Across the Arctic Circle

Polar Pioneer Cruise Ship
Polar Pioneer
54 Passengers
Adventure Options

Follow the Vikings’ way from northeast Scotland to the land of the midnight sun. Our enthusiastic historian and expert naturalist reveal the Orkney and Shetland islands, from Stone Age villages and Viking relics, to world class distilleries and spectacular birdlife, including cheeky puffins. We follow migrating whales along Norway’s dramatic coast, visit picturesque fishing villages and toast our Arctic Circle crossing. In Spitsbergen, we enter a polar wonderland, where delicate wildflowers adorn tundra and the summer sun never sets. This spectacular wilderness is the breeding ground of walrus, reindeer, millions of birds and polar bear.

Voyage Highlights
• Visit Neolithic sites scarcely changed in 5,000 years
• Zodiac cruise beneath cliffs alive with nesting birds
• Visit picturesque villages and castles that were once strongholds of Scottish clans
• Paddle in Kayaks among the lochs, sea stacks and beaches of the remote Scottish Isles
• Cruise whale-rich waters and visit colorful fishing villages
• Walk through dramatic landscapes and visit ancient cultural sites
• Explore some of the most amazing fjords on earth
• Cross the Arctic Circle and experience 24 hours of sunlight
• Explore this virtually unspoiled wilderness
• Search for the mighty polar bear
• Breeding ground for walrus, reindeer and millions upon millions of migratory land and sea birds.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Aberdeen, West Scotland
Days 2 & 3 Orkney Islands
Day 4 Shetland Islands
Day 5 At Sea
Days 6 to 9 Norwegian Coastline
Days 10 to 13 Bear Island & Spitsbergen
Day 14 Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Day 1 — Aberdeen, West Scotland

We board Polar Pioneer around mid-afternoon in Aberdeen, after settling in we will set sail in for the Orkney Islands, where Stone Age villages like Skara Brae, relics of Viking occupation and the wild sea stack Old Man of Hoy vie for our attention.

Days — 2 & 3 Orkney Islands

Among Orkney’s archipelago of 70 windswept islands, 6 miles north of the Scottish mainland, a rich tapestry of archaeology, history and wildlife awaits. We follow the passage of time – from 5,000 year old World Heritage neolithic sites, past relics from wandering Vikings and reminders of World War 2 occupation, to present day crofting communities. Imposing sea cliffs teem with seabirds and cliff top paths and bleak moors beckon the keen hikers among us, while our kayakers use paddle-power to explore sections of Orkney’s fascinating coastline.

Mid-way between Orkney and Shetland, Fair Isle houses a major European ornithological research station, and is also famous for knitwear and historic shipwrecks. About 3 miles by 2 miles, the island is surrounded by impressive cliffs. The 70 or so islanders mostly live in traditional crofts on the more fertile low-lying southern part of the island.

A bird watchers’ paradise, Fair Isle lies on the intersection on major flight-paths from Scandinavia, Iceland and Faroe. It attracts common species and also eastern rarities such as the lanceolated warbler. In summer, the cliffs teem with breeding fulmars, kittiwakes, guillemots, gannets, shags and puffins, and it is an excellent place to view seabirds at close range, especially puffins. The island also has over 250 species of flowering plants, including wetland flowers, rare orchids, alpine species and common wildflowers. We’ll be welcomed by the hospitable villagers and may take a hike or visit the museum

Day 4 — Shetland Islands

Britain’s most northerly islands lie almost 100 miles north of the Scottish mainland, at a similar latitude to the southern tip of Greenland, or Bergen in Norway. Kept relatively warm by the Gulf Stream, Shetland’s 100 islands experience almost 24 hours of daylight in summer. They abound with nature reserves and archaeological sites, and offer a taste of traditional island life. We plan to visit some of Shetland's best-preserved and most complex archaeological sites, brochs - fortified Iron Age towers.

Day 5 — At Sea

As we sail towards the Norwegian coastline, the warmth of the bridge or the outer decks offer an excellent vantage point for birdwatching. Our historian and naturalists will delight us with their informative talks.

Days 6 to 9 — Norwegian Coastline

Our aim is to spend the three days exploring the superb Norwegian coastline, cruising the intricate maze of seldom-visited inlets and outer islands. The cod-fishing island of Sor Glaeslingan will welcome us with its delightful wooden houses and cheerful inhabitants, while we search for nesting kittiwakes and reclusive sea otters. Delight as we hunt for fabled trolls, passing through Torgatten, meaning mountain with a hole, said to be caused by a troll arrow.

Crossing the Arctic Circle, we make our way to the stunning Lofoten Islands, meaning puma’s foot, this is a land scoured by ice and legend, the towering crags with their sharp edges, standing in silent protection of the villages below.

As we travel north, the days are noticeably longer and we search for blue whales, humpbacks, orcas, minke whales, pilot whales and dolphins in the deep squid rich ocean trenches off Andenes.

Days 10 to 13 — Bear Island & Spitsbergen

We approach Spitsbergen at its most southerly point, South Cape or Sørkapp and explore the coastline entering a different world – that of the polar desert. Enormous peaks and deeply gouged fjords make our visit to Hornsund a powerful experience. As the southern most fjord in Svalbard, we will be on keen lookout for polar bears, cruise in Zodiacs, along glacial fronts that are home to bearded and ring seal, kittiwakes and guillemots. Here we continue our exploration into human history dating back 400 years in Svalbard, encompassing trapping and hunting, whaling and mining. If the skies are clear we may catch a glimpse of dramatic Hornsundtind, peaking at 4,700 ft (1430m).

Dramatic folds characterize the geological landscape of Bellsund and here we will enjoy magnificent vistas and steep bird cliffs creating lush vegetation; an open invitation to Arctic fox and polar bears. Little auks, guillemots, northern fulmar and pink footed geese all make this their breeding home. Reindeer graze the slopes peacefully and with two branches of the fjord, there are numerous places to explore. Polar bears pass through the area on their way to the west coast, and if we are lucky we may encounter of the elusive and alluring white beluga whale.

Day 14 — Longyearbyen, Svalbard

During the early morning, we cruise into the port of the remote village, Longyearbyen, the 'capital' of Spitsbergen. After bidding farewell to new found friends, we are transferred into town, where there is time to explore and shop, before we are transferred to the airport in the afternoon

Note: Please refer to this itinerary as a guide only as changes may occur due to unpredictable sea and weather conditions.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

Only show rates under
$ X
Please note that availability is updated about once a week.
Per Person USD
Rates Arctic 2018
Triple Shared
Twin Shared
Twin Economy Private
Twin Private
Mini Suite
Captain's Suite
Kayak
$5,700Full$6,800Full$7,800Full$8,200Full$8,600Full$9,800Full
Kayak
Free 2-Night stopover in Oslo or Longyearbyen
Expires Mar 31st 2018 or when sold out
$5,700Full$6,800Full$7,8001 Berth$8,200Full$8,600Full$9,800Full
Kayak
$5,700Full$6,800Full$7,800Full$8,200Full$8,600Full$9,800Full
Kayak
$11,000Full$12,800Full$15,700Full$15,800Full$17,350Full$19,400Full
Kayak
$6,6001 Berth$7,900Full$9,6001 Berth$9,800Full$10,950Full$11,700Full
Photography, Kayak
$6,600Full$7,900Full$9,600Full$9,800Full$10,950Full$11,700Full
No trips meet your criteria. Please increase the budget above to view more results.
Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

Prices quoted are in US dollars, per person, twin share. Single occupancy is 1.7 times the twin share price. No single supplement applies if you are willing to share your cabin (tripe & twin cabins only). No refund for unused services.

Kayaking option: Spitzbergen Odyssey-$785, Jewels of the Arctic-$920.

Adventure options must be pre-booked and paid for prior to start of the trip. Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.

Jewels of the Arctic includes a flight between Isafjordur and Reykavik (or vice versa).

Arctic Complete includes a dog sledding tour in Longyearbyen.

All voyages embarking or disembarking in Longyearbyen include a town tour and airport transfer.

Airfare is not included except as noted above. All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.

Only show rates under
$ X
Please note that availability is updated about once a week.
Per Person USD
Rates Arctic 2019
Triple Shared
Twin Shared
Twin Economy Private
Twin Private
Mini Suite
Captain's Suite
Kayak
Save $1,600 (Twin Private) & $1,300 (Twin Shared)
(Prices in Red) Expires Mar 31st 2018
$5,8001 Berth$7,000$5,700$8,100Full$8,400$6,800$9,300 $10,500 
Kayak
Save $800 (Twin Private) & $700 (Twin Shared)
(Prices in Red) Expires Mar 31st 2018
$5,700 $6,800$6,100$8,000 $8,200$7,400$9,100 $10,400 
Kayak
Save $800 (Twin Private) & $700 (Twin Shared)
(Prices in Red) Expires Mar 31st 2018
$5,7001 Berth$6,800$6,100$8,000 $8,200$7,400$9,100Full$10,400Full
Kayak
$11,6001 Berth$13,9001 Berth$16,300Full$16,800Full$18,600Full$21,200Full
Kayak
Save $800 (Twin Private) & $700 (Twin Shared)
(Prices in Red) Expires Mar 31st 2018
$7,2001 Berth$8,600$7,9001 Berth$10,100Full$10,500$9,700Full$11,600Full$13,200Full
Photography, Kayak
Save $800 (Twin Private) & $700 (Twin Shared)
(Prices in Red) Expires Mar 31st 2018
$7,200 $8,600$7,900$10,100Full$10,500$9,700Full$11,600Full$13,200 
Photography, Kayak
$11,600 $13,900 $16,300Full$16,800Full$18,600Full$21,200 
Photography, Kayak
Save $1,200 (Twin Private) & $1,000 (Twin Shared)
(Prices in Red) Expires Mar 31st 2018
$5,700 $6,800$5,800$8,000 $8,200$7,000Full$9,100Full$10,400 
No trips meet your criteria. Please increase the budget above to view more results.
Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

Prices quoted are in US dollars, per person, twin share. Single occupancy is 1.7 times the twin share price. No single supplement applies if you are willing to share your cabin (triple & twin cabins only). No refund for unused services.

Kayaking option: Spitsbergen Odyssey-$830, Jewels of the Arctic & Across the Arctic Circle-$990, Northern Svalbard Explorer-$790, Arctic Complete (7/25)-$1,640 (8/17)-$1,600.
Climbing option: Jewels of the Arctic-$710, Arctic Complete-$710.
Snorkelling option: Spitsbergen Odyssey-$740, Diving option: Spitsbergen Odyssey-$940

Adventure options must be pre-booked and paid for prior to start of the trip. Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.

Spitsbergen Odyssey includes a Longyearbyen town tour and airport transfers.

Jewels of the Arctic includes a one-way transfer between the ship and Reykjavik (or vice versa), a Longyearbyen town tour, and transfers between Longyearbyen airport and ship (or vice versa).

Arctic Complete includes a Longyearbyen town tour, dog sledding tour in Longyearbyen and transfer to and from ship.

Airfare is not included except as noted above. All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.

DeckPlan_PolarPioneer

   Captain's Suite
Polar Pioneer's most deluxe cabin, the Captain's Suite (on Deck 5) features a separate sleeping area and lounge room, a private en-suite and large windows for optimal viewing opportunities from your own cabin. Only one cabin available, so be sure to enquire early.
Cabin Features: Private en-suite • Double bed in separate room • Forward- and side-facing windows • Separate lounge area • Desk and table area • TV, DVD player and mini fridge • Air-conditioning control • Outside deck access from Deck 5.

242 sq ft (22.5 sq m)
    Mini Suite
Two Mini Suites on Deck 5 offer a more spacious cabin with a separate sleeping and sitting area as well as a private en-suite and large windows to enjoy the views from the comfort of your own cabin. Perfect if you're after a bit more space and comfort.
Cabin Features: Private en suite • Double bed in separate room • Side-facing windows • Separate lounge area • Desk and chair • Cupboard with hanging space • TV, DVD player and mini fridge • Air-conditioning control • Outside deck access from Deck 5.

180 sq ft (16.8 sq m)
  Twin Cabin, Private Bathroom
Twin Cabins with Private Bathrooms on Deck 4 & Deck 5. Each cabin accommodates two people and offers the convenience of private bathroom facilities.
Cabin Features: Private en-suite • Two lower bunk beds • Side-facing window • Desk and chair • Cupboard with hanging space • Air-conditioning control • Outside deck access to main deck (Deck 4 cabins only) • Outside deck access to upper deck (Deck 5 cabins only).

130 sq ft (12 sq m)
  Twin Economy Cabin, Private Bathroom
Twin Cabins with Private Bathrooms on Deck 4 (#402 and #403). Each cabin accommodates two people and offers the convenience of private bathroom facilities.
Cabin Features: Private en-suite • An upper and lower bunk and a couch • Side-facing window • Desk and chair • Cupboard with hanging space • Air-conditioning control • Outside deck access to main deck.

130 sq ft (12 sq m)
  Twin Cabin, Shared Bathroom
Twin Cabins with Shared Bathrooms on Deck 3. Surprisingly spacious, each cabin comfortably sleeps two people and are only a short distance from the ship’s public bathroom facilities. Outside decks are accessible from this deck.
Cabin Features: Two lower bunk beds • Outside porthole • Wash basin • Lounge and desk • Cupboard with hanging space • Air-conditioning control • Shared bathroom facilities on same deck • Outside decks accessible via Deck 3 and 4.

105 sq ft (9.8 sq m)
  Triple Cabin, Shared Bathroom
Two Triple Cabins with Shared Bathrooms on Deck 3. Perfect for friends or families, or for solo travelers who are happy to share their space with fellow passengers. Bathrooms are located close by on the same deck.
Cabin Features: Two lower bunk beds and one upper bunk bed • Outside porthole • Wash basin • Lounge and desk • Cupboard with hanging space • Air-conditioning control • Shared bathroom facilities on same deck • Outside deck accessed via Deck 4.

110 sq ft (10.2 sq m)