Voyage across the Arctic Circle via the Svalbard Archipelago and north-east Greenland .

There aren’t many people who get the chance to set foot on the rarely visited island of Jan Mayer – this foggy nature reserve is set deep in the North Atlantic Ocean and is inhabited by less than 20 Norwegian military and metrology personnel. You also might not expect to see a volcano in the Arctic, but you will, amid glaciers and ice. Throw in the usual (albeit amazing) suspects – unforgettable Zodiac rides, spectacular fjords and time spent searching for illusive polar bears and other iconic wildlife, and you’ll find that this is not your standard Arctic adventure.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Oslo, Norway
Finish
Reykjavik, Iceland
Destinations
Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Svalbard and Jan Mayen
Style
Comfort
Theme
Polar, Wildlife
Code
BQMGI
Physical rating
Ages
Min 8
Group size
Min 1, Max 132

Why you'll love this trip

  • Seek out unforgettable Polar Bears sightings while roaming the hunting grounds of this ruler of the Arctic

  • Discover the history of Greenland with explorations of the ruins of ancient Thule settlements and learn about the Inuit life in Ittoqqortoormiit

  • Experience how this incredible environment is ever-changing while cruising through freshly birthed icebergs in Scoresbysund

  • Kayaking on crisp, clear Arctic waters is a unique and intimate way of exploring this amazing region. Book early as these activities can sell out fast

Is this trip right for you?

  • As you’d expect, temperatures in the Arctic are very cold. A warm parka will be provided along with waterproof boots and unlimited hot drinks, but you should also bring base layers and lots of warm clothing. Please see the trip notes for further important information about what to bring.

  • Weather depending, you will be making regular excursions in a Zodiac boat to explore the local area and look for wildlife. It can get very cold and wet on the Zodiac, so make sure you are dressed appropriately and that you keep your camera safe and dry. Sturdy sea legs are needed as you make wet and dry landings from the boat, and on steep terrain, snow and other uneven surfaces. Some ships have a lot of stairs, so please hold on to the handrails if seas are rough.

  • The weather plays a pivotal part in this adventure and although there’s an itinerary in place, there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to do everything that is planned for. A level of flexibility and openness to embracing the unexpected are important in expedition travel, especially to such a remote area.

  • This trip takes places during the time of year that Spitsbergen enjoys 24-hour daylight. Just one of the benefits of this is that incredible wildlife can be seen at any time of the day – be prepared to be woken at any time so as to not miss out on exciting animal sightings.

  • Polar bears are one of the most incredible and appealing animals on the planet, but they are also powerful predators with little fear of humans. Therefore it’s necessary to be aware of the guidelines surrounding any contact with Polar bears. Follow your leader’s instructions and do not stray from your group – your leader carries equipment to protect you.

Boats

Ocean Adventurer

On this itinerary, you'll be travelling aboard the Ocean Adventurer.

Itinerary

Your arctic adventure begins in Oslo, where you may arrive at any time during
Day 1 of your itinerary. Upon arriving in this splendid capital city, known for
its green spaces and museums, you will check into your included airport hotel.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning, the group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter
flight to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen’s largest settlement. As you embark this
afternoon, you’ll enjoy great views of the mountainous landscape that serves as a backdrop for this seaside town.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Exploring Spitsbergen, the largest island in the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago, rewards you with abundant wildlife and austere beauty. Here, you’ll visit spectacular glacier fronts and steep-walled fjords, with walrus, polar bears and Svalbard reindeer amongst your possible wildlife sightings. Birders will be thrilled to see arctic terns, skuas, long-tailed ducks, kittiwakes and ivory gulls. If conditions permit, you could sail within 10 degrees of the North Pole!
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (4)
  • Lunch (4)
  • Dinner (4)
While sailing south through the historic Greenland Sea toward Jan Mayen, your Expedition Team will keep you informed with presentations about the storied history and politics of the Arctic, its fascinating wildlife, geology, ecology and
climate, and the incredible sights you will soon explore. On deck, you’ll learn to
identify seabirds “on the wing.” The team will also keep a lookout for the whales
that frequent the waters here.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
North of the Arctic Circle, about 280 miles (450 km) east of Greenland and
340 miles (550 km) north of Iceland, is the mysterious Jan Mayen, deep in the
North Atlantic Ocean. Often shrouded in thick fog, the small mountainous island
was declared a nature reserve in 2010 and is rarely visited, save for the 18 rotating personnel of the Norwegian military and Norwegian Meteorological Institute, who are the only inhabitants. Landing here will be dictated by the
weather and sea. If conditions allow, as we approach, keep watch on deck as the spoon-shaped island’s highest summit emerges. At 7,470 feet (2,277 meters) high, the breathtaking Beerenberg volcano features a symmetrical cone shape and impressive glaciers that spill into the sea.

If we’re fortunate, we may get a close-up view of the volcano and the stratified cliffs of the spectacular north coast as we Zodiac cruise around the island, searching for wildlife. Designated an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for the large numbers of breeding seabirds, Jan Mayen supports colonies of northern fulmars, little auks, glaucous gulls,
kittiwakes, and black and Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres).
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
Your tour of Scoresbysund—the largest, deepest and, some say, most beautiful
multi-armed fjord system in the world— will offer plenty of opportunities to
explore ashore or by Zodiac cruise.

At one moment you’ll be stepping back in time, exploring the remains of ancient Thule settlements with views of icebergs and towering mountains rising straight out of the sea, and the next you’ll be immersed in contemporary culture, meeting the locals and gaining an appreciation for their way of life in Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland’s most remote community. At the mouth of the sound, this remote settlement boasts a blend of traditional and modern lifestyles and is actually closer to Iceland than it is to its nearest Greenlandic neighbours to the southwest. Here, you’ll have the chance to support local Inuit artisans by purchasing unique handicrafts.

In terms of wildlife, grazing muskoxen are a possible sight, as 40 percent of the world’s muskoxen population lives in this region. Polar bear sightings are also a remote possibility, as are encounters with more elusive arctic wildlife, such as the arctic hare. Seabirds to watch out for nesting atop the steep cliffs of the sound include little auks, fulmars and guillemots.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (5)
  • Lunch (5)
  • Dinner (5)
As we cruise south, the Denmark Strait is your pathway toward Iceland. Take in
a lecture, share your photos, sip an icy cocktail in the bar or watch a movie—
there are many things to do during your time at sea. Your Expedition Team will
also be on hand to answer any questions and point out wildlife.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
You’ll 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.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

17 breakfasts, 15 lunches, 16 dinners

Transport

Ship, Zodiac

Dates & availability

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Important notes

BOOKING CONDITIONS
Arctic and Antarctic bookings have an increased deposit requirement of 20% of the full voyage cost (before any discount). The balance is due 120 days before departure.
If a booking is cancelled 120 days or more before departure - the cancellation fee is the full loss of the deposit paid.
If a booking is cancelled between 119 days and departure - the cancellation fee is 100% of the total price of the voyage.
Other fees may apply for air tickets and other arrangements booked in conjunction with a Polar voyage.

ADVENTURE OPTIONS
Kayaking is available to book on all Arctic voyages (except the North Pole). This must be booked prior to departure and incurs an additional cost. Spaces are limited so please enquire at time of booking. To participate in kayaking, previous, recent experience is essential. In addition, there are other included optional activities offered on some voyages such as snow shoeing and hiking. These activities do not need to be booked in advance and no additional cost applies.

Your voyage is operated by our sister company, Quark Expeditions. All accommodation and transfer arrangements as listed in the itinerary are also operated by Quark Expeditions or their local representatives.

Strict luggage limits apply. Please see Trip Notes (What to Take) for more information.

Essential trip information

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