Jewels of the Arctic: Greg Mortimer/Sylvia Earle

East Greenland

While cruising the icy waters of the Greenland Sea between Iceland and Spitsbergen, keep an eye out for whales, sea ice and countless sea birds. Your days will be jam-packed with once-in-a-lifetime moments: we Zodiac cruise amongst gigantic icebergs, revel in gorgeous tundra walks, spot Arctic foxes, musk ox, walrus and polar bears. Greenland’s breathtaking mountainous landscapes will leave you speechless as the voyage goes along, and Inuit communities will make you feel at home whilst we stop by their small settlement, Ittoqqortoormiit. These are the jewels of the Arctic!

  • Watch arctic fox hunt beneath towering cliffs that are home to enormous colonies of guillemots and fulmars
  • In Svalbard, push through pack ice, searching for polar bears and ringed seals
  • Quietly approach musk oxen and reindeer on tundra walks
  • Zodiac-cruise along vast glacial fronts and into Øfjord as sunset paints the surrounding 2,000-metre (6,562-feet) walls a vibrant pink

Save up to 20%*

For a limited time, save up to 20%*. Contact us for details!

*Subject to availability, discount varies by cabin category and departure date. To qualify, we must receive names and deposits by the 31 March 2023. 

Stewart's Take

This voyage offers the complete European Arctic experience!

Overview

While cruising the icy waters of the Greenland Sea between Iceland and Spitsbergen, keep an eye out for whales, sea ice and countless sea birds. Your days will be jam-packed with once-in-a-lifetime moments: we Zodiac cruise amongst gigantic icebergs, revel in gorgeous tundra walks, spot Arctic foxes, musk ox, walrus and polar bears. Greenland’s breathtaking mountainous landscapes will leave you speechless as the voyage goes along, and Inuit communities will make you feel at home whilst we stop by their small settlement, Ittoqqortoormiit. These are the jewels of the Arctic!
Day 1 Longyearbyen Having made your way to Longyearbyen, you will be met and transferred to the group hotel. Please visit the hospitality desk, located in the lobby. The team will run through your embarkation day, answer your questions, and give advice on the local area. They will also provide you with cabin tags for your luggage. Please clearly label the tags with your name and ship cabin number. Enjoy free time, and in the evening, dine at your leisure (dinner not included). Accommodation: Funken Lodge, Svalbard Hotel Polfareren, The Vault (or similar) Day 2 Longyearbyen, embarkation Our locally guided journey begins with a drive to the outskirts of Longyearbyen. The stark landscape plays host to a vault unlike any other worldwide. Although not open to the public, the unique design of its entrance affords us an insight into the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, home to a seed bank of over 4000 plant species. We continue to Camp Barentz, located in the Advent Valley, where we enjoy a presentation in the large ‘lavvo’ - a traditional building common in northern Norway. Here your host shares tales of living in the remote Arctic. You'll learn about Longyearbyen’s fascinating history, its early explorers and Svalbard's most famous inhabitants - the polar bear, before we meet the camp's friendly huskies or perhaps pick up some souvenirs. A visit to the eclectic Svalbard Museum is included back in town before embarking the vessel in the late afternoon. Settle into your cabin before attending important safety briefings and enjoy the thrill of departure as we ‘throw the lines’ and set sail. This evening, get to know your fellow expeditioners and our friendly Expedition Team and crew at the Captain’s Welcome Dinner to celebrate the start of a thrilling adventure. NOTE: Sometimes our ship is unable to dock in Longyearbyen port due to space and capacity. In these instances, we reach the ship by Zodiac. Please ensure that you keep your wet-weather gear in your hand luggage to use in the Zodiacs, if the situation arises. Please ensure your cabin luggage tag is completed clearly showing your cabin number and name. Our crew will deliver your luggage directly to your cabin. Days 3-5 Svalbard Svalbard offers arctic wilderness at its best. The members of our experienced Expedition Team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to tailor our itinerary, choosing the best options based on the prevailing weather, sea-ice conditions and opportunities for wildlife encounters. Phenomenal fjords, magnificent mountains ranges, and a polar desert rich in fossils set the stage for heroic tales of early exploration. See walrus hauled-out on sea ice or on beaches. On land, we stretch our legs on walks across tundra carpeted in brightly coloured wildflowers. We visit towering cliffs noisy with nesting guillemots and puffins, and scree slopes that hold Svalbard’s largest little auk colonies. Most memorable are encounters with the majestic polar bear on pack ice. Your Expedition Team is just as keen as you are to find them and they will be on constant watch to spot these inspiring creatures. If you have chosen an optional activity such as kayaking, you will have an opportunity to enjoy that activity when conditions allow. For those who are enthusiastic to participate in a polar plunge, as soon as conditions are suitable, you will hear the announcement to prepare for an exhilarating dip – a memory you will savour for years to come. Days 6-7 Greenland Sea As we sail towards the coast of East Greenland, we may encounter whales feeding in the rich waters of the north. As we approach East Greenland, be prepared to encounter more pack ice and perhaps spot seals and a variety of seabirds, including the northern fulmar and Brünnich’s guillemot. The strong, icy currents have isolated East Greenland from the Polar Basin, attracting large numbers of fish, seals and whales. Climatic conditions and the concentration of ice in the vicinity often create thick morning fog that only vanishes in presence of the midday sun. Our experts will inform and entertain us with fascinating discussions on plants, animals, ice and heroic tales of exploration. Days 8-13 East Greenland In the coming days, a host of choices are available to us, and depending on ice and weather conditions, the east coast of Greenland is ours to explore. Our experienced Expedition Team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to tailor our itinerary on a day-to-day basis. This allows us to make best use of the prevailing weather, ice conditions and encounters with wildlife. We generally attempt up to two landings or Zodiac excursions per day, including cruising along spectacular ice cliffs, following whales feeding near the surface. Be prepared to experience ice – and lots of it! East Greenland contains some of the Arctic’s most impressive scenery. Deep fjords and narrow channels, flanked by sharp ice-clad peaks soaring up to 2,000 metres (6,562 feet), and glaciers birthing gigantic icebergs that drift throughout the fjord system, combine to create breathtaking scenes. The tundra landscape is home to musk oxen, arctic hare and reindeer. Throughout the area there are ancient Thule archaeological sites, historical trappers’ huts, and the cabins of present-day Inuit hunters. Ittoqqortoormiit A highlight is a visit to the Inuit village of Ittoqqortoormiit, the most isolated and northernmost permanent settlement in the region, with approximately 450 inhabitants. The community has an excellent museum, gift shop, an abundance of Greenlandic sled dogs and provides the opportunity to meet the friendly locals. Scoresbysund Explore Scoresbysund, the world’s largest fjord and a favourite hunting ground of the local Inuit. Massive glaciers flow into this fjord, the birthplace of hundreds of majestic Greenland icebergs. It is a spectacular place that simply needs to be seen to be believed. North of Scoresbysund lie Kong Oskar and Kaiser Franz Josef fjords, two of the most significant fjord systems in Greenland, each one encompassing several smaller fjords and sounds. Thanks to the fertile volcanic soil and the surrounding mountains offering protection from strong winds, the area is rich in wildlife. You may spot everything from musk ox and arctic foxes to mountain hares, and even reindeer, near the fjord. Look skyward and you could catch a glimpse of birds, including the glaucous gull, black-legged kittiwake, northern fulmar, common raven and common eider. Kaiser Franz Josef and Kong Oskar Fjords We will attempt to enter Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord, a remote and rarely visited fjord system with countless opportunities for exploration, located within the Northeast Greenland National Park. Cruising through Kong Oskar Fjord, we marvel at the geological beauty of the mountains. Liverpool Land We will then head south along the coast of Liverpool Land, with our passage dependent on ice conditions. We stretch our legs on hikes across tundra in search of ancient graveyards and summer villages occupied 3,000 years ago by Inuit. We may see musk ox, arctic hare and reindeer grazing. The maze of calm, interconnecting waterways in this area provides excellent opportunities for sea kayaking. We will see ring seals, perhaps catch a glimpse of the elusive narwhal, and maybe even a polar bear hunting on pack ice. Day 14 Denmark Strait Crossing the Denmark Strait to Iceland, search for whale blows and photograph the many seabirds that trail our ship in the ever-present arctic winds. Day 15 Disembark in Reykjavik During the early morning, we cruise into Reykjavik and disembark at approximately 8.00 am. Farewell your Expedition Team and fellow passengers as we all continue our onward journeys, Transfer to your downtown hotel or to Keflavik airport. NOTE: We do not recommend booking flights departing prior to 12.00 pm on the day of disembarkation, as we may experience delays at the conclusion of the voyage. IMPORTANT NOTE: This expedition operates in remote and challenging environments, and in the spirit of expedition travel, we encourage you to adopt a flexible and adventurous attitude when joining our voyages. This itinerary is a guide only and is subject to change due to weather, sea state and other conditions beyond our control.

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Expedition Vessel: Greg Mortimer/Sylvia Earle

The Greg Mortimer

These two state-of-the-art sister ships 104-metre ship are purpose-built expedition vessels accommodating an average of 132 passengers per voyage. They operate with a combination of low energy consumption, high fuel-efficiency and a streamlined design. With the revolutionary ULSTEIN X-BOW® to cross oceans more comfortably, expansive observation decks, inviting communal areas and unsurpassed environmental credentials, these ships offer the perfect base camp for adventures at the outer limits of human exploration. Not only can they contend with the most adverse weather conditions, added creature comforts make for a more enjoyable journey out on the open ocean. Zodiac loading platforms and activities platform allows for faster disembarkation from the ship – to get out on your adventure quicker, whether by zodiac or by kayak. You will find indoor lounge areas with floor-to ceiling windows and panoramic views, and multiple open decks with expansive 270-360 degree views. There is no shortage of spaces to take in the majesty of the incredible world outside! On all expeditions you will meet naturalists and local specialists, who offer presentations on their area of expertise to deepen your understanding of the region you’re visiting. Join the team in the lecture theatre for presentations covering topics as broad as history and culture, biology and climate change, but they have one thing in common: they all aim to engage, educate and entertain. From the European Arctic to the depths of Antarctica, and other far-flung destinations in-between, she will make your journey a breeze!

For full information about this vessel click here:


Included
  • Transfer from airport to hotel on arrival Day 1.
  • One night’s hotel accommodation including breakfast, in Longyearbyen on Day 1.
  • Sightseeing tour of Longyearbyen, prior to embarkation, on Day 2.
  • Transfer from pier to hotel or airport in Reykjavik on Day 15.
  • Onboard accommodation during voyage, including daily cabin service.
  • All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage.
  • Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner.
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell receptions including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages.
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises.
  • Educational lectures and guiding services provided by Expedition Team.
  • Complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consultation).
  • One 3-in-1 waterproof, polar expedition jacket.
  • Complimentary use of Muck Boots during the voyage.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information.
  • Port surcharges, permits and landing fees.
  • Gratuities for ship’s crew.
Excluded
  • International or domestic flights not mentioned in the itinerary, unless specified in the itinerary.
  • Transfers – unless specified in the itinerary.
  • Airport arrival or departure taxes.
  • Passport, visa, reciprocity and vaccination fees and charges.
  • Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges.
  • Hotel accommodation and meals unless specified in the itinerary.
  • Optional excursions and optional activity surcharges.
  • All items of a personal nature including but not limited to alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, wi-fi, email or phone charges.
Prices and Share Policy Prices quoted are per person in US$, based on twin-share. Single occupancy is 1.7 times the twin share price. No single travel fees apply if you are willing to share your cabin (triple & twin cabins only). Fuel surcharge may apply in the event of significant fuel price increases. No refund for unused services. Deposits Reservations require a deposit of $2500 per person 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. You will be invoiced at the appropriate time. Balance payments can be made by bank transfer or on request by major credit card, subject to a 2% surcharge. Cancellations All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. Cancellations made before 90 days of voyage departure are subject to a non-refundable deposit of $2500, however your deposit may be transferred towards a different voyage on board Polar Pioneer at a fee of $500. Transfers are subject to availability and are only valid on voyages that depart within 12 months from date of transfer. You must pay the difference between the original booked price and the price of any transferred booking including the new deposit amount. If cancellation occurs less than 90 days prior to departure, you will be required to pay for the full cost of the trip. 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 Aurora 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 along with a separate Booking Form.
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