15% Ponant Bonus
From Bergen to Reykjavik, PONANT proposes an 11-day expedition cruise aboard Le Champlain exploring the most beautiful landscapes of the Celtic and Viking lands of Norway, Scotland, the Faroe Islands and Iceland.
From Bergen, the city founded by the Vikings and famous for its Hanseatic wharf, you will sail in the calm waters of Hardangerfjord, the second longest fjord in Norway. In the heart of this natural preserved jewel, you will discover stunning scenery while lavish fruit orchards sprawl across its lush shores.
Le Champlain will then set sail west towards the Shetland Islands. The exploration of this British archipelago located in the North Atlantic Drift promises breath-taking scenery on land and at sea: a jagged coastline of immaculate sandy beaches, windswept verdant moors, thousand-year-olds cliffs sculpted by marine erosion. To the great pleasure of ornithologists, many bird colonies have found refuge in the crevices of these landscapes! The Shetland Islands and the Orkney Islands are deeply steeped in Viking and Scottish heritage and can also be discovered via their remarkably well-preserved archaeological vestiges.
Your ship will then sail north towards the the Faroe Islands, Denmark’s northernmost autonomous territory. In this isolated archipelago, you will immerse yourself in a wild and spectacular natural environment. In Suduroy, the rolling plains populated by sheep shape the scenery punctuated by sheer summits, mountain lakes and jagged cliffs looking out to the islands, offering outstanding terrestrial and maritime panoramas. Eysturoy reveals itself through the life of the archipelago’s inhabitants, between remote villages, green roofs, a traditional black wooden church, and local customs. You will also enjoy sailing around cliffs that are home to bird colonies. Here, Viking legends and Nordic cosmogony are never far away.
On the edge of the Arctic, with its vertiginous fjords, volcanoes and waterfalls, Iceland offers up a simultaneously romantic and wild face. In the East Fjords region, where life is organised around fishing, you will discover a jagged coastline and alpine landscapes before reaching Heimaey. This is the only inhabited island in the Westman archipelago. An exceptional place composed of volcanoes and almost-desert landscapes, it is also a refuge for many colonies of birds, including gannets.
Finally, you will arrive in Reykjavik, the world’s northernmost capital, your disembarkation port.
We are privileged guests in these remote lands where we are at the mercy of weather, ice, tidal and current conditions. Landings on certain sites and the observation of certain wildlife cannot be guaranteed. They vary from day to day, making each PONANT cruise a unique experience. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will make every effort to ensure that your experience is as rich as possible, while complying with the safety rules and instructions imposed by the AECO.
An all-new expedition cruise discovering subarctic islands, isolated volcanic territories with singular identities. Outings and shore visits with an experienced team of naturalist-guides. Hiking...
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*Price is per person, based on double occupancy, based on availability, and subject to change at any time. The category of stateroom to which this price applies may no longer be available.
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Important trip details
Boarding conditions and passenger travel abilities
We invite you to read our boarding conditions and passenger travel abilities by clicking here.
Any new reservation implies the acceptance of these conditions.
The evolving COVID-19 health formalities are available in real time by clicking here.
Given the particularly changing international sanitary context, this itinerary as well as the land programmes and shore excursions may have to evolve according to port authorisations and governmental regulations in force at the time of your trip.
Therefore, for even greater peace of mind, we strongly recommend that you book your land programmes before and after your cruise with PONANT.
Health formalities related to COVID-19 will be confirmed to you before your departure.
In this exceptional context, your safety remains our first priority. The effectiveness of our procedures, our cutting-edge medical equipment and the smaller scale of our ships means we can offer maximum safety so that you can relax and enjoy your cruise. The revised passenger circuit and our enhanced hygiene measures can be found on this page: https://au.ponant.com/sail-with-confidence.
The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.
Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, Ponant will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.
Warning about the use of drones: the use of drones aboard PONANT ships, whether they are sailing at sea, at a port of call or anchored, is strictly forbidden. The use of drones on land in the Arctic and Antarctic regions is also strictly forbidden by international polar regulations. In other regions, it may be possible to use drones on land if permission has been obtained from the relevant authorities of each country and each region travelled through, as well as a pilot’s licence that should be obtained from your home country. Passengers are responsible for obtaining these permits; they should be able to present them at all times. Passengers who do not obtain these authorisations expose themselves to the risk of legal proceedings.
Expedition programmes include activities such as zodiac outings and landings (sometimes with "wet landing"), moderate walks to more active hikes, all accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides.
Ports of call, visited sites, outings and landings will depend on weather conditions, position of ice, winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time. The Captain and the Expedition Leader may at any time cancel or stop any activity, or even modify the itinerary. The final itinerary will be confirmed by the Captain, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. His decision will be based on advice from experts and authorities.
Travelling to polar/isolated regions is an exhilarating experience in remote areas: please remember that you are far from modern hospitals with full medical facilities, thus evacuation is extremely expensive. Without adequate medical coverage, all expenses will have to be immediately paid with your personal funds. We urge you to subscribe to full coverage insurance, choose your insurance company very carefully, be extremely vigilant and ensure your insurance is fully comprehensive, especially if you are insured by your credit card. PONANT offers an insurance contract with extensive guarantees, please contact us for more information.
Ideal clothes for life on board:
During the days spent on board, you are advised to wear comfortable clothes or casual outfits. The entire ship is air-conditioned, so a light sweater, a light jacket or a shawl may be necessary. When moving about in the public areas of the ship and the decks, light but comfortable shoes are recommended.
In the evening, you are advised to wear smart-casual attire, especially when dining in our restaurants where wearing shorts and tee-shirts is not allowed.
Depending on the itinerary and the program of your cruise, an Officer’s Evening with a white dress code may be organized. Therefore, we encourage you to bring a stylish white outfit for the occasion (otherwise black and white).
During the cruise, two gala evenings will be organised on board. Thus, we recommend that you bring one or two formal outfits.
A small shop is available on board offering a wide range of outfits, jewellery, leather goods and many accessories.
A laundry service (washing/ironing) is available on board, but unfortunately there are no dry cleaning services. For safety reasons, your cabin is not equipped with an iron.
Embarkation 3/8/2024 From 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Departure 3/8/2024 at 7:00 pm
Located at the end of Byfjord, Bergen was the capital of Norway in the 12th and 13th Centuries and has preserved some very beautiful monuments from the time when it was home to royalty. Wandering through Bergen’s streets means going back in time, in search of the hidden treasures that have been listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. A veritable openair museum, Bergen is home to a thriving artistic community of painters, potters, jewellers. The Bergen cable car offers you a splendid panorama over the port and the surrounding fjords. Do not miss the visit to the old quarter with its narrow streets, a testimony of the power of the hanseatic League that controlled trade in Northern Europe at the end of the Middle Ages.
In the heart of Norway’s natural scenery, to the southeast of Bergen, you will sail the peaceful waters of the Hardangerfjord, the second longest fjord in Norway. At the wide mouth of this majestic fjord, gently sloping valleys offer the sight of lush meadows and fruit trees galore. Moreover, it is rightly nicknamed the “fruit orchard of Norway". As you continue sailing and move further inland, the fjord narrows and the rolling surroundings make way for vertiginous walls and high mountainous areas. Enhanced by the reflections of the light on the soft waters, at times clear, at times deep, the landscapes become wilder and reveal an uncut diamond of singular beauty.
The small and charming capital of the Shetland Islands, with its sea front of old houses and narrow streets, offering travellers its old districts and a warm port atmosphere. Geopark Shetland, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located to the north. Incredibly well-preserved archaeological sites and ruins prove that the islands’ occupation dates back to the first Neolithic colonies. The Shetland Museum and Archives recounts the Shetlands’ history of heritage and culture: Lerwick’s abundant waters were even fished by the Dutch in the past.
Many colonies of birds have chosen to nest on the towering sandstone cliffs on the eastern coast of the Isle of Noss. The many ledges sculpted into the rock effectively make for ideal breeding sites for the gannets, puffins, guillemots, black-legged kittiwakes, razorbills, arctic fulmars and great skuas that populate this territory. Separated from the island of Bressay by a sound of only 100 metres (328 feet), this wild island in the Shetland archipelago has been a national nature reserve of Scotland since 1955. Make the most of this unique opportunity you have to discover this isolated Eden, bathed by the North Sea.
Capital of the Orkney archipelago, Kirkwall, which means “church bay”, is an ideal stopover before continuing on to the Northern Isles. Sheltered in a wide bay, the lively town welcomes the visitor with its charming paved alleyways edged by old houses and craft shops. Tankerness House, the oldest homestead in the town, is a must-see landmark. But the true architectural treasure of the aptly named Kirkwall is none other than its remarkable red and gold stone cathedral. And because whisky is inseparable from Scotland’s identity, stop at the Highland Park Distillery for a highly instructive visit.
Suduroy Island, literally “South Island”, has one of the smallest populations in the Faroe Islands. It has sheer cliffs along its western face. The island is an important breeding ground for seabirds, including northern fulmars, black-legged kittiwakes, Atlantic puffins, and guillemots. Your expedition team will guide you as you discover the island, its authentic villages with black, tarred-wood churches typical of the Faroe Islands, and its hiking trails lined with peat fields and stone sheepfolds. Sheep are indeed omnipresent throughout the Faroe Islands — in fact, there are more sheep than humans —, and they add to the charm of these wild landscapes.
Your stop on Eysturoy Island (“East Island” in Danish) will be an opportunity to immerse yourself in a traditional village of the Faroe Islands. The locals only welcome a few dozen visitors each year, so this is a rare privilege. In the company of your naturalist guides and local guides, you will discover the village, where certain houses have a typical Scandinavian roof, made from birch bark covered with sod. Here, you will enjoy a traditional coffee. Our more athletic guests will be able to hike along the trails that connected the island’s villages when people got around on foot. These trails are marked with cairns due to the frequent presence of fog.
The Faroe Islands, an archipelago formed by volcanic rock, reveal an incredible diversity of reliefs where the sea is ubiquitous: you’ll sail past stone pinnacles and unique coastlines. To the west of the island of Vagar stand Thindolmur and Drangarnir, rocky outcrops that marine erosion have detached from the coast, thus forming independent islets known as stacks. The impressive Traelanipa cliff, also known as Slave Cliff, stands 142 metres (466 feet) high. It overlooks the superb Lake Sorvagsvatn. Located 30 metres (98 feet) above sea level, this is the archipelago’s largest lake. On the island of Streymoy, you’ll be able to spot guillemots, screeching fulmars or penguins, nesting in the welcoming crevices of the Vestmanna cliffs.
EastFjords are part of the wildest and most unspoiled areas of Iceland. Here, various glaciations have carved out the volcanic plateaus that have eroded over the millennia, carving valleys and creating long, majestic fjords into which the sea intrudes. This slow metamorphosis has created sublime landscapes that you will be able to observe in all their diversity: basalt cliffs plunging into the sea, waterfalls with crystal clear waters, black sand volcanic beaches, alpine reliefs, hot springs. In this remote area, birds have found refuge in a rich ecosystem, such as puffins mainly in May and June. Here, nature is written in capital letters.
This land seated off the southern coast of Iceland is the largest of the Vestmann islands, and is the only inhabited island in the archipelago. The steep Edfell volcanoes and the green prairies of Herjólfsdalur offer rich contrast of nature. On the Stórhöfði road, look out over grey sand beaches and cliffs carved out by the Arctic ocean. From here, you can also see the bronze landscapes of the mountaintops. You could visit Eldheimar, an ultra-modern and interactive museum which traces the volcanic eruption has experienced Heimaey in 1973.
Arrival 13/8/2024 early morning
Disembarkation 13/8/2024 at 7:00 am
Iceland’s capital stretches along the edge of a vast bay in the west of the country. Perlan, the “Pearl of Reykjavík”, a museum located on ’Oskjuhlið hill, offers a panoramic view of the lush, green landscapes. A little further, one can easily spot the signpost showing the way to the evangelical Hallgrímskirkja church, and to the historical centre where one can stroll along the Skólavördustígur and the Laugavegur, two lively streets with charming small shops. For some relaxation just outside of the city, visitors have the opportunity to visit the Reykjanes peninsula and its famous thermal lagoons of the Blue Lagoon.
Realise your dream of adventure in the polar regions ! From your ship’s deck, aboard a Zodiac® inflatable or from land, discover the icy vastness and the fauna of Antarctica (humpback whales, seals, penguins and more) or the Arctic's fjords, glaciers and icebergs in shifting colours, not to mention the polar bears, the variety of wildlife and the special moments shared with the locals. Our team of naturalist guides share their knowledge with you during varied lectures about the fauna, the flora, the history of great explorations, geology and climatology. Thanks to its conscientiousness and to the responsible approach that is its hallmark, PONANT has been a leader and expert in cruises to these destinations for more than 20 years.
Aboard your ship, an English-speaking lecturer will enlighten you about the culture and history of your destination to deepen your knowledge of the origins of local traditions, the history of emblematic sites, and stories involving famous personalities and those of major historical significance. During on-board lectures or on your shore visits, this expert will be there to share their precious knowledge with you throughout your PONANT cruise.