Embark in LongyearbyenArrive in Spitsbergen and enjoy a tour of colorful Longyearbyen. Board Polar Pioneer in the late afternoon, settle in and sail down magnificent Isfjorden, flanked by bird cliffs, vast glaciers and jagged mountains.
West Coast of SpitsbergenSpitsbergen’s northwest coast features calving icebergs, historic whaling stations, and trappers' camps. Brünnich’s guillemots, little auks and kittiwakes nest in the thousands. Reindeer roam the tundra and so can you, photographing wildflowers like saxifrage, moss campion, bell-heather and hairy lousewort. From your Zodiacs, gain fantastic views of ice cliffs, including Monacobreen, one of Spitsbergen's largest glaciers. In the north, there's a good chance of seeing walrus – and possibly even polar bears – on the pack ice.
Greenland SeaCrossing the Greenland Sea, sail through the Polar Basin's nutrient-rich waters, searching for fin whales, encroaching pack ice, and seabirds. Expert naturalists and guest lecturers entertain with fascinating, illustrated talks on European Arctic plants and animals, and epic tales of such early explorers as Nansen, Andrée and Scoresby. These are relaxed days, wonderful for getting to know fellow expeditioners and preparing for a landing, if conditions permit, in the world's largest national park – Greenland's northeast coast. The region is home to polar bear, walrus, Arctic hare and musk ox. Watch for ringed, bearded, harp and hooded seals from the Zodiacs.
Exploring GreenlandIce is often the overwhelming first impression of Greenland. An ice cap covers 81 percent of the island and pack ice, even in summer, may fill northern bays. Ashore, cozy trappers' huts beckon from across the tundra, where musk ox, Arctic fox and eider ducks roam. These are just some of the delights in Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord. Lively cascades at Kap Humboldt provide a microclimate for spectacular hanging gardens. Kong Oskar Fjord offers spectacular glacier-carved mountains.
ScoresbysundIn Scoresbysund, the world’s biggest fjord, the vast Greenland icecap sweeps down in massive glaciers that calve explosively, creating giant icebergs. Near Sydkap, Zodiacs weave through a maze of grounded icebergs, some more than 30-meters high, sculpted with deep green tunnels and aquamarine lakes. Enjoy a warm Ittoqqortoormiit welcome, from Inuit happy to share their culture and explain the challenges of Arctic life. Kayakers find ideal paddling conditions, winding their way through interconnected waterways, watching for polar bears and narwhals.
Blosseville CoastSail south along the Blosseville Coast, searching for musk ox and narwhals and marveling at the mountain scenery that dominates the skyline. If weather permits, head for Rømer Fjord, with its stunning views.
Crossing the Denmark StraitAs the ship sails across Denmark Strait towards Iceland, there's time to reflect on your rich experiences, enjoy northern fulmars and black-backed gulls, and spot dolphins, orcas and sperm whales in their feeding grounds.
Disembark in IsafjordurArrive early morning in Isafjordur, a stunning fishing town in Iceland's northwest. After breakfast, bid farewell to Polar Pioneer and her crew and catch an included economy flight to Reykjavik. Continue your journey home or continue your adventure by exploring Iceland.