In alliance with Smithsonian Journeys.
This cruise is part of a collection of PONANT voyages that are specially-tailored for English-speaking travelers who want to engage with the world. In addition to the usual elements of the PONANT experience, the listed price for these voyages includes transfers to and from the ship, talks and discussions aboard ship by world class experts, and a shore excursion or activity in each port of call that encourages guests to embrace the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of the local environment and culture.
Cruise with PONANT on an exceptional itinerary and discover the beauty of the Norwegian fjords.
Come aboard the Le Dumont-d'Urville for an 8-day cruise and sail along the Norwegian coastline, whose vertiginous cliff faces have been sculpted by the wind and the sea, giving rise to many unspoiled fjords.
From Bergen, famous for its Hanseatic wharf which still carries a few traces of the rich historic past of the city founded by the Vikings, your ship will first sail towards Alesund, where you will be able to admire the wonderfully preserved fishermen's houses that date from the 18th century. Then, you will discover the Geiranger Fjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, before making your way to the small colourful and cosmopolitan towns of Hellesylt.
Le Dumont-d'Urville will set sail for Loen. From this small and charming village, located a few kilometres from Jostedalsbreen National Park, which is home to one of the last ice caps in Europe, you will have the opportunity to admire the magnificent Briksdal glacier.
During your cruise, you will have the privilege of sailing in the famous “Lysefjord” (light fjord), flanked by granite cliffs.
Arendal, once known as the Venice of the North because of its canals, will be an utterly charming port of call.
On the final leg of your trip you will call at Gothenburg, in Sweden. Your cruise will end in Oslo, the Norwegian capital, a city with a unique energy.
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Included in your cruise
For more peace of mind, PONANT organizes your trip before or after the cruise. This package is included in the price of your cruise.
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*Price is per person, double occupancy, is based on availability, and subject to change at any time. The category of cabin to which this price applies may no longer be available.
PONANT has organised the following included programme for you, which starts the day of embarkation.
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Important trip details
The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.
Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, PONANT will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.
The evolving COVID-19 health formalities are available in real time by clicking here.
Given the particularly changing international sanitary context, this itinerary as well as the land programmes and shore excursions may have to evolve according to port authorisations and governmental regulations in force at the time of your trip.
Therefore, for even greater peace of mind, we strongly recommend that you book your land programmes and flights before and after your cruise with PONANT.
Health formalities related to COVID-19 will be confirmed to you before your departure.
In this exceptional context, your safety remains our first priority. The effectiveness of our procedures, our cutting-edge medical equipment and the smaller scale of our ships means we can offer maximum safety so that you can relax and enjoy your cruise. The revised passenger circuit and our enhanced hygiene measures can be found on this page: https://en.ponant.com/sail-with-confidence.
Warning about the use of drones: the use of drones aboard PONANT ships, whether they are sailing at sea, at a port of call or anchored, is strictly forbidden. The use of drones on land in the Arctic and Antarctic regions is also strictly forbidden by international polar regulations. In other regions, it may be possible to use drones on land if permission has been obtained from the relevant authorities of each country and each region travelled through, as well as a pilot’s licence that should be obtained from your home country. Passengers are responsible for obtaining these permits; they should be able to present them at all times. Passengers who do not obtain these authorisations expose themselves to the risk of legal proceedings.
Ideal clothes for life on board:
During the days spent on board, you are advised to wear comfortable clothes or casual outfits. The entire ship is air-conditioned, so a light sweater, a light jacket or a shawl may be necessary. When moving about in the public areas of the ship and the decks, light but comfortable shoes are recommended.
In the evening, you are advised to wear smart-casual attire, especially when dining in our restaurants where wearing shorts and tee-shirts is not allowed.
Depending on the itinerary and the program of your cruise, an Officer’s Evening with a white dress code may be organized. Therefore, we encourage you to bring a stylish white outfit for the occasion (otherwise black and white).
During the cruise, two gala evenings will be organised on board. Thus, we recommend that you bring one or two formal outfits.
A small shop is available on board offering a wide range of outfits, jewellery, leather goods and many accessories.
A laundry service (washing/ironing) is available on board, but unfortunately there are no dry cleaning services. For safety reasons, your cabin is not equipped with an iron.
OUTFITS ON BOARD:
In your hand luggage, remember to bring any medicines that you need, and possibly a small spare bag of toiletries (in case of delay in the delivery of your baggage by the airline). Remember to always have your travel documents with you in case you need them: hotel vouchers, cruise vouchers, return flight tickets... Never leave them in your hold luggage.
All our cabins have a safe. We recommend not to go ashore with valuable jewellery.
Smithsonian Journeys is the travel program of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum, education and research complex, consisting of 19 museums, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities. Drawing on Smithsonian's resources dating back 175 years, these sailings will feature notable experts and experiences that embrace local cultures and dive deeper into a destination’s history, cuisine, language, environment, and wildlife. For more than 50 years, Smithsonian Journeys has been rooted in and focused on cultural immersion and discovery – with a goal of inspiring guests to become global citizens through travel.
Elizabeth Kolbert traveled from Alaska to Greenland and visited top scientists to get to the heart of the debate over global warming. Growing out of a groundbreaking three-part series in The New Yorker (which won the 2005 National Magazine Award in the category Public Interest), Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change brings the environment into the consciousness of the American people and asks what, if anything, can be done, and how we can save our planet. She explains the science and the studies, draws frightening parallels to lost ancient civilizations, unpacks the politics, and presents the personal tales of those who are being affected most—the people who make their homes near the poles and, in an eerie foreshadowing, are watching their worlds disappear. Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change was chosen as one of the 100 Notable Books of the Year (2006) by The New York Times Book Review. Her book, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, a book about mass extinctions that weaves intellectual and natural history with reporting in the field, was a New York Times 2014 Top Ten Best Book of the Year and is number one on the Guardian’s list of the 100 Best Nonfiction Books of all time. The Sixth Extinction also won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in the General Nonfiction category and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle awards for the best books of 2014. As with Field Notes from a Catastrophe, The Sixth Extinction began as an article in The New Yorker.
Elizabeth Kolbert has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1999. Her series on global warming, “The Climate of Man,” appeared in The New Yorker in the spring of 2005 and won the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s magazine award. In 2006, she received the National Academy of Sciences Communication Award in the newspaper/magazine category and was awarded a Lannan Writing Fellowship. In September 2010, Kolbert received the prestigious Heinz Award which recognizes individuals who are addressing global change caused by the impact of human activities and natural processes on the environment. She has also been awarded a 2010 National Magazine Award in the Reviews and Criticism category for her work in The New Yorker, and the Sierra Club’s 2011 David R. Brower Award. She recently won the Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Journalism from the American Geophysical Union. She is also the recipient of the 2016 Sam Rose ’58 and Julie Walters Prize at Dickinson College for Global Environmental Activism.
Elizabeth Kolbert’s stories have also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, and Mother Jones, and have been anthologized in The Best American Science and Nature Writing and The Best American Political Writing. She edited The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2009. Prior to joining the staff of The New Yorker, Kolbert was a political reporter for The New York Times.
Language spoken: English
Photo credit: Nicholas Whitman
Terje Leiren is Professor Emeritus of Scandinavian Studies and History at the University of Washington, Seattle. He taught at the University of Oslo before joining the UW in 1977. He served as Chair of the Department of Scandinavian Studies from 1995 to 2010. He is the author of four books and numerous scholarly articles on Scandinavian and Scandinavian-American history and culture, most recently a new revised edition of The Historical Dictionary of Norway. Leiren has lived and traveled extensively in Norway's fjord country. He has appeared in several television documentary programs about Scandinavia from the Vikings to World War II, including a documentary on the American years of Norwegian Crown Princess Martha who is the featured character in the PBS Masterpiece series, Atlantic Crossing.
Language spoken: English
Subject to withdrawal in case of force majeure
30 July 2022 Bergen
Embarkation 30/7/2022 from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm
Departure 30/7/2022 at 7:30 pm
Located at the end of Byfjord, Bergen was the capital of Norway in the 12th and 13th Centuries and has preserved some very beautiful monuments from the time when it was home to royalty. Wandering through Bergen’s streets means going back in time, in search of the hidden treasures that have been listed as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. A veritable openair museum, Bergen is home to a thriving artistic community of painters, potters, jewellers. The Bergen cable car offers you a splendid panorama over the port and the surrounding fjords. Do not miss the visit to the old quarter with its narrow streets, a testimony of the power of the hanseatic League that controlled trade in Northern Europe at the end of the Middle Ages.
31 July 2022 Alesund
Arrival 31/7/2022 midday
Departure 31/7/2022 early evening
Surrounded by a multitude of islands, fjords and majestic mountains, the town of Ålesund surprises many visitors. In fact, it is internationally renowned for its Art nouveau architecture. After the terrible fire of 1904 which reduced a large part of the town to ashes, Norwegian architects inspired by the Art nouveau style contributed to its reconstruction, with a very picturesque result. Not far from Ålesund, you will also discover Giske, the native island of Rollon, the great Viking leader who commanded the Norse expeditions to Normandy, or the beautiful island of Godoy and the village of Alnes, which offers a grandiose panorama over the Atlantic Ocean and the surrounding islands.
1 August 2022 Geiranger
Arrival 1/8/2022 early morning
Departure 1/8/2022 midday
A must-see stopover in Norway, located halfway between Bergen and Trondheim, Geiranger offers the stunning beauty of a natural decor, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The splendour of the sheer cliffs, dark rock and crystalline water are the stars of the show here. The sides of the fjord offer many possibilities for hiking: the Eagle’s Road takes you up to a steep stretch offering a gorgeous panoramic view. A visit to Geiranger village will immerse you in the rhythm of life in the little local community.
1 August 2022 Hellesylt
Arrival 1/8/2022 early afternoon
Departure 1/8/2022 late afternoon
Hellesylt is a small village located 20 kilometres from the Geiranger site. Here, you’ll get a taste of a traditional Norwegian village. Colourful houses, wooden walkways, rustic stalls where you can have a refreshment before heading off to discover more of the local colour. The surroundings are simply magnificent with cliffs, mountains and lakes with peaceful waters. The village is crossed by a river whose charming cascade tumbles into the fjord waters.
2 August 2022 Loen
Arrival 2/8/2022 early morning
Departure 2/8/2022 midday
At the innermost reaches of the storied Nordfjord, the small village of Loen lies below the great Jostedal Glacier, the largest ice cap in continental Europe. More than a century ago, European cruise ships started to call here for guests to visit the stunning mountains and valleys of the fjordland by horse-drawn carriage. Today, the Loen Skylift provides modern access to the panorama of the fjord landscape by ferrying guests to the top of Mount Hoven – 1011 meters above sea level – via cable car in only five minutes. Just inland lies beautiful Lake Lovatnet, renowned for its turquoise waters that are fed by melt water from the surrounding glaciers.
3 August 2022 Sandnes
Arrival 3/8/2022 early morning
Departure 3/8/2022 midday
In the south-west of Norway, nestling at the head of the Gands Fjord, Sandnes lies surrounded by nature. Known as the “pottery town” of Norway due to its significant ceramics industry resulting from the presence of readily-available clay in the region, Sandnes offers a combination of plains and peaks. A few kilometres from there, you may get the chance to discover Pulpit Rock. This astonishing rock formation towers 600 metres (1968 ft) above the waters of the Lysefjord. The stunning view over the fjord from this site makes it one of the most popular hiking destinations in Norway.
3 August 2022 Sailing in Lysefjorden
Arrival 3/8/2022 mid afternoon
Departure 3/8/2022 mid afternoon
You will sail into the heart of one of Norway’s most breathtaking fjords, its marvellous décor dominated by pristine nature, between vertiginous granite cliffs, crystal-clear waters and luxuriant vegetation. Very close to Stavanger, the quiet waters of Lysefjorden stretch out over around forty kilometres, beneath impressive rocks. Admire the world-famous site of Preikestolen (Pulpit Rock), a majestic cliff in the shape of a pulpit that rises to more than 600 metres above the waters. A bit further on, Flørli, from the top of its 4,444 steps, is the world’s longest wooden stairway, whereas the Kjerag, with its mythical boulder wedged between two rock faces, provides an unusual and unforgettable spectacle.
4 August 2022 Arendal
Arrival 4/8/2022 midday
Departure 4/8/2022 early evening
This port town located on the south coast of Norway is considered to be the locality with the best climate in the entire country. Arendal was long reputed for its iron mines from which, in the 19th century, it was able to produce a particularly strong earthy iron ore.
5 August 2022 Göteborg (Gothenburg)
Arrival 5/8/2022 early morning
Departure 5/8/2022 early afternoon
A lively harbour town, Göteborg is located on the west coast of Sweden, at the crossing of the Göta älv river and the bay of Cattégat. In the old Haga district, you can peruse hippy-chic fashion boutiques and bohemian cafés in the ground floors of traditional wood houses. On the majestic Gustave-Adolphe square, you’ll see elegant neoclassical buildings. Not far from here is the municipal museum dedicated to the town’s history. In addition, you will be able to sail along Göteborg’s numerous canals. As for eating, it’s the fish and shellfish which make the gastronomic reputation of this beautiful stopover.
6 August 2022 Oslo
Arrival 6/8/2022 early morning
Disembarkation 6/8/2022 at 8:00 am
Capital of Norway, Olso, is a green city. Its many parks and gardens make it the reputedly pleasant city it is. The 80 hectares of Vigeland sculpture parks and its 212 open air exhibitions, the Munch Museum dedicated to the life and works of the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, plus the Akershus fortress which symbolises Oslo’s rich history, are both must-sees. For culture, the national gallery shelters the largest Norwegian collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures open to the public. And, for sports enthusiasts, the Holmenkollen district with its Ski museum and famous ski jump offer the most stunning, all-encompassing view of the city.
Don your helmet, hop on your e-bike, and set off to discover hand-picked highlights in this enchanting city!
E-biking is just like traditional cycling, but with less pedaling thanks to the bike’s electric motor. After a full briefing, your guide will lead the way as you cruise into the streets. Glide around the heart of colorful Ålesund, which is renowned for its unique Art Nouveau style. Hear the story of the fire that destroyed the town in 1904 and admire the intricate façades of the buildings that rose from the ashes, embellished with dragons and flowers, and crowned by a forest of spires and turrets. Make the most of your bike’s motor and head up to a viewpoint on Mount Aksla. From here, soak up a breathtaking vista spanning Ålesund, the surrounding mountains, the sparkling fjords, and the distant Sunnmøre Alps.
Ålesund, the largest town on the Northwest coast, boasts a beautiful built on three islands close to the ocean and with a backdrop of impressive mountain peaks. A large part of Ålesund was destroyed by fire in 1904 and rebuilt in the so-called Jugend (Art Nouveau) style, typical of the first decade of the 20th century. In fact, it was the German emperor Wilhelm II, a great friend of Norway, who sent masons up to help rebuild the town.
Today Ålesund has a population of approximately 40,000, but the town center is relatively small and easy to cover on foot. Depart on foot and start with a visit to the Art Nouveau Centre, located in the old pharmacy building. The museum provides an interesting insight into the history of the fire in 1904 and the creative Art Nouveau period. After a break for coffee, tea, and cake, continue your walk and learn about the importance of fisheries in Norway's biggest fish-export harbor, and see several examples of the picturesque Art Nouveau-style that has made Ålesund famous as one of the three last Art Nouveau cities in Europe. Proceed uphill to a little, attractive park at the foot of Mount Aksla. Here you will find exotic trees and plants, as well as a memorial stone dedicated to Emperor Wilhelm II, after whom the main street in town is also named. In addition, here stands the statue of the Viking Gange-Rolf who sailed from Ålesund to present day Normandy, France, which is named after the Norwegian settlers. If you choose, walk up a few bends towards Mount Aksla to enjoy a spectacular view. Others can enjoy more time in the park to wander or relax before returning to the pier and your ship.
Ålesund, the largest town on the Northwest coast, boasts a beautiful setting, built on three islands close to the ocean and with a backdrop of impressive mountain peaks. A large part of Ålesund was destroyed by fire in 1904 and rebuilt in the so-called Jugend (Art Nouveau) style, typical of the first decade of the 20th century. Today it is a bustling town where the fish and furniture industries are the main sources of income.
Board your coach and drive approximately 2 miles to the Atlantic Ocean Park, a unique aquarium dedicated to marine life along the Atlantic coast of Norway, where tanks are built to resemble coastal environments. The largest tank contains over one million gallons of seawater, where you can view marine life through an acrylic panel that is over 10 inches thick, 60 feet long, and 13 feet high. The Park also features an outdoor pool with penguins. The aquarium is in a lovely setting, looking straight out towards Breisundet – the wide sound surrounded by islands and reaching far out the open ocean. Here seals come in regularly to be fed. The Park is currently undergoing renovation, and as of 2022, it will have status as a Marine Science Center with emphasis on how to manage ocean resources.
On the way back to the ship, you can to see some of the fine details of the Art Nouveau architecture before heading up to Mount Aksla, where you stop to take in the spectacular view over many islands towards the ocean. After a short drive through the streets of Ålesund, arrive back at the pier.
From the village of Geiranger at the head of the UNESCO World Heritage Geirangerfjord, drive by coach up Eagle's Road. Arrive at Eagle's Bend, a wide curve from where there is a splendid view to the fjord below and the surrounding mountains, for a photo stop. See the Seven Sisters waterfalls in the distance as well as some of the abandoned mountain farms clinging to the sheer cliff sides. Continue towards the village of Eiddal and pass the highest point of the road at about 2000 feet above sea level.
After the village of Norddal, leave the fjord and drive up the valley until you reach the summer farm of Herdalssetra, situated on a mountainside at approximately 1500 ft above sea level. The setting is picturesque, and during the summer months, some 450 goats roam freely. The farm is also home to cows, sheep, and fjord horses – including the blond pony native to the west coast. The farm produces both white and brown goat cheese.
Discover the 300-year-old farm, consisting of 30 tiny houses. The small, wooden houses with turfed roofs were built under the mighty peak of Heregga, tucked away from the annual avalanches. Here, the farmers will introduce you to their cheesemaking process. Complete your visit by sampling the family’s goatmilk cheeses and caramels.
On the way back down the valley, admire the lovely Herdøla River, cascading down in several impressive waterfalls. Upon arrival back in Geiranger, stop at the Geiranger Fjord Center. Here you will be able to view exhibitions on various local themes including fjord boats, tourism, historic public transport, farming, and communication. End back at the pier.