On this cruise, we’ll journey north to the untamed wilderness of Spitsbergen, where rugged landscapes, glaciers and mountains await. Crossing into the Arctic Circle, we’ll experience the milky light of the midnight sun and keep watch for seabirds soaring across the sky. We’ll balance the remoteness of Spitsbergen with time in art nouveau Ålesund, bustling Honningsvåg and cultural Tromsø, and round off our trip with a day in the Shetland Islands.
Step ashore in Spitsbergen as we arrive in at the northernmost town in the world: Longyearbyen. Colourful houses dot the landscape, backdropped by flat-topped peaks (still likely to have a dusting of snow on top). It’s a beautifully remote part of the world, home to just a couple of thousand residents, a few reindeer and the odd polar bear.
Russian architecture and abandoned mines give you an insight into the island’s history, while the Longyear Valley offers the chance to explore this wilderness on an exhilarating dog-sledding adventure.
In the evening, we’ll make the most of the midnight sun with a few hours of scenic cruising. We’ll cross Tempelfjorden, a branch of the Sassenfjorden, and sail by the Tuna and Nordenskiöldbreen glaciers.
Today’s destination is Pyramiden, settled at the foot of the beautiful Billefjord. Once a thriving mining settlement, it’s now a ghost town with no permanent residents. A stroll through its eerily silent streets reveals Soviet-era warehouses, long-abandoned mines and the quirky ‘bottle shop’ - a house made entirely from white and green glass bottles. Ship to shore tender service.
Keep your brain active with the morning quiz, then perfect your dance moves in the afternoon with a beginners’ class. After dinner, you could continue the dancing theme and join the hosted dancing, or choose to watch the professionals instead.
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your journey to Liverpool. Embark Black Watch (3.5-star) in preparation for a late afternoon sailing.
You’re free to do as much (or as little) as you wish, as we sail towards Norway. Maybe start your day off with a brisk walk around the deck. Or opt for a yoga class. Spend the afternoon learning a craft, or perfecting your golf swing. After your choice of dinner, you can catch a show or dance into the night.
This morning, we’ll arrive at Ålesund, a lovely town famous for its art nouveau architecture. Stroll through its café-lined streets or climb the steps to Mount Aksla viewpoint. Alternatively, you could opt for a trip on the Rauma Railway. Travelling between Åndalsnes and Dombås, it’s one of Norway’s most scenic train rides.
Make sure your camera is fully charged today as we sail past the pretty island village of Rørvik; Torghatten, known as the ‘mountain with the hole’; and the Seven Sisters mountain range (according to local legend, each mountain is a female troll, turned to stone by the rising sun). Just before dinner, we’ll cross the Arctic Circle into the land of the midnight sun.
As we continue to cruise north, we’ll pass by the dramatic rocky ridges known as Djevelens Tanngard, or ‘Devil’s Jaw’.
Nicknamed the ‘Top of Europe’, Honningsvåg sits on Norway’s rugged North Cape. Its brightly painted houses cluster around a series of little bays, with views out to the Arctic Ocean.
Enjoy a drink in the town’s ice bar (made with ice sourced from lakes in Norwegian Lapland) or a freshly baked waffle in the Grotten Bar (a cave carved into the cliff face). Or choose to explore more of the North Cape, with its rocky coastline, picture-perfect villages and snow-topped mountains.
Today’s free as we continue our cruise. Enjoy a hearty breakfast then take your pick from the variety of activities on board. Show off your general knowledge in an afternoon or evening quiz. Try your hand at bridge, bingo or deck quoits. Or indulge in a traditional afternoon tea to while away your time. Top off the day with a sumptuous dinner or a simple tasty buffet.
Spend the day on board. Maybe read a book and relax or choose to listen to a fascinating talk by a guest speaker. Enjoy lunchtime melodies or a piano recital, then walk a mile with the cruise fitness instructor.
Mid-morning, we’ll arrive in Tromsø, an island city that’s something of a cultural hub. Browse the collections in its museums and galleries, and peek inside the iceberg-shaped Arctic Cathedral. Or perhaps take the cable car up to the top of Storsteinen Mountain for a panoramic view across the city and surrounding islands, mountains and fjords.
Spend a day exploring this charming northern town. In the centre, you’ll find a fascinating aviation museum, plenty of cafés and colourful street art. Just outside town, there are bird-watching opportunities, beautiful beaches and the world’s strongest maelstrom at Saltstraumen.
We’re back in the UK today with a stop in Lerwick, capital of the Shetland Islands. Amble beside its wonderful natural harbour and along atmospheric Commercial Street (known as ‘Da Street’), where shop windows display local cheeses, island-brewed beers and unique gifts.
As we sail home you may want to rest after all your sightseeing. If you’re still full of energy, there‘s lots to fill your time - from quizzes, games and music recitals to walks on deck and dance classes. And of course there’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy all the tasty food options.
We arrive back in Liverpool early this morning, disembarking after breakfast. Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.
Touring with Titan Travel
As one of the UK’s leading escorted holiday companies, Titan Travel offers an award-winning collection of holidays and tours in incredible destinations on all seven continents. In addition to scooping 20 British Travel Awards, 4 British Cruise Awards and a Telegraph Travel Award in 2018, the company won a Globe Travel Award and achieved Good Housekeeping Reader Recommended status in 2019, meaning you can have complete confidence in booking your escorted holiday and experiences with this great travel brand.
With a vast array of destination choices and so many carefully planned escorted tours available, it’s easy to find your perfect holiday with Titan Travel. The company does, in fact, offer over 400 exciting itineraries visiting around 100 destinations across Europe, Africa, Asia, Australasia, India, Sri Lanka, the Caribbean, the Middle East, North America, South America and Central America. And as your Titan Travel holiday includes a VIP door-to-door service, your escorted holiday starts and ends at your front door. This means planning your touring holiday is super easy, so the only hard part is choosing where to go!
One of the best things about Titan Travel is that they cover all holiday types and have something for everyone, from coach tours, escorted train and rail holiday tours and short UK breaks to Christmas holidays and a wide variety of river and ocean cruises. Whether you want to explore the Slovenian coast from the bow of a boat, see the monumental glaciers and snow-dusted mountains of the Alaskan fjords or even attend a traditional tea ceremony in Japan, Titan Travel boasts an unbeatable collection of touring holidays and unique solo and group travel experiences. Plus, you’ll have peace of mind that everything’s taken care of - including any airport transfers, excursions and chosen escorted tours.
If you want to travel on your own, Titan Travel welcomes thousands of single travellers every year and offers escorted holidays that are reserved exclusively for solo guests, like trips to Russia, escapes to Portugal, rail journeys in Switzerland and Greek island-hopping adventures. Not only will you discover new destinations but you’ll also meet new people and make unforgettable memories while fulfilling your solo travel wishes. Titan Travel also offers small group escorted tours so that you can meet like-minded travellers and enjoy a more intimate and social atmosphere on your holiday. Small group tours are limited to 25 travellers and include South Africa safari adventures, Thailand and Cambodia discovery tours and cruising to the temples and villages in Burma.
No matter which type of escorted touring holiday you pick, your Titan Travel holiday is ABTA and ATOL protected and the brand’s price promise protects you against any price drops after you’ve made a booking. What’s more, Titan Travel uses experienced tour managers and expert local guides who will ensure you don’t miss a thing while visiting a new destination.