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A Midsummer Music Cruise to the Arctic Circle

Tromsø, The Lofoten Islands 12 nights Price from £3,395 per person
Departs: 03 Jun 2021
Departs: 03 Jun 2021

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Cross the Arctic Circle during midsummer and enjoy the most spectacular fjords and islands of the Norwegian coastline from the comfort of Black Watch, in the company of host of award-winning international chamber musicians. During June the sun barely sets at this latitude and we will enjoy the unique experience of the Midnight Sun as we sail through a wild and dramatic landscape and listen to wide-ranging performances by ten exceptional artists.

The Itinerary - A twelve night music cruise

Liverpool – Kristiansand – Sandnessjøen – Svolvær –  Sortland  Tromsø – Leknes - Lerwick – Liverpool

After leaving the port of Liverpool we head northwards to start our journey to Norway. There will be two full days before we reach Kristiansund, our first port of call. The town is divided into four islands linked by bridges with Norway’s most beautiful natural harbour at its centre. Next we spend a day cruising past the picturesque town of Rorvik and the granite mountain of Torghatten before reaching Sandnessjøen with its dramatic backdrop of the Seven Sisters mountain range. Soon after sailing out of Sandnessjøen we will cross the Arctic Circle when the captain of the Black Watch, as traditional demands, be thrown in the ship’s pool as a sacrifice to Neptune! Our next stop is Svolvær, on the wild and dramatic Lofoten Islands, where we sail past two narrow and spectacular natural wonders – Trollfjord, with its vertiginous sides and, Raftsundet. In Sortland on the rugged and remote Vesteralen Islands we will learn more about the Sami people with their ancient language and traditions. Calls will be made to Tromsø, a major cultural and commercial centre, famous for its beautiful Arctic Cathedral shaped like an iceberg and then, returning to the Lofoten Islands, Leknes.

Cruising past the picture-perfect and colourful village of Reine we say goodbye to Norway as we head to the Shetland Islands where we will have the opportunity to visit two wonderful gardens that have been cleverly created in this unlikely landscape. We enjoy a further day at sea before arriving back in Liverpool.






03 June   17.00 Liverpool
04-05 June AT SEA    
06 June 08.00 18.00 Kristiansund
07 June 07.00 14.00 Cruising Rørvik & Torghatten
07 June 14.00 19.00 Sandnessjøen
07 June 21.00   Crossing the Arctic Circle
08 June 07.30 15.00 Svolvær, Lofoten Islands
08 June 17.15 18.15 Cruise Trollfjord & Raftsundet
08 June 21.00   Sortland, Vesterålen
09 June   19.00 Sortland, Vesterålen
10 June 08.30 17.00 Tromsø
11 June 07.30 16.00 Leknes, Lofoten Islands
11 June 17.30 18.30 Cruising by Reine
12 June AT SEA    
13 June 08.30 18.30 Lerwick, Shetland Islands
14 June AT SEA    
15 June  08.00   Liverpool




Optional Shore Excursions

We shall arrange a selection of shore excursions excusively for Kirker clients. In addition to our excursions, Fred. Olsen will also be arranging public tours at every port of call, which are available to all passengers, and should be booked with Fred. Olsen directly. We shall send you details of all excursions including the costs approximately 10 weeks before the departure of the cruise. N.B. If you would like to pre-register for one or more of the Kirker shore excursions please let us know at the time of booking.

Shetland Islands

The remote Shetland Islands may seem an unlikely location for horticulturalists, but we will take you to three surprising and beautiful gardens this morning, created by gardeners Linda Johnston, Sara Kay and Rosa Steppanova. Our first visit is to Linda’s colourful beach garden at Keldaberg, divided into four distinct areas including a vegetable garden and herbaceous border, with much use of driftwood. Sara Kay’s garden is wonderfully located with open, sweeping views of the sea at Easterhoull near Scalloway. Finally, Rosa, who arrived in the Shetlands from her native Bavaria more than thirty years ago, has transformed a derelict croft into a garden with more than 1,500 species and cultivars from around the world, planted in a variety of habitats on the two acre site. We will enjoy a delicious local lunch before returning to Black Watch.

£168 including lunch

What's included

...when you travel with Kirker

  • Twelve nights' accommodation on board the Black Watch
  • All meals on board
  • Private drinks parties
  • All concerts and talks as described
  • Services of the Kirker Tour Leader

Departure Dates and Prices

Prices range from £3,395 per person for Inside cabin to £5,425 per person for a Balcony Suite. All meals on board are included, as well as private drinks parties, all concerts, plus exclusive talks and interviews. For full prices and cabin descriptions please call 020 7593 2284 to speak to an expert or view our online brochure here.

03 Jun 2021

Status Limited

Price from£3395

Single Supp.£1035

Call 020 7593 2284

The Marmen Quartet

String Quartet

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Tim Horton

Tim Horton


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Trio Ondine

Trio Ondine


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Danish Clarinet Trio

Danish Clarinet Trio


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Ship Details

Fred. Olsen’s Black Watch has a relaxed, stylish atmosphere that harks back to cruising in a bygone age. She is a comfortable world-class cruise ship where you will feel a warm sense of hospitality from the very first moment you step aboard, with broad teak decks, generous promenades, elegant décor and bright, spacious public areas.

With just 435 cabins, Black Watch has been designed with a generous amount of space for each passenger. The cabins are a good size and most have a sea view (speak to a Kirker expert to discuss your personal requirements). It is always easy to find a quiet corner - and you certainly won’t find yourself having to compete for space with hordes of other passengers. There are a number of dining options and guests may choose from a selection of contrasting bars including the nautically themed Lido Lounge and popular Scottish Piper’s Bar, or you may elect to retreat to the Braemar Lounge or the Observatory. Other on board facilities include two swimming pools, a fitness centre, a health and beauty salon, deck sports, library, indoor games, internet access, casino, cabarets and shows.

Black Watch spent the last month of 2016 undergoing a multi-million pound refurbishment of both public areas and cabins. The ship now has a brighter look to it, notably in the main restaurant, the Glentanar. There’s also a new intimate dining room called the Black Watch Room, which seats just 46 guests. All the cabins and bathrooms have been improved and furniture, curtains and carpets have been replaced. The Marina Theatre, which is central to our music cruises with all the concerts taking place here, remains unchanged.

Music Programme

For the first part of the cruise we welcome on board the Marmen Quartet, 1st Prize-winners in both the 2019 Banff International String Quartet Competition and the 2019 Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition. Together with pianist Tim Horton, a familiar artist to many Kirker clients and Kirker’s Director of Music, violist and composer, Simon Rowland-Jones, the musicians will appear in many different formats.

In Tromsø, four distinguished Danish musicians will board the Black Watch for the second part of the cruise. They include Tommaso Lonquich, clarinet, Jonathan Slaatto, cello and Martin Qvist Hansen, piano, collectively known as the Danish Clarinet Trio. When the same cellist and pianist are joined by violinist Erik Heide, they metamorphose into the Trio Ondine. In both guises these four musicians have also won an impressive number of competitions and awards.

Our music programme will comprise fifteen concerts, including music by a huge variety of composers from the great classical and romantic periods. The bulk of the extensive repertoire will be for string quartets and quintets, piano trios, quartets and quintets, solo piano and duos with strings and piano. Featured composers are Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Chopin, Debussy and Janacek. No Norwegian cruise would be complete without a work or two by Edvard Grieg of course! The Danes will also include a work for clarinet and piano by their 19th century compatriot Niels Gade, as well as a couple of more contemporary works, trios by Per Norgard and Simon Rowland- Jones, the latter inspired by the one of Norway’s most beautiful Fjords. During the cruise Simon will also give several musically-illustrated talks.

To make an enquiry please speak to one of our experts on 020 7593 1899, or enquire online

Our expert reservations team regularly travel to a wide range of destinations to explore new cities, visit hotels and to research museums, galleries and restaurants so that we can offer the most up-to-date advice and recommendations.