Summary : Voyage to East Greenland, Scoresby Sund, where you might just catch a glimpse of the breathtaking Aurora Borealis on this trip of a lifetime! Cross the Arctic Circle and continue north, perhaps seeing whales and scores of various seabirds. Witness stunning icebergs in various shades of vivid blue against the vast Arctic sky. Zodiac rides and shore excursions round out this once in a lifetime experience exploring Greenland’s amazing landscapes and discovering its magnificent wildlife like musk oxen!
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Diving, Hiking, Kayaking, Triple/Quad Cabins
$3,900 to $6,850
Transfer by bus from Hotel Reykjavik Centrum in the morning to the ship in Akureyri. Arrive in the afternoon after a scenic six hour drive through North Iceland. In the early evening, leave Iceland and sail north towards the Denmark Strait.
Sail north through the Denmark Strait. Watch for fulmar, kittiwake, gannet and rafts of common guillemot. Cross the Arctic Circle and continue north, perhaps seeing whales. In the evening, some of the first icebergs appear on the approach to the east coast of Greenland near Kap Brewster.
In the morning, sail along the ragged and glaciated Volquart Boons Coast. If possible, Zodiac cruise along one of the glacier fronts and land near Måne Glacier or Vikingebugt. Later, land at Danmarks ø to see the remains of an Inuit settlement abandoned around 200 years ago. The circular ‘tent rings’ of stones indicate the summer houses, while the winter houses can be seen closer to a small cape. The sites are well preserved, allowing entrances, grave sites and even bear-proof meat caches to be identified. In the evening, continue sailing through the beautiful fjords to the west, dappled with icebergs.
Go ashore at Cape Hofmann Halvø, a reliable spot for viewing musk oxen. Keep an eye out for rock ptarmigan. The landscape here is particularly beautiful, especially during autumn when the Dwarf Willow and Dwarf Birch change color. Arctic blueberry and crowberry add their own colorful touch - the berries are tasty too! In the evening, sail through the fjord towards Scoresby Land, enjoying the contrast between the warm autumnal colors of the vegetation on shore, backed by huge dark mountains, and the crystal blue of the icebergs.
In Scoresby Land, you can see huge icebergs, some over 100m high and more than a kilometer in length. Most of the bergs are grounded as the fjord is only about 400m deep here. Land near Sydkap to view the remains of Thule winter houses. As many as 20 people lived in these tiny houses, hunting Greenland whale and using their vertebrae to build the houses.
In the morning, land at a lagoon at the south coast of Jameson Land where waders and geese gather for their autumn migration. The landscape here is gently undulating. Musk oxen and lemming survive on the scant vegetation. In the afternoon, visit Ittoqqortoormiit, the biggest settlement near Scoresby Sund with about 400 inhabitants. Visit the post office to buy stamps for your postcards, or just wander around to see the sledge dogs and the drying skins of seals, musk oxen and polar bear.
Spend the whole day at sea with opportunities to watch for whales, migrating seabirds and once it's dark, the Northern Lights.
Arrive in Akureyri and transfer by charter bus for a 6 hour drive through scenic North Iceland back to Reykjavik.
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 insurance including medical, accident and repatriation/evacuation insurance. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions.
Bilingual English/German Departure: 9/18/2018
Hiking & Snowshoeing:
Included in the cruise fare. Activity available to all passengers, no prior experience required. Snowshoes are provided.
Polar cruise kayaking is an amazing way to slip into the white and blue beauty of the quiet oceans around you. Kayaking excursions are limited to 14 passengers. Participants will have up to four scheduled kayaking sessions during the expedition. Kayaking groups will be accompanied by two guides, one leading in a kayak and one trailing nearby in a Zodiac. Kayaking is subject to weather and prevailing ice conditions. Basic kayaking experience is required and physical fitness is essential. Kayaks, neoprene wet suits, booties and gloves are provided. Space is limited; request at time of booking. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Polar Diving: 9/18/2018
Dive under shallow water, down along walls, from the beach, or from a Zodiac. You will reach a maximum of 60 feet. Unlike no other dive—the combination of water, sunlight, and ice formations creates an ever-shifting spectacle of colors. Participants will dive in group of eight divers per guide, with a maximum of 24 divers per excursion. Compressors and weights are provided. Participants must bring their own dry suit with hood and additional equipment. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for a complete list. This activity is available for experienced divers. Participants are required to present their internationally accepted diver certificate, diver's logbook, and a statement from their doctor (not older than two years) that demonstrates they are in a good state of physical health allowing them to scuba dive. Experience with both cold water diving and dry suit diving (at least 30 dives) is required. Space is limited; request at time of booking. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Voyage aboard the designated vessel as indicated in the itinerary; cabin accommodations and meals aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea; free use of rubber boots on loan; return charter bus transfers and baggage handling between hotel in Reykjavik and ship in Akureyri; Zodiac rides; program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff; AECO fees and governmental taxes; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges; comprehensive pre-departure material. Subject to change without notice.
Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights; accommodation in Iceland; pre- and post-land arrangements; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; travel insurance; excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges; and the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel; fuel surcharge may apply.
PHOTOS: © Erwin Vermeulen; © Rob Tully