Skip to main content

Greg Mortimer: Iceland, Jan Mayen and Svalbard

Overview

This extraordinary 11 day voyage will let you witness the staggering beauty of Iceland's Westfjords. On board the Greg Mortimer you will sail to the most remote yet beautiful places in the Northern hemisphere. Bare witness to the worlds northern-most volcanic island, Jan Mayen. Observe the incredible bird cliffs and puffin nests of Svalbard as they daringly cling to the volcanic geology. Undertake zodiac cruises through fjords dotted with magnificent glaciers, search for the illusive polar bear among the pack ice and strike on sensational tundra hikes. 

GREEN POINTS!

•Aurora vessels often host scientific research and equipment allowing such groups to carry out conservation and research efforts which assist both environmental preservation but also passenger experience, allowing a shared exchange of beneficial information. •The Greg Mortimer itself utilises lower fuel consumption and lower emissions, the vessel also has a unique virtual anchoring technology which means the vessel can maintain its position without deploying heavy anchors that may damage sensitive sea floors.

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: ACAEIJS

Location: Arctic

Ship: Greg Mortimer

CRUISE ITINERARY

After making your own way to Reykjavik pier, embark the Greg Mortimer in the late afternoon from approximately 1800 hours. You’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important safety briefings.

If you arrive to Reykjavik early perhaps take a trip to the National Museum to see the permanent exhibition on the history of Iceland from the 9th century to the present. As there is not much time spent in Reykjavik on this trip you may want to consider booking some additional days in the capital before or after your trip

Embarkation In Reykjavik

ne third of Iceland’s coastline is in the Westfjords, and the entire peninsula is carved and cut by long fjords. The Westfjords region is home to Látrabjarg; the westernmost point in Europe, and one of the continent’s most remarkable seabird breeding cliffs, a delight for birdlovers. It is one of the best places in Iceland to photograph puffins, an opportunity you’ll have on a Zodiac cruise, weather permitting.

The small town of Ísafjörður is the largest town in the Westfjords peninsula, with some 2,600 inhabitants. It is an ancient church site and has been a trading post since the 16th century. The growth of the town was triggered by salt fish production and fishing industry still remains the town’s main activity, along with tourism which has grown significantly in recent years.

Nearby Hornstrandir nature reserve is a peninsula accessible only by boat or by foot and inhabited by Arctic foxes, seals, birds and the occasional hiker. We plan to Zodiac cruise along the shoreline of Hornstrandir nature reserve and attempt a landing, subject to approval by the park ranger.

West & North-West Iceland - Day 2 & 3

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

At Sea

The approach to Jan Mayen is spectacular. The huge Beerenberg volcano 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, you 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 you in Kvalrossbukta, and your trusty Zodiacs will transport you 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. It’s breeding season for the harp seals and we hope to see them breeding on the sea ice. As we approach Svalbard, all eyes will be focused on spotting polar bears in the pack ice.

At Sea - Day 6 & 7

We plan to cross 80° North, always on the lookout for polar bears on the pack ice, to reach Moffen Island, famous for its large walrus colony. In the coming days, depending on the weather and sea ice conditions, we may explore sites including the incredibly scenic Kongsfjorden (Kings Bay), a fjord headed by two giant glaciers. Perhaps spend time ashore to hike on the lush tundra amongst the early summer flowers and observing the remarkable bird cliffs near the 14th July Glacier, where puffins nest between the cracks in the cliffs. Keep watch for polar bears and Arctic fox and feel a sense of history at the 350-year-old remains of a Dutch whaling settlement, Smeerenberg on Amsterdamøya. We may visit Raudfjord which features fascinating geology, glaciers and bird cliffs. A possible hike on Ytre Norskya offers splendid views to the north coast of Spitsbergen and maybe even to the North Pole in clear weather!

Northern Svalbard & Spitsbergen - Days 8 - 10

During the early morning we cruise into Longyearbyen. Farewell your expedition team 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

Departing Ending Duration
12 Jun 2020 22 Jun 2020 11
Enquire Now

Important Information

  •  Shipboard accommodation
    All meals whilst on-board including snacks
    All shore excursions
    Guiding and lectures by expedition team
    Half day tour of Longyearbyen upon disembarkation on Day 11
    Transfer to the airport on Day 11 only
    Free use of rubber boots for shore excursions
    Polar 3 in 1 jacket
    Complimentary use of Muck boots whilst on voyage
    Personalised voyage photo book (post-voyage)
    All port taxes

    EXCLUSIONS


    Airfares to/from embarkation and disembarkation city
    Transfer to the pier
    Visa fees (if applicable)
    Travel Insurance
    Beverages (other than coffee and tea and beverages included at dinner)
    Personal expenses such as laundry, on-board communication (telephone calls, faxes, email service)
    Gratuities for the crew (recommend US$15 per person per day)
    Optional Activities whilst on-board

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request

  • Contact us for more details

  • Season and Availability

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Sustainability

Being environmentally accountable is a crucial part of our organisation. Chimu is currently striving towards using less paper, taking several initiatives to do so and tracking our progress along the way. Our goal: A paperless organisation. For this reason, all information given to you will be sent electronically. We encourage those who choose to travel with us to support our aspirations and actions and ask that you reconsider printing out documentation. To view these documents, you can download them to your iPad or portable computer before and during your trip.

Chimu is passionate and dedicated to sustainability measures and understands the crucial part sustainability plays within the tourism industry.

We use local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprint. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting. Our guides are all highly qualified (most with university degrees) or equip with many years of experience and are paid above the standard wage. Whether it be our knowledgeable local guides, locally produced meals or the transport on tour, we do not use imported goods when local products are available. We aim to minimise our impact on the environment and give as much back as possible to the communities we work in.

Aurora Expeditions has an intrinsic focus on sustainability. a Number of initatives they suupport include Albatross conservation projects as well as the 'Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research', which conduct research on South Polar Skuas. Aurora Expeditions regularly host scientific research and equipment, allowing such groups to carry out conservation and research efforts which assist both environmental preservation but also passenger experience, allowing a shared exchange of beneficial information. The Greg Mortimer itself utilises lower fuel consumption and lower emissions, the vessel also has a unique virtual anchoring technology which means the vessel can maintain its position without deploying heavy anchors that may damage sensitive sea floors. While visiting the many national parks, heritage sites, museums and landmarks our travellers are encouraged to explore whilst remaining culturally aware and sensitive. We further encourage you to buy appropriate souvenirs and discourage the buying of anything wrongfully made or taken from the environment i.e. shells and endangered species products. Information on how you can be environmentally conscious, and travel responsibly will be made available in our Travellers Guides and provided during your travels by guides and staff.

For more information on our sustainability policies, including how we are striving towards being a paperless organisation, click HERE