Spitsbergen to Greenland by Sailing Ship 19 daysAboard: SV Rembrandt van Rijn
Sail aboard an historic three-masted schooner ship as you take to the sea for the voyage of a lifetime. This fantastic Arctic itinerary offers the best of both worlds; with time spent along the beautiful west coast of Spitsbergen, with great chances of polar bear sightings, and then on to the less-visited northeast coast of Greenland, where you will see a diverse range of scenery and wildlife, with the highlight of sailing in Scoresby Sund, the longest and most spectacular fjord system in the world.
- Sail aboard an historic 3 mast schooner ship
- Amazing West Spitsbergen scenery and wildlife including possible sightings of polar bears
- Spectacular Scoresby Sund
- Beautiful mountain, glacier and tundra landscapes
- Whales, musk oxen and other wildlife
- Inuit culture
- Enjoy adventurous walks, hikes and snowshoeing activities
- Full board accommodation on board with all meals, snacks and hot drinks
- All Zodiac excursions and shore landings with expert guides
- Programme of expert lectures
- Free use of snowshoes
So much to experience
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With countless travel experiences and an enduring hunger for adventure, Zoe 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.
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Your Arctic sailing adventure will begin in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of the Svalbard archipelago, where after having arrived independently you can enjoy some time exploring this unique Arctic town before making your way to the port for embarkation. After settling in to your historic schooner ship and meeting your new shipmates we will set sail through Isfjorden in the early evening towards Trygghamna. As we sail you may spot the first minke whale of your voyage, and upon arrival in Trygghamna we will stop here for the evening and enjoy our first night on board.
Please note, land and air packages are available for transport to and from Longyearbyen, please enquire for more details.
Trygghamna & Alkhornet
This morning we will transfer to shore via Zodiac boat to explore Trygghamna and see the remains of a 17th-century English whaling station and 18th-century Pomor hunting station. Later you can enjoy a walk to the large seabird cliff of Alkhornet to observe the abundance of birds that are likely to be in residence, and the Arctic foxes that stalk below the cliffs. If snow conditions are not too heavy, it is also common to see reindeer here grazing on the lush vegetation.
Today will be spent at sea sailing north towards Raudfjorden, on the very north coast of Spitsbergen. As we sail you will be able to sample some of the spectacular scenery that Spitsbergen is famous for as we travel through an expansive fjord spilling with glaciers. Passing Svitjodbreen and Birgerbukta along the way, we will be on the lookout for fascinating wildlife sightings including the ringed and bearded seals that often frequent the fjord and the thriving seabird colonies, including great skuas, that reside in the cliffs and along the shorelines. We will also have good chances of spotting polar bears!
Your program of expert lectures will also begin, covering everything from the history of Polar exploration to the geological features and wildlife you are likely to encounter on your voyage.
En route to Greenland
These four days will be spent on board sailing across the Greenland Sea. As we sail you can enjoy the onboard lecture program, relax and enjoy the company of your shipmates or spend some time up on deck watching for the whales and migrating seabirds that are likely to be following the ship.
As we approach Greenland the jagged edge of the east Greenland sea ice will gradually come into sight and the excitement will build as we near these vast and intriguing lands.
Myggebugten & Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord
As we finally reach Greenland’s east coast our first adventure here will be to attempt to sail through the sea ice into Foster Bugt. We hope to make our first landing Myggebugten to discover this area’s unique landscape and tundra where we will see good numbers of musk oxen, an early 20th century hunters’ hut and pretty lakes frequented by geese.
The following day we will sail through the magnificent Kaiser Franz Joseph Fjord where towering mountains and huge icebergs surround you on all sides to create amazing photo opportunities and an awe-inspiring feeling of nature’s true powers. Eventually we will reach Teufelsschloss, a prominent mountain that comprises part of the Eleonora Bay Supergroup of sedimentary rock created between 950 – 610 million years ago to a depth of 16 km (10 miles).
As with all polar expeditions, itinerary flexibility is the key, and each day your captain and experienced crew will determine the best course to travel in order to provide you with the very best scenic and wildlife observation opportunities.
Having spent the night anchored off Teufelschloss (Devil’s Castle), this morning we will board our Zodiac boats to land at Blomsterbugt to view some magnificent geological formations as well as seeing the Arctic hares, musk oxen and great northern divers that are often found here. The unique rust-red multi-layered geology found here will be our first insight into the fantastic landscapes that will greet us over the next few days, and there will be excellent hiking opportunities here for those wishing to get a closer look.
After an exploration of Blomsterbugt we will sail deeper into Kaiser Franz Joseph Fjord, with colossal icebergs and textbook Arctic scenery surrounding us on all sides, to reach Renbugten where we will anchor for the evening.
Antarctic Sound & Menander Øer
On the morning of day 11 we hope to enjoy a land visit in Renbugten to enjoy a gentle walk in search of sightings of musk oxen and Arctic hares before getting back on the ship to sail into the ancient sedimentary rock-filled Antarctic Sound, where you find the islands of Ruth, Maria, and Ella. We hope to land at the particularly beautiful Maria Island.
The following day we will attempt a landing near Menander Øer to enjoy some excellent walking opportunities.
This morning we will land in Antarctic Havn to spend some time exploring this extensive valley that is home to large groups of musk oxen and fiery autumn-coloured tundra. The afternoon and following day will be spent on board sailing towards Scoresby Sund.
Today may well be the highlight of your whole trip as we reach the spectacular iceberg graveyard of Scoresbysund, the longest and most spectacular fjord system in the world. After sailing along the glaciated Volquart Boons Kyst we can board our Zodiacs for a thrilling cruise along the glacier fronts before visiting the basalt columns and ice formations of Vikingebugt. This part of Greenland offers breathtaking photo opportunities and simply needs to be seen to be believed.
After a thrilling morning we will enjoy a calmer afternoon on Danmark Island where we can take a gentle stroll across the landscape to see the remains of an Inuit settlement that was abandoned over 200 years ago. This interesting walk will allow us to closely observe these well-preserved sites and learn more about life on Greenland many years ago. Later in the evening we will re-board the ship to sail along the east side of Milne Land amid a number of scattered icebergs.
Another exciting day lies ahead as we enjoy more encounters with colossal icebergs, some standing over 100 metres high, before we land at Sydkap to enjoy the excellent views of the entrance to Nordvestfjord in Scoresby Land and good chances of seeing Arctic hares.
This morning we will have time to explore Liverpool Land, in Hurry Inlet, where we can enjoy a gentle walk along the tundra before making our way to Ittoqqortoormiit, the largest settlement in Scoresbysund. Frozen in for nine months a year and sandwiched between the largest national park and longest fjord system in the world, the setting of this tiny outpost is simply stunning. It also bears the distinction of being the remotest inhabited community in the western hemisphere. Home to approximately 500 residents, Ittoqqortoormiit is a delightfully picturesque settlement that is a joy to walk around.
In the afternoon we will get back on board to sail past the beautiful landscapes of the Blosseville Coast.
This morning we will make the most of our last full day in Greenland as we land at a lagoon near Kap Stewart on the south coast of Jameson Land. This is an excellent area to observe wildlife and birdlife and we will hope to spot collared lemmings and musk oxen as well as waders and geese. Venturing further in to Hurry Inlet you can enjoy some excellent walks here including a hike up the mountain of J.P. Koch Fjeld, near Hareelv, and a gentler walk to the head of the fjord. Later in the evening we will sail to just off Constable Pynt to anchor and enjoy our last night on board.
Your adventure will end on Constable Pynt where after breakfast you will disembark to make your way to the airfield. A charter flight to Reykjavik in Iceland is available, please enquire for details and prices. From Reykjavik there are various options for onward or homeward flights and our friendly destination experts will be happy to arrange these for you.
A view from Above
The Rembrandt van Rijn was originally launched in 1922 and has been completely rebuilt (completed in 2011) as a three masted schooner with twin auxiliary engines. There is accommodation for 34 passengers in twin cabins, some with private facilities along with a dining and lecture room and separate bar/lounge. There is plenty of deck space and passengers are encouraged to participate in sailing duties.
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