Northern Odyssey - from Scotland to Svalbard - 2025
Next DepartureMay. 26, 2025
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, Kayaking, Lectures, Photography, Wildlife observations, Zodiac
Join Albatros Expeditions on a spectacular voyage, island-hopping from Scotland all the way to Svalbard, next to the North Pole
Cruising from Scotland to the lush green islands of Orkney, Shetland, the Faroe Islands, and onwards to the high Arctic islands of Jan Mayen and Svalbard, this adventure delivers fair-lighted days and matchless landscapes and seascapes. Our journey begins in Aberdeen, Scotland's Granite City, where we embark on Albatros Expeditions’ modern vessel Ocean Albatros, our home for the next 12 days. Migrating birds, dolphins, and whales are only some of the sights we hope to see this cruise through the wild North Atlantic.
Departing the bustling port of Aberdeen, our first stop is the cozy town of Lerwick, capital of the Shetland Islands, followed by an afternoon stop at the Isle of Noss - a small isle hosting one of the largest and most spectacular mixed-species bird colonies in the UK. We sail further north to the fabled Faroe Islands, making our first landing at the beautiful village of Vágur, and then on to the capital and largest city of Tórshavn. Explore this small but perfectly formed capital, famous for its ancient Norse heritage and beautifully preserved turf-roofed buildings.
From the Faroe Islands, we venture into the unknown, heading for the enigmatic isle of Jan Mayen, Earth's northernmost volcano and one of the most isolated and spectacular islands anywhere in the world. This island is home to vast numbers of seabirds, and is an excellent place to spot whales, which like us, are migrating northwards. From Jan Mayen, we will set a course for Svalbard, following the migrating birds which come to nest on this isolated high Arctic archipelago. This far north, the sun never sets, and life moves at a frenetic rhythm as wildlife feed and raise their young on summer's brief bounty. Seabirds, seals, walrus and reindeer are just some of the wildlife we hope to find in this high Arctic paradise - maybe even a glimpse of the polar bear, King of the Arctic.
There are few wilder, more magnificent and untouched places than the Arctic islands of the North Atlantic! And few ships better suited than Ocean Albatros for such a voyage. Experience with us!
Facts about Northern Odyssey - from Scotland to Svalbard - 2025
- Faroe Islands
Aberdeen, Scotland - Embarkation
Our journey begins in Aberdeen, Scotland's famous Granite City. The city of Aberdeen is one of the wealthiest in the UK with a long and illustrious history. The modern city grew out of a rich fishing and shipbuilding tradition, and has since become the UK's main port serving the oil and gas industry. The glittering granite buildings for which the city is nicknamed demonstrate the prestige and power of northern Scotland's economic hub.
Our expedition vessel awaits embarkation in the city's bustling harbour, with comfortable staterooms ready to welcome our guests. After our mandatory safety briefings and lifeboat drill, your floating home for the next eleven days will sail out of Aberdeen and chart a course for the ancient Isles of Shetland.
Lerwick, Shetland, Scotland
On the morning of the second day of our voyage, Ocean Albatros will arrive at Lerwick on the Mainland of Shetland. The Shetland Islands consist of over a hundred islands, of which only sixteen are inhabited year-round. The islands form the northernmost part of the United Kingdom, located approximately 300 km north of the Scottish mainland.
The history of Shetland dates back to the Neolithic period, and Shetland was part of the Kingdom of Norway until the late 1400s; the Norn language, derived directly from Old Norse was spoken on the islands until the 1850s, peppering the placenames and slang of Shetland with Viking heritage. Norse connections are strong here, from the Shetland flag to the Up Helly Aa Fire Festival, held every year in midwinter. Modern Lerwick is a prosperous, bustling town, which thrives on the oil, gas and green energy industries, and increasingly on tourism. Enjoy a stroll through the town's busy high street, lined with independent shops selling local products, immerse yourself in history at the Shetland Museum and Archives, or watch the local ferries come and go from the busy harbourfront.
An optional coach excursion exploring the highlights of Shetland is offered this day.
Vágur, Faroe Islands
Vágur is a small village situated on the windy island of Suðuroy, the southernmost of the Faroe Islands. Being one of the largest and more isolated islands in the archipelago, Suðuroy locals are known for their distinctive language dialect, history, and practical no-nonsense attitude. The village is typically Faroese, with colourful clapboard houses clustered around the village harbour, which sits at the end of a sheltered fjord backed by sweeping layered basalt mountains.
The village of Vágur is first referenced in Norse litarature in 1350, when it was mentioned that several dogs and their owners lived in the area. The village has been a hub for the Faroese fishin industry since, and was the site where Nólsoyar Páll constructed the first Faroese ship in centuries, challenging the long-standing Danish trade monopoly.
Vágur sits amid some of the Faroe Islands most spectacular nature, offering a multitude of opportunities to see these islands' wild side. The large lake Vatnið sits on the edge of the village, and is an excellent spot to see the islands' native bird life - with further oppotunities to birdwatch and learn about the island's fishing history at the nearby coastline of Vágseiðið. A huge number of hiking trails begin in Vágur, including the spectacular trail to Eggjarnar which overlooks the dramatic cliffs of the west coast of Suðuroy, exposed to the raw fury of the North Atlantic. The town also hosts several excellent museums, including the works of local painter Ruth Smith.
Tórshavn, Faroe Islands
We arrive in the early morning at Tórshavn, one of the smallest capitals in the world, ruling the scattered eighteen islands that make up the Faroes. An autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, the Faroe Islands are situated roughly equidistant from Norway, Iceland and Scotland. 'Føroyar' (as the islands are locally known) is a corruption of the Old Norse roughly meaning 'Sheep Islands', hinting at the island's long sheep farming tradition and Norse roots. The local Faroese language is closely related to Icelandic and Old Norse, and indeed to the Norn language once spoken in Shetland and Orkney (with which the Faroes share ancient historical ties).
While not as cold as nearby Iceland, the Faroe Islands are nonetheless known for their challenging weather, largely due to their isolated location in the North Atlantic - here, the frigid sea rules life, and experiencing four seasons in the same day (or even hour!) is not uncommon. Nonetheless, their northerly location creates long light summer days, and while the weather is rarely warm, the climate is perfect for exploring!
Centred around the grass-roofed Parliament on Tinganes (one of the oldest in the world), Tórshavn - or simply 'Havn' as the locals call it - has a fascinating history. Originally a trading post established by Norwegian kings and operated as a monopoly by the Danish crown, Tórshavn was proclaimed a town in 1866 and has been the capital of the islands ever since. In the aftermath of British occupation during the Second World War, a narrowly contested referendum almost resulted in Faroese independence, after which the islands were granted autonomy.
Today, the Faroes operates as its own nation, excluding foreign affairs, defence and policing (which are handled by Denmark), and Tórshavn is a modern bustling city in miniature. Explore Skansin, the 16th century fort which found a modern use as the British garrison during WWII, experience Faroese culture at the Listasvn Føroya Art Museum, or shop for snuggly woollen goods in the city's many boutique shops. Explore the old Faroes in the city Cathedral, or the new Foroes in the architectural marvel of the Nordic House cultural centre. Alternately, unwind on a sunny terrace on Bryggjubakki (the waterfront area modelled on Copenhagen's famous Nyhavn) and indulge in a fresh local seafood lunch with a view of Tinganes- perhaps with a crisp local beer to match!
An optional coach excursion exploring the highlights of the Faroe Islands is offered this day.
At sea, en route to Jan Mayen
Leaving the Faroe Islands behind, Ocean Albatros will spend a day at sea en route to Jan Mayen, an isolated volcanic island roughly equidistant between Greenland, Svalbard and Iceland. Here, warmer water from the Atlantic meets the cold waters of East Greenland, often producing murky foggy conditions. However, the mixing of currents produces rich waters which nourish the wildlife of the area - from the vast shoals of herring so important to towns like Tórshavn, to the whales which grow more common as we approach the shores of Jan Mayen.
Days at sea are never dull. We will arrange a variety of activities onboard for our guests to enjoy to engage the mind, body and soul. Join your knowledgeable Expedition Team lecturers in the Theatre to hear specially-crafted lectures on local history, wildlife, geology, culture and more, unwind with a massage in the Albatros Polar Spa, or simply watch the seabirds gliding along the ship from our hot tubs as the Ocean Albatros flies across the Arctic Circle into parts unknown.
The active volcanic island of Jan Mayen lies approximately mid-way between Svalbard, Greenland and Iceland. If not exactly in the middle of the Greenland Sea, it is located precisely on the Mid Atlantic Ridge, the reason for its volcanic existence. This enigmatic and isolated island is the only active volcano in Norway, and the northernmost active volcano in the world - although the almost perpetual clouds and fog hovering over the summit can make it hard to spot! The volcanic peak of Mt. Beerenberg reaches 2,277m altitude - making it one of Norway's 300 summits exceeding 2000m.
The island is inhabited by only 18 persons, a mixture of scientists running the meteorological station and Norwegian Military personnel. Subject to strong winds and large swell, landing on this incredibly remote island can be challenging; we will try to go ashore at the narrowest part of the island, from either south or north, depending on the prevailing wind and surf. The volcanic origin of Jan Mayen is visible all over with cinder cones, lava flows and the Mount Fuji-like appearance of Beerenberg looming above. On the bare rock of the shores, creeping tundra plants and squabbling seabirds eek out a living in the extreme polar environment of the island.
Day 7 & 8
At sea, en route to Svalbard
From Jan Mayen, we set a northeasterly course, aiming for the high Arctic islands of Svalbard. Situated approximately 800km north of the Norwegian mainland, Svalbard is extremely remote and isolated; Longyearbyen, the islands' "capital" lies only 1200km from the North Pole, 800km closer than Oslo.
Sailing to Svalbard requires a ship capable of handling any ice or rough weather which may be encountered in these northerly seas. To the west of Jan Mayen lies the West Ice, a vast expanse of floating sea ice which hugs the coast of East Greenland, occasionally drifting across the Greenland Sea to Svalbard even in summer. Luckily, Ocean Albatros boasts Polar Code 6 and Ice Class 1A ratings, making her ideal for all but the thickest Arctic ice. The unique X-Bow design of the hull also offers enhanced stability in rough seas.
Keep your binoculars close at hand as we approach Svalbard. These islands are a haven for wildlife; as we migrate northwards, so do the whales, seals and birds which live on and around this magnificent archipelago during the summer. As we approach Svalbard, we can expect the concentration of wildlife to increase. As we near the continental shelf offshore of Svalbard during our second afternoon at sea, keep watch for the seabirds which come to feed on the abundant plankton which rises to the surface. Once hunted to near-extinction for their oily blubber, the whales which were once rare here these are now staging a comeback and can sometimes be seen off the coast of Svalbard in summer - a true conservation success story!
During the ‘night’ (what is night, when the sun never sets?), our vessel will have repositioned past the saw-toothed mountains of Prins Karls Forland and arrived in magnificent Kongsfjord. Surrounded by craggy mountains, bounded by the magnificent Kongsbreen and Kongvegen Glaciers, and crowned by the Three Crowns (a set of pyramidal mountains said to represent the monarchies of Norway, Sweden and Denmark), this is surely one of the most beautiful and tranquil corners anywhere in the world.
Our first landing will be at the small settlement of Ny Ålesund. Situated further north than Longyearbyen, Ny-Ålesund is Earth's northernmost settlement, if a group of scientific stations, a post office and a single shop open for a few hours can be described as such... You will have to judge for yourself!
These islands' geographical location has made them the staging post for exploratory and scientific expeditions for centuries - a proud legacy which continues to this day. The setting is spectacular, and the scientific projects are as fascinating as the history of the town, which has hosted the Nobile, the Norge and the Fram, Amundsen, Nansen and Nordenskiöld, all legends of polar exploration who passed this lonely outpost seeking to push the boundaries of humanity. The remnants of these expeditions (such as the mooring mast of the Norge) can still be seen today.
One of the largest protected wilderness areas in Europe, North West Svalbard was declared a national park in 1973. The area is famed for its history, which documents some of the earliest human arrivals on Svalbard. While Norse explorers may have sighted these icy shores during the Viking Age, the first definite arrival was the expedition of William Barents, the legendary Dutch explorer for whom the Barents Sea is named. While now protected from human distruption, when Barents arrived in 1596, he noted the vast numbers of whales and seals which were soon prey to English and Dutch whalers, who arrived within a decade of Barents to pillage the area's wildlife. The area occupied the triple point between land, sea and ice, and as such was the perfect location from which to harvest the gentle giants of the oceans.
Sites used to dismember whale carcasses and render them for their precious oil include the Dutch settlement of Smeerenburg, where the remains of 16th Century blubber ovens and building foundations can still be seen. Other sites such as nearby Ytre Norskøya record the darker side of this industrialised slaughter, where hundreds of young men who hoped to make their fortunes are buried thousands of miles from home.
Today, all that remains from this period of history are bones and the scant remnants of human habitation. Slowly reclaimed by creeping Arctic nature, the region is now a anture lovers paradise. Tiny Arctic poppies and purple saxifrage defy the brutal conditions to flower in the brief summer, while geese, eider ducks and other seabirds return to the island to raise their young. Walrus can be found hauled out on beaches, and we must always be on careful lookout for wandering polar bears in this now again wild region. Our experienced Expedition Team will be on contstant lookout for wildlife (including polar bears) throughout the voyage, and we will always inform guests if we spot something exciting!
As we retreat from our voyage's northernmost point, we will set a course for central Spitzbergen. Measuring around 400km in length from north to south, Spitzbergen is the largest island of Svalbard, the archipelago it is synonymous with. The entire island of Spitzbergen experiences a polar tundra climate, with short, cool summers and long, dark, brutally cold winters. Nonetheless, life clings on here, and Svalbard's extraordinary wildlife can be found throughout Spitzbergen.
On our final full day in Svalbard, we will head to wherever offers us the best opportunities for landing, exploration and wildlife experiences, guided by our experienced Expedition Leader and Captain - such is the essence of an Arctic expedition! Perhaps we will find a particularly spectacular glacier, and launch our fleet of Zodiacs to explore the hinterland where ice meets land meets sea. Maybe we will notice a colony of seabirds, or a herd of reindeer, and come ashore to observe them. Or maybe we will be lucky enough to spot a polar bear, king of the Arctic as we cruise along the coastline towards our final destination of Longyearbyen, 'capital' of Svalbard.
Longyearbyen, Svalbard - Disembarkation
During the evening, the Ocean Albatros will reposition to return to the port of Longyearbyen. Even this small town will feel like a metropolis after days of isolation in the wilderness of the Arctic! Longyearbyen contains the world's northernmost... well, nearly everything! This remarkable little city is not only the northernmost town in the world (if one excludes the tiny research community of Ny-Ålesund, slightly further north on Svalbard), but also hosts the world's northernmost civilian airport, schools, bank and supermarket. The town's rugged frontier edge belies a core of warm Nordic hospitality and coziness - 'koseligt' as the Norwegians say! After bidding a fond farewell to the crew and Expedition Team of Ocean Albatros, enjoy some time at leisure to explore Longyearbyen before heading to Svalbard Airport to join your flight back to Oslo- with memories to last a lifetime.
- 12-day/11-night cruise on Ocean Albatros in a shared outside double stateroom with a private bathroom in the category chosen
- English-speaking expedition staff
- Near-port walks with the expedition team
- Nature hikes and Zodiac cruises per itinerary
- Information briefings and lectures by the expedition team
- Special photo workshop
- Full board on the ship
- Dinner drink package
- Free coffee, tea, and afternoon snacks on the ship
- Welcome and Farewell cocktails
- Taxes, tariffs, and landing fees
- Digital visual journal link after the voyage, including voyage log, gallery, species list, and more
- Optional Transfer Package: Flights between Longyearbyen - Oslo and Group Transfer between the vessel and Longyearbyen Airport. To be booked 11 months prior to departure at additional cost.
- International flights
- Extra excursions and activities not mentioned in the itinerary
- Single room supplement and cabin upgrades
- Meals not on board the ship
- Beverages (other than coffee and tea and dinner-drink package)
- Tips for the crew (we recommend USD 16 per person per day)
- Personal expenses
- Transfer to the ship in Aberdeen
- Travel, cancellation, and senior insurance
- Anything not mentioned under ’Inclusions’
Leaving Aberdeen, your expedition vessel will proceed onwards into the North Atlantic to explore the unknown. While visited the inhabited areas of the region, Albatros Expeditions will offer a variety of excursions to engage your mind, body and soul, as well as time to explore these remarkable locations independently. The goal for the days spent exploring wilderness in the region is to offer activities which will allow everyone to explore off the ship as much as possible (weather permitting). Weather dependent, we will try to offer two activities per day, usually either a landing or a Zodiac cruise.
Typically in Svalbard there will be a morning activity after breakfast and an afternoon activity after lunch. We always try our hardest to meet this expectation, but because weather in the Arctic can be extremely unpredictable, we ask everyone to be mindful of our remote location and thank everyone in advance for their flexibility. Activities we offer include landings, Zodiac cruises and ship cruises. Regulations in the Arctic limit the number of people ashore at any time, so we will usually aim to offer a Zodiac cruise while our first group of guests are ashore, and reverse this for the second group ashore to maximise exploration time. No matter the day’s planned activities, the onboard Expedition Team and Expedition Leader will work as hard as possible in conjunction with the Captain and Crew to maximize exploration opportunities.
A “typical” expedition day may look like this (subject to weather and sea conditions and sailing schedule):
- 0645: Wake-up call
- 0700-0800: Breakfast
- 0830-1130: Morning activity - Landing and Zodiac Cruise
- 1230-1330: Lunch
- 1430-1730: Afternoon Activity - Landing and Zodiac Cruise
- 1830-1930: Evening Recap with Expedition Team
- 1930: Dinner
In inhabited regions (such as Scotland and the Faroe Islands), MV Ocean Albatros will typically come into port to allow our guests maximum ease of exploration. Sometimes we will use our fleet of Zodiacs to come ashore - especially in smaller towns and settlements. On Jan Mayen and Svalbard, an almost total lack oif infrastructure means we will utilize our Zodiacs daily to land ashore.
Landings are a great opportunity to stretch your legs and set foot on shore to visit the wildlife colonies, historical sites, and dramatic landscapes of the North Atlantic. Our experienced Expedition Team will be on shore to help you spot any wildlife, historical remains and geological and biological features, as well as keep our guests safe on shore from any potential hazards.
Remember that Svalbard holds a significant population of polar bears; while encounters are rare, these large wild animals can be dangerous. For that reason, when ashore in Svalbard our specially trained staff always prioritise the safety of our guests, and freedom to roam and hike in the area may be limited. We remind all visitors that this is for their own safety, and the safety of polar bears.
Some sites do not offer landing opportunities, but are locations where exploring on the water offers the best opportunities for sightseeing, wildlife and photography. These Zodiac cruise sites are often known for their concentration of ice, wildlife and even historical landmarks such as whaling stations, where our fleet of Zodiacs offer the best vantage point. This would be the only scenario you may have to wait on the ship (other than in adverse weather conditions), but we will always aim to offer an onboard program during this time, such as seminars given by our knowledgeable and experienced Lecturer team. Zodiac cruises are great for observing icebergs, glaciers, whales, and other marine wildlife. Your skilled driver will navigate around the area looking for wildlife and beautiful landscapes. By the end of the voyage, Zodiac cruises tend to become a firm favourite among our guests because of the vast diversity of scenery and marine life it is possible to experience.
In the event we encounter bad weather, are in a particularly spectacular location, or are viewing marine wildlife, often our purpose-built expedition vessels are the best viewing platform. The Captain and Expedition Leader will search for locations best accessed with the vessel to seek out the best wildlife and scenery. We encourage everyone to bundle up and either head onto the outer decks with the Expedition Team or relax in superlative comfort in our specially-designed lounges to experience the majesty of the Arctic from the best vantage point. During this time, our Expedition Team specialists will offer expert commentary related to the wildlife, history and conservation of the region, and more!
Other activities onboard include our ship Gym, where you can burn some calories on our fitness bicycles or treadmills; most of our ships even have other cardio machines and strength/lifting options. Most voyages throughout the season also offer kayaking (booked and paid onboard – weather permitting), and we will often aim to offer hiking excursions onshore when possible. Our new purpose-built ships have a Spa, in which guests can enjoy massages, facials, and other relaxing treatments (additional cost applies). Our Library is a great place to rest between outings, with expansive views and a wide selection of Arctic-related reading material. During your voyage you will also be able to enjoy our tea time in the late afternoon, or indulge in some retail therapy in our onboard Boutique, which sells personal necessities as well as outdoor equipment and specially-selected Arctic souvenirs.
In between our landings and activities we offer three hearty daily main meals. Albatros Expeditions always have allergy flexible options, healthy selections as well as a variety of vegetarian and vegan options.
Our hardworking galley crew deliver multiple Breakfast options, served in a buffet style along with a cooking station where eggs are made to order. At Lunch we are also met with a smorgasbord of mouthwatering choices. Safe to say you will have the energy for your next outing!
When it is Dinner time, you can choose to dine at the main restaurant or book a table at the Panorama Specialty Restaurant. Your evening meal is served a la carte, with fresh new options daily and always a selection of fixed items. There is always a vegetarian and pescetarian option available. Albatros Expeditions are known for our delicious menus and a variety of exquisite wine pairings.
Onboard you will also have the option to join Afternoon Tea with sweets, cakes or snacks served each afternoon. Albatros Expeditions have tea and coffee freely available all day throughout the vessel, while specialty coffee, alcoholic beverages and hand-crafted cocktails are available at the ship’s bars.
Spring comes somewhat late to the North Atlantic region. In the mountains of Scotland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, snow cover typically disappears by April, although it can sometimes be well into May before the grassy meadows which charecterise the lowlands begin to grow in earnest. Springtime in the North Atlantic region is typically wet and windy, but the rain stimulates plant growth, and the early summer wildflowers are one of the most beautiful sights in the region!
During April and May, the many seabirds which nest on the shores of the islands begin to come ashore for the breeding season. Puffins squabble over burrows and line their tunnels with soft grass atop the cliffs, while gannets, guillemots and razorbills compete for the best ledges. Over the course of a few weeks, empty cliffs quickly become crowded, and burst to life as seabirds lay their eggs - and larger birds such as Glaucous Gulls and Great Skuas attempt to devour eggs and chicks. The sheep, so essential to life in these cold wet regions, begin to give birth to lambs in April; by May, these adorable lambs can be seen frollicking in the spring grass, with each group of islands tending their own unique breeds.
By June, the brief North Atlantic summer is in full swing. Migratory ceteceans, including pilot whales, dolphins and larger baleen whales begin to arrive; some will remain in the area, while many more continue further north towards the Arctic Circle. Many of the seabird chicks have hatched by June, and are beginning to leave the nest, ready for a life at sea.
The isolated island of Jan Mayen has a climate heavily influenced by the North Atlantic ocean. This long narrow island lies at the junction between the cold East Greenland Current and the warm Gulf Stream. This mixing of nutrient-rich waters means the island is a haven for seabirds, ceteceans and other wildlife (although polar bears do not occur on Jan Mayen), however the collision of cold and warm waters often creates fog which can blanket the whole island. The remote mid-ocean location of the island meand that it also frequently experiences challenging swell conditions. Your Captain and Expedition Leader will evaluate conditions carefully upon arrival to Jan Mayen, and judge where on the island may offer the best conditions to explore.
By June, most of the fjords of Svalbard are navigable, and the snow has retreated to the hills – although the pack ice to the North can still block off access to the colder northeastern part of the archipelago. The tundra begins to come to life, as saxifrages, Arctic willows and heathers start to photosynthesise, greening the otherwise stark Arctic landscape. Expect to hear cacophonous bird calls during June, as the archipelago’s bird life rigorously defend their nests from predators. Arctic foxes (one of the Svalbard’s major predators) have now lost their snowy winter coat and molted into their sleek smoky summer pelt. By June, the female walrus of Svalbard have mostly given birth to their calves, which they nurture at sea - although they can sometimes be spotted on shore at some of the larger walrus colonies. Polar bears may be found throughout the islands, roaming the wilderness in their never-ending search for prey. On the hillsides, the stumpy Svalbard reindeer begin to give birth to their calves – a process which continues through July. While inclement conditions can occur in June, the rising temperatures and permanent sunshine offer excellent exploration opportunities as the weather becomes more stable.
The North Atlantic region is synonymous with challenging weather. Unfortunately, warmth and sunshine does not spring to mind when one considers this wild region! Fortunately, the brutal reputation of North Atlantic weather abates somewhat in summer. While wild, wet and windy conditions do occur, bright sunny days are equally common.
Shetland and the Faroe Islands all have maritime climates heavily influenced by the surrounding North Atlantic. While these areas are generally cool and temperate, calm windless days can feel warm - even hot if you manage to escape the wind! However, the weather is highly changeable, and wind, rain and fog can occur without warning. As the saying in the region goes - 'if you don't lilke the weather, just wait ten minutes!'
Svalbard and Jan Mayen also have climates heavily influenced by the North Atlantic Ocean, with an extra component of cold Arctic waters moderating rainfall somewhat. Some regions of Svalbard are even categorised as polar deserts, while Jan Mayen is more prone to fog.
We therefore remind our guests to be prepared for all weather conditions! We highly recommend to our guests to dress in layers (ideally in woolen or synthetic fibers) and a backpack so that layers can be adjusted as the weather dictates. Warm/waterproof layers, hats, waterproof gloves and scarves are recommended for all excursions off the vessel, even on the sunniest days – the weather can deteriorate rapidly at any time. Sun protection (hats, sunglasses, sunscreen and lip balm) is also essential – the low angle of the sun combined with cool ambient temperatures can cause sunburn to easily go unnoticed until it is too late!
Albatros Expedition strives to employ the very best Expedition Team in the whole industry. We travel in some of the planet’s most remote regions, where planning and on-location experience is key. Our routes and itineraries are subject to the prevailing sea, weather and wind conditions, which are closely monitored by the Bridge Team and Expedition Leader. Drawing on their vast experience, they find the best alternatives in the rare instances where our planned itinerary needs to be changed. Each cruise is a completely unique combination of locations, where the highlights can often be the totally unexpected. Most of our cruises provide the opportunity to spot a variety of unique wildlife, although this is subject to the whims of Mother Nature and can of course not be guaranteed. As you will no doubt experience, the joy from our Expedition Team when spotting different species on land or at sea is as genuine as your own.
This means that you as our guest are part of an adventure, a true expedition, where plans change, wildlife is encountered on their terms and your team consists of the very best experts within their fields. We strive to maintain a mix of specialists within relevant polar subjects including marine biology, ornithology, earth science, history and others. Albatros Expeditions boast a large number of Expedition Staff onboard, allowing us to maintain a high ratio of staff-to-guests at 1:8, amongst the highest ratios in expedition cruising. Some of our staff have decades of experience on ships or research stations, whilst others may be performing their first season. One thing they all have in common is the wish to make each and every journey a special and memorable experience for our guests. Knowledge, skill, and passion are the trademarks of all Albatros Expedition Staff.
To ensure the safety and quality of experience of our guests, please keep in mind that the itinerary and outdoor activities during each voyage are solely dependent on weather and sea conditions. Your safety is our highest priority. The route and shore landings will be determined by the Captain and Expedition Leader and communicated to guests through regularly scheduled briefings. Albatros Expeditions reserves the right to modify the landings and locations visited during a voyage based on local weather conditions and climate to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all our guests. Our voyages are expeditionary in nature, and thus changes to timings are commonplace due to the environment we operate in, as well as wildlife opportunities and locations.