Spitsbergen and North East Greenland | 16 days
These adventurous voyages provide a rare opportunity to see the remote north-east coast of Greenland. In the past this required a camping and trekking expedition, but now you can experience the remarkable Arctic landscape from the comfort of a ship with expeditions ashore to visit Inuit sites and hunters’ huts. On clear dark nights we might be able to see the Aurora Borealis.
At this time of year the pack-ice has retreated northwards. Between the high ice-cap of North East Greenland and the sea is a broad strip of low country that is free of snow in summer and covered in places with rich vegetation that supports much wildlife, from musk oxen to butterflies. The weather is usually calm and fine. Some of the people of Ittoqqortoormiit, the main settlement in the region, still make a living hunting polar bears, musk oxen, seals, whales and seabirds.
Crossing from Spitsbergen we keep watch for fin, humpback and minke whales and approach East Greenland, landing at Myggebugten. We hope to encounter narwhal and should see musk oxen from the ship. Moving south to Scoresby Sund we land near a glacier and encounter huge icebergs before disembarking finally in Akureyri in north Iceland for the journey home.
4-19 September 2018
Guide price:£7,695 per person based on twin window cabin (private facilities)
Fiona’s travel tipsWHAT TO WEAR: Dress in layers with a wind and waterproof outer layer. Fleeces are great underneath. It can still be cold sailing in the middle of summer so a hat, scarf and gloves are sensible if you feel the cold.
BRING WITH YOU: Insect repellent and antihistamine as mosquitoes are around in summer.
“Just a brief note to say thank you for your efforts. The travel arrangements went very smoothly. My cabin was midships on the lowest deck, and was exactly where I would have chosen for myself. The first two days were the roughest weather I have ever encountered, with winds 45-50 knots. There were only about twenty other passengers in the dining room with me (out of 106), during that time! Very congenial company on board. Plenty of activity, usually two shore trips per day, with choices of charging and grades between, right down to a gentle saunter.”
“For weeks after coming home I felt homesick (even physically) for all I experienced on these voyages – the beauty, the ruggedness, the quiet, the cleanliness, the fauna & flora, the life on board, my fellow passengers, the staff and crew…”
Janice Hinlopen, Spitsbergen circumnavigation and North East Greenland back-to-back voyages, July 2012
“Ship was very comfortable, lovely food, waiters and cabin stewards did a grand job. Good selection of talks and entertainment. It was a privilege to be welcomed into the Inuit and Newfoundland communities. A unique, once in a lifetime experience that I’ll look back on with great pleasure.”
Christine Lord, Wild Labrador and Greenland, September 2011
“The holiday was fantastic. Favourite aspects were the wonder of the Scoresby Sund fjord under clear blue skies, the northern lights and the icebergs. In Iceland the bus drivers, both male and female, were all very courteous. The B&B was excellent, very clean and friendly staff. I chose you as you offered en route accommodation and return flights – definitely a point in your favour.”
Sandy Lawson, Scoresby Sund, September 2011
“Pre-departure the service was very helpful and friendly. The whole trip was wonderful and friendly and everything went like clockwork. We enjoyed it all.”Pat Gellion and Margaret Moore, Scoresby Sund (Professor Molchanov)
“Thank you for arranging our trip to the Arctic. We found Fiona to be extremely helpful and very knowledgeable about the destination. We had a fantastic time and really enjoyed the Arctic experience. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to friends and would certainly use Arcturus again.”
Gillian and Neville Ham, Spitsbergen and NE Greenland
“I had a splendid holiday, I liked the Polar Star very much. Nansen Fjord was superb, at last we had sunshine. That night there was a good display of the aurora, the first time I had seen it. I had never been to the Westmann Islands and I found the harbour at Heimaey delightful. The arrangements you made for me were very good and I recommend Arcturus to all.”
Elizabeth Lonkhurst, Steam to Ice (Polar Star)