Welcome to the Arctic, where nature still makes the rules and we are its humble guests. Get back in touch with the elements and experience breathtaking panoramas with untouched glaciers that stretch as far as the eye can see. Connect with the wild and stop to admire captivating species that exist nowhere else on Earth. Immerse yourself in the region’s history, as our Expedition Team inspires you with tales from the most intrepid Arctic explorers of the past. Explore routes few have travelled before and then cross the famous Northwest Passage, spotting polar bears and bowhead whales as you go. Join us as nature’s guest and explore the magic that is the Grand Arctic.
16 Jul - 29 Jul: Tromso, Norway to Reykjavik, Iceland
29 Jul - 8 Aug: Reykjavik, Iceland to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
8 Aug - 24 Aug: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
24 Aug - 17 Sep: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland to Nome, Alaska
Luxurious benefits that ensure you travel in comfort and that add an array of enriching cultural events make this voyage-of-a-lifetime an even more extraordinary experience:
Your journey begins in Tromso, Norway, the heart of the Arctic Circle. Feel your heart flutter, as you catch your first glimpse of that famous emerald haze dancing across the stars, during your visit to this wonderful Arctic gateway. Located in the far north of Norway, a visit to Tromso beckons you to the extremes of this magical country, to explore a fairytale land of jagged mountains, glistening glaciers and husky-pulled sledges. Despite its remote location, you'll discover a perhaps surprisingly cosmopolitan city, with a healthy student population injecting plenty of energy. Sat 250 miles above the Arctic Circle - at 69° north - you can bathe in the midnight sun's glow during summer, before winter brings the thick blackness and starry skies of endless polar nights. The darkness doesn't stop the fun - with a polar night half-marathon taking place in January - but the return of the sun is always a reason for a celebration here.
Almost a hundred islands and rocks make up the Gjesvӕrstappan Nature Reserve, one of Europe’s largest and most accessible nesting areas for Atlantic seabirds. Less than 10 nautical miles from Nordkapp more than one million nesting birds have been counted on Storstappen, the largest of the islands, and the minor islands next to it. One of the most significant Atlantic Puffin colonies in North Norway is found in this nature reserve. Enjoy Zodiac rides to look for Atlantic Puffins, Razorbills, Black and Common Guillemots, Northern Gannets, White-tailed Eagles, and Arctic Skuas, Common Eider Ducks, Common Shags and Great Cormorants as well as various other species.
Cruise the North Cape, the northernmost point of Europe, (Nordkapp in Norwegian) it lies about 1,306.3 mi from the North Pole, with no dry land between except for the Svalbald archipelago. Home to where the Atlantic and Arctic oceans meet, this is the true land of the midnight sun – constant spectacular scenic views and 24-hour sunlight lends itself to a sense of giddy informality aboard. Just imagine sipping a chilled glass of champagne at the very top of the world in full daylight at midnight – sensational. Be sure to be on the lookout for hundreds of thousands of puffins, gannets, cormorants, seals, dolphins and whales that make this stretch of chilly water their home. Not forgetting the colourful, compact fishing villages, so at odds with the otherwise this stark, barren landscape.
Cruise spectacularly scenic Norwegian fjords en route to the Shetland Islands. Adrift between the Scottish and Norwegian coasts, the craggy Shetland Islands form the most northerly point of the British Isles. Sprawling across 100 islands, connected by sandy bridges and crisscrossing ferries, explore the highlights of this scenic archipelago outpost. With incredible Neolithic history, spanning 5,000 years of human heritage, these islands, which sit just shy of the Arctic Circle, are an isolated and immense treasure trove of history and thrilling scenery.
Your ship then continues onto the Faroe Islands. Titanic scenery, mist-whipped mountains and staggering oceanic vistas await you here - a far-flung archipelago of immense natural beauty. This remote and isolated gathering of 18 islands – adrift in the far North Atlantic Ocean – is a self-governing part of the Kingdom of Denmark, and colourful Tórshavn bustles up against the seafront, forming one of the tiniest capital cities in the world. Wander between pretty, half-timbered houses and visit one of the world’s oldest parliament buildings, during your time here.
Sail on to explore some of Iceland's most scenic regions before arriving in the capital, Reykjavik. The capital of Iceland’s land of ice, fire and natural wonder, Reykjavik is a city like no other - blossoming among some of the world’s most vibrant and violent scenery. Home to two-thirds of Iceland’s population, Reykjavik is the island’s only real city, and a welcoming and walkable place - full of bicycles gliding along boulevards or battling the wind when it rears up. Fresh licks of paint brighten the streets, and an artistic and creative atmosphere embraces studios and galleries - as well as the kitchens where an exciting culinary scene is burgeoning.
From Iceland, continue on to discover Greenland's suggest east coast. Your ship will transit through the Prince Christian Sound, one of this voyage’s highlights. Connecting the Labrador Sea with the Irminger Seat, Prince Christian Sound or “Prins Christian Sund” in Danish is named after Prince (later King) Christian VII (1749-1808). 100 km (60 miles ), long and at times just 500 m (1500 ft) wide, this majestic and spectacular fiord throws you back into a Viking era – flanked by soaring snow-topped mountains, rock-strewn cliffs and rolling hills, it is as if time has stood still and one easily forgets that this is the 21st century. Explore intriguing Greenland ports of call on your way to Kangerlussuaq.
Kangerlussuaq is a settlement in western Greenland in the Qeqqata municipality located at the head of the fjord of the same name (Danish: Søndre Strømfjord). It is Greenland's main air transport hub and the site of Greenland's largest commercial airport. The airport dates from American settlement during and after World War II, when the site was known as Bluie West-8 and Sondrestrom Air Base. The Kangerlussuaq area is also home to Greenland's most diverse terrestrial fauna, including muskoxen, caribou, and gyrfalcons. The settlement's economy and population of 512 is almost entirely reliant on the airport and tourist industry.
From Kangerlussuaq, your ship will depart on a tour of Greenland. You will visit inuit settlements, stunning Arctic landscapes, beautiful fjords and islands rich with wildlife, including Isabella Island, Monumental Islands and the Lower Savage Islands, before routing back to Kangerlussuaq. You'll visit Ilulissat, known as the birthplace of icebergs, this Icefjord produces nearly 20 million tons of ice each day. In fact, the word Ilulissat means “icebergs” in the Kalaallisut language. The town of Ilulissat is known for its long periods of calm and settled weather, but the climate tends to be cold due to its proximity to the fjord. Approximately 4,500 people live in Ilulissat, the third-largest town in Greenland after Nuuk and Sisimiut. Some people here estimate that there are nearly as many sled dogs as human beings living in the town that also boasts a local history museum located in the former home of Greenlandic folk hero and famed polar explorer Knud Rasmussen.
From Greenland, head on to reach Canadian waters. Visit Nunavut, located in northern Baffin Island Pond Inlet is a small predo¬minantly Inuit community with a population of roughly 1 ,500 inhabitants. In 1818 the British explorer John Ross named a bay in the vicinity after the English astronomer John Pond. Today Pond Inlet is considered one of Canada's "jewels of the North" thanks to several picturesque glaciers and mountain ranges nearby. Many archaeological sites of ancient Dorset and Thule peoples can be found near Pond Inlet. The Inuit hunted caribou, ringed and harp seals, fish, polar bears, and walrus, as well as narwhals, geese, ptarmigans and Arctic hares long before European and American whalers came here to harvest bowhead whales. Pond Inlet is also known as a major center of Inuit art especially the printmaking and stone carving.
Explore many beautiful areas of the Canadian Arctic, including the Smoking Hills. These show a natural phenomenon which has probably been active for thousands of years. The hills close to the Beaufort Sea were seen by John Franklin in 1826 during his second Canadian expedition looking for indications of a Northwest Passage. Franklin observed that the rocks and soil around Cape Bathurst seemed to be on fire and produced acrid white smoke. They were therefor named “Smoking Hills”. The reason behind this phenomenon is neither human-induced burning nor volcanic activity, but the subsurface exothermic reaction between the bituminous shale, the sulfur and the iron pyrite of the area. The heat being released through the oxidation of pyrites in the Cretaceous mudstones along the sea cliffs leads not only to high ground temperatures, but also to hot sulfurous gas being driven off and the possibility of spontaneous combustion.
Reach Barrow, Alaska, on the shore of the Arctic Ocean and facing the Chukchi Sea some 515 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, one of the northernmost towns in the world. It is surrounded to the south and east by the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, the largest tract of undisturbed public land in the United States, with flat tundra for hundreds of kilometers. Since it is considered one of the older permanent settlements with archaeological dates going back to the year 500 AD, the indigenous population voted to have the name changed to Utqiagvik (Inupiat for “gathering of wild roots”) in 2016. Utqiagvik is less than 14 kilometers from Point Barrow, the northernmost point of the United States. Despite polar climate and considering the latitude, temperatures are moderate: below freezing between October and May and an average high of 2.1 degrees Celsius in September.
Before heading towards Nome, your final destination. Nome is located on the edge of the Bering Sea, on the southwest side of the Seward Peninsula. Unlike other towns which are named for explorers, heroes or politicians, Nome was named as a result of a 50 year-old spelling error. In the 1850's an officer on a British ship off the coast of Alaska noted on a manuscript map that a nearby prominent point was not identified. He wrote "? Name" next to the point. When the map was recopied, another draftsman thought that the “?” was a C and that the “a” in "Name" was an o, and thus a map-maker in the British Admiralty christened "Cape Nome." The area has an amazing history dating back 10,000 years of Inupiaq Eskimo use for subsistence living. Modern history started in 1898 when "Three Lucky Swedes”, Jafet Lindberg, Erik Lindblom and John Brynteson, discovered gold in Anvil Creek…the rush was on! In 1899 the population of Nome swelled from a handful to 28,000. Today the population is just over 3,500. Much of Nome's gold rush architecture remains.
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