Spitsbergen - Northeast Greenland - Aurora Borealis, Including Long Hikes - 14 Days

Aboard Ortelius – 108 passengers

The Spitsbergen and Northeast Greenland cruise sails waters filled with breath-taking scenery. The expedition passes through areas that are home to seals, seabirds, whales, and polar bears, topped off with nighttime viewing of the Northern Lights.

Optional Long Hikes: Long hikes are for groups of 24 passengers maximum, accompanied by two armed expedition staff and a Zodiac that will sail ahead to watch for polar bears along the shoreline. Passengers who join this activity should have the willingness and ability to walk at least 15 km (9 miles) in semi-rough terrain that includes shorelines, tundra, low hills, and river crossings. Walks will take around six hours from start to finish, rest times included. We will walk at a modest pace and not cross any alpine terrain. Passengers who do not take part in long walks will have a landing in the morning at the start point of the walk, then sail to the end point of the walk for their second landing in the afternoon.

Tour Dates

Itinerary

Day 1: Embarkation in Longyearbyen, Norway
You touch down in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Enjoy strolling around this former mining town, whose parish church and Svalbard Museum make for fascinating attractions. Though the countryside appears stark, more than a hundred species of plants have been recorded in it. In the early evening the ship sails out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of your voyage.

Day 2: Route to Raudfjorden
Sailing to Raudfjorden, on the north coast of Spitsbergen, you take in an expansive fjord spilling with glaciers – and maybe even visited by ringed and bearded seals. The cliffs and shoreline of this fjord also support thriving seabird colonies, rich vegetation, and the possibility of polar bears.

Day 3-4: Onward to East Greenland
You may eventually see the jagged edge of the east Greenland sea ice flashing into sight ahead, depending on the conditions. Keep watch for whales and migrating seabirds here.

Day 5: Tundra, mountains, and icebergs
As you approach Greenland, you may sail through the sea ice into Foster Bay and land at Myggebugten. Beyond the old hunters’ hut (where Norwegian trappers hunted for polar bear and Arctic fox in the first half of the 20th century), there is a sprawling tundra populated by musk oxen, with geese floating the small lakes. From here you sail through Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord, surrounded by towering mountains and bright interior icebergs. An alternate route is Sofia Sound, a narrower waterway.

For those who choose to attend, we have our first long walk (6-7 hours) of the voyage today. We start at Myggbukta station and head into Badlanddal, then turn south to Fangsthytte near Kap Bennet. A Zodiac will sail ahead of the walking party and parallel to the coast to watch out for bears.

Day 6: The islands of Antarctic Sound
You arrive at Teufelschloss (Devil’s Castle), a mountain with layered geology. On the other side of the fjord is Blomsterbugt and the intended landing site. In the afternoon you head into Antarctic Sound, where you find the islands of Ruth, Maria, and Ella. Maria is the most likely spot for a landing.

Day 7: Alpefjord’s lofty peaks
In the morning you enter Segelsällskapets Fjord, with the streaked slopes of the Berzelius Mountains bordering the north side. You land on the south shore, where ancient sedimentary formations lie right at your feet. A hike takes you near a small lake with good chances to see musk oxen, Arctic hares, and ptarmigans. In the afternoon the ship ventures into Alpefjord, aptly named for the spire-like peaks that thrust up around it. You may then embark on a Zodiac cruise around Gully Glacier, which once blocked access to the interior of these waters. Continuing deep into the fjord, you experience a definitive Greenland adventure.

Day 8: Sights of the Arctic autumn
The first half of the day you spend in Antarctic Havn, an extensive valley where you can spot groups of musk oxen. At this time of year, the sparse vegetation is dressed in the fiery colors of autumn.

Day 9:Arriving at Earth’s largest fjord
Today you reach Scoresbysund, sailing along the glaciated Volquart Boons Kyst. You may also enjoy a Zodiac cruise past one of the glacier fronts, along with a visit to the basalt columns and ice formations of Vikingebugt. In the afternoon, we plan to sail by the east coast of Milne Land among a multitude of giant icebergs. If we can also land at Charcot Havn, we will make a walk to the Charcot Glacier. We will then continue by Bjørneør and sail into Øfjord, where we might also make a landing.

Day 10: Colors of the cape 
The goal is a Zodiac cruise near Sorte Ø, surrounded by icebergs. Their austere blue-white contrasts sharply with the sediment slopes nearby. The afternoon plan is to sail through the northern parts of Røde Fjord and into Harefjord, with the chance to see musk oxen and warm autumnal foliage.

Day 11: Enormous bergs, Arctic hares
In the morning you encounter colossal icebergs, some over 100 meters (328 feet) high and more than a kilometer (.62 mile) long. Most of them are grounded, as the fjord is only about 400 meters deep (1,312 feet). You then land near Sydkap, with fine views of Hall Bredning and a good shot of seeing Arctic hares.

Today’s long walk goes from Sydkap to Nordøstbugt (12 km, 7.5 miles to the northeast), where the river coming from Holger Danskes Briller flows into the sea. We plan to walk south along the shore to Satakajik, seeing whale vertebrae and the remains of Thule summer houses. Passengers who opt out of the long walking group will join us at this location for their second excursion of the day.

Day 12: Settlement at Scoresbysund
Today you make a tundra landing on Liverpool Land, in Hurry Inlet. The afternoon stop is Ittoqqortoormiit, the largest settlement in Scoresbysund at about five hundred inhabitants. At the post office you can buy stamps for your postcards, or just stroll around to see the sled dogs and drying skins of seals and musk oxen. In the afternoon you sail south, passing the picturesque landscapes of the Blosseville Coast.

Day 13: At Sea
A sea day grants you the opportunity to spot whales and seabirds – and at night, the magical northern lights.

Day 14: Journey’s end at Akureyri, Iceland
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. You disembark in Akureyri, where on request you can transfer (T) by chartered bus (a six-hour drive that you must book in advance) to the bus stop Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre at Austurbakki, Reykjavík, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies. The optional bus transfer from Akureyri to Reykjavik is an additional cost.

PLEASE NOTE: The probability of sailing into Scoresbysund is high (based on our experiences from 1993 – 2019), but there is still a chance (about 10%) that ice will obstruct passage into the fjord system. All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. Landings are subject to site availabilities, permissions, and environmental concerns per AECO regulations. Official sailing plans and landing slots are scheduled with AECO prior to the start of the season, but the expedition leader determines the final plan. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. The average cruising speed of our vessel is 10.5 knots.

Route Map

Trips and Rates

Please note, rates are Per Person in USD
Quad Porthole
$7,450
 
Twin Porthole
$10,450
 
Twin Window
$11,500
 
Twin Deluxe
$12,150
Limited
Superior
$13,550
 
Quad Porthole
$7,000
Limited
Twin Porthole
$9,800
Limited
Twin Window
$10,800
Limited
Twin Deluxe
$11,400
Full
Superior
$12,700
 

Single Travelers:

  • Can book into a share cabin in Quad – Twin Deluxe
  • Can book a twin cabin at solo occupancy at 1.7x the per person share price

Adventure Options:

  • On Basecamp departures all activities are free

Single Travelers:

  • Can book into a share cabin in Quad – Twin Deluxe
  • Can book a twin cabin at solo occupancy at 1.7x the per person share price

Adventure Options:

  • On Basecamp departures all activities are free

Availability & prices are subject to change at anytime. Please contact us for the real time availability & prices.

Cabin Descriptions

Superior

The 6 Superior cabins are the most spacious and the only cabin category with a double bed. They are all located on deck 5. Features: 2 windows (minimum), 1 double bed, 1 single (sofa) bed, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Refrigerator, Coffee & tea maker, Hair dryer, Safe deposit box and Ample storage space. 

198 – 220 square feet / 18.4 – 20.4 square meters.

Ortelius twin deluxe cabin

Twin Deluxe

There are just 2 Twin Deluxe cabins located on deck 5. Features: 3 windows, 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Small sofa, Refrigerator, Coffee & tea maker, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Hair dryer, Safe deposit box and Ample storage space. 

190 square feet / 17.7 square meters

Ortelius, twin window cabin

Twin Window

The 12 Twin Window cabins are all located on deck 5. Features: 2 windows, 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Hair dryer, Safe deposit box and Ample storage space. 

188 – 190 square feet / 17.5 – 17.7 square meters

Ortelius, twin porthole cabin

Twin Porthole

The most abundant cabin category, most of which are located on deck 4 (there are 2 on deck 3). Features: 2 portholes, 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Hair dryer, Safe deposit box and Ample storage space. 

123 – 163 square feet / 11.4 – 15.1 square meters

Ortelius, triple cabin

Triple Porthole

2 Triple cabins located forward on deck 3. Features: 2 portholes, 1 upper berth & 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Hair dryer, Safe deposit box and Ample storage space.

Ortelius, quad porthole cabin

Quad Porthole

4 Quad cabins midship on deck 3. Features: 2 portholes, 2 upper berths & 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Hair dryer, Safe deposit box and Ample storage space. 

133 – 152 square feet / 12.4 – 14.1 square meters

Deck Plan

Inclusions & Exclusions

Inclusions: 

  • 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 Longyearbyen.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
  • AECO fees and governmental taxes.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.
 

Exclusions: 

  • 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 strongly recommended).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • Transfer supplement for bus shuttle between Akureyri (ship) and bus stop Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre at Austurbakki, Reykjavik (6 hours).
  • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).