EAST GREENLAND EXPLORER 

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13 DAYS

ITINERARY SUMMARY
DayPlaceHighlights
Day 1Reykjavik, IcelandEnjoy the lively capital of Iceland
Day 2EmbarkationDrive to Akureyri and embark the Greg Mortimer
Day 3At SeaOn board presentations, sea birds, whales
Days 4 - 11East GreenlandFjords, Glaciers
Day 12At SeaOn board presentations, sea birds, whales
Day 13Reykjavik, IcelandDisembark in Akureyri, transfer to Reykjavik
ATC_GM_East-Greenland

SHIP OFFERING THIS ITINERARY

Greg Mortimer
Exterior Greg Mortimer

The Greg Mortimer is a new purpose built, polar expedition vessel taking 120 guests. This vessel has been designed in close consultation with Antarctic expedition specialists and is the first expedition cruise ship designed with the ULSTEIN X-BOW hull. This cutting edge nautical technology allows for gentle travel and motion at sea, improved comfort and safety on-board, reduced vibrations, lower fuel consumption and emissions and ‘virtual anchoring’ which means the ship can float anchor-less while launching the Zodiacs without disturbing delicate sea floor areas. There are four sea-level launching platforms for fast and efficient access to and from Zodiacs.

Day 1 Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik Iceland
Overview:

Arrive in Reykjavik, Iceland and make your way to the group hotel. Reykjavik is a beautiful city with many lovely restaurants. You may wish to visit the Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir and the tectonic plate boundary where North America and Europe are pulling away from each other. You can do these activities on a Golden Circle Tour. You may also want to take a ride on the beautiful Icelandic horses famous for their fifth gait.

Day 2 Drive Reykjavik to Akureyri

Exterior Greg Mortimer

After a leisurely breakfast, check-out of your room and board your comfortable coach for your drive on the ring road north to Akureyri, Iceland’s second largest town, where your ship the Greg Mortimer awaits. Whatever the time of year, Akureyri is a lively and energetic town, and home to around 20,000 inhabitants. It is by far the most densely populated community outside the Reykjavík area, and is the centre of trade, culture and services for the north of Iceland. It is a town closely associated with educational institutions and cultural events, all of those having strong traditional roots. The 400 km journey to Akureyri takes approximately six hours and you will get a glimpse of Iceland’s dramatic landscape along the way. Upon embarkation, you’ll have time to settle into your cabin before the important briefings. Spend some time out on the observation decks and say goodbye to Iceland as you sail across the Denmark Strait to Greenland.

Day 3 At Sea

Polar Bear Spitsbergen

As you cross the Denmark Strait on your way to Greenland, enjoy informative and entertaining lectures from the expert expedition team including naturalists, historians and geologists.

Days 4-11 East Greenland

At Sea

As you cruise west across the Greenland Sea – the main outlet of the Arctic Ocean – you may encounter whales feeding in the productive waters of the north. Sightings of fin whales are common and blue whales have been seen in more recent years. As the ship begins to approach Greenland you will likely encounter the East Greenland pack ice, and if you are lucky you will see polar bears hunting for prey. The strong icy currents have isolated East Greenland from the Polar Basin, attracting large numbers of fish, seals and whales. Climatic conditions and the concentration of ice in the vicinity often create thick morning fog that vanishes with the onset of the midday sun. The onboard experts will inform and entertain you with fascinating discussions on plants, animals, ice, and early explorers like Nansen, Andree and Scoresby. Conditions permitting, there may be a chance for kayakers to launch their sea kayaks and for everyone to cruise in the sea ice with Zodiacs. Perhaps if you have had a good crossing, you may have the opportunity to make your first landing on the Greenland coast, weather permitting. This stretch of coastline is ripe for exploration, with its many secrets locked in place by drift ice for up to eight months each year. Home to polar bear, snowy owl and musk ox, it’s the world’s largest national park, covering 972,000 square km; most of which is inland ice and the rest a composite fjord landscape.

Greenlands Fjords

The crew will attempt to enter Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord, a remote and rarely visited fjord system with countless opportunities for exploration within the Northeast Greenland National Park. Cruising through Kong Oskar Fjord, marvel at the geological beauty of the mountains and land in a few places to explore the landscape and wildlife of Greenland. Head south along the coast of Liverpool Land, with passage dependent on ice conditions. The crew aim to reach Scoresbysund, the world’s largest fjord and a favourite hunting ground of the local Inuit. Massive glaciers dump into this fjord, the birthplace of the famous big Greenland icebergs. Visit the remote Inuit community of Ittoqqortoormiit (Scoresby Town) and to hike across the tundra in search of ancient graveyards and summer villages occupied 3,000 years ago by Paleo-Eskimos. This area provides excellent opportunities for sea kayaking in its maze of calm, interconnecting waterways. Keep a sharp eye out for musk oxen, Arctic hare and seals, and maybe if you are very lucky even a polar bear or narwhal. Scoresbysund offers many opportunities for walking cruising and kayaking so you will spend your days exploring the land, the ice and the sea. You will most likely visit the following sites:

Polar-bear-foraging-Spitsbergen

As you cruise west across the Greenland Sea – the main outlet of the Arctic Ocean – you may encounter whales feeding in the productive waters of the north. Sightings of fin whales are common and blue whales have been seen in more recent years. As the ship begins to approach Greenland you will likely encounter the East Greenland pack ice, and if you are lucky you will see polar bears hunting for prey. The strong icy currents have isolated East Greenland from the Polar Basin, attracting large numbers of fish, seals and whales. Climatic conditions and the concentration of ice in the vicinity often create thick morning fog that vanishes with the onset of the midday sun. The onboard experts will inform and entertain you with fascinating discussions on plants, animals, ice, and early explorers like Nansen, Andree and Scoresby. Conditions permitting, there may be a chance for kayakers to launch their sea kayaks and for everyone to cruise in the sea ice with Zodiacs. Perhaps if you have had a good crossing, you may have the opportunity to make your first landing on the Greenland coast, weather permitting. This stretch of coastline is ripe for exploration, with its many secrets locked in place by drift ice for up to eight months each year. Home to polar bear, snowy owl and musk ox, it’s the world’s largest national park, covering 972,000 square km; most of which is inland ice and the rest a composite fjord landscape.

Musk Ox

Cape Humboldt – a beautiful point on Ymer Island. There is a good chance to take a tundra walk and witness musk oxen grazing. Keep a lookout for Arctic fox and ptarmigan. A lone trapper’s hut looks over the bay and magnificent icebergs.
Blomsterbugten – An important site for paleo-eskimoes and more modern trappers, walk in the tundra with musk oxen or Arctic hare to a spectacular overlook onto Lake Noa which is pink with fine sediments.
Røde Ø – one of the most remarkable collections of beautiful icebergs in the world. A combination of shallows near the island and tidal currents strand hundreds of large iceberg in a small area around Røde Ø, or Red Island. The contrast between the magnificent blue of the ice and the red sandstone landscape is breathtaking.
Other possible landing points in the area include: Rømer Fjord, Rypefjord, Ø Fjord, Fonfjord, Bjornøya, Milne Land, Hekla Havn, Denmark Island, Nordvestfjord and Eskimobugt.

Day 12 Denmark Strait

Sail across Denmark Strait, reflecting on your rich experiences and enjoying the antics of northern fulmars, black-backed gulls, dolphins, orcas and other whales. The educational program will continue and you will have some time to go through the many images you are sure to have from your experiences in Greenland and Spitsbergen.

Day 13 Reykjavik, Iceland

Icelandic-horses

During the early morning arrive into the northern Icelandic town of Akureyri. Disembark and enjoy a scenic transfer to Reykjavik downtown or the airport. Farewell your expedition team and fellow expeditioners as you continue your onward journeys.

To book this cruise contact us on 1300 784 794 or email: contact@arctictravelcentre.com.au

We will tailor the perfect holiday to suit your needs.