PLEASE NOTE: This itinerary is for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites and opportunities to see wildlife. The final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.
Day 1: Arrival in Longyearbyen where we embark our vessel and sail out to Isfjorden.
After arriving in Longyearbyen, the ‘capital’ (actually the administrative centre) of Spitsbergen, you may wish to visit the Svalbard Museum which has an interesting collection on the history of Spitsbergen, the mining industry and polar exploration In the evening we sail, setting course for Trygghamna where we will see the remains of a 17th century English whaling station and an 18th century Pomor hunting station, which we will visit the next morning.
Day 2: From Trygghamna we walk to Alkhornet
From Trygghamna we walk to Alkhornet a large seabird cliff, where the birds are prospecting their breeding places. Below the cliffs is a den of Arctic Fox, and Reindeer graze on the lush vegetation. In Forlandsundet we visit a haul out place of Walrus at Poolepynten if sea conditions allows, or at Sarstangen.
Day 3: Svitjodbreen and Birgerbukta
Today we sail into Fuglefjorden with views on Svitjodbreen and Birgerbukta, with breeding places for Great Skuas and good chances for bears. Raudfjord on the north coast of Spitsbergen is a beautiful fjord with spectacular glaciers. It is also a favourite with Ringed and Bearded Seal, has good seabird colonies, and offers good chances for spotting Polar Bear and Beluga
Day 4 - 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: We make our first landing at Myggebugten, Greenland
If we have experienced fair winds we will attempt to sail into Foster Bugt, making our first landing at Myggebugten in the late afternoon or evening. 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.
Day 8: Kaiser Franz Joseph Fjord,
We sail through Kaiser Franz Joseph Fjord, a magnificent fjord with towering mountains on both sides, its inner reaches choked with huge icebergs. In the evening we will reach the incredible Teufelschloss. This prominent mountain is part of the so-called Eleonora Bay super group: Sedimentary rocks which was created between 950 – 610 mio years ago to a depth of 16 kilometres. The scenery will be dominated by this unique geology during the next days.
Day 9: Blomster Bugt
We will land at Blomster Bugt to view the beautiful geological formations. Arctic Hare are usually seen here, and Noah Lake sometimes offer Great Northern Diver and their young. Musk oxen are also often spotted in the area and the hiking opportunities are phenomenal. In the afternoon we will venture deeper into Kejser Franz Joseph Fjord and find shelter in Renbugten. Huge icebergs and spectacular scenery will accompany us throughout the passage of this relatively narrow fjord system.
Day 10: In the search for Muskoxen and Arctic hare
Today we try to land in Renbugten in the search for Muskoxen and Arctic hare. At lunch time we will head eastwards and into Antarctic Sound and enjoy the views of the ancient sedimentary rocks and witness what plate tectonics have done to the once horizontal layers. We aim at arriving at Maria Ø before nightfall.
Day 11: Today we head into Kong Oscars Fjord
We head into Kong Oscars Fjord and aim to make landfall in the afternoon near Menander Øer; Another spectacular place offering good walking opportunities and chances of large land mammals.
Day 12: We land in Antarctic Havn
Kong Oscars Fjord is one of the largest fjords in the area and as we continue to sail east we land in Antarctic Havn. The second half of the day we spend in this 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. Intriguing geo-politics played out here in the early 1930’ies between Norway and Denmark.
Day 13: At sea.
At sea. Throughout the day we will be at sea. The goal is to enter the largest fjord system in the World: Scoresbysund.
Day 14: Remains of an Inuit settlement abandoned around 200 years ago.
At Danmark Ø 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. During the afternoon we sail along the east side of Milne Land with numerous huge icebergs all around.
Day 15: We encounter huge icebergs, some over 100m high
We land near Sydkap in the morning for the spectacular views. Arctic hare are often seen in this area. During lunch we get a glimpse of the entrance to Nordvestfjord in Scoresby Land. Here 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.
Day 16: Ittoqqortoormiit, the biggest settlement in the Scoresby Sund
We 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.
Day 17: We land on the south coast of Jameson Land
In the morning we land on the south coast of Jameson Land near Kap Stewart at a lagoon, an area with waders and geese collecting for the autumn migration. The landscape here is gently undulating. Musk Oxen and Collared Lemming survive on the meagre vegetation. Further inside Hurry Inlet we may take a walk near the head of the fjord and take a walk near one of the rivers terminating here. We may opt to do an excursion near Hareelv and climb J. P. Kochs Fjeld. In this area they found the fossils of the link between fish and amphibians in the lower Cretaceous. We spend the night at anchor off Constable Pynt.
Day 18: Disembarkation in Constable Pynt
We make our final landing at the airfield of Constable Pynt and fly with chartered plane to Reykjavik.