Spitsbergen and East Greenland AdventureAboard: Greg Mortimer
This epic voyage combines 2 of our most popular itineraries, the Jewels of the Arctic and the Spitsbergen Odyssey, to create a fantastic 24 day expedition to discover the very best of the European Arctic. Aboard the brand new polar vessel the Greg Mortimer you will explore the stunning Spitsbergen coastline with its calving glaciers, towering bird cliffs, pack ice and wildlife such as walruses, reindeer and even polar bears. If that’s not enough you will also get to experience the world’s largest fjord system, calving icebergs, friendly native communities and untouched tundra-covered valleys of spectacular Greenland. Enjoy exciting Zodiac cruises and optional kayaking excursions as you get up close to some of nature’s finest spectacles.
- Explore Spitsbergen’s stunning northwest coast & the North East Greenland National Park
- Aim for 80° North on alert for polar bears!
- Other wildlife spotting opportunities including reindeer, walrus and whales
- Zodiac cruise beneath high cliffs buzzing with seabirds
- See Scoresby Sund, the world’s largest fjord system
- Visit Inuit communities and share their Arctic lifestyle
- Kayaking and rock climbing options
- Photo Workshop
- Accommodation onboard with all meals, snacks, tea and coffee included
- Group transfers to and from ship
- Group sightseeing tour in Longyearbyen post-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
Our popularitinerary Suggestions
All our itinerary holidays are fully customisable
Your Arctic adventure begins in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. Arrive independently and transfer 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 towards the Denmark Strait.
As we sail across Denmark Strait towards Greenland, you can enjoy onboard presentations and talks from the experts that will accompany you on your voyage. Learn about the wildlife, history and geology of the areas you are about to encounter and 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.
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.
This is where your adventure begins in earnest as we 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.
East Greenland Coast
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.
After your exploration of Greenland its time to head towards more adventures in Svalbard. 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 your time in the Polar wonderland of Spitsbergen.
Welcome to Spitsbergen! You will spend your days here discovering 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.
Please note: As this tour is a combination of 2 itineraries, your ship will head towards Longyearbyen on the night of day 12 to collect more passengers and allow those who have only booked the Greenland portion of the trip to disembark. The areas you will have visited on these 2 days may be visited again in the following days, however this will give us the opportunity to explore places we may have missed or spot wildlife we may not have seen first time around.
A midnight cruise in Isfjorden leads us into Longyearbyen where we will disembark the ship in the morning to enjoy a thrilling dog-sledding excursion, before embarking again in preparation for the next part of our adventure.
Early morning will reveal the spectacular aqua-blue ice cliffs of the 14th July Glacier or perhaps the Waggonway Glacier in Magdalenefjorden. Our itinerary throughout the journey will be dependent on weather, snow and ice conditions, and the presence of wildlife, and your captain will choose the best course each day to make the most of all opportunities. Thanks to the nutrient-rich Gulf Stream, temperatures on the rugged west coast are relatively mild, ideal for the many Atlantic puffins and thick-billed murres that fill the cliffs. We will explore by Zodiac looking for bearded seals and there may be kayaking and diving opportunities here. Areas we may explore include Ny Alesund, a mining town turned polar research centre and Amsterdamoya, where we can hike across the tundra keeping our eyes peeled for reindeer Arctic fox. Expert historians will accompany you as you explore the remains of a 350-year-old Dutch whaling settlement and find out more about life in this sometimes harsh environment.
Moffen Island & Woodfjorden
Rounding Spitsbergen’s northwest coast, your ship will enter the Arctic Ocean and a world of pack ice. A haven for wildlife, watch as the majestic polar bears stalk the ringed, bearded and harp seals, and beluga whales drift below the surface. Likely stops here include Moffen Island, where walrus haul out on the beaches, and beautiful walks across the tundra reveal exquisite flowering plants including purple saxifrage, yellow spider plants and Svalbard poppies. We will visit trapper huts and continue to keep a look out for reindeer and Arctic fox and, if ice conditions allow, your ship will attempt to cross latitude 80° north before turning south to Woodfjorden.
North & East Spitsbergen
Welcome to the wild side! Frigid Arctic currents sweep around Spitsbergen's northeast corner, lowering air and sea temperatures, and creating a landscape eroded by severe frost. Even in summer, pack ice could bar our way. Your highly experienced captain and crew will take advantage of every opportunity for wildlife sightings and adventures. We will attempt to pass through the narrow Hinlopen Strait, between Spitsbergen and the ice-capped Nordaustlandet.
You will enjoy Zodiac cruising beneath Alkefjellt, sheer basalt cliffs rising more than 250 metres, literally buzzing with some 200,000 nests of Brunnich's guillemots, possibly with Arctic fox scavenging below. On Torrellneset, we could well approach dozens of sleeping walrus. A true polar desert, the east coast offers walks among stunted glaciers, exposed fossil fields, and tundra, where we watch for Arctic fox, eider ducks and the elusive Svalbard ptarmigan. Sailing between Barentsoya and Edgeoya, we cross polar bear migration routes and may visit Sundeneset, a fertile plain covered in green mosses and delicate flowers, including the yellow marsh saxifrage.
Hornsund & Bellsund
This is true expedition cruising, where plans are dictated by ice conditions and our desire to explore. If pack ice allows, we round South Cape, returning to the world of open water and rugged coastal mountains, and sail north toward Hornsund and Bellsund, deep fjords with remarkable glaciers and wildlife. If ice stops us on the east side, we adjust our itinerary, backtrack and delve deeper into the wonders of Spitsbergen's north and west coasts, including a visit to colonies where hundreds of thousands of little auks nest, darkening the sky as they commute to their fishing grounds.
A midnight cruise of beautiful Isfjorden brings us to Longyearbyen, and signals the end of our spectacular voyage. After disembarkation you can enjoy a group tour of this unique Arctic town which is the administrative capital of Svalbard. A transfer to the airport will be provided. Or should you wish to spend more time here there are many opportunities for extra excursions and adventures.
A view from Above
The brand new (2018-19) “Greg Mortimer” is a purpose-built expedition vessel capable of negotiating the strongest winds and waves, and has been built to world-class polar standards. The Greg Mortimer redefines expedition cruising for the future, utilising the ULSTEIN X-BOW, a cutting edge nautical technology which allows for gentle travel and motion at sea, reduced vibrations, improved comfort and safety on board, virtual anchoring, lower fuel consumption and lower air emissions.
Robust, powerful, and built with passengers’ comfort and safety at the forefront of design, the Greg Mortimer features a modern ice-strengthened hull at ice class 1A, four sea-level launching platforms for fast and efficient access to Zodiacs, a custom-built activity platform, the most up-to-date and concise safety features including the latest ‘return to port’ technology, and has been built to meet and exceed the strict environment standards of the Polar Code, for non-intrusive and low-impact voyages.
For exceptional at sea wildlife and scenery viewing opportunities the ship has custom-built hydraulic platforms offering unobstructed views, an indoor observation lounge, side viewing platforms and an outdoor top deck which allows for 360-degree views.
With space for 132 passengers the ship has 80 well designed staterooms with en-suite bathrooms, ranging from porthole to balcony categories, a large dining room/restaurant with family style dining, a spacious lecture room, a well stocked library, Wellness Centre complete with gym equipment, sauna and spa, a multimedia room and a fully-stocked medical centre.
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Take advantage of our vast experience, passion and expertise to help you hand craft the perfect Arctic adventure for you.
With countless travel experiences and an enduring hunger for adventure, Amy knows exactly what’s needed to craft a holiday of a lifetime. Her experience and generosity of spirit are legendary and she’ll help you build an itinerary that will make all your dreams come true.
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.
Simon’s deep passion for and first-hand knowledge of a vast range of destinations all over the world gives him the ideal skills to help you create a truly unforgettable wildlife inspired adventure to the most exciting places on the planet.