Norway | Oslo to Longyearbyen
Arrive in Oslo, where you are met and escorted to your hotel. After an afternoon at leisure, join your fellow adventurers for a welcome cocktail reception and briefing. The next day, board a charter flight to glacial-covered Longyearbyen, capital of Svalbard and the sovereign Arctic archipelago of Norway. Tour the tiny town and its Arctic Museum, enjoy lunch, and then board your expedition cruiser.
Arctic Norway | The Svalbard Archipelago
Very few people have the opportunity to view the remote wilderness of the Svalbard Islands (also known as Spitsbergen). In the 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 exquisite assortment of flora also pepper this barren landscape. Your Captain and Expedition Leader determine the day’s best sightseeing opportunities, which may include: Ny Alesund, home to a polar research station and the northernmost post office in the world; the towering Alkefjellet, also known as the “auk cliffs,” which drop directly into the sea and provide a home to vast colonies of auks; and Monaco Bay and Glacier, frequented by polar bears, walruses, harbor and bearded seals, and a multitude of seabirds. Throughout your voyage, our primary objective is to search for polar bears as they roam in their natural habitat. Two key advantages put us in the best possible position for success. First, cruising on A&K’s exclusive charter limited to just 199 guests affords unrestricted access to every navigable area within the Svalbard archipelago — something ships with larger capacities are not permitted to do — allowing us to visit any locale favored by the bears. Combine this with the uncanny expertise of our Expedition Team, who know intuitively where and when we are most likely to see polar bears, which we observe from the safety and comfort of ‘Le Boreal.’ This same expert team also scouts every landing site in advance on your arrival, assuring your safety and maximizing your experience ashore.
Greenland | Cruising to Scoresby Sound & Remote Ittoqqortoormiit Village
Cross the Greenland Sea and cruise along the Arctic ice edge, as your Expedition Team prepares you for the world’s largest island: Greenland. For the next three days, explore its rarely visited east coast and Scoresby Sound, the largest and longest fjord system in the world. Embark on Zodiac excursions through the fjord’s intricate network, taking in its islands and icebergs, and searching for residents that include the musk ox and Arctic fox. Ice conditions permitting, disembark for a visit to the small settlement of Ittoqqortoormiit, one of the most isolated villages in Greenland.
Iceland | Cruising the Denmark Strait to Husavik & Grundarfjordur
Enjoy a relaxing day at sea cruising the Denmark Strait that separates Greenland from Iceland. Watch for wildlife from the deck in between more insightful lectures by your Expedition Team. The next day, arrive in picturesque Husavik and visit the Whale Museum, supported by A&K Philanthropy and one of the world’s foremost centers focused on research of whales and their habitat. Choose to embark on a scenic whale-watching tour followed by free time in Husavik or set off for Godafoss Falls and geothermal Lake Myvatn. Tonight, join your Expedition Team and fellow guests for a special farewell reception and dinner. The following day, explore the glacier-carved terrain of Iceland’s West Fjords with its Drangajokull Glacier. Visit the small fishing village of Grundarfjordur. Then, choose to explore the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, opting for a boat tour and fresh sushi adventure around an archipelago teeming with exotic birds or a hike over the region’s lava trails, steeped in Viking lore.
Reykjavik | Iceland’s Capital
Arrive in Reykjavik, the northernmost capital in the world, and a city filled with remarkable historic sites and distinctive natural beauty where you enjoy a city tour with lunch. Later, re-board the 'Le Boreal' to continue your Grand Arctic Adventure.
The Westman Islands & Westfjords | Volcanoes & Fjords
Over the next three days, explore Iceland’s iconic southern volcanoes and western fjords. Arrive in the volcanic archipelago of the Westman Islands. On your first morning, visit Heimaey Island and its local village with farmhouse ruins dating back to the year 650. Conditions permitting, board your Zodiac for an up-close view of Surtsey Island, Iceland’s southernmost point and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue along the rugged western fjords of Iceland, where we take advantage of our expedition vessel to explore the rugged and remote coastlines of Iceland’s stunning Westfjords. Breidafjordur and Isafjordur are among the areas we plan to explore, with possible expedition stops to include Dyndjani waterfall, Flatey island and Hornstrandir Reserve.
Lindenow Fjord, Greenland | From the Denmark Strait to a Wild Wonderland
Relish a day at sea, watching for wildlife while cruising the relatively narrow Denmark Strait, which connects the Arctic Sea with the Atlantic Ocean. This evening, join your Expedition Team and fellow guests for the Captain’s welcome reception and gala dinner. Arrive the next day on Greenland’s Lindenow Fjord complex. Take in the views from the ship as your onboard geologist explains how the fjord was formed. Embark on a Zodiac excursion amid towering mountains and spectacular glacial scenery. Enjoy a nature walk observing the plant succession between different moraines.
South Greenland | The Viking Trail
Explore Greenland’s southern coast, inland waterways and remote villages for the next three days, retracing the early colonization trail of Erik the Red as well as Greenland’s history of explorations, which ultimately led to the discovery of North America. Based on conditions, your Captain determines the day’s best sightseeing opportunities and excursions, which may bring you to the traditional village of Qaqortaq and Prince Christian Sound, a stunning 60-mile-long fjord. Opportunities to delve deeper into ancient Norse history include possible excursions to: UNESCO-listed Hvalsey Ruin, considered southern Greenland’s largest and best-preserved Norse site; the colorful fishing village of Narsaq, which dates back to the year 1000; and beautiful Eriksfjord, where you visit the Brattahlid homestead of Erik the Red and the first Christian church in the western hemisphere.
Nuuk | Capital of Greenland
Explore Greenland’s vibrant little city of Nuuk, which lays claim to the smallest capital in the world. Visit the Nuuk Cathedral, Nuuk Katuaq (cultural center) and art museum, and the National Museum, where you find the famous Qilakitsoq mummies.
West Greenland | Crossing the Arctic Circle
Today, explore the spectacular fjords of West Greenland. Cruise through towering icebergs on a Zodiac excursion before landing for a walk across high Arctic tundra, alive with wildflowers and migrating seabirds. Today, celebrate with your fellow explorers as you cross the Arctic Circle.
Kangerlussuaq | Edge of Indlandsis
Arrive at Kangerlussuaq, located on the tip of its namesake fjord and once a strategic allied stronghold during World War II. Enjoy an ice-cap tour with a local guide. Later, re-board the 'Le Boreal' to continue your Grand Arctic Adventure.
Western Greenland | In the Footsteps of Amundsen
In 1906, explorer Roald Amundsen became the first person to transit the entire Northwest Passage. Embark on your voyage from exactly where he did, cruising along the stunning West Coast of Greenland, which you explore for five days: Your Captain and Expedition Leader determine the day’s best sightseeing opportunities, which may include: northernmost Sisimiut for a visit to its local museum and an Inuit sea kayak demonstration; Disko Bay, a wide inlet off of Baffin Bay first explored by Erik the Red in 985; the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site at the mouth of one of the most active glaciers in the world; and the Uummannaq Fjord system, a geological wonder teeming with marine life, where you also discover the ancient huts of the Thule hunters.
Nunavut & the Canadian Arctic | Heart of the Northwest Passage
Cruise west into the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and Nunavut, voyaging into the heart of this legendary sea route. Your Expedition Leader and Captain determine your excursions, which may include: the Inuit Village of Pond Inlet, where you visit a local community center and co-op to shop for artisan soapstone carvings; Beechey Island, where British explorer Sir John Franklin and his expedition sought refuge in 1845 before his ill-fated attempt to conquer the passage, and where you see the wooden grave markers for three of his men; and the natural harbor of Gjoa Haven, where Amundsen took a two-year refuge among the Netsilik Inuits while waiting for ice to abate, before he became the first person ever to transit the full Northwest Passage.
The Northwest & Yukon Territories | “Smoking Hills” & Herschel Island
In the Northwest Territories, you may stop for a landing at Ulukhaktok (Holman village) and for an unforgettable visit with its Inuit people, who greet you with drum dances at the shore. At Franklin Bay, see the rare geological phenomenon of the “Smoking Hills,” cliffs of bituminous shale combusting and burning for millennia. Conditions permitting in the Yukon, you may also land at Herschel Island. Evidence of the island’s whaling culture remains along its coastline — one greatly affected by impacts of sea erosion and climate change.
Beaufort & Chukchi Seas | Waters of the White One
Sail from the wide Beaufort Sea into the U.S., clearing at Point Barrow, Alaska (U.S. Customs clearance only). Relax on your private balcony or join fellow guests on deck and, with some luck, spot the chatty beluga by day or the evening’s northern lights.
Little Diomede Island & Nome, Alaska | Wilds of Alaska
Cruise to Little Diomede, home to the traditional Ingalikmiut. Conditions permitting, take a Zodiac ride. The next day, disembark in Nome and enjoy a tour and dogsled demonstration. Board your A&K internal flight to Anchorage. Continue on your flight home.
Note: Itinerary is for guidance purposes only and may be adjusted due to unforeseen circumstances, including weather, wildlife, ice, medical emergencies and other conditions beyond A&K’s control, at the sole discretion of the Captain.