Jewels of the Arctic-Iceland, Greenland, Spitsbergen

Polar Pioneer Cruise Ship
Polar Pioneer
54 Passengers
Adventure Options

Jewels of the Arctic combines the best of Spitsbergen and Greenland, with a taste of Iceland. Our ship-based adventure takes us from Spitsbergen’s rugged northwest coast comprising of mountains, tundra and fjords – and hopefully a polar bear or two! We cross the icy waters of the Greenland Sea making our way to Greenland’s remote east coast of icecaps, fantastic icebergs and fairytale landscapes of granite spires rising 1000 metres about exquisite fjords! We also have the opportunity to experience Greenland’s local Inuit culture, before making our way to Iceland. This voyage also offers wonderful opportunities for tundra walking, exploring fjords by ship & Zodiac, and viewing dramatic landscapes and wildlife.

(PLEASE NOTE:  This itinerary includes the flight from Reykjavik to Isafjordur)

This wondrous archipelago of Svalbard is the world’s most readily accessible bit of the polar north and one of the most spectacular places imaginable. Meaning ‘Island of the cold shores’, Svalbard is located between 74° - 81° N and 10° - 35° E and has a total land mass of 63,000 square kilometers.

Spitsbergen is the largest island is the Svalbard island archipelago. It was named by Dutchman, Willem Barents in 1596, when he was on his way to Novaya Zemlya, searching for a northern route to Asia. The island was first used as a whaling base in the 17th and 18th centuries, after which it was abandoned. Coal mining started at the beginning of the 20th century, and several permanent communities were established. The Svalbard Treaty of 1920 recognizes Norwegian sovereignty and established Svalbard as a free economic zone and a demilitarized zone. With a population of approximately 3000, Spitsbergen is still virtually an unspoilt wilderness.

Greenland is the world’s largest island, almost totally covered by the second largest icecap on earth, and boasts the world’s largest national park. Its east coast is sparsely settled by small communities of Inuit hunters who eke out a living in one of the harshest environments on earth. We will marvel at the complex geology of the oldest island in the world where we will see acres of gravel beaches, dumped by ice-age glaciers and intriguing flat-topped mesas striated with layers of ancient deposits rising dramatically between massive glaciers.

Iceland is one of the world’s youngest islands. Forged by fire and honed by ice, it is a geological treasure trove. Reykjavik, the capital, is a clean, sophisticated and progressive city. It’s worth venturing further afield prior to the voyage to get a glimpse of life in times gone by - quaint fishing villages, turf houses and sturdy Icelandic ponies.

Voyage Highlights
• See Iceland’s unique landscape of fire and ice
• Wildlife-rich Arctic – polar bears, walrus, seals, reindeer, sea birds, musk oxen, Arctic fox and whales
• Visit historic sites including museums, whaling stations, geology and fossils
• Sail within 600 miles of the North Pole
• Visit the world’s largest National Park in North East Greenland, and the world’s largest fjord system, Scoresby Sund
• Hear the cracks of active glaciers as they create Greenland’s famous giant icebergs
• Witness the midnight sun as it creates nearly 24 hours of sunlight
• Cruise past Spitsbergen’s narrow sheltered waterways and fjords such as Kongsfjorden (Kings Bay) and Hornsund Fjord

Pre & Post Voyage Package:
A pre & post voyage package is available at an additional charge. The package includes overnight in Reykjavik hotel with half board (B,D), transfer with English speaking guide to Reykjavik domestic airport and one-way economy airfare Longyearbyen/Oslo.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Reykjavik – Keflavik
Day 2 At Sea
Days 3 to 9 Scoresby Sund, Kong Oskar Fjords & Kaiser Franz Josef
Days 10 & 11 At Sea
Days 12 & 13 West Coast of Spitsbergen
Day 14 Longyearbyen

Day 1 — Reykjavik – Keflavik

After making your own way to Reykjavik, our coach will pick up passengers from downtown hotels for transfer to Polar Pioneer for embarkation.

Day 2 — At Sea

In the Denmark Strait, we cruise towards Greenland. We will be on the lookout for whale blows and the many seabirds that trail our ship in the uplifting thermals. You will have time to settle into your cabin and meet your fellow expeditioners.

Days 3 to 9 — Scoresby Sund, Kong Oskar Fjords & Kaiser Franz Josef

We aim to reach Scoresby Sund, the world’s biggest fjord and a favorite hunting ground of the local Inuit. Massive glaciers dump into this fjord, the birthplace of the famous big Greenland icebergs.

We hope to visit the remote Inuit community of Ittoqqortoormiit (Scoresby Town) and to hike across the tundra in search of ancient graveyards and summer villages occupied 3,000 years ago by Eskimos. This area provides excellent opportunities for sea kayaking in its maze of calm, interconnecting waterways. If we are lucky we may see musk oxen, Arctic hare and seals, and maybe if we are extremely lucky even a polar bear or narwhal, although due to the relentless pursuit of the local hunters, these sightings are very rare.

We will attempt to enter Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord a remote and rarely visited fjord system with countless opportunities for exploration that lies within the North East Greenland National Park. Cruising through Kong Oskar Fjord we will marvel at the geological beauty of the mountains. We will then head south along the coast of Liverpool Land, with our passage dependent on ice conditions.

In the next couple of days our itinerary may take us to Scoresby Sund and Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord. Landings may include:
Sydkap in Scorseby Sund offers good walking and delightful views across the sound. Kayakers will have good opportunities to explore the lonely beaches. We may explore the ancient gravesites on the island, or the lakes with green tunnels and giant icebergs offer hours of enjoyment for kayak and Zodiac rides.

Other possible landing points in the area include: Rype Fjord; O Fjord; Fonfjord; Bjorn Oya; Milne Land; Hekla Havn; and Denmark Island.

Ittoqqortoormiit is Scoresby Sund’s colorful Inuit community of approximately 500 people. Feel free to explore the village, fascinating museum or sit quietly in the beautiful Lutheran Church. The people are friendly, and the young children vie for our attention from underneath their Arctic fox-fur jackets.

Sefstrom Glacier adorns the narrow peaked waterway in Alpefjord. Zodiac access is allowable and it is a pretty area, with Arctic flora growing in the autumn light.

Cape Humboldt is a beautiful bay on Ymer Island. There is a good chance to take a tundra walk and witness musk oxen graze. We will also keep a lookout for Arctic fox and ptarmigan. A lone trapper's hut looks over the bay and magnificent icebergs.

Days 10 & 11 — At Sea

We head out to sea enroute for Spitsbergen. As we cruise northeast across the Greenland Sea – the main outlet of the Arctic Ocean – we may encounter pack ice and if we are lucky we will see polar bears hunting on the ice.

The strong icy sea currents have isolated East Greenland from the rest of the world for millennia. These currents carry nutrients from the Polar Basin, attracting large numbers of fish, seals and whales. Climatic conditions and the concentration of ice in the vicinity often create thick morning fog that vanishes with the onset of the midday sun. Our experts will entertain us with fascinating talks on plants, animals and early explorers like Nansen, Andree and Scoresby.

Days 12 & 13 — West Coast of Spitsbergen

Depending on conditions, we may cruise either north or south along the West Coast of Spitsbergen, stopping at intriguing places in search of the mighty polar bear.

Along Spitsbergen’s North Coast we may explore places such as Woodfjorden and Leifdefjorden, where from our Zodiacs we enjoy magnificent views of glaciers sweeping and tumbling into the sea. We may walk on smooth raised beach terraces to magnificent viewpoints, hike on flowering tundra where reindeer graze and may visit trappers’ huts of yesteryear – all the while remaining alert for wandering polar bears.

We may enter the spectacular Hornsund Fjord in the south where we may take an early morning Zodiac cruise to admire the beautiful ice walls of the Samarin Glacier or take a stroll beneath the towering seabird cliffs at Sofiebogen. In Bellsund Fjord we are always on the lookout for Beluga whales. We may also visit the remnants of a Norwegian Beluga whaling station from the 1930’s.

Across the fjord at Våraolbukta is lush and stunning landscape where reindeer roam, Arctic flowers bloom in abundance and Arctic fox may be seen patrolling the little auk colony, where several thousand birds nest here amongst the boulders, coming and going in huge flocks. This is a beautiful place where we can stretch our legs before heading on a south-westerly course towards the East Greenland pack ice belt.

Day 14 — Longyearbyen

During the early morning we cruise into the port of remote village, Longyearbyen, the ‘Capital’ of Spitsbergen. Enjoy your sightseeing tour of Longyearbyen and some time at leisure before being transferred to Longyearbyen airport.

Note: Please refer to this itinerary as a guide only as changes may occur due to unpredictable sea and weather conditions.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

Only show rates under
$ X
Please note that availability is updated about once a week.
Per Person USD
Rates Arctic 2019
Triple Shared
Twin Shared
Twin Economy Private
Twin Private
Mini Suite
Captain's Suite
Photography, Kayak
Photography, Kayak
Photography, Kayak
$5,7001 Berth$6,800Full$8,000Full$8,200Full$9,100Full$10,400Full
No trips meet your criteria. Please increase the budget above to view more results.
Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

Prices quoted are in US dollars, per person, twin share. Single occupancy is 1.7 times the twin share price. No single supplement applies if you are willing to share your cabin (triple & twin cabins only). No refund for unused services.

Kayaking option: Spitsbergen Odyssey-$830, Jewels of the Arctic & Across the Arctic Circle-$990, Northern Svalbard Explorer-$790, Arctic Complete (7/25)-$1,640 (8/17)-$1,600.
Climbing option: Jewels of the Arctic-$710, Arctic Complete-$710.
Snorkelling option: Spitsbergen Odyssey-$740, Diving option: Spitsbergen Odyssey-$940

Adventure options must be pre-booked and paid for prior to start of the trip. Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.

Spitsbergen Odyssey includes a Longyearbyen town tour and airport transfers.

Jewels of the Arctic includes a one-way transfer between the ship and Reykjavik (or vice versa), a Longyearbyen town tour, and transfers between Longyearbyen airport and ship (or vice versa).

Arctic Complete includes a Longyearbyen town tour, dog sledding tour in Longyearbyen and transfer to and from ship.

Airfare is not included except as noted above. All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.


   Captain's Suite
Polar Pioneer's most deluxe cabin, the Captain's Suite (on Deck 5) features a separate sleeping area and lounge room, a private en-suite and large windows for optimal viewing opportunities from your own cabin. Only one cabin available, so be sure to enquire early.
Cabin Features: Private en-suite • Double bed in separate room • Forward- and side-facing windows • Separate lounge area • Desk and table area • TV, DVD player and mini fridge • Air-conditioning control • Outside deck access from Deck 5.

242 sq ft (22.5 sq m)
    Mini Suite
Two Mini Suites on Deck 5 offer a more spacious cabin with a separate sleeping and sitting area as well as a private en-suite and large windows to enjoy the views from the comfort of your own cabin. Perfect if you're after a bit more space and comfort.
Cabin Features: Private en suite • Double bed in separate room • Side-facing windows • Separate lounge area • Desk and chair • Cupboard with hanging space • TV, DVD player and mini fridge • Air-conditioning control • Outside deck access from Deck 5.

180 sq ft (16.8 sq m)
  Twin Cabin, Private Bathroom
Twin Cabins with Private Bathrooms on Deck 4 & Deck 5. Each cabin accommodates two people and offers the convenience of private bathroom facilities.
Cabin Features: Private en-suite • Two lower bunk beds • Side-facing window • Desk and chair • Cupboard with hanging space • Air-conditioning control • Outside deck access to main deck (Deck 4 cabins only) • Outside deck access to upper deck (Deck 5 cabins only).

130 sq ft (12 sq m)
  Twin Economy Cabin, Private Bathroom
Twin Cabins with Private Bathrooms on Deck 4 (#402 and #403). Each cabin accommodates two people and offers the convenience of private bathroom facilities.
Cabin Features: Private en-suite • An upper and lower bunk and a couch • Side-facing window • Desk and chair • Cupboard with hanging space • Air-conditioning control • Outside deck access to main deck.

130 sq ft (12 sq m)
  Twin Cabin, Shared Bathroom
Twin Cabins with Shared Bathrooms on Deck 3. Surprisingly spacious, each cabin comfortably sleeps two people and are only a short distance from the ship’s public bathroom facilities. Outside decks are accessible from this deck.
Cabin Features: Two lower bunk beds • Outside porthole • Wash basin • Lounge and desk • Cupboard with hanging space • Air-conditioning control • Shared bathroom facilities on same deck • Outside decks accessible via Deck 3 and 4.

105 sq ft (9.8 sq m)
  Triple Cabin, Shared Bathroom
Two Triple Cabins with Shared Bathrooms on Deck 3. Perfect for friends or families, or for solo travelers who are happy to share their space with fellow passengers. Bathrooms are located close by on the same deck.
Cabin Features: Two lower bunk beds and one upper bunk bed • Outside porthole • Wash basin • Lounge and desk • Cupboard with hanging space • Air-conditioning control • Shared bathroom facilities on same deck • Outside deck accessed via Deck 4.

110 sq ft (10.2 sq m)