Summary : Embark on a voyage filled with the amazing colors of the Arctic. Start in Spitsbergen and sail across the Greenland sea to the coast of Greenland before crossing the Denmark Strait 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 tundra populated by musk oxen, Arctic hares, and ptarmigans. Sail through pristine fjords surrounded by towering mountains, discover ancient Inuit settlements, and hope to glimpse the Northern Lights.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Triple/Quad Cabins
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Touch down in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Enjoy strolling around this former mining town, whose parish church and Svalbard Museum make for fascinating attractions. Though the countryside appears stark, more than a hundred plant species have been recorded in it. In the early evening the ship sails out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of your voyage.
Sailing to Raudfjorden, on the north coast of Spitsbergen, take in an expansive fjord spilling with glaciers—and maybe 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 east Greenland's sea ice flashing into sight ahead, depending on the conditions. Keep watch for whales and migrating seabirds here.
As the ship approaches Greenland, you might 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 and 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.
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, head into Antarctic Sound [named by Alfred Gabriel Nathorst after his ship Antarctic]. Here you will find the islands of Ruth, Maria, and Ella. Maria is the most likely spot for a landing.
In the morning, enter Segelsällskapets Fjord with the streaked slopes of the Berzelius Mountains bordering the north side. 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. Embark on a Zodiac cruise around Gully Glacier, which once blocked access to the interior of these waters. Continuing deep into the fjord, experience a definitive Greenland adventure.
Spend the first half of the day in Antarctic Havn, an extensive valley where you can spot groups of musk oxen. At this time of year, the sparse vegetation is dressed in the fiery colors of autumn.
Today you'll reach Scoresbysund and sail along 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'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, 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 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, 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 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 largest settlement in the Scoresby Sund with about 500 inhabitants. At the post office, buy stamps for your postcards or stroll around to see sled dogs and the drying skins of seals and musk oxen. In the afternoon, sail south, passing the picturesque landscapes of Blosseville Coast.
A sea day offers the opportunity to spot whales and seabirds—and at night, a chance to see 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 travel insurance including medical, accident, and a minimum of $50,000 in repatriation/evacuation insurance. Furthermore, the shipping company strongly recommends obtaining trip cancellation insurance. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for Arctic trips 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.
Please Note: All voyages will operate subject to a minimum of 70 participants.
Pre-scheduled airport/ship transfers and baggage handling in Longyearbyen (select flights only; please inquire for details); 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; 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; travel insurance, including medical, accident, and repatriation/evacuation insurance (required); baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (strongly recommended); excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges, and telecommunication charges; gratuities; fuel surcharge may apply.
PHOTOS: © Tobias Brehm (Aurora Borealis), © Rob Tully (Greenalnd landscape), © Rini van Meurs (Fugelsangen), © Erwin Vermeulen (whale tail, sunset, musk oxen), © Oceanwide Expeditions