Departure from AkureyriTransfer by bus from Reykjavik hotels in the morning to the ship in Akureyri, where you will arrive in the afternoon after a six hour drive through North Iceland. In the early evening embark your vessel, the Ortelius, and leave Iceland as your Arctic cruise gets underway. Sail north towards the Denmark Strait.
At SeaSailing north through the Denmark Strait you are almost certain to see Fulmar, Kittiwake, Gannet and rafts of Common Guillemot. Cross the Arctic Circle and continue north, perhaps seeing whales. In the evening spot your first icebergs appear as you approach the east coast of Greenland near Kap Brewster.
Volquart Boons CoastIn the morning sail along the ragged and glaciated Volquart Boons Coast. Here you may embark on a zodiac cruise along one of the glacier fronts of this coast, and have your first landing near a glacier, like Maanegletsjer or in Vikingebugt. Later land on Danmarksø where there are 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 continue your Arctic voyage while sailing through the beautiful fjords to the west, choked with icebergs.
Cape Hofman HalvoGo ashore at Cape Hofmann Halvø, a reliable spot for viewing Musk Oxen. You may also spot Rock Ptarmigan and at sea Great Northern Diver. The landscape here is particularly beautiful, especially during autumn when the Dwarf Willow and Dwarf Birch change color. Arctic Blueberry and Crowberry add their own colorful touch - the berries are tasty too! In the evening sail through the fjord towards Scoresby Land enjoying the contrast between the warm autumnal colors of the vegetation on shore, backed by huge dark mountains, and the cold blue of the icebergs.
Sydkap in Scoresby LandOn your way to Sydkap in Scoresby Land in the morning, encounter huge icebergs, some over 100 m high and more than a kilometre in length. Most of the bergs are grounded as the fjord is only about 400 m deep here. 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. The landscape here is gently undulating. Musk Oxen and Collared Lemming - survive on the meager vegetation.
IttoqqortoormiitIn the morning land at a lagoon at the south coast of Jameson Land, 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. In the afternoon visit Ittoqqortoormiit, the biggest settlement near Scoresby Sund with about 400 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 seals, Musk Oxen and Polar Bear.
At SeaThe whole day at sea offers excellent opportunities to see large whales and seabird migration and, at night the Aurora borealis (Northern Lights).
Arrival in AkureyriArrive at Akureyri, and transfer by chartered bus to Reykjavik for your continued journey home.