B = Breakfast L = Lunch D = Dinner
Please note program is subject to changes
Day 1 Arrival Oslo
Arrival Oslo, Norway from your home destination, by own arrangement. Check in at your hotel in downtown Oslo – Clarion The Hub. Welcome drinks in The Hub where you will meet your hosts ARNE & CARLOS and you will be given your mystery knitalong kit. Information about the tour program by your tour leader from Aller travel.
Day 2 Oslo - Longyearbyen (B, D)
After check out from The Hub, there will be a bus transfer in the early afternoon to Oslo Airport, for the domestic flight to Longyearbyen, Svalbard. Arrival in Longyearbyen in the evening and bus transfer to the charming hotel Funken Lodge, where we will meet for welcome dinner.
Day 3 Longyearbyen – embarkation MS Spitsbergen (B, L, D)
After breakfast, there will be time to visit more of the town’s sights, Longyearbyen is perfect for exploring on foot. Stroll down the main street and you might see Svalbard reindeer saunter by. Although wild, they're curious and tame. Admire the polar bear-inspired art or visit the North Pole Expedition Museum. After lunch get ready for the ‘Svalbard Experience’ excursion which is included, or join an optional electric bike or hiking tour. In the afternoon, it's time to board the ship and continue your Arctic discovery as we cruise around Spitsbergen.
Day 4-5 Scenic Spitsbergen (B, L, D)
Spitsbergen showcases Arctic beauty in its untouched glory, a wilderness of steep mountains, stark glaciers and eerily beautiful islands. You will visit some of the world’s most dramatic fjords, immense U-shaped valleys and glaciers preparing to calve icebergs into the sea. You might also spot the region’s apex predator, the magnificent polar bear. They trek the ice along the coast, hunting for seals. Every opportunity will be taken to land, to use expedition boats ashore for hiking and other activities. If possible, kayaks will be launched to enjoy the scenery in near-perfect silence.
Day 6 A day at sea (B, L, D)
Time to relax and discover what adventures lie ahead. As our Arctic cruise continues towards Jan Mayen, enjoy a day at sea. There is plenty to do onboard. Scan for marine wildlife from the deck, enjoy the panoramic sauna or a soak in the hot tub. Visit the Science Center for insights into the destinations ahead on your island-hopping expedition. Enjoy a fascinating lecture from the Expedition Team or help collect important data for our Citizen Science projects. Photography enthusiasts can pick up some pointers from the onboard photographer on how to capture wildlife and landscapes. You will find the comfort of the Explorer Lounge a great place to knit, read or watch the world glide by. Today ARNE&CARLOS will also be giving their first interesting lecture.
Day 7 Volcanic Jan Mayen (B, L, D)
Jan Mayen has no permanent residents and visits to the island are rare. In fact, Hurtigruten is one of the few ships to attempt landings here. If conditions allow, you will be setting foot on one of Earth’s most remote places. Jan Mayens’ surreal, moss and lichen-streaked landscape is dominated by the volcanic cone of Mount Beerenberg. It is the world's northernmost active volcano and last erupted in 1985, and the island is a haven for bird life. There are no land mammals, but the island is designated an Important Bird Area, supporting large populations of Northern Fulmars, Brünich’s Guillemots and Little Auks. Look out for abundant marine life in the waters too, including whales and seals.
Day 8 To Iceland’s north coast (B, L, D)
Enjoy a relaxing day and as we cruise towards Iceland, from Jan Mayen to Akureyri, you will have time to sit back and swap stories of your adventures so far. Keep your eyes peeled while on deck for some wonderful marine life and seabirds – you can even relax in the hot tub up there at the same time. Join the Expedition Team in the Science Center as they set the scene for the next leg of our expedition in North Iceland. Learn about the island's stunning landscape, culture and beliefs, such as the Icelandic Elves. You may also join one of the onboard knitting workshops!
Day 9 Akureyri and Goðafoss (B, L, D)
Gaze at snow-capped peaks as we cruise along Eyjafjörður, Iceland's longest fjord. It is one of the best places in Europe to spot humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins and harbor porpoises. You may see orcas, blue and fin whales. Iceland’s 'Northern Capital’, Akureyri, sits at the fjord base. A city walk is included and you may enjoy the oasis of a botanical garden, top-notch eateries and museums. Hurtigruten offers optional excursions to visit impressive Goðafoss Waterfall where turquoise water pounds against black rocks. Spot Eider and Harlequin Ducks at Lake Mývatn, one of Iceland's most active volcanic areas.
Day 10 Whale watching in Húsavík (B, L, D)
Iceland's best whale-watching spot is Húsavík. Discover the whale capital on the walking tour which is included. Húsavík is a fascinating small town which is one of the best places in the world to see whales. We will head to Skjálfandi Bay to look out for humpback, minke, white-beaked dolphin, harbor porpoise and maybe even the elusive blue whale. Learn more about them at Husavik’s Whale Museum. There is even a space exploration museum here. NASA thought Húsavík's geology resembled lunar rocks and sent astronauts from their Apollo space missions here to train. You can also enjoy the geothermal waters at GeoSea overlooking Skjálfandi Bay, and then refresh with a beer at the local microbrewery.
Day 11 Hike in Bakkagerði (B, L, D)
The Iceland cruise adventure continues to Bakkagerði, a tiny settlement off the beaten track. The included excursion takes you on a lively walk around town to learn about the area from local people. According to folklore, Bakkagerði is inhabited by a large population of elves. It is also a popular hiking spot. You can hike through lush green valleys and pristine wilderness among colorful rhyolite rocks. The coastal cliffs are home to fulmars, Kittiwakes, Eiders and puffins. We may also visit the Atlantic Puffin colony on Hafnarhólmi – a true gem for nature lovers and wildlife photographers.
Day 12 Enjoy a day at sea (B, L, D)
A day at sea cruising from Iceland to Faroe Islands can be spent discovering more about the isolated island group in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. You may have unanswered questions about things you have seen in Iceland or things to come in the Faroe Islands. As ever, the onboard Expedition Team will be on hand with lectures and insights about these Arctic islands. The Science Center will keep enquiring minds busy. Work out in the gym or relax in the panoramic sauna, where you can watch the views as you sail. Look for birds and wildlife from the decks. Or just take the time to sort through all those photos you have been taking. Or do some more knitting! ARNE & CARLOS will give another lecture today.
Day 13 Peaceful, tiny Elduvik (B, L, D)
MS Spitsbergen arrives in the Faroe Islands, part of the Kingdom of Denmark. There will be an opportunity to explore the tiny village of Elduvík with just 23 inhabitants. While small, it comes complete with a school, church, dock and pier. From the pier, enjoy the view across the sparkling waters to the nearby island of Kalsoy. It is astonishingly peaceful here. Homes here are built in traditional Icelandic style, with wooden walls and grass roofs that offer excellent insulation. As you walk through the village's charming streets, you will hear the songs of seabirds, bleating sheep, and waves coming to shore from the fjord. Whilst in the Faroe Islands we will learn about the rich wool and handicraft traditions here and meet with local knitters.
Day 14 10th century Tórshavn (B, L, D)
On Streymoy, the largest of the Faroe Islands, is Tórshavn. Founded by Norsemen in the 10th century, Tórshavn - ‘Thor’s Harbor’ - is one of Northern Europe’s oldest capitals. The walking tour which is included, winds through cobbled alleyways and colorful, turf-roofed houses. In the local museums, you will learn about the city’s origins and the flora, fauna and geology of the Faroe Islands. Just over a mile north of the town, Svartafoss Waterfall tumbles over mossy rocks. Walking along the seafront, look out for the Eider Drake and the distinctive Faroese Starling with its beige-tipped wings.
Day 15 The Shetland Isles (B, L, D)
The Shetland Isles are Scotland's most northerly inhabited isles. Lerwick is the northernmost town in Scotland, with deep Norse roots. You will hear it in the dialect and see it in the town hall’s stained glass windows, which tell stories from Viking times. The Shetland Museum, with its Pictish carvings contrasting beautifully with delicate Shetland lace shawls, is a great place to find out more. These islands are famous for birdlife. Key breeding species to look out for include Red-throated Divers, Redshank and Curlew. If you are walking along the shoreline, look out for grey and common seals too - they’re often seen peeking out from the waters just offshore. We will find out more about the Shetland knitting traditions. This is where the well-known Shetland Wool Week is held every year, with visitors from all over the world.
Day 16 The home stretch to Bergen and disembarkation (B)
Our ‘Knitting on Top of the World’ adventure with ARNE & CARLOS ends in Bergen. Surrounded by mountains and the sea, the old capital is one of Norway’s most picturesque cities. If you choose to spend time in Bergen after the tour, don’t miss the famous Bryggen district with its colorful wooden wharfs and artisanal boutiques. For amazing views over the city founded on seven mountains, take the funicular railway up to the summit of Mount Fløyen.
MS Spitsbergen arrives in Bergen at 08.00 in the morning and it is time to say goodbye to the ship’s crew, new friends and ARNE&CARLOS after a wonderful time with lots of lovely memories!