Spitsbergen, Greenland and Iceland – Expedition
|Resort:||Spitsbergen, Greenland and Iceland - Expedition|
Sail from Spitsbergen to Greenland, following the ice’s edge always on the lookout for wildlife. Navigating south, explore this remote landscape not only by ship but also on foot and by Zodiac inflatable boat. This journey highlights the contrast and change in the Arctic as you move south, finally ending in the Land of Ice and Fire – Iceland. Inuit villages, unique wildlife and remote destinations are some of the highlights on this truly unforgettable voyage through the Arctic.
Enjoy contrasting landscapes – of Spitsbergen, Greenland and Iceland
Day 1 Join trip in Longyearbyen
Arrive in Longyearbyen, the largest settlement on the Svalbard archipelago. The town has a population of 2,060 people and about as many snowmobiles! Longyearbyen is located at 7813N 1533E and has an arctic tundra climate. Due to its location far north of the polar circle, it experiences polar night from mid-October to mid-February and polar day from mid-April to mid-August.
Arrive before 2pm on the first day of the tour. An arrival transfer is included if arriving in on day one of the itinerary. Upon arrival into Longyearbyen airport (LYR) please collect your luggage and look for a representative in the Arrivals Hall, holding a sign with your name on it. If you have booked your flights independently, please make sure that you have advised us of your arrival flight details, so that a transfer is booked for you. Be sure to keep all of your important documents – i.e. passport and travel insurance, and also your medication in your hand luggage, as your main luggage will be transferred separately to the ship.
There are no activities planned today so you will have time to visit the town before embarkation commences at 4pm. Perhaps you might choose to explore the town and the few shops that are located in its small centre. If you have extra time in Longyearbyen, we would recommend a visit to the Svalbard Museum, or take a tour of the Svalbard Brewery or Coal Mine Number Three. For longer stays, it’s worth pre-booking the Northern Lights dinner at nearby Camp Barentz.
Day 2 West Coast of Spitsbergen
We will have four full days to explore a small portion of the western coast of Spitsbergen. Entering the fall the days are getting shorter so we will try to take advantage of all of the sunlight possible to search for wildlife. By not following a set itinerary, we take on an expedition spirit and are free to take advantage of the best that Svalbard has to offer, both by Zodiac and on our landings ashore.
Day 3 West Coast of Spitsbergen
Svalbard is one of the few places in the World that offers a diversity of natural, cultural and historical sites. Highlights include fjords with breathtaking mountain scenery and glaciers flowing into the sea around us. We will spend these few days in search of the elusive polar bear, whilst taking in the other wildlife that this area is renowned for, such as seals and walrus and ofcourse, it’s incredible bridlife. At one or more of our stops, we hope to see Svalbard’s unique subspecies of reindeer. They are much smaller than their southern relatives, but still carry impressive antlers. We will also have the opportunity to see Arctic foxes, whilst on land.
Day 4 West Coast of Spitsbergen
This is also a land of history: from whaling to reaching for the pole, to trapping, coal mining and war and we hope to visit some of these historic sites. We will enjoy Zodiac cruises along the ice edge viewing seals, walrus and possibly whales. There will be plenty of time to cruise amongst the spectacular fjords, with glaciers spilling down to the sea.
Day 5 West Coast of Spitsbergen
We will have opportunities to walk on shore, observe and photograph the Arctic flora and fauna. As we are in the land of the polar bear, your expedition staff will carry rifles and flare guns on shore for your protection.
Day 6 Greenland Sea
Frigid waters escape the Polar Ocean south into the Greenland Sea. There is an opportunity for whale watching here as many species are known to feed here in the summer months. We may see Orca, Humpback, and Minke whales as well as White-Beaked dolphins. The view is often complimented by fulmars, kittiwakes, gannets, guillemots, and razorbills.
Day 7 Greenland Sea
Lectures by our on board Expedition Staff will increase your appreciation of these animals and the wild coast of Greenland.
Day 8 East Greenland and Scoresby Sund
We hope to sail through and land in some of the most spectacular fjord country in the world along the coast of Greenland. We will explore rarely visited glaciers, bays and inlets.
Day 9 East Greenland and Scoresby Sund
The Northeast Greenland National Park is the largest National Park in the world, nearly impossible to reach except on Expedition ships of this size. Spectacular geology combined with glacial features, create steep mountains raising directly from the sea. Enjoy the picturesque scenery, wildlife and other interesting landing sites in this unspoiled wilderness.
Day 10 East Greenland and Scoresby Sund
We will spend two days exploring Scoresby Sund, which is one of the largest fjord systems in the world. The distance from the mouth of the sound to the head of its innermost fjord is 350 km. It is a favoured hunting ground of the Inuit and is home to a variety of wildlife including;- walrus, seals, narwhals, polar bears and muskoxen. You will also find wolves, foxes, ermine and arctic hares, as well as lemmings and a variety of birdlife.
Day 11 East Greenland and Scoresby Sund
Walking over lush stands of colourful autumn tundra may lead to opportunities to see muskox grazing nearby.
Day 12 East Greenland and Scoresby Sund
We hope to visit the local village of Ittoqqortoormiit, offering us further insight into how people live in these harsh conditions. This isolated town in Greenland is far from any other inhabited settlements and is only accessible by expedition ships three months of the year. The town’s population of 450 rely on hunting and fishing as they only have one grocery store. Locals enjoy the warmer spring weather and sunshine by taking dog sled or snowmobile trips, as well as camping.
Day 13 Denmark Strait
We continue our lecture series, as we head towards Iceland and to the steaming hot springs of Reykjavik.
Day 14 Denmark Strait
Another day cruising the Denmark Strait, with more bird-watching opportunities – the view is often complemented by soaring fulmars, kittiwakes, gannets, guillemots, and razorbills.
Day 15 Depart Reykjavik
You will disembark after breakfast in Reykjavik. A complimentary airport transfer will take you to the airport in time for your scheduled flight.