Cruise on all-balcony 'Le Boreal' to pristine and rarely seen Arctic islands, visiting the polar bear haven of Svalbard, an Inuit village on Scoresby Sound and Iceland’s verdant West Fjords.
Day 1 - Arrive Oslo, Norway
Arrive in Oslo, Norway's capital city and your gateway to the
Arctic. On arrival, you are met and escorted to your hotel. This
evening, meet fellow guests for a welcome cocktail reception.
Day 2 - Longyearbyen
Board an early morning charter flight to Longyearbyen, the
capital of Svalbard, also known as Spits bergen, the sovereign
Arctic archipelago of Norway. It is one of the most remote
groups of islands on the planet, with nearly two-thirds of its
surface covered in luminous glaciers. Tour the tiny town and its
Arctic Museum. This afternoon, board your expedition cruiser.
Day 6 - Svalbard Islands
Only a rare few have the opportunity to view the remote
wilderness of the Svalbard Islands, and our knowledgeable
Expedition Team and enrichment specialists reveal their riches
in depth, both aboard and on shore. In this archipelago, polar
bears, walruses, Svalbard reindeer and an incredibly rich variety
of birds are abundant. Cathedrals of ice, glaciers and craggy
mountain peaks also populate the landscape, which comes alive
with diminutive flora and color under summer's midnight sun.
Your Captain and Expedition Team carefully plan your active,
curated itinerary, which is dependent on weather, sea, ice and
wildlife conditions. With that in mind, daily excursions may
include exploration of these spectacular areas:
Magdalenefjoren: A stunning fjord with rugged rock walls,
Magdalenefjoren surmounts blue-hued glaciers crisscrossed by crevasses, with birds perched in the high cliffs. This "glacier
coast" provides magnificent views of the slow-moving ice masses
travelling out to sea as well as beaches frequented by walruses.
Ny Alesund: Once a mining town and launching pad for
early Arctic expeditions, Ny Alesund is now home to a polar
research station where scientists study meteorology, seismology,
atmospheric sciences and marine biology. Conditions permitting,
visit the small community, including a museum, art gallery and
the northernmost post office in the world.
Hinlopen Strait: Navigate this passageway between the main
island ofSpitsbergen and the island ofNordaustlandet to arrive
at the Alkefjellet, or "auk cliffs," towering rock faces that drop
directly into the sea and provide a home to colonies of auks.
Wahlbergoya: Located in the center of the southern entrance to
Hinlopen Strait, this island, named after Swedish botanist Peter
Fredrik Wahlberg, is a favorite summer haul-out for walruses.
Monaco Bay and Glacier: Located in Northwest Spitsbergen,
Monaco Bay is frequented by a variety of wildlife populations,
including polar bears, walruses, harbor and bearded seals, and
a multitude of seabirds.
Liefdefjorden (Loves Bay):In far northern Svalbard, this is an
excellent area for spotting polar bears and other Arctic wildlife.
Throughout your landings and days of cruising in Spitsbergen,
your primary objective will be to search for polar bears as they
hunt in their true natural habitat - be it on land or among the
ice floes. Each landing is under the close supervision of your
bear guardians, who have the best knowledge about where to
find the white giants.
Day 8 - At Sea
As 'Le Boreal' plies toward Greenland, spend the day at sea with
new friends and the Expedition Team, who continue engaging,
exciting discussions and lectures that promise an enlightening
experience while you cruise.
Day 10 - Greenland
For the next two days, explore the rarely visited east coast of
Greenland and Scoresby Sound, the largest and longest fjord
system in the world. Embark on thrilling, twice-daily Zodiac
excursions through the fjord's glistening and intricate network,
taking in its islands and icebergs, and searching for common residents that include the musk ox and reindeer. Throughout
your explorations, informed enrichment specialists impart
meaningful, in-depth know-how about the region. Ice conditions
permitting, disembark for a visit to Ittoqqortoormiit, a small
settlement founded in 1925 and one of the most isolated villages
Day 11 - Cruising the Denmark Strait
Enjoy a relaxing day at sea cruising the narrow strip of water
that separates Greenland from Iceland, and connects the Arctic
Sea with the Atlantic Ocean. Continue exciting conversations
with your Expedition Team and enrichment specialists, and
watch for seabirds and whales from the deck in between the
insightful lectures they present.
Day 12 - Iceland's West Fjords
Today, explore the spectacular, unspoiled wilderness on
Iceland's remote West Fjords. Designated as a nature reserve in
1975 and free of any roads, Hornstrandir still appears as it would
have when the Vikings first arrived. Your treks this morning reveal tranquil wildflower meadows, striking waterfalls and
other geological features. This afternoon, visit the small village
of Hesteyri, where you are welcomed by the local villagers.
Day 13 - Akranes
The glacier-carved West Fjords continue to provide a scenic
backdrop as you journey to the Langjökull glacier. Disembark
for an adventurous visit aboard special expedition trucks,
stopping en route at the shimmering Hraunfossar waterfall before arriving at the entrance of Langjökull glacier. There,
explore Langjökull's labyrinth of ice tunnels and caves, all
revealing breathtaking shades of blue and depths of ice.
Following lunch in nearby Husafell, return this afternoon
to Akranes to board 'Le Boreal.'
Day 14 - Westman Islands
This morning, arrive in the Westman Islands (Vestmannaeyjar),
a rock-studded, volcanically active archipelago on the south
coast of Iceland. Explore the volcanic landscape of Iceland's
remote Heimaey Island, where
a new mountain, Eldfell ("Mount Fire"), was created during
a 1973 eruption. Heimaey Island is home to all of Iceland's seabirds, among them the iconic puffin. Excavations of the ruins suggest there were
inhabitants here as early as 100 BC. Today, the island's 4,500 locals
reside alongside upward of eight million puffins each summer.
Visit the local village, seeing ruins of historic farmhouses from
the year AD 650. Later, trek to Helgafell to observe the volcanic
landscape with your insightful guides. This afternoon, and
conditions permitting, board your Zodiac for an up-close view
of Surtsey Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Iceland's
Day 15 - Depart Reykjavik
This morning, disembark 'Le Boreal' in Reykjavik and transfer
to the airport for your return flight home, or continue on in
Iceland with a Reykjavik extension.