Arrive in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of the Spitsbergen archipelago of which West Spitsbergen is the largest island. Before embarking there is an opportunity to stroll around this former mining town, whose parish church and Polar Museum are well worth visiting. In the early evening the ship will sail out of Isfjorden.
We sail into Raudfjord on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, a beautiful fjord with spectacular glaciers. It is home to Ringed and Bearded Seals, seabird colonies and surprisingly rich vegetation. We have a good chance to see Polar Bears near Hamilton Glacier, or more to the head of the fjord. From there we continue to Moffen Island on which Walruses haul out.
At sea, on our way to Greenland, we may see the edge of the East Greenland sea-ice. We will keep watch for whales, and also for migrating seabirds.
Approaching Greenland we will attempt to sail through the sea ice into Foster Bugt, making our first landing at Myggebugten. Beyond the old hunters’ hut (in the first half of last century Norwegian trappers hunted here for Polar Bears and Arctic Foxes) there is an extensive tundra populated by Musk Oxen. The small lakes are home to geese. We will sail through Kaiser Franz Joseph Fjord, a magnificent fjord with towering mountains on both sides; its inner reaches choked with huge icebergs. An alternative is Sofia Sund, which is much narrower, and where we can see Musk Oxen from the ship.
We will land at Blomster Bugt to view the beautiful geological formations. Arctic Hares are usually seen here, and there is a lake with Great Northern Divers and their young. In the afternoon we will sail along Teufelschloss and Ella Ø and may land at a beautiful spot in the early evening.
In the morning we enter Segelsällskapets Fjord with the beautiful Berzelius Mountains on the north side. We will land on the south side of the fjord in an astounding place where the ancient sedimentary geology is literally at your feet. A hike will take us near a small lake with good chances to see Muskoxen, Arctic hare, and Ptarmigan. In the afternoon the ship will venture into Alpe Fjord, which is as spectacular as the name implies. We may embark on a long Zodiac cruise around the Gully Glacier which once blocked the access to the interior of the fjord and venture deep inside to the very end. Adventure at its finest!
The first half of the day we will spend in Antarctica Havn, a wide and extensive valley where we may see groups of Musk Oxen. At this time of year, the autumnal colours of the sparse vegetation make the landscapes even more beautiful
Today we will reach the Scoresby Sund, and sail in the morning along the ragged and glaciated Volquart Boons. Here we may organise a zodiac cruise along one of the glacier fronts of this coast, and have our first landing near for instance Maane Glacier. Later we will land on Danmark Ø, where we will find 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 excellently preserved, allowing entrances and even bear-proof meat caches to be identified. There are also grave sites. In the evening, we will continue our sailing through the beautiful fjords to the west, choked with ice-bergs.
The goal is a zodiac cruise near Røde Ø, one of the world’s most cherished iceberg attractions: The austere blue-white of the icebergs sets sharp against the brooding red backdrop of the sediment slopes. The afternoon plan is to sail through the northern parts of Røde Fjord, with the chance to see musk oxen and warm autumnal foliage
In the morning you encounter colossal icebergs, some over 100 meters (328 feet) high and more than a kilometer (.62 mile) long. Most of them are grounded, as the fjord is only about 400 meters deep (1,312 feet). You then land near Sydkap, with fine views of Hall Bredning and a good shot of seeing Arctic hares.
In the morning we will land at Ittoqqortoormiit, the biggest settlement in the Scoresby Sund with about 500 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 Seal, Musk Ox and Polar Bear. After dinner we will sail south passing the amazing landscape of the Blosseville Coast.
We will spend the whole day at sea, and have splendid opportunities to see large whales and seabird migration and, in the night, the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).
In the morning we will arrive in Akureyri, and you will be transferred by chartered bus (6 hours drive) through North Iceland to your hotel in Reykjavik.