Arctic Highlights - Svalbard, Greenland & Iceland
Arctic, Svalbard & Greenland & Iceland, Polar, 16 days - from £3,045 (land only) - from €3,805 (land only) - from $5,330 (land only)
Day 1: Rendezvous at the joining hotel in Longyearbyen. There will be a single timed transfer from here to the ship. We embark on the MS Expedition and settle into our cabins. Before dinner there will be a safety briefing and a chance to meet the expedition staff and leaders. We set sail in the evening and spend our first night on board the MS Expedition.
Day 2: During the next 3 days we cruise north up the west coast of Spitsbergen. We will sail as close to the ice floe as possible to make sure that we have every chance of spotting arctic wildlife. In the evening the lecture series will begin.
Day 3: Continuing north we will have ample opportunity to enjoy breathtaking views of the fjords and mountains. During the days we will head out in the zodiacs to explore the shoreline, steeped in natural and human history. We may be lucky enough to spot an Arctic fox out hunting for food.
Day 4: We spend another day out in the zodiacs, cruising the shore and the edge of the icefloe. We may see seal and walrus today, as well as the majestic polar bear. We will also have opportunities to walk on shore where we will have plenty of opportunity to photograph the arctic flora and fauna up close.
Day 5: Another brilliant day of wildlife spotting on the coast of Spitsbergen. We will be in search of polar bear, out hunting seal, and Svalbard's unique subspecies of reindeer. Our expert crew will be on hand to answer any questions we have about the wildlife or flora and fauna.
Day 6: Leaving Spitsbergen behind us we cross the Greenland Sea heading for the northeast of Greenland. During the crossing our lecture series will continue and we will learn more about this fascinating area.
Day 7: We begin our exploration of the northeast coast of Greenland. We will attempt to follow the pack ice edge as closely as possible in order to fully explore the extraordinary polar seascape. We should be on the look out for seals and whales, and also sea birds such as kittiwakes and fulmars.
Day 8: The coast of northeast Greenland has some of the most spectacular fjord country in the world and, over the next four days, we will have a superb chance to explore this remote and wild area with its rarely visited glaciers, bays and inlets.
Day 9: The northeast Greenland National Park is the largest National Park in the world. Ice depending we hope to be able to fully explore the massive fjord system using the zodiacs, including portions of Scorsbysund, named after the English explorer William Scoresby, the largest and longest fjord system in the world.
Day 10: Today we hope to visit the tiny Inuit settlement Ittoqqortoormiit, the only permanent settlement in the region. This will give us a fascinating insight into life in this beautiful, but harsh and unforgiving, environment. We can also hope to see musk-ox and puffin in the surrounding area.
Day 11: We will try to make as many landings as possible in the zodiacs, so that we can explore on foot the areas of colourful tundra surrounding the fjords.
Day 12: Our last day exploring the fjords.
Day 13: Leaving Greenland behind us we begin the crossing to Iceland across the Denmark Strait, famous for the World War II battle, which took place on the waters. During this section of the voyage our lecture series will continue.
Day 14: As we cruise the Denmark Strait on this last section of our voyage we will have our last chance to spot whales. The Strait connects the Arctic Ocean to the Irminger Sea, a part of the mighty Atlantic. This will be our last night on board and the crew will pull out all the stops to make this a special evening.
Day 15: Having arrived in Reykjavik during the night, we have time for an early breakfast on board before disembarkation. There will be a timed transfer to the airport for those departing in the early afternoon. Those with later flights will have some time to explore downtown Reyjavik before returning to the pier to take the later transfer to the airport.