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Iceland, Greenland and Spitsbergen
This voyage combines the best of Spitsbergen and Greenland, with a taste of Iceland. Spitsbergen’s rugged northwest coast comprises mountains, tundra and fjords. While crossing the icy waters of the Greenland Sea, our onboard experts share their knowledge of the region’s plants, animals and history. Greenland’s remote east coast shows off the immensity of the icecap, fantastic icebergs and a fairytale landscape of granite spires rising 1000 m above exquisite fjords! The local Inuits welcome us and share their unique culture.
Witness the immense grandeur and wilderness of remote Northeast Greenland
Experience a voyage to see the Arctic highlights
Sail to the Land of Ice and Fire - Iceland
Discover prolific birdlife and other Arctic wildlife
Sailing north along the Blosseville Coast, searching for musk ox and narwhals and marvel at the mountain scenery that dominates the skyline. If weather permits, we head for Rømer Fjord, a deep waterway with stunning mountain views.
In Scoresbysund, the world’s biggest fjord, the vast Greenland icecap sweeps down in massive glaciers that calve explosively, creating giant icebergs. Near Sydkap, our Zodiacs weave through a maze of grounded icebergs, some more than 30-metres high, sculpted with deep green tunnels and aquamarine lakes. Enjoy a warm Ittoqqortoormiit welcome, from Inuit happy to share their culture and explain the challenges of Arctic life.
Ice is often the overwhelming first impression of Greenland. An ice cap covers 81 per cent of the island and pack ice, even in summer, may fill northern bays. Ashore, cosy trappers’ huts beckon from across the tundra, where musk ox, Arctic fox and eider ducks roam. These are just some of the delights in Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord. Lively cascades at Kap Humboldt provide a microclimate for spectacular hanging gardens. Kong Oskar Fjord offers spectacular glacier-carved mountains.
Crossing the Greenland Sea, we sail through the Polar Basin’s nutrient-rich waters, searching for fin and beluga whales, encroaching pack ice and seabirds. Our expert naturalists and guest lecturers entertain us with fascinating, illustrated talks on European Arctic plants and animals, and epic tales of such early explorers as Nansen, Andrée and Scoresby. These are relaxed days, wonderful for getting to know fellow expeditioners and preparing for a landing, if conditions permit, in the world’s largest national park – Greenland’s northeast coast. The region is home to polar bear, walrus, Arctic hare and musk ox. Watch for ringed, bearded, harp and hooded seals from the Zodiacs.
Spitsbergen’s northwest coast features calving icebergs, historic whaling stations and trappers’ camps. Brunnich’s guillemots, little auks and kittiwakes nest in their thousands. Reindeer roam the tundra and so can you, photographing wildflowers like saxifrage, moss campion, bell-heather and hairy lousewort. From our Zodiacs, gain fantastic views of ice cliffs, including Monacobreen, one of Spitsbergen’s largest glaciers. In the north, there’s a good chance of seeing walrus – and possibly even polar bears – on the pack ice.
Arrive early morning in Longyearbyen and, after breakfast, bid farewell to the Polar Pioneer.
Included meals: Breakfast
Please note that from time to time our itineraries may be amended, either for operational reasons or in response to feedback from customers. Please ensure you have read the latest Tour Notes before booking or travelling on your tour.
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