Far northern reaches
Traverse the far northern seas to Canada, Greenland, Iceland and the Arctic, and discover distant shores. Follow in the wake of intrepid explorers through Norway and Svalbard, and circumnavigate Iceland as you experience nature at its most magnificent. From quaint fishing villages to snowcapped mountaintops, witness majestic landscapes, and sail to the New World to learn about Inuit traditions as you revel in the history of Viking exploration.
Bergen, Norway / New York City, United States
2024 Sailings from May to June
2025 Sailings from May to July
* Please check with us for dates & pricing
Cruise fare from $17,999.0 per person
* Please check with us for dates & pricing
Embark your ship and settle into your stateroom. Bergen is home to the Hanseatic League’s only kontor (trading enclave) still in existence. Bryggen wharf, a row of timbered Hanseatic warehouses along a quaint quay, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Narrow wooden walkways are flanked by parallel rows of small, vibrantly painted buildings overlooking the picturesque Vågen Harbor. This is perhaps the most charming district of Bergen and a delight to explore, from its tight-knit community of workshops where artisans sell their wares to its cafés where freshly prepared smørbrød, or open-faced sandwiches, are on the menu.
Bergen’s Bryggen has come to serve as an important window into both Norway’s maritime legacy and architectural traditions. Totaling more than 60 buildings, with the earliest dating to the 18th century, these distinct structures are all that remain after the numerous fires that have ravaged Bergen. They were largely reconstructed within their original property lines, with their restoration and continual preservation staying true to medieval Norwegian building techniques, materials and tools. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is a delight to explore.
Geiranger is the gateway to some of coastal Norway’s most magnificent natural treasures. Nearby, the Seven Sisters Waterfall tumbles 1,000 feet into the fjord’s water, while directly across the fjord, the Suitor Waterfall also plunges down a steep face. The overlook known as Eagle’s Bend towers 2,000 feet above the village, accessed via a winding mountain road with 11 hairpin turns. The Norwegian Fjord Center puts all this natural splendor into perspective with fascinating exhibits.
The Norwegian Inside Passage is a protected shipping lane that runs from Norway’s capital of Oslo, down the Skagerrak coast and around the country’s southern tip. It continues north along the coastline of the Norwegian Sea, before eventually terminating in the Russian waters of Siberia. It has been used by mariners for centuries, its channels protected from the dangers of the open water by countless skerries and the rugged coastline presenting opportunities for shelter in its many natural bays and inlets.
Narvik is situated on the innermost shores of the Ofotfjorden, within the Arctic Circle. The small town enjoys a dramatic backdrop, encircled by mountains and a glacier that spills right to the water’s edge. The town served as a port city for the early Viking settlers. Much later, the discovery of iron ore in the nearby Swedish town of Kiruna forever shaped Narvik. Kiruna needed a year-round ice-free port from which to ship its new discovery, and so a rail link was built directly to the water. Still today, Narvik is a major exporter.
The Lofoten Islands stretch 118 miles into the Norwegian Sea from Norway’s coast. Ships in the archipelago’s cozy fishing harbors are dwarfed by the hulking massifs rising from the waters. The setting was ideal for Norse settlements in the early Viking Age. Cod has long been harvested from these waters as they come here to spawn. More recently, the fish have been caught from traditional rorbus, charming cottages that hover above the waters on stilts. The Lofoten Islands are beautiful any time of year, but the summertime midnight sun illuminates their magnificent glory.
Tromsø is Norway’s most northerly city and has long been considered the gateway to the Arctic. During the summer months, pretty wooden houses exude an air of sophistication as they bask beneath the glow of the Midnight Sun. Winter brings pristine landscapes surrounded by snowcapped peaks and the aurora borealis, whose magical lights dance across the nighttime skies. World-renowned explorers have set sail from Tromsø’s shores; Roald Amundsen, Norway’s first son and the first explorer to reach both poles, is commemorated with a bronze statue in the city.
Honningsvåg overlooks a pristine bay of the Barents Sea on Magerøya Island. This unassuming enclave grew mainly on the fishing industry, like so many in this remote region. Honningsvåg has ample charms, including a rich Sami culture and a deep love of the birdlife that lives here. But it is the surrounding beauty that draws visitors: starkly beautiful tundra dotted with mountain birch trees, distant rocky islands and rolling slopes that ascend into mountains. One of Europe’s most stunning natural sights, Nordkapp, or North Cape, rises on the island’s rugged northern coast.
Named for 16th-century Dutch navigator and polar explorer Willem Barentsz, the Barents Sea is the gateway to the Arctic from the northernmost shores of Europe and home to an astonishing diversity of marine life. As you sail, take advantage of the array of delicious cuisine offered on board. You may visit Mamsen’s, our casual gourmet deli, any time from early morning to late at night for a taste of traditional Norwegian fare. Or, dine at Manfredi’s Italian Restaurant for authentic fare with options ranging from Milanese risotto to Tuscan-inspired classics.
Capital of the Svalbard archipelago, tiny Longyearbyen is surrounded by the permanent snowfields that blanket the island of Spitsbergen. The world’s northernmost city was founded in 1906 by American businessman John Longyear when he started a mining operation here. The city was almost completely destroyed during World War II by the German navy, but was subsequently rebuilt after the war. Today, the town is beloved for its art galleries and museums, as well as the local gourmet restaurant boasting one of Europe’s largest wine cellars with more than 20,000 bottles.
Svalbard’s setting is marked by stunning fjords, mountain peaks and thick glaciers that have formed over millennia, while Alkhornet mountain and its looming cliffs date back more than one billion years. Wildlife flock to this stark landscape during the summer—puffins, polar guillemot and kittiwake descend en masse each year. The Svalbard Museum showcases the vast array of special plant and animal life that reside here, as well as everyday life for its human residents, from the arrival of the whalers during the 17th century to present-day miners.
Journey to what was once believed to be the “end of the world,” where sea monsters lurked and ships were lost on treacherous waters. As you sail today, savor a range of international cuisine on board. Choose from a variety of international flavors at the World Café, enjoy al fresco dining on the Aquavit Terrace, or regional specialties in The Restaurant.
ĺsafjördur was founded in the 9th century by the Viking Helgi Magri Hrólfsson. Foreign merchants arrived in the 16th century and set up trading posts here. Today, ĺsafjördur is home to one of the largest fisheries in Iceland and, despite its remote locale, boasts a cultural scene rich in music and drama. The oldest house in Iceland is here, built in 1734, as is the country’s largest concentration of old timber-frame homes. Many visitors explore farther afield, delving into the surrounding wilderness of Hornstrandir or discover the fishing heritage of charming coastal towns.
Reykjavík is the world’s northernmost capital city yet captures the distinctive feel of a fishing village. The Kentucky-sized island is Europe’s westernmost nation and one of the wildest places on earth. It is also lauded as one of the cleanest and most civilized countries, committed to finding the perfect balance between day-to-day living and harnessing its natural resources with eco-friendly practices. Vikings landed on this pristine land during the 9th century; their arrival is well chronicled in the medieval Sagas preserved at the Culture House.
Heimaey is the only populated island in the Westman Islands. The scenery is stunning with its volcanic landscapes, moss-covered clifftops and picturesque homes with brightly colored rooftops. A number of breathtaking natural sights are a result of the volcanic eruption that took place here in 1973, which saw the evacuation of all 5,000 residents to the mainland. Each summer, millions of puffins pay a visit and countless other species migrate here to feed and breed. Several efforts are underway to protect the wealth of wildlife, from puffins to the gentle giants of the sea.
Djúpivogur lies on Iceland’s east coast and has been a trading center since the 16th century. The town is presided over by the towering Búlandstindur; a mountain famed in local folklore for its ability to grant wishes during the summer solstice. Dotted around the town, several cultural sights can be explored, including The Tank and the Eggs of Merry Bay. Residents here favor embracing a slower pace of life. The town has adopted the cultural trend known as “Cittaslow” which is dedicated to the promotion of sustainable living, improving the quality of life for its residents.
Seydisfjördur enjoys a mountainous setting at the end of a fjord. It traces its origins to the early days of Viking settlements. Though the town is tiny, it boasts an impressive history. It hosted the world’s first modern whaling station and pioneered international communications when it welcomed the first telegraph cable, linking Iceland to Europe. Colorful wooden homes line the streets, overseen by starkly picturesque slopes and the soaring summits of Mounts Bjólfur and Strandartindur.
Nicknamed the “Capital of the North,” Akureyri is set at the end of the Eyjafjördur and enjoys a mild climate, unusual for a northern city just 62 miles from the Arctic Circle. Folk culture is robust in Akureyri; the Vefarinn dance was invented here to celebrate the harvest. Other points of pride include the Public Park and Botanic Garden, where some 2,000 plant species grow, and the hilltop Akureyrarkirkja, the local church that is home to a stained glass window from Coventry Cathedral in England.
Ísafjördur, nestled at the foot of dramatic mountain slopes, is the capital and largest settlement on the Westfjords, a large peninsula in northwestern Iceland that is connected to the mainland by a wide isthmus. This rugged, unspoiled region is home to landscapes of breathtaking natural beauty, from jagged mountain peaks, to red- and gold-sand beaches, cascading waterfalls and Drangajökull, Iceland’s only expanding glacier. The Westfjords teem with birdlife; Látrabjarg, located on the peninsula’s western shores, is the site of one of Europe’s largest bird cliffs.
Sail the Atlantic Ocean, divided in half, north to south, by the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Longer than the Rockies, the Himalayas and the Andes combined, this underwater mountain range is the longest on Earth. As you sail, explore our well-curated library, tucked in a private alcove of The Living Room, and select from a broad range of titles. Read a book by the Main Pool, a calming oasis in any weather with its retractable roof, allowing for year-round swimming.
Nanortalik is nestled on an island near the mouth of a fjord on the southwestern shores of Greenland. It was established in 1770, though a small group of Vikings led by Erik the Red first arrived in the 10th century and called it “Grœnland,” or Greenland, in hopes of attracting more settlers. Today, the Inuit people dominate this austere and picturesque landscape and hold fast to their long Inuit traditions by fishing for crab, hunting hooded seals and welcoming visitors with a festive kaffe-mik, a coffee party with plenty of their famed Greenlandic cake.
Qaqortoq is a repository of Viking, Inuit and Danish history. Greenland’s largest and best-preserved Viking settlement lies 12 miles out of town at Hvalsey, established by Erik the Red’s uncle in the 10th century. The Inuit soon followed, and left behind many artifacts from their early days. The Danish colonial era, too, is finely reflected in historic buildings, including an 1804 blacksmith’s shop and the harborside 1797 black tar log building. Qaqortoq lends itself to leisurely strolls and its spectacular setting attracts outdoor enthusiasts.
Follow in the footsteps of intrepid Viking Leif Eriksson who famously crossed this stretch of water to become the first European to land on North American shores. Meet fellow guests and listen to the soothing sounds of classical music in The Living Room, an ideal setting for relaxation. Enjoy a cup of coffee or sip on a refreshing cocktail.
L’Anse aux Meadows is the site of the first Norse settlement in the Americas. Leif Eriksson’s voyage from Greenland in the late 10th century predated Columbus by 500 years. Proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978, the ancient village Eriksson founded provides fascinating insight into the day-to-day lives of Vikings. Each of its dwellings was constructed of a wood frame covered in sod. The site was uncovered in 1960, when a village local pointed out a series of mounds in the earth that he and his neighbors had always believed to be an ancient Native American camp.
Follow in the footsteps of 10th-century Vikings and sail the vast Gulf of St. Lawrence, an outlet for the North American Great Lakes into the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Lawrence Seaway. As you sail today, attend an informative lecture or watch a film in our state-of-the-art theater. A range of insightful TED Talks and destination-inspired seminars are offered daily.
Halifax exudes a fine European air and lies along the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Visitors by sea are greeted by the 1758 Sambro Island Lighthouse, the oldest surviving beacon in North America. In the harborside Historic Properties district, grand and charming stone buildings built in the 18th and 19th centuries grace the cobblestone streets. The city grew up around Citadel Hill, where Fort George protected the harbor. The fortress, along with the adjacent stately Halifax Town Clock, has been gloriously restored and preserved.
Sail legendary waters, where medieval Europeans believed “there be dragons” beyond the ocean’s horizon. Renew your body, mind and spirit in our Scandinavian-inspired spa, a Nordic sanctuary of holistic wellness, today while at sea. Whether you unwind in the Sauna, refresh in the Snow Grotto or take a dip in the Thermal Pool, you will feel recharged and revitalized.
New York City is at once romantic and exhilarating. From the robust streets of Lower Manhattan’s financial district to the intimate warrens of Greenwich Village, the city overflows with culture, cuisine and architectural beauty. New York is for everyone. Music lovers marvel at Carnegie Hall or catch a 1920s-style jazz and blues show in Harlem. Romantics board a horse-drawn carriage in Central Park. Art lovers browse the Museum of Modern Art or the Guggenheim. And theatergoers attend the greatest shows in the world on Broadway, amid the glitter of Times Square. After breakfast, disembark your ship and journey home.
* One shore excursion included per port; all others available at an extra charge.