Summary : Discover Scorseby Sund's beautiful fjord system, visit historical sites and timeless fishing villages, and witness stunning icebergs on this Arctic adventure through Iceland and East Greenland. Keep an eye out for a variety of seabirds, whales, and dolphins as you sail through picturesque waters. Experience the tundra, enjoy scenic Zodiac rides, and seek the aurora borealis each night on this spectacular journey with an included photography program. Along the way, your team of experienced guides and knowledgeable lecturers will provide context and bring the region's remarkable natural history to life.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins
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Welcome to Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland and starting point of your Arctic expedition! After checking into your included hotel you will be free to explore this attractive, friendly, and quintessentially Nordic city.
(Please note: Arrival transfer to hotel is not included in rate.)
After breakfast at your hotel, the morning is yours to enjoy Reykjavík. In the afternoon, you will be transferred to the pier and warmly welcomed aboard the Sea Spirit. Settle into your suite and explore the ship that will be your home during the extraordinary adventure to come. After getting underway, a full schedule of events kicks off with informative briefings and introductions from your expedition staff. After dinner, step out onto the open decks to admire the views as the ship sails through Faxaflói, where it is possible to encounter the first whales of your trip.
From Iceland, sail north across the Denmark Strait to East Greenland and celebrate crossing the Arctic Circle. Keep a continuous lookout for great whales and flocks of seabirds feeding in the productive waters near the sharp rise of Greenland’s continental shelf. After nightfall and if conditions allow, you'll have the first of many opportunities to see the aurora borealis overhead.
The itinerary for this part of the voyage focuses on the spectacular fjords, coasts, and islands of Scoresby Sund, also known as Kangertittivaq in the Greenlandic language. This area contains some of the world’s most impressive scenery and Greenland’s best wildlife viewing. As with any true polar expedition, your exact schedule and route will be shaped by weather and ice. Your experienced captain and expedition leader will continually adjust plans as conditions and opportunities warrant in this wild and remote corner of the Arctic.
Scoresby Sund is one of the longest and most visually stunning fjord systems in the world. Almost totally devoid of human habitation, it is also one of the most pristine natural environments on Earth. In this epic wilderness, the forces of nature have shaped a landscape of incomparable grandeur. Deep fjords and narrow passages are framed by sheer rock walls up to 6,561-feet high. Colossal icebergs—calved by immense glaciers and sculpted by wind and water into fantastic shapes—drift throughout the intricate fjord system in striking contrast to sparkling blue waters and polychromatic mountains capped with fresh snow. From verdant coastal plains to ice-clad peaks all the way to the glaciated heart of Greenland, a trip through Scoresby Sund sets a new standard for “scenic”.
Your area of exploration includes part of Northeast Greenland National Park, the largest and most northerly national park in the world. This vast Arctic landscape is a paradise for hikers who appreciate astounding views of untouched tundra wilderness. Across hillsides emblazoned with autumnal red and yellow, a flash of white reveals the flight of a snowy owl or a startled mountain hare. Tufts of the finest fleece ensnared in polar willows underfoot point the way to a nearby herd of shaggy musk oxen. You may hear the crack of horns colliding as bulls engage in fearsome battles of strength. Boreal fowl of every description are preparing to migrate south with their newly fledged chicks. All throughout the waterways of Scoresby Sund, the expedition team will keep a constant watch for polar bears and other marine mammals, including a variety of seals, walrus and narwhal, which can be spotted at any time.
Ancient Thule archeological sites are a reminder of humankind’s age-old relationship with this austere yet life-sustaining environment. For a look at how this tradition has been carried forward, plan to visit the modern Inuit village of Ittoqqortoormiit, the only permanent settlement in the region and one of the most remote communities in the world. The village boasts a museum, bookstore, handmade crafts for sale, post office, and an abundance of Greenlandic sled dogs.
In September, at the equinox, day and night are given equal opportunities to astound you. As night falls, the darkening sky becomes a stage for nature’s greatest celestial performance: the Northern Lights. East Greenland is one of the very best places in the Arctic to view this otherworldly natural phenomenon. In addition to being at the perfect latitude for strong aurora displays, the skies above Scoresby Sund are often cleared by katabatic winds rolling down from the nearby Greenland Ice Sheet. Lights dancing from horizon to horizon are mirrored in calm waters while the silhouettes of gigantic icebergs and serrated mountains add to the romantic splendor of the experience.
This itinerary offers a deep dive into one of the Arctic’s most scenic and soulful environments. From dawn to dusk and beyond, your days will be filled with incredible shore excursions, world-class Zodiac cruising, and enough stunning scenery to fill your camera and overwhelm your emotions.
After an amazing time in Scoresby Sund, head back across Denmark Strait toward Iceland. Presentations and workshops by staff as well as a range of onboard recreational facilities ensure that this day at sea is not idly spent. Seabird viewing and whale sightings can be enjoyed from panoramic open decks as well as exterior stateroom windows and balconies.
Your last expedition day is spent in the beautiful Vestfirðir (Westfjords) of Iceland. This remote and sparsely populated region of crenulated coastlines, voluminous waterfalls, and rugged mountains sees only 10% of Iceland’s visitors. Deep fjords are home to whales while estuaries abound with seals and birdlife.
After breakfast say farewell in Reykjavík. A transfer to the airport or the city center is provided.
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. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Bilingual Departure: English/German
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
All guests are required to carry adequate travel insurance that must contain medical, evacuation and repatriation coverage. Passengers must ensure that their purchased insurance includes cruise travel in the polar regions, and has evacuation and repatriation coverage of no less than $200,000 per person. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions.
Pre-booking required; space is limited. Weather permitting, experience the thrill and tranquility of sea kayaking in the polar regions as part of a guided paddling group. Participants must be at least 16 years old at the time of their voyage, in good health with appropriate physical fitness, and have previous kayaking experience. Children who are 16 to 18 years of age at the time of their voyage are allowed to participate if they are accompanied and supervised at all times by a parent or guardian.
Photography Program: Included
Learn and practice your photography skills alongside an experienced professional. An expert photographer will be available to answer your questions and give advice, both in the form of onboard lectures and workshops on shore. Explore the key elements of photography in a fun and relaxed setting with plenty of opportunities for questions and feedback. Learn how to see light in a new way and experiment with the techniques of composition and framing.
One pre-voyage hotel night in Reykjavik; group transfer to the ship on embarkation day; group transfer to Keflavik International Airport (KEF) or centrally located hotel for luggage storage upon disembarkation; shipboard accommodations; welcome and farewell cocktails on board ship; leadership throughout the voyage by experienced Expedition Leader and Expedition Team; scheduled landings/excursions (subject to weather and ice conditions); Wi-Fi on board ship (2021 departures); digital voyage log; photography program; gear to keep (wind- and water-resistant parka); gear on loan (rubber boots); all meals onboard the ship; 24-hour coffee/tea station on board ship; all port fees. Inclusions subject to change without notice.
Airfare; transfer from airport to pre-voyage hotel; visa and passport fees (if applicable); emergency evacuation insurance to a minimum benefit of $200,000 (required); luggage and trip cancellation insurance (highly recommended); excess baggage charges; soft drinks and alcoholic beverages other than those mentioned as included; kayaking; personal expenses such as laundry; onboard communications such as telephone calls; gratuities; pre- or post-cruise travel expenses; fuel surcharge may apply.
PHOTOS: © Poseidon Expeditions, © Anthony Smith