Witness inspiring vistas of mountains, fjords and towering cliffs of the Westfjords.. Sail through the icebergs of Scoresbysund, arguably the most beautiful fjord system on the planet.. Explore the remains of ancient Thule settlements in Frederiksdal and Sydkap.. Keep an eye out for the Northern Lights in Ittoqqortoormiit.
An Arctic expedition through East Greenland and Iceland is the perfect opportunity to mix nature and culture. From the spectacular icebergs of Scoresbysund, often touted as the world’s most beautiful fjords in the world, to the largest bird cliff in Europe, which is cluttered with cute puffins and other seabirds, there’s something to satisfy every outdoors-y type. And then, the surprising culture and history of this remote region – from meeting the Inuit people and learning about their way of life to the quaint island of Flatey where you can visit a church sporting a mural of Jesus in a classic Icelandic sweater.
Breakfast Included: 13 Lunches Included: 11 Dinner Included: 11
Welcome to Iceland! Your Arctic voyage begins in Reykjavik Iceland’s artistic capital city. You can arrive in Reykjavik any time today and make your way to your included hotel. You will have the day to explore the city on your own so you may want to visit one of the many museums, cathedrals or galleries – or perhaps seek out one of Iceland’s famous hotdogs from a popular street stall.
After a free morning to continue exploring the city, you’ll make your way to your ship in the afternoon to board your vessel and begin your expedition. After you board the ship and set sail you’ll be able to enjoy a range of activities on board – but don’t forget to keep an eye out for Arctic animals in this wildlife-filled water.
Exploring the Westfjords
Spend today exploring the Westfjords (or Vestfjords as they’re known in Iceland), a lesser-visited haven for nature, bird and history lovers, where the land meets the sea in the most dramatic fashion. Discovering this rugged peninsula at the country’s remote northwestern tip offers awe-inspiring vistas of mountains, fjords and towering cliffs. If you’re lucky and conditions allow, we might cruise along Látrabjarg, Europe’s largest bird cliff, teeming with puffins, razorbills, guillemots and more. Another possible destination is the quaint island of Flatey, where a replica of Iceland’s largest medieval manuscript, Flateyjarbók, can be viewed in the library. The church here features murals symbolizing life on the island, including one of Jesus wearing a classic Icelandic sweater.
As you cruise north across the Denmark Strait, your Expedition Team will prepare you for the adventures that await. Learn about the storied history and politics of the Arctic, its fascinating wildlife, geology, ecology and climate, and the incredible sights you will soon explore. The team will also search for the seabirds soaring around your ship, as well as the whales that frequent the waters here.
Exploring Northeast Greenland
The next week will be spent voyaging around of Greenland’s remote northeast coast. Over the days, you’ll enjoy Zodiac cruises and shore visits to several locations. It’s worth keeping an eye out for grazing muskoxen, as 40 percent of the world’s muskoxen population lives in Northeast Greenland National Park. Sailing through spectacular Scoresbysund, the birthplace of many icebergs, you’ll immediately see why some say it’s the most beautiful fjord system on the planet. Sites such as Frederiksdal and Sydkap offer opportunities to explore the colourful tundra and the remains of ancient Thule settlements. At the entrance of the sound is East Greenland’s most northerly community, Ittoqqortoormiit, where you may spend time interacting with the Inuit people and learning about their way of life. You may also have a chance to see the northern lights here if the skies are clear. Deeper in the sound, Røde Øya offers a picturesque locale for admiring the beauty of sky-blue bergs set against striking red sandstone cliffs. Magnificent vistas also await at Kong Oscar Fjord, with possible landings at Ella Øya, renowned for its rugged cliffs and ice-choked waters, and flower-rich Botanikerbugt, on Ymer Øya.
POSSIBLE LANDINGS AND WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS:
Known as the Bay of Flowers,Blomsterbugten boasts a colorful and lush landscape that is quite different from other Arctic regions like Spitsbergen. Expect spectaular fall colors, with a possible hike to Noa Lake.
In Kong Oscar Fjord (King Oscar Fjord), this bay is home to a variety of flora. It is on the south coast of mountainous Ymer Oya (Ymer Island), part of Northeast Greenland National Park.
C. HOFMANN HALVØ
This can be a great location for viewing 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 stunning icebergs before hiking across Denmark Island, which offers stupendous views of Scoresbysund and Fønfjord below.
FREDERIKSDAL Exploring this valley system on foot may offer views of muskoxen, glaciers and ancient Thule remains.
HOLM BAY AND ELLA Ø (ELLA ISLAND)
Toward the northern end of Scoresby Land is Kong Oscar Fjord (King Oscar Fjord). Holm Bay is a common landing site here, offering panoramic views of the fjord and surrounding area. Within the fjord, and hence within Northeast Greenland National Park, lies Ella Ø (Ella Island). The Danish navy unit called Sirius Sledge Patrol trains here in summer. Muskoxen may also be spotted.
Around 500 people call this northern settlement home. Traditional hunting and fishing ways are alive and well here, as are the northern lights! This is known as one of the best places to have a chance of seeing the mysterious aurora borealis.
One of Scoresbysund’s many fjords, this deep fjord, which is also known as Island Fjord, is truly impressive, flanked by towering mountains and dotted with large icebergs.
Touring Røde Oya, or Red Island, rewards with stunning views of white and blue icebergs against a background of soaring red sandstone cliffs. The unexpected contrast makes for striking photos.
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 odd beauty in this part of Greenland.
Revered by many as the most beautiful fjord system in the world, Scoresby Sund is definitely the most extensive. The sound was named by William Scoresby Jr., a whaler, scientist and man of the cloth, who was famed for mapping more than 400 miles (640 km)of Greenland’s coastline.
As your Arctic adventure winds down, take in a presentation by your onboard experts, share your photos with fellow travellers, sip an icy cocktail in the bar or watch a movie— there are many activities during your time at sea. Your Expedition Team will also be on hand to answer any questions and point out wildlife.
Your journey comes to an end today in Reykjavik, where you’ll disembark from the ship. If you have booked post-expedition accommodation, you’ll be transferred to a central downtown location, otherwise you can make your way onward.