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National Parks Expedition

Longyearbyen, Norway to Reykjavik, Iceland or Reverse


August 27, 2015
September 10, 2015 (reverse route)

This expedition takes you to three Arctic islands and the least visited national park in the world. Explore Spitsbergen, Greenland and Iceland for an adventure that cannot be compared to anything else in this hemisphere.

We start by taking you through the magnificent North West Spitsbergen National Park. Once we reach the North East Greenland National Park, we might sail for days without seeing other vessels. The chances of meeting a polar wolf or a polar bear are far greater than meeting representatives of our own species. In Iceland we will explore the western fjords before ending this voyage of a lifetime in Reykjavik.

The voyage on 25 August begins in Norway and ends in Iceland. The voyage on 8 September will take the reverse route, starting in Iceland and ending in Norway.



 
Itinerary 

Day 1 - 2 Longyearbyen 

After arrival you will spend an evening and most of the following day at your own leisure. Enjoy and explore this small Arctic community. It offers a wide range of activities and facilities. There is a public library, cafes/restaurants, tourist information, a swimming hall, a climbing wall, a big sports hall, a grocery store, three pubs, three hotels, one church, several tourist shops and one nightclub. Longyearbyen has a very friendly and international atmosphere. In the afternoon MS Fram sets sail.

The voyage you are setting out on is one of a kind, with a multitude of landing sites and exciting experiences.

Day 3 North West Spitsbergen National Park 

The first national park we visit covers the north-western corner of Spitsbergen. The area is characterised by big inland glaciers and a typical alpine landscape, and is filled with spectacular contrasts from green areas to naked moraines, rocky ridges and glaciers diving into the sea.

We continue into Kongsfjord, north-west Spitsbergen’s largest fjord and Magdalenefjord, an area of Spitsbergen with spectacular landscape and an interesting history. At 78º 55' N we visit Ny Ålesund, one of the world’s northernmost year-round communities. It was the starting point for numerous expeditions towards the North Pole; today it is an advanced High Arctic research station.

Day 4 At sea 

During our crossing of the Fram Strait between Spitsbergen and north-east Greenland our Expedition Team will give lectures on interesting subjects connected to this area.

Day 5 - 11 North East Greenland National Park, Greenland 

If conditions allow we’ll start our trip along the coast of Greenland at a similar latitude to Longyearbyen. This is probably when you will start dwelling upon the thought that we are quite alone in a far corner of the globe. Apart from some abandoned trapping stations, a weather station and the stronghold of the traditional Sirius sled patrol of the Danish Military, there are absolutely no signs of humans here. Once inside the fjords of North East Greenland your sense of distance, size and shape of landscapes will be challenged. Without references the vastness becomes almost incomprehensible – these are the largest fjords in the world and the alpine landscape around, with hanging glaciers and vertical granite faces reaches as far as the eye can see.

The mountains are alpine – rising more than 2,500 metres above sea level. The waters are scattered with large icebergs and the valleys are sprinkled with brownish dots (these turn out to be musk oxen). We may also encounter the all-white arctic hare, the arctic fox or the very rare arctic wolf. As well as terrestrial wildlife we may see the white Greenland falcon, ptarmigan, snowy owl and a variety of sea birds. And remember, where there is ice there might be polar bears!

The very isolated weather and research station, Danmarkshavn is one of the places we may visit en route. From then on we will tack our way south staying within the boundaries of the largest national park on Earth. Sailing into fjords like Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord orAlpefjord will give you an experience of a lifetime; a feeling of sailing in a maze with spectacular snow-capped peaks all around. While the majority of our landings are performed as pure wilderness expeditions we may also meet the Sirius Patrol. The Danish Navy maintains and supervises the park using traditional methods such as dog-sledging.

Day 12 Ittoqqortoormiit (Scoresbysund), Greenland 

For our last call in North East Greenland we visit the most isolated town in Greenland. The trappers living in this town are the only ones that are allowed to hunt within the North East Greenland National Park.

Our local guides will meet us, hand out maps and give information about what is open during our visit. The programme would normally include visits to a museum, church and photo exhibition, and even a launch of a weather balloon, all with local guides. You are welcome to walk around on your own and see the places of interest.

Day 13 - 16 The Westfjords of Iceland 

We set course towards the Westfjords of Iceland and plan for three days exploring. The area has a feel of untouched nature with cliffs and valleys, high waterfalls and crystal-clear streams. We will provide you with spectacular views and interesting sites in the company of your friendly knowledgeable Expedition Team.

Grundarfjörður is located at the Snæfellsnes peninsula, often called “Iceland in a nutshell” because of its diversity of landscape. Enjoy the sights of lava and rock formations, glaciers, volcanic activity, hot and cold springs as well as an abundance of bird life and picturesque landscapes.

Flateyri has been a trading post since 1792 and the base for shark-hunting and whaling operations in the 1900s. We will offer optional excursions to explore the area.

Ísafjörður has a long history and for centuries was a major centre of commerce and trading for the fishing industry. Take a stroll around this cosy town and enjoy its diverse architecture.

Our optional excursions offer a variety of experiences from tastings of local food to hikes.

Day 16 Reykjavik, Iceland 

Despite Reykjavik’s relatively short history as a city, it is home to an impressive collection of interesting attractions and places of historic significance. It offers a lot to tempt the curiosity of its visitors. We will arrive in the morning hours, and here our voyage ends.

2015 Cruise Fares  
Tour and Dates Occupancy From Price ($ per person) Cabin Grades 
Inside Outside Suite Savings Up To: 
National Park Expedition (Aug 27) CENGRE1506 Twin $7,495 $8,521 $11,447 41%
$7,495
Single $13,017 $14,813 $19,934
$13,017
 
Tour and Dates Occupancy From Price ($ per person) Cabin Grades 
Inside Outside Suite Savings Up To: 
National Park Expedition (Sep 10) CENGRE1507 Twin $7,206 $8,232 $11,158 41%
$7,206
Single $12,610 $14,406 $19,527
$12,610
 
Departures: 
August 27, 2015
September 10, 2015 (reverse route)
 
Includes: 
  • Expedition voyage in cabin grade of your choice.
  • Full board and free tea & coffee.
  • Wind and water-resistant jacket.
  • Landings with Po­larcirkel boats.
  • Activities on board and ashore.
  • Lectures and landings with Expedition Team.
  • Hotel night + breakfast in Longyearbyen. 
 
Not Included:
  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional excursions and gratuities
Notes:
All prices are capacity controlled and subject to availability. Prices may change at any time before departure date. The applicable price will be quoted at the time of booking. Prices are in $ per person.
All planned landings are subject to weather and ice conditions
All itineraries are subject to change
Rubber boots rental service on board