Majestic scenery of Greenland

Spitsbergen & Northeast Greenland: Ortelius

Northeast Greenland and Svalbard

A voyage starting in Longyearbyen (Spitsbergen) sailing along the Northeast coast of Greenland and ending in Akureyri (Iceland). 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 Bear and Arctic Fox) there is an extensive tundra populated by Musk Oxen

  • Marvel at majestic scenery and glaciers
  • Explore the largest fjord system in the world
  • Admire the amazing colors of Greenland
  • Observe the Aurora Borealis
  • Observe Musk Ox and other land mammals
  • Hike on the Greenland tundra

Stewart's Take

Diverse and dramatic landscapes, colourful tundra populated by iconic musk ox and huge icebergs and glaciers are just some of the highlights of this expedition.

Overview

A voyage starting in Longyearbyen (Spitsbergen) sailing along the Northeast coast of Greenland and ending in Akureyri (Iceland). 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 Bear and Arctic Fox) there is an extensive tundra populated by Musk Oxen.
Day 1: Longyearbyen Arrive in Longyearbyen, on Spitsbergen, the administrative capital of the Spitsbergen archipelago of which West Spitsbergen is the largest island. Before embarking there is an opportunity to visit this former mining village. The Parish Church and the Polar Museum are well worth visiting. In the early evening the ship will sail out of Isfjorden. Day 2: Raudfjord We sail into Raudfjord on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, a beautiful fjord with spectacular glaciers. It is home to Ringed and Bearded Seal, seabird colonies and a surprisingly rich vegetation. We have good chances to see Polar Bear, for instance near Hamilton Glacier, or more to the head of the fjord. From there we continue to Moffen Island on which Walrus haul out. Days 4-5: North Spitsbergen Near the mouth of Liefdefjorden, we will go ashore for a walk on the tundra island of Andøya. Many common eider and Pink-footed Goose nest here, and the more rare King Eider may also be seen. Sailing into Liefdefjorden, we will cruise near the face of the impressive Monaco Glacier. The waters of the glacier front are a favourite feeding spot for thousands of Kittiwakes and occasionally Polar Bear are seen on the glacier. Today we will reach the northernmost islands of Svalbard: the Seven Islands north of Nordaustlandet. We attempt to land on Phippsøya which often have walrus hauled out on land. We will then try to find the pack ice to take in the spectacular surroundings and search for wildlife such as Polar bear and perhaps even the illusive Ross gull. We reach the area of 81 degrees north – just 540 nautical miles from the geographic North Pole. Days 5 & 6: At sea At sea, on our way to Greenland, we may see the edge of the East Greenland sea-ice. We keep watch for whales, and also for migrating seabirds. Day 7: Myggebugten 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 Bear and Arctic Fox) there is an extensive tundra populated by Musk Oxen. The small lakes are home to geese. We 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. Day 8: Blomster Bugt We will land at Blomster Bugt to view the beautiful geological formations. Arctic Hare are usually seen here, and there is a lake with Great Northern Diver and their young. In the afternoon we sail along Teufelschloss and Ella Ø and may land at a beautiful spot in the early evening. Day 9: Antarcticahavn The first half of the day we spend in Antarcticahavn, a wide and extensive valley where we also could see groups of Musk Oxen. At this time of year the autumnal colours of the sparse vegetation make the landscapes even more beautiful. Day 10: Scoresby Sund Today we reach the Scoresby Sund and sail in the morning along the ragged and glaciated Volquart Boons Kyst. Here we may organise a zodiac cruise along one of the glacier fronts of this coast, and have our first landing near for instance Måne Glacier. Later we land on Danmark,Ø where we 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 well preserved, allowing entrances and even bear-proof meat caches to be identified. There are also grave sites. In the evening we continue our sailing through the beautiful fjords to the west, choked with icebergs. Day 11: Cape Hofmann Halvø We go ashore at Cape Hofmann Halvø, a reliable spot for viewing Musk Oxen. We may also spot Rock Ptarmigan and Great Northern Diver at sea. The landscape here is particularly beautiful, especially during autumn when the Dwarf Willow and Dwarf Birch change colour. Arctic Blueberry and Crowberry add their own colourful touch - the berries are tasty too! In the evening we sail through the fjord towards Scoresby Land, enjoying the contrast between the warm autumnal colours of the vegetation on shore, backed by huge dark mountains, and the cold blue of the icebergs. Day 12: Northwest fjord in Scoresby Land In Northwest fjord in Scoresby Land in the morning, we encounter huge icebergs, some over 100m high and more than a kilometre in length. Most of the bergs are grounded as the fjord is only about 400m deep here. We land near Sydkap to view the remains of the Thule culture winter houses. As many as 20 people lived in these tiny houses, hunting Greenland Whale and using their vertebrae to build the houses. We may also land at Gurreholm on Jameson Land. The landscape here is gently undulating. Day 13: Ittoqqortoormiut In the morning we land at Ittoqqortoormiut, 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. Day 14: Aurora borealis (Northern Lights) We will spend the whole day at sea and we will have splendid opportunities to see large whales and seabird migration and, in the night, the Aurora borealis (Northern Lights). Day 15: Arrival and disembarkation in Akureyri In the morning we arrive in Akureyri and are taken by a chartered bus during a 6 hours’ drive through North Iceland to our hotels in Reykjavik. PLEASE NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions and in order to take advantage of opportunities to see wildlife. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. This itinerary is an indication of the destinations we visit and activities on offer. Throughout the expedition we may make changes to the itinerary as necessary to maximise your expeditionary experience. Allowances may be made for seasonal variations, weather, tidal conditions and any other event that may affect the operation of the vessel.

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Expedition Vessel: M/V Ortelius

The ice-strengthened vessel Ortelius is an excellent vessel for Polar expedition cruises in the Arctic and Antarctica, providing possibilities to adventure in remote locations such as the Ross Sea and Franz Josef Land. Ortelius was built in Gdynia, Poland in 1989, was named Marina Svetaeva, and served as a special purpose vessel for the Russian Academy of Science. The vessel is now re-flagged and renamed Ortelius. She offers a comfortable hotel standard, with two restaurants, a bar/lecture room and a sauna. Her voyages are primarily developed to offer our passengers a quality exploratory wildlife program, trying to spend as much time ashore as possible. As the number of passengers is limited to approximately 106, flexibility assures maximum wildlife opportunities.

For full information about this vessel click here:

Included
  • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary.
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snow shoes
  • Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on group flights to Longyearbyen and Akureyri to Reykjavik by coach (5 hours).
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
  • AECO fees and governmental taxes.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.
Excluded
  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights.
  • Pre- and post land arrangements.
  • Transfers to / from the vessel outside Spitsbergen.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Meals ashore.
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).
Deposits Reservations require a deposit of 20% at the time you receive a booking confirmation from Expeditions Online. A payment link will be sent to you and this may be paid by major credit card. Bookings within 60 days of departure require full payment. Final Payments Balances are due 60 days prior to departure. Cancellations All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. Cancellations received 90 days or more prior to departure, are refunded less a fee of 20 % of the total price. If cancellation is received between 89 days and 60 days prior to departure, are refunded less a fee of 50 % of the total price. If cancellation occurs less than 59 days up to and including the day of departure: 100 % of the total price. If full payment has not yet been received, the full penalty will still apply and any unpaid balance is due immediately. We strongly recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance. Booking Terms Please read carefully the General Booking Conditions for Expeditions Online. This voyage is operated by Oceanwide Expeditions and you additionally travel under their terms and conditions as the operator as well as of the Shipping Company/transport carrier. Details will be forwarded to you at the time of booking. Possible fuel surcharges It is agreed that if world fuel prices will reach or exceed US Dollar 120 per barrel Brent 90 days prior to departure, the ship operator Oceanwide Expeditions reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of US $ 25 / EURO 18 per passenger per night. Share policy If you are travelling alone and wish to share, you will be matched in a cabin with another travel companion of the same sex. (Not available for all categories - please check with us at the time of booking.) Sole occupancy is available at 1.7 times the share price.
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