This voyage offers a complete Arctic experience: tundra walks amidst plentiful wildlife and exquisite dwarf vegetation, Zodiac cruises near calving glacier fronts, hikes to breathtaking mountain vistas and warm welcomes into indigenous communities. We may see reindeer, Arctic fox, musk ox, countless sea and land birds, walrus, seals, whales and polar bears. There is something for everyone, whether you’re an active adventurer or have come to relax.
Day 1 – Longyearbyen
Day 2 – 3 – Monacobreen
Day 4 – 5 – Greenland Sea
Day 6 – 8 – Kong Oskar Fjord
Day 9 – 11 – Røde Island
Day 12 – Blosseville Coast / Rømer Fjord
Day 13 – Denmark Strait
Day 14 – Reykjavik
Polar Pioneer Ship – Polar Pioneer is a small and sturdy expedition ship. A regular in polar waters having initially been built in 1982 as an icestrengthened research vessel, she was refurbished in 2000 to provide a comfortable range of triple, twin and suite cabin options for a maximum of 54 expeditioners. Her excellent reputation for polar expedition cruising is due to her strength, maneuverability and size, allowing her to access areas where larger vessels simply can’t reach.
Days 2 – 3 – Spitsbergen’s northwest coast features calving icebergs, historic whaling stations and trappers’ camps. Brunnich’s guillemots, little auks and kittiwakes nest in their thousands. Reindeer roam tundra dotted with wildflowers like saxifrage, moss campion and bell-heather. Zodiac to gain fantastic views of ice cliffs, including Monacobreen, one of Spitsbergen’s largest glaciers. In the north, we look for walrus and possibly polar bears – on the pack ice.
Days 4 – 5 – Crossing the Greenland Sea, our expert naturalists and guest lecturers entertain us with fascinating talks on plants, animals and early explorers like Nansen, Andrée and Scoresby. Relax and prepare for a landing, if conditions permit, on Greenland’s northeast coast, home to polar bear, Arctic hare and musk ox.
Days 6 – 8 – An ice cap covers 81 per cent of Greenland and pack ice, even in summer, may fill northern bays. Ashore, cosy trappers’ huts beckon from across the tundra, where musk ox, Arctic hare and eider ducks roam in Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord. Lively cascades at Kap Humboldt provide a microclimate for spectacular hanging gardens. Kong Oskar Fjord offers spectacular glacier-carved mountains.
Days 9 – 11 – In Scoresbysund, the world’s biggest fjord system, massive glaciers calve explosively, creating giant icebergs. Near Røde Island, our Zodiacs weave through a maze of grounded icebergs, some more than 30-metres high, sculpted with deep green tunnels and aquamarine lakes. Enjoy a warm Ittoqqortoormiit welcome from Inuit happy to share their culture. Our kayakers find ideal paddling conditions, wending their way through interconnected waterways, watching for polar bears and narwhals.
Day 12 – Sail south along the Blosseville Coast, search for musk ox and narwhals and marvel at the mountain scenery that dominates the skyline. If weather permits, we head for Rømer Fjord, a deep waterway with stunning mountain views.
Tundra in flower
Historic whaling stations
Guillemots, little auks
Vast, calving glaciers
Inuit welcome and culture
Longyearbyen – Longyearbyen is the largest settlement and the administrative center of Svalbard, Norway.
Monacobreen – Monacobreen is a glacier in Haakon VII Land on Spitsbergen, Svalbard. The glacier debouches into Liefdefjorden. Former names of the glacier include Glacier de Monaco and Liefde Bay-bræ.
Greenland Sea – The Greenland Sea is a body of water that borders Greenland to the west, the Svalbard archipelago to the east, Fram Strait and the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Norwegian Sea and Iceland to the south.
Kong Oskar Fjord – King Oscar Fjord is a fjord in East Greenland, marking the northern border of the peninsula Scoresby Land. It is a major fjord, 10–25 km wide, bounded by Traill Island and Geographical Society Island.
Denmark Strait – The Danish straits are the three channels connecting the Baltic Sea to the North Sea through the Kattegat and Skagerrak. They transect Denmark, and are not to be confused with the Denmark Strait between Greenland and Iceland. The three main passages are: Great Belt; Little Belt; Oresund.
Reykjavik – Reykjavík is the capital and largest city of Iceland. Its latitude, at 64°08′ N, makes it the world’s northernmost capital of a sovereign state. It is located in southwestern Iceland, on the southern shore of the Faxaflói Bay.