DAY 1 LONGYEARBYEN, BOARDING OCEAN ATLANTIC
Upon arriving to Longyearbyen, a short city tour will introduce you to the fascinating history and contemporary society in the Capital of Svalbard – possibly the northernmost ‘real’ town in the world.
Our vessel, Ocean Atlantic, is docked close to the town center. After boarding and a welcome drink, the Expedition Leader will provide information about the voyage, the ship's daily routines and the various security and safety procedures. Before sailing, there will be a mandatory safety drill. The Captain then takes the ship out of Advent Fjord and our Arctic adventure commences.
DAY 2 KONGSFJORDEN, NY ÅLESUND AND NY LONDON.
During the ‘night’ (what is night, when the sun never sets?), we have passed Prins Karls Forland and have arrived in the magnificent Kongsfjord. Our visit to Svalbard is in the early summer and this is both the challenge and gift of this special voyage. Winter ice will possibly block the inner waters of many fjords, but this will give us the best opportunities to observe the omnipresent – but still elusive – polar bear, hunting for seals in its prime habitat. At this time of year the migrating birds have just arrived. They are all eager to settle and feed to get the best start for the coming hectic summer months.
Our first landing will be at Ny Ålesund. This settlement is in fact further north than Longyearbyen, making it THE northernmost town. But… is a group of scientific stations, a post office and a single shop open for a few hours a real town? You will have to judge for yourself. The setting is nice, the scientific projects are very interesting, and so is the town history. The Captain will try to get alongside, so we can enjoy an easy walk through the area.
DAY 3 BELLSUND, SPITSBERGEN, WITH VÅRSOL BAY AND CALYPSOBYEN. BARBECUE
Bellsund has some of the richest coal layers in Svalbard and Svea Mine far into the fjord was formerly one of the biggest communities on the island. But prices went down, and the coal mine is currently being dismantled.
We will stay in the fjord entrance and make landings at the Vårsol Bay. The biggest attraction here is the little auk cliff. Tundra is richly fertilized by hundreds of thousands of little auks, which the Svalbard reindeer love to graze. We will go for a nice walk along the beach – and spot remains from early industrial eras.
During lunch, we’ll cross the fjord along the 4 km long (but quite narrow) island of Akseloya. We will make a Zodiac landing at Calypsobyen in Recherche Fjord. Coal was extracted here in the early 1900s, but the enterprise never attained full production. Today, Calypsobyen offers an exciting landing that gives visitors a glimpse of the era of Neo-Industrialism, when all opportunities for profit were tried out. A pleasant walk can be made on the tundra behind the buildings.
DAY 4 HORNSUND, SOUTH SVALBARD.
Hornsund is often called ‘Svalbard in a nutshell’ because of abundance of the dramatic terrains and rich wildlife. We will try and go ashore in Gåshamna, which has remains of trappers, Russian settlers and blubber boilers.
In the afternoon we will head out to open sea towards Greenland.
DAY 5-6 TOWARDS ITTIQQORTOORMIIT NORTH EAST GREENLAND
Listen to a lecture from our experienced expedition staff, see a film about Arctic nature – or go out on deck to catch glimpses of migrating birds and hopefully some whales.
DAY 7-9 SCOUTING THE PACK ICE AND THE FJORD OF SCOREBYSUND, NORTH EAST GREENLAND
We will scout after wildlife along the pack ice and cruise into the fjords in the most unique and unspoiled nature of North East Greenland. We will try to make landings at Bear Island and Cape Brewster. We will visit Ittiqqortoormiit. With only 470 inhabitants it is one of the most isolated towns in Greenland only accessible by helicopter and boat in short time in the summer.
The town is located at the longest fjord in the world, Scoresby Sund. We will explore this fjord and hope to be able to offer kayaking and landings weather and ice conditions permitting.
DAY 10-11 BLOSSEVILLE COAST. AT SEA TOWARDS ICELAND
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 adventurous sailor for years. The recent decade has had warmer summers and much less ice which enables ice strengthen vessels as Ocean Atlantic to venture along the coast, on lookout for stunning wildlife abandoned Inuit settlemenst and landscape of another world.
On our last day of this remarkable voyage we set course for Iceland and its capital of Reykjavík.
DAY 12 REYKJAVÍK ARRIVAL AND DISEMBARKATION
In the morning Ocean Atlantic goes alongside in the port of Reykjavik. It’s time to say farewell to the crew and begin the homeward journey.