Day-By-Day


On a voyage aboard the new National Geographic Endurance, sail across the North Sea in the wake of legendary explorers and seafarers, traveling from Norway’s breathtaking fjords and snow-dusted mountains to Scotland’s rolling green hills and ancient ruins. Glide beneath the dramatic cliffs of the second largest fjord in Norway, explore the rich traditions and evocative seascapes of the Shetland Islands, and travel back in time amid the Stone Age sites of the Orkney Islands. With our knowledgeable expedition team, encounter an interwoven tapestry of histories and cultures as we explore on foot, by kayak, and by Zodiac.

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  • DAY 1: Edinburgh/Embark

    Arrive in Edinburgh and take a tour of the city before boarding National Geographic Endurance. (L, D)

  • DAY 2-3: Orkney Islands

    The Vikings held a strategic foothold in the Orkney Islands for centuries, and their Norse heritage is still evident. On mainland Orkney, explore fascinating Stone Age sites, including the 5,000-year-old stone-slab village of Skara Brae and visit the medieval St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall, which was founded in 1137 by the Viking Earl Rognvald. Join us for a special evening visit to the Ring of Brodgar. Continue on to some of Orkney’s less frequented outer islands, exploring their stunning archaeological sites and wildlife. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 4: Shetland Islands, Unst, Scotland/Isle Of Noss/Lerwick

    Arrive at Unst, the northernmost island of the Shetlands which harbors sheltered inlets, golden beaches, and a large nature reserve. Take to the trails onshore to skirt towering cliffs and heather-covered hills. Weather permitting, paddle the scenic coastline by kayak or cruise in a Zodiac to the farthest northern lighthouse in the U.K. Or visit the Unst Heritage Centre, which features local artifacts including handspun knit and lace, fishing tools, and wooden boats. At sunset, cruise below the towering cliffs of Noss, a nature reserve which harbors thousands of seabirds including puffins, guillemots, and kittiwakes. Arrive in Lerwick in the late evening. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 5: Lerwick/At Sea

    In the bustling seaport of Lerwick, choose from several options. Explore the town, strolling amid 18th-century sandstone warehouses; delve into local culture and history at the Shetland Museum & Archives; or embark on a birdwatching or a geology-focused excursion. Alternatively, discover the prehistoric settlement of Jarlshof—which reveals 4,000 years of near-continuous settlement—and examine Bronze Age ruins and Viking longhouses. Our voyage takes us across the North Sea to Norway overnight. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 6: Hidra, Norway

    Drop anchor at the island of Hidra, which boasts a rich history dating from the Viking era through World War II. Explore the picturesque village of Kirkehamn and learn about its long history of fishing and shipping. Hike to a beautiful viewpoint overlooking Hidra and the surrounding islands, and see the remains of World War II Coastal batteries. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 7: Hardangerfjorden

    Norway’s glacier-carved western coast boasts some of the most dramatic landscapes in the world. Launch kayaks and Zodiacs to explore the sublime Hardangerfjorden, the second longest fjord in the country and the fourth longest in the world. Cruise beneath staggering cliffs and rushing waterfalls. Then venture ashore to hike against a backdrop of snow-dusted mountains, emerald valleys, and fruit orchards. (B,L,D)

  • DAY 8: Bergen, Norway/Disembark

    Disembark our ship in Bergen, set on a lovely fjord, and transfer to the airport for homeward-bound flights. (B)

Please note: All day-by-day breakdowns are a sampling of the places we intend to visit, conditions permitting.

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