Jewels of the Arctic 15 DaysAboard: Greg Mortimer Sylvia Earle
This voyage offers a complete European Arctic experience: intrepid travellers can dip their toes in the wonderful world (and icy waters) of Svalbard’s northwest coast, Greenland’s spectacular east coast and a touch of Iceland.
Every day of this coveted itinerary promises once-in-a-lifetime moments and experiences. Whether immersing yourself in Inuit culture, witnessing the areas’ fascinating wildlife, or partaking in unique optional activities such as rock-climbing and glacier kayaking, this trip guarantees a world of Arctic adventure. Wildlife we hope to see includes reindeer, Arctic fox, musk ox, countless sea and land birds, walrus, seals, whales and polar bears.
Various departures available aboard two equally impressive vessels. Mentioned activities may not be applicable to all departure dates. Please enquire for full rates and dates.
- Get up-close with Spitsbergen’s dramatic fjords
- Sail along East Greenland’s magnificent coastline & see the world’s largest icebergs in Scoresby Sund
- Chances to see musk ox, Arctic fox, reindeer, ringed seals, walrus and polar bears
- Visit friendly Inuit communities & share in their culture
- Exciting Zodiac cruises, hikes & land visits
- Activity options including kayaking, scuba diving, snorkelling and rock climbing (select departures - additional cost)
- Resident photography guide
- Full board accommodation on board ship with daily breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks
- Wines, beers and soft drinks with dinner
- Group transfers to and from ship
- One night hotel stay in Longyearbyen pre-voyage with breakfast included
- Group sightseeing tour of Longyearbyen pre-voyage
- Captain's Welcome and Farewell drinks including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages
- Zodiac landings and excursions
- Programme of expert lectures
- Loan of rubber boots
- Complimentary 3-in-1 polar jacket
So much to experience
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All our itinerary holidays are fully customisable
Arrive independently to Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of the Svalbard archipelago, where upon arrival you will be met by a tour representative to transfer to your hotel for your included overnight stay.
After breakfast at the hotel on day 2, you can join your fellow travellers for a sightseeing tour around the town. In the late afternoon you will join your transfer to the port for embarkation.
As you get your bearings and settle into your comfortable cabin, the ship will set sail out of the beautiful Isfjorden and deep into the Arctic wilderness. You may wish to spend some time on deck watching as the seabirds follow the ship, before joining the captain for your four-course welcome meal.
Svalbard's East Coast
Over the course of the next three days you will spend some time discovering the western and northern coasts of the Svalbard archipelago in search of Polar bears and unimaginable scenery. Your exact route here will be determined by weather and ice conditions, and each day your experienced captain and crew will assess the conditions to plot a course for thrilling adventures and unforgettable sights.
What can be guaranteed is sightings of phenomenal fjords, magnificent mountains, rich tundra, and a variety of wildlife. As you sail through the snowscapes you can expect encounters with walrus, seals and whales, as well as an abundance of birdlife. But the main goal will be to spot the iconic Polar bears that call these lands their home. Your captain will aim to take you to the areas where Polar bear sightings are most frequent so that you can see their majesty up-close (but not too close!).
For those who have chosen to book kayaking as part of their package, there will be ample opportunities here to paddle. A daring Polar plunge into the icy Arctic waters is another popular option.
Crossing the Greenland Sea
We will spend the next two days sailing across the Greenland Sea, as whales and seabirds follow in our wake. As we begin to approach Greenland, we will likely encounter the East Greenland pack ice, and if we are lucky we will see polar bears hunting for prey. As you sail, your expedition team will keep you entertained with discussions and presentations on Greenland’s fascinating flora and fauna, as well as introducing you to the history of Polar exploration in these parts.
For those who have chosen to add kayaking to their package, there should be time for a paddle here whilst the rest of the passengers enjoy a Zodiac cruise. If the crossing is favourable, we may reach the Greenland coast by day 7 and begin our exploration of the world's largest national park early.
Please note, kayaking incurs an additional charge and should be booked in advance.
Greenland's East Coast
We will now spend 6 exciting days exploring along Greenland’s spectacular east coast. Be prepared for ice, and lots of it!! Your days here will be spent sailing and Zodiac cruising through deep fjords and narrow channels surrounded by some of the Arctic’s most breath-taking scenery. See glaciers and giant icebergs, walk across multi-coloured tundra which is home to musk oxen and Arctic hare, and visit ancient Thule archaeological sites and Inuit villages on this truly unforgettable adventure.
You will have the opportunity to explore around Scoresbysund, the largest fjord system in the world, as well as the Kong Oscar and Kaizer Franz Josef fjords. A visit to the remote Inuit community of Ittoqqortoormiit (Scoresby Town) will offer up the chance to meet some of the locals to learn about their way of life this far north, as well as chances to visit the excellent museum and gift shop.
Other fascinating areas we expect to visit include the beautiful bay of Cape Humboldt on Ymer Island, the Sefstrom Glacier, Sydkap, Rømer Fjord, Rode Ø, Hare Fjord, Nordvest Fjord, the neo-Eskimo site at Eskimobugt, Skipperdalen and more.
As your expedition sadly nears its end, we will spend a final day at sea sailing across the Denmark Strait towards Iceland. Make sure to spend some time on deck looking for whales and seabirds.
Your expedition ends in Reykjavik, Iceland’s vibrant capital city, where after disembarkation a transfer will take you either to the airport or a downtown location. There are lots of options for tours and adventures in Reykjavik so please feel free to ask for tips and options for extending your trip.
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.
Setting sail for her maiden voyage in December 2022, this outstanding purpose-built expedition vessel honours the long-standing conservation efforts of the highly accomplished marine biologist, oceanographer and explorer, Sylvia Earle. Capable of negotiating the strongest winds and waves, the vessel has been built to world-class polar standards and utilises the ground-breaking ULSTEIN X-BOW technology which allows for faster, more comfortable travel, improved safety, reduced emissions and lower fuel consumption. The vessel boasts one of the lowest polluting marine engines in the world and also utilises virtual anchoring to protect the sea floor.
In terms of safety, the ship will feature industry-leading safety technology that exceeds the requirements for a ship of this size and will also feature world class return-to-port equipment and a fully-stocked medical clinic.
In terms of comfort onboard, the Sylvia Earle will be hard to beat. The vessel features a distinctive Glass Atrium Lounge at the bow of the ship with a stunning panoramic view on both port and starboard side, a swimming pool and jacuzzi where you can admire impressive scenery while watching the world go by. A gym, sauna and wellness centre add to the luxury touches onboard and there are various places to relax after a long day of adventures including a beautiful library and a number of bars, lounges and observation areas. Delicious meals will be served in the elegant dining room and presentations will be provided in the state-of-the-art lecture theatre.
With capacity for 132 passengers, the ship has 74 elegantly designed staterooms with en-suite bathrooms, ranging from porthole to balcony categories. Each cabin features stylish design, a flat screen TV, large comfortable beds, windows or balconies and closet spaces.
Please note - for now, images shown are artist impressions/renders only
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