Experience all the Arctic has to offer on this one-in-a-lifetime expedition cruise. Board the Ortelius for a 12-day whale safari from Vlissingen to Longyearbyen. This Arctic expedition cruise offers countless possibilities to spot whales including minke, blue, fin, and orca. Harbour porpoise and white-beaked dolphin can also be spotted in the icy waters. Taking your eyes away from the sea, the glacier-covered islands, winding fjords, and tundra provide beautiful scenery and play host to a myriad of other wildlife including polar bear, reindeer, and seabirds.
Cruise along the edge of sea-ice and into elaborate fjord systems
Explore the volcanic and glacier-covered Jan Mayen island
Observe orca and minke whales native to the Scottish waters
Tour ancient stone towers built by the Picts on the Shetland Islands
Arrive in Aberdeen, famed as the Granite City and many times a winner of the Britain in Bloom competition. See the lighthouse on Girdle Ness to the south as the North Sea is reached, designed by the grandfather of Robert Louis Stevenson.
More passengers board the ship in Aberdeen.
The Scottish waters offer excellent possibilities to spot minke whales, white-beaked dolphins, and harbour porpoises. Several other cetaceans, including orcas, are also native to these waters.
At Fair Isle, in the Shetlands, you are welcomed by the 70 or so inhabitants (famed for their knitwear, examples of which you can see) to be followed by a walk to the bird observatory. Later, on Mousa, one of the smaller Shetland Islands, visit one of the best preserved brochs in Scotland. Brochs are circular stone towers probably built by the Picts. During a night excursion watch thousands of storm petrels return to their burrows or crevices. By day view grey seals, black guillemots, red-throated divers, arctic skuas, and wonderful spring flora.
Sail north to the Norwegian island of Jan Mayen, situated 300 nautical miles northeast of Iceland. During your two days at sea there is plenty of time to watch for the blow of a minke, fin or blue whale, which could herald a rewarding encounter with these gentle giants. Perhaps you might run into a pod of orcas, who can often be quite curious about boats such as the Ortelius.
Jan Mayen is a volcanic island of breathtaking beauty and mystique, dominated by Mt Beerenberg. From the slopes of the 2300m volcano, impressive glaciers spill into the sea. Until recently, the island was off-limits as it is a military base, and was rarely visited by tourists, but with permission from the Norwegian authorities hope to visit the weather station. Walk across the island to Kvalrossbukta to look at the remains of a 17th-century Dutch whaling station and a substantial colony of fulmars. Plan to sail by Koksletta where thousands of little auks and Brünnich's guillemots breed close to a glacier, watched over by glaucous gulls.
In the midnight sun, sail north along the edge of the sea-ice, looking out for different species of whales, dolphins, seals and a variety of seabirds, until about 79 North, then sail west to the edges of the continental shelf off West Spitsbergen, where you have good chances to meet Finn Whales and near the mouths of the big Spitsbergen fjords, Minke Whales.
1 suite with 2 windows (minimum), 1 double bed, 1 single (sofa) bed, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Refrigerator, Coffee & tea maker, Hairdryer, ample storage space.
- Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
- All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea
- All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac
- Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff
- Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes
- Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen.
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
- AECO fees and governmental taxes
- Comprehensive pre-departure materials
- Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
- Pre- and post land arrangements
- Transfers to / from the vessel outside Spitsbergen
- Passport and visa expenses
- Government arrival and departure taxes
- Meals ashore
- Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory)
- Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges
- The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided)
Please note: It is agreed that if fuel prices will exceed US Dollar $120 per Barrel Brent 90 days prior to departure Ortelius reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of US Dollar 25 per passenger per night.
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