M/S StockholmAdam Rheborg
Northern GannetAdam Rheborg
M/S StockholmKatharina Miller
Encounters with PuffinsPolarQuest
The Orkney and Shetland Islands with M/S Stockholm 2019
The Orkney and Shetland Islands offer their visitors spectacular nature, remarkable bird life and fascinating history. For the collector of remote islands this is a unique opportunity to reach several exciting islands such as Fair Isle, Out Skerries or Papa Stour.
Day 1: Glasgow
We arrive in Glasgow and spend a night at a comfortable and centrally located hotel.
Day 2: Oban
After lunch we travel together to Oban and board M/S Stockholm in the afternoon. After settled into our cabins we set course north – the expedition has started!
Day 3 – 9: Expedition cruising
We are now on an expedition and our exact itinerary will depend on weather and wind conditions. These are places we hope to visit:
Summer Isles & Handa
We sail towards the Summer Isles and go ashore on the largest and the only inhabited island of the archipelago – Tanera Mòr. Those who walk up Meall Mòr, the highest point on the island, will be rewarded with a magnificent view. We also visit the little post office that has issued its own postage stamps since 1970. Later, we reach the small island Handa. During the summer season the island’s dramatic sandstone cliffs become home to an estimated 100 000 breeding seabirds such as puffins, razorbills and guillemots.
Stromness & Kirkwall
In a private bus from the charming town of Stromness we travel to the 5 000-year-old village of Skara Brae and see the remarkable dwellings that were revealed from beneath the sand dunes by storms only 160 years ago. This is the heart of Neolithic Orkney, designated as a World Heritage Site due to its wealth of pre-historic archaeology. Today it is western Europe’s best preserved prehistoric village. We continue to the Ring of Brodgar – a huge ceremonial circle of stones dating back almost 5 000 years. Our day ends in Kirkwall, where we visit the beautiful St. Magnus Cathedral.
Westray was extensively occupied in the Norse period, but today it was a tranquil haven with scattered farms and a rich birdlife with species such as Arctic skua, gannet, guillemot, razorbill and purple sandpipers. Weather permitting, we go ashore and wander along the coastline in search of seabirds and to marvel at the dramatic views.
Located halfway between Orkney and Shetland, this small island claims to be the best place to find rare birds in Britain with at least 27 first records and also hosts a famous bird observatory. Fair Isle is a also a traditional knitting technique used to create patterns with multiple colours.
The moorland and the dramatic cliffs of Hermaness are home to gannets, cormorants, guillemots and puffins. Here, you also find a large colony of great skuas, known as the flying pirates. Even the giants are said to have settled here. Unfortunately a giant called Herman, the namesake of the island, is said to have been lured away by a mermaid…
The island’s eroded, volcanic cliffs form an interesting coastline consisting of cliff ledges, stone columns, arches, blowholes and caves. The most famous cave is Kirstan Hol and during a calm day it is possible to sail through its labyrinths. On the island you also find several Neolithic graveyards and what is said to be the remnants of a 13th century house that belonged to Duke Hakon.
If you look at a map it may be difficult to imagine that this small island is inhabited, but these four square kilometers of rock and pasture boast of more than 70 residents. The dramatic landscape, the birdlife and the interesting history make a visit here unforgettable.
The small, inhabited island of Mousa is known for its well-preserved, 13-metre-high broch. This incredible drystone tower had dominated the Sound of Mousa for over two thousand years. It has sheltered Iron Age Celtic chieftains and their households, later Pictish farming families, eloping Viking lovers, and generations of tiny storm petrels which nest amongst its stones. It we have the chance we walk up the stairs to enjoy the breathtaking views of southern Shetland.
In the 1850s some 20 people lived on the island, but today it does not have any permanent inhabitants (not counting the sheep that graze here). The scenic sandstone cliffs of Noss are home to an array of nesting seabirds and if lucky we might see porpoise and otter in the surrounding waters.
Day 10: Lerwick
Lerwick is the capital and main port of the Shetland Islands. By strolling around the streets, we can feel the history that still dwells here. The town also houses a beautiful museum, where we get acquainted with the islands fascinating history and culture. We then head at sea, towards the Norwegian coast and beautiful Bergen.
Day 11: Bergen
Today we explore in the hanseatic city of Bergen, surrounded by high mountains and deep fjords. Popular sights include Bryggen Museum, the Bergenhus fortress and the fish markets. We also take the cable car up to the highest of Bergen´s seven mountains, Mount Ulriken, from where we get a spectacular view of the city.
Day 12: Disembarkation
In the morning we disembark and continue home. If you have time, we suggest you take the Bergen Line to Oslo and experience one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world.
Please note: Several of the islands mentioned above are extremely exposed to weather and wind and the exact route is dependent on these factors. Please keep in mind that flexibility is the key to a successful adventure!
The ship M/S Stockholm
M/S Stockholm in ScotlandKatharina Miller
A VINTAGE EXPEDITION SHIP LOVED BY MANY
The M/S Stockholm is a classic ship built in 1953 for the Swedish National
Maritime Administration. In 1998 she was totally refitted and started her
career as a comfortable polar passenger ship. The M/S Stockholm carries
a maximum of 12 passengers in twin cabins with bunk beds. All cabins
have private facilities and small windows (portholes). M/S Stockholm is
a marvellous piece of maritime history with beautiful brass details and
wooden decks. It is no wonder she is loved by so many! After 20 years of
navigating the waters in Svalbard she has the experience and track record
of being able to access difficult to reach sites that are inaccessible to
On board you will enjoy delicious meals in the company of
likeminded travellers, who are all fascinated by the Arctic nature, wildlife
and history. The food on board is of high standard and all beverages
are included in the price. With such a small party on board, this is like
travelling on a private yacht. The crew on board M/S Stockholm are also
great enthusiasts of the unique wildlife and unspoiled nature. Their
genuine curiosity is a prerequisite for expedition cruises of this kind. A
trip on board M/S Stockholm in these northern waters, with its unique
wildlife and pristine nature, is an experience of a lifetime! There are two
Zodiacs and two guides on board M/S Stockholm.
Cabins & prices
|Cabin category||Price per person|
|Twin Cabin||(bunk beds & private facilities)||USD 6 890|
|Twin cabin for single use||USD 12 990|
Price includes: 10 nights on board the M/S Stockholm, 1 night in a hotel in Glasgow, transfer Glasgow - Oban, all meals on board, all beverages on board, 1 Expedition Leader and 1 guide, guiding ashore and talks on board, all excursions and activities, the customary gratuity to the ship’s crew, comprehensive information material before the expedition, an illustrated post-expedition log.
Not included: Flights to Glasgow and from Bergen, travel and cancellation insurance.