Complete East Greenland: Ocean Albatros


Discover one of the world's most beautiful, wild and pristine natural areas in the huge North Greenland National Park. On this unique expedition cruise, we will venture far from the usual tourist routes and visit places where only true expeditioners and scientists travel. Possibly the most dramatic coast outside of Antarctica, the coast is guarded by Greenland’s highest mountains and steepest fjords. On this luxury Arctic expedition cruise your will experience unspoiled Arctic landscapes with good chances of seeing polar bears, whales and musk oxen

  • Presentations from expert lecturers
  • State of the art, luxury expedition vessel
  • Visit the world’s largest national park in Northeast Greenland
  • Massive fjord systems and glaciers
  • Whale sightings, bird watching & Arctic wildlife
  • Great chances to see Aurora borealis, the Northern Lights!

Heading out from Reykjavík, our first call is the isolated Inuit community, Ittoqqortoormiit. From here we navigate into the overwhelming Kong Oskar Fjord, which acts as a gateway for the North Greenland National Park, the world's largest nature reserve. Navigating the sheltered interior of the national park’s fjord system, we are likely to enjoy stable September weather with clear skies and distant visibility. Snow dusts the mountain tops, and the supernatural wonders of Aurora Borealis can be seen at night. We make landings at century old hunting stations in breathtaking landscapes, as the ship navigates north around Ella and Ymer Islands into Kejser Franz Joseph Fjord. On the southbound voyage we aim for the dramatic Blosseville Coast. The last day will be at sea, enjoying lectures from the expedition team – or getting glimpses of sea birds migrating south. This is a true Expedition Voyage, with landings in harsh and pristine nature, abundant wild life – and compulsory permits needed from both national park authorities and the Arctic military patrol Sirius, who acts as national park officers. The expedition team onboard have huge experience, having navigated these remote fjords for more than 20 years. There are few wilder, more magnificent and untouched places than the Northeast Greenland National Park!

Stewart's Take

September is the perfect time to experience the majesty of Greenland


Discover one of the world's most beautiful, wild and pristine natural areas in the huge North Greenland National Park. On this unique expedition cruise, we will venture far from the usual tourist routes and visit places where only true expeditioners and scientists travel. Possibly the most dramatic coast outside of Antarctica, the coast is guarded by Greenland’s highest mountains and steepest fjords. On this luxury Arctic expedition cruise your will experience unspoiled Arctic landscapes with good chances of seeing polar bears, whales and musk oxen.
DAY 1 - REYKJAVÍK, ICELAND The rock-like columns of Hallgrímskirkja Church loom over the city of Reykjavík, a hip Scandi capital which needs little introduction. With new Nordic cuisine, excellent shopping, fantastic excursions and an easy relaxed vibe, Reykjavík is one of Scandinavia's most welcoming and exciting cities. In the afternoon, we await to welcome our guests onboard Ocean Albatros. After our mandatory safety drill, enjoy dinner and a glass of champagne as we set sail a course for adventure as we set out across the Denmark Strait, bound for Greenland. DAY 2 - AT SEA, CROSSING THE DENMARK STRAIT The Denmark Strait is the narrow section of the North Atlantic separating Iceland from Greenland. This body of water is among the most productive in the world, where the cold polar East Greenland Current collides with the warm northbound Gulf Stream. These nutrient-rich waters support vast stocks of fish, and the humans, seals, whales and seabirds which rely on them. Days at sea are never dull. We will arrange a variety of activities onboard for our guests to enjoy to engage the mind, body and soul. Join your knowledgeable Expedition Team lecturers in the Theatre to hear specially-crafted lectures on Greenlandic history, wildlife, geology, culture and more, unwind with a massage in the Albatros Polar Spa, or simply watch the seabirds gliding along the ship from our hot tubs as the Ocean Albatros flies across the Denmark Strait. DAY 3 - KUUMMIUT AND IKATEQ We will spend the morning in the small village of Kuummiut, which sits in breathtaking surroundings in the calm reaches of Ammassalik Fjord. Kuummiut - meaning 'People who Live by the River' - is one of the larger villages in the area, and one of the most prosperous. Sitting upon some of East Greenland's richest fishing grounds, Kuummiut holds the only fish factory in the region, and fishermen from miles around come through Ammassalik Fjord (which is wide enough to stay mostly ice-free year-round) to sell their catch here. Kuummiut is an ideal place to experience life in an East Greenlandic settlement. Where other towns have traffic, Kuummiut has the yowling of sled dogs and the sigh of the wind through the grass. No roads lead in or out of this isolated village, and the sea is the highway for local transport - although motorboats have replaced the skin boats which brought people to these shores long ago. It is a perfect place to simply sit, watch the icebergs pass, and perhaps see the whales which often frolic in the calm waters offshore. In the afternoon, we will sail slightly eastward from Kuummiut to Ikateq, a spectacular fjord with a fascinating history. During the darkest days of the Second World War, American forces established an airbase here (one of the network of air bases which includes Kangerlussuaq on the west coast) to serve as a stepping stone for aircraft transiting between Europe and North America. The rugged landscape of East Greenland meant the approach into the airport was hazardous, with frequent fog masking the treacherous mountains. Huge recources were invested into Ikateq Airbase (also known as Bluie 2 East), with a 5,000ft runway, hangar, barracks and port constructed. A fleet of military vehicles and thousands of barrels of fuel were also brought to this remote region. With Germany defeated, improvements to intercontinental aircraft, and increasing tensions with the Soviet Union, the United States Military abandoned the base in 1947, leaving almost everything behind. The air base has been a bone of contention between Nuuk, Copenhagen and Washington for many years. Many in the Greenlandic government wanted the site cleaned up and the ruins removed; an expensive and logistically challenging task. Eventually, the Danish Government agreed to remove hazardous waste from the site (mainly decaying fuel drums), leaving the rest of the equipment in place as an important part of regional history. Over 75 years later however, almost everything remains as it was on the day the Americans left. Ikateq is a truly unique place, a time warp to the Second World War: eerie, fascinating and surrounded by staggering natural beauty. DAYS 4 - TASIILAQ In the morning we arrive in Tasiilaq, the largest settlement in East Greenland. Unlike the west coast, which has had uninterrupted contact with Europe since the 1700s, the coast of East Greenland remained more or less uncontacted until around 1894, when a Danish trading post was established at Tasiilaq. The vast distances involved in Arctic travel meant that the people of East Greenland (Tunumiit) were isolated from their cousins to the west, and the language, traditions and culture of East Greenland therefore differ significantly to those in other parts of the country. Ancient traditions are strong here. This region of Greenland was the home of the last Angakkuit (Shamans) of Greenland, and is the home of the tupilak - a monster fashioned from animal (and sometimes human) body parts and animated by the power of an Angakkuq to wreak havoc on enemies. Creating such a monster was dangerous, as it could be turned back by a more powerful magic user to attack its creator. The first Europeans were curious as to what these dark beasts looked like, and locals carved facsimiles in bone or horn, beginning one of Greenland's finest artistic traditions. The tupilaat made by artisans in Tasiilaq are considered among the best in the country. Tasiilaq sits in a perfect natural harbour on Ammassalik Island (meaning 'the Place of Many Capelin'). While superficially similar to towns on the West Coast, visitors will quickly notice differences; the landscape here is much more rugged, the people fewer, and the sled dogs much more numerous. Tasiilaq offers excellent opportunities to explore, with excellent hiking routes such as the Flower Valley easily accessible from town. For those wishing to delve into Tunumiit culture, visit the museum, located in the city's old church, hear the city's exquisite choir perform in the modern church, or watch a drum dancer in traditional East Greenlandic costume perform a millennia-old spiritual tradition. For those wishing to indulge in some retail therapy, visit the Stunk Artist's Workshop, where skilled craftsmen create beautiful pieces from natural local materials. DAY 5 - AT SEA, EN ROUTE TO ITTOQQORTOORMIIT Sailing along the coastline of this vast island (where reaching the next-closest town takes two nights and a day of sailing), it can be difficult to comprehend the scale of this huge country. Measuring roughly four times the size of France, Greenland dominates the Atlantic portion of the Arctic, covering latitudes from 59-83°N, and 11-74°W. Around 80% of Greenland is covered by the Greenland Ice Sheet (known as Sermersuaq or 'The Great Ice' in Greenlandic), the largest body of ice on earth outside Antarctica. The Greenland Ice Sheet is so vast that it governs the weather patterns of the region, with summer meltwater and winter ice largely driving ocean currents in this part of the North Atlantic. Despite the lack of towns, the stretch of coastline between the Ammassalik and Scorsesbysund region is of vital importance to the residents of the area. During the summer, locals hunt whales, seals and other game by boat along the coast of this vast wilderness, as their ancestors have done since time immemorial. Some skilled hunters still choose to use kayaks to sneak up on skittish prey like narwhals - continuing a millennia-old hunting tradition. While some choose to use snowmobiles in winter to traverse the sea ice which hugs the coast, most hunters choose to use dogsleds, which are more reliable, rugged, and do not rely on fuel. In this challenging country, ancestral traditions are still superior to the trappings of modern life. DAY 6 - ITTOQQORTOORMIIT Entering Scoresbysund, Earth's largest and longest fjord system, one could be forgiven for not realising this huge 35km inlet is a fjord at all! Scoresbysund is named for English whaler and explorer William Scoresby, one of the first Europeans to map this region; the local name for this vast fjord system, Kangertittivaq, is a typical Greenlandic understatement, roughly meaning 'The Rather Large Fjord'. The only settlement in this region is Ittoqqortoormiit (meaning 'the People who Live in Big Houses), which surely ranks among the most remote communities on Earth. As the name suggests, the town is relatively new, having been established by Danish authorities in 1925. Colonists were relocated from the Ammassalik region further south in response to what were seen as poor living conditions in the area, as well to establish Danish sovereignty in the region during a territorial dispute with Norway. While the establishment of the town was challenging, the settlers soon realised the region was hugely rich in game, with excellent hunting and trapping opportunities. This tradition continues to this day - the majority of residents continue to live a subsistence hunting lifestyle, essential in a town where supply ships arrive only once or twice each summer. The only access to the outside world is via the heliport to the nearby airport, from where small aircraft depart for Iceland. Ittoqqortoormiit is a town with a strong sense of community and traditional culture, where foreigners are welcomed warmly. The town hosts an excellent museum, a beautiful traditional Greenlandic church, and locals often welcome visitors to their community wearing colourful traditional costumes. The town represents a wonderful introduction to the culture and lifestyle of Northeast Greenland, in one of the most spectacular natural locations anywhere in the world. DAY 7-9 - NORTHEAST GREENLAND NATIONAL PARK During the night we cruise past the rugged peaks of the Liverpool Land peninsula and reach the mouth of King Oscar Fjord. We are now in the vast Northeast Greenland National Park; measuring almost a million square kilometers (almost twice the size of France), this is the largest National Park and the largest area of protected land on Earth and includes the northernmost land on the planet. There are no permanent settlements in the area, but up to the middle of the 19th Century various nomadic Inuit hunters lived in this spectacular region, harvesting the natural riches of the area. The program for our days in the National Park depends on wind, sea, weather and ice conditions. In such a remote region so far north, Mother Nature dictates all human activity. Our exact route and activities will be determined by the Captain and the Expedition Leader jointly and are typically announced the night before. Some of the interesting landings we may visit include the 1300-meter-high rock wall Bastionen on the coast of Ella Island. Further north we may pass pass the small Maria Island, where the Germans had a camp during World War II. The Germans' attempt to gain a foothold in Greenland during World War II is a fascinating story in itself. Past Ruth Island, we hope to make a landing on Ymer Island at Blomsterbugten, a small oasis in the national park. From the tiny hunting lodge Varghytten we can enjoy the formidable view of the characteristic, flat mountain Teufelsschloss, where the multicoloured rock layers testify to the area's exciting geological development. From here, we may aim to sail by the mighty iceberg-producing Waltershausen Glacier before entering beautiful Moskusokse Fjord. On our way back towards open sea we might aim for landings on Jameson Land, which is a breeding ground for polar bears. Wherever we go in this vast wilderness, our guests can be sure of encountering excitement, adventure, and mind-boggling natural beauty. Our experienced Expedition Team will be on hand to provide guests with as much knowledge of the region as possible; either in hand-crafted lectures, evening recaps, onshore, or over a cup of coffee on deck. Throughout our time in the National Park, our skilled Expedition Team members will be constant lookout for the charismatic wildlife of the region - keep your binoculars handy! DAY 10 - BLOSSEVILLE COAST Possibly the most dramatic coast outside of Antarctica, the Blosseville is guarded by Greenland’s highest mountains and steepest fjords – and a belt of pack ice which was once able to ward off explorers, sometimes for years at a time! The Blosseville Coast is named for French Explorer Jules de Blosseville, the first European to sight this formidable coastline. While attempting to survey the coast in 1833 onboard the vessel La Lilloise, the vessel and all onboard were lost without a trace. Subsequent expeditions failed to find any trace of the vessel, and its fate remains a mystery to this day. The recent decades have also had warmer summers and reduced sea ice cover, which enables purpose-built ice-strengthened vessels such as the Ocean Albatros to venture along the coast, on lookout for polar wildlife, abandoned Inuit settlements and otherworldly landscapes. DAY 11 - AT SEA, EN ROUTE TO REYKJAVÍK, ICELAND During our time at sea approaching Reykjavik, a variety of activities will be arranged on board to provide our guests with the chance to reflect on their voyage. Relax with an expertly crafted cocktail in the Nordic Bar in the company of new friends, soak up the knowledge and passion of our Expedition Team during lectures, or simply enjoy the flight of the fulmars which accompany us towards Iceland. During your last evening onboard, join the Captain and Officers for the Farewell Cocktail Party, followed by a presentation of photos and video by our onboard photographer - the ideal opportunity to re-live your Arctic adventure. Skål! DAY 12 - REYKJAVÍK, ICELAND As the Icelandic capital comes into view on the horizon, strange objects appear; trees larger than ankle height, glassy skyscrapers and streets full of cars, busses and people... Such a bustling capital may feel strange after the remote wilderness of Greenland! After a hearty breakfast, it is time to bid a fond farewell to the Crew and Expedition Team of Ocean Albatros, and descend the gangway back to dry land with memories of the voyage of a lifetime.


Ocean Victory

The brand-new luxury infinity vessel Ocean Albatros is one of the most modern small ship vessels in the world. This stylish cruise ship is ideally suited to small-ship expeditions, with a total of 93 comfortable cabins for guests, all with a view of the ocean, 90% with a balcony, even a suite with a French balcony! Ocean Albatros is deployed and dedicated to varied Arctic polar voyages. With the highest Polar code 6 and Ice class 1A, Ocean Victory is the ideal vessel for small-ship cruising due to her sturdy construction and X-BOW® – Infinity class, which provides high stability in rough weather and allows for the smoothest movements on high waves, and a Solas 2012 classification, which facilitates a safe return to port. The vessel will have more than a 50% lower carbon footprint than traditional expedition vessels and be one of the most environmentally friendly, implementing the Green Initiative Program, ensuring both absolute comfort and sustainability for our guests. Ocean Albatros will also offer a unique panorama sauna, and a total of 12 dedicated solo travel cabins without a single-supplement. Like it's sistership the Ocean Victory it offers two restaurants, a wellness area, an Albatros Nordic Bar, an open deck dining facility, a modern lecture lounge, and other state-of-the-art amenities.

For full information about this vessel click here:

  • 12-day/11-night cruise on Ocean Albatros in a shared outside double room with a private bathroom in the category chosen
  • English-speaking expedition staff
  • Guided walks Nature hikes and Zodiac cruises per itinerary
  • Information briefings and lectures by the expedition team
  • Activities in certain towns, as per itinerary
  • Special photo workshop
  • Full board on the ship
  • Dinner drink package
  • Free coffee, tea, and afternoon snacks on the ship
  • Welcome and farewell cocktails
  • Taxes, tariffs, and landing fees
  • Digital visual journal link after the voyage, including voyage log, gallery, species list, and more
  • Extra excursions and activities not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Single room supplement and cabin upgrades
  • Meals not on board the ship
  • Beverages (other than coffee and tea and dinner-drink package)
  • Tips for the crew (we recommend USD 14 per person per day)
  • Personal expenses
  • Transfers to/from the ship in Reykjavik
  • Travel, cancellation, and senior insurance
  • Anything not mentioned under ’Inclusions’
Deposits Reservations require a deposit of 25% at the time you receive a booking confirmation from Expeditions Online. A payment link will be sent to you and this may be paid by major credit card. Bookings within 90 days of departure require full payment. Final Payments Balances are due 90 days prior to departure. Cancellations All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. Cancellations received from time of booking to 91 days prior to departure 20 % of the total cruise tariff. From 90 days until departure: 100% of the total cruise tariff. We strongly recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance. Booking Terms Please read carefully the General Booking Conditions for Expeditions Online. This voyage is operated by Albatros Expeditions and you additionally travel under their terms and conditions as the operator as well as of the Shipping Company/transport carrier. Details will be forwarded to you at the time of booking.
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