Summary : Embark on a voyage filled with the amazing colors of the Arctic. Start in Spitsbergen and sail along the coast of Greenland to Iceland. As you approach Greenland, attempt to sail through the sea ice and land at Myggebugten. Watch for whales and magnificent ice sculptures. Discover extensive tundra populated by musk oxen, Arctic hares, and ptarmigans. Sail through magnificent fjords surrounded by towering mountains, discover ancient Inuit settlements, and hope to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights on this trip of a lifetime!
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Triple/Quad Cabins
$6,550 to $12,100
Touch down in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen. Spitsbergen is the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Enjoy strolling around this former mining town. The parish church and Svalbard Museum make for fascinating attractions. Though the countryside appears stark, more than a hundred species of plant have been recorded in it. In the early evening the ship will sail out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of your voyage.
Sailing to Raudfjorden, on the north coast of Spitsbergen, you take in an expansive fjord spilling with glaciers, and maybe even visited by ringed and bearded seals. The cliffs and shoreline of this fjord also support thriving seabird colonies, rich vegetation, and the possibility of polar bears.
You may eventually see the jagged edge of the east Greenland sea ice flashing into sight ahead, depending on the conditions. Keep watch for whales and migrating seabirds here.
As the ship approaches Greenland, you may sail through the sea ice into Foster Bay and land at Myggebugten. Beyond the old hunters’ hut (where Norwegian trappers hunted for polar bears and Arctic fox in the first half of the 20th century), there is a sprawling tundra populated by musk oxen, with geese floating on the small lakes. From here, sail through Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord, surrounded by towering mountains and bright interior icebergs. An alternative route is Sofia Sound, a narrower waterway.
You arrive at Teufelschloss (Devil’s Castle), a mountain with layered geology. On the other side of the fjord is Blomsterbugt and the intended landing site. In the afternoon you head into Antarctic Sound, where you find the islands of Ruth, Maria, and Ella. Maria is the most likely spot for a landing.
In the morning you enter Segelsällskapets Fjord, with the streaked slopes of the Berzelius Mountains bordering the north side. You land on the south shore, where ancient sedimentary formations lie right at your feet. A hike takes you near a small lake with good chances to see musk oxen, Arctic hares, and ptarmigans. In the afternoon the ship ventures into Alpefjord, aptly named for the spire-like peaks that thrust up around it. You may then embark on a Zodiac cruise around Gully Glacier, which once blocked access to the interior of these waters. Continuing deep into the fjord, you experience a definitive Greenland adventure.
Spend the first half of the day in Antarcticahavn, a wide and extensive valley where you could also see groups of Musk Oxen. At this time of year, the sparse vegetation is dressed in the fiery colors of autumn.
Today you will reach Scoresby Sund, sailing along the glaciated Volquart Boons Kyst. You may also enjoy a Zodiac cruise past 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 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 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 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.
In the morning, you will encounter colossal icebergs, some over 328-feet high and more than a half-mile in length. Most of them are grounded, as the fjord is only about 1,312-feet deep here. You will then land near Sydkap, with fine views of Hall Bredning and a good chance of seeing Arctic hares.
Make a tundra landing today on Liverpool Land in Hurry Inlet. The afternoon stop is Ittoqqortoormiit, the biggest settlement in the Scoresby Sund with about 500 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'll sail south, passing the picturesque landscapes of Blosseville Coast.
A sea day offers the opportunity to spot whales and seabirds—and at night, the magical northern lights.
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. Disembark in Akureyri, where you can transfer by chartered bus (a six-hour drive that you must book in advance – see Additional Costs) to the Reykjavik City Hall, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.
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.
Bilingual English/German Departure: 9/2/2019
Please Note: All voyages will operate subject to a minimum of 70 participants.
Pre-scheduled transfers and baggage handling between the airport and ship (only for passengers on group flights to and from Longyearbyen); 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; comprehensive pre-departure material; all miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; AECO fees and governmental taxes. Inclusions subject to change without notice.
Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights; transfer supplement for bus shuttle between Akureyri (ship) and Radhus Reykjavikur / City Hall in Vonarstraeti (6 hours); pre- and post- land arrangements; 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; customary gratuity at the end of the voyage for stewards and other service personnel aboard; fuel surcharge may apply.