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View of Reykjavik from the Church Tower

Four Arctic Islands: Spitsbergen, Jan Mayen, Greenland and Iceland

Helsinki to Reykjavik - Example 18 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Adventurer
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This 18-day itinerary gives a generous sampling of the four unique Arctic regions. This voyage is ideal for first-time visitors who want a taste of everything the Arctic has to offer. Beginning in Iceland, your adventure takes you to the Denmark Strait, renowned for its stunning scenery and abundant, varied wildlife such as polar bears and walrus. From there, sail south to volcanic Jan Mayen, a nature reserve so remote that few before have been fortunate to explore it. Then, venture to Greenland’s east coast, cruising deep into Scoresbysund to discover the world’s largest fjord system and icebergs larger than you could ever imagine. Finally, cap off your epic expedition and sail under the midnight sun to Spitsbergen, Norway, where you disembark and can soak up Icelandic culture in a city that never sleeps.
Exploring GreenlandKayak quiet waters as you sail to remote polar regionsSun shining on the iceIttoqqortoormiit Village, GreenlandView of Reykjavik from the Church Tower
Highlights
  • Explore the wildlife haven of Spitsbergen, volcanic Jan Mayen and the breathtaking Greenlandic fjord
  • Immerse yourself in the icy realm of the Arctic in Zodiacs or by kayak
  • Search for iconic arctic wildlife, such as polar bears, walrus and reindeer
  • Visit a remote Inuit community and learn more about their culture
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Helsinki, Finland

Your Arctic adventure begins in Helsinki, renowned for its extraordinary architecture and intriguing mix of eastern and western influences. If you arrive early, explore the many museums, galleries, and restaurants, relax at a Finnish sauna or wander the vibrant Design District before retiring at your included hotel.

Day 2: Longyearbyen, Svalbard | Embark

This morning, the group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen’s largest settlement, as part of the transfer package. As you embark this afternoon, you’ll hope to enjoy great views of the mountainous landscape that serves as a backdrop for this seaside town.
 

Day 3-6: Spitsbergen

Exploring Spitsbergen, the largest island in the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago, rewards you with austere beauty and opportunities to spot its abundant wildlife. Here, you’ll visit spectacular glacier fronts and tundra in full bloom, with walrus, polar bears and Svalbard reindeer amongst your possible wildlife sightings. Birders will be thrilled to see Arctic terns, skuas, Brünnich’s guillemots, black-legged kittiwakes and ivory gulls. If conditions permit, you could sail within 10 degrees of the North Pole!

Day 7-8: Cruising

While sailing south through the historic Greenland Sea toward Jan Mayen, your Expedition Team will keep you informed with presentations about the history and politics of the Arctic, its fascinating wildlife, geology, ecology and climate, and the incredible sights you will soon explore. On deck, you’ll learn to identify seabirds “on the wing.” The team will also keep a lookout for the whales that frequent the waters here.

Day 9-10: Jan Mayen

North of the Arctic Circle, about 280 miles (450 km) east of Greenland and 340 miles (550 km) north of Iceland, the mysterious Jan Mayen rises from the depths of the North Atlantic. Often shrouded in thick fog, the small mountainous island was declared a nature reserve in 2010 and is rarely visited, save for the 18 rotating personnel of the Norwegian military and Norwegian Meteorological Institute, who are the only inhabitants.

Landing here will be dictated by the weather and sea. If conditions allow, as we approach, keep watch on deck as the spoon-shaped island’s highest summit emerges. At 7,470 feet (2,277 meters) high, the breathtaking Beerenberg volcano features a symmetrical cone shape and impressive glaciers that spill into the sea.

If we’re fortunate, we may get a close- up view of the volcano and the stratified cliffs of the spectacular north coast as we Zodiac cruise along the coast of the island, searching for wildlife. Designated an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for the large numbers of breeding seabirds, Jan Mayen supports colonies of northern fulmars, little auks, glaucous gulls, kittiwakes, and black and Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres).

Day 11-15: Scoresby Sund, Greenland

Your tour of Scoresby Sund—the largest, deepest and, some say, most beautiful multi-armed fjord system in the world— will offer plenty of opportunities to explore ashore or by Zodiac cruise.

At one moment you’ll be stepping back in time, exploring the remains of ancient Thule settlements with views of icebergs and towering mountains rising straight out of the sea, and the next you’ll be immersed in contemporary culture, meeting the locals and gaining an appreciation for their way of life in Ittoqqortoormiit, East Greenland’s northernmost community. At the mouth of the sound, this remote settlement boasts a blend of traditional and modern lifestyles and is geographically closer to Iceland than it is to its nearest Greenlandic neighbors to the southwest. Here, you’ll have the chance to support local Inuit artisans by purchasing unique handicrafts.

In terms of wildlife, grazing muskoxen are a possible sight, as 40 percent of the world’s muskoxen population lives in this region. Polar bear sightings are also a remote possibility, as encounter with more elusive Arctic wildlife, such as the Arctic hare. Seabirds to watch out for nesting atop the steep cliffs of the sound include little auks, fulmars and guillemots.

Day 16-17: Cruising

As we sail south, the Denmark Strait is your pathway toward Iceland. Take in a presentation, share your photos, sip an icy cocktail in the bar or watch a film— there are many things to do during your time at sea. Your Expedition Team will also be on hand to answer any questions and point out wildlife.

Day 18: Reykjavik, Iceland | Disembarkation

  • 1 Breakfast
You’ll disembark in Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, at the end of your journey. If you have booked post-expedition accommodation, we provide a transfer to a central downtown location.

Ship/Hotel

Ocean Adventurer

Dining Room, Ocean Adventurer
Buffet Dining Room, Ocean Adventurer
Bar at the Main Lounge, Ocean Adventurer

Dates & Prices

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Deals

Save up to 50% on Arctic 2024 23002
Book your Arctic 2024 cruise now and enjoy up to 50% savings. This offer is valid only for new bookings, subject to availability, and not combinable with other discounts. Additional restrictions may apply. Please contact us for details.
Applies to Aug 9, 2024 departure

Per person starting at
$11,395 2-3 travelers
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
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Triple
Averaging 128 sq. ft. (12 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths and one upper berth. Located on the Main Deck, it has private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
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Lower Deck Twin
Averaging 133 sq. ft. (12 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Lower Deck, it has private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
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Main Deck Twin with Porthole
Averaging 118 sq. ft. (11 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Main Deck, it has private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
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Main Deck Twin with Window
Averaging 139 sq. ft. (13 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Main Deck, it has private facilities, and two windows with exterior views.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
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Superior
Averaging 142 sq. ft. (13 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Upper Deck, it has private facilities, and windows with exterior views.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
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Deluxe
Averaging 160 sq. ft. (15 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Upper and Captain’s Decks, it has private facilities, and windows with exterior views.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
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Suite
Averaging 215 sq. ft. (20 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Captain’s Deck, it has windows with exterior views and private facilities. Cabin 403 has a bathtub; other Suites have shower stalls.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
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Owner's Suite
Averaging 290 sq. ft. (27 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Bridge Deck, it has private facilities, and windows with exterior views.

Notes

- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy. Request the Twin Share Program where you are matched with a cabin mate of the same gender. Even if a cabin mate is not found for you, no single supplement will be charged.

- Standard Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the double occupancy rate. The supplement for a Premium Cabin is 2 times the shared rate.

Insurance: Emergency medical evacuation coverage for a maximum benefit of US$500,000 per person is included. Travelers should have a minimum of US$50,000 (or equivalent) of emergency medical coverage prior to embarkation. It is recommended that you and all members of your party have comprehensive travel insurance covering trip cancellation, trip delay (interruption or after departure coverage), baggage, and repatriation. Contact us for details.

Plug/ Voltage type Onboard: 220V/Type F
Included
  • 17 Breakfasts, 15 Lunches, 16 Dinners
  • 17 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Coffee, Tea and Cocoa Available Around the Clock
  • Leadership throughout the expedition by our experienced Expedition Leader
  • Loan of Waterproof Boots for Landings
  • Official Expedition Parka to Keep
  • Select Beer and Wine During Dinner
  • Photographic Journal Documenting the Expedition
  • All Miscellaneous Service Taxes and Port Charges Throughout the Program
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person
  • All shore landings as per the daily program
  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
  • All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board throughout your voyage
  • All luggage handling aboard the ship

  • Transfer from Longyearbyen Town Center to Port on Embarkation Day
  • Greenland voyages cruise passenger tax
  • Group transfer to downtown Reykjavik on disembarkation day
  • Complimentary beer, standard wines, and spirits, as well as cocktails during bar service hours and dinner
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Passport and Applicable Visa Expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes
  • Internet & Phone Charges
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Mandatory Waterproof Pants for Zodiac Cruising & Any Other Gear Not Specifically Mentioned
  • Adventure Options not listed in Included Activities
  • Mandatory Transfer Package fees not included, prices vary by departure
  • Arrival Transfer in Oslo
  • Airport transfer in Reykjavik

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Beyond expectations! Then again we weren't sure what to expect. Lovely stay at the lodge, met other like-minded travelers (many had their trips planned by Adventure Life) and the owner was a gracious hostess. It felt like you were one happy family, visiting with a favorite aunt.
Nancy Sin

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