Arrive Oslo, Norway
Arrive in Oslo, Norway’s modern yet timeless capital, coexisting in close harmony with nature. On arrival, transfer to your hotel and then meet your local guide for an afternoon walking tour. This evening, join fellow guests this evening for a welcome cocktail reception.
Longyearbyen | Long Year Town
Board a charter flight to Longyearbyen, the capital of Svalbard, also known as Spitsbergen, the sovereign Arctic archipelago of Norway. It is one of the most remote group of islands on the planet, with nearly two-thirds of its surface covered in luminous glaciers. Tour the tiny town and its Arctic Museum. Following lunch, board your expedition cruiser.
Svalbard Islands | Spectacular Archipelago
Very few people have the opportunity to view the remote
wilderness of the Svalbard Islands. In the Svalbard archipelago,
polar bears, walruses, Svalbard reindeer and an incredibly
rich variety of birds are abundant, as are cathedrals of ice,
glaciers and craggy mountain peaks. An amazing amount of
diminutive flora surrounds this barren landscape, which comes
alive with color under summer’s midnight sun. Your Captain
and Expedition Team determine the day’s best sightseeing
opportunities, which may include these extraordinary regions:
Magdalenefjoren: A stunning fjord with rugged rock walls, Magdalenefjoren surmounts blue-hued glaciers crisscrossed by crevasses, with birds perched in the high cliffs. This “glacier coast” provides magnificent views of the slow-moving ice masses travelling out to sea as well as beaches frequented by walruses.
Ny Alesund: Once a mining town and launching pad for early Arctic expeditions, Ny Alesund is now home to a polar research station where scientists study meteorology, seismology, atmospheric sciences and marine biology. Conditions permitting, visit the small community, including a museum, art gallery and the northernmost post office in the world.
Hinlopen Strait: ‘Le Boreal’ navigates this passageway between the main island of Spitsbergen and the island of Nordaustlandet to deliver you to the Alkefjellet, or “auk cliffs,” towering rock faces that drop directly into the sea and provide a home to colonies of auks.
Wahlbergoya: Located in the center of the southern entrance to Hinlopen Strait, this island, named after Swedish botanist Peter Fredrik Wahlberg, is a favorite summer haul-out for walruses.
Monaco Bay and Glacier: Located in Northwest Spitsbergen, Monaco Bay is frequented by a variety of wildlife populations, including polar bears, walruses, harbor and bearded seals, and a multitude of seabirds.
Liefdefjorden (Loves Bay): In far northern Svalbard, this is an excellent area for spotting polar bears and other Arctic wildlife. Throughout your landings and days of cruising in Spitsbergen, your primary objective will be to search for polar bears as they hunt in their true natural habitat — be it on land or among the ice floes. Each landing is under the close supervision of your bear guardians, who have the best knowledge about where to find the white giants.
At Sea | Cruising the Arctic Ocean
As ‘Le Boreal’ plies toward remote Jan Mayen, spend the day at sea with new friends and the Expedition Team, who continue an engaging lecture series.
Jan Mayen | Glacier-covered Volcano
At the confluence of the Greenland and Norwegian seas, arrive at Jan Mayen, a fascinating and rugged island dominated by the 7,500-foot Beerenberg Volcano, which today stands as the world’s northernmost active volcano. With special permission and conditions permitting, land on this rarely visited island to see its meteorological station Olonkinbyen and discover its phenomenal bird colonies. Designated by Birdlife International as an Important Bird Area (IBA), Jan Mayen supports large breeding colonies of northern fulmars, little auks, thick-billed guillemots and black guillemots.
Greenland | East Greenland & Scoresby Sound
For the next three days, explore the rarely visited east coast of Greenland and Scoresby Sound, the largest and longest fjord system in the world. Embark on twice-daily Zodiac excursions through the fjord’s glistening and intricate network, taking in its islands and icebergs, and searching for common residents that include the musk ox and reindeer. Ice conditions permitting, disembark for a visit to Ittoqqortoormiit, a small settlement founded in 1925 and one of the most isolated villages in Greenland.
Cruising the Denmark Strait | Confluence of Waters
Enjoy a relaxing day at sea cruising the relatively narrow strip of water that separates Greenland from Iceland, and connects the Arctic Sea with the Atlantic Ocean. Watch for seabirds and whales from the deck in between insightful lectures presented by your Expedition Team.
Iceland’s Westfjords | Hornstrandir Nature Reserve
Today, explore the spectacular Hornstrandir Peninsula, an unspoiled wilderness on Iceland’s remote West Fjords. Designated as a nature reserve in 1975 and free of any roads, Hornstrandir still appears as it would have when the Vikings first arrived. Your treks this morning reveal tranquil wildflower meadows, striking waterfalls and other geological features. This afternoon, visit the small village of Hesteyri, where you are welcomed by the local villagers.
Akranes | Thrilling Langjökull Glacier
The glacier-carved West Fjords continue to provide a scenic backdrop as you journey to the Langjökull Glacier. Disembark for an adventurous visit aboard special expedition trucks, stopping en route at the shimmering Hraunfossar waterfall before arriving at the entrance of Langjökull glacier. There, explore Langjökull’s labyrinth of ice tunnels and caves, all revealing breathtaking shades of blue and depths of ice. Following lunch in nearby Húsafell, return this afternoon to Akranes to board ‘Le Boreal.’
This morning, disembark ‘Le Boreal’ in Reykjavik and transfer to the airport for your return flight home, or continue on in Iceland with a Reykjavik extension.
Note: This journey contains some active elements and is subject to change based on weather, wildlife, ice and other conditions beyond A&K's control. The final itinerary will be determined at the sole discretion of the Captain and Expedition Leader.