Jewels of the Arctic

Greg Mortimer Luxury Expidition Cruise Ship
Greg Mortimer
120 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.

Spitsbergen
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
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
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
• Look for hunting polar bears between Barentsøya and Edgeøya islands, a major polar bear migration route
• Visit the world’s largest national park in North East Greenland, and the world’s largest fjord system, Scoresbysund
• Cruise among the fantastic shapes and colors of Greenland’s famous giant icebergs
• Celebrate near-endless sunlight under the glistening midnight sun
• Visit a small isolated Greenlandic village, Ittoqqortoomiit

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Embark Kirkenes
Days 2 & 3 At Sea
Day 4 East coast of Svalbard and Hinlopen Strait
Days 5 & 6 Greenland Sea
Days 7 to 13 East Coast of Greenland and Kaiser Franz Joseph Fjord system
Day 14 Denmark Strait
Day 15 Disembark Reykjavik

Day 1 — Embark Kirkenes

Arrive in Kirkenes, Norway and join a pre-arranged half day excursion or activity prior to boarding the Greg Mortimer late afternoon. Airport transfers will be included if arriving on preferred flights into Kirkenes. You’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important briefings.

Days 2 & 3 — At Sea

Over the next two days at sea, enjoy informative and entertaining lectures from our expert expedition team including naturalists and historians before reaching Svalbard’s southeast coast.

Day 4 — East Coast Svalbard and Hinlopen Strait

As the Greg Mortimer passes between Spitsbergen and the smaller islands of Barentsøya and Edgeøya, we cross a major polar bear migration route and the beautiful fertile plains of Sundeneset. The spongy ground is richly covered with bright green mosses, a variety of delicate and colorful flowers, particularly the yellow marsh (bog) saxifrage, various mushrooms, fungi, clear bubbling streams and small tarns. Tiny (micro) flowers such as Mouse Ears grow in Spitsbergen creating fairy like mossy rock gardens. We look for polar bears hunting on pack ice and we may explore this beautiful terrain on foot, marveling at the contrast between the colorful soft ground and the barren, rocky terrain from further north. Reindeer antlers lie scattered along the ground.

If conditions allow we will pass through the narrow Hinlopen Strait. The strait is flanked by creamy colored slabs of rock that are rich in fossils. We may visit Alkefjellet in the Strait, where a series of one-hundred-meter-high dolerite towers are home to nearly a million nesting Brünnich’s guillemots – the penguins of the north – that occupy every available nook and cranny. Elsewhere we seek out eider ducks and geese, and hope to spot walrus, Arctic fox and the beautiful ivory gulls.

Days 5 & 6 — Greenland Sea and Pack Ice

As we cruise west across the Greenland Sea – the main outlet of the Arctic Ocean – we may encounter whales feeding in the productive waters of the north. Sightings of fin whales are common and blue whales have been seen in more recent years. As we begin to approach Greenland we will likely encounter the East Greenland pack ice, and if we are lucky we will see polar bears hunting for prey. The strong icy currents have isolated East Greenland 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 inform and entertain us with fascinating discussions on plants, animals, ice, and early explorers like Nansen, Andree and Scoresby.

Conditions permitting, there may be a chance for kayakers to launch their sea kayaks and the rest of us to cruise in the sea ice with Zodiacs. Perhaps if we have had a good crossing, we may even have the opportunity to make our first landing on the Greenland coast, weather permitting. This stretch of coastline is ripe for exploration, with its many secrets locked in place by drift ice for up to eight months each year. Home to polar bear, snowy owl and musk ox, it's the world's largest national park, covering 972,000 square kilometers; most of which is inland ice and the rest a composite fjord landscape.

Days 7 to 13 — East Coast of Greenland including Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord and Scoresbysund

In the coming days, a host of choices are open to us, and depending on ice and weather conditions, the east coast of Greenland is ours to explore. Our experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design our voyage from day to day. This allows us to make best use of the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities. We will generally make up to two landings or Zodiac excursions per day; cruising along spectacular ice cliffs, following whales that are feeding near the surface.

Be prepared to experience ice, lots of it! East Greenland contains some of the Arctic's most impressive scenery. Deep fjords and narrow channels, flanked by sharp ice-clad peaks up to 2,000 m / 6,562 ft high. Glaciers create gigantic icebergs that drift throughout the fjord system creating breath-taking scenes. The landscape is filled with multi-colored tundra home to musk oxen and Arctic hare. Throughout the area are ancient Thule archaeological sites, historical trappers' huts, and modern Inuit hunters' cabins. A highlight is a visit to the Inuit village of Ittoqqortoormiit, the most isolated and northernmost permanent settlement in the region, with approximately 450 inhabitants. The community boasts an excellent museum, gift shop, an abundance of Greenlandic sled dogs, and the opportunity to meet Inuit people.

Explore Scoresbysund, the largest fjord system in the world – a spectacular place that simply needs to be seen to be believed. North of Scoresbysund are, Kong Oscar and Kaizer Franz Josef fjords, two of the most significant fjord systems in all of Greenland, each one encompassing several smaller fjords and sounds. Thanks to the fertile volcanic soil mountains that protects areas from the strong winds, the area is rich in wildlife. You may spot everything from muskox and arctic foxes to mountain hares and even reindeer near the fjord. Look skyward and you could catch a glimpse of birds including glaucous gull, black-legged kittiwake, northern fulmar, common raven and common eider.

We will attempt to enter Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord, a remote and rarely visited fjord system with countless opportunities for exploration within the Northeast 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. We aim to reach Scoresbysund, 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 plan 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 local hunting traditions, these sightings are often very rare.

Places we may land along the east coast include:

Cape Humboldt
Cape Humboldt is a beautiful bay on Ymer Island. There is a good chance to take a tundra walk and see 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.

Sefstrom Glacier
Sefstrom Glacier adorns the narrow peaked waterway in Alpefjord. Enjoy Zodiac cruising and kayaking in this pretty area, where colorful Arctic flora adorns the tundra ground.

Ittoqqortoormiit
Ittoqqortoormiit is Scoresbysund’s colorful Inuit community of approximately 500 people. Here you can explore the village, the fascinating museum or sit in the beautiful Lutheran Church. The locals are friendly and from underneath their Arctic fox-fur jackets, the shy young children are keen to say hello and practice their English.

Sydkap
Sydkap in Scoresbysund 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.

Rømerfjord
Rømer Fjord with its narrow channels and towering peaks is simply stunning, and lies roughly 167 km / 104 mi south of Scoresbysund. There are great hiking options in the fjord where flowering tundra plants, scattered bones of whales and muskox from centuries of hunting by the Inuit, and fumaroles can be found. These are areas where heated groundwater boil to the surface creating bubbling pools and mineral formations as the water reacts with the atmosphere.

Rode Ø
Rode Ø Island is a glorious place for Zodiac cruising, hiking and kayaking, with its rich red Devonian sandstone geology. Discover the impressive mafic dyke that runs through the east side of Rode Ø. Glaucous gulls find perfect perches and nesting sites along the top of the basalt extrusions. Kayak along the maze of icebergs - pillars and arches, caves and peaks that look as though an artist had sculpted them.

Hare Fjord
The scenery here is breathtaking. Walk across the tundra alongside a ravine or Zodiac cruise where you might find musk ox, along with flitting shore birds, seals and a variety of colors in the lush Arctic tundra. Kayakers can enjoy sublime paddling in one of the most remote fjords in the world. Nearby is the spectacular and impressive Ø Fjord, a perfect place for small ship cruising.

Nordvest Fjord
If mountains rising 3,900 ft straight out of the water wasn’t enough, how about the fjord itself, descending to 5,000 ft? There are also countless icebergs pouring out of the Daugård-Gensen Glacier. A great place for kayaking and Zodiac cruising with plenty of gorgeous bergs while the glacier itself, seemingly small from a distance, proved to be a formidable river of ice snaking down the valley.

Eskimobugt
No one can state the exact age of the neo-Eskimo site at Eskimobugt, but it may only be a few hundred years old. Subterranean winter houses designed with a tunnel that faces the sea where occupants would crawl through to the stand-up living chamber; at the opposite end is the sleeping platform. The walls were erected with carefully laid stones while the roof structure would be built from whatever material was available - driftwood, walrus bone, and available skin covering. Fire hearths were created by laying rocks in a circle with a bed of white quartzite stones. Learn from our historian about the incredible resourcefulness of the Inuit people whose men travelled formidable distances by kayak to hunt, and whose women crafted sophisticated garments from animal skins and fur – a people for whom survival in such extremes was paramount. Hiking here offers panoramic views, sightings musk ox and, occasionally Arctic hare.

Skipperdalen
See some of the most striking sedimentary sandstone, shale and siltstone formations imaginable. The alternating colors and patterns in the layers of rocks defied belief, and the layers of sediment here are estimated to have taken about 4,000 years to be laid down. You can also find the remains of a simple but highly effective wooden fox trap in use by Norwegian trappers in both Greenland and Svalbard from the early 1900s to 1960s. Skippendalen is also a marvelous place to hike and paddle in kayaks.

Other possible landing points in the area include: Rypefjord, Nordenskjöld Glacier & Blomsterbugten, Alpenfjorden, FjordFonfjord, Bjorn Oya, Milne Land, Hekla Havn, Denmark Island

Day 14 — Denmark Strait

In the Denmark Strait, we sail towards Iceland. Keep a lookout for whale blows and the many seabirds that trail our ship in the ever present Arctic winds. Enjoy the time to reflect on your recent adventures, share and exchange photos, and soak in the fresh ocean air. As we near Iceland, you will find we are returning to the rest of the world as we encounter fishing vessels working the coastal waters.

Day 15 — Disembark Reykjavik

During the early morning we arrive into Reykjavik. Farewell your expedition team and fellow expeditioners as we all continue our onward journeys. A transfer is included into town or onwards to the 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

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B
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Charter Air: Copenhagen-Nuuk-Copenhagen ($TBD)

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Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

International Airfare Not Included. Rates are per person, based on twin-share. Single costs are 1.5 times the twin rate in all cabin categories. Twin share, with no supplement, is available in Aurora Stateroom and Balcony Stateroom categories.

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

Optional Activities: Kayaking- West Greenland Explorer ($900), Iceland circumnavigation ($900), Iceland, Jan Mayen, Svalbard ($940), Svalbard Odyssey ($1,150), Franz Josef Land ($1,190), Jewels of the Arctic ($1,150), Arctic Complete ($1,830), Arctic Discovery ($940). Photography Free. Alpine Trekking- Arctic Complete & Arctic Discovery ($1,150). Snorkeling- Svalbard Odyssey to Kirkenes & Franz Josef Land ($600), Jewels of the Arctic ($630).

A $15 per person per day gratuity for the crew is automatically added to your onboard account. It is at your discretion if you would like to remove the tip (or increase/decrease the amount) when you settle your account. It is not necessary to tip the expedition team members.

Mandatory Emergency Evacuation Insurance Required. All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.

Only show rates under
$ X
Due to COVID-19 trip availability is not being updated. Please contact Polar Cruises to check on specific trips availability.
Per Person USD
Rates Arctic 2022
Aurora
Stateroom
Triple
Aurora
Stateroom
Twin
Balcony
Stateroom
C
Balcony
Stateroom
B
Balcony
Stateroom
A
Balcony
Stateroom
Superior
Junior
Suite
Captain's
Suite
Kayak
$8,100 $9,000Full$9,900 $10,200 $10,300 $11,200Full$13,200 $15,200Full
Kayak
$11,000 $12,200Full$13,600Full$13,900 $14,100 $15,300Full$18,000 $20,700Full
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.

International Airfare Not Included. Rates are per person, based on twin-share. Single costs are 1.5 times the twin rate in all cabin categories. Twin share, with no supplement, is available in Aurora Stateroom and Balcony Stateroom categories.

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

A $15 per person per day gratuity for the crew is automatically added to your onboard account. It is at your discretion if you would like to remove the tip (or increase/decrease the amount) when you settle your account. It is not necessary to tip the expedition team members.

Mandatory Emergency Evacuation Insurance Required. All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.

DeckPlan_GregMortimer-ship
DeckPlan_GregMortimer 2021-22

         Captain's Suite *
480 Sq Ft / 44.5 m² including balcony
Deck 4
Twin or double bed • Private en-suite • Full size window • Desk area • Closet space • Private balcony • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • Separate lounge area • 42" flat-screen TV
         Junior Suite *
420 Sq Ft / 38.9 m² including balcony
Deck 7
Twin or double bed • Private en-suite • Full size window • Desk area • Closet space • Private balcony • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • 42" flat-screen TV • Separate lounge area
         Balcony Stateroom Superior
328-433 Sq Ft / 30.5-40.2 m² including balcony
Deck 4 & 6
Twin or double bed • Private en-suite • Full size window • Desk area • Closet space • Private balcony • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • 42" flat-screen TV
         Balcony Stateroom-A, Balcony Stateroom-B, Balcony Stateroom-C
225-337 Sq Ft / 20.9--31.3 m² including balcony
Decks 4 & 6
Twin or double bed • Private En-suite • Floor to ceiling window • Desk area • Closet space • Private balcony • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • 42" flat-screen TV
Many "B" staterooms are fitted with interconnecting features making them great for families or groups
         Aurora Stateroom  Twin & Triple (on select voyages)
170-245 Sq Ft / 15.8-22.8 m²
Deck 3
Twin or double bed (Three twin beds in Triple) • Private En-suite • Porthole window • Desk area • Closet space • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • 42" flat-screen TV

*

      Suite benefits include:
• One free pair of binoculars per suite
• 1-hour spa treatment (per person)
• Free stocked mini bar (Balcony & Junior stocked once, Captain’s replenished as needed)
• Gratuities/tips for crew included to the value of $15 per person per day
• 1 free bottle of champagne per suite