Your holiday summary
|Price range||From £1899|
|Travel partner||Newmarket Holidays|
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Land of the Midnight Sun & Russia's White Sea Cruise
- 18 nights' accommodation in your choice of cabin
- Full-board arrangements including full breakfast, luncheon, dinner, afternoon tea and midnight snacks
- On-board entertainment as arranged
- Calls at ports as detailed in the itinerary
- The services of a friendly, professional crew and cruise staff
- Port charges and taxes
- Single and upgrade cabins are available for a supplement
Board Discovery in Harwich today for her afternoon sailing, at the beginning of your summertime adventure.
Today is spent at sea, getting to know the ship and your fellow passengers.
A first call is made in Bergen, an ancient Hanseatic city of cobbled streets and medieval houses, and birthplace of composer Edvard Grieg. Visit the vibrant harbour and fish market, stroll past the wooden warehouses of Bryggen, and take the Floibanen funicular to the summit of 'Mount' Floyen. This evening Discovery slips away to begin her journey north.
Discovery cruises north along the beautiful Norwegian Coast, following the ancient route plied by the famous Hurtigrute steamers, which to this day bring supplies and news of the outside world to astonishingly remote settlements.
Early this morning Discovery will cross the Arctic Circle, as she steams into some of Europe's most spectacular waters. Rising up out of the sea like miniature Alps, the wild and beautiful Lofoten Islands' tiny fishing villages (with even tinier names, such as "A") shelter beneath towering peaks, cliffs and rock formations. Discovery calls at Leknes, nestled at the foot of stunning, Alpine-like scenery, and there'll be an opportunity to explore this beautiful corner of the world on an overland excursion. This evening, in the long-evening light, we'll cruise through the Inside Passage, passing the stunning scenery of Solbergfjord, Gisund and Grotsund.
Discovery cruises way beyond the Arctic Circle, in perpetual summer light, close to the coast of Finnmark, where the indigenous Sami people still lead nomadic lives herding reindeer. This evening, as Discovery docks in remote Honningsvag, you can make you way on an optional excursion to the famous visitor centre at Nordkapp (North Cape), almost at Europe's northernmost point. You'll return to the ship, hopefully to see the sun not quite set then rise again in the midnight sky above the Arctic Ocean, as Discovery turns east towards Norway's remotest corner.
Sailing into the Barents Sea, Discovery calls at Kirkenes, Norway's border town with Russia. Here, a fascinating museum chronicles Sami history and several monuments pay tribute to the terrible fate suffered by the town in WWII.
Enjoy another day at sea, cruising around the fishing paradise of the Kola peninsula and into the remote Russian waters - ice-free only in summer - of the White Sea.
Discovery arrives in the shipbuilding city of Arkhangelsk. Step ashore in this welcoming riverfront settlement to discover one of Russia's most fascinating northern outposts, with its colourful promenade overlooking the river.
Days Ten & Eleven
An unforgettable two days are spent amongst the White Sea's extraordinary Solovetsky, or Solovki, Islands, one of Russia's most deeply spiritual locations. Centred on the mighty, fortified Solovetsky Transfiguration Monastery, the UNESCO-listed islands, with their ancient churches and inland lakes, have long been used for both retreat and exile.
Spend today cruising back around the Kola peninsula and into the Barents Sea, beginning our journey home.
Today we visit the formerly 'top-secret' city of Murmansk. A giant hill-top memorial overlooking the remote settlement recognises the tragic suffering of the city during WWII, and our shore excursions - including an opportunity to visit the Museum of the Northern Fleet - uncover its fascinating history.
Discovery cruises south under hopefully sunny skies.
The largest settlement beyond the Arctic Circle, Tromso, with its magnificent cathedral rising grandly from its bustling centre, is our port this afternoon. Step ashore to explore the market, held daily in the main square, and the 'Polarmuseum', which pays tribute to Arctic pioneers such as Amundsen and Nansen.East of the city centre is the stunning, strikingly modern Arctic Cathedral, or Ishavskatedralen, with its amazing stained glass window and organ built in the shape of a ship. Close by, a cable car climbs to the summit of Mount Storsteinen for unsurpassed views.
Another day is spent at sea, cruising alongside the beautiful Norwegian coast.
Discovery's final call is at Norway's westernmost town of Floro, once an important Viking centre, and today a prosperous island settlement that preserves its heritage proudly. Enjoy one more chance to step ashore, before re-boarding Discovery for the final homeward leg.
A last day at sea brings the chance to reflect upon a wonderful northern waters cruise.
Discovery arrives back in Harwich.
In 2013, 20,000-tonne Discovery sets out on a series of exciting departures from ports around the UK, on her first season of cruises. With her classic profile, eight passenger decks, and accommodation for 700 passengers, Discovery is a smaller ship built in traditional style, and offers the perfect 'home from home' for a memorable holiday.