Fjords are what remain of eons of erosion by glaciers from the ice age, as they crept down fluvial valleys, their huge weight deepening the river bed. The result are steep-sided, narrow bays that extend far inland. These huge valleys are found on all four corners of the world. Some of them are only accessible by sea making a cruise a particularly savvy choice to experience them. Journeys by Van Dyke brings you the beauty and richness of these spectacular formations on four of our journeys in 2019 and 2020.
The “Country of Fjords”
Norway has some of the most breathtaking scenery on Earth. There are over 1,000 fjords along its 3,380 kilometres of coast, making it the go-to-destination to discover these spectacular, outsized yet mirror-calm bays. Our cruise does a round-trip through these magnificent landscapes from Bergen heading to ports beyond the Arctic Circle. The colourful city of Trondheim is the gateway to one of the longest and most impressive fjords, offering tranquil navigation along with sumptuous scenery. Step onto a cable car in Tromsø and climb up the Storsteinen mountain to take in the spectacular panoramic view of the city and the endless sight of fjords, islands, mountains and sea. Welcome to the land of fjords, in all its rugged, dramatic splendour.
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The lush fjords of New Zealand have one notable feature: they are blanketed in vegetation. Amongst them, the most imposing is Milford Sound, which twists through the Southern Alps. Due to its steep mountain sides that form the valley, the best way to explore the fjord is by ship. Here you can admire a landscape where granite peaks tower above rainforests clinging to the steep mountains and waterfalls cascade into the deep dark fjords. While navigating these calm waters, you will be lulled by the peaceful and dreamy ambience of this genuine national and world treasure. You might be awoken from your slumber by the splashing sounds of leaping dolphins, playful otters and woolly sea lions, after all, it is their home and playground.
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Inspirational names abound in the far southern tip of Chile: Tierra del Fuego, Strait of Magellan, Drake’s Passage...The Andes commence here, the peaks creating a labyrinth of straits and fjords. Feel the isolation as you sail through these ‘fuegian channels’, the most remote maritime channels and fjords in the world. As snowcapped mountains surround you on all sides, the absolute immensity of the place will make your ship feel insignificant. It puts the voyager in a new perspective worthy of meditation. This inhospitable land has been home to the Kawesquar for millenia, who learned to adapt to the humidity and cold, a truly awe-inspiring feat. The savage land and seascapes are yours to take in and admire from the comfort of your cabin.
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The State of Alaska has splendid fjords for those adventurous enough to travel to this wondrous land. On route to Skagway and the historical goldmining trails, our ship passes the Lynn Canal, one of the deepest fjords in North America. This region offers a unique spectacle in a magical place where snow-capped mountains meet crystal waters, glaciers and innumerable fjords. Each one is bigger, wilder, more spectacular than the next. Binoculars may be handy, as a variety of animals dwell here: puffins, otters and sea lions, along with a number of species of whales such as humpbacks and even killer whales. Wind your way through the icy waters and dramatic scenery on a once-in-a-lifetime cruise. You will discover that this northerly place has a warm heart.
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