For 2020-09-04 14 nights voyage -
Day 1: Largest town, biggest island
You 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 species of plant 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.
Day 2: Route to Raudfjorden
Sailing to Raudfjorden, on the north coast of Spitsbergen, you take in an expansive fjord spilling with glaciers – and maybe even 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.
Day 3 – 4: Onward to east Greenland
You may eventually see the jagged edge of the east Greenland sea ice flashing into sight ahead, depending on the conditions. Keep watch for whales and migrating seabirds here.
Day 5: Clavering Ø - Northeast Greenland
We arrive at Clavering Ø in remote Northeast Greenland. The island was named by the second German North Polar Expedition 1869–70 as “Clavering Insel” to commemorate Douglas Charles Clavering (1794–1827), commander of the Griper on the 1823 voyage, which explored the area and, at the southern shore of this island made the first (and last) encounter that Europeans made with the now extinct Northeast-Greenland Inuit.
The Second German North Polar Expedition in 1869, found the remains of many former settlements, but the population had apparently died out during the intervening years . Bones of muskoxen and Arctic hare suggest that the Inuit were hunting in this area. Nowadays we may encounter muskoxen in this region.
Day 6: Tundra, mountains, and icebergs
As you approach Greenland, you may sail through the sea ice into Foster Bay and land at Myggebugten. Beyond the old hunters’ hut (where Norwegian trappers hunted for polar bear and Arctic fox in the first half of the 20th century), there is a sprawling tundra populated by musk oxen, with geese floating the small lakes. From here you sail through Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord, surrounded by towering mountains and bright interior icebergs. An alternate route is Sofia Sound, a narrower waterway.
Day 7: The islands of Antarctic Sound
You 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 you head into Antarctic Sound, where you find the islands of Ruth, Maria, and Ella. Maria is the most likely spot for a landing.
Day 8: Alpefjord’s lofty peaks
In the morning you enter Segelsällskapets Fjord, with the streaked slopes of the Berzelius Mountains bordering the north side. You 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. You may then embark on a Zodiac cruise around Gully Glacier, which once blocked access to the interior of these waters. Continuing deep into the fjord, you experience a definitive Greenland adventure.
Day 9: Sights of the Arctic autumn
The first half of the day you spend in Antarctichavn, 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.
Day 10: Inuit neighborhood of yesteryear
Today you reach Scoresbysund, sailing along the 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 find the remains of an Inuit settlement abandoned around 200 years ago. The circular stone tent rings indicate the summer houses, while the winter houses can be seen closer to a small cape. The sites are well preserved, with easy identifiable entrances, bear-proof meat caches, and grave sites. In the evening, you continue sailing the berg-crowded fjords to the west.
Day 11: Colors of the cape
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 sets sharp against 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.
Day 12: Enormous bergs, Arctic hares
In the morning you encounter colossal icebergs, some over 100 meters (328 feet) high and more than a kilometer (.62 mile) long. Most of them are grounded, as the fjord is only about 400 meters deep (1,312 feet). You then land near Sydkap, with fine views of Hall Bredning and a good shot of seeing Arctic hares.
Day 13: Settlement at Scoresbysund
Today you make a tundra landing on Liverpool Land, in Hurry Inlet. The afternoon stop is Ittoqqortoormiit, the largest settlement in Scoresbysund at about five hundred inhabitants. At the post office you can buy stamps for your postcards, or just stroll around to see the sled dogs and drying skins of seals and musk oxen. In the afternoon you sail south, passing the picturesque landscapes of the Blosseville Coast.
Day 14: Sea life under the northern lights
A sea day grants you the opportunity to spot whales and seabirds – and at night, the magical northern lights.
Day 15: Journey’s end at Akureyri
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. You disembark in Akureyri, where on request you can transfer (T) by chartered bus (a six-hour drive that you must book in advance) to the Reykjavik city hall, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.
For all other 13 nights voyages -
Day 1: Arrival in Longyearbyen where we embark our vessel and sail out to Isfjorden.
We arrive in Longyearbyen, on Spitsbergen, the administrative capital of the Spitsbergen archipelago of which West Spitsbergen is the largest island. Before embarking there is an opportunity to visit this former mining village. The Parish Church and the Polar Museum are well worth visiting. In the early evening the ship will sail out of Isfjorden.
Day 2: We sail into Raudfjord on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, a beautiful fjord with spectacular glaciers.
We sail into Raudfjord on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, a beautiful fjord with spectacular glaciers. It is home to Ringed and Bearded Seal, seabird colonies and a surprisingly rich vegetation. We have good chances to see Polar Bear, for instance near Hamilton Glacier, or more to the head of the fjord. From there we continue to Moffen Island on which Walrus haul out.
Day 3 - 4: At sea, enroute to Greenland
At sea, on our way to Greenland, we may see the edge of the East Greenland sea-ice. We keep watch for whales, and also for migrating seabirds.
Day 5: Reaching Greenland, we make our first landing at Myggebugten.
Approaching Greenland we will attempt to sail through the sea ice into Foster Bugt, making our first landing at Myggebugten. Beyond the old hunters’ hut (in the first half of last century Norwegian trappers hunted here for Polar Bear and Arctic Fox) there is an extensive tundra populated by Musk Oxen. The small lakes are home to geese. We sail through Kaiser Franz Joseph Fjord, a magnificent fjord with towering mountains on both sides, its inner reaches choked with huge icebergs. An alternative is Sofia Sund, which is much narrower.
Day 6: We land at Blomster Bugt where you might spot the Arctic Hare.
We will land at Blomster Bugt to view the beautiful geological formations. Arctic Hare are usually seen here, and there is a lake with Great Northern Diver and their young. In the afternoon we sail along Teufelschloss and Ella Ø and may land at a beautiful spot in the early evening.
Day 7: Muskoxen, Arctic hare, and Ptarmigan
In the morning we enter Segelsällskapets Fjord with the beautiful Berzelius Mountains on the north side. We will land on the south side of the fjord in an astounding place where the ancient sedimentary geology is literally at your feet. A hike will take us near a small lake with good chances to see Muskoxen, Arctic hare, and Ptarmigan. In the afternoon the ship will venture into Alpe Fjord, which is as spectacular as the name implies. We may embark on a long Zodiac cruise around the Gully Glacier which once blocked the access to the interior of the fjord and venture deep inside to the very end. Adventure at its finest!
Day 8: We reach Antarcticahavn
The first half of the day we spend in Antarcticahavn, a wide and extensive valley where we also could see groups of Musk Oxen. At this time of year the autumnal colours of the sparse vegetation make the landscapes even more beautiful.
Day 9: Scoresby Sund and sail in the morning along the ragged and glaciated Volquart Boons Kyst.
Today we reach the Scoresby Sund and sail in the morning along the ragged and glaciated Volquart Boons Kyst. Here we may organise a zodiac cruise along one of the glacier fronts of this coast, and have our first landing near for instance Måne Glacier. Later we land on Danmark Ø where we find the remains of an Inuit settlement abandoned around 200 years ago. The circular ‘tent rings’ of stones indicate the summer houses, while the winter houses can be seen closer to a small cape. The sites are well preserved, allowing entrances and even bear-proof meat caches to be identified. There are also grave sites. In the evening we continue our sailing through the beautiful fjords to the west, choked with icebergs.
Day 10: C. Hofman Halvø, where we can spot Musk Oxen
We go ashore at C. Hofman Halvø, a reliable spot for viewing Musk Oxen. We may also spot Rock Ptarmigan and Great Northern Diver at sea. The landscape here is particularly beautiful, especially during autumn when the Dwarf Willow and Dwarf Birch change colour. Arctic Blueberry and Crowberry add their own colourful touch - the berries are tasty too! In the evening we sail through the fjord towards Scoresby Land, enjoying the contrast between the warm autumnal colours of the vegetation on shore, backed by huge dark mountains, and the cold blue of the icebergs.
Day 11: We encounter huge icebergs, some over 100m high and more than a kilometre in length
In Northwest fjord in Scoresby Land in the morning, we encounter huge icebergs, some over 100m high and more than a kilometre in length. Most of the bergs are grounded as the fjord is only about 400m deep here. We land near Sydkap to view the remains of the Thule culture winter houses. As many as 20 people lived in these tiny houses, hunting Greenland Whale and using their vertebrae to build the houses. We may also land at Gurreholm on Jameson Land. The landscape here is gently undulating.
Day 12: Ittoqqortoormiit
In the morning we land at Ittoqqortoormiit, the biggest 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 13: At sea
We will spend the whole day at sea and we will have splendid opportunities to see large whales and seabird migration and, in the night, the Aurora borealis (Northern Lights).
Day 14: Disembarkation in Akureyri
In the morning we arrive in Akureyri and transfer by chartered bus to Hotel Reykjavik Centrum, Adalstraeti 16 in Reykjavik (6 hours).