The Spitsbergen and Northeast Greenland cruise sails waters filled with breath-taking scenery. The expedition passes through areas that are home to seals, seabirds, whales, and polar bears. Colossal icebergs and quintessential Arctic scenery accompany you while passing through Kaiser Franz Joseph Fjord. Get ready to see the largest fjord system in the world: Scoresbysund. Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end but with memories that will accompany you for years to come.
Stroll around Spitsbergen, whose parish church and Svalbard Museum are fascinating attractions
Spot Arctic hare and musk oxen in Blomsterbugt
Hike at the stunning Noah Lake
Encounter colossal icebergs, some over 100 meters high
You touch down in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Enjoy strolling around this former mining town, whose parish church and Svalbard Museum make for fascinating attractions. Though the countryside appears stark, more than a hundred species of plant have been recorded in it. In the evening you sail for Trygghamna, where you see the remains of a 17th century English whaling station and 18th century Pomor hunting station.
From Trygghamna you walk to Alkhornet, a large seabird cliff where the birds are scouting out breeding locations. Below the cliffs is a common place to spot Arctic foxes, and you may also see reindeer grazing on the lush vegetation. In Forlandsundet you can visit a walrus haul-out location either at Poolepynten or Sarstangen.
You sail into Fuglefjorden amid views of Svitjodbreen and Birgerbukta, both breeding places for great skuas as well as likely spots to spy a polar bear. Raudfjorden, on the north coast of Spitsbergen, is a fine area for gazing over the glaciers. It’s also a favorite hangout for ringed and bearded seals, colonies of seabird, and the occasional polar bear and beluga whale.
The goal is to sail into Foster Bay, making your first landing at Myggebugten in the late afternoon or evening. Beyond the old hunters’ hut – in the first half of the 20th century, Norwegian trappers hunted here for polar bear and Arctic fox – there is a sprawling tundra populated by musk oxen, with geese floating the small lakes.
You sail through Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord, enjoying its lofty mountains and bright interior icebergs. In the evening you reach Teufelschloss, a prominent mountain that comprises part of the Eleonora Bay Supergroup: sedimentary rock created between 950 – 610 million years ago to a depth of 16 kilometers (10 miles). This rust-red multi-layered unique geology defines the scenery over the coming days.
Landing at Blomsterbugt, you have a good chance of spotting Arctic hare and musk oxen. Noah Lake is home to great northern divers as well as their young, and the hiking opportunities here are numerous. In the afternoon you venture deeper into Kaiser Franz Joseph Fjord, finding shelter in Renbugten. Colossal icebergs and quintessential Arctic scenery accompany you while passing through this narrow fjord system.
Today the aim is to land in Renbugten in search of musk oxen and Arctic hares. Around lunch you head east into the inversely named Antarctic Sound, enjoying views of the ancient sedimentary rock. You should arrive at Maria Island before nightfall.
Continuing east, you land in Antarctica Havn. You spend the afternoon in this expansive valley, where you can see groups of musk oxen. At this time of year the sparse vegetation is colored with golden fire. Your guide may be able to tell you about the intriguing geopolitics that played out here in the early 1930s between Norway and Denmark.
Today you reach Scoresbysund, sailing along the glaciated Volquart Boons Kyst. You may also enjoy a Zodiac cruise along one of the glacier fronts, along with a visit to the basalt columns and ice formations of Vikingebugt. At Danmark Island you find the remains of an Inuit settlement abandoned around 200 years ago. The circular stone tent rings indicate the summer houses, while the winter houses can be seen closer to a small cape. The sites are well preserved, with easy identifiable entrances, bear-proof meat caches, and grave sites. During the afternoon you sail along the east side of Milne Land amid a number of scattered icebergs.
You land near Sydkap, where Arctic hares are often seen. During lunch, you get a glimpse of the entrance to Nordvestfjord in Scoresby Land. Here you encounter colossal icebergs, some over 100 meters high (328 feet) and more than a kilometer in length (.6 mile). Most of these bergs are grounded, as the fjord is only about 400 meters deep (1,312 feet).
Today you make a tundra landing on Liverpool Land, in Hurry Inlet. The afternoon stop is Ittoqqortoormiit, the largest settlement in Scoresbysund – about five hundred inhabitants. At the post office you can buy stamps for your postcards, or just stroll around to see the sled dogs and drying skins of seals and musk oxen. In the afternoon you sail south, passing the picturesque landscapes of the Blosseville Coast.
In the morning you stop on the south coast of Jameson Land, at a lagoon near Kap Stewart. Here the waders and geese are collecting for their autumn migration, and musk oxen and collared lemmings survive on the meager vegetation. Further inside Hurry Inlet, you may take a walk near the head of the fjord as well as one of the rivers that terminate here. There’s also the chance of a climb up the mountain of J.P. Koch Fjeld, near Hareelv. In this remarkable area, scientists found fossils that linked fish and amphibians in the lower Cretaceous period. You spend the night at anchor off Constable Pynt.
Day 19: Constable Pynt | Disembark | Reykjavik
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. You make your final landing at the airfield on Constable Pynt, flying by chartered plane to Reykjavik and onward – but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.
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Triple Private Porthole
Main deck, upper and lower berths, private bath facilities and porthole.
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Twin Private Inside
Lower deck, upper and lower berths, inside cabins with private bath facilities.
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Twin Private Porthole
Lower deck, upper and lower berths or two lower berths, private bath facilities and porthole.
- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy.
- Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the double occupancy rate.
- Children between the ages of 3-15 receive a 40% discount in triple cabins, one child per cabin.
- Due to the extreme nature of itinerary destinations, travel insurance is mandatory for all cruises aboard the Rembrandt Van Rijn - including medical, accident and repatriation/evacuation insurance.
Included in this Voyage
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 snowshoes.
Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to Longyearbyen.
Transfer and baggage handling between ship and airport in Constable Pynt.
All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
AECO fees and governmental taxes.
Comprehensive pre-departure material.
Excluded from this voyage
Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
Pre- and post- land arrangements.
Passport and visa expenses.
Government arrival and departure taxes.
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).
The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.