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East Greenland – Scoresby Sund & Aurora Borealis

Iceland/Greenland Cruise Information

Summary : Voyage from Akureyri, Iceland to East Greenland and Scoresby Sund—one of the largest fjord systems in the world—where you might catch a glimpse of the breathtaking Aurora Borealis on this trip of a lifetime. Cross the Arctic Circle and continue north while scouting for whales and scores of various seabirds. Witness stunning icebergs in various shades of vivid blue against the vast Arctic sky or the contrasting red slopes of Røde Ø. Discover the remains of an Inuit settlement abandoned approximately 200 years ago. Visit Ittoqqortoormiit, one of the remotest settlements on Earth. Explore by Zodiac, shore excursions, or optional kayaking and polar diving.

Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Diving, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins

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Itinerary
Day 1
Reykjavik / Akureyri, Iceland

Your journey begins in the morning, where by request you can transfer via chartered bus from the city hall of Reykjavik (the meeting point) to the ship in Akureyri (the embarkation point). You arrive in the afternoon after a six-hour drive through northern Iceland.

PLEASE NOTE: This transfer is supplemented (see Additional Costs), and must be booked and paid for in advance. In the early evening the ship departs from the port of Akureyri, sailing north toward the Denmark Strait.

Day 2
Denmark Strait

While sailing north you will likely see fulmars, kittiwakes, gannets, and common guillemots. You then cross the Arctic Circle, possibly spotting whales. By evening the first icebergs flash into sight with the approach to the east Greenland coast, near Brewster.

Day 3
Volquart Boons Coast / Danmarksø

Today you reach Scoresby Sund, sailing along the glaciated Volquart Boons Kyst. You may also enjoy a Zodiac cruise along one of the glacier fronts, along with a visit to the basalt columns and ice formations of Vikingebugt. The afternoon goal is to visit Danmark Island, where you'll find the remains of an Inuit settlement abandoned around 200 years ago. The circular stone tent rings indicate summer houses, while winter houses can be seen closer to a small cape. The sites are well preserved, with easily identifiable entrances, bear-proof meat caches, and grave sites. In the evening you continue sailing the berg-crowded fjords to the west.

Day 4
Røde Ø / Røde Fjord

The goal is a Zodiac cruise near Røde Ø, one of the world’s most cherished iceberg attractions: The austere blue-white of the icebergs is a sharp contrast to the brooding red backdrop of the sediment slopes. The afternoon plan is to sail through the northern parts of Røde Fjord, with the chance to see musk oxen and warm autumnal foliage.

Day 5
Sydkap

In the morning you encounter colossal icebergs, some over 328-feet high and more than a half-mile long. Most of them are grounded, as the fjord is only about 1,312-feet deep. You then land near Sydkap, with fine views of Hall Bredning and a good shot of seeing Arctic hares.

Day 6
Ittoqqortoormiit

Today you make a tundra landing on Liverpool Land in Hurry Inlet. The afternoon stop is Ittoqqortoormiit, the largest settlement in Scoresby Sund at about five hundred inhabitants. At the post office you can buy stamps for your postcards or stroll around to see sled dogs and the drying skins of seals and musk oxen. In the afternoon you sail south, passing the picturesque landscapes of the Blosseville Coast.

Day 7
Turner Sound / Rømer Fjord

Turner Sound and Rømer Fjord grant you the opportunity to sail far inland, as they have no glacier front at the head and are not clogged with ice. In this location, you have the best chance of spotting narwhals and polar bears.

Day 8
At Sea

A sea day grants you the opportunity to spot whales and seabirds—and at night, the magical northern lights.

Day 9
Akureyri / Reykjavik, Iceland

Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. You disembark in Akureyri, where on request you can transfer by chartered bus (a six-hour drive that must be booked in advance; see Additional Costs) to the Reykjavik City Hall, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

Notes

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:
As a requirement of participation on this expedition, all passengers must purchase medical, accident, and repatriation/evacuation insurance. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for polar trips which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage, and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.

Please Note: All voyages will operate subject to a minimum of 90 participants.

Kayaking:
Space is limited; must be pre-booked prior to departure. Polar cruise kayaking is an amazing way to slip into the white and blue beauty of the quiet ocean around you. Kayaking excursions are limited to 14 passengers. 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. Single seat and double seat kayaks, neoprene wet suits, and life vests are provided. Space is limited; request at time of booking. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.

Photography: Included in rate
Space is limited; request at time of booking. Learn from a professional photographer while on board the ship or during excursions. Your photo pro will help you adjust to real-life situations such as falling snow, dim light, and moving wildlife. Lectures and workshops will introduce you to your equipment and the theories behind how to take a better picture.

Polar Diving:
Space is limited; request at time of booking. This activity is available for highly experienced divers who are familiar with both cold water and dry suit diving (at least 30 dry suit dives). Dive sites will vary from shallow ice diving, diving along a wall, from a beach, or from a Zodiac. Maximum depth is around 60 feet. The combination of sunlight and the often-extraordinary formations of ice cause an overwhelming, ever-changing spectrum of colors with a fantastic variety of shades and brilliance. Diving in Antarctica doesn’t just offer ice, but also interesting marine life, such as kelp walls, sea-snails, crabs, sea butterflies, various Antarctic fish, shrubby horse-tails, jellyfish, sea-hedgehogs, starfish, krill and giant isopods. You might have the possibility of snorkeling or diving with fur seals, leopard seals, and penguins. Participants will dive in groups of eight divers per experienced guide, with a maximum of 24 divers per excursion and a goal of 1-2 different dives per day. Basic equipment such as scuba tanks, compressor, weights and diving essentials are provided but divers must bring their own personal gear, including dry suit with hood and two separate freeze-protected regulators. Participants are required to present their internationally accepted diver certificate, diver's logbook, and a statement from their doctor (less than two years old) that confirms they are in a good state of physical health allowing them to scuba dive. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.

Included:

Shipboard accommodations; all shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac; program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff; gear on loan (rubber boots); all meals onboard the ship; snacks, coffee and tea; AECO fees and governmental taxes; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges; comprehensive pre-departure material. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:

Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre- and post-land arrangements; round-trip transfer Akureyri/Vonarstraeti (6 hours; must be pre-booked - see Additional Costs); passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation, and personal insurance (which is mandatory), excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges, and telecommunication charges; and customary gratuity at the end of the voyage for stewards and other service personnel; fuel surcharge may apply.

PHOTOS: © Rob Tully; © Rinie van Meurs; © Erwin Vermeulen

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