Jewels of the Arctic 14 daysAboard: Polar Pioneer
This voyage offers a complete European Arctic experience: tundra walks amidst reindeer and exquisite dwarf vegetation, Zodiac cruises near calving glacier fronts, hikes to breathtaking mountain vistas and warm welcomes into indigenous communities. We may see reindeer, Arctic fox, musk ox, countless sea and land birds, walrus, seals, whales and polar bears. There's something for everyone, whether you're an active adventurer or you've come to relax. Please note that ice conditions vary enormously from year to year along Greenland's coast.
- Get up-close with Spitsbergen’s dramatic fjords
- Sail along East Greenland’s magnificent coastline & see the world’s largest icebergs in Scoresby Sund
- See musk ox, Arctic fox, reindeer, ringed seals, walrus and polar bears
- Visit friendly Inuit communities & share in their culture
- Activity options including kayaking and rock climbing
- Accommodation onboard Polar Pioneer with all meals, snacks, tea and coffee included
- Group transfer to ship from downtown Longyearbyen and from ship in Reykjavik
- Group sightseeing tour in Longyearbyen on arrival (pre-voyage)
- All shore excursions and Zodiac (inflatable boat) cruises
- Educational lectures and guiding services from an expert team
- Complimentary custom-designed polar expedition jacket
- Loan of gumboots during the voyage
- Daily cabin service
- Professionally-produced hard back voyage log
- Port taxes and charges & entry fees to historic landings sites
So much to experience
Too much to choose from? This is where we come in
Take advantage of our vast experience, passion and expertise to help you hand craft the perfect Arctic adventure for you.
As Senior Travel Expert, Simon has an absolute wealth of experience in adventure travel in some of the most fascinating places in the world. With in-depth knowledge and fantastic organizational skills, Simon’s first-hand experience and genuine passion drive him to work to create your perfect itinerary.
Having amassed a host of extraordinary adventures in destinations all over the world, Zoe’s experience, skills and enthusiasm for helping clients plan their ideal itinerary will help make your holiday unforgettable, action packed and life-changing.
Mike has more than 15 years of experience in the travel industry and continues to be inspired by the people, places and wildlife he discovers. His in-depth personal knowledge of a diverse range of destinations ensures your adventure itinerary will be a holiday like no other.
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All our itinerary holidays are fully customisable
Your Arctic adventure begins in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of Svalbard. Arrive independently and join the included group sightseeing tour of this unique Arctic town, before heading to the port to board your ship. Embarkation will begin in the late afternoon and you can take the time to settle into your new surroundings as the ship sails down magnificent Isfjorden, flanked by bird cliffs, vast glaciers and jagged mountains.
Your adventure begins in earnest today as you discover the calving icebergs, historic whaling stations and trappers’ camps of Spitsbergen’s spectacular northwest coast. You can enjoy Zodiac excursions to get fantastic views of ice cliffs, including Monacobreen, one of Spitsbergen’s largest glaciers, and search for wildlife including walrus and possibly even polar bears. Enjoy gentle hikes along the tundra dotted with wildflowers and keep an eye out for reindeer. Birdwatching opportunities here are endless as Brunnich’s guillemots, little auks and kittiwakes nest in their thousands. Make sure you have your camera ready for fantastic scenic and wildlife photo opportunities.
Crossing the Greenland Sea
We sail through the Polar Basin's nutrient-rich waters, searching for fin and beluga whales, encroaching pack ice, and seabirds. The expert naturalists and guest lecturers onboard will entertain us with fascinating, illustrated talks on European Arctic plants and animals, and epic tales of such early explorers as Nansen, Andree and Scoresby. These are relaxed days, wonderful for getting to know fellow expeditioners and preparing for a landing, if conditions permit, in the world's largest national park - Greenland's northeast coast. The region is home to polar bear, walrus, Arctic hare and musk ox. Watch for ringed, bearded, harp and hooded seals from the Zodiacs.
Upon arriving at Greenland’s eastern coast the overwhelming first impression is usually “ice”, and lots of it! An ice cap covers 81 per cent of the island and pack ice, even in summer, may fill the northern bays. We will spend our days exploring by Zodiac and visiting places like Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord where walks along the tundra in search of sightings of musk ox, Arctic fox and eider ducks wll delight. Visit trappers’ huts, see the spectacular hanging gardens at Kap Humboldt and witness the spectacular glacier-carved mountains of Kong Oskar Fjord up close.
We will spend 2 days exploring the beautiful Scoresby Sund, the world's biggest fjord system. The vast Greenland icecap sweeps down in massive glaciers that calve explosively, creating giant icebergs, and we will get up close to these on exciting Zodiac explorations. Near Sydkap, our Zodiacs weave through a maze of grounded icebergs, some more than 30-metres high, sculpted with deep green tunnels and aquamarine lakes. In Ittoqqortoormiit you will enjoy a warm welcome from Inuit happy to share their culture and explain the challenges of Arctic life. For the kayakers there are ideal paddling conditions here, and you can spend your time weaving through the interconnected waterways, watching for polar bears and narwhals.
As we sail along the Blosseville Coast we will keep an eye out for musk ox and narwhals, and marvel at the mountain scenery that dominates the skyline. If weather permits, we head for Romer Fjord, a deep waterway with stunning mountain views.
As we sail across Denmark Strait towards Iceland, there's time to reflect on the unforgettable experiences you will have had. Spend time on deck enjoying the flying antics of northern fulmars and black-backed gulls, and spot dolphins, orcas and other whales in their feeding grounds.
Arrival into Reykjavik in the early morning signals the end of our Arctic adventure. After breakfast, bid farewell to your fellow expeditioners before your coach transfer to the airport or downtown Reykjavik if you wish to extend your stay here in this unique Arctic city.
A view from Above
Polar Pioneer was built in Finland as an ice-strengthened research ship and was refurbished in 2000 as an expedition ship with accommodation for 54 passengers. There is a mixture of cabins and suites, including twin and triples with shared facilities. All cabins have portholes. Public areas include two dining rooms, a combined bar/lounge/library and a small clinic. There is an open bridge policy on board.
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