On arrival in the Norwegian capital a local guide will collect you for an afternoon walking tour around this attractive and welcoming city which seamlessly blends tradition with modernity. In the evening you’ll get to know your fellow travellers at a welcome cocktail reception.
Fly to Svalbard in the Norwegian Arctic archipelago, one of the most remote island groups in the world where much of the land is covered by vast luminous glaciers. You’ll take a tour of the town, including the highly regarded Arctic Museum, then following lunch board the expedition cruiser Le Boreal for the start of your Arctic cruise adventure.
A dramatically beautiful land of huge glaciers, scenic fjords and craggy mountain peaks, the Svalbard Islands are populated by a rich variety of wildlife. Walrus, reindeer, countless species of bird and, of course, the fearsome polar bear wander this remote wilderness, which you’ll explore on a selection of curated expeditions. Particular highlights, beyond the thrill of bear-watching, include a tour of the scientific research station at Ny Alesund and the vast auk cliffs of the Hinlopen Strait.
As Le Boreal continues on towards the remote island of Jan Mayen, you can relax aboard the comfortable and spacious ship in the company of your fellow travellers. The Expedition Team, meanwhile, will provide a series of entertaining and informative presentations in the lounge area, concerning interesting aspects of the region’s history, geology and wildlife.
Jan Mayen stands at the confluence of the Greenland and Norwegian seas, a rugged and rarely visited island dominated by the active Beerenberg Volcano. Subject to the local situation, you’ll explore the meteorological station here as well as the spectacular breeding colonies of little auks, guillemots and northern fulmars that feed in the rich fishing waters.
You’ll spend three days exploring the Greenland’s seldom-visited east coast and Scoresby Sound, the largest and longest fjord system in the world. Twice-daily Zodiac expeditions pass islands and icebergs dotted through the waterways, reindeer and musk ox. You may have the chance to visit Ittoqqortoormiit, one of the most isolated villages in Greenland and a favoured haunt of polar bear.
The ship moves on through the narrow strip of water separating Greenland and Iceland towards the Atlantic Ocean. The program of insightful talks from the Expedition Team continues, and you can relax watching seabirds and whale from the deck, or reflecting on your Arctic experiences with fellow passengers.
Designated a nature reserve in 1975, the stunning Hornstrandir Peninsula is an unspoilt wilderness in Iceland’s Westfjords. You’ll trek through scenic meadows full of wildflowers, past waterfalls and other breathtaking geological features. In the afternoon you’ll arrive at the charming village of Heysteyri. After a friendly welcome from the locals you’ll learn about life in this remote area.
Journeying on through the glacier-carved landscape of the Westfjords, the ship approaches the immense Langjokull Glacier and, perhaps, the most memorable moment of the trip. You’ll trek past the shimmering Hraunfossar waterfall and into an electric blue labyrinth of ice tunnels and caves leading to the very heart of the glacier.
Le Boreal arrives in Reykjavik, and it’s time to bid farewell to the ship and crew. Transfer to the airport for your return flight, or stay a while longer in Reykjavik to continue your adventures.