Scoresby Sund, Aurora borealis: Ortelius

Greenland

Voyage to East Greenland, Scoresby Sund, where we may observe the Aurora Borealis. We cross the Arctic Circle and continue north, perhaps seeing whales. Spot our first icebergs as we approach the east coast of Greenland near Kap Brewster. There are about 50 bird species on the island such as Gyrfalcon, Snowy Owl, Barnacle and Pink-footed Goose. The autumn colours will be beautiful during the day time. At night, when there is open sky we may be able to admire the Aurora Borealis

  • See several bird species
  • Musk Oxen and other wildlife such as Arctic fox and Arctic Hare
  • Hike on the Greenland tundra
  • Kayaking accompanied by a kayak guide take off the beaten track
  • Scoresby Sund, the largest fjord system in the world
  • Ittoqqortoormiit with its colourful houses
  • Witness the Aurora borealis (Northern lights)

Stewart's Take

Greenland and its surrounding waters are home to an impressive array of wildlife.

Overview

Voyage to East Greenland, Scoresby Sund, where we may observe the Aurora Borealis. We cross the Arctic Circle and continue north, perhaps seeing whales. Spot our first icebergs as we approach the east coast of Greenland near Kap Brewster. There are about 50 bird species on the island such as Gyrfalcon, Snowy Owl, Barnacle and Pink-footed Goose. The autumn colours will be beautiful during the day time. At night, when there is open sky we may be able to admire the Aurora Borealis.
Day 1: Transfer from Reykjavik to Akureyri and embark. Transfer by bus from Reykjavik hotels in the morning to the ship in Akureyri, where we arrive in the afternoon after six hours drive through North Iceland. In the early evening we leave Iceland and sail north towards the Denmark Strait. Day 2: Sailing through the Denmark Strait. At sea, sailing north through the Denmark Strait. We are almost certain to see Fulmar, Kittiwake, Gannet and rafts of Common Guillemot. We cross the Arctic Circle and continue north, perhaps seeing whales. In the evening we will spot our first icebergs appear as we approach the east coast of Greenland near Kap Brewster. Day 3: Volquart Boons Coast In the morning we sail along the ragged and glaciated Volquart Boons Coast. Here we may organise a zodiac cruise along one of the glacier fronts of this coast, and have our first landing near a glacier, like Måne Glacier or in Vikingebugt. Later we land on Danmarksø where there are the remains of an Inuit settlement abandoned around 200 years ago. The circular ‘tent rings’ of stones indicate the summer houses, while the winter houses can be seen closer to a small cape. The sites are well preserved, allowing entrances and even bear-proof meat caches to be identified. There are also grave sites. In the evening we continue our sailing through the beautiful fjords to the west, choked with icebergs. Day 4: Cape Hofmann Halvø We go ashore at Cape Hofmann Halvø, a reliable spot for viewing Musk Oxen. We may also spot Rock Ptarmigan and at sea Great Northern Diver. The landscape here is particularly beautiful, especially during autumn when the Dwarf Willow and Dwarf Birch change colour. Arctic Blueberry and Crowberry add their own colourful touch - the berries are tasty too! In the evening we sail through the fjord towards Scoresby Land enjoying the contrast between the warm autumnal colours of the vegetation on shore, backed by huge dark mountains, and the cold blue of the icebergs. Day 5: Sydkap in Scoresby Land On our way to Sydkap in Scoresby Land in the morning, we encounter huge icebergs, some over 100 m high and more than a kilometre in length. Most of the bergs are grounded as the fjord is only about 400 m deep here. We land near Sydkap to view the remains of the Thule culture winter houses. As many as 20 people lived in these tiny houses, hunting Greenland Whale and using their vertebrae to build the houses. Day 6: South coast of Jameson Land In the morning we land at a lagoon at the south coast of Jameson Land, an area with waders and geese collecting for the autumn migration. The landscape here is gently undulating. Musk Oxen and Collared Lemming - survive on the meagre vegetation. In the afternoon we visit Ittoqqortoormiit, the biggest settlement near Scoresby Sund with about 400 inhabitants. At the post office you can buy stamps for your postcards, or just wander around to see the sledge dogs and the drying skins of seals, Musk Oxen and Polar Bear. Day 7: Aurora borealis (Northern Lights). The whole day at sea offers excellent opportunities to see large whales and seabird migration and, at night the Aurora borealis (Northern Lights). Day 8: Akureyri - disembark Arrive at Akureyri, and transfer by chartered bus to hotels in Reykjavik. PLEASE NOTE: The itinerary is for guidance only. Program may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions and in order to take advantage of opportunities to see wildlife. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.

Expedition Vessel: M/V Ortelius

The ice-strengthened vessel Ortelius is an excellent vessel for Polar expedition cruises in the Arctic and Antarctica, providing possibilities to adventure in remote locations such as the Ross Sea and Franz Josef Land. Ortelius was built in Gdynia, Poland in 1989, was named Marina Svetaeva, and served as a special purpose vessel for the Russian Academy of Science. The vessel is now re-flagged and renamed Ortelius. She offers a comfortable hotel standard, with two restaurants, a bar/lecture room and a sauna. Her voyages are primarily developed to offer our passengers a quality exploratory wildlife program, trying to spend as much time ashore as possible. As the number of passengers is limited to approximately 106, flexibility assures maximum wildlife opportunities.

For full information about this vessel click here:

Included
  • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary.
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snow shoes on Plancius and Ortelius
  • Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
  • AECO fees and governmental taxes.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.
Excluded
  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights.
  • Pre- and post land arrangements.
  • Transfers to / from the vessel outside Spitsbergen.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Meals ashore.
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).
  • Possible fuel surcharges; It is agreed that if world fuel prices will reach or exceed US Dollar 120 per Barrel Brent, 90 days prior to departure Oceanwide Expeditions reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of US $ 25 per passenger per night for bookings outside Europe and EURO 18 per passenger per night for bookings within Europe, to be paid by the contracting party of Oceanwide Expeditions.
Deposits - Reservations require a deposit of 20% 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 60 days of departure require full payment. Final Payments - Balances are due 60 days prior to departure. Cancellations - All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. Cancellations received 90 days or more prior to departure, are refunded less a fee of 20 % of the total price. If cancellation is received between 89 days and 60 days prior to departure, are refunded less a fee of 50 % of the total price. If cancellation occurs less than 59 days up to and including the day of departure: 100 % of the total price. If full payment has not yet been received, the full penalty will still apply and any unpaid balance is due immediately. 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 Oceanwide 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. Possible fuel surcharges; It is agreed that if world fuel prices will reach or exceed US Dollar 120 (for season 2013-2014) 90 days prior to departure, the ship operator Oceanwide Expeditions reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of US $ 25 per passenger per night for bookings outside Europe and EURO 18 per passenger per night for bookings within Europe, to be paid by the contracting party of Oceanwide Expeditions.
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