This expedition cruise to the North Greenland National Park is a true wilderness adventure. You will venture far from the usual tourist routes and visit places where only true expeditioners and scientists travel. You will see unspoiled Arctic landscapes, have the chance to see polar bears, whales, and musk oxen, and make landings at century-old hunting stations. This is a demanding voyage, but it is also an unforgettable one.
We boarded the Ocean Albatros at Reykjavik in the late afternoon and headed north bound for Greenland.
The Expedition Leader will brief you on the journey, daily activities of the ship, and various safety and security procedures. You will then have the opportunity to get settled in your cabin and unpack. There will be an obligatory safety drill before sailing.
As we spend our first few hours aboard, the Captain departs Reykjavik early in the evening.
The lecturers will give inspiring presentations on the past of Iceland, Greenland and nature.
Scoresbysund is a huge, imposing entrance. We pass through it at night to arrive in the Inuit village of Ittoqqortoormiit. Around 500 people call this community home, and the majority of them base their household on hunting. Many of the homes have a drying rack for seal, musk oxen, or polar bear hides. The sled dog teams are also Fwaiting until the sea ice is safe to begin the hunting season. It is a very isolated town, with only two ship deliveries per year. We've established good relationships with locals during previous visits, and we can now go ashore in order to see this small community.
Greenland's northeast is home to some of the world's most stunning landscapes, including the tundra and mountains. The icebergs are reflected beautifully in the water of the protected fjords. Northeast Greenland has some of the most amazing features. It is no surprise that this part of Greenland, which boasts the largest island in all of Earth's history, also holds many records. The North-east Greenland National Park is the largest in the world, covering 375,000 square kilometers.
Scoresby Sound, one of the largest and longest fjords in the world (Scoresby Sund is Danish), is another stunning feature. You could spend an entire cruise exploring the system. This part of Greenland is rich in wildlife and you can expect to see the Musk-Ox as well as many other birds. Keep an eye out for Gyr Falcons, which are the world's largest falcons. Look out for Wheatears, Lapland buntings, Arctic Hares, Lemmings and Stoats - or Ermines in winter white coats.
Snowy Owls breed in areas where Lemmings are present, although many of them have already migrated to the south when cruise ships visit the area at the end of the season.
Polar Bears are more elusive in remote areas of Greenland, though they are less aggressive than Svalbard Bears. Walruses and other seals become wary due to hunting. Although the effect is low, because there's only one settlement in this vast area, Ittoqqortoormiit.
The stunning Greenland scenery with its icebergs, autumn colors, and prehistoric Musk-Ox is truly unique.