Experience a 14-day expedition that encompasses the spirit of the Arctic. You will cruise by Zodiac looking for polar bears, SvalbardÂís unique subspecies of reindeer and Arctic foxes. Navigating down the coast of Greenland, you will explore glaciers, bays and inlets along the way and spend two days exploring Scoresby Sund, one of the largest fjord systems in the world. This journey highlights the contrast and change in the Arctic as you move south finally ending in the 'land of fire and ice,' Iceland. Inuit villages, unique wildlife and remote destinations are some of the highlights on this truly unforgettable voyage through the Arctic.
Day 1: Longyearbyen
Arrive in one of the worldÂís most northernmost towns. Longyearbyen is the largest settlement on Svalbard. A very friendly and international atmosphere reigns here where there is a population of about 2,060 people and about as many snowmobiles. Most of its inhabitants are Norwegians, but some are Russians. Located in the Advent Fjord at the entrance of the Advent Valley, this community has an infrastructure fit for a much larger city. The community offers a wide range of activities and facilities for visitors. Embark the Expedition in the afternoon and depart Longyearbyen in the evening.
Days 2-3: West Coast of Spitsbergen
Svalbard is one of the few places on the planet that offers such a wealth and diversity of natural and cultural history sites. Highlights include ice-covered seas, fjords with breathtaking mountain scenery and glaciers flowing into the sea. You will spend these two days in search of the elusive polar bears hunting seals. At one or more of the stops, you may see SvalbardÂís unique subspecies of reindeer. They are much smaller than their southern relatives, but still carry impressive antlers. There is also the possibility of Arctic foxes. This is a land of history from whaling to reaching for the pole, to trapping, coal mining and war. You will visit some of these historic sites. You may cruise in Zodiacs along the ice edge to view seals or walrus, in fjords with glaciers spilling down to the sea or in front of spectacular seabird cliffs. You will have opportunities to walk on shore, observe and photograph the Arctic flora and fauna. By not having a set itinerary, you take on an expedition spirit and are free to take advantage of the best that Svalbard has to offer.
Days 4-5: Greenland Sea
Keep your eyes out for the whales that are known to feed here in the summer months. You 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. Lectures by your on board Expedition Staff will increase your appreciation of these animals and the wild coast of Greenland.
Days 6-11: East Greenland and Scoresby Sund
Navigating down the coast of Greenland, you will explore rarely-visited glaciers, bays and inlets. Look out for picturesque scenery, wildlife and other interesting landing sites in this unspoiled wilderness. You 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 kilometers. It is a favored hunting ground of the Inuit and is home to walruses, seals, narwhals, polar bears, muskoxen, wolves, foxes, ermine, arctic hares, lemmings, and a variety of birds. You may visit the local village of Ittoqqortoormiit to get a glimpse into how people live in these harsh conditions.
Days 12-13: Denmark Strait
The lecture series contiues as you head back towards Iceland and to the steaming hot springs of Reykjavik.
Day 14: Depart Reykjavik
A one-time complimentary airport transfer to Keflavik International Airport (KEF) will be offered for all guests regardless of their departure flight details. This airport transfer departs immediately after disembarkation is complete. Passengers heading to the Hotel Loftleidir should also board the same transfer since it will make a drop off there before heading to KEF airport. Luggage storage up until 2 p.m. will be available for all other guests.