- Starts at: Longyearbyen
- Ends at: Reykjavik
- Duration: 17 Days / 16 Nights
From impressive icebergs to iconic wildlife to traditional Inuit culture and more, the Four Arctic Islands: Spitsbergen, Jan Mayen, Greenland and Iceland expedition gives you a generous sampling of 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 Norway, your adventure takes you to Spitsbergen, renowned for its stunning scenery and abundant, varied wildlife such as polar bears and walrus. From there, sail south to the mysterious, 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, to cap off your epic expedition, you’ll sail under the midnight sun to Reykjivik, where you disembark and can soak up Icelandic culture in a city that never sleeps.
The Arctic has been inspiring explorers for centuries, and our expeditions offer the chance for you to discover why. We’re excited to host you on your unforgettable adventure!
- Just returned from my second trip with Ice Tracks this time to the Arctic and the Svalbard archipelago and once again it was a wonderful journey.Rick Dobbie – Sydney, Australia
- My trip in June to Svalbard was one of the high spots of my life.Honnie Feltham – England
- I had the most amazing time with Ice Tacks in July 2013 in the frozen wastes of Svalbard.Ann Willis – UK
The following itinerary details the Four Arctic Islands: Spitsbergen, Jan Mayen, Greenland and Iceland. Please do contact us for more information about this amazing voyage.
This morning, the group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen’s largest settlement. As you embark this afternoon, you’ll enjoy great views of the mountainous landscape that serves as a backdrop for this seaside town.
Exploring Spitsbergen, the largest island in the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago, rewards you with abundant wildlife and austere beauty. Here, you’ll visit spectacular glacier fronts and steep-walled fjords, with walrus, polar bears and Svalbard reindeer amongst your possible wildlife sightings. Birders will be thrilled to see arctic terns, skuas, long-tailed ducks, kittiwakes and ivory gulls. If conditions permit, you could sail within 10 degrees of the North Pole!
While sailing south through the historic Greenland Sea toward Jan Mayen, your Expedition Team will keep you informed with presentations about the storied 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.
North of the Arctic Circle, about 280 miles (450 km) east of Greenland and 340 miles (550 km) north of Iceland, is the mysterious Jan Mayen, deep in the North Atlantic Ocean. 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 around 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).
Your tour of Scoresbysund—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, Greenland’s most remote community. At the mouth of the sound, this remote settlement boasts a blend of traditional and modern lifestyles and is actually 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 are encounters 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.
As we cruise south, the Denmark Strait is your pathway toward Iceland. Take in a lecture, share your photos, sip an icy cocktail in the bar or watch a movie—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.
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.
Included in the price of this voyage:
- Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
- All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board
- Beer and house wine during dinner
- All shore landings per the daily program
- Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader
- All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
- Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and special guests as scheduled
- Photographic journal documenting the expedition
- Waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
- Parka to keep
- Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
- Complimentary reusable water bottle
- Hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin
- Comprehensive onboard materials, including a map and an informative Arctic Reader
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
- All luggage handling aboard the ship
- Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$500,000 per person
- Transfer from Longyearbyen town center to port on embarkation day
- Group transfer to downtown Reykjavik on disembarkation day
- Greenland voyages cruise passenger tax
Not included in the price of this voyage:
- Mandatory Transfer Package*
- International airfare
- Arrival transfer in Oslo
- Airport transfer in Reykjavik
- Passport and visa expenses
- Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above
- Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
- Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended
- Excess-baggage fees on international flights
- Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
- Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified
- Phone and Internet charges
- Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
- Additional overnight accommodation
- Any Adventure Options
*MANDATORY TRANSFER PACKAGE INCLUDES:
• One night’s pre-expedition hotel night at Oslo airport hotel, with breakfast
• Charter flight from Oslo to Longyearbyen
• Arrival transfer in Longyearbyen PACKAGE PRICE: $595 USD