean Suite
15-07-202329-07-2023GBP £8,195Byrd Deck Superior Suite
15-07-202329-07-2023GBP £8,395Mawson Deck Premium Suite
15-07-202329-07-2023GBP £8,995Mawson Deck Corner Suite
15-07-202329-07-2023GBP £9,895Amundsen Deck Standard Sole
15-07-202329-07-2023GBP £9,995Scott Deck Deluxe Balcony Suite

Inclusions

    • Lofoten Islands
    • Bronnoysund & Torghatten
    • Trondheim
    • Smola
    • Alesund & Runde
    • Bergen
    • Haugesund

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