Discover Svalbard's northwest coast and the east coast of Greenland, a land of grand superlatives, before concluding your voyage in Iceland. Zodiac-cruise among spectacular icebergs, spotting seabirds and keeping watch for walrus and polar bears on the ice. Visit Ittoqqortoormiit, one of the most remote settlements on earth, and perhaps take the option of kayaking or rock climbing. This expedition ticks many boxes: hikes through the arctic tundra; a chance to spot wildlife including musk ox, seals, whales and elusive arctic fox; and the opportunity to visit fascinating Palaeolithic sites.
wildlife of the arctic - chance to encounter musk ox, arctic hare and
the world’s largest national park in north east Greenland,
and the world’s largest fjord system, Scoresbysund
Ittoqqortoomit, one of the world’s most remote settlements
DATES / RATES
Rates are listed per person
Jul 07, 2024
Jul 21, 2024
Aug 21, 2024
Sep 04, 2024
Rates are listed per person
Jul 07, 2024
Jul 21, 2024
Aug 21, 2024
Sep 04, 2024
1: Arrival Kirkenes. Embark the Greg Mortimer Arrive
in Kirkenes, Norway, where you will be met by a representative of
Aurora Expeditions to commence a tour of Kirkenes prior to boarding the
Greg Mortimer late afternoon.
tour of Kirkenes starts with a drive to the Russian border to learn
about the significant historical events that have occured in this area.
Afterwards, continue to the mining community at Bjørnevatn,
discovered in the 1860s and holding the largest iron reserve in Norway.
The proliferation of mines in the area were home to many people during
the fighting and liberation at the end of World War II. At Mount
Storfjellet, enjoy marvelous views of the area before ending your tour
with a visit to the Borderland Museum, different to traditional war
museums by focusing on the effects of war on people rather than
exhibiting war paraphernalia. Learn about the Soviet prisoners of war,
deported teachers and many other fascinating, seldom-heard stories.
to the pier for embarkation, where you’ll have time to settle
into your cabin before our important briefings.
2-3: 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.
4-5: East Coast Svalbard and Hinlopen Strait As
the Greg Mortimer passes between Spitsbergen and the smaller islands of
Barentsøya and Edgeøya, 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.
conditions allow we will pass through the narrow Hinlopen Strait. The
strait is flanked by creamy coloured slabs of rock that are rich in
fossils. We may visit Alkefjellet in the Strait, where a series of
one-hundred-metre-high dolerite towers are home to nearly a million
nesting Brünnich’s guillemots – the
penguins of the north – that occupy every available nook and
cranny. Elsewhere we seek out eider ducks and geese, and hope to spot
walrus, Arctic fox and the beautiful ivory gulls.
6-7: 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 approach East
Greenland we may encounter more pack ice where we may see seals and a
variety of seabirds, including northern fulmar and migratory Brunnichs
guillemots. This stretch of coastline is ripe for exploration, with its
many secrets locked in place by drift ice for up to eight months each
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.
permitting, there may be a chance for kayakers to launch their sea
kayaks and the rest of us to cruise in the sea ice with Zodiacs.
Perhaps if we have had a good crossing, we may even have the
opportunity to make our first landing on the Greenland coast, weather
8-13: East Greenland In
the coming days, a host of choices are open to us, and depending on ice
and weather conditions, the east coast of Greenland is ours to explore.
Our experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to
this area, will use their expertise to design our voyage from day to
day. This allows us to make best use of the prevailing weather, ice
conditions and wildlife opportunities. We will generally make up to two
landings or Zodiac excursions per day; cruising along spectacular ice
cliffs, following whales that are feeding near the surface.
prepared to experience ice, lots of it! East Greenland contains some of
the Arctic's most impressive scenery. Deep fjords and narrow channels,
flanked by sharp ice-clad peaks up to 2,000 m / 6,562 ft high. Glaciers
create gigantic icebergs that drift throughout the fjord system
creating breath-taking scenes. The landscape is filled with
multi-coloured tundra home to musk oxen and Arctic hare. Throughout the
area are ancient Thule archaeological sites, historical trappers' huts,
and modern Inuit hunters' cabins. A highlight is a visit to the Inuit
village of Ittoqqortoormiit, the most isolated and northernmost
permanent settlement in the region, with approximately 450 inhabitants.
The community boasts an excellent museum, gift shop, an abundance of
Greenlandic sled dogs, and the opportunity to meet Inuit people.
Scoresbysund, the largest fjord system in the world – a
spectacular place that simply needs to be seen to be believed. North of
Scoresbysund are, Kong Oscar and Kaizer Franz Josef fjords, two of the
most significant fjord systems in all of Greenland, each one
encompassing several smaller fjords and sounds. Thanks to the fertile
volcanic soil mountains that protects areas from the strong winds, the
area is rich in wildlife. You may spot everything from muskox and
arctic foxes to mountain hares and even reindeer near the fjord. Look
skyward and you could catch a glimpse of birds including glaucous gull,
black-legged kittiwake, northern fulmar, common raven and common eider.
will attempt to enter Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord, a remote and rarely
visited fjord system with countless opportunities for exploration
within the Northeast Greenland National Park. Cruising through Kong
Oskar Fjord we will marvel at the geological beauty of the mountains.
We will then head south along the coast of Liverpool Land, with our
passage dependent on ice conditions. We aim to reach Scoresbysund, the
world’s biggest fjord and a favourite hunting ground of the
local Inuit. Massive glaciers dump into this fjord, the birthplace of
the famous big Greenland icebergs.
plan to visit the remote Inuit community of Ittoqqortoormiit (Scoresby
Town) and to hike across the tundra in search of ancient graveyards and
summer villages occupied 3,000 years ago by Eskimos. This area provides
excellent opportunities for sea kayaking in its maze of calm,
interconnecting waterways. If we are lucky we may see musk oxen, Arctic
hare and seals, and maybe if we are extremely lucky even a polar bear
or narwhal, although due to the local hunting traditions, these
sightings are often very rare.
we may land along the east coast include:
Humboldt is a beautiful bay on Ymer Island. There is a good chance to
take a tundra walk and see musk oxen graze. We will also keep a lookout
for Arctic fox and ptarmigan. A lone trapper's hut looks over the bay
and magnificent icebergs.
Glacier adorns the narrow peaked waterway in Alpefjord. Enjoy Zodiac
cruising and kayaking in this pretty area, where colourful Arctic flora
adorns the tundra ground.
is Scoresbysund’s colourful Inuit community of approximately
500 people. Here you can explore the village, the fascinating museum or
sit in the beautiful Lutheran Church. The locals are friendly and from
underneath their Arctic fox-fur jackets, the shy young children are
keen to say hello and practice their English.
in Scoresbysund offers good walking and delightful views across the
sound. Kayakers will have good opportunities to explore the lonely
beaches. We may explore the ancient gravesites on the island, or the
lakes with green tunnels and giant icebergs offer hours of enjoyment
for kayak and Zodiac rides.
Fjord with its narrow channels and towering peaks is simply stunning,
and lies roughly 167 km / 104 mi south of Scoresbysund. There are great
hiking options in the fjord where flowering tundra plants, scattered
bones of whales and muskox from centuries of hunting by the Inuit, and
fumaroles can be found. These are areas where heated groundwater boil
to the surface creating bubbling pools and mineral formations as the
water reacts with the atmosphere.
Ø Island is a glorious place for Zodiac cruising, hiking and
kayaking, with its rich red Devonian sandstone geology. Discover the
impressive mafic dyke that runs through the east side of Rode
Ø. Glaucous gulls find perfect perches and nesting sites
along the top of the basalt extrusions. Kayak along the maze of
icebergs - pillars and arches, caves and peaks that look as though an
artist had sculpted them.
scenery here is breathtaking. Walk across the tundra alongside a ravine
or Zodiac cruise where you might find musk ox, along with flitting
shore birds, seals and a variety of colours in the lush Arctic tundra.
Kayakers can enjoy sublime paddling in one of the most remote fjords in
the world. Nearby is the spectacular and impressive Ø Fjord,
a perfect place for small ship cruising.
mountains rising 1,200 m / 3,937 ft straight out of the water
wasn’t enough, how about the fjord itself, descending to
1,500 metres? There are also countless icebergs pouring out of the
Daugård-Gensen Glacier. A great place for kayaking and Zodiac
cruising with plenty of gorgeous bergs while the glacier itself,
seemingly small from a distance, proved to be a formidable river of ice
snaking down the valley.
one can state the exact age of the neo-Eskimo site at Eskimobugt, but
it may only be a few hundred years old. Subterranean winter houses
designed with a tunnel that faces the sea where occupants would crawl
through to the stand-up living chamber; at the opposite end is the
sleeping platform. The walls were erected with carefully laid stones
while the roof structure would be built from whatever material was
available - driftwood, walrus bone, and available skin covering. Fire
hearths were created by laying rocks in a circle with a bed of white
quartzite stones. Learn from our historian about the incredible
resourcefulness of the Inuit people whose men travelled formidable
distances by kayak to hunt, and whose women crafted sophisticated
garments from animal skins and fur – a people for whom
survival in such extremes was paramount. Hiking here offers panoramic
views, sightings musk ox and, occasionally Arctic hare.
some of the most striking sedimentary sandstone, shale and siltstone
formations imaginable. The alternating colours and patterns in the
layers of rocks defied belief, and the layers of sediment here are
estimated to have taken about 4,000 years to be laid down. You can also
find the remains of a simple but highly effective wooden fox trap in
use by Norwegian trappers in both Greenland and Svalbard from the early
1900s to 1960s. Skippendalen is also a marvellous place to hike and
paddle in kayaks.
possible landing points in the area include:
Glacier & Blomsterbugten
14: Denmark Strait In
the Denmark Strait, we sail towards Iceland. Keep a lookout for whale
blows and the many seabirds that trail our ship in the ever-present
Arctic winds. Enjoy the time to reflect on your recent adventures,
share and exchange photos, and soak in the fresh ocean air. As we near
Iceland, you will find we are returning to the rest of the world as we
encounter fishing vessels working the coastal waters.
15: Disembark Reykjavik During
the early morning we arrive into Reykjavik. Farewell your expedition
team and fellow expeditioners as we all continue our onward journeys. A
transfer is included into town or onwards to the airport.
Capable of negotiating the strongest winds and waves, the Greg Mortimer is built to world-class polar standards. It is designed in close consultation with expedition specialists, taking advantage of Auroras more than 25 years of experience.
(Click image to view Ship details)
day tour or activity in Kirkenes on Day 1 prior to embarking Greg
transfer from airport (preferred flights only) to the Greg Mortimer on
transfer from ship to airport or downtown Reykjavik on Day 15
accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service
meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage
house wine and soft drinks with dinner
Welcome and Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house
cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages
shore excursions and Zodiac cruises
lectures and guiding services from expedition team
access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consult)
3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket
use of muck boots during the voyage
surcharges, permits and landing fees
or domestic flights, unless specified
not mentioned in the itinerary
arrival or departure taxes
visa, reciprocity and vaccination charges
insurance or emergency evacuation charges
and meals not included in itinerary
excursions not included in the itinerary
items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic
beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry
services, personal clothing, additional medical expenses such as
medication, gratuities, Wi-Fi, email or phone charges
Kayaking: USD 980
Diving: USD 1,010
Climbing: USD 940
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