Jewels of the Arctic

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

Explore Svalbard and Greenland on this 15 day expedition cruise.

Explore Svalbard, a world of near-endless daylight, where polar bear sightings quicken your pulse, walrus haul out on sea ice and guillemot cries echo from towering cliffs. In East Greenland, sail deep into the world’s largest fjord, Scoresbysund, visit Ittoqqortoormiit, one of the world’s remotest Inuit settlements, cruise among iridescent icebergs sculpted into fantastic shapes, and walk across tundra blooming in brightly coloured flowers, while tasting delicious wild berries.

These jewels of the Arctic are renowned for their wildlife and scenery. Watch arctic fox hunt beneath towering cliffs that are home to enormous colonies of guillemots and fulmars. Quietly approach musk oxen and reindeer on tundra walks. Zodiac-cruise along vast glacial fronts, and push through the pack ice on your purpose-built expedition ship.

Viva's Best Bits...

Watch arctic fox hunt beneath towering cliffs that are home to enormous colonies of guillemots and fulmars

Zodiac-cruise along vast glacial fronts and into Øfjord as sunset paints the surrounding 2,000-metre (6,562-feet) walls a vibrant pink

In Svalbard, push through pack ice, searching for polar bears and ringed seals

Tour Itinerary

Day 1

Having made your way to Longyearbyen, you will be met by a representative of Aurora Expeditions and transferred to our group hotel.

Please visit the Aurora Expeditions hospitality desk, located in the lobby. Our team will run through your embarkation day, answer your questions, and give advice on the local area. They will also provide you with cabin tags for your luggage. Please clearly label the tags with your name and ship cabin number.

Enjoy free time, and in the evening, dine at your leisure (dinner not included).

Accommodation: Radisson Blu Polar Hotel (or similar)

Day 2

Our locally guided journey begins with a drive to the outskirts of Longyearbyen. The stark landscape plays host to a vault unlike any other worldwide. Although not open to the public, the unique design of its entrance affords us an insight into the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, home to a seed bank of over 4000 plant species. We continue to Camp Barentz, located in the Advent Valley, where we enjoy a presentation in the large ‘lavvo’ - a traditional building common in northern Norway. Here your host shares tales of living in the remote Arctic. You'll learn about Longyearbyen’s fascinating history, its early explorers and Svalbard's most famous inhabitants - the polar bear, before we meet the camp's friendly huskies or perhaps pick up some souvenirs. A visit to the eclectic Svalbard Museum is included back in town before embarking the vessel in the late afternoon.

Settle into your cabin before attending important safety briefings and enjoy the thrill of departure as we ‘throw the lines’ and set sail.

This evening, get to know your fellow expeditioners and our friendly Expedition Team and crew at the Captain’s Welcome Dinner to celebrate the start of a thrilling adventure.

Day 3-5

Svalbard offers arctic wilderness at its best. The members of our experienced Expedition Team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to tailor our itinerary, choosing the best options based on the prevailing weather, sea-ice conditions and opportunities for wildlife encounters.

Phenomenal fjords, magnificent mountains ranges, and a polar desert rich in fossils set the stage for heroic tales of early exploration. See walrus hauled-out on sea ice or on beaches. On land, we stretch our legs on walks across tundra carpeted in brightly coloured wildflowers. We visit towering cliffs noisy with nesting guillemots and puffins, and scree slopes that hold Svalbard’s largest little auk colonies. Most memorable are encounters with the majestic polar bear on pack ice. Your Expedition Team is just as keen as you are to find them and they will be on constant watch to spot these inspiring creatures.

If you have chosen an optional activity such as kayaking, you will have an opportunity to enjoy that activity when conditions allow. For those who are enthusiastic to participate in a polar plunge, as soon as conditions are suitable, you will hear the announcement to prepare for an exhilarating dip – a memory you will savour for years to come.

Day 6-7
Greenland Sea

As we sail towards the coast of East Greenland, we may encounter whales feeding in the rich waters of the north. As we approach East Greenland, be prepared to encounter more pack ice and perhaps spot seals and a variety of seabirds, including the northern fulmar and Brünnich’s guillemot.

The strong, icy currents have isolated East Greenland from the Polar Basin, attracting large numbers of fish, seals and whales. Climatic conditions and the concentration of ice in the vicinity often create thick morning fog that only vanishes in presence of the midday sun. Our experts will inform and entertain us with fascinating discussions on plants, animals, ice and heroic tales of exploration.

Day 8-13
East Greenland

In the coming days, a host of choices are available to us, and depending on ice and weather conditions, the east coast of Greenland is ours to explore. Our experienced Expedition Team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to tailor our itinerary on a day-to-day basis. This allows us to make best use of the prevailing weather, ice conditions and encounters with wildlife. We generally attempt up to two landings or Zodiac excursions per day, including cruising along spectacular ice cliffs, following whales feeding near the surface.

Be prepared to experience ice – and lots of it! East Greenland contains some of the Arctic’s most impressive scenery. Deep fjords and narrow channels, flanked by sharp ice-clad peaks soaring up to 2,000 metres (6,562 feet), and glaciers birthing gigantic icebergs that drift throughout the fjord system, combine to create breathtaking scenes.

The tundra landscape is home to musk oxen, arctic hare and reindeer. Throughout the area there are ancient Thule archaeological sites, historical trappers’ huts, and the cabins of present-day Inuit hunters. A highlight is a visit to the Inuit village of Ittoqqortoormiit, the most isolated and northernmost permanent settlement in the region, with approximately 450 inhabitants. The community has an excellent museum, gift shop, an abundance of Greenlandic sled dogs and provides the opportunity to meet the friendly locals.

Explore Scoresbysund, the world’s largest fjord and a favourite hunting ground of the local Inuit. Massive glaciers flow into this fjord, the birthplace of hundreds of majestic Greenland icebergs. It is a spectacular place that simply needs to be seen to be believed. North of Scoresbysund lie Kong Oskar and Kaiser Franz Josef fjords, two of the most significant fjord systems in Greenland, each one encompassing several smaller fjords and sounds. Thanks to the fertile volcanic soil and the surrounding mountains offering protection from strong winds, the area is rich in wildlife. You may spot everything from musk ox and arctic foxes to mountain hares, and even reindeer, near the fjord. Look skyward and you could catch a glimpse of birds, including the glaucous gull, black-legged kittiwake, northern fulmar, common raven and common eider.

We will attempt to enter Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord, a remote and rarely visited fjord system with countless opportunities for exploration, located within the Northeast Greenland National Park. Cruising through Kong Oskar Fjord, we marvel at the geological beauty of the mountains. We will then head south along the coast of Liverpool Land, with our passage dependent on ice conditions.

We stretch our legs on hikes across tundra in search of ancient graveyards and summer villages occupied 3,000 years ago by Inuit. We may see musk ox, arctic hare and reindeer grazing. The maze of calm, interconnecting waterways in this area provides excellent opportunities for sea kayaking. We will see ring seals, perhaps catch a glimpse of the elusive narwhal, and maybe even a polar bear hunting on pack ice.

Day 14
Denmark Strait

Crossing the Denmark Strait to Iceland, search for whale blows and photograph the many seabirds that trail our ship in the ever-present arctic winds.

Day 15

During the early morning, we cruise into Reykjavik and disembark at approximately 8.00 am. Farewell your Expedition Team and fellow passengers as we all continue our onward journeys, Transfer to your downtown hotel or to Keflavik airport.

NOTE: We do not recommend booking flights departing prior to 12.00 pm on the day of disembarkation, as we may experience delays at the conclusion of the voyage.

What’s Included

  • Included Copy 20 One night’s hotel accommodation including breakfast, in Longyearbyen on Day 1
  • Included Copy 20 Onboard accommodation during voyage, including daily cabin service
  • Included Copy 20 All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage
  • Included Copy 20 Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner
  • Included Copy 20 Captain’s Welcome and Farewell receptions including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Transfer from airport to hotel on arrival Day 1
  • Included Copy 20 Sightseeing tour of Longyearbyen, prior to embarkation, on Day 2
  • Included Copy 20 Transfer from pier to hotel or airport in Reykjavik on Day 15
  • Included Copy 20 All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises
  • Included Copy 20 Educational lectures and guiding services provided by Expedition Team
  • Included Copy 20 Complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consultation)
  • Included Copy 20 One 3-in-1 waterproof, polar expedition jacket
  • Included Copy 20 Complimentary use of Muck Boots during the voyage
  • Included Copy 20 Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • Included Copy 20 Port surcharges, permits and landing fees
  • Included Copy 7 International flights, visas, Gratuities, Laundry, bar, beverages and insurance
  • Included Copy 31 Add on kayaking

Greg Mortimer | Arctic & Antarctic Cruise Ship

average of 132 passengers Passengers


  • Included Trips ashore and exploration by zodiac cruise
  • Included Whale and mammal spotting and bird watching
  • Included Opportunity to take a polar plunge
  • Included Zodiac cruises
  • Included Walks ashore
  • Included Lectures on wildlife, our environment, history and destinations
  • Included Sea kayaking (optional)
Click here for dates & prices

15 days

Price from

$12,373 USD

Per person, sharing

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