Spitsbergen, Greenland and Iceland – M/V Greg Mortimer
|Resort:||Spitsbergen, Greenland and Iceland - M/V Greg Mortimer|
This voyage combines Spitsbergen and Greenland, with a taste of Iceland. Enjoy Spitsbergen’s rugged east coast, crossing a major polar bear migration route as we search out bears on the moss-laden tundra. While crossing the icy waters of the Greenland Sea, our onboard experts will share their knowledge of the region’s plants, animals and history, preparing you for your landings. Greenland’s remote east coast shows off the immensity of the icecap, fantastic icebergs and a fairytale landscape of granite spires rising 1000 m above exquisite fjords. Enjoy the local culture and look forward to a warm welcome as we visit remote Inuit settlements along the way.
Experience complete wilderness – in remote Northeast Greenland
Day 1 Arrival Kirkenes
Arrive in Kirkenes, Norway and join a pre-arranged half day excursion or activity prior to boarding the MV Greg Mortimer late afternoon. Airport transfers will be included if arriving on preferred flights into Kirkenes. You’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important briefings.
Day 2 At Sea
Over the next two days at sea, enjoy informative and entertaining lectures from our expert expedition team including naturalists and historians before reaching Svalbard’s southeast coast.
Day 3 At sea
More informative lectures on board, as we edge closer to Svalbard.
Day 4 East coast of Svalbard and Hinlopen Strait
As the Greg Mortimer passes between Spitsbergen and the smaller islands of Barentsya and Edgeya, we cross a major polar bear migration route and the beautiful fertile plains of Sundeneset. The spongy ground is richly covered with bright green mosses, a variety of delicate and colourful flowers, particularly the yellow marsh (bog) saxifrage, various mushrooms, fungi, clear bubbling streams and small tarns. Tiny (micro) flowers such as Mouse Ears grow in Spitsbergen creating faerie like mossy rock gardens. We look for polar bears hunting on pack ice and we may explore this beautiful terrain on foot, marvelling at the contrast between the colourful soft ground and the barren, rocky terrain from further north. Reindeer antlers lie scattered along the ground.
Day 5 Cross the Greenland Sea
As we cruise west across the Greenland Sea – the main outlet of the Arctic Ocean – we may encounter whales feeding in the productive waters of the north. Sightings of fin whales are common and blue whales have been seen in more recent years. As we begin to approach Greenland we will likely encounter the East Greenland pack ice, and if we are lucky we will see polar bears hunting for prey. The strong icy currents have isolated East Greenland from the Polar Basin, attracting large numbers of fish, seals and whales. Climatic conditions and the concentration of ice in the vicinity often create thick morning fog that vanishes with the onset of the midday sun. Our experts will inform and entertain us with fascinating discussions on plants, animals, ice, and early explorers like Nansen, Andree and Scoresby.
Day 6 Cross the Greenland Sea
Conditions permitting, we may even have the opportunity to make our first landing on the Greenland coast, if the weather allows. This stretch of coastline is ripe for exploration, with its many secrets locked in place by drift ice for up to eight months each year. Home to polar bear, snowy owl and musk ox, it’s the world’s largest national park, covering 972,000 square kilometres; most of which is inland ice and the rest a composite fjord landscape.
Day 7 East Coast of Greenland and Kaiser Franz Joseph Fjord system
We will attempt to enter Kejser Franz Josef Fjord, a remote and rarely visited fjord system with countless opportunities for exploration that lies within the North East Greenland National Park. Ashore, cosy trappers’ huts beckon from across the tundra, where musk ox, Arctic fox and eider ducks roam. These are just some of the delights found in this area.
Day 8 East Coast of Greenland and Kaiser Franz Joseph Fjord system
Landing sites may include Cape Humboldt, a beautiful bay on Ymer Island. There is a good chance to take a tundra walk and witness musk oxen graze. We
Day 9 East Coast of Greenland and Kaiser Franz Joseph Fjord system
In Scoresbysund, the world’s biggest fjord, the vast Greenland icecap sweeps down in massive glaciers that calve explosively, creating giant icebergs. Sydkap in Scoresby Sund offers good walking and delightful views across the sound.
Day 10 East Coast of Greenland and Kaiser Franz Joseph Fjord system
Near Rode Island, our Zodiacs weave through a maze of grounded icebergs, some more than 30-metres high, sculpted with deep green tunnels and aquamarine lakes.
Day 11 Scoresbysund and Volquart Boons Coast
These days will be expeditionary days, exploring the East Greenland coast. Much of the region is unchartered territory and depending on weather and timing we’ll venture south exploring the bays and fjords, looking for new points of interest and places to land. At Ittoqqortoormiit, we’ll enjoy a warm welcome from the Inuit people who are happy to share their culture, relaying stories of old.
Day 12 Scoresbysund and Volquart Boons Coast
Scoresbysund offers many opportunities for walking cruising and kayaking so we will spend our days exploring the land, the ice and the sea.
Day 13 Scoresbysund and Volquart Boons Coast
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 Romer Fjord, a deep waterway with stunning mountain views.
Day 14 Sail the Denmark Strait towards Iceland
As we sail across the Denmark Strait towards Iceland, there will be plenty of time to reflect on our rich experiences, whilst enjoying the flying antics of northern fulmars and black-backed gulls. If we are lucky, we may also spot dolphins, orcas and other whales, as we enter their feeding grounds.
Day 15 Arrive Reykjavik
Arrive early morning in Reykjavik. After breakfast, bid farewell to your fellow expeditioners before your coach transfer to downtown Reykjavik or the airport. Due to departure flight schedules out of Reykjavik, we recommend that passengers stay overnight in Reykjavik before continuing with your onward international travel arrangements.