Join us on an expedition cruise to Northeast Greenland – one of the last unspoiled wildernesses in the world. As we venture into the deep fjords we will experience breathtaking nature and scenery, large icebergs in unimaginable shapes and colours. This ice-choked coast is inaccessible most of the year and it is only in late summer, when the tundra is clad in autumn colours, that we have a chance to get here.
Our voyage departs from Iceland, country of fire and ice, where we board our expedition ship Ocean Nova. As we set course for Greenland, crossing the Denmark Strait, we will all keep an eye out for whales and sea birds. We are travelling into one of the largest wilderness areas in the Northern Hemisphere and plan to explore the parts of this wild and rugged coast that wind, weather and ice allow. We hope to visit Scoresby Sund with the world’s largest fjord system and the Northeast Greenland National Park. We sail along some of the most spectacular coast lines in the world and deep into the fjords surrounded by majestic peaks and tundra covered slopes, always keeping an eye out for grazing musk ox.
We will use our sturdy Zodiacs to explore further afield, cruise amongst large stranded icebergs and make shore landings. During walks on the tundra we may find remains from early Inuit cultures that settled here more than 2000 years ago. We also visit Ittoqqortoormiit, a more modern day Greenlandic settlement. We also hope to get a close-up look at the magnificent prehistoric looking musk ox.
Northeast Greenland and Iceland on Ocean Nova itinerary:
Day 1: Reykjavik
We arrive in Reykjavik were we check into a comfortable hotel.
Day 2 – 3: Isafjordur & Denmark Strait
In the morning we travel to Isafjordur, where our ship waits for us. We embark in the afternoon and begin our journey towards Greenland. From the decks we keep a constant lookout for whales, which may be encountered in the surrounding waters. Our knowledgeable guides entertain us with lectures on the Arctic flora, fauna, geology and history of exploration. We are now in a part of the world where we are totally dependent on ice and weather conditions. Our exact itinerary depends on these factors and on the wildlife we encounter. Our ambition is to make landings every day with our rigid Zodiac crafts. Here are some examples of places we may visit:
Day 4 – 10: Northeast Greenland
Northeast Greenland National Park, covering an area over of over 972,000 square kilometres, is the world’s largest national park. We can access and explore the park from the south via the spectacular Kong Oscar Fjord and Kejser Franz Joseph Fjord systems if ice conditions permit. This area is unspoiled and virtually uninhabited with a population of less than 40 people, consisting mainly of scientists and personnel from the Danish Sirius Patrol in Daneborg located further up north. Time and ice permitting we may sail into Alpe Fjorden surrounded by the Stauning Alps with peaks up to almost 3000 meters above sea level. Narrow fjords with spectacular ancient rocks make this area a dream for even the novice geologist. Scoresby Sund – the world’s largest fjord system – offers some of the most spectacular scenery Greenland has to offer: jagged peaks as tall as 2000 meters coming straight out of the sea and rare glimpses of the Greenland ice cap, the largest ice cap in the northern hemisphere. Large glaciers pour into the sea, giving birth to an unexpected quantity of beautiful icebergs. We hope to circumnavigate Milne Land, the second largest island in Greenland, sailing through the narrow and spectacular Føhn Fjord, Røde Fjord and Ø Fjord. We may go for a walk in Hare or Rype Fjord hoping to spot musk ox or the white Arctic hare. We always keep an eye out for snow bunting, wheatear and ptarmigans.Time permitting we may sail up into the rarely visited Nordvestfjord. This fjord is often filled with icebergs making for challenging but spectacular navigation. We plan to visit the Ittoqqortoormiit, the only settlement in Northeast Greenland and home to some 450 Greenlanders, giving us the opportunity to learn about living and surviving in this remote part of the world. This settlement is located 500 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle and its nearest neighbour is Tasiilaq 800 kilometres to the south.
Day 11: Venturing south
We may spend our final day in Greenland exploring the wild and rugged Blosseville Coast south of Scoresby Sund. We also hope to visit Rømer Fjord, one of the few fjords on this part of the coast we are able to navigate.
Day 12 – 13: Denmark Strait towards Reykjavik
On our way back towards Iceland we spend hours on deck in the company of seabirds, keeping a lookout for whales such as humpback, minke or fin whales. Our guides also continue to enlighten us with educational presentations.
Day 14: Reykjavik
We arrive early in the morning, disembark the ship and begin our journey back home.
Please note: Our exact route will depend on ice and weather conditions. The places mentioned above are just examples of some of the many sites this expedition has to offer. We always strive to maximise your experience, but remember that flexibility is the key to a successful expedition!
Vessel Type: Expedition
Length: 73 meters
Beam: 11.0 m
Draft: 4.0 m
GRT: 2,118 tons
Speed: 11 knots
Ice Class: Ice 1B, E0 (Hull Ice 1A)
Capacity: 84 (in twin & triple Cabins)
The ice-strengthened expedition ship Ocean Nova was built in Denmark in 1992 with high ice class to serve Greenland’s west coast. In 2004 to 2005 she was completely refurbished and has now a career as a small and comfortable expedition ship. The Ocean Nova accommodates 86 passengers in single, double and triple cabins, all with sea-view and private facilities. The double cabins have either two lower beds or upper and lower beds. The triple cabins have upper and lower beds. In your cabin you will also find a desk with chair and ample storage space for clothes and equipment.
In the dining room you are treated to delicious meals in between landings and in the panorama lounge you can enjoy a drink with a breathtaking view of the surrounding polar landscape. This is where PolarQuest’s on board specialists entertain and educate you with lectures on polar biology, history, geology and conservation. There is also a library with panoramic views and a good selection of polar books. On board there is a satellite phone, gym and medical doctor. Passengers are welcome on the bridge around the clock and there is always something to see or search for from the spacious observation decks. The ship has North European officers and there is a friendly and informal atmosphere on board. Travelling with this small expedition ship offers an entirely different experience and perspective than you can get on a larger and more conventional cruise ship.