Sail Spitsbergen Northeast Greenland | 21 days
These absorbing voyages on small, historic sailing vessels offer an entirely different Arctic experience. Travelling at much slower pace, but with the same options for zodiac trips ashore to hike and explore, enjoy the added bonus of getting involved in the hoisting of sails and shipboard life.
Enjoy the comfortable 34 passenger Rembrandt Van Rijn. Many voyagers book year on year - a testament to the unique on-board atmosphere and friendly crew.
The Spitsbergen and Northeast Greenland cruise sails waters filled with breath-taking scenery. The expedition passes through areas that are home to seals, seabirds, whales, and polar bears. Your journey starts in Longyearbyen, capital of Svalbard and end's at Constable Pynt, on Greenland's East Coast with a charter flight to Keflavik in Iceland.
Setting off from Spitsbergen, at Trygghamna we walk to Alkhornet, a large seabird cliff where the birds are scouting out breeding places. Heading north we try to spy polar bear at Raudfjorden on the north coast of Spitsbergen. From here the ship crosses to Greenland heading for Foster Bay, and a first landing at Myggbukta. Beyond the old hunters’ hut musk oxen populate the sprawling tundra, with geese on its small lakes. We sail through Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord and into the Antarctic Sound. Heading down the coast, we make for Scoresbysund for a Zodiac cruise through icebergs past one of the many glacier fronts. After some final hiking at Ittoqqortoormiit we land at the airfield on Constable Pynt for the chartered plane to Reykjavik.
Willingness to compromise on comfort is a basic requirement for staying on board a historic traditional sailing vessel. The boat is equipped with sails and these will be used in good conditions (open sea, water depth, appropriate wind conditions, time availability). This is not guaranteed. The captain decides whether to use the sails or the engine. There is no claim to one or other propulsion method. If sails are used, they are operated by the crew. Guests follow the safety instructions of the team. Average cruising speed for s/v Rembrandt van Rijn is 6.5 knots.
Ship: Rembrandt Van Rijn
25 July - 14 August 2022
Guide price:From £8,880 per person based on twin 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.
“All went well and I had a fantastic time. I was particularly hoping for ice, which fascinates me, and Arctic foxes as I had only ever seen one in the wild, and I really got my wish. We certainly went through plenty of pack and also glacier brash ice. And lots of Arctic foxes – I have some quite good photos of five of them, as well as two polar bears and plenty of walrus, distant reindeer and a few seals. Many thanks for all your help.”Meryl Gover, Northern Svalbard Explorer, Polar Pioneer’s last voyage
“The crew were exceptionally good, especially the team leader/cruise organiser, and the meals were fine, lots of choice and all nice. There always seemed to be something to do, even if it was just watching the magnificent scenery go by. Interesting to see Greenland in summer and especially good to have access to Nordwestfjord which I believe is not normally accessible
to tour boats. Photos certainly don’t convey the scale of the icebergs – even the eye could not appreciate it without the ship as a reference.”
“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.”
“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
“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
“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)