Home » Greg Mortimer: Jewels of the Arctic
Book now and save 10% off your 2020 departure. Contact us today!
Certainly one of our most-anticipated voyages each year, the Jewels of the Arctic will change you forever: while cruising the icy waters of the Greenland Sea between Iceland and Spitsbergen, keep an eye out for whales, sea ice and countless sea birds. Your days will be jam-packed with once-in-a-lifetime moments: we Zodiac cruise amongst gigantic icebergs, revel in gorgeous tundra walks, spot Arctic foxes, musk ox, walrus and polar bears. Greenland’s breathtaking mountainous landscapes will leave you speechless as the voyage goes along!
Duration: 15 Days
Arrive in Kirkenes, Norway and join a pre-arranged half day excursion or activity prior to boarding the Greg Mortimer late afternoon. Airport transfers will be included if arriving on preferred flights into Kirkenes. You’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important briefings.
Over the next two days at sea, enjoy informative and entertaining lectures from our expert expedition team including naturalists and historians before reaching Svalbard’s southeast coast.
As the Greg Mortimer passes between Spitsbergen and the smaller islands of Barentsøya and Edgeøya, we cross a major polar bear migration route and the beautiful fertile plains of Sundeneset. The spongy ground is richly covered with bright green mosses, a variety of delicate and colourful flowers, particularly the yellow marsh (bog) saxifrage, various mushrooms, fungi, clear bubbling streams and small tarns. Tiny (micro) flowers such as Mouse Ears grow in Spitsbergen creating faerie like mossy rock gardens. We look for polar bears hunting on pack ice and we may explore this beautiful terrain on foot, marvelling at the contrast between the colourful soft ground and the barren, rocky terrain from further north. Reindeer antlers lie scattered along the ground.
If conditions allow we will pass through the narrow Hinlopen Strait. The strait is flanked by creamy coloured slabs of rock that are rich in fossils. We may visit Alkefjellet in the Strait, where a series of one-hundred-metre-high dolerite towers are home to nearly a million nesting Brünnich’s guillemots – the penguins of the north – that occupy every available nook and cranny. Elsewhere we seek out eider ducks and geese, and hope to spot walrus, Arctic fox and the beautiful ivory gulls.
As we cruise west across the Greenland Sea – the main outlet of the Arctic Ocean – we may encounter whales feeding in the productive waters of the north. Sightings of fin whales are common and blue whales have been seen in more recent years. As we begin to approach Greenland we will likely encounter the East Greenland pack ice, and if we are lucky we will see polar bears hunting for prey. The strong icy currents have isolated East Greenland from the Polar Basin, attracting large numbers of fish, seals and whales. Climatic conditions and the concentration of ice in the vicinity often create thick morning fog that vanishes with the onset of the midday sun. Our experts will inform and entertain us with fascinating discussions on plants, animals, ice, and early explorers like Nansen, Andree and Scoresby.
Conditions permitting, there may be a chance for kayakers to launch their sea kayaks and the rest of us to cruise in the sea ice with Zodiacs. Perhaps if we have had a good crossing, we may even have the opportunity to make our first landing on the Greenland coast, weather permitting. This stretch of coastline is ripe for exploration, with its many secrets locked in place by drift ice for up to eight months each year. Home to polar bear, snowy owl and musk ox, it's the world's largest national park, covering 972,000 square kilometres; most of which is inland ice and the rest a composite fjord landscape.
We will attempt to enter Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord, a remote and rarely visited fjord system with countless opportunities for exploration within the Northeast Greenland National Park. Cruising through Kong Oskar Fjord we will marvel at the geological beauty of the mountains and land in a few places to explore the landscape and wildlife of Greenland. We will then head south along the coast of Liverpool Land, with our passage dependent on ice conditions.
We aim to reach Scoresbysund, the world’s largest fjord and a favourite hunting ground of the local Inuit. Massive glaciers dump into this fjord, the birthplace of the famous big Greenland icebergs. We hope to visit the remote Inuit community of Ittoqqortoormiit (Scoresby Town) and to hike across the tundra in search of ancient graveyards and summer villages occupied 3,000 years ago by Paleo-Eskimos. Scoresbysund offers many opportunities for walking cruising and kayaking so we will spend our days exploring the land, the ice and the sea. Other landings along the coast may include:
- Cape Humboldt
- Sefstrom Glacier
- Rode O
In the Denmark Strait, we sail towards Iceland. Keep a lookout for whale blows and the many seabirds that trail our ship in the ever present Arctic winds.
Enjoy the time to reflect on your recent adventures, share and exchange photos, and soak in the fresh ocean air. As we near Iceland, you will find we are returning to the rest of the world as we encounter fishing vessels working the coastal waters.
Arrive early morning in Reykjavik. After breakfast, bid farewell to your fellow passengers before your coach transfer to downtown Reykjavik or the airport.
**Please note: Due to departure flight schedules out of Reykjavik, we recommend that passengers stay overnight in Reykjavik before continuing with your onward international travel arrangements.
|26 Jul 2020 - 09 Aug 2020|
Located on deck 3 , Room size: 23.2m², Twin or double bed, Private en-suite bathroom , Porthole window, Desk area, Closet space, Sofa bed (can sleep 3rd passenger in select cabins) , Room-controlled thermostat, Safe for storing valuables, 42" flat-screen TV
Located on deck 4, 6 and 7, Room size: 16.5-20.7m², Private balcony, Twin or double bed, Private en-suite bathroom, Floor to ceiling window,Desk area Closet space, Room-controlled thermostat, Safe for storing valuables, 42" flat-screen TV
25.4sqm - 26.1sqm, located on deck 4, private balcony (9.1sqm-10.8sqm), double bed, private ensuite bathroom, full-size window, desk area, closet space, room-controlled thermostat, safe and 42-inch flat-screen TV.
30.1sqm, located on deck 7, private balcony (14.3sqm), double bed, private ensuite bathroom, full-size window, desk area, closet space, room-controlled thermostat, safe, 42-inch flat-screen TV and separate lounge area.
35.9sqm, located on deck 4, private balcony (10.4sqm), double bed, private ensuite bathroom, full-size window, desk area, closet space, room-controlled thermostat, safe, 42-inch flat-screen TV and separate lounge area.
21.4sqm, 3 single beds, private ensuite and porthole window. Includes desk area, closet, room controlled thermostat and 42 inch flat screen TV.