Polar bears, wildlife, fjords, icebergs, glaciers, Inuit culture, historic sites. Three distinct and varied regions of the Arctic on a single cruise. A National Geographic Traveler 50 Tours of a Lifetime.
Arctic Islands Cruise
Iceland, Greenland & Svalbard
Arctic Cruise and Polar Travel With Cool Antarctica and Antarctica Travels
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Regions: Canada | Greenland | Iceland | Svalbard and Spitsbergen | Antarctica
Iceland, Greenland and Svalbard are three islands situated in the extreme north of the North Atlantic, they are close enough for each to be visited on a cruise of 14 days or more and are different enough to give distinct experiences of environment and culture.
Cruises of this type usually start at Reykjavik, Iceland and end at Longyearbyen, Svalbard or vice versa. At these high latitudes in the summer months you may experience 24 hour daylight with the sun above the horizon, even when the sun falls below the horizon for a few hours each day, the resulting twilight means it doesn't get very dark for very long, if at all.
Arctic Three Islands Sample Cruises - 2023
|Trip||Arctic Islands and Fjords|
|Departures||23 Jun '23|
|Port||Reykjavik - Longyearbyen|
|Prices||$13,839 - $24,610|
|Notes||Iceland, Eastern Greenland, Jan Mayen Island and Svalbard|
* Prices are based per person, the lowest price is usually for triple occupancy in a basic cabin, the highest for double occupancy in the best available suite.
Options may be at additional cost and are usually booked when the cruise is booked - it may be too late once the cruise has started.
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Svalbard - Svalbard is the name of the island group, Spitsbergen is the largest island in the group and Longyearbyen is the largest town where you will fly to or from at the start or end of your trip. It lies well within the Arctic Circle in the high arctic though as it is warmed by the last vestiges of the Gulf Stream, especially on the west coast it is relatively ice-free and somewhat warmer than other places at the same northerly latitude.
Svalbard is an Arctic land and sea scape that is the way you imagined the Far North would be like. Almost wherever you are in the islands is going to be an impressive wilderness experience. Looking through the panoramic window or viewing deck of your ship or standing on the tundra drinking it all in, dramatic snow-girdled mountains, vast glaciers and icebergs.
In the summer months, Svalbard becomes one of the best places in the arctic to see polar bears. They are concentrated onto the land when the winter sea-ice breaks up and melts, the numbers on land build up to around 3,500 whereas the human population is about 2,650.
Greenland - This is the world's largest non-continental island it is 80% covered by an ice-cap fringed by a green and rocky coastal strip up to 100km wide in places. Your visit to Greenland as part of your three islands cruise will probably be to the Scoresbysund are on the east coast, the world's largest fjord system where massive glaciers flow into the bay and is the birthplace of hundreds of huge icebergs. The area is rich in wildlife such as musk oxen arctic foxes, mountain hares, and even reindeer. It may include a visit to the Inuit settlement of Ittoqqortoormiit, the most isolated and northerly permanent settlement in the area with a museum, gift shop, many sled dogs and friendly local Greenlanders.
There is lots of ice around these waters and exactly where you go will be dependent in part on the weather and ice conditions, there are numerous impressive alternative fjords, islands and glaciers to visit. You can hike across the tundra visiting the site of ancient Inuit summer villages and graveyards occupied 3,000 years ago. Where possible optional kayaking may take place here if your ship offers this.
Iceland - A sparsely populated European country settled since 874 CE and now one of the most developed and progressive of all countries. Cruises typically spend only a little time here, though it is easy enough to book an excursion of a few days before or after your cruise to see more of this fabulous country. The tourism industry is very well developed with annual visits outnumbering the population by a factor of about 5.
Known as a country of fire and ice volcanic eruptions are not common but do happen here every four years on average, the country has been formed entirely from volcanic eruptions, the activity can be seen everyday in the form of geysers, hot springs and rock formations. Hiking, bathing in thermal pools, pony trekking, whale watching and seeing the wonderful sights are among the things to do in Iceland. At the very least spend an extra day or two in the modern cosmopolitan city of Reykjavik, home to a wealth of cultural institutions such as museums, galleries, and the Hallgrimskirkja church. Leisure possibilities inside the city include parks, gardens, and thermal baths. You can also take advantage of Reykjavik's wide range of shopping possibilities, excellent dining options, and famous nightlife.
Embark on a voyage featuring the incredible scenery, culture, history, and wildlife of Svalbard, Greenland, and Iceland. Experience Spitsbergen's deep fjords, narrow channels, jagged snowy mountains peaks, and immense glaciers. Scout for reindeer, Arctic fox, and walrus. Cross the Greenland Sea for an exploration of Northeast Greenland National Park and discover Scorsebysund's beautiful fjord system and stunning icebergs. Visit the Inuit village of Ittoqqortoormiit, hike the tundra, and visit ancient Thule archeological sites. Keep an eye out for a variety of seabirds and whales as you sail through picturesque waters. Complete your journey in Reykjavik, Iceland. Along the way, learn from knowledgeable guides, attend lectures and photography workshops, or opt to kayak in pristine polar waters.
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7 to 29 days
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