Spitsbergen, Greenland and Iceland | 14 days
The exact route and exploration opportunities of this expedition voyage will depend on the weather and sea ice. We will aim to explore north western Spitsbergen with the archipelago’s impressive scenery of deep fjords and jagged snowy peaks with some of the Arctic’s best wildlife viewing opportunities – a great variety of marine mammals, and polar bears are frequently spotted. Ny Ålesund, a former mining town, is now home to an international community of Arctic researchers.
In East Greenland we head into the vast Franz Josef Fjord and King Oscar Fjord systems – part of the huge Northeast Greenland National Park. Scoresby Sund is the largest and longest fjord system in the world, with colossal icebergs that float with wind and tide, while musk oxen and Arctic hare thrive onshore on the tundra. See ancient Thule archaeological sites, historic trappers’ huts, and modern Inuit hunters’ cabins. Ittoqqortoormiit has an excellent museum, an abundance of Greenlandic sled dogs and a welcoming face.
We’ll end at Iceland’s Snæfellsnes Peninsula with its famous volcano, picturesque Kirkjufell mountain and the rich cultural and literary history evident in the local fishing villages.
Ship: Sea Spirit
25 August – 7 September 2020
Guide price:£9,745 per person based on twin cabin (private facilities) if booked before 31 July 2019
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.
“It was an epic holiday, very well organised.”
David and Elizabeth Manning, Spitsbergen in winter, February 2019
“My Noorderlicht trip was superb and everything went like clockwork as I knew it would.”
Jane Hamilton, Sail North Norway, February 2019
“The trip went very well thank you. Our time for landings and zodiac cruises was maximised extremely well and the entire trip was very well organised and managed. We even saw the Northern Lights on the last night in Kangerlussuak and many whales. A great experience overall.”
Sheila Westwater, Greenland Explorer, August 2018
“I had a wonderful holiday. We saw the expected multitude of icebergs, plenty of glaciers, a couple of distant polar bears, several foxes including a blue, and some musk oxen and we visited a couple of little auk colonies and a kittiwake cliff. The food on board was very good although there was no choice. Shore excursions usually lasted for three hours and there was a long walk and a so-called shorter walk. When we were in the far north the two guides each carried a rifle (in case of polar bears) and we were required to keep up with them and stay together. This was not always easy, the terrain was often difficult and some of us, including me, were not in the first flush of youth! As to future holidays, I will certainly recommend Arcturus and Greenland. I had been to East Greenland on three occasions and it was interesting to contrast East with West, they are certainly very different, both very interesting in their different ways.”
Elizabeth Lonkhurst, Sail West Greenland
“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)