Iceland & Greenland Under the Northern Lights
This 8-day expedition cruise takes you across the Arctic Circle in search of whales, icebergs, Inuit villages, seabird colonies and spectacular scenery. Venturing into the Greenland Sea, you’ll explore Scoresbysund, the largest and deepest fjord system in the world. The dancing Northern Lights will guide you along your journey.
This expedition is easily accessible via air from the US to Reykjavik, and it can be a stand-alone adventure or part of a longer visit to Iceland. Due to the distance between Reykjavik and the embarkation point of Akureyri, we recommend a pre-cruise and a post-cruise night in Reykjavik.
Itinerary & Adventure Highlights
Day 1: Reykjavik-Akureyri
Board the M/V Ortelius this afternoon in the northern Iceland port of Akureyri. Ortelius is an ice-strengthened polar vessel that accommodates guests in a total of 52 cabins. Ortelius carries 10 zodiacs for the off-ship wildlife expeditions offered twice a day. You will depart just before dinner tonight, sailing north toward the Denmark Strait.
Day 2: Sailing to East Greenland
Today is spent at sea as you sail north, keeping a keen eye out for arctic seabirds such as fulmars, kittiwakes and gannets. You may also spot whales while crossing the Arctic Circle. By evening, the first icebergs will come into sight as you approach the east Greenland coast.
Day 3: Glaciers and Inuit Culture
Today, you will sail toward Scoresbysund, along the Volquart Boons Kyst (coast). This flood basalt was created when enormous volcanic eruptions were splitting the Atlantic Ocean millions of years ago. Some of the glacier-covered columns are up to 5 miles thick. Enjoy your first zodiac outing by cruising along the basalt columns and viewing the mesmerizing ice formations of Vikingebugt. This afternoon you will land at Danmark Island and view the remains of a well-preserved Inuit settlement that was abandoned approximately 200 years ago. Continue sailing through the berg-crowded fjords tonight toward the west.
Day 4: Colors of the Cape
Today’s highlight is sailing through Røde Fjord and witnessing the stark blue-white of the icebergs contrasting against the red-hued slopes. This afternoon, you may have an opportunity to see musk oxen and the warm autumn foliage while sailing through the northern area of Røde Fjord.
Day 5: Enormous bergs and Arctic hares
This morning you will encounter colossal icebergs, some over 300 feet high and more than a half-mile long. Make landfall near Sydkap, with views of Hall Bredning, a bay known for its dazzling display of reflected light. You may also be lucky enough to encounter the arctic hare, which is perfectly adapted to living in this harsh environment without hibernating during the winter.
Day 6: Settlement at Scoresbysund
Today’s adventures include a tundra landing at Liverpool Land in Hurry Inlet. This afternoon, you will explore the largest settlement in Scoresbysund, Ittoqqortoormiit – population 500. Stroll around the village to see the sled dogs and drying skins of seals and musk oxen. You’ll then sail south along the scenic Blosseville Coast.
Day 7: Northern Lights
Today you will begin sailing back to Akureyri, watching whales and seabirds along the way. The stars of the show tonight are the Northern Lights.
Day 8: Journey’s End at Akureyri
Disembark Ortelius this morning in Akureyri and head back to Reykjavik to continue your time in Iceland, or return home with epic memories of your Arctic adventure.
Ready to start planning your adventure?
Call us at 1-800-554-9059 or get started by sending us your dream trip details below.