Summary : Explore two of the last unspoiled wilderness areas on the planet by cruising along Iceland’s mountainous Vestfjords and Greenland’s remote northeast coast, home to the largest fjord system in the world. You’ll discover diverse and dramatically rugged landscapes rich in iconic Arctic wildlife. Immersed in the untamed beauty of the Arctic, you’ll experience Inuit culture firsthand at Ittoqqortoormiit, visit ancient Thule sites steeped in history, and marvel at the majesty of massive icebergs and towering bird cliffs. You may also catch sight of the spectacular northern lights dancing across the sky.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Triple/Quad Cabins
$7,495 to $14,995
Arrive in the Icelandic capital in the morning and make your way to your included hotel.* You will have the day to explore the city on your own.
This afternoon, you’ll board your vessel and begin your expedition. Get ready for a great adventure ahead!
Each region of Iceland has its own appeal for nature, bird, and history lovers. The little-visited Vestfjords (Westfjords), where the land meets the sea in the most dramatic fashion, is no exception. Exploring this rugged peninsula at the country’s remote northwestern tip offers awe-inspiring vistas of mountains, fjords, and towering cliffs. With luck—and if conditions allow—you might cruise along Látrabjarg, Europe’s largest bird cliff, teeming with puffins, razorbills, guillemots, and more. Another possible destination is the quaint island of Flatey, where a replica of Iceland’s largest medieval manuscript, Flateyjarbók, can be viewed in the library.
As you cruise north across the Denmark Strait, your expedition team will prepare you for the adventures that await. Learn about the storied history and politics of the Arctic, its fascinating wildlife, geology, ecology and climate, and the incredible sights you will soon explore. The team will also search for seabirds soaring around your ship, as well as the whales that frequent the waters here.
During your tour of Greenland’s remote northeast coast, you’ll enjoy Zodiac cruises and shore visits to several locations. Keep an eye out for grazing muskoxen, as 40 percent of the world’s muskoxen population lives in Northeast Greenland National Park. Sailing through spectacular Scoresby Sund, the birthplace of many icebergs, you’ll immediately see why some say it’s the most beautiful fjord system on the planet.
Sites such as Frederiksdal and Sydkap offer opportunities to explore the colorful tundra and the remains of ancient Thule settlements. At the entrance of the sound is East Greenland’s most northerly community, Ittoqqortoormiit, where you may spend time interacting with the Inuit people and learning about their way of life. You may also have a chance to see the northern lights here if the skies are clear. Deeper in the sound, Røde Øya offers a picturesque locale for admiring the beauty of sky-blue bergs set against striking red sandstone cliffs. Magnificent vistas also await at Kong Oscar Fjord, with possible landings at Ella Øya (renowned for its rugged cliffs and ice-choked waters) and flower-rich Botanikerbugt on Ymer Øya.
As your Arctic adventure winds down, take in a presentation by your onboard experts, share your photos, sip an icy cocktail in the bar or watch a movie—there are many activities during your time at sea. Your expedition team will also be on hand to answer any questions and point out wildlife.
You’ll disembark in Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, at the end of your journey. If you have booked post-expedition accommodations, a transfer to a central downtown location will be 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.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
Due to the remoteness of the areas in this itinerary, travelers must carry a minimum $50,000 of emergency medical coverage. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. The travel insurance policy should also cover trip cancellation insurance, trip delay, interruption or after departure coverage, baggage and repatriation. The shipping company will not be held responsible for delays due to force majeure. Any additional costs accrued will be the responsibility of the traveler. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends that you select a travel protection plan that includes trip cancellation and interruption coverage and at least $200,000 in medical evacuation coverage. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions.
Bilingual Departure: English/French
Pre-booking required. A small group of sea kayakers will plan to go out multiple times per voyage instead of shore landings. The number of opportunities to kayak is weather dependent and will only be conducted during calm conditions. Prior kayaking experience is required and you must have the capability to do a wet exit to participate. Must be 16 years of age or older to participate. Beginners interested in kayaking should consider participating in the paddling excursions described below. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Pre-booking required. If you’re interested in kayaking but would like to try something less in-depth than the full kayaking program, you can still enjoy an on-water experience with a paddling excursion. Sign up for a one-time, one-hour paddle on a sit-on-top kayak, which is stable and unencumbered: perfect for anyone with little to no experience with kayaking. No experience necessary. Space is limited. Must be 16 years of age or older to participate. All sit-on-top kayaks are doubles. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
One pre-cruise hotel night in Reykjavik; group transfer from Reykjavik hotel to ship on Day 2; group transfer from ship to downtown Reykjavik on disembarkation day; shipboard accommodations; all shore landings per the daily program; all Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program; experienced Expedition Leader; formal and informal presentations by Expedition Team and special guests as scheduled; photographic journal; expedition parka and reusable water bottle (yours to keep); gear on loan (waterproof expedition boots for shore landings, walking poles); comprehensive onboard materials, including a map and an informational Arctic Reader; all meals on board ship; snacks, soft drinks, and juices on board; beer and house wine during dinner; coffee, tea, cocoa available around the clock; hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin; daily housekeeping; pre-departure materials; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; luggage handling aboard ship; Greenland voyages cruise passenger tax; emergency evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of $500,000 per person*. Subject to change without notice.
International airfare; arrival and departure transfers; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above; meals ashore unless otherwise specified; baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance (strongly recommended); excess baggage fees on international flights; mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising or any other gear not mentioned; laundry, bar, beverage, and other personal charges unless specified; phone and internet charges; voluntary gratuity at end of voyage for shipboard staff and crew; additional overnight accommodation; any Adventure Options such as kayaking or paddling; fuel surcharge may apply.
*Emergency Evacuation Insurance:
Emergency evacuation coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $500,000 is included in the cost of this expedition. Included coverage is applicable only while traveling with the shipping company between the first and last day of the expedition. Additional days of travel prior to the expedition and/or after the expedition, including pre- and post-packages/hotels/flights, purchased from the shipping company or from suppliers other than the shipping company, are not covered by the included emergency evacuation insurance. We strongly advise all passengers to purchase medical, cancellation and baggage insurance, and additional emergency evacuation coverage.
© Sam Crimmin, © Acacia Johnson, © Hugo Perrin, © Quark Expeditions