Under the Northern Lights: Exploring Iceland & East Greenland
Visit the remains of Thule camps and enjoy the splendour of Scoresbysund as
the ship navigates past majestic icebergs
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Leisurely
Explore two of the last unspoiled wilderness areas on the planet on this itinerary. Discover diverse and dramatically rugged landscapes rich in iconic Arctic wildlife while cruising along Iceland’s mountainous Vestfjords and Greenland’s remote northeast coast, home to the largest fjord system in the world. Immersed in the untamed beauty of the Arctic, experience Inuit culture first-hand at Ittoqqortoormiit, visit ancient Thule sites steeped in history, and marvel at the majesty of massive icebergs and towering bird cliffs. If you’re lucky, you may also catch sight of the spectacular Northern Lights dancing across the sky.
* All meals while on the ship
* All accommodation
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout and qualified Expedition Staff
* Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Start Reykjavik, Iceland.
Our adventure begins with an overnight stay in thoroughly-modern Reykjavik, the world’s northernmost capital city.
Embarkation Day in Reykjavik
This afternoon, you’ll board your vessel and begin your expedition. Get ready for a great adventure ahead!
Exploring the Vestfjords
Each region of Iceland has its own appeal for nature, bird and history lovers, and the little-visited Vestfjords (Westfjords), where the land meets the sea in the most dramatic fashion, is no exception. Exploring this rugged peninsula at the country’s remote northwestern tip offers awe-inspiring vistas of mountains, fjords and towering cliffs. If we’re lucky and conditions allow, we might cruise along Látrabjarg, Europe’s largest bird cliff, teeming with puffins, razorbills, guillemots and more. Another possible destination is the quaint island of Flatey, where a replica of Iceland’s largest medieval manuscript, Flateyjarbók, can be viewed in the library. The church here features murals symbolizing life on the island, including one of Jesus wearing a classic Icelandic sweater.
As we cruise north across the Denmark Strait, the Expedition Team will prepare you for the adventures that await. Learn about the storied history and politics of the Arctic, its fascinating wildlife, geology, ecology and climate, and the incredible sights you will soon explore. The team will also search for the seabirds soaring around the ship, as well as the whales that frequent the waters here.
Exploring Northeast Greenland
During our tour of Greenland’s remote northeast coast, enjoy Zodiac cruises and shore visits to several locations. We’ll also keep an eye out for grazing Musk ox, as 40 percent of the world’s Musk ox population lives in Northeast Greenland National Park. Sailing through spectacular Scoresbysund, the birthplace of many icebergs, you’ll immediately see why some say it’s the most beautiful fjord system on the planet. Sites such as Frederiksdal and Sydkap offer opportunities to explore the colorful tundra and the remains of ancient Thule settlements. At the entrance of the sound is East Greenland’s most northerly community, Ittoqqortoormiit, where you may spend time interacting with the Inuit people and learning about their way of life. You may also have a chance to see the Northern Lights here if the skies are clear. Deeper in the sound, Røde Øya offers a picturesque locale for admiring the beauty of sky-blue bergs set against striking red sandstone cliffs. Magnificent vistas also await at Kong Oscar Fjord, with possible landings at Ella Øya, renowned for its rugged cliffs and ice-choked waters, and flower-rich Botanikerbugt, on Ymer Øya.
As your Arctic adventure winds down, take in a presentation by our onboard experts, share photos, sip an icy cocktail in the bar or watch a movie—there are many activities during your time at sea. The Expedition Team will also be on hand to answer any questions and point out wildlife.
Depart Reykjavik, Iceland
Disembark in Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, at the end of your journey. If you have booked post-expedition accommodation, we provide a transfer to a central downtown location.