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Arctic Svalbard and Greenland

Iceland/Greenland Cruise Information

Summary : Sailing from Spitsbergen to Greenland, follow the ice’s edge with an eye peeled to the horizon for wildlife. Navigating south, you'll explore this remote landscape not only by ship but also on foot and via Zodiac. This journey highlights the contrast and change in the Arctic as you move south, finally ending in Iceland, "the Land of Fire and Ice." An Inuit village, unique wildlife, and remote destinations are just some of the highlights on this truly unforgettable voyage through the Arctic.

Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Triple/Quad Cabins

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Itinerary
Day 1
Longyearbyen, Norway

Embark aboard the Expedition in the afternoon and depart Longyearbyen in the late afternoon. Arrival transfer included.

Day 2 – 5
Spitsbergen / Greenland Sea

Taking advantage of local ice and weather conditions, explore the Northwest Spitsbergen National Park, one of those special places on Earth blessed with both awe-inspiring landscape and compelling history.

Over four full days, explore a small portion of the western coast of Spitsbergen. Take advantage of all of the sunlight possible to search for wildlife, such as elusive polar bears hunting for seals. Look out for Svalbard's unique subspecies of reindeer. Although much smaller than their southern relatives, they still carry impressive antlers. Keep a sharp lookout for Arctic foxes.

By not having a set itinerary, the voyage takes on an expedition spirit and you are free to take advantage of the best that Svalbard has to offer.

Day 6 – 7
Northeast Greenland National Park

Keep an eye out for majestic whales, which are known to feed here in the summer months. Spot orca, humpback and minke whales, as well as dolphins. Enjoy lectures by expedition staff.

Frigid waters drain from the Arctic Ocean in a southwest current along the coast of Northeast Greenland. Often, drifting pack ice is pushed along the coast. The expedition will attempt to approach and follow the pack ice edge to explore the polar seascape. Keep a lookout for sea mammals like seals and whales and sea birds such as kittiwakes and fulmars.

Day 8 – 12
Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland / Denmark Strait

Depending on ice, spend a few days exploring the massive fjord system of Northeast Greenland National Park, which includes portions of Scoresbysund. These intricate fjord systems are everything from wide and unimaginable to narrow and steeply spectacular with some of the best mountain scenery in the world.

This is the largest national park in the world, nearly impossible to reach except on expedition ships. Spectacular geology combined with glacial features create steep mountains raising directly from the sea. Look out for picturesque scenery, wildlife and other interesting landing sites in this unspoiled wilderness.Walking over lush stands of colorful autumn tundra may lead to opportunities to see musk oxen grazing nearby.

Visit the tiny settlement of Ittoqqortoormiit for a look at how these most northerly people live.

Day 13 – 14
Denmark Strait / Reykjavik, Iceland

Enjoy the lecture series while watching the seas for whales. Head towards Iceland and the steaming hot springs of Reykjavik. The view is often complemented by soaring fulmars, kittiwakes, gannets, guillemots, and razorbills.

Day 15
Reykjavik, Iceland

Shortly after breakfast, disembark at the Midbakki Pier--Port of Reykjavik, walking distance from downtown. A complimentary transfer to Keflavik International Airport is provided after disembarkation or in the early afternoon.

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.

Mandatory Travel Insurance:
As a requirement of participation on the expedition, all passengers must purchase medical and emergency evacuation insurance with a minimum medical coverage of $200,000 and this insurance must cover personal injury, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, and evacuation expenses. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. Clients must be able to provide proof of insurance purchase and adequate coverage as per the required amounts above. We also strongly recommend that all passengers purchase comprehensive travel insurance which would include coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.

Included:
Arrival transfer from the meeting point to the ship in Longyearbyen, departure transfer from the ship to the airport; shipboard accommodations and meals aboard the ship; coffee, tea, and water; shore excursions and Zodiac cruises; services of Expedition staff and naturalists; lecture and educational programs; parka; gear on loan (insulated, waterproof boots for US sizes 6-16). Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:
Airfare; travel insurance (required); passport and visa fees; discetionary gratuities; items of a personal nature including laundry, Wi-Fi, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (except coffee, tea and water); optional excursions; fuel surcharge may apply.

Photos: © Corinna Volk, 2010 (Black Legged Kittiwake, Spitsbergen Reindeer)

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