Embark on a voyage to Svalbard, scanning for whales, the majestic polar bear and enigmatic walrus on pack ice. East Greenland dazzles with its iridescent icebergs and deep exploration in Scoresbysund - the world's largest fjord system. Witness spectacularly colourful patterns in the sandstone rocks, visit remarkable Palaeolithic sites and have the chance to encounter musk oxen and arctic hare.
past Spitsbergen's narrow sheltered waterways and fjords
close to 80° north looking for polar bears on the pack ice
to the orchestra of Greenland's famous ice singing as it pops, hisses,
cracks and calves
in a variety of diverse terrain: ice caps, polar desert, alpine ranges,
and hike through colourful tundra
DATES / RATES
Rates are listed per person
Jul 01, 2023
Jul 24, 2023
Jul 20, 2024
Aug 12, 2024
Rates are listed per person
Jul 01, 2023
Jul 24, 2023
Jul 20, 2024
Aug 12, 2024
1 Reykjavik, embark Greg Mortimer Please
make your way to Fosshotel Reykjavik, located in Borgatun district, by
10.00 am, to allow us to gather your luggage and transport it to the
vessel prior to embarkation. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure, make
your own way to Reykjavik pier by 4.00 pm for embarkation. A group
transfer to the pier will also be available from Fosshotel Reykjavik,
commencing at 3.30, if you require the service. Please inform your
travel agent or Aurora Expeditions if you wish to use the group
transfer. Once aboard, you’ll have time to settle into your
cabin before our important briefings.
2 Denmark Strait In
the Denmark Strait, we cruise towards Greenland. We will be on the
lookout for whale blows and the many seabirds that trail our ship in
the constant winds. In our lecture theatre, enjoy informative and
entertaining presentations from our experts on topics such as seabirds,
wildlife, and ice, or catch up on some rest after busy days of travel.
3-9 East Greenland As
we approach East Greenland, we may encounter more pack ice where we may
see seals and a variety of seabirds, including northern fulmar and
migratory Brunnichs guillemots. This stretch of coastline is ripe for
exploration, with its many secrets locked in place by drift ice for up
to eight months each year.
experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this
area, will use their expertise to design our voyage from day to day.
This allows us to make best use of the prevailing weather, ice
conditions and wildlife opportunities. We will generally make up to two
landings or Zodiac excursions per day; cruising along spectacular ice
cliffs, following whales that are feeding near the surface.
the coming days, be prepared to experience ice, 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 up to 2,000
m / 6,562 ft high. Glaciers create gigantic icebergs that drift
throughout the fjord system creating breath-taking scenes. The
landscape is filled with multi-coloured tundra home to musk oxen and
Arctic hare. Throughout the area are ancient Thule archaeological
sites, historical trappers' huts, and modern Inuit hunters' cabins. 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 boasts an excellent
museum, gift shop, an abundance of Greenlandic sled dogs, and the
opportunity to meet Inuit people.
Scoresbysund, the largest fjord system in the world – a
spectacular place that simply needs to be seen to be believed. North of
Scoresbysund are, Kong Oscar and Kaizer Franz Josef fjords, two of the
most significant fjord systems in all of Greenland, each one
encompassing several smaller fjords and sounds. Thanks to the fertile
volcanic soil mountains that protects areas from the strong winds, the
area is rich in wildlife. You may spot everything from muskox and
arctic foxes to mountain hares and even reindeer near the fjord. Look
skyward and you could catch a glimpse of birds including glaucous gull,
black-legged kittiwake, northern fulmar, common raven and common eider.
will attempt to enter Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord, a remote and rarely
visited fjord system with countless opportunities for exploration
within the Northeast Greenland National Park. Cruising through Kong
Oskar Fjord we will marvel at the geological beauty of the mountains.
We will then head south along the coast of Liverpool Land, with our
passage dependent on ice conditions. We aim to reach Scoresbysund, the
world’s biggest fjord and a favourite hunting ground of the
local Inuit. Massive glaciers dump into this fjord, the birthplace of
the famous big Greenland icebergs.
plan to visit the remote Inuit community of Ittoqqortoormiit (Scoresby
Town) and to hike across the tundra in search of ancient graveyards and
summer villages occupied 3,000 years ago by Eskimos. This area provides
excellent opportunities for sea kayaking in its maze of calm,
interconnecting waterways. We may see musk oxen, arctic hare and seals,
and maybe if we are extremely lucky even a polar bear or narwhal,
although due to the local hunting traditions, these sightings are often
we may land along the east coast include: Cape
Humboldt is a beautiful bay on Ymer Island. There is a
good chance to
take a tundra walk and see musk oxen graze. We will also keep a lookout
for Arctic fox and ptarmigan. A lone trapper's hut looks over the bay
and magnificent icebergs.
Glacier adorns the narrow-peaked waterway in Alpefjord.
cruising and kayaking in this pretty area, where colourful Arctic flora
adorns the tundra ground.
is Scoresbysund’s colourful Inuit community of approximately
500 people. Here you can explore the village, the fascinating museum or
sit in the beautiful Lutheran Church. The locals are friendly and from
underneath their Arctic fox-fur jackets, the shy young children are
keen to say hello and practice their English.
in Scoresbysund offers good walking and delightful views across the
sound. Kayakers will have good opportunities to explore the lonely
beaches. We may explore the ancient gravesites on the island, or the
lakes with green tunnels and giant icebergs offer hours of enjoyment
for kayak and Zodiac rides.
Fjord with its narrow channels and towering peaks is simply stunning,
and lies roughly 167 km / 104 mi south of Scoresbysund. There are great
hiking options in the fjord where flowering tundra plants, scattered
bones of whales and muskox from centuries of hunting by the Inuit, and
fumaroles can be found. These are areas where heated groundwater boil
to the surface creating bubbling pools and mineral formations as the
water reacts with the atmosphere.
Ø Island is a glorious place for Zodiac cruising, hiking and
kayaking, with its rich red Devonian sandstone geology. Discover the
impressive mafic dyke that runs through the east side of Rode
Ø. Glaucous gulls find perfect perches and nesting sites
along the top of the basalt extrusions. Kayak along the maze of
icebergs - pillars and arches, caves and peaks that look as though an
artist had sculpted them.
scenery here is breathtaking. Walk across the tundra alongside a ravine
or Zodiac cruise where you might find musk ox, along with flitting
shore birds, seals and a variety of colours in the lush Arctic tundra.
Kayakers can enjoy sublime paddling in one of the most remote fjords in
the world. Nearby is the spectacular and impressive Ø Fjord,
a perfect place for small ship cruising.
mountains rising 1,200 m / 3,937 ft straight out of the water
wasn’t enough, how about the fjord itself, descending to
1,500 metres? There are also countless icebergs pouring out of the
Daugård-Gensen Glacier. A great place for kayaking and Zodiac
cruising with plenty of gorgeous bergs while the glacier itself,
seemingly small from a distance, proved to be a formidable river of ice
snaking down the valley.
one can state the exact age of the neo-Eskimo site at Eskimobugt, but
it may only be a few hundred years old. Subterranean winter houses
designed with a tunnel that faces the sea where occupants would crawl
through to the stand-up living chamber; at the opposite end is the
sleeping platform. The walls were erected with carefully laid stones
while the roof structure would be built from whatever material was
available - driftwood, walrus bone, and available skin covering. Fire
hearths were created by laying rocks in a circle with a bed of white
quartzite stones. Learn from our historian about the incredible
resourcefulness of the Inuit people whose men travelled formidable
distances by kayak to hunt, and whose women crafted sophisticated
garments from animal skins and fur – a people for whom
survival in such extremes was paramount. Hiking here offers panoramic
views, sightings musk ox and, occasionally Arctic hare.
some of the most striking sedimentary sandstone, shale and siltstone
formations imaginable. The alternating colours and patterns in the
layers of rocks defied belief, and the layers of sediment here are
estimated to have taken about 4,000 years to be laid down. You can also
find the remains of a simple but highly effective wooden fox trap in
use by Norwegian trappers in both Greenland and Svalbard from the early
1900s to 1960s. Skippendalen is also a marvellous place to hike and
paddle in kayaks.
possible landing points in the area include:
glacier & Blomsterbugten
10-11 Greenland Sea We
head out to sea bound for Spitsbergen. As we cruise northeast across
the Greenland Sea – the main outlet of the Arctic Ocean
– we may encounter pack ice, and if we’re lucky we
will see polar bears hunting on the ice. The strong icy sea currents
have isolated East Greenland from the rest of the world for millennia.
These currents carry nutrients 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 vanishes with the onset of the midday sun. Our experts will inform
and entertain us with fascinating talks on plants, animals and early
explorers like Nansen, Andree and Scoresby.
12-22 Svalbard Archipelago Svalbard
offers unspoiled, raw arctic wilderness at its best. With majestic
mountains of jagged peaks, iridescent sea ice, countless glaciers and
superb wildlife-viewing opportunities. Our experienced expedition team,
who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise
to design our voyage from day to day, choosing the best options based
on the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities.
along phenomenal fjords stretching towards magnificent mountain ranges,
discover a polar desert with creamy coloured slabs of rock, rich in
fossils, hear heroic tales of early explorers contrasted with visits to
cultural remains from the time of European whaling mainly Russian and
Norwegian, witness walrus colonies hauled-out on sea ice or on beaches.
While ashore we aim to stretch our legs, hiking on lush tundra where
brightly-coloured summer wildflowers and lichen grow, and where
reindeer graze, observe the towering cliffs alive with nesting sea
birds, including Svalbard’s largest little auk colony.
Without a doubt, our goal is to encounter the majestic polar bear on
pack ice, and the expedition team are just as keen as you to find
them— they are on constant watch to spot these dazzling
you have chosen an optional activity such as kayaking, you’ll
have the option to enjoy the activity whenever conditions allow, and of
course keen polar plungers will have the chance to fully immerse
themselves in polar waters - conditions permitting!
23 Disembark Longyearbyen During
the early morning we cruise back into Longyearbyen. Farewell your
expedition team and enjoy a town tour, where you will visit Svalbard
Museum and Galleri Svalbard, and take in the main sights of
Longyearbyen including Office of the Governor, Svalbard Church, Nybyen
(new town), a few of the town’s mines such as Santa Claus
Mine, and a quick photo stop at the famous beware of polar bear street
sign. Afterwards, transfer to the airport for your onward journeys.
Capable of negotiating the strongest winds and waves, the Greg Mortimer is built to world-class polar standards. It is designed in close consultation with expedition specialists, taking advantage of Auroras more than 25 years of experience.
(Click image to view Ship details)
transfer to airport in Longyearbyen on Day 23
accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service
meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage
house wine and soft drinks with dinner
Welcome and Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house
cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages
shore excursions and Zodiac cruises
lectures and guiding services from expedition team
access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consult)
3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket
use of muck boots during the voyage
surcharges, permits and landing fees
or domestic flights, unless specified
not mentioned in the itinerary
arrival or departure taxes
visa, reciprocity and vaccination charges
insurance or emergency evacuation charges
and meals not included in itinerary
excursions not included in the itinerary
items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic
beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry
services, personal clothing, additional medical expenses such as
medication, gratuities, Wi-Fi, email or phone charges
Kayaking: USD 1,150
Climbing: USD 1,150
on wildlife, our environment, history and destinations: Free
and mammal spotting: Free
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DISCLAIMER:Rates are per person and subject to change.