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
Your journey begins in the morning, where by request you can transfer via chartered bus from Radhus Reykjavikur / city hall in Vonarstraeti in 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, 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.
While sailing north you 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 of the east Greenland coast, near Brewster.
Today you reach Scoresbysund, 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. Later you land on Danmark Island, where you find the remains of an Inuit settlement abandoned around 200 years ago. The circular stone tent rings indicate the summer houses, while the winter houses can be seen closer to a small cape. The sites are well preserved, with easy identifiable entrances, bear-proof meat caches, and grave sites. In the evening you continue sailing the berg-crowded fjords to the west.
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 sets sharp against 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.
In the morning you encounter colossal icebergs, some over 100 meters (328 feet) high and more than a kilometer (.62 mile) long. Most of them are grounded, as the fjord is only about 400 meters (1,312 feet) deep. You then land near Sydkap, with fine views of Hall Bredning and a good shot of seeing Arctic hares.
Stopping at a lagoon on the south coast of Jameson Land, you encounter waders and geese gathering for the autumn migration. Musk oxen and collared lemming survive on the sparse vegetation here. Later in the day you visit Ittoqqortoormiit, the largest settlement near Scoresbysund—about five hundred inhabitants. At the post office you can buy stamps for your postcards, or just stroll around to see the sled dogs and drying skins of seals and musk oxen.
A day at sea grants you winning opportunities to spot whales and seabirds—and at night, the magical 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. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
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.
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