This voyage combines Spitsbergen and Greenland, with a taste of Iceland. Enjoy Spitsbergen's rugged east coast, crossing a major polar bear migration route as we search out bear on the moss-laden tundra. While crossing the icy waters of the Greenland Sea, our onboard experts will share their knowledge of the region's plants, animals and history, preparing you for your landings. Greenland's remote east coast shows off the immensity of the icecap, fantastic icebergs and a fairytale landscape of granite spires rising 1000 m above exquisite fjords. Enjoy the local culture and look forward to a warm welcome as we visit remote Inuit settlements along the way. Experience complete wilderness - in remote Northeast Greenland Arctic highlights - experience three Arctic regions in one voyage Sail to the Land of Ice and Fire - Iceland
Arrive into Oslo (OSL) and make your way to the airport hotel, across from the terminal building. Upon check-in, reception staff will provide you with your cabin tags. Please fill out the luggage tags clearly, showing your name and cabin number so that your luggage is delivered to the correct cabin. Enjoy a welcome drink at the evening briefing and meet fellow expeditioners, before spending the night in preparation for your flight to Longyearbyen.
Fly to Longyearbyen in the morning. Upon arrival, you will be met by a representative to commence a tour of Longyearbyen. On the drive to Camp Barentz located in the Advent Valley, your guide will give you an introduction to Longyearbyen's fascinating history. At Camp Barentz enjoy a presentation in the large lavvo - a traditional building common in northern Norway. You will also have the opportunity to meet the friendly huskies and perhaps pick up some souvenirs. A visit to the Svalbard museum is included back in town, before embarking the vessel in the late afternoon. You will have time to settle into your cabin before the safety briefings. Your voyage commences, cruising out of the beautiful Isfjorden, escorted by gliding fulmar and perhaps the occasional puffin. Find a spot in one of the observation areas watching seabird, including graceful ivory gull, kittiwake and guillemot. They rise and fall skilfully, using the air currents created by the ship to gain momentum. Please note : sometimes our ship is unable to dock in Longyearbyen port due to space and capacity. In these instances, you will reach the ship by Zodiac. Please ensure that you keep your wet-weather gear in your hand luggage to use in the Zodiacs, if this situation arises. You will be advised if this is required at your briefing in Oslo on Day one.
Over the next three days, the Svalbard Archipelago is yours to explore. Our experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design our voyage from day to day. This allows us to make best use of the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities. Because we are so far north we will experience nearly 24 hours of daylight and the days can be as busy as you wish. We will generally make landings or Zodiac excursions a few times a day; cruising along spectacular ice cliffs, following whale that are feeding near the surface, making landings for hikes.
Phenomenal fjords, magnificent mountains ranges and a polar desert rich in fossils set the stage for heroic tales of early exploration. See walrus hauled-out on sea ice or on beaches. On land, stretch your legs on walks across tundra, dotted with brightly-coloured wildflowers.
We visit towering cliffs, noisy with nesting guillemot and puffin, and scree slopes that hold Svalbard's largest little auk colonies. Most memorable are encounters with the majestic polar bear on pack ice. Your expedition team is just as keen as you are to find them and they will be on constant watch to spot these inspiring creatures.
As we cruise west across the Greenland Sea - the main outlet of the Arctic Ocean - we may encounter whales feeding in the productive waters of the north. Sightings of fin whale are common and blue whale have been seen in more recent years. As we begin to approach Greenland, we will likely encounter the East Greenland pack ice and if we are lucky, we will see polar bear hunting for prey. The strong icy currents have isolated East Greenland from the Polar Basin, attracting large numbers of fish, seal and whale. Climatic conditions and the concentration of ice in the vicinity, often create thick morning fog that vanishes with the onset of the midday sun. Our experts will inform and entertain us with fascinating discussions on plants, animals, ice, and early explorers like Nansen, Andree and Scoresby.
Conditions permitting, there may be a chance to cruise in the sea ice with Zodiacs. Perhaps if we have had a good crossing, we may even have the opportunity to make our first landing on the Greenland coast, weather permitting. This stretch of coastline is ripe for exploration, with its many secrets locked in place by drift ice, for up to eight months each year. Home to polar bear, snowy owl and musk ox, it's the world's largest national park, covering 972,000 square kilometres; most of which is inland ice and the rest, a composite fjord landscape.
In the coming days, a host of choices are available to us, depending on ice and weather conditions. We will attempt to enter Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord, a remote and rarely visited fjord system with countless opportunities for exploration within the Northeast Greenland National Park. Cruising through Kong Oskar Fjord, we will marvel at the geological beauty of the mountains, and land in a few places to explore the landscape and wildlife of Greenland. We will then head south along the coast of Liverpool Land, with our passage dependent on ice conditions and will aim to reach Scoresbysund, the world's largest fjord and a favourite hunting ground of the local Inuit.
Massive glaciers dump into this fjord, the birthplace of the famous big Greenland icebergs. We hope to visit the remote and colourful Inuit community of Ittoqqortoormiit (Scoresby Town) and to hike across the tundra in search of ancient graveyards and summer villages occupied 3,000 years ago by Paleo-Eskimos. This area provides excellent opportunities for sea kayaking in its maze of calm, interconnecting waterways. We will keep a sharp eye out for musk oxen, Arctic hare and seal, and maybe if we are very lucky even a polar bear or narwhal. Scoresbysund offers many opportunities for walking and zodiac-cruising, so we will spend our days exploring the land, the ice and the sea. Over the next few days, we hope to visit various settlements, hike up to impressive viewpoints and enjoy the incredible scenery that is found here, visiting places such as Cape Hombolt, the Sefstrom Glacier, Sydkap and the island of Rode O.
At Cape Humboldt, a beautiful point on Ymer Island, there is a good chance to take a tundra walk and witness musk oxen grazing. We will also keep a lookout for Arctic fox and ptarmigan. A lone trapper's hut looks over the bay, with a magnificent view of icebergs. We hope to visit Blomsterbugten, an important site for paleo-eskimoes and more modern trappers. Here, we may have the opportunity to walk on the tundra to a spectacular viewpoint, overlooking Lake Noa. At Sefstrom Glacier, which adorns the narrow- peaked waterway in Alpefjord. We will Zodiac cruise around the nose of the glacier and deeper into the fjord behind it. We can return along magnificent cliffs that are festooned with small colourful gardens of Arctic flowers, growing wherever water is available.
Ittoqqortoormiit is Scoresbysund's colourful Inuit community of approximately 500 people. You will have the opportunity to explore the village, its fascinating museum, or sit quietly in the beautiful Lutheran Church. The people are friendly, and the young children vie for our attention, from underneath their Arctic fox-fur jackets. Sydkap offers good walking and delightful views of Ofjord and into Hall Brednung. We may explore the ancient gravesites on shore, or nearby giant icebergs, from the comfort of our Zodiacs.
Rode O is one of the most remarkable collections of beautiful icebergs in the world. A combination of shallows near the island and tidal currents strand hundreds of large icebergs in a small area around Rode O, or Red Island as it is also known. The contrast between the magnificent blue of the ice and the red sandstone landscape is simply breathtaking. Other possible landing points in this area include Romer Fjord, Rypefjord, Hekla Havn, Denmark Island and Nordvestfjord.
There are many potential landing sites on this coastline and each voyage is uniquely designed based on the prevailing weather conditions. Wherever the final landing points end up, there will be plenty to explore and soak up in this glacial wilderness.
In the Denmark Strait, we sail towards Iceland. Keep a lookout for whale blows and the many seabirds that trail our ship in the ever-present Arctic winds. Enjoy the time to reflect on your recent adventures, share and exchange photos, and soak in the fresh ocean air. As we near Iceland, you will find we are returning to the rest of the world, as we encounter fishing vessels working the coastal waters.
During the early morning, we arrive into the northern Icelandic town of Akureyri. Disembark after breakfast and enjoy a scenic transfer to Reykjavik downtown or to the airport.
14 Break Fast(s) 13 Lunch(es) 14 Dinner(s)
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