Northern Lights Explorer - Antarctic Cruise

Northern Lights Explorer | Greg Mortimer | Antarctica Tours Northern Lights Explorer | Greg Mortimer | Antarctica Tours

Due to shorter days in the high latitudes and darkening evening skies, this voyage follows the coastlines of the Arctic Circle, navigating the Norwegian and Greenland seas, and discovering remote islands and villages. As night descends, we eagerly gaze skywards, anticipating the enchantment of the northern lights. This breathtaking natural phenomenon presents a surreal display of vibrant hues—blue, green, pink, and violet—that gracefully dance across the night sky. Regions near the Arctic Circle, including northern Norway, Iceland, and Greenland, stand among the world's finest locations to witness this captivating light show.

19 Day Artic Itinerary

Day 1: Kirkenes

Upon reaching Kirkenes, a representative will meet you and transfer you to the designated group hotel. Upon arrival, visit the hospitality desk to collect luggage tags and consult the ground operations team for pre-embarkation details or information on dining, cash withdrawal, and last-minute shopping. The rest of the day is free, with all meals at your expense.

Accommodation: Thon Hotel Kirkenes (or similar)

Day 2: Embarkation Day

In the morning, ensure your cabin luggage has clearly labeled tags with your name and cabin number. Your luggage will be picked up from the hotel, transferred to the port for clearance, and delivered to your cabin before your boarding. Keep valuables with you throughout the day. After a relaxed breakfast, check out, and embark on a Kirkenes excursion. In the late afternoon, transfer to the pier for boarding. Settle into your cabin, attend safety briefings, and experience the excitement of departure. In the evening, join the Welcome Dinner to acquaint yourself with fellow expeditioners, the friendly team, and crew, marking the beginning of an exciting adventure.

Day 3, 4, 5 & 6: Norwegian Coast

Over the upcoming days, we'll explore segments of Norway's remarkable 1,000-kilometer coastline, starting from the northernmost point, North Cape, and heading south. Highlights include the Lofoten Islands, the iconic Mount Torghatten with its distinctive hole, and the potential to witness the spectacular northern lights near North Cape. A Zodiac cruise through the narrow Trollfjord, a visit to the picturesque Lofoten Islands, and an exploration of the Vega archipelago, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are among the planned experiences, providing insights into local traditions and wildlife, including eider ducks. The journey continues south of the Arctic Circle with unique opportunities for cultural and natural discoveries.

Day 7: At Sea

Experience the crossing to Jan Mayen, accompanied by seabirds and the possibility of whale sightings. Engage in informative talks from our expert team, connect with fellow expeditioners, stay active in the gym, or indulge in a relaxing massage at the wellness center. Keep an eye on the night skies for a chance to witness the northern lights.

Day 8: Jan Mayen

The approach to Jan Mayen is breathtaking with the towering Beerenberg volcano, the world’s northernmost active volcano. The northern part of the island offers opportunities for whale and dolphin sightings, showcasing impressive glaciers that extend to the sea. If weather conditions permit, we aim to land at Kvalrossbukta, a sheltered bay on the west coast, often used to resupply the Norwegian weather station at Olonkinbyen. Our plan includes landing in front of the station, allowing us to explore before embarking on a three-hour hike (weather permitting) back to the Greg Mortimer in Kvalrossbukta, where Zodiacs will transport us back to the ship.

Day 9: At Sea

The onboard lecture series persists as we navigate towards the rugged East Greenland coast. Engage in discussions about sea ice, glaciers, the distinctive geology of East Greenland, and riveting stories of European exploration. As we sail through the prime zone for northern lights, don't forget to look up and catch glimpses of more than just shimmering stars.

Day 10, 11, 12 & 13: East Greenland

In the upcoming days, we have a range of options to explore the east coast of Greenland, with the Expedition Team leveraging their expertise to adapt the voyage based on prevailing conditions. Expect up to two daily landings or Zodiac excursions, featuring breathtaking scenes of deep fjords, ice-clad peaks, and colossal glaciers. The tundra landscape hosts wildlife like musk oxen and arctic hares, with ancient Thule sites and trappers' huts adding historical intrigue. A visit to the Inuit village of Ittoqqortoormiit provides insight into local culture. Explore Scoresbysund, the world's largest fjord system, and venture into Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord for rare exploration opportunities. Hiking, sea kayaking, and wildlife sightings, including musk oxen and arctic foxes, contribute to this immersive Arctic experience.

Day 14: At Sea

As we sail across the Denmark Strait towards Iceland, be on the lookout for whale blows and capture images of the numerous seabirds accompanying the ship in the constant Arctic winds. The dark night skies offer additional chances to witness the mesmerizing northern lights.

Day 15, 16, 17 6 18: Iceland

In the upcoming days, we'll explore the Westfjords region, characterized by stunning landscapes featuring dramatic fjords carved by ancient glaciers, towering table-top mountains plunging into the sea, and pristine North Atlantic vegetation. The flexible itinerary includes visits to charming towns like Isafjordur, the renowned Dynjandi waterfall, and picturesque fjords ideal for kayaking, hiking, and birdwatching. We plan to venture into the remote Hornstrandir peninsula, offering deep fjords, towering bird cliffs, breathtaking natural beauty, and chances for wildlife encounters. Húsavik awaits, known as Iceland’s whale-watching capital, promising magical encounters with the diverse whale species frequenting the area.

Day 19: Reykjavik

In the early morning, we sail into Reykjavik, and disembark around 8:00 am. Bid farewell to your expedition team and fellow passengers as you proceed with your onward journey. For your convenience, consider a transfer to Keflavik airport or your centrally located hotel.

Note: We advise against booking flights departing before 12:00 pm on the day of disembarkation, as delays may occur at the end of the voyage.

Itinerary Map

Northern Lights Explorer

19 Day Artic Itinerary Highlights

  • Sail in a Northern Lights hotspot.
  • Hike in Iceland's remote Westfjords, surrounded by splendid solitude.
  • Explore Vega Island, a UNESCO site below the Arctic Circle known for eider duck down.
  • Attempt a landing on Jan Mayen with Mount Beerenberg, the northernmost active volcano.
  • Discover Greenland's Scoresbysund, home to the world's largest fjord system and stunning icebergs.

Meals Included

  • Breakfast Served Daily
  • 18 Dinners
  • 19 Lunches
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19 Day Artic cruise activities

Sea Kayaking
Under full instruction from your sea kayaking guide, experience true tranquillity as you paddle through clinking ice floes and realise the enormity of the surrounding scenery. Look out for breaching whales, lounging seals and penguins zipping alongside your kayak. Some experience is required.
Ice Camping
Camp out on the ice and experience the silence which blankets the continent by night. This is your chance to completely connect with this ethereal ice world – wrap up warm and embrace the Antarctic elements.
Get a spring in your step when you slip on a pair of snowshoes in Antarctica. Enabling you to easily scale gentle slopes, this unique activity allows you to access hard to reach places and seek out the most impressive views.
Learn to capture wildlife and landscape shots in a small group photography program, including critiquing sessions and editing classes. Plus, Explorer Boat excursions with a dedicated photography expert on landings.
Explorer Boats
Achieve the best views and photographs from a forward facing Explorer Boats. They allow you to sit comfortably and securely while crackling through the ice-strewn waters. Look out for wildlife such as penguins, seals and whales as you cruise.
It doesn’t get more serene than complimentary yoga classes to the tune of glacial scenery. Join the most unique exercise setting in the world after a day of exploration. Classes are regular but are dependent on weather conditions and swell.
Northern Lights Explorer
19 Days

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