Day 1: Bodø
We arrive in Bodø and embark our expedition ship M/S Quest. Once settled in our cabins, we are welcomed by the guides and crew. During the afternoon we begin our voyage towards the dramatic Lofoten Islands.
Day 2: Vedøya – Reine
After breakfast we make a first trip in our Zodiac around the spectacular island of Vedøya with its tens of thousands of nesting sea birds. Vedøya is also often frequented by eagles. We sail along the southern side of Lofoten, a vast collection of rocky islands rising from the sea, towards Reine. This charming fishing village, with characteristic talks on board introduce us to Bear Island’s exciting history.
Day 3: Nusfjord – Trollfjorden
Today we visit Nusfjord. This is one of the most well-preserved and picturesque fishing communities in the area, included on UNESCO’s
World Heritage list of unique wooden structures. We go ashore and explore this historic little village with its distinct atmosphere and cod fisheries. We continue our cruise along the Lofoten wall and later arrive at the magically beautiful Trollfjorden. Afterwards we head out to sea and set course for Bear Island. After a few hours we reach a wellknown whale watching area that stretches along the continental shelf and we keep our eyes open for these marvellous creatures of the sea.
Day 4: Barents Sea
Our sea journey continues further north. Interesting talks on board introduce us to Bear Island’s exciting history.
Day 5: Bear Island
With our solid Zodiacs we explore this fascinating rocky island in the middle of the Barents Sea. Because of the remoteness only a few ships can stop by for a visit. Vertical 400-meter cliffs rise in the distance as we approach, and here we find one of the largest seabird colonies in the North Atlantic. Tens of thousands of guillemots nest here, as well as puffins, razorbills, kittiwakes and glaucous gulls. Our main goal is to go ashore and explore Bear Island by foot. We then continue our journey into the Arctic waters and our next destination is Svalbard – one of the world’s most magnificent wildernesses.
Day 6 – 9: Svalbard
It is early in the season so our route the following days will depend on the weather and ice conditions. These are examples of places we might visit:
During this time of the year there is often a lot of drift ice in the vast Storfjorden between the islands of Edgeøya and Spitsbergen, but we try to get as far north as possible. On the island of Edgeøya are remnants of the first Pomors who came to the area in the 1600s. These Russian trappers came here to hunt polar bears, seals and reindeers. On the east coast of Spitsbergen lies Isbukta. In this spectacular bay we head out in our Zodiacs to enjoy the stunning views of the snow covered mountain peaks and the front of the impressive glacier Vasil’evbreen. The bay is also a popular spot for Sabine’s gulls, Arctic skuas and bearded seals.
Hornsund & Bellsund
The majestic Hornsund consists of several magnificent fjords along the west coast of Spitsbergen, where enormous glaciers calve out shimmering blue ice. This is one of the favourite haunts for some of Svalbard’s polar bears and if lucky we can spot one of them on the fjord ice. At the beautiful Vårsolbukta in Bellsund little auks nest by the tens of thousands. We go ashore and walk across the tundra to take a closer look at these charming birds swarming around us.
At the entrance of Isfjorden is the characteristic cliff Alkhornet. We go ashore to enjoy the beautiful tundra and its birdlife with barnacle geese, Brünnich’s guillemots, glaucous gulls, snow buntings and tens of thousands of kittiwakes. Some Arctic foxes are often seen in the rock crevices around the mountain and with some luck we might see these lovely little animals scurrying around, frantically looking for food.
Day 10: Longyearbyen
In the morning we leave the ship in Longyearbyen and begin our journey home.
Please note: Our exact route will depend on ice, weather conditions and wildlife. We always strive to maximise your experience. Please remember that flexibility is the key to a successful expedition!
A COMFORTABLE EXPEDITION SHIP WITH A WONDERFUL CREW
The ship was built in Denmark in 1992 to serve as a ferry on Greenland’s west coast. In 2004/2005 she was completely refurbished into a comfortable expedition ship and in 2018 she underwent a renovation of the passenger areas. M/S Quest takes 53 passengers and all 26 cabins are outside cabins with private facilities. The triple cabins have upper and lower berths. All other cabins have two lower berths or a double bed. In your cabin you find a desk with a chair and a cupboard for storage. The superior cabins are spacious and have armchairs and TV.
he owner’s cabin has a double bed, two large picture windows, a separate seating area and TV. In the dining room you are treated to delicious meals in between landings and in the panorama lounge you can enjoy breath-taking views of the surrounding landscape. Here you can listen to entertaining talks on the area’s flora, fauna and history. In the lounge you also find a bar and a small library. The ship has spacious observation decks, where you can enjoy the beautiful vistas. Passengers are welcome on the bridge around the clock and there is always something to see or search for. You are welcomed by an international crew and the atmosphere is relaxed and very friendly. There are five Zodiacs and five guides on board M/S Quest.
It is always possible to share a cabin on board M/S Quest. All cabins have windows and private facilities.