Your voyage will embark in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen.
Exploring Spitsbergen, the largest of the Norwegian-ruled Svalbard islands, rewards you with abundant wildlife and austere beauty. Here, you’ll visit spectacular glacier fronts and steep-walled fjords, with walrus, polar bears and Spitsbergen reindeer amongst your possible wildlife sightings. Birders will be thrilled to see arctic terns, skuas, long-tailed ducks, kittiwakes and ivory gulls. When conditions are right, you could sail within 10 degrees of the North Pole!
14TH OF JULY GLACIER
Named after France’s Bastille Day (the 14th of July), in honor of the arctic expeditions of Prince Albert I of Monaco, this large glacier is actually two smaller glaciers merged into one. Situated in Krossfjord, a bay on the northwest coast of Spitsbergen, the glacier is teeming with wildlife. Nesting atop the towering bird cliffs are purple sandpipers, common eiders, barnacle geese, arctic tern and Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres). Bearded and ringed seals also frequent the waters here.
In 1906, Prince Albert I of Monaco visited Lilliehöök Glacier to conduct scientific investigations. His great-great-grandson, Albert II, visited the glacier a hundred years later as 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 the shell.
Eighteen hundred people inhabit the administrative capital of Svalbard, which is situated on the southern side of Adventfjord. The settlement was founded in 1905 by John Munroe Longyear, the majority owner of the Arctic Coal Company of Boston.
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.
While sailing south through the historic Greenland Sea, your expedition team will teach you about the wildlife and history of Greenland, your next stop. On deck, you’ll learn to identify seabirds on the wing. Take in a lecture, share your photos, sip an icy cocktail in the bar or watch a movie—there are many things to do during your time at sea.
During your tour of Greenland’s remote eastern coast, you’ll enjoy Zodiac cruises and shore visits to several locations. Explore the remains of ancient Thule settlements and keep an eye out for grazing muskoxen—40 percent of the world’s population lives here. Finally, you will sail through spectacular Scoresby Sund, the birthplace of many icebergs and, some say, the most beautiful fjord system in the world.
C. HOFMANN HALVØ
This is often the best location for getting close to muskoxen. The peninsula is also home to wheatears and snow buntings, and you may spot rock ptarmigans or great northern divers while at sea.
Encounter some of the most stunning icebergs before hiking across Denmark Island, which offers stupendous views of Scoresby Sund and Fønfjord below.
The Red Fjord, or Rødefjord, 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, Scoresby Sund is definitely the longest and largest. The sound was named after William Scoresby Jr., a whaler, scientist and man of the cloth, who was famed for mapping more than 400miles (640 km) of Greenland’s coastline.
As we cruise south, the Denmark Strait is your pathway toward Iceland. Your expedition team will keep you informed and entertained with presentations about the history of exploration in the Arctic and the seabirds you’ll inevitably see soaring above your ship.
You’ll disembark in Akureyri, and transfer to your waiting charter flight to Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, at the end of your journey. If you have booked post-expedition accommodation, we provide a transfer to a central downtown location.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.
* Itinerary may be subject to change