M/S Quest: Northern Lights Tour in Northern Norway
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Duration: 5 Days
Join the expedition ship M/S Quest on a brand new adventure in true expedition style! In the middle of January, we will head into the fjords outside Tromsø to enjoy a grand natural wonderland and hopefully experience the magical Northern Lights. We will also visit the little coastal town of Alta to see the spectacular Northern Lights cathedral and learn more about the Sami culture. If we are lucky this expedition will also offer exclusive encounters with orcas and humpbacks!
Explore this winter wonderland dominated by snow-capped mountains and fjords
Small-ship expedition that takes up to 53 passengers
Take a cable car up to Fjellheisen, where you enjoy the magnificent view of Tromsø
Cruise and go ashore to explore Tromos's dramatic islands up close
Learn about the Sami Culture
Itinerary in Brief
Day 1: Tromso
Day 2-3: Expedition
Day 4: Alta
Day 5: Tromso
Day 1: Tromso, Norway
We arrive in the Norwegian city of Tromsø, located 350 km north of the Arctic Circle, and beautifully framed by fjords and mountains peaks. The city has been the starting point for many polar expeditions and was referred to as “the Gateway to the Arctic” in the 1800s. During the afternoon we board the ship and settle into our comfortable cabins. After our first tasty dinner on board, we visit the Artic Cathedral and take the cable car up to Fjellheisen, where we enjoy the magnificent view of Tromsø sparkling in the night. Back on board, it is time to head out in the fjord system – the expedition cruise has started.
Day 2-3: Expedition
We are now on an expedition cruise and our itinerary the following days is flexible due to weather and wildlife. We will travel in the middle of January, when the sun has only just returned, giving us direct sunlight for a short period each day.
For those who are interested in photography, the light at this time of year is captivating. Even when the sun is below the horizon, we can enjoy enchanting dusks and dawns. In clear weather we have good chances to see the spectacular Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) dance in the sky.
Tromsø is known as one of the best destinations if you dream about watching this fascinating phenomenon. Watching the greenish light dancing above from our ship in the smooth, protected waters of the fjords is an extraordinary experience! Since 2010, huge shoals of herring have overwintered in the fjords around Tromsø, which has attracted many orcas, but also humpbacks. As with any wild animals, it is hard to predict if they will return the next season, but with some luck we will experience unforgettable encounters with these incredible marine mammals. During the trip, we hope to be fortunate to see both Northern Lights and whales, but when the opportunity arises, we will head out on exciting Zodiac cruises and go ashore to explore Tromsø’s dramatic islands up close.
Perhaps the first snow has fallen and settled over the high mountain peaks, offering marvelous scenery's together with the small picturesque houses and the beautiful fjords. The area is also a popular haunt for white-tailed eagles. Rebbenesøya, Gjossøya, Ringvassøya and Seiland are examples on places we hope to explore. On board, we will listen to inspiring lectures, enjoy delicious food and keep a lookout for wildlife and Northern Lights out on deck.
Day 4: Alta - Saml Culture and the Northern Lights Cathedral
Today we head out on a full day outing to explore Alta and its surroundings. This little coastal town, framed by high mountains and beautiful fjords, can be reached with an overnight journey on board our ship from Tromsø. Alta is also known as the city of the Northern Lights. Here you have great chances of seeing the Northern Lights, but it was also in Alta that Kristian Birkeland in 1899 built the world’s first Northern Lights observatory.
After breakfast, we leave the ship and after a couple of hours bus drive we reach a Sami camp, located in the heart of Sápmi - the region traditionally inhabited by the Sami people. Here we learn more about the Sami culture and enjoy a typical Sami lunch in a Lavvu. We then return to Alta, where you get guided tour in the spectacular Northern Lights Cathedral. In connection to the cathedral we also find an interesting exhibition that tells us more about this colourful natural phenomenon.
Day 5: Tromso
In the morning we disembark our ship.
Departs - Selected dates (listed below)
Ship Cabin: M/S Quest
The M/S Quest is one of the world's best expedition ships for
polar cruising. Designed with a double bottom and central steel keel,
she is built tough for sailing in the icy Arctic waters.
Category F: Triple
Outside standard cabin furnished with two separate lower beds (sofa and bed), two upper beds, desk, chair and window. Category F cabins are located on deck 3.
Category E: Twin
Outside standard cabin furnished with two
separate beds (sofa and bed), desk, chair and window. Some cabins are
equipped with bunk beds and can sleep three people. However there are
limited cabins available for three people. Category E cabins are located
on deck 3.
Category D: Twin Plus
Outside superior cabin with two separate beds (sofa and bed), desk, chair and window. The cabins are situated on deck 3.
Category C: Double
Outside superior cabin equipped with a double bed, desk, seating area and window. The cabins are located on deck 3.
Category B: Double Superior
Outside deluxe cabin with a double bed (two mattresses). There is also a desk, seating area, TV and DVD player and window. The cabins are situated on decks 3 and 4.
Category A: Owner's Cabin
Large outside deluxe cabin furnished with a
double bed with two mattresses. The cabin is also equipped with a desk,
seating area, fridge, TV and DVD player and two windows. The cabins are
located on deck 4.