DAY 1 ICELAND, REYKJAVÍK. EMBARKATION
In the afternoon, we board the Ocean Atlantic in Reykjavík and set our course northbound for Greenland.
After boarding and welcome drinks, the Expedition Leader will inform you about the voyage, the ship's daily routines and the various security and safety procedures, then you will have time to unpack and get comfortable in your cabin. Before sailing, there will be a mandatory safety drill.
The Captain takes the ship out of Reykjavík in the early evening, as we enjoy our first hours onboard.
DAY 2 AT SEA. CROSSING THE DENMARK STRAIT TOWARDS GREENLAND
Our lecturers onboard will make inspiring and enriching presentations about both Iceland and Greenland’s past history and about nature, wildlife and climatology.
DAY 3 INUIT TOWN OF ITTOQQORTOORMIIT
We cross the huge entrance of Scoresbysund during the night and arrive at the Inuit community Ittoqqortoormiit (Scoresbysund) in the morning. About 500 people live here, most of whom base a large portion of their households on hunting. Seal, muskoxen and polar bear skins hang to dry outside many of the houses, and the sled dogs are waiting for sea ice to be safe for the first hunts of the fall. The town is extremely isolated, and the inhabitants only receive ship supplies twice a year. We have established good contacts with the local residents during our earlier visits and can go ashore to experience this unique little community.
DAY 4-6 NORTHEAST GREENLAND NATIONAL PARK
During the night we cruise past the rugged peaks of the Liverpool Land peninsula and reach the mouth of King Oscar Fjord. We are now in the huge national park, established in 1974 and expanded in 1988. With an area of almost 1 mill. square kilometer, this is the world’s largest national park and largest protected land area. There are no permanent settlements in the area, but there have previously - most recently up to the middle of the 19th century - been various Inuit hunters here in the northeast corner of Greenland, including on Clavering Island further north.
The program for the next few days in the national park depends on the weather and ice conditions. The route and the landings are determined by the Captain and the Expedition Leader jointly and are typically announced the night before. Some of the interesting landings we strive to visit are:
After entering King Oscar Fjord, we sail along the impressive 1300-meter-high rock wall Bastionen on the Ella Island. A truly beautiful place on our route, and there is good reason why the "King of Northeast Greenland", the Danish geologist and polar researcher Lauge Koch, established his headquarters here before World War II. We hope to spend the morning on Ella Island if the military patrol “Sirius” – who has its summer base here – grants us permission.
Further north we pass the small Maria Island, where the Germans had a camp during World War II. The Germans' attempt to gain a foothold in Greenland during World War II is a fascinating story in itself. Look forward to learning more on our onboard lectures! We continue past Ruth Island and hope to make a landing on Ymer Island at Blomsterbugten, a small oasis in the national park. From the tiny hunting lodge Varghytten we can enjoy the formidable view of the characteristic, flat mountain Teufelsschloss, where the many rock layers in different colors testify to the area's exciting geological development.
We are now well within the narrow and winding Kejser Franz Joseph Fjord, stretching more than 200 km from the icecap to the open Arctic Ocean. We will sail by the mighty iceberg-producing Waltershausen Glacier before entering beautiful Moskusokse Fjord.
On our way back towards open sea, we hope to make a landing at Myggbukta Hunting Station, which was the center of the Norwegian occupation of East Greenland in 1931. The occupation was found illegal by the International Court of Justice in Haag, and the Norwegian trappers had to leave. Cruising south along the coast, we aim for landings on Jameson Land, which is breeding ground for polar bears.
DAY 7-8 CRUISING ALONG THE BLOSSEVILLE COAST
Possibly the most dramatic coast outside of Antarctica, the Blosseville is guarded by Greenland’s highest mountains and steepest fjords – and a belt of pack ice which before global warming would keep out any explorer for years. The recent decade has had warmer summers and much less ice which enables ice strengthened vessels such as the Ocean Atlantic to venture along the coast, on lookout for polar wildlife, abandoned Inuit settlements and otherworldly landscapes.
DAY 9 AT SEA. LECTURES AND BIRD WATCHING
The last day will be at sea getting glimpses of sea birds migrating south.
Our lecturers onboard will make inspiring and enriching presentations about both Iceland’s and Greenland’s history, nature, wildlife and climatology. A captain’s farewell drink and a slideshow of our voyage will also be presented this evening.
DAY 10 REYKJAVÍK, ICELAND. DEPARTURE
Early in the morning we slowly approach the Icelandic capital, Reykjavík, and your Arctic adventure will have concluded. We enter Reykjavík in the morning and bid farewell to the vessel and crew.