Spitsbergen, Northeast Greenland, Aurora Borealis

From Longyearbyen to Akureyri
  • All Arctic Cruises
  • Iceland and Greenland
  • Spitsbergen
  • Wildlife and Nature
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Tour Description

Spitsbergen, Northeast Greenland, Aurora Borealis - A classic three island voyage: Ice , Inuit and Remoteness.

Cruise Spitsbergen and Northeast Greenland in search of seals, whales, polar bears, and the Northern Lights. Be wowed by the breath taking landscapes. 

Start your cruise in Longyearbyen, the largest town in Spitsbergen and travel down the east coast of Greenland. Cruise fjords filled with glaciers, near cliffs teeming with birdlife. Sail through the sea ice to Greenland, stop at Foster Bay and take a walk in a tundra populated by musk oxen. From here, you can see the layered geology of Teufelschloss (Devil's Castle). Walk ashore looking for musk oxen, arctic hares and ptarmigans and more, take zodiac explorations to explore the dramatic bays and coastlines. 

In Scoresbysund witness stunning basalt columns and ice formations, travel to Danmark Island to see the ruins of an Inuit community that was abandoned some 200 years ago. As your adventure continues enjoy the beauty ofcolossal icebergs, some over 100 meters (328 feet) high and more than a kilometer (.62 mile) long. During the days of exploration we are always on the look out for arctic hare, whales, polar bears, and more, and at night, hoping for the magical northern lights or aurora borealis to dance for us!

 More time? Ask us about the extended 22 and 23 day versions of this tour departing 9th and 17th August 2024 

Viva's Best Bits...

Encounter enormous icebergs that can reach heights of more than 100 metres (328 feet) and lengths of more than one kilometre (.62 miles).

Get the chance to observe whales, seals, arctic hare, hopefully polar bear and at night, the entrancing northern lights!

Explore the ruins of an Inuit settlement abandoned around 200 years ago. The sites are well preserved, with easy identifiable entrances, bear-proof meat caches, and grave sites.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1

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 early evening the ship sails out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of your voyage.

Day 2
Route to Raudfjorden

Sailing to Raudfjorden, on the north coast of Spitsbergen, you take in an expansive fjord spilling with glaciers – and maybe even visited by ringed and bearded seals. The cliffs and shoreline of this fjord also support thriving seabird colonies, rich vegetation, and the possibility of polar bears.

Day 3-4
Onwards to east Greenland

You may eventually see the jagged edge of the east Greenland sea ice flashing into sight ahead, depending on the conditions. Keep watch for whales and migrating seabirds

Day 5
Tundra, mountains, and icebergs

As you approach Greenland, you may sail through the sea ice into Foster Bay and land at Myggebugten. Beyond the old hunters’ hut (where Norwegian trappers hunted for polar bear and Arctic fox in the first half of the 20th century), there is a sprawling tundra populated by musk oxen, with geese floating the small lakes. From here you sail through Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord, surrounded by towering mountains and bright interior icebergs. An alternate route is Sofia Sound, a narrower waterway.

For those who choose to attend, we have our first long walk (6-7 hours) of the voyage today. We start at Myggbukta station and head into Badlanddal, then turn south to Fangsthytte near Kap Bennet. A Zodiac will sail ahead of the walking party and parallel to the coast to watch out for bears.

Day 6
The islands of Antarctic Sound

You arrive at Teufelschloss (Devil’s Castle), a mountain with layered geology. On the other side of the fjord is Blomsterbugt and the intended landing site. In the afternoon you head into Antarctic Sound, where you find the islands of Ruth, Maria, and Ella. Maria is the most likely spot for a landing.

Day 7
Alpefjord’s lofty peaks

In the morning you enter Segelsällskapets Fjord, with the streaked slopes of the Berzelius Mountains bordering the north side. You land on the south shore, where ancient sedimentary formations lie right at your feet. A hike takes you near a small lake with good chances to see musk oxen, Arctic hares, and ptarmigans. In the afternoon the ship ventures into Alpefjord, aptly named for the spire-like peaks that thrust up around it. You may then embark on a Zodiac cruise around Gully Glacier, which once blocked access to the interior of these waters. Continuing deep into the fjord, you experience a definitive Greenland adventure.

Day 8
Sights of the Arctic autumn

The first half of the day you spend in Antarctic Havn, an extensive valley where you can spot groups of musk oxen. At this time of year, the sparse vegetation is dressed in the fiery colors of autumn.

Day 9
Arriving at Earth’s largest fjord

Today you reach Scoresbysund, sailing along the glaciated Volquart Boons Kyst. You may also enjoy a Zodiac cruise past one of the glacier fronts, along with a visit to the basalt columns and ice formations of Vikingebugt.

In the afternoon, we plan to sail by the east coast of Milne Land among a multitude of giant icebergs. If we can also land at Charcot Havn, we will make a walk to the Charcot Glacier. We will then continue by Bjørneør and sail into Øfjord, where we might also make a landing.

Day 10
Colors of the cape

The goal is a Zodiac cruise near Røde Ø, one of the world’s most cherished iceberg attractions: The austere blue-white of the icebergs sets sharp against the brooding red backdrop of the sediment slopes. The afternoon plan is to sail through the northern parts of Røde Fjord, with the chance to see musk oxen and warm autumnal foliage.

Day 11
Enormous bergs, Arctic hares

In the morning you encounter colossal icebergs, some over 100 meters (328 feet) high and more than a kilometer (.62 mile) long. Most of them are grounded, as the fjord is only about 400 meters deep (1,312 feet). You then land near Sydkap, with fine views of Hall Bredning and a good shot of seeing Arctic hares.
Today’s long walk goes from Sydkap to Nordøstbugt (12 km, 7.5 miles to the northeast), where the river coming from Holger Danskes Briller flows into the sea. We plan to walk south along the shore to Satakajik, seeing whale vertebrae and the remains of Thule summer houses. Passengers who opt out of the long walking group will join us at this location for their second excursion of the day.

Day 12

Today you make a tundra landing on Liverpool Land, in Hurry Inlet. The afternoon stop is Ittoqqortoormiit, the largest settlement in Scoresbysund at 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.

Day 13
At Sea

A sea day grants you the opportunity to spot whales and seabirds – and at night, the magical northern lights.

Day 14

Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. You disembark in Akureyri, where on request you can transfer (T) by chartered bus (a six-hour drive that you must book in advance) to the Reykjavik city hall, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

The probability of sailing into Scoresbysund is high (based on our experiences from 1993 – 2019), but there is still a chance (about 10%) that ice will obstruct passage into the fjord system. All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. Landings are subject to site availabilities, permissions, and environmental concerns per AECO regulations. Official sailing plans and landing slots are scheduled with AECO prior to the start of the season, but the expedition leader determines the final plan. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. The average cruising speed of our vessel is 10.5 knots.

What’s Included

  • Included Copy 20 13 nights onboard
  • Included Copy 20 All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • Included Copy 20 All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Included Copy 20 Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • Included Copy 20 Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • Included Copy 20 Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the
  • Included Copy 20 All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
  • Included Copy 20 AECO fees and governmental taxes.
  • Included Copy 20 Comprehensive pre-departure material.
  • Included Copy 7 International flights, travel insurance, gratuities, Excess baggage charges, government taxes,

MV Plancius

108 Passengers

MV Ortelius

108 Passengers

MV Hondius

176 Passengers


  • Included Learn about the history & culture of the region, including a visit to the ruins of an Inuit town
  • Included Shore-based walking through polar landscapes
  • Included Look out for the magical Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights
  • Included Spot musk ox, polar bears, whales and seals
  • Included Go zodiac cruising exploring coastlines, fjords and glaciers
  • Included Witness the incredible fjords and icebergs of the Arctic
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14 days

Price from

$7,000 USD

Per person, sharing

based on a quad cabin

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