Summary : Voyage aboard the all-balcony luxury expedition ship, Le Boreal, on this exclusive trip of a lifetime. Travel in the company of an experienced Expedition Team, among who include experts on polar bear behavior. Discover the Arctic's most remote and culturally significant regions. Explore the incredible wilds of Svalbard and East Greenland and the timeless fishing hamlets of Iceland. Experience cruising along the Arctic ice cap in late summer, and the remote areas of Kejser Franz Josef Fjords and Scoresby Sound on Greenland's east coast. Enjoy a private behind-the-scenes tour at the world renowned Husavik Whale Museum. Witness Iceland's geologically rich Snaefellsjokull volcano, famously known as the setting for Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking
$14,995 to $28,995
Arrive in Oslo, Norway’s modern capital city coexisting in close harmony with nature. Transfer to your hotel and then meet your local guide for an afternoon walking tour. Tonight, gather for a private welcome reception at the Fram Museum, which houses the world’s most famous polar expedition ship.
Board a charter flight to Longyearbyen, the capital of Svalbard, also known as Spitsbergen, the sovereign Arctic archipelago of Norway. It is one of the most remote group of islands on the planet, with nearly two-thirds of its surface covered in glaciers. Tour the tiny town and its Arctic Museum. Following lunch, board your expedition ship.
Very few people have the opportunity to view the remote wilderness of the Svalbard Islands. In the Svalbard archipelago, polar bears, walrus, Svalbard reindeer and an incredibly rich variety of birds are as abundant as are cathedrals of ice, glaciers and craggy mountain peaks. An amazing amount of diminutive flora surrounds this barren landscape, which comes alive with color under the August midnight sun. Your captain and Expedition Team determine the day’s best sightseeing opportunities, which may include these extraordinary regions:
Magdalenefjoren: A stunning fjord with rugged rock walls, Magdalenefjoren surmounts blue-hued glaciers crisscrossed by crevasses, with birds perched in the high cliffs. This “glacier coast” provides magnificent views of slow-moving glaciers traveling out to sea as well as beaches frequented by walruses.
Ny Alesund: History here stretches back to the early Arctic explorers. Today, a polar research station occupies the site where a Norwegian coal mine once operated, and scientists study meteorology, seismology, atmospheric sciences and marine biology. Conditions permitting, visit the small community, including a museum, art gallery and the northernmost post office in the world.
Alkjefellet (Auk Mountains): Set off by Zodiac to explore the 325ft sheer cliffs that are home to 60,000 guillemots and kittiwakes. These nests attract “poaching” polar bears and Arctic foxes, who come for the feast of eggs and birds, and may provide opportunities for you to view them from the Zodiac.
Monaco Bay and Glacier: Located in Northwest Spitsbergen, Monaco Bay is frequented by a variety of wildlife populations, including polar bears, walruses, harbor and bearded seals, and a multitude of seabirds.
Liefdefjorden (Loves Bay): In far northern Svalbard, this is an excellent area for spotting polar bears and other Arctic wildlife.
Throughout your landings and days of cruising in Spitsbergen, your primary objective will be to search for polar bears as they hunt in their true natural habitat — be it on land or among the ice floes. Each landing is under the close supervision of your bear guardians, who have the best knowledge about where to find the white giants.
Cruise along the Arctic ice edge and through the Greenland Sea, as lecturers recap their presentations on the wildlife, history and geology of Svalbard and prepare you for the world’s largest island – Greenland. Spend time on board with new friends and the Expedition Team, ever on the lookout for wildlife.
Explore the rarely visited east coast of Greenland, Kejser Franz Josef Fjords and Scoresby Sound. Embark on twice-daily Zodiac excursions to cruise the intricate fjord network and search for musk ox and reindeer, which are common here. Ice conditions permitting, disembark for a visit in Ittoqqortoormiit, a small settlement founded in 1925 and one of the most isolated villages in Greenland. Next, explore the islands and icebergs of Scoresby Sound, the world’s largest and longest Fjord system.
Enjoy a relaxing day at sea cruising the relatively narrow strip of water that separates Greenland from Iceland, and connects the Arctic Sea with the Atlantic Ocean. Watch for seabirds and whales from the deck in between fascinating lectures presented by A&K’s Expedition Team. This evening, gather for a gala dinner hosted by the captain.
Arrive early in Husavik, the first permanent village settled in Iceland. Choose to embark on a scenic whale-watching tour followed by free time in Husavik. Or, set off for Godafoss (the Waterfall of the Gods) and Lake Myvatn, a thermally active region that provides a rich habitat for a variety of wildlife. Visit the excellent Husavik Whale Museum, one of the world’s foremost centers focused on whales and their habitat.
Take in the glacier-carved terrain of Iceland’s West Fjords, highlighted by the sparkling waterfalls and icebergs of Drangajokull Glacier. Visit Grundarfjördur, one of the first villages in Iceland. Then, choose from three excursions. You may visit the Snaefellsnes Peninsula with its fishing villages, stunning Snaefellsnes Glacier and views of the majestic, extinct Snaefellsjokull volcano — the site that inspired Jules Verne’s fictional Journey to the Center of the Earth. You may also embark on a boat tour among the numerous islands of Breidafjörður, an archipelago teeming with exotic birds, followed by a catch of fresh shellfish brought on board to enjoy straight from the sea. Or, you may hike well-known sites from the Icelandic Sagas, including the beautiful Berserkjahraun lava field; the 240-foot Mount Helgafell (“The Holy Mountain”), with spectacular views over the Breidafjörður islands (weather permitting); and the old town of Stykkisholmur and Bjarnarhofn (“Bear Harbor”), where you explore a shark museum and wooden Dutch church.
This morning, disembark in Reykjavik and transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice and weather conditions - and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
As a requirement of participation on this expedition, all passengers must purchase emergency evacuation/repatriation insurance at a minimum coverage of $50,000. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $100,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for trips which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.
One night pre-cruise accommodation in Oslo, Norway; accommodation and meals on the ship; arrival transfer to the starting hotel; transfer to the airport on the day of debarkation; fully guided sightseeing as noted in the itinerary including park and entrance fees; complimentary standard bar drinks, beer, house wine, soft drinks, coffee, juices and bottled water (excluding premium wines, spirits and Champagnes) while on board; porterage of 2 pieces of baggage per person; hotel taxes; cabin categories 6-8 include butler service; parka and backpack; and gratuities for the ship’s crew and Expedition Staff. Subject to change without notice.
International airfare; charter flight from Oslo to Longyearbyen; passport and visa expenses; laundry; premium wines, liquors and champagnes; communication charges and internet access; all items of a personal nature; travel insurance; excess baggage charges; airport departure tax; fuel surcharge may apply.