Abundant wildlife in Svalbard and stunning scenery in East Greenland combine to create a complete Arctic experience.
This comprehensive voyage starts in Longyearbyen in the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and finishes in Reykjavík, Iceland. In Svalbard we experience the stark beauty of Spitsbergen’s mountainous northwestern coast while searching for polar bears, marine mammals, and other quintessential Arctic wildlife.
We continue to East Greenland for a rare opportunity to explore part of the vast and unspoiled Northeast Greenland National Park. Then, in stunning Scoresby Sund, we discover incredible scenery, enormous icebergs, historical sites, a modern Inuit village, and a wonderful setting for northern lights.
This itinerary includes a night at and Oslo Airport Hotel and the flight on day 2 to Longyearbyen for embarkation
Welcome to Oslo, which in 2019 was awarded the prestigious title “Green Capital of Europe”. We’ve arranged a comfortable stay for you at an Oslo Airport hotel so that you’re conveniently close for your flight to Longyearbyen on Day 2.
If you’re adventurous and have the time, take the handy airport train into central Oslo – it’s a 20-minute ride and trains depart and arrive frequently during the day. Near Oslo Central Station are shops, cafes, the Botanical Garden, cultural attractions and the attractive waterfront area.
Today you have a flight to Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Svalbard and starting point of our Arctic expedition! At the Longyearbyen airport, you will be greeted by our staff and transferred to the pier where we will warmly welcome you aboard the deluxe expedition vessel M/V Sea Spirit. Get settled in your spacious suite and explore the ship that will be your comfortable home during the extraordinary adventure to come. Once underway, a full schedule of events kicks off with informative briefings and introductions from your expedition staff. After the first of many delicious dinners on board, step out onto the open decks to admire the gorgeous scenery in endless evening light as we pass through the wildlife-rich waters of Isfjorden, one of the largest fjords in Svalbard.
Svalbard is a true High Arctic wilderness and flexibility will be the key in our ability to maximize
your experiences. Our route and exploration opportunities here are heavily dependent on the
weather and sea ice conditions we encounter. Our experienced captain and expedition leader decide
the itinerary and continually adjust plans as conditions and opportunities warrant. You can be
sure that the best possible advantage will be taken of the circumstances presented to us by Nature in
this wild and remote corner of the Arctic. We anticipate exploring in the northwestern part of the island of Spitsbergen. This area contains the archipelago’s most impressive scenery and some of the Arctic’s best wildlife viewing. We will try to reach the entrance of the Hinlopen Strait and see the beautiful fjords.
Jagged snowy mountain peaks flank deep fjords and narrow channels. Immense tidewater glaciers calve icebergs into turquoise waters. Fields of flowering tundra are home to grazing reindeer and playful Arctic fox. Bountiful inshore and offshore waters are home to a wide variety of marine mammals. Polar bears can be spotted anytime, anywhere in and around Svalbard.
Also in this area is Ny Ålesund, a former mining town that is now home to an international community of Arctic researchers, complete with museum, gift shop, and post office. This was also a staging area for
historic attempts to discover the North Pole.
From Svalbard we head southwest across the Greenland Sea toward East Greenland. In these far
northern latitudes, it is possible to encounter sea ice any time of the year. All along the way, we
remain vigilant for sightings of marine mammals such as seals, and the majestic polar bear. In
previous eras, a large number of different species of whales, especially bowhead whales, lived in the
Greenland Sea. But due to hunting which lasted into the 20th centur, the whales were on the verge
of extinction. Now, fortunately, the populations are recovering, and sometimes we can see these majestic animals passing by.
This is expedition cruising at its most authentic.
Our itinerary and exploration opportunities in East Greenland are dependent on weather and sea ice
conditions. Again you can be sure that our experienced captain and expedition leader will take
advantage of every opportunity to experience excellent wildlife viewing, to discover incredible
scenery, and to go ashore wherever possible.
The Franz Josef Fjord and Kong Oscar Fjord systems are part of Northeast Greenland National
Park, the world’s largest national park. Scoresby Sund is the largest and longest fjord system in the
world. We anticipate exploring these fjord systems to the extent made possible by ever-changing ice
This whole area contains some of the Arctic’s most impressive scenery. Deep fjords and narrow channels, flanked by ice-clad peaks up to 2000 meters high, reach far into the mountainous heart of Greenland.
Tidewater glaciers create colossal icebergs that float with wind and tide throughout the fjord system. On shore, fields of multicolored tundra are home to musk oxen and Arctic hare. The landscape—vast, open, and seemingly untouched since the beginning of time—is a hikers’ paradise. Throughout this area we also find ancient Thule archeological sites, historical trappers’ huts, and modern Inuit hunters’ cabins.
The Inuit village of Ittoqqortoormiit is the only permanent settlement in the region. The community boasts an excellent museum, a gift shop, a post office, an abundance of Greenlandic sled dogs, and of course the opportunity to meet Inuit people.
The days are filled with memorable excursions, sumptuous meals, presentations by our experts, and
enough stunning scenery to fill your camera and overwhelm your emotions. Each night brings new
possibilities for incredible displays of aurora borealis—the Northern Lights. This is the perfect time and
one of the world’s best places to experience this otherworldly celestial phenomenon.
After our amazing time in East Greenland we cross Denmark Strait toward Iceland, crossing the Arctic
Circle on the way. Presentations and workshops by our expert staff, as well as our range of onboard
recreation facilities, ensure that this day at sea is not idly spent. Seabird viewing and whale sightings
can be enjoyed from panoramic open decks as well as exterior stateroom windows and balconies.
Our last expedition day is spent in the beautiful Vestfirðir (Westfjords) of Iceland. This remote and
sparsely populated region of crenulated coastlines, voluminous waterfalls and rugged mountains sees
only 10% of Iceland’s visitors. Deep fjords are home to whales while estuaries abound with seals and
After breakfast we say farewell in Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland and ending point of our expedition. We provide a transfer to the airport or to the city center if you wish to spend another day or more in Iceland before flying home.
Reykjavík is home to a wealth of cultural institutions such as museums, galleries, and the Hallgrímskirkja church. Leisure possibilities inside the city include parks, gardens, and thermal baths. You can also take advantage of Reykjavík’s wide range of shopping possibilities, excellent dining options, and famous nightlife. And of course the entire country of Iceland is accessible through day tours or longer journeys by rental car. The options for additional adventures are endless!
This expedition includes:
This expedition excludes: