Follow Norway's fjord-carved coast past the North Cape to the icy isles of Svalbard on board the National Geographic Explorer. Visit charming towns in Norway before entering the fjordlands. Kayak narrow inlets that slice between towering peaks, visit fishing villages, and hike wildflower-strewn islands. Explore Tromsø and Bear Island on the way to Svalbard, where polar bears prowl and walruses loll on glaciers and magnificent icebergs.
Capture stellar images of Norway’s epic landscapes and wildlife, enhancing your techniques as you shoot alongside a National Geographic photographer.
By special permission, visit the island of Smøla, and learn about the cultures that flourish there.
Board one of the National Geographic Explorer’s Zodiacs or kayaks and glide into islets and coves hidden among the soaring fjordlands.
Seek out Arctic wildlife—including walruses, seals, reindeer, and the majestic polar bear—with our highly skilled naturalists.
Itinerary - 17 Days
Days 1 & 2 — U.S./Bergen, Norway
Depart on an overnight flight to Bergen, the gateway to the fjord lands. Ringed by seven hills, this beautiful city was once an important Hanseatic trading center. Discover Bergen’s maritime history on a guided walk of Bryggen, a UNESCO World Heritage site before embarking the National Geographic Explorer.
Day 3 — Nordfjord
Glide through the little-known Nordfjord and travel overland to see the jagged peaks and turquoise lake of Olden Valley. Hike through deep, glacially carved valleys to Briksdal Glacier.
Day 4 — Smøla
A small, flat island in the North Sea, Smøla is home to a fishing community of about 2,100. Spend time today exploring the wetlands, fishing villages, and rugged coasts by special permission. Go for a coastal walk or bike ride, or a take a kayaking
excursion in its protected bays.
Days 5 & 6 — Exploring the Fjords of Norway
Along the dramatic coast of central Norway, cruise in a Zodiac along vertical rock faces, paddle a kayak past countless waterfalls, and go for a hike with our naturalists. Explore hidden gems such as Melfjorden, a spectacular narrow channel that cuts between high granite cliffs.
Day 7 — Lofoten Islands
Travel among the islets by Zodiac to view Atlantic puffins, razorbills, and murres. Go ashore at the island of Værøy. Later, cruise into dramatic Trollfjorden, one of the most famous fjords in Norway.
Day 8 — Tysfjorden
This morning, enter the long fjord of Tysfjorden, where only a few small villages cling to the rocky shores. Explore the u-shaped valley of Hellemobotn whose fjord reaches far inland, ending just a few miles from the border of Sweden. (B,L,D)
Day 9 — Tromsø
Tromsø is known as the “gateway to the Arctic” because so many Arctic expeditions originated here. Visit the Polar Museum and the Arctic Cathedral, where the unique architecture evokes snow and icebergs.
Day 10 — At Sea/Bjørnøya (Bear Island)
We now set our sights on the high Arctic, taking
advantage of opportunities to explore on our way to Bear Island. Glide a Zodiac into the coves and inlets of this mist-shrouded island, populated by hundreds of thousands of fulmars, kittiwakes, and murres.
Days 11 through 15 — Exploring Svalbard
Spend five days searching for walruses, seals, reindeer, arctic foxes, and polar bears among the deep fjords, mountains, and ice sheets of Svalbard. Our itinerary is flexible to allow us to make the most of ice and weather conditions, and wildlife sightings. Shore walks and Zodiac and kayaking adventures bring us up close to untouched landscapes and passing icebergs.
Day 16 — Longyearbyen/Disembark/Oslo
Disembark in Longyearbyen and visit the Svalbard Art Gallery and Svalbard Museum. Then board our charter flight to Oslo and check into the SAS Radisson Blu Airport Hotel.
Day 17 — Oslo/U.S.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight.
Naturalists, historians, cultural experts, an undersea specialist, a National Geographic photographer, a photography instructor, and more make up the dynamic expedition team that accompanies this expedition. They are passionate leaders in their fields and they are eager to share their insights and experiences with travelers through informative talks and informally on our daily excursions.
National Geographic Expert
A diverse team of experts, including naturalists, historians, and a National Geographic photographer, will accompany each expedition aboard the National Geographic Explorer. See one of the members of our extraordinary team below.
For more than a decade, Erika Larsen has used photography to learn intimately about and document cultures that maintain strong connections with nature. She has been working with National Geographic magazine since 2011, and is currently a National Geographic Society Fellow and Explorer. Among her assignments, she followed Sami reindeer herders in the Scandinavian arctic and explored the significance of the horse in Native American culture. Erika was part of the multi-photographer team that produced the magazine’s 2016 single topic Yellowstone Issue, and she contributed to Yellowstone: A Journey Through America’s Wild Heart, published by National Geographic Books. She is also one of the featured photographers in Women of Vision: National Geographic Photographers on Assignment, which profiles the lives and work of important photojournalists and goes behind the lens of their individual assignments. Larsen is also the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, which sponsored her study of the North Sami language, and she published her first book of photographs in 2013 (Sámi, Walking with Reindeer). Erika’s work has been shown in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Fotografiska Museum in Sweden, and the Reggio Calabria National Archaeological Museum in Italy, as well as at Visa pour l'Image in Perpignan, France. Her images are represented by Nat Geo Creative. Erika looks forward to sharing her insights about creating images and expressing a personal vision on this journey.
Travelers can choose between a light or moderate activity level. For a light level of activity, they should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives on bumpy roads, or easy hikes.
For a moderate level, travelers should be prepared for multiple hours of physical activity (e.g. hiking, kayaking, biking) each day.
Click here for a description of all activity levels.