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Orkneys, Faroes, Jan Mayen & Svalbard

15 Days FROM AUD 14,600

Overview

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Undertake an amazing voyage as you explore the North Atlantic's wildest outliers. On board the Greg Mortimer you will say from the historic Orkneys to the endless daylight of the Arctic Circle. Discover the raw beauty of the Faroe Islands, as you explore caves, arches, waterfalls and jugged bird cliffs home to brave and colourful puffins. Embrace the beauty of the worlds northernmost volcano as you reach Jan Mayen. Sail through fjords teeming with whales and dolphins before searching for enigmatic polar bears in Svalbard. This is a truly unique and unforgettable experience. 

Optional Activities : Kayaking, Photography

Trip Code: ACAEOFJS

Travel Style: Expedition Cruise

Location: Arctic, Spitsbergen

Ship: Greg Mortimer

Flights: We offer a range of flight options to meet your cruise. Contact us today to discuss.

WHY CHOOSE THIS CRUISE?

  • Discover the most amazing sights of the North Atlantic's outliers, experiences that are still relatively less traversed by visitors. 

  • Experience the raw beauty of the Faroe islands as you stare in awe as brave birds clang to jagged cliffs. 

  • Experience the beauty of Svalbard as you bear witness to the worlds Northernmost volcano.

CRUISE ITINERARY

Please make your own way to the pier with boarding scheduled for approximately 4pm.

Aberdeen is known throughout Scotland as the granite city, due to much of the town being built from a silvery granite extracted from a nearby quarry. Much of the wealth in Aberdeen is fuelled by the North Sea petroleum industry. Local attractions include the Aberdeen Art Gallery and the Maritime Museum.

Embarkation in Aberdeen

Discover the rich history in Kirkwall, capital of the Orkney Islands. Initial impressions are misleading, as the harbour area looks modern, but the narrow winding streets and lanes of the old town, which have remained relatively unchanged over the centuries are appealing. Explore magnificent St Magnus Cathedral built from red and white sandstone and considered the finest medieval building in the north of Scotland before popping across the road to Tankerness House and Gardens, a restored 16th century former manse, now housing the Orkney Museum featuring archaeological artefacts from Neolithic times to the Vikings. The exhibition is a great way to whet your appetite for the archaeological gems you will find on the mainland including the unique and well-preserved 5,000-year-old semi-subterranean village of Skara Brae.

Everything west of Kirkwall is known as West Mainland, an area of rich farmland, rolling hills and moorland, with dramatic cliffs along the Atlantic coastline. Some of the main archaeological attractions we may see include the standing Stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar, and the chambered tombs of Maes Howes that to this day still have unresolved mysteries. One of the mainland’s main attractions is Skara Brae, the best-preserved Stone Age village in northern Europe, located in the spectacular white sands of the Bay of Skaill. Revealed in 1850 after a storm blew away the dunes, the site dates from approximately 5,000 years ago and was occupied for about 600 years, showing a unique picture of the lifestyle of the original inhabitants.

Kirkwall, Orkneys

In the middle of the North Atlantic, barely visible on most world maps, you will find the Faroe Islands, an archipelago consisting of 18 islands with a population of only 50,000. The Faroe Islands are built up of layers of volcanic basalt, and are tilted with the eastern shores sloping into the sea and the western coasts rising up in soaring and spectacular cliffs.

Discover a few of the gems of the Faroe Islands including Tórshavn, Kirkjubour, Mykines and Vestmanner. In Torshavn, possibly the smallest capital in the world, wander the narrow streets of this windswept town, built on a hillside with colourful contemporary houses and old traditional timber dwellings all painted red and with characteristic grass roofs, white-framed windows and black wood. You may see the oddest array of sheep lining the steep hillsides - black ones, brown ones and even piebald ones! Perhaps catch a glimpse of Faroese ponies with their spectacular flaxen manes and coats varying from a palomino colour to rich chestnut. The town’s history can be traced back to around 900 AD when the first Viking settlers arrived here by longboat from Norway.

Geographically, Mykines is the Faroe’s most westerly outpost, and the island dubbed the “paradise of birds” featuring gannets, kittiwakes, fulmars, guillemots and puffins. We are able to get quite close to the birds by sailing under the majestic bird cliffs or on a hike. In addition to the seabirds, the Faroe Islands’ remote location functions virtually as a magnet for birds that migrate over the North Atlantic Ocean. Around 300 bird species have been recorded in the Faroe Islands, but only around 100 species are regular migrants or breeding birds. This means that about 200 species are rare migrants and new birds are added to the national list every year.

One of the highlights in the Faroe Islands is Vestmanna Birdcliffs, where in kayaks and Zodiacs you can explore caves, arches, waterfalls and sea stacks below majestic cliffs towering hundreds of metres above. You may see kittiwakes and fulmars overhead, with razorbills and guillemots sitting on nests high above us and puffins bobbing in the sea.

Faroe Islands - Day 3 to 5

Enjoy sailing to Jan Mayen Island accompanied by sea birds while keeping a look out for whales. Enjoy a presentation from our team of experts, get to know your fellow expeditioners, stay fit at the gym or treat yourself to a massage in the wellness centre.

Sea Crossing to Jan Mayen - Day 6 & 7

The approach to Jan Mayen is spectacular. The huge Beerenberg volcano (2,277 metres/ 7,470 feet altitude) is the world’s northernmost active volcano, and last erupted in 1985. The northern part of the island is a great place to look for whales and dolphins, and contains impressive glaciers, some of which reach the sea. If the weather is friendly, we will try to land at Kvalrossbukta, a relatively sheltered bay on the island’s west coast. This is one of the landings used to supply the weather station Olonkinbyen, situated on the eastern side of the island. We hope to land on front of the Norwegian station at Olonkinbyen, stop to visit the weather station before embarking on a three-hour hike (weather permitting) to the other side of the Island where the Greg Mortimer will be waiting for us in Kvalrossbukta, and our trusty Zodiacs will transport us back to the ship.

Jan Mayen

The sea around Jan Mayen offers excellent whale-watching opportunities (bottlenose, fin, and perhaps bowhead whales in the pack ice). Sail towards Svalbard, searching for the ice edge as we continue north, retracing the route of Dutch explorer Willem Barents who discovered Spitsbergen and the Barents Sea, named after him. You may see harp seal pups on the pack ice growing quickly, while their mothers hunt for food. As we approach Svalbard, all eyes will be focused on spotting polar bears in the pack ice.

Sea Crossing to Svalbard - Day 9 & 10

Over the next three days, the Svalbard Archipelago is ours to explore. Our experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design our voyage from day to day. This allows us to make best use of the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities. Because we are so far north we will experience nearly 24 hours of daylight and the days can be as busy as you wish. We will generally make landings or Zodiac excursions a few times a day; cruising along spectacular ice cliffs, following whales that are feeding near the surface, making landings for hikes.

There are many exciting places we can choose to visit; a sample of some of the places where your expedition leader may choose to land, hike, photograph or view spectacular wildlife and scenery include:

Alkhornet, at the northern entrance of Isfjorden, is a striking landmark. The landscape around this large bird cliff is lush and beautiful. East of Alkhornet you can find a deep and several kilometre long bay with an exciting and diverse history. Here you will find important and vulnerable cultural remains dating from several of Svalbard’s historical periods.

Kongsfjorden and the surrounding country are known to be one of the most beautiful fjord areas in Svalbard. The fjord is headed by two giant glaciers, Kronebreen and Kongsvegen. Hike on the lush tundra amongst the summer flowers and observe the remarkable bird cliffs near the 14th July Glacier, where even a few puffins nest between the cracks in the cliffs.

Virgohamna is one of Svalbard’s most important cultural heritage sites. On the beach are remains of blubber ovens and a Dutch whaling station. There are also graves from the whaling period. But Virgohamna is most famous for being the starting place of many an expedition attempting to reach the North Pole.

Northern Svalbard - Days 11 & 14

During the early morning we cruise into Longyearbyen. Farewell your expedition team, crew and fellow expeditioners as we all continue our onward journeys. Enjoy a town tour of Longyearbyen before an onward transfer to the airport in the afternoon.

Disembarkation in Longyearbyen
DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

Pricing & date

Orkneys, Faroes, Jan Mayen & Svalbard from AUD 11,680
Departing Ending Duration
23 Jun 2021 07 Jul 2021 15

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES

Kayaking

Kayaking

Photography

Photography

Important Information

  • Cabin accommodation on board Greg Mortimer 
    All meals whilst on board
    All scheduled landings/excursions
    Guiding and lectures by English-speaking expedition leader and team
    All port fees
    All landing fees
    Complimentary polar expedition jacket
    Complimentary boot rental during cruise
    Comprehensive pre-departure info
    Half day city tour in Longyearbyen upon disembarkation on Day 15
    Transfer to airport on Day 15

    Exclusions

    Airfares to and from embarkation/disembarkation city 
    Visa fees (if applicable)
    Travel insurance
    Personal expenses such as laundry, on board communication
    Gratuities for the crew
    Pre or post cruise travel expenses 
    Optional activities 

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request, contact us for more details.

  • Itinerary is subject to change depending on ice and weather conditions. 

  • departure date, season and availability. 

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Sustainability

Chimu Adventures undertakes a number of sustainability measures within its operations including:

1) Only using local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprints. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting.

2) Where possible, using locally owned and operated boutique hotels to maximise the return to the local community.

3) Chimu’s “Pass it on” programme has provided funding to hundreds of local community projects in Latin America. Our aim is to empower local communities, helping them to develop their own infrastructure for the future. Since 2006, we have been working with Kiva (a well-known Non-Governmental Organisation), providing hundreds of loans to local businesses all over South America.

4) In our pre tour information we provide a range of tips and advice on how to minimise your impact on both local environments and communities.

5) Chimu Adventures’ offices also take a number of sustainability measures including carbon offsets for company vehicles and most staff travel. Chimu Adventure’s internal processes are also structures to create a paperless office and to reduce waste. There are also internal programmes to help staff minimise their carbon footprint such as our staff bike purchase assistance plan which encourages office staff to commute to work via bicycle. Currently almost half of our office based staff commute to work via bicycle.