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Exploring Greenland

Jewels of the Arctic

Example 15 Day Cruise aboard Greg Mortimer
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One of the most-anticipated voyages each year, the Jewels of the Arctic will change you forever: while cruising the icy waters of the Greenland Sea between Norway and Iceland, keep an eye out for whales, sea ice, and countless sea birds. Your days will be jam-packed with once-in-a-lifetime moments: you will Zodiac cruise amongst gigantic icebergs, revel in gorgeous tundra walks, spot Arctic foxes, musk ox, walrus, and polar bears. Greenland’s breathtaking mountainous landscapes will leave you speechless as the voyage goes along, and Inuit communities will make you feel at home whilst you stop by their small settlement, Ittoqqortoormiit. These are the jewels of the Arctic!
Arctic puffinsPolar bear in the ArcticColorful homes in Longyearbyen, SvalbardWalrus in the ArcticExploring Greenland
Highlights
  • Sail along East Greenland’s magnificent coastline
  • Tour along the world’s largest icebergs in Scoresby Sund
  • Indulge in friendly Inuit communities and their culture
  • Enjoy viewing musk ox, Arctic fox and reindeer on tundra walks
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Oslo

Upon check-in at Radisson Blu Oslo Airport hotel, reception staff will provide you with Aurora Expeditions cabin tags. Please fill out the luggage tags clearly, showing your name and cabin number to allow us to deliver your luggage to your cabin ahead. At our voyage briefing, enjoy a welcome drink and meet fellow expeditioners, before spending the night in preparation for your flight to Longyearbyen.  

Note: Flights between Oslo and Longyearbyen are not included. Please contact your travel agent if you would like assistance in booking these flights.
Accommodation: Radisson Blu Oslo Airport 

Day 2: Fly to Longyearbyen for embarkation

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Fly to Longyearbyen (flight ticket not included in voyage fare), and upon arrival, you will be met by a representative of Aurora Expeditions to commence a tour of Longyearbyen.  

On the drive to Camp Barentz located in Advent Valley, your guide will give you an introduction to Longyearbyen’s fascinating history. At Camp Barentz enjoy a presentation in the large ‘lavvo’ - a traditional building common in northern Norway. You will also have the opportunity to meet the friendly huskies and perhaps pick up some souvenirs. A visit to the Svalbard museum is included back in town before embarking the vessel in the late afternoon. 

You’ll have time to settle into your cabin prior to the compulsory briefings. Your voyage commences, cruising out of the beautiful Isfjorden, escorted by gliding fulmars and perhaps the occasional puffin. Find a spot in one of the observation areas watching seabirds, including graceful ivory gulls, kittiwakes and guillemots. They rise and fall skilfully, using the air currents created by the ship to gain momentum.  

NOTE: Sometimes our ship is unable to dock in Longyearbyen port due to space and capacity. In these instances, we reach the ship by Zodiac. Please ensure that you keep your wet-weather gear in your hand luggage to use in the Zodiacs, if the situation arises. Please ensure your cabin luggage tag is completed clearly showing your cabin number and name. Our crew will deliver your luggage directly to your cabin.  

Day 3-5: Svalbard

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Svalbard offers Arctic wilderness at its best. Our experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design our day-to-day itinerary, choosing the best options based on the prevailing weather, sea-ice conditions and wildlife encounters.  

Phenomenal fjords, magnificent mountains ranges and a polar desert rich in fossils set the stage for heroic tales of early exploration. See walrus hauled-out on sea ice or on beaches. On land, stretch our legs on walks across tundra coming out in brightly-coloured wildflowers. We visit towering cliffs noisy with nesting guillemots and puffins, and scree slopes that hold Svalbard’s largest little auk colonies. Most memorable are encounters with the majestic polar bear on pack ice. Your expedition team is just as keen as you to find them— they will be on constant watch to spot these inspiring creatures.  

If you have chosen an optional activity such as kayaking, you’ll have the option to enjoy the activity when conditions allow. For those who are enthusiastic to participate in a polar plunge, as soon as conditions are suitable, you’ll hear the announcement to prepare for an exhilarating plunge, a memory you’ll savour for years to come.  

Day 6-7: Greenland Sea and Pack Ice

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
As we sail across the Greenland Sea – the main outlet of the Arctic Ocean – we may encounter whales feeding in the rich 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, and perhaps see seals and a variety of seabirds including northern fulmar and Brunnichs guillemots. This stretch of coast is ripe for exploration, with its many secrets locked in place by drift ice for up to eight months each year.  

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 heroic tales of exploration. 

Conditions permitting, there may be a chance for kayakers to launch their sea kayaks while others explore push through the sea ice in Zodiacs. If time and weather permits, we may even make our first landing on the Greenland coast.  

Day 8-13: Days 8-13 East Greenland

  • Ship
  • 6 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 6 Dinners
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 encounters with wildlife. We generally attempt up to two landings or Zodiac excursions per day; cruising along spectacular ice cliffs, following whales feeding near the surface.  

Be 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 breathtaking scenes. The tundra landscape is home to musk oxen, arctic hare and reindeer. 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 has an excellent museum, gift shop, an abundance of Greenlandic sled dogs, and the opportunity to meet the friendly locals. 
Explore Scoresbysund, the world’s biggest fjord and a favourite hunting ground of the local Inuit. Massive glaciers dump into this fjord, the birthplace of hundreds of spectacular Greenland icebergs. It’s 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 musk ox 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. 

We 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 stretch our legs on hikes across tundra in search of ancient graveyards and summer villages occupied 3,000 years ago by Eskimos. We may see musk ox, Arctic hare and reindeers grazing. This area provides excellent opportunities for sea kayaking in its maze of calm, interconnecting waterways. We’ll see ring seals, perhaps catch a glimpse of elusive narwhal, and maybe even a polar bear hunting on pack ice. 

Day 14: Denmark Strait

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Crossing the Denmark Strait to Iceland, search for whale blows and photograph the many seabirds that trail our ship in the ever-present Arctic winds. Reflect on your recent adventures, perhaps share and exchange photos, and breathe in the fresh sea air.

Day 15: Disembark | Reykjavik, Iceland

During the early morning we arrive in Reykjavik. Farewell your expedition team and fellow expeditioners before transferring to downtown Reykjavik or to Keflavik airport to continue your onward journey.  

At the conclusion of the voyage, we do not recommend booking flights departing prior to 12.00 pm on the day of disembarkation in case there are delays.  
Important note: In the spirit of expedition travel, we encourage exploration and adventure offering flexibility in challenging environments. This itinerary is only a guide and is subject to change due to weather, sea, pack-ice and other conditions beyond our control

Ship/Hotel

Greg Mortimer

Greg Mortimer
Greg Mortimer
Greg Mortimer

Oslo - Hotels

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Per person starting at
$12,895
Greg Mortimer-Aurora Stateroom Triple
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Aurora Stateroom Triple
230.34 ft² - 245.41 ft² - 6 rooms available. All include en-suite bathrooms, three single beds, porthole window, desk area and 42" flat-screen TV
Greg Mortimer
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Aurora Stateroom
170 ft² - 245.41 ft² - Greg Mortimer features 8 porthole rooms, all with private en-suites. Located on Deck 3, they're close to the mudroom and loading platforms, perfect for adventurers who are looking for a comfortable base that's close to the action.
Greg Mortimer
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Balcony Stateroom C
224.97 ft² - 266.95 ft² - 14 rooms available. All include en-suite bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows and balconies and a select number are also connecting rooms, perfect for families or groups.
Greg Mortimer
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Balcony Stateroom B
254.03 ft² - 266.95 f - 22 rooms available. All include en-suite bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows and balconies and a select number are also connecting rooms, perfect for families or groups.
Greg Mortimer
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Balcony Stateroom A
259.41 ft² - 301.39 ft² - 22 rooms available. All include en-suite bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows and balconies and a select number are also connecting rooms, perfect for families or groups.
Greg Mortimer
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Balcony Stateroom Superior
303.54 ft² - 432.70 ft² - With a bit more room to stretch the legs, the Greg Mortimer's two Balcony Suites are perfect for polar adventurers who travel with plenty of gear. Featuring private balconies, en-suite bathrooms and a comfortable desk area, these will sell out quickly!
Greg Mortimer
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Junior Suite
The Greg Mortimer's four Junior Suites take in some impressive scenery from their vantage 418.71 ft² - points on Deck 7. When you aren't enjoying a landing, you can relax in the suites' separate lounge area, or just watch the world float by from the private balcony.
Greg Mortimer
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Captain's Suite
478.99 ft² - The largest of all the rooms, the Greg Mortimer's singular Captain's Suite will take you to the polar regions in ultimate style and comfort. Complete with large lounge area, balcony, walk-in wardrobe and en-suite.

Notes

Voyage Inclusions
  • One night’s hotel accommodation at Radisson Blu Oslo Airport hotel including breakfast 
  • Group arrival transfer in Longyearbyen from airport to the Greg Mortimer on day 2 
  • Group sightseeing tour of Longyearbyen prior to embarkation on day 2 
  • Transfer from pier to downtown Reykjavik or Keflavik airport on day 15 
  • Onboard accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service 
  • All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage 
  • Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner 
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages 
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises 
  • Educational lectures and guiding services from expedition team 
  • Complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consult)
  • A 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket 
  • Complimentary use of muck boots during the voyage 
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information 
  • Port surcharges, permits and landing fees  
  • Gratuities for ship crew 
Voyage Exclusions
  • International or domestic flights. Flight between Oslo and Longyearbyen is not included in the voyage price 
  • Transfers not mentioned in the itinerary 
  • Airport arrival or departure taxes 
  • Passport, visa, and vaccination charges 
  • Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges 
  • Hotels and meals not included in itinerary 
  • Optional excursions not included in the itinerary 
  • Optional activity surcharges 
  • All items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, Wi-Fi, email or phone charges

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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
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