Day 1: Reykjavik/Iceland, departure 19.00 hrs
Day 2: Isafjoerdur/Iceland
This tour of discovery for free spirits begins in Iceland, the land of elves, fairies and trolls. Mighty glaciers and fiery volcanoes formed a magnificent landscape that in the harsh yet beautiful western fjords is characterised by deeply notched coasts and steep tabular icebergs. Isafjoerdur is its urban centre, and became an important trading post back in the 16th century thanks to its protected harbour. Explore Isafjoerdur and its surroundings* or set sail for a small green island – and a lifestyle from times gone by – on a boat trip to Vigur*: the only family to live here owe their livelihood to the feathers of the countless eider ducks.
Day 3: Relaxation at sea
Day 4-9: East coast of Greenland (highlights and landings depending on the weather and ice conditions, including Ittoqqortoormiit, Scoresbysund, Northeast Greenland National Park)
The HANSEATIC nature heads for the north, and with every nautical mile that we cover we draw closer to isolated east Greenland, where the ice shield only opens up at this time of year. The further we leave civilisation behind, the more majestic the natural surroundings become: steep mountains, mighty glaciers and shimmering blue icebergs await you in Scoresbysund, the world’s largest fjord system, where the HANSEATIC nature will take plenty of time depending on the weather and ice. At the entrance to this spectacular watery labyrinth, you will be greeted by the colourful houses of Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland’s smallest and most isolated community. Located directly in Scoresbysund, the Danish island and its natural harbour of Hekla Havn recall the Danish polar explorer Carl Ryder, who spent the winter in this harsh place at the end of the 19th century during a mapping expedition. Head ever deeper into the narrow waterways, where the small, manoeuvrable HANSEATIC nature will demonstrate its expedition expertise. Steep rock faces, mighty icebergs and shimmering glacier formations will line your route as you cross the fjords, every turn revealing new panoramas. With luck you will witness the aurora borealis, the polar light that enchants the night sky from September onwards. You might even see curious whales approaching the ship and the Zodiacs. Hike through the autumnal colours of the Arctic tundra with your experts and keep watch for musk oxen and Arctic foxes. On your way to the icy isolation of east Greenland, you will continue north to Northeast Greenland National Park, the largest national park on the planet. This will be another highlight of your expedition, for example when the HANSEATIC nature travels the King Oscar Fjord to reach the breathtaking Alpefjord. Standing on the deck or riding in the Zodiacs with the rock faces rising almost 3,000 m (9,842 ft) above you, you will feel closer to creation than ever before. An equally intensive experience awaits you on the Segelsaellskapet Fjord, which is of great geological interest.
Day 10: Relaxation at sea
Day 11-12: Iceland (Akureyri, Seydisfjoerdur )
Bathed in autumnal shades of gold, Akureyri, the pearl of northern Iceland, greets its visitors. Contrasting natural spectacles can be found at the Godafoss waterfall and Midge Lake*: one thundering and majestic, the other volcanic and mystical. Explore the volcanic landscape of Askja from the air* on a spectacular scenic flight and marvel at the unbelievably intense turquoise of the Viti crater lake. Alternatively, explore the unmistakeable landscape while riding Icelandic horses*. Seydisfjoerdur enchants visitors with its colourful wooden houses before bidding you farewell with a friendly goodbye with “Bless, bless!”
Day 13-14: Relaxation at sea
Day 15: Belfast/Northern Ireland, from 7.00 to 18.00 hrs
Arrive in Belfast feeling relaxed and well informed. If you like you can explore Faust Cave Hill, Belfast Castle and Queen’s University at your own pace, or walk in the footsteps of giants: the Giant’s Causeway* is made up of around 37,000 similarly shaped basalt columns of volcanic origin and is over 60 million years old. Old Bushmills Whiskey Distillery*, one of the oldest in the world, has a tradition dating back 400 years. Sample these exquisite whiskies and reignite your wanderlust.
Day 16: Dublin/Ireland, arrival 7.00 hrs