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This expedition explores the secrets of Svalbard, Greenland and mainland Norway for an adventure of a lifetime. Discover the staggering beauty of the world’s largest fjord, see gigantic calving glaciers, Zodiac cruise around towering icebergs and observe a vast diversity of wildlife including musk oxen, walrus, reindeer and polar bear. Be immersed in the culture and history of Norway and Greenland, visit fascinating Inuit communities and ancient whaling sites.
Days 1-3 Spitsbergen
Days 4-8 East Greenland National Park
Days 9-11 East Greenland
Days 12-15 Greenland & Jan Mayen Island
Days 16-20 Norwegian Coastline
Day 21 Bergen
Welcome to the colourful metropolis of Longyearbyen, the capital of Svalbard and the gateway to adventure! You will enjoy a fascinating guided tour of this friendly Arctic town, home to 2100 nature enthusiasts from a staggering 50 different countries. Afterwards, embark on the Greg Mortimer and get settled into your cabin, before the ship sets sail to explore the wild north-west region of Spitsbergen. The Captain and expedition crew will create a bespoke itinerary based on local weather and ice conditions, but possible Zodiac landings may include exploring the enormous 14e Julibreen (14th July) calving glacier and its vivid white-blue hues. You may visit Smeerenburg, meaning to ‘blubber town’, a 17th century whaling station where you can still see the remains of blubber ovens. Or perhaps explore the remote bay of Hamiltonbukta to see guillemots nesting in the ledges of sheer sea cliffs. You may even catch sight of seals, walrus and hungry polar bear looking for prey.
The Greg Mortimer heads west through the pack ice across the Greenland Sea, where you may spot fin whales from the open deck or panoramic observation lounge. Enjoy fascinating talks about the nature and history of Greenland from the onboard team in preparation for your landings on the east coast. The crew aim to make several landings to explore the world’s largest national park, weather and ice permitting, with possible landing locations include the spectacular Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord, Kap Humboldt and King Oscar Fjord.
The Captain continues to follow the dramatic east Greenlandic coastline, and conditions allowing, aims to reach the spectacular Scoresby Sund. This stunning area is home to the largest fjord in the world. Zodiac cruise through the maze of ice sculptures, marvel at icebergs towering as tall as 15-storey buildings and keep watch for narwhal and polar bear. On land you will explore the unusually rich fauna and you might be able to spot musk oxen, reindeer, arctic fox and lemmings. Nothing quite prepares you for the scale and overwhelming beauty of this amazing region! Other possible landings include visiting one of the most isolated Inuit communities in the world at Ittoqqortoormiit, and surrounding Rode Fjord and Hare Fjord.
Over the coming few days, the expedition team will continue to make as many landings as possible in Greenland, which may include exploring the Blosseville Coast and beautiful Rømer Fjord. In true exploration spirit, the ship will then head around 450 kilometres east to the remote and seldom visited island of Jan Mayen in the Greenland Sea, where the crew hope to make a landing. This often mist-shrouded lost world rises spectacularly out of the ocean, with the 2277m high glacier-covered volcano and its symmetrical cone making for an imposing panorama. You may spot many species of bird here, including the Northern fulmar, kittywake, little aux and guillemots. In calm weather and with fortune, keep watch for several whale species, including the Blue Whale, and for the many seal who feed in the rich fishing grounds.
Arriving onto the spectacular Norwegian coast, your expedition team will guide you to the highlights of the country. Discover the secrets of the Lofoten Islands, with its dramatic mountain peaks rising sharply directly from the sea towards the sky. Visit the picturesque Trollfjord and its incredibly steep mountainsides, keeping watch for sea eagles gliding on thermals. You will continue your voyage south, crossing the Arctic Circle. If weather permits, you may visit Runde Island, home to Norway’s largest sanctuary for birds with over 150 permanent inhabitants. Perhaps explore a historic fishing village or visit Lysefjord with its world-famous breath-taking panoramic viewpoints.
This voyage of a lifetime reaches its conclusion as you arrive into the historic city of Bergen. You bid farewell to the fellow explorers ready for your onward travel arrangements.
The Greg Mortimer is named after the Australian polar explorer, mountaineer and Aurora founder, Greg Mortimer. Its the first ship in a series of landmark, purpose-built Polar Expedition ships for Aurora and features a state-of-the-art 'x-bow design', which has a piercing effect on smaller waves, making for a much smoother voyage.
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