Arctic Greenland Cruise

   
 
 

East Greenland - Scoresby Sund, Aurora Borealis Cruise

Includes Basecamp Ortelius

2017 Departures
September 11, 18
Prices From$5540 per Person Double
$3900 per Person Triple
Make A Request By Selecting an Above Departure

The Arctic coastlines offer some of the finest scenery and wildlife experiences in the world. Visitors to the region can witness enormous colonies of seabirds thronging the cliffs and shores, and enjoy the thrilling antics of whales and dolphins at sea and seals and Walrus hauled out on the rocks and ice floes.

The lucky may even encounter the very symbol of the Arctic - the Polar Bear. Though remote and sparsely populated today, many of the places we explore have been inhabited in the last 5000 years, and thousands of unique prehistoric and historic sites are a testimony to the thriving cultures of the past.

Greenland and its surrounding waters are home to an impressive array of wildlife: eight species of whale, two million seals, Walruses, Polar Bears, Reindeer, Musk Oxen, Arctic Hares, Arctic Wolves and a spectacular variety of birds. The largest island in the world, 90% of its surface area is covered by ice and it is inhabited by less then 100.000 people, though with a fascinating history and culture.

Our voyages focus on East and Northeast Greenland, among the most isolated, sparsely populated and scenically superb parts of the island. Fortunately, from the wildlife enthusiast's point of view, they are also the most rewarding regions with regular sightings of Musk Oxen, Arctic Hares, Narwhals and a variety of birds, including Gyrfalcon, Snowy Owl, Barnacle and Pink-footed Geese.

Access to this highly indented and ruggedly mountainous coast is dependent on ice conditions. For much of the year, the region is locked in by pack ice, which by late summer has broken up sufficiently to allow vessels such as ours the chance to penetrate and explore.

Itinerary

 
Day 1     Reykjavik - Akureyri
On Board the M/V Plancius
Meals: Dinner

Transfer by bus from Reykjavik hotels in the morning to the ship in Akureyri, where we arrive in the afternoon after six hours drive through North Iceland. In the early evening we leave Iceland and sail north towards the Denmark Strait.

 
Day 2     At Sea
On Board the M/V Plancius
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Sailing north through the Denmark Strait. We are almost certain to see Fulmar, Kittiwake, Gannet and rafts of Common Guillemot. We cross the Arctic Circle and continue north, perhaps seeing whales. In the evening we will spot our first icebergs appear as we approach the east coast of Greenland near Kap Brewster.

 
Day 3     At Sea
On Board the M/V Plancius
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

In the morning we sail along the ragged and glaciated Volquart Boons Coast, Here we may organize a zodiac cruise along one of the glacier fronts of this coast, and have our first landing near a glacier, like Maanegletsjer or in Vikingebugt. Later we land on Danmarks O where there are the remains of an Inuit settlement abandoned around 200 years ago. The circular "tent rings" of stones indicate the summer houses, while the winter houses can be seen closer to a small cape. The sites are excellently preserved, allowing entrances and even bear-proof meat caches to be identified. There are also grave sites. In the evening we continue our sailing through the beautiful fjords to the west, choked with ice-bergs.

 
Day 4     At Sea
On Board the M/V Plancius
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

We go ashore at Cape Hofmann Halvo¸, a reliable spot for viewing Musk Oxen. We may also spot Rock Ptarmigans and at sea Great Northern Divers. The landscape here is particularly beautiful, especially during autumn when the Dwarf Willow and Dwarf Birch change color. Arctic Blueberry and Crowberry add their own colorful touch - the berries are tasty too! Later, during a Zodiac cruise, we will come close to huge icebergs and may also see Ringed Seals, as well as distant views of Musk Oxen on shore. In the evening we sail through the fjord towards Scoresby Land, hoping to see Narwhals and enjoying the contrast between the warm autumnal colors of the vegetation on shore, backed by huge dark mountains, and the cold blue of the icebergs.

 
Day 5     At Sea
On Board the M/V Plancius

On our way to Sydkap in Scoresby Land in the morning, we encounter huge icebergs, some over 100 m high and more than a kilometer in length. Most of the bergs are grounded as the fjord is only about 400 m deep here. We land near Sydkap to view the remains of the Thule culture winter houses. As many as 20 people lived in these tiny houses, hunting Greenland Whales and using their vertebrae to build the houses. We may also land at Gurreholm on Jameson Land. The landscape here is gently undulating, but the climate is harsh - sometimes snow lies throughout the summer - but some animals - Musk Oxen and Collared Lemmings - survive on the meager vegetation. The lemmings are preyed upon by Long-tailed Skua, Snowy Owl and Arctic Fox.

 
Day 6     Illoqqortoormiut
On Board the M/V Plancius
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

In the morning we land at a lagoon at the south coast of Jameson Land, an area with waders and geese collecting for the autumn migration. The landscape here is gently undulating. Musk Oxen and Collared Lemming - survive on the meagre vegetation. In the afternoon we visit Ittoqqortoormiit, the biggest settlement near Scoresby Sund with about 400 inhabitants. At the post office you can buy stamps for your postcards, or just wander around to see the sledge dogs and the drying skins of seals, Musk Oxen and Polar Bear.

 
Day 7     At Sea
On Board the M/V Plancius
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

The whole day at sea offers excellent opportunities to see large whales and seabird migration and, at night the Aurora borealis (Northern Lights).

 
Day 8     Akureyri - Reykjavik
Meals: Breakfast

Arrive at Akureyri, and transfer by chartered bus to hotels in Reykjavik -

 

Notes

All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions and in order to take advantage of opportunities to see wildlife.

Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.

Itinerary Subject To Change 2017
Price Includes
Comprehensive Pre-Departure Material
Free Use of Rubber Boots for Excursions
Transfers and Luggage Handling
Accommodations in Select Cabin Category
All Meals
Shore Excursions
Services of Expedition Guides
Conferences and Shipboard Entertainment
Port Charges
OCE-1216