Iceland to Jan Mayen & Spitsbergen 12 DaysAboard: MS Spitsbergen
A unique voyage designed to showcase some of the Arctic’s finest highlights. Sailing from Reykjavik to Longyearbyen this itinerary gives you the opportunity to visit a variety of islands, towns and settlements in some of Iceland’s most remote areas where abundant birdlife, spectacular views and interesting geological sites combine, before cruising to Jan Mayen, one of the most isolated islands in the world, to discover its unique geology. Your trip is then rounded off with a thrilling 3 day exploration of the spectacular Arctic wilderness of north Spitsbergen where polar bears and other enchanting Arctic wildlife roam amongst some of the world’s most majestic scenery.
- Discover Iceland, Jan Mayen and Spitsbergen in one exciting itinerary
- Excellent chances of encountering Arctic wildlife including polar bears and walrus
- Myriad birds
- Visit some of the most remote areas in the world
- Thrilling small boat cruises and explorations
- Experience spectacular scenery with majestic fjords, glaciers and icebergs
- Full board accommodation on board ship
- Economy flight from Longyearbyen to Oslo
- Transfers in Longyearbyen
- Wind and water-resistant jacket
- Landings with small boats and activities on board and ashore
- Professional English-speaking Expedition team that provide lectures as well as accompanying landings and activities
- Free tea and coffee
So much to experience
Our popularitinerary Suggestions
All our itinerary holidays are fully customisable
Your Arctic cruise will begin in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik where your expedition vessel will be waiting for you. You may wish to arrive a day or 2 early to spend some time exploring this charming and vibrant modern city which offers top restaurants, interesting museums and quirky narrow streets. Embarkation will begin in the afternoon and as you settle in to your cabin and explore your new surroundings we will set sail for Stykkishólmur.
Stykkishólmur & Flatey
Welcome to West Iceland, otherwise known as “The Sagaland”, where we will find a spectacularly diverse landscape of lava and rock formations, glaciers, volcanic activity and hot and cold springs. We will spend a day exploring here including the town of Stykkishólmur where you can enjoy a gentle stroll through the town or join an optional kayaking, horse riding or hiking excursion to explore more of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. On these excursions you can expect to see the Snæfellsjökull glacier as well as the area’s volcanic craters, black sandy beaches, bird cliffs and spectacular mountains. After an exploration of Stykkishólmur we will take a visit to uninhabited Flatey Island to take a stroll around the scenic village where time appears to stand still, and to see the bountiful colourful puffins that make their home here.
Bjargtangar / Latrabjarg Peninsula
Today we reach the Westfjords, Europe’s westernmost point and one of Iceland’s best-kept secrets. Here we will sail around the tip of the Látrabjarg peninsula to see the Bjargtangar lighthouse and the famous Látrabjarg cliffs. This is an excellent spot for birding with millions of birds of different species creating a hive of activity. From deck we may be able to see razorbills, puffins, northern gannets and guillemots amongst much more.
Today we arrive at the exceptionally scenic natural harbour of Ísafjörður, which is spectacularly flanked on all sides by majestic mountains and is home to the oldest houses in Iceland. Here you can enjoy a wide range of optional excursions including horseback tours and walks through the hills to follow in the footsteps of the trolls. Alternatively you can enjoy a gentle stroll through the area to see the architecture, visit the Maritime Museum or browse the variety of local handicrafts on offer.
Hornbjarg Cliff and Reykjafjörður
This stop will be one for the birders amongst us as we visit the Hornbjarg cliff, one of the greatest sea bird habitats in Iceland. Exploring by small boat we will attempt a landing here to take a hike to get a closer look and see the hundreds of thousands of seabirds that reside here including brünnich and common guillemots, razor bills, fulmars and kittiwakes.
In the afternoon we will cruise to Reykjafjörður to discover this equally stunning area. Here we expect to use the small boats to make a landing for a walk along the pebbly beach to see the shorebirds and beautiful spring flowers.
As we leave mystical Iceland behind we will spend a day at Sea sailing towards Jan Mayen. Whilst at sea you can choose to attend one of the informative and entertaining lectures and talks from your onboard experts covering everything from the wildlife and geology of the area to the history of polar exploration. We also recommend spending some time on deck looking out for seabirds and marine wildlife, or simply relax in the comfort of your ship and recharge for your next adventure.
Today we will reach one of the most isolated places in the world, the unique settlement of Jan Mayen. This volcanic island lies in the middle of the North Atlantic and is home to just 14 people, with visits from tourists exceptionally rare. We will attempt to make a landing here to discover the island’s unique landscape which is dominated by Beerenberg, the northernmost active volcano on earth.
As we sail further north towards Svalbard you will notice a distinct drop in air temperatures as we sail even further into Arctic territory. Your entertaining and informative lecture and presentation programme will continue, along with safety and bio-environmental briefings for your landings in Spitsbergen, and some time on deck should result in multiple seabird sightings.
As we arrive in the pristine wilderness of Svalbard the landscapes will astound and the wildlife will impress as we explore along the beautiful North West corner of Spitsbergen, an exceptionally scenic area scattered with islands, fjords and beaches, and a constantly changing frozen landscape. As with all Arctic expeditions our itinerary will be flexible, with your captain constantly monitoring the weather and ice conditions to establish the best routes to take to make the most of your time here and get the very best wildlife and scenic experiences. Throughout your time here we hope to make multiple landings to bring you up close to what this remarkable area has to offer and one of the highlights will be a visit to Kongsfjorden. Kongsfjorden is considered one of the most beautiful fjord areas in Spitsbergen, with mighty glaciers calving icebergs into the sea, framed by stunning mountain formations, and we hope to go on shore here to visit the former mining settlement of Ny-Ålesund.
We also hope to see the huge Monaco Glacier in Liefdefjord where we will take a Zodiac (small boat) cruise around the area. In the Magdalenafjorden and Gravneset areas we hope to offer the chance for guests to earn their Arctic Swimming Certificate as they take a dip in the frigid Arctic waters. Exciting hiking and kayaking excursions will also be offered as we take advantage of every minute here.
Throughout our time here there will be good chances of observing Polar bears, but like most things in a true wilderness, there are no absolute guarantees. Within the Svalbard archipelago there are over 3000 polar bears, probably the largest concentration on Earth, and they are often spotted on this itinerary, though we will need luck on our side to get a close-range encounter.
Longyearbyen to Oslo
Arrival in to the port of Longyearbyen signals the end of our Arctic adventure and sadly it will be time to bid a fond farewell to our expedition team and fellow passengers. After disembarkation you will be transferred to the airport to join your included flight to Oslo. Longyearbyen is the gateway to countless Arctic excursions so should you wish to stay on here for more adventures please feel free to contact us for more details.
A view from Above
Originally built in 2009, the Spitsbergen has been completely refurbished and now offers a range of accommodation including inside and outside cabins and suites, all with private showerrooms. Public areas are light and airy and include lounges, dining room and bistro, bars, children's playroom, library, fitness room, sauna, two jacuzzis and observation deck. There are two passenger lifts.
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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.
Amy’s abiding love of adventure travel has taken her to some of the most incredible wildlife-rich places on Earth. Her vast experience and genuine desire to share her knowledge makes her an outstanding and invaluable person to help you organise your wildlife adventure trip.