Arctic > Plancius > Spitsbergen - Northeast Greenland - Aurora Borealis

Spitsbergen - Northeast Greenland - Aurora Borealis

Approaching Greenland we will attempt to sail through the sea ice into Foster Bugt, making our first landing at Myggebugten. Beyond the old hunters’ hut (in the first half of last century Norwegian trappers hunted here for Polar Bear and Arctic Fox) there is an extensive tundra populated by Musk Oxen.

Day 1: Arrival in Longyearbyen where we embark our vessel and sail out to Isfjorden. - We arrive in Longyearbyen, on Spitsbergen, the administrative capital of the Spitsbergen archipelago of which West Spitsbergen is the largest island. Before embarking there is an opportunity to visit this former mining village. The Parish Church and the Polar Museum are well worth visiting. In the early evening the ship will sail out of Isfjorden.

Day 2: We sail into Raudfjord on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, a beautiful fjord with spectacular glaciers. - We sail into Raudfjord on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, a beautiful fjord with spectacular glaciers. It is home to Ringed and Bearded Seal, seabird colonies and a surprisingly rich vegetation. We have good chances to see Polar Bear, for instance near Hamilton Glacier, or more to the head of the fjord. From there we continue to Moffen Island on which Walrus haul out.

Day 3 - 4: At sea, enroute to Greenland - on our way to Greenland, we may see the edge of the East Greenland sea-ice. We keep watch for whales, and also for migrating seabirds.

Day 5: Reaching Greenland, we make our first landing at Myggebugten. - Approaching Greenland we will attempt to sail through the sea ice into Foster Bugt, making our first landing at Myggebugten. Beyond the old hunters’ hut (in the first half of last century Norwegian trappers hunted here for Polar Bear and Arctic Fox) there is an extensive tundra populated by Musk Oxen. The small lakes are home to geese. We sail through Kaiser Franz Joseph Fjord, a magnificent fjord with towering mountains on both sides, its inner reaches choked with huge icebergs. An alternative is Sofia Sund, which is much narrower.

Day 6: We land at Blomster Bugt where you might spot the Arctic Hare. - We will land at Blomster Bugt to view the beautiful geological formations. Arctic Hare are usually seen here, and there is a lake with Great Northern Diver and their young. In the afternoon we sail along Teufelschloss and Ella Ø and may land at a beautiful spot in the early evening.

Day 7: Muskoxen, Arctic hare, and Ptarmigan - In the morning we enter Segelsällskapets Fjord with the beautiful Berzelius Mountains on the north side. We will land on the south side of the fjord in an astounding place where the ancient sedimentary geology is literally at your feet. A hike will take us near a small lake with good chances to see Muskoxen, Arctic hare, and Ptarmigan. In the afternoon the ship will venture into Alpe Fjord, which is as spectacular as the name implies. We may embark on a long Zodiac cruise around the Gully Glacier which once blocked the access to the interior of the fjord and venture deep inside to the very end. Adventure at its finest!

Day 8: We reach Antarcticahavn - The first half of the day we spend in Antarcticahavn, a wide and extensive valley where we also could see groups of Musk Oxen. At this time of year the autumnal colours of the sparse vegetation make the landscapes even more beautiful.

Day 9: Scoresby Sund and sail in the morning along the ragged and glaciated Volquart Boons Kyst. - Today we reach the Scoresby Sund and sail in the morning along the ragged and glaciated Volquart Boons Kyst. Here we may organise a zodiac cruise along one of the glacier fronts of this coast, and have our first landing near for instance Måne Glacier. Later we land on Danmark Ø where we find the remains of an Inuit settlement abandoned around 200 years ago. The circular ‘tent rings’ of stones indicate the summer houses, while the winter houses can be seen closer to a small cape. The sites are well preserved, allowing entrances and even bear-proof meat caches to be identified. There are also grave sites. In the evening we continue our sailing through the beautiful fjords to the west, choked with icebergs.

Day 10: C. Hofman Halvø, where we can spot Musk Oxen - We go ashore at C. Hofman Halvø, a reliable spot for viewing Musk Oxen. We may also spot Rock Ptarmigan and Great Northern Diver at sea. The landscape here is particularly beautiful, especially during autumn when the Dwarf Willow and Dwarf Birch change colour. Arctic Blueberry and Crowberry add their own colourful touch - the berries are tasty too! In the evening we sail through the fjord towards Scoresby Land, enjoying the contrast between the warm autumnal colours of the vegetation on shore, backed by huge dark mountains, and the cold blue of the icebergs.

Day 11: We encounter huge icebergs, some over 100m high and more than a kilometre in length - In Northwest fjord in Scoresby Land in the morning, we encounter huge icebergs, some over 100m high and more than a kilometre in length. Most of the bergs are grounded as the fjord is only about 400m deep here. We land near Sydkap to view the remains of the Thule culture winter houses. As many as 20 people lived in these tiny houses, hunting Greenland Whale and using their vertebrae to build the houses. We may also land at Gurreholm on Jameson Land. The landscape here is gently undulating.

Day 12: Ittoqqortoormiit - In the morning we land at Ittoqqortoormiit, the biggest settlement in the Scoresby Sund with about 500 inhabitants. At the post office you can buy stamps for your postcards, or just wander around to see the sledge dogs and the drying skins of Seal, Musk Ox and Polar Bear. After dinner we will sail south passing the amazing landscape of the Blosseville Coast.

Day 13: At sea - We will spend the whole day at sea and we will have splendid opportunities to see large whales and seabird migration and, in the night, the Aurora borealis (Northern Lights).

Day 14: Disembarkation in Akureyri - In the morning we arrive in Akureyri and transfer by chartered bus to Hotel Reykjavik Centrum, Adalstraeti 16 in Reykjavik (6 hours).

Itinerary details

Voyage:
Spitsbergen - Northeast Greenland - Aurora Borealis
Duration:
13 nights / 14 days
Embarkation:
Longyearbyen
Disembarkation:
Akureyri
Language:
German, English
Vessel:
m/v Plancius

Season 2017

Dates & Rates Cabins (all Prices in US$ Dollar)
Code Date Quadruple
Porthole
Triple
Porthole
Twin
Porthole
Twin
Window
Superior Suite
PLA15-17 Start Aug 29, 2017
End Sep 11, 2017
5,950 7,690 ----- 9,750 ----- 12,990

Fares include:

  • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
  • AECO fees and governmental taxes.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.

Not included:

  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
  • Pre- and post- land arrangements.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Meals ashore.
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).