Discover South & West Greenland and Disko Bay
WEALTH OF WILDLIFE
Svalbard boasts one of the Arctic’s highest concentrations of polar bears. They are the world’s largest land carnivores and have become a symbol of the imperiled Arctic wilderness. This is one of the best places in the world to view polar bears hunting in their preferred habitat: the pack ice.
Svalbard is home to impressive colonies of nesting seabirds, a variety of seal and whale species. This is a protected wilderness where we find flowering tundra and tidewater glaciers. You can also encounter a great abundance of nesting seabirds, and land mammals such as Arctic fox and reindeer.
In Greenland coastal plains are home to prehistoric-looking musk oxen and other wildlife.
Franz Josef Land, part of the Russian Arctic National Park, is a nature sanctuary. Polar bears, walrus, endangered bowhead whales, and other Arctic wildlife can be spotted anywhere, anytime in and around the archipelago.
In Svalbard you will see a varied landscape of mountains, tidewater glaciers, and flowering tundra.
Greenland is the place where you will find some of the finest scenery in the world. Extensive fjord systems provide access to the mountainous interior of Greenland where tidewater glaciers create colossal icebergs. Each night in Greenland brings a new possibility to see incredible displays of northern lights, also known as aurora borealis.
Jan Mayen landscape is dominated by the heavily glaciated Beerenberg, an impressive stratovolcano considered to be the northernmost active volcano on the earth’s surface.
In Iceland, in the ruggedly beautiful Westfjords, we will visit the historic fishing port of Ísafjörður. This small town embodies Iceland’s trademark blend of contemporary charm and rich cultural heritage.
POLAR LEGENDS AND HISTORY
Arctic is rich with historical sites. You may find here the staging areas for many historic expeditions to the North Pole, including those of Roald Amundsen and Walter Wellman.
In Svalbard, modern human endeavor can be experienced at Ny Ålesund, a former mining town that is now home to a multinational community of Arctic researchers. In addition to a museum, gift shop, and post office, visitors to this extreme northern settlement find a famous bust of Amundsen and a historic airship mast.
In Franz Josef Land we encounter a stark and enigmatic landscape steeped in the drama and heroism of early polar exploration. At places like Bell Island, Cape Flora, and Cape Tegetthoff we have the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Fridtjof Nansen, Frederick George Jackson, Julius von Payer, and other polar explorers.
Welcome to Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland and starting point of our expedition cruise! Even though this country lies below the Arctic Circle, Reykjavik is the world's northernmost capital of a sovereign state. Visitors needn’t travel far to find geysers and waterfalls, mountains, and glaciers. Accommodations tonight at a centrally located deluxe hotel will make embarkation tomorrow much more convenient.
This afternoon, meeting in the lobby for your transfer to the port and embarkation of the Sea Spirit. There’s time to get settled in and explore this ship, you home-away-from-home for the next ten days. After departure, keep an eye out for our first whales (humpback and Minke whales are most common) as we sail out of the picturesque bay.
Enjoy a few restful days at sea, as we get ready for icebergs, Inuit villages, whales and much more! Along with our expedition team, watch for whales and seabirds from the deck, or participate in their presentations in the Oceanus Lounge on the flora, fauna, geology and cultural heritage to be found along West Greenland’s western coast.
The Sea Spirit rounds Cape Farewell, the southernmost point in Greenland, and calls in at Greenland’s most southerly town Nanortalik. The town lies at the mouth of beautiful Tasermiut Fjord surrounded by steep mountains that flank an intricate fjord system. The name of the town translated as “the place with polar bears” says that these arctic animals could be often seen hunting on the sea ice outside of the settlement. The local open-air museum demonstrates the fascinating history from Viking and Inuit times to the present days.
The Uunartoq area is famous for its natural hot springs, where we can soak in the geothermal waters watching the icebergs pass by.
During the next few days, we head further north to visit some enchanting Greenlandic settlements and explore the beautiful fjords of Greenland’s western side.
Hvalsey, or "Whale Island", is the site of Greenland’s largest and best-preserved Norse ruins. It was originally settled by an ancestor of Erik the Red in the late 10th century. There’s time to wander and learn about the ancient farmstead that includes a granite stone Christian church, likely built in the early 14th century, and several adjacent buildings. The fells and fjord around the farmstead have not changed at all over the centuries, and the site is believed to have been a meeting place for festivals and banquets throughout the year.
Set amidst breathtaking scenery, our visit to Qaqortoq gives us some additional cultural and Viking background on the region. Placed on a beautiful hillside, the small settlement boasts colorful houses and a museum.
We continue north in the wake of the Vikings as our Sea Spirit navigates through the picturesque Eriksfjord to the settlement of Qassiarsuk. The town was founded back in the 10th century by Eric the Red following his exile from Iceland for murder. We will see the foundation remains of his manor house and other buildings. Nowadays, the area is known as a sheep farming settlement.
As we approach, Paamiut, there are good opportunities to see humpback and fin whales along the coastline. It is also an especially good place to spot white-tailed eagles. Inhabited by incredibly welcoming locals, Paamiut justifiably proud of their church that was built in 1909. The architecture reflects the Danish colonization of Greenland.
Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, is lively and surrounded by natural beauty. Here, old traditions meet modern change. Fashion shops and a cultural center represent the modern Greenland; the picturesque old port area, however, testifies to the island’s long history. The town was founded by the danish missionary Hans Egede in the early 18th century, and you’ll learn much more about the area on an included tour. In the National Museum, you’ll be fascinated by the mummies of Qilakotsoq – evidence of a bygone era.
Fjords and scenic Inuit villages shape the landscape of this icy region of western Greenland. The Sea Spirit holds her course north, and landings and activities are adapted to the current ice and weather conditions. Accordingly, we will plan to visit some of the following:
Sisimiut, the second-largest city in Greenland with about 5,400 inhabitants, is located 40 km north of the Arctic Circle. While there are modern elements, you’ll also find an outdoors hunting and fishing culture. A small museum depicts the history of trade, shipping and industry in the region.
Ilulissat, the “city of icebergs”, is the a focal point of West Greenland tourism. The fjord is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and pushes unimagable amounts of icebergs into the bay. A hike to the historic Sermermiut settlement offers some spectacular views. The famous Danish polar explorer Knut Rasmussen is a son of the city and an interesting museum here is dedicated to his life.
Itilleq is a typical Greelandic fishing village on a small island just above the Arctic Circle, with a local population of about 120. The residents make a living from fishing and hunting and there are probably more dog sleds than residents.
Our adventure finishes at the port of Kangerlussuaq. We disembark after breakfast.
A charter flight is available at an extra cost
Itineraries are subject to change.
25 May, 2023 to 07 June, 2023
Averaging 21 square metres/226 square feet, these staterooms have two twins and a comfortable sofa bed. The twins also convert to a King, if desired. Located on Oceanus Deck, these suites have a picture window, two wardrobes and en suite facilities. Amenities include: in-room safe, refrigerator, satellite telephone access, TV/DVD, individual temperature control, and hair dryer.
Averaging 23 square metres/248 square feet, Main Deck cabins are equipped with either two twins or a King Size bed. They are located on the Main Deck with a minimum of two portholes for exterior views. Amenities include: en suite facilities, in-room safe, refrigerator, satellite telephone access, TV/DVD individual temperature control and hair dryer.
Averaging 21 square metres/226 square feet, these cabins are located on the Oceanus Deck. They feature a picture window, two wardrobes and a choice of either two twin beds or a King Size bed. Amenities include: en suite facilities, in-room safe, refrigerator, satellite telephone access, TV/DVD, individual temperature control and hair dryer.
Superior Suites are located on the Club Deck. Averaging 20 square metres/ 215 square feet, these cabins feature two twin beds or a King Size bed. The picture window overlooks an outside walkway on the Club Deck. Amenities include: en suite facilities, walk-in closet or wardrobe, in-room safe, refrigerator, satellite telephone access, TV/DVD, individual temperature control, hair dryer.
The Deluxe Suites with balconies are located on the Sports Deck. Averaging 24 square metres/ 258 square feet means plenty of room. Choose from either two twin beds or a King Size bed. A sliding glass door leads to a private balcony. These suites feature a walk-in closet or wardrobe. Amenities include en suite facilities, in-room safe, refrigerator, satellite telephone access, TV/DVD, individual temperature control, and a hair dryer.
The Premium Suites are located on the Sun Deck. Averaging a generous 30 square metres/ 323 square feet, with two twin beds or a King Size bed. Access the private balcony by a sliding glass door. Amenities include: en suite facilities, lounge area, in-room safe, refrigerator, satellite telephone access, TV/DVD, individual temperature control, and hair dryer.
Super-spacious (43 square metres/ 463 square feet) elegant suite on the Sun Deck. Designed for entertaining, the Owner's Suite has a separate living room with game and meeting area. A BOSE stereo system provides background music, or watch videos on the HD plasma TV. Sliding glass doors lead to a private deck. Refresh in the jetted bathtub in en suite facilities. Slumber in the King Size bed. A sofa bed can accommodate a third person.
Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition
Length: 90 metres
Passenger Capacity: 114
Built / refurbished: 1992 / 2016
Like some of the birds we see in the Arctic and Antarctica, our m/v Sea Spirit is migratory and follows the sun, northbound in the summer and southbound in the winter, always ready for spontaneous discoveries – a pod of whales, a family of polar bears or a glaciated mountain vista. She is highly maneuverable and capable of navigating the narrow fjords of East Greenland and entering the small bays of Spitsbergen.
Onboard, we create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere for all our guests. They are united by one goal – to have a memorable wilderness experience and to become real polar adventurers. We believe that first-hand travel to such places makes one an ambassador for conservation, and helps strengthen our resolve to protect these natural environments for future generations.
Public areas include: Reception, Restaurant, Bar, Outdoor Bistro, Club Lounge, Library, Presentation Lounge, Infirmary, Gym, Bridge.
We have open Bridge policy. Talk to the Captain and officers. Watch landscapes from this special angle of view. Fix your location at a map of your expedition.
• Group transfer to the ship on embarkation day
• Voyage in selected cabin category
• All meals while onboard the ship
• Complimentary tea and coffee while on board
• All scheduled landings and excursions (Subject to weather/ice conditions)
• Experienced expedition leader and team
• On board lectures held by Expedition team
• Use of rubber boots for landings throughout the voyage
• All port fees
• Welcome and farewell cocktails
• Pre-departure materials
• Digital voyage log
• 1 pre-voyage night on Day 1 in Reykjavik;
• Group transfer to the ship for embarkation on Day 2;
• International or Domestic Airfares unless specified in the itinerary
• Visa and Passport fees if applicable
• Travel insurance including mandatory medical evacuation insurance
• Beverages other than those listed in inclusions
• Any items of a personal nature including any medical costs incurred onboard
• Pre or post voyage accommodation unless specified in the itinerary
• Meals while ashore unless specified in the itinerary
• Optional Excursions (Eg Kayaking or camping where available)