Arctic Cruise : Spitsbergen - Northeast Greenland, 14 days/13 nights
What better way to get to know The Arctic than the spend a couple weeks there exploring the beautiful scenery and rich wildlife. You will visit various historic landmarks and hear the interesting stories from guides about early exploration and settlement in this polar region.
Day 01 : Embarkation
You will arrive in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, the administrative capital of the Spitsbergen Archipelago. Before we embark, you will have a chance to visit the former mining village. Two interesting landmarks are the Parish Church and the Polar Museum. The ship will depart from Isfjorden in the early evening.
Day 02 : West Spitsbergen-Moffen Island
We will sail into Raudfjord on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, a breathtaking fjord hosting various spectacular glaciers. This area is home to Ringed and Bearded Seals, many seabird colonies, and rich vegetation. We will have a few opportunities to see Polar Bears near the Hamilton Glacier and closer to the head of the fjord. We will continue on to Moffen Island where we will spot Walruses.
Day 03-04 : Sailing to Greenland
As we head toward Greenland we may catch a glimpse of the edge of the East Greenland sea ice. We will keep a close eye out for whales and migrating seabirds.
Day 05 : Myggebugten-Kaiser Franz Joseph Fjord
As we approach Greenland we will attempt to sail through the sea ice into Foster Bugt and make our first landing at Myggebugten. We will explore the old hunter’s hut, where in the first half of the twentieth century Norwegian trappers hunted Polar Bears and Arctic Foxes. The area is now home to tundra heavily populated by Musk Oxen as well as small lakes home to geese. We will continue sailing through Kaiser Franz Joseph Fjord, an impressive fjord surrounding by towering mountains and huge icebergs. An alternative is Sofia Sund, a narrower passage where Musk Oxen may be seen from the vessel.
Day 06 : Blomster Bugt-Teufelschloss-Ella Ö
We will land at Blomster Bugt and observe the beautiful geological formations. We will also take in the rich wildlife such as Arctic Hares on land and Great Northern Divers with their young in the lake. In the afternoon we will sail along Teufelschloss and Ella Ö and hopefully land in the early evening.
Day 07 : Antarcticahavn
We will spend the first half of the day in Antarcticahavn, a wide and extensive valley where we may also see groups of Musk Oxen. At this time of year the autumn colors make for beautiful landscapes.
Day 08 : Scoresby Sund
We will reach the Scoresby Sund and sail through morning along the ragged Volquart Boons. We may organize a Zodiac cruise along one of the glacier fronts of the coast perhaps making our first landing at the Maane Glacier. Later we will land on Denmark’s Ø hosting the remains of a 200 year old Inuit settlement. We will observe different artifacts that indicate the location of the former inhabitant’s winter and summer homes. The sites have been well preserved allowing a great deal of history to be revealed. Afterward, we will continue sailing the western fjords with their many icebergs.
Day 09 : Cape Hofmann Halvø-Scoresby Land
We will head ashore at Cape Hofmann Halvø, a great spot for viewing Musk Oxen, as well as Rock Ptarmigans and Great Northern Divers at sea. The landscape here is impressive, especially during autumn when the Dwarf Willow, Dwarf Birch, Arctic Blueberry, and Crowberry change colors. In the evening we will sail through the fjord toward Scoresby Land with its stunning views of colorful vegetation, high rising mountains, and deep blue icebergs.
Day 10 : Scoresby Land-Sydkap
As we bass by the northwest fjord in Scoresby Land in the morning, we will encounter massive icebergs as high as 100 meters and more than a kilometer in length. Most of the icebergs reach the ground as the fjord is only roughly 400 meters deep in this area. We will make a landing at Sydkap to view the remains of the Thule culture winter houses. As many as twenty people once lived in these tiny structures, hunting Greenland Whales whose vertebrae were used to build the houses. We may also land at Gurreholm on Jameson Land home to some very impressive landscape.
Day 11 : Illoqqortoormiut-Blosseville Coast
In the morning we will land at Illoqqortoormiut, the largest settlement in the Scoresby Sund with about 500 inhabitants. At the post office you can buy stamps for your postcards or just wander around to see the sledge dogs and the drying skins of Seal, Musk Ox, and Polar Bear. After dinner we will sail south passing the amazing landscape of the Blosseville Coast.
Day 12 : Nansen Fjord/Mikis Fjord
At the mouth of Nansen Fjord we will spot Gunnbjørns Fjeld, 3,700 meters high. It is both the highest peak in Greenland and the highest mountain north of the Arctic Circle. We will sail into Nansen Fjord another magnificent landscape with an enormous glacier front which is easily approachable. At the inner side of the fjord along the northern shore there are ample landing and Zodiac cruising opportunities. In this area we often see Rock Ptarmigans with their young, as well as Bearded Seals. If we are unable to spend the day in Nansen Fjord due to glacier ice which often fills the fjord, we will sail into Mikis Fjord, bounded by steep cliffs. The fjord is a good place to spot Ringed Seals and Harp Seals. At Södalen, located at the head of Mikis Fjord, we will land in a marshy delta. There are good populations of both Common and Arctic Redpolls, as well as a chance to see flocks of Barnacle Geese and Pink-footed Geese.
Day 13 : At Sea
We will spend the entire day at sea and will have various opportunities to see large whales and seabird migration. At night time we will also have a chance to see the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights.
Day 14 : Disembarkation
We will arrive in Keflavik and transfer for the flight home.