Spitsbergen – Northeast Greenland, Aurora Borealis 2020 (Plancius)

Spitsbergen – Northeast Greenland, Aurora Borealis 2020 (Plancius)

From USD $6,600

Description

The Spitsbergen and Northeast Greenland cruise sails waters filled with breath-taking scenery. The expedition passes through areas that are home to seals, seabirds, whales, and polar bears, topped off with nighttime viewing of the Northern Lights.

You may see the jagged edge of the east Greenland sea ice flashing into sight. We may sail through the sea ice into Foster Bay and land at Myggebugten. Beyond the old hunters’ hut (where Norwegian trappers hunted for polar bear and Arctic fox in the first half of the 20th century), there is a sprawling tundra populated by musk oxen.

We visit Segelsällskapets Fjord, with the streaked slopes of the Berzelius Mountains bordering the north side. We land on the south shore, and hike to a nearby small lake with good chances to see musk oxen, Arctic hares, and ptarmigans.

We will cruise into Scoresby Sund, the world’s largest fjord system, somewhere that should be on everyone’s bucket list.

Trip Name
Spitsbergen - Northeast Greenland, Aurora Borealis 2020 (Plancius)
Days
14
Overview
Vessel Type: Expedition Length: 89 metres Passenger Capacity: 108 - 116 Built / refurbished: 1976 / 2009 M/v “Plancius” accommodates 116 passengers in 53 passenger cabins (108 passengers as of season Arctic 2020) with private toilet and shower in 4 quadruple porthole cabins, 2 triple porthole cabins, 9 twin porthole cabins, 26 twin cabins with window and 2 twin deluxe cabins, all (ca. 12,5 square meters) and 10 twin superior cabins (ca. 21 square meters). All cabins offer lower berths (one queen-size bed in the superior cabins and two single beds in the twin cabins), except for the 4 quadruple cabins (for 4 persons in 2x upper and lower beds), and 2 triple cabins (1 bunk bed plus 1 lower bed). The vessel offers a restaurant/lecture room on deck 3 and a spacious observation lounge (with bar) on deck 5 with large windows, offering full panorama view. M/v “Plancius” has large open deck spaces (with full walk-around possibilities on deck 4), giving excellent opportunities to enjoy the scenery and wildlife. She is furthermore equipped with 10 Mark V zodiacs, including 40 HP 4-stroke outboard engines and 2 gangways on the starboard side, guaranteeing a swift zodiac operation. M/v “Plancius” is comfortable and nicely decorated, but is not a luxury vessel. Our voyages in the Arctic and Antarctic regions are primarily defined by an exploratory educational travel programme, spending as much time ashore as possible. Plancius fully meets our demands to achieve this. The vessel is equipped with a diesel-electric propulsion system which reduces the noise and vibration of the vessel considerably. The 3 diesel engines generate 1.230 horse-power each, giving the vessel a speed of 10 - 12 knots. The vessel is ice-strengthened and was specially built for oceanographic voyages. M/v “Plancius” is manned by an international crew of 37 (18 nautical crew and 19 hotel crew), 8 expedition staff (1 expedition leader, 1 assistant expedition leader and 6 guides/lecturers), and 1 doctor.

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1: Largest town, biggest island
You touch down in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Enjoy strolling around this former mining town, whose parish church and Svalbard Museum make for fascinating attractions. Though the countryside appears stark, more than a hundred species of plant have been recorded in it. In the early evening the ship sails out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of your voyage.
Day 2 - Day 2: Route to Raudfjorden
Sailing to Raudfjorden, on the north coast of Spitsbergen, you take in an expansive fjord spilling with glaciers – and maybe even visited by ringed and bearded seals. The cliffs and shoreline of this fjord also support thriving seabird colonies, rich vegetation, and the possibility of polar bears.
Day 3 - Day 3 – 4: Onward to east Greenland
You may eventually see the jagged edge of the east Greenland sea ice flashing into sight ahead, depending on the conditions. Keep watch for whales and migrating seabirds here.
Day 4 - Day 5: Tundra, mountains, and icebergs
As you approach Greenland, you may sail through the sea ice into Foster Bay and land at Myggebugten. Beyond the old hunters’ hut (where Norwegian trappers hunted for polar bear and Arctic fox in the first half of the 20th century), there is a sprawling tundra populated by musk oxen, with geese floating the small lakes. From here you sail through Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord, surrounded by towering mountains and bright interior icebergs. An alternate route is Sofia Sound, a narrower waterway.
Day 5 - Day 6: The islands of Antarctic Sound
You arrive at Teufelschloss (Devil’s Castle), a mountain with layered geology. On the other side of the fjord is Blomsterbugt and the intended landing site. In the afternoon you head into Antarctic Sound, where you find the islands of Ruth, Maria, and Ella. Maria is the most likely spot for a landing.
Day 6 - Day 7: Alpefjord’s lofty peaks
In the morning you enter Segelsällskapets Fjord, with the streaked slopes of the Berzelius Mountains bordering the north side. You land on the south shore, where ancient sedimentary formations lie right at your feet. A hike takes you near a small lake with good chances to see musk oxen, Arctic hares, and ptarmigans. In the afternoon the ship ventures into Alpefjord, aptly named for the spire-like peaks that thrust up around it. You may then embark on a Zodiac cruise around Gully Glacier, which once blocked access to the interior of these waters. Continuing deep into the fjord, you experience a definitive Greenland adventure.
Day 7 - Day 8: Sights of the Arctic autumn
The first half of the day you spend in Antarctic Havn, an extensive valley where you can spot groups of musk oxen. At this time of year, the sparse vegetation is dressed in the fiery colors of autumn.
Day 8 - Day 9: Inuit neighborhood of yesteryear
Today you reach Scoresbysund, sailing along the glaciated Volquart Boons Kyst. You may also enjoy a Zodiac cruise past one of the glacier fronts, along with a visit to the basalt columns and ice formations of Vikingebugt. The afternoon goal is to visit Danmark Island, where you find the remains of an Inuit settlement abandoned around 200 years ago. The circular stone tent rings indicate the summer houses, while the winter houses can be seen closer to a small cape. The sites are well preserved, with easy identifiable entrances, bear-proof meat caches, and grave sites. In the evening, you continue sailing the berg-crowded fjords to the west.
Day 9 - Day 10: Colors of the cape
The goal is a Zodiac cruise near Røde Ø, one of the world’s most cherished iceberg attractions: The austere blue-white of the icebergs sets sharp against the brooding red backdrop of the sediment slopes. The afternoon plan is to sail through the northern parts of Røde Fjord, with the chance to see musk oxen and warm autumnal foliage.
Day 10 - Day 11: Enormous bergs, Arctic hares
In the morning you encounter colossal icebergs, some over 100 meters (328 feet) high and more than a kilometer (.62 mile) long. Most of them are grounded, as the fjord is only about 400 meters deep (1,312 feet). You then land near Sydkap, with fine views of Hall Bredning and a good shot of seeing Arctic hares.
Day 11 - Day 12: Settlement at Scoresbysund
Today you make a tundra landing on Liverpool Land, in Hurry Inlet. The afternoon stop is Ittoqqortoormiit, the largest settlement in Scoresbysund at about five hundred inhabitants. At the post office you can buy stamps for your postcards, or just stroll around to see the sled dogs and drying skins of seals and musk oxen. In the afternoon you sail south, passing the picturesque landscapes of the Blosseville Coast.
Day 12 - Day 13: Sea life under the northern lights
A sea day grants you the opportunity to spot whales and seabirds – and at night, the magical northern lights.
Day 13 - Day 14: Journey’s end at Akureyri
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. You disembark in Akureyri, where on request you can transfer (T) by chartered bus (a six-hour drive that you must book in advance) to the Reykjavik city hall, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.
Day 14 - Please Note:
The probability of sailing into Scoresbysund is high (based on our experiences from 1993 – 2018), but there is still a chance (about 10%) that ice will obstruct passage into the fjord system. All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. The onboard expedition leader determines the final itinerary.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
31-08-202013-09-2020USD $6,600Quadruple Porthole
31-08-202013-09-2020USD $9,400Twin Porthole
31-08-202013-09-2020USD $10,250Twin Window
31-08-202013-09-2020USD $10,850Twin Deluxe
31-08-202013-09-2020USD $12,250Superior

Inclusions

    • Cape Hofmann Halvø
    • Ittoqqortoormiit
    • Musk Ox
    • Northern Lights
    • Scoresby Sund
    • Shore-Based Walking
    • Walrus
    • Zodiac Cruising & Shore program

Map