Arctic Complete – Spitsbergen, Greenland and Iceland

Spitsbergen Cruises

Starting from $12,700

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Experience the best of the European Arctic on this 24-day adventure. From Svalbard’s coastline of calving glaciers, towering bird cliffs and pack ice, to the extreme icy landscapes and Inuit culture of Greenland, this exciting expedition is the king of all Arctic adventures.

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Special Offer

Save 10% on all cabin categories and departures when you book by December 31st, 2018

• Valid on new bookings only
• Not available on group bookings
• Cannot be combined with other offers
• TravelWild reserves the right to limit, change or discontinue this offer without notice

 

Starting from $12,700

Rates & Dates Prices are per person and shown in USD.

Aurora Stateroom TwinBalcony StateroomBalcony SuiteJunior SuiteCaptain's Suite
Aug 9, 2020 - Aug 31, 2020$12,700
$11,430
$14,400
$12,960
$17,700
$15,930
$20,800
$18,720
$24,100
$21,690

Itinerary

Day 1: Embark Reykjavik

After making your own way to Reykjavik pier, embark the Greg Mortimer in the late afternoon from 4.00 pm. You’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important briefings. NOTE: We recommend you arrive into Reykjavik at least one day prior to your voyage.

Day 2: Denmark Strait

In the Denmark Strait, we cruise towards Greenland. We will be on the lookout for whale blows and the many seabirds that trail our ship in the constant winds. In our lecture theatre, enjoy informative and entertaining presentations from our experts on topics such as seabirds, wildlife, and ice, or catch up on some rest after busy days of travel.

Days 3-9: East Coast of Greenland including Scoresbysund and Kejser Franz Josef Fjord system

In the next couple of days our itinerary may take us to Scoresbysund and Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord. Scoresbysund, is the world’s largest fjord and a favorite hunting ground of the local Inuit. Massive glaciers dump into this fjord, the birthplace of the famous big Greenland icebergs. We hope to visit the remote Inuit community of Ittoqqortoormiit (Scoresby Town) and to hike across the tundra in search of ancient graveyards and summer villages occupied 3,000 years ago by Paleo-Eskimos. This area provides excellent opportunities for sea kayaking in its maze of calm, interconnecting waterways. If we are lucky we may see musk oxen, Arctic hare and seals, and maybe if we are extremely lucky even a polar bear or narwhal.

Landings may include:

Sydkap in Scorsebysund offers good walking and delightful views through Øfjord, up Nordvestfjord and into Hall Brednung. Kayakers will have good opportunities to explore the lonely beaches. We may explore the ancient grave sites on shore, or the giant icebergs, which offer hours of enjoyment for kayaking and Zodiac cruises.

Røde Ø - one of the most remarkable collections of beautiful icebergs in the world. A combination of shallows near the island and tidal currents strand hundreds of large iceberg in a small area around Røde Ø, or Red Island. The contrast between the magnificent blue of the ice and the red sandstone landscape is breathtaking.

Sefstrom Glacier adorns the narrow- peaked waterway in Alpefjord. We will Zodiac cruise (and kayak) around the snout of the glacier and deeper into the fjord behind. We can return along magnificent cliffs that are festooned with small colorful gardens of Arctic flowers growing wherever water is available.

Cape Humboldt - a beautiful point on Ymer Island. There is a good chance to take a tundra walk and witness musk oxen grazing. We will also keep a lookout for Arctic fox and ptarmigan. A lone trapper's hut looks over the bay and magnificent icebergs.

Blomsterbugten – An important site for paleo-eskimos and more modern trappers, we may have a great opportunity to walk in the tundra with musk oxen or Arctic hare to a spectacular overlook onto Lake Noa which is pink with fine sediments.

Other possible landing points in the area include: Rømer Fjord, Rype Fjord, Ø Fjord, Fonfjord, Bjornøya, Milne Land, Hekla Havn, and Denmark Island, Nordvestfjord and Eskimobugt.

Days 10-11: Greenland Sea

We head out to sea bound for Spitsbergen. As we cruise northeast across the Greenland Sea – the main outlet of the Arctic Ocean – we may encounter pack ice, and if we are lucky we will see polar bears hunting on the ice. The strong icy sea currents have isolated East Greenland from the rest of the world for millennia. These currents carry nutrients from the Polar Basin, attracting large numbers of fish, seals and whales. Climatic conditions and the concentration of ice in the vicinity often create thick morning fog that vanishes with the onset of the midday sun. Our experts will inform and entertain us with fascinating talks on plants, animals and early explorers like Nansen, Andree and Scoresby.

Days 12-15: Spitsbergen’s West Northwest Coast

Along Spitsbergen’s west coast, we stop at intriguing places like Kongsfjorden or Magdalenefjorden. Kongsfjorden (Kings Bay) is incredibly scenic, the fjord is headed by two giant glaciers. There’s ample time ashore for hiking on the lush tundra amongst the summer flowers and observing the remarkable bird cliffs near the 14th July Glacier, where even a few puffins nest between the cracks in the cliffs. We keep watch for polar bears and Arctic fox and feel a sense of history at the 350-year-old remains of a Dutch whaling settlement, Smeerenberg on Amsterdamøya. The name Smeerenberg literally means blubber town in Dutch. It is a place of extraordinary legends, of thousands of men living there during the 1630s, a town complete with shops, gambling dens and the like. However, in reality, only 400 men and fifteen ships visited Smeerenberg during its peak in the 1630s for whaling purposes.

Days 16-18: Northern flanks of Spitsbergen

As we work our way along the north coast we explore rarely-visited places such as Woodfjorden and Leifdefjorden in search of the mighty polar bear. From Zodiacs we enjoy magnificent views of sweeping glaciers winding their way into the sea. We may walk on smooth raised beach terraces to a superb viewpoint or hike in the mountains on the tundra where pretty colored wildflowers and lichen grow and where reindeer graze. We may visit trapper huts of yesteryear where Russians and Pomors would hunt and survive the cold harsh winters, all while remaining alert for wandering polar bears and their cubs. We might come face-to-face with the formidable pack ice of the Arctic Ocean, keeping our eyes peeled for walrus feeding on clams or hauled out on the beach in wallows. We will listen to the cacophony of sea birds and see them feeding. If conditions allow we may push north into the pack ice in hopes of finding polar bears ranging over the frozen landscape on the hunt for seals.

Days 19-22: East Coast of Spitsbergen and Southwest Fjords

Along the northeast coast of Spitsbergen we enter a different world – a polar desert. If ice conditions allow we will pass south through the narrow Hinlopen Strait. The strait is flanked by creamy colored slabs of rock that are rich in fossils, as we will discover for ourselves when we go ashore. We may visit Alkefjellet in the Strait, where a series of one-hundred-meter-high dolerite towers are home to nearly a million nesting Brünnich’s guillemots – the penguins of the north – that occupy every available nook and cranny. Elsewhere we seek out eider ducks and geese and hope to spot Arctic fox and the beautiful ivory gulls. As the Greg Mortimer passes between Spitsbergen and the smaller islands of Barentsøya and Edgeøya, we cross a major polar bear migration route and the beautiful fertile plains of Sundeneset. The spongy ground is richly covered with bright green mosses, a variety of delicate and colorful flowers, particularly the yellow marsh (bog) saxifrage, various mushrooms, fungi, clear bubbling streams and small tarns. Tiny (micro) flowers such as Mouse Ears grow in Spitsbergen creating faerie like mossy rock gardens. We explore this beautiful terrain on foot, marveling at the contrast between the colorful soft ground and the barren, rocky terrain from further north. Reindeer antlers lie scattered along the ground. We round South Cape, Spitsbergen's most southerly point, before continuing northwards along the west coast of Spitsbergen.

We enter the spectacular Hornsund Fjord where we may take an early morning Zodiac cruise to admire the beautiful ice walls of the Samarin Glacier or take a stroll beneath the towering seabird cliffs at Sofiebogen. In Bellsund Fjord we are always on the lookout for beluga, or white whales. Bellsund Fjord is a fjord that splits into two branches. It was named Bellsund after a nearby bell-shaped mountain by William Barentsz in 1596. We may visit the remnants of a Norwegian beluga whaling station from the 1930s. Across the fjord at Vårsolbukta is a lush and stunning landscape, where reindeer roam, Arctic flowers bloom in abundance and Arctic fox may be seen patrolling the little auk colony, where several thousand birds nest amongst the boulders, coming and going in huge flocks.

Day 23: Disembark Longyearbyen

During the early morning we cruise back into Longyearbyen. Farewell your expedition team and fellow expeditioners as we all continue our onward journeys. A transfer is included into town, where there is free time before an onward transfer to the airport in the afternoon.

Greg Mortimer

Greg Mortimer

Deckplan & Cabin Photos

Highlights

  • Cruise through Spitsbergen’s narrow sheltered waterways and fjords such as Kongsfjorden (Kings Bay) and Hornsund Fjord
  • Wildlife-rich Arctic – polar bears, walrus, seals, reindeer, seabirds, musk oxen, Arctic fox and whales
  • Visit historic sites including museums, whaling stations, geology and fossils
  • Cruise among the fantastic shapes and colors of Greenland’s famous giant icebergs
  • Venture close to 80° North looking for polar bears in pack ice
  • Enjoy a great variety of diverse terrain: icecaps, tundra, polar desert and rocky hillsides
  • Celebrate near endless sunlight under the glistening midnight sun

Included

  • Group transfer to airport in Longyearbyen on Day 23
  • On-board accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service
  • All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage
  • Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises
  • Educational lectures and guiding services from expedition team
  • Access to our onboard doctor and basic medical services
  • A 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket
  • Complimentary use of muck boots during the voyage
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • A printed photo book produced with photos from your voyage
  • Gratuities for crew will automatically be added to your bill. Please advise at the time of settlement if you would like this to be removed
  • Port surcharges, permits and landing fees

Adventure Options

  • Kayaking: $1,560 per person
  • Climbing: $1,090 per person
 

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of expedition cruising, itineraries are subject to change due to weather, ice conditions, natural and cultural events, wildlife viewing opportunities and other logistical considerations. In general, a ship's crew will endeavor to complete the itinerary provided, but the ultimate decision lies with the ship's captain and expedition leaders.

 
 
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