Voyage across the Arctic Circle via the Svalbard Archipelago and north-east Greenland
Natural splendour, bountiful wildlife and a pioneering spirit all coalesce in the High Arctic, a region once reserved for only the hardiest of travellers but now open to anyone with a real yearning for adventure. Starting out from the isolated Spitsbergen outpost of Longyearbyen, this expedition heads down through the Arctic Circle, taking in the islands of the Svalbard Archipelago, the north-east coast of Greenland and the journey over the Denmark Strait to Iceland. Following in the proverbial wake of explorers past, you'll be treated to stunning sceneries of vast glacial walls, sprawling fjord systems and icebergs the size of skyscrapers. Time spent on the ship will include educational presentations on tales of polar exploration and seabird identification, while there'll be plenty of opportunities for spotting the region's famed wildlife during Zodiac excursions. This voyage across the Arctic Circle allows travellers to experience three different countries of the Arctic in a relatively short space of time.
- Longyearbyen, Svalbard and Jan Mayen
- Reykjavik, Iceland
- Greenland, Iceland, Norway
- Physical rating
- Min 8
- Group size
- Min 1, Max 83
Why we love this trip
The sheer abundance of birds - kittiwakes, Arctic terns, ivory gulls and skuas and more - in Spitsbergen's skies
Discovering the weathered ruins of an ancient Thule settlement in Eastern Greenland
Cruising through freshly birthed icebergs in Scoresbysund
The wildlife of the Svalbard Islands, including walrus, reindeer, musk ox and polar bears
POSSIBLE LANDING SITES IN SVALBARD
This cliff is a seabird center, where Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres) raise their young. An estimated
100,000 breeding pairs reside in the basalt cliffs. The birds do not build nests, rather they lay an egg on the bare ledge.
In 1906, His Serene Highness Prince Albert I of Monaco
visited Lilliehöök Glacier to conduct scientific investigations. His great-great-grandson visited the glacier 100 years later. He, too, was part of a scientific investigation, this time to further our understanding of the arctic clam, a species that lives for more than a century. The growth rings of a single clam’s shell contain evidence of the chemicals encountered by the clam. Scientists can determine the variations of the water’s temperature and pollutant content by studying
Eighteen hundred people inhabit the administrative capital of Svalbard, which is situated on the shore of Isfjorden. The settlement was founded in 1905 by John Munroe Longyear, the majority owner of the Arctic Coal Company of Boston.
HSH Prince Albert I of Monaco, a pioneer of oceanography, led an expedition to Svalbard in 1906. His team used sophisticated photographic techniques to understand the shape and position of several glacier fronts. Monaco Glacier honors the expedition, the prince and the principality over which he reigned.
The following Optional Activities are available to participate in, on some or all of the departures of this itinerary. These must be booked in advance (additional costs apply) and space is limited.
KAYAKING – Our kayaking adventures are the best way to feel at one with the sea. Taken in small groups of maximum 16 people, multiple times per voyage, kayaking adventures are only conducted during calm weather conditions. Kayaking is open to all levels of experience, however kayaking in the polar waters is not suitable for novice kayakers. Beginners interested in kayaking should first take an introductory course prior to the voyage which includes how to do a wet exit. In addition regardless of your experience, we recommend you take part in some kayaking practise prior to the voyage to ensure that you are comfortable on the water in the icy conditions.
INCLUDED OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES offered on some or all departures of this itinerary
HIKING - Hiking is a great way to appreciate the immense windswept landscapes of the Arctic. The tundra comes alive during the brief arctic summer, with bursts of color from shrubs and plants that eke out a living in this polar environment. You’ll find each hike is different - exploring communities, shorelines or glaciated landscapes, often on the lookout for wildlife. Hiking participation is optional and your Expedition Team will advise you of what levels of activity you can expect prior to each excursion.
- Breakfast (4)
- Lunch (4)
- Dinner (4)
- Breakfast (2)
- Lunch (2)
- Dinner (2)
POSSIBLE LANDING SITES IN EAST GREENLAND
The Red Fjord, or Rypefjord, is named for the colorful sandstone located on its western side. The stone has been ‘stained’ red by hematite, creating an oddity in this part of Greenland.
Revered by many as the most beautiful fjord system in the world, Scoresbysund is definitely the longest and largest. The sound was named after William Scoresby, a whaler, scientist and man of the cloth, who was famed for mapping more than 400 miles (640 km) of Greenland coastline.
Discovered in 2005, this small island is called a ‘warming island’ as it was uncovered as the result of climate change and the melting of ice.
CAPE HOFMANN HALVØ
This is often the best location for getting close to musk oxen. The Cape is also home to wheatears and snow buntings, while you may likewise spot rock ptarmigans or northern divers while at sea.
Near Fohn Fjord, some of the most stunning icebergs are to be encountered before taking a hike across Denmark Island, which offers stupendous views of the Scoresbysund and FØn Fjord below.
- Breakfast (5)
- Lunch (5)
- Dinner (5)
Meals13 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 13 dinners
TransportExpedition cruise ship, Zodiac
Dates & availability
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Arctic and Antarctic bookings have an increased deposit requirement of A$2000pp ($6000pp on Icebreaker voyages). The balance is due 90 days before departure.
If a booking is cancelled 90 days or more before departure - the cancellation fee is the full loss of the deposit paid.
If a booking is cancelled between 89 days and departure - the cancellation fee is 100% of the total price of the voyage.
Other fees may apply for air tickets and other arrangements booked in conjunction with a Polar voyage.
Kayaking is available to book on all Arctic voyages (except the North Pole). This must be booked prior to departure and incurs an additional cost. Spaces are limited so please enquire at time of booking. To participate in kayaking, previous, recent experience is essential. In addition, there are other included optional activities offered on some voyages such as snow shoeing and hiking. These activities do not need to be booked in advance and no additional cost applies.
Your voyage is operated by our sister company, Quark Expeditions. All accommodation and transfer arrangements as listed in the itinerary are also operated by Quark Expeditions or their local representatives.