DAY 1: DOVER
Your Voyage Begins
This expedition begins as we set sail from Dover and make our way to the European coast. As we pass the white cliffs of Dover and head across the North Sea, stretch your sea legs and get to know MS Maud. Find the amenities you like best – the Science Center, the hot tubs, the Explorer lounge, or maybe a favourite spot out on deck.
DAY 2: AT SEA
Relax and Learn
Enjoy an idyllic day at sea with plenty to do. Meet our Expedition Team, who prepare you for exciting adventures ahead. Listen in on talks by these experienced explorers who share their extensive knowledge, or maybe you just want to kick back and relax. Admire the views, try some of the ship’s cuisine that caught your eye on the menu, or settle into a good book while enjoying this day at sea.
DAY 3: LIST, SYLT (GERMANY)
Sandy beaches and Grass covered sand Dunes
Experience nature in a landscape of vast sand dunes, wide sandy beaches, majestic cliffs and flowering heathlands. List sits at the northernmost tip of Sylt, famous as the northernmost point of Germany. With its charming harbour and old mariners’ houses, List has a romantic beauty and natural charm, ideal for a day exploring on foot. Stroll around the town or enjoy a walk over the grass-covered sand dunes heading to one of the lighthouses in the area. Or enjoy the island’s culinary specialty, oysters – farmed here since the 16th century. Mud flats lie out to the Wadden Sea, which can be viewed at low tide, along with the only shifting sand dune in Germany.
DAY 4: KIEL CANAL AND KIEL (GERMANY)
Built in 1895 and widened in 1907, the Kiel Canal connects the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Here in one of the world’s most important and busiest shipping routes, you will see many ships and vessels transiting the canal whilst enjoying the picturesque scenery. Enjoy a scenic passage during our 61-mile transit, overlooking lush countryside; there are bridges to admire, quaint villages and magnificent landscapes en-route. We will have a short technical stop in Kiel allowing you enough time to stretch your legs and visit the maritime city.
DAY 5: SKAGEN
The sunniest place in Denmark
Skagen (pronounced skain) is located at the top of Denmark northernmost tip, where the Baltic and the North Sea meets. The region’s beauty and light has long-attracted artists and painters, destinated to capture its characteristic natural essence and wide, white, sandy beaches. Discover the lively town center with a bustling marina, museums, galleries and shops, or venture outside of town to explore endless beaches. Designated as a rare, authentic natural beauty spot by the World-Wide Fund for Nature, Skagen’s many attractions are sure to delight those with a particular talent for photography.
DAY 6: KOSTER ISLANDS
Today we spend time exploring the scenic archipelago of Bohuslän. One of the world’s finest coastlines to explore by boat, the archipelago covers almost 280 kilometers of Sweden’s western coast and is an area of outstanding natural beauty. We sail through the “inside passage” before arriving at the Kosterhavet National Park. Sailing so close to so many islands, we will see small piers, towns and picturesque summer houses, before we cruise north to arrive at the Koster islands.
As part of a marine biosphere, Koster consists of two relatively large main islands, North Koster and South Koster, both prime for exploration by foot or on bike. The two islands are filled with meadows, forests, sandy beaches and rugged cliffs. Multiple walking trails, as well as beaches good for swimming can be found here. There is a cable ferry connecting the islands, which have their own unique qualities – South Koster is reasonably flat and good for cycling, whilst North Koster is more rugged and with more plant life and wildflowers. Both islands have small settlements to be explored. Perhaps with a stop for lunch or a fabulous ice cream? With fishing and farming being a focus in the area, there are cultural and heritage sites dotted throughout these islands as points of interest. The area is sprinkled with skerries and rocky isles, and should conditions allow, we make the most of it by kayak and small boat cruising. As it is a Marine National Park, nearly all under water, an ideal way of exploring the area is by snorkel. This is Sweden’s first Marine National Park, which is largely car-free and mostly a nature reserve, where the many types of flora and fauna are protected. There is a great National Park visitor center providing detailed local information, as well as a photographic exhibition and interactive presentations. Either of the Koster Islands are a perfect spot for nature trekking and hikes in sublime landscape.
DAY 7: WEATHER ISLANDS
Made up of hundreds of islands and islets, the aptly named Weather Islands has one of Sweden’s windiest and warmest climates. With lush green scenery as well as barren rocks, you will find one of Bohuslän’s largest seal colonies in the area, together with numerous sea birds. Join the Expedition team as we spend the day exploring this nature lover’s paradise on foot, by kayak or by small boat cruising.
DAY 8: KARINGON, GRUNDSUND AND SMOGEN
Scottish Islands and coastline
A full day of exploration begins with a quick stop in Käringön, where, should conditions allow, guests will be able to join the optional excursion of small boat cruising to Grundsund. Grundsund is a charming fishing village located on the island of Skaftö, with traditional boathouses and small cottages dotting the rocky shoreline. With fewer than 700 inhabitants, the well-conserved fishing village boasts a beautiful Harbour canal dividing the village and is a delight to stroll through. Or, walk along the newly-constructed wooden promenade, stretching along the waterfront to a footpath enabling you to explore the rugged coastline at leisure. Grundsund is also ideal for kayaking and small boat cruising. After lunch, we continue our scenic voyage along the coastline of Sweden and head to Smögen to enjoy the evening. Stroll through rows of fishermen’s houses and beautifully restored cottages with their lovingly tended gardens, before taking in the lazy summertime atmosphere whilst watching local fishing boats unload their daily catch down at the Harbour. Smögen’s busy waterside boardwalk is the ideal way to spend a long summer evening.
DAY 9: OSLO
Cultural highlights and spectacular scenery
As well as being the capital of Norway, Oslo is known for its museums as well as its green spaces and was recently awarded the European Green Capital award. Sitting amidst forested hills on the Oslofjord, Oslo has a small city center, ideal to explore on foot. Close to the center, you can enjoy trekking through the forest with its picturesque scenery and calming location. Explore a fortress, a sculpture park or the botanical garden; or perhaps visit one of the many excellent local museums such as the Fram Museum, the Viking Ship Museum or the Kon-Tiki Museum. Oslo has no shortage of cultural experiences and we look forward to sharing them with you.
DAY 10: KRAGERO
Islands, Artists and Telemark Canal
Kragerø boasts a long history of art and culture, and attracts and inspires famous artists, drawn to the fine Norwegian light unique to this area. Amble through the towns charming narrow streets and alleyways to discover the assortment of art galleries and charming cafes, or venture further afield for a longer walk or more adventurous hike. The area is ideal for kayaking, as there are over 490 islands to explore in this large archipelago. Kragerø is also perfectly situated to spend the day exploring the Telemark Canal. One of the most beautiful waterways in the world, the Telemark Canal is carved into rock and consists of eight locks and 18 lock levels, and is 65 miles long. On completion in 1892 it was called the “eighth wonder” and is a living heritage site. With old walls and locks well preserved along the waterway, spot old lock-keepers houses, sawmills and watchmen’s cottages. There is a distinct contrast between the agricultural districts, wilderness and the old industrial sites which make this a fascinating destination. Spend the day exploring the area or join us on one of our exciting excursions with the Expedition team.
DAY 11: FARSUND
Pirates and lighthouses
Farsund has a fascinating history, which includes hosting pirates in the early 1800’s. The area has some of the best beaches in Southern Norway, making it ideal for shoreside walks or even bird watching. Every summer, Farsund celebrates its heritage during the “Kaperdagene” festival – translated as “Pirate Days”. The origins of this carnival are rooted in the Napoleonic War of 1804, when the area was ravaged by conflict, causing years of hardship for the locals, who turned to plundering passing ships for their survival. Take a walk along the old railway line for spectacular views of the fjord, crossing a 100-year old swing bridge and passing a protected oak forest. Consider visiting the Lindesnes Lighthouse in the nearby Lindesnes municipality. Dating back to 1656, this is Norway’s oldest lighthouse as well as the southernmost tip of the Norwegian mainland.
DAY 12: ROSENDAL
Mouth of the Fjord
Rosendal sits snugly between high mountains and beautiful valleys and is located on the Hardangerfjord, the second largest fjord in Norway. Rosendal is known for its baronial manor, the smallest “palace” in Scandinavia, and now one of the most significant museums in Western Norway. Located at the mouth of the fjord, this castle is the only manor of its kind in Norway and is surrounded by a beautifully landscaped park. The surrounding areas have magnificent waterfalls, lakes and glaciers, such as the Bondhus Lake and Folgefonna Glacier, along with historic villages all set in a spectacular landscape. Spend the day hiking in the surrounding mountains, visit the Barony and its magnificent gardens, or just enjoy learning about the fascinating history of the town – after all, this is also where the ship “Gjøa”, was built and used by Roald Amundsen on his historic expedition through the Northwest Passage.
DAY 13: LYSEFJORD
Norway’s Imposing and Distinctive Fjord
Lysefjord is 40 kilometers long and 422 meters deep at its deepest. Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock), the most famous tourist attraction in Ryfylke, towers an impressive 604 meters over the fjord. This is a flat mountain plateau of approx. 600 square meters. We hope to have a fine view of Preikestolen before heading back out of the fjord. As we sail quietly down the fjord, impressive mountains tower above us. Spend time lost in thought, out on deck drinking in the scenery, or take a comfy seat in the Observation Lounge with its enormous windows designed for this very moment.
DAY 14: AT SEA
Relax and Unwind
It’s our final day at sea for you to enjoy at your leisure. You may want to take one last soak in the hot tub, relax in the ship’s lounge, edit your photographs, or join the Expedition team as they review the highlights of your memorable trip.
DAY 15: DOVER
Return to Dover
We pass the white cliffs of Dover during the early morning hours and dock at the city’s harbour. After breakfast, it’s time to leave your home for the past couple of weeks.