Three Arctic Islands: Spitsbergen, Greenland and Iceland (Southbound)

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15 days
from
$9,995 USD
incl. taxes
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5 / 5 from 1 review
Polar Expeditions
Suitable for:
Age 18+
Activity level:
Leisurely
Activity Level: Leisurely
Trip code: 
PLA
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Polar
Max group size:
176
Min age:
18

A voyage encompassing three Arctic countries with dramatic, contrasting and desolate landscapes

The Arctic has been inspiring explorers for centuries, and our expeditions offer the chance for you to discover why. Check three different Arctic regions off your list on this adventure, heading above the Arctic Circle to Spitsbergen, in the Svalbard archipelago, to remote East Greenland and ending in Iceland. The towering cliffs, iconic wildlife, massive glaciers and swaths of untouched tundra of these three Arctic tours de force never cease to impress.

Highlights

  • Discover the wild and rugged coast of eastern Greenland
  • Chance to observe walrus, Polar bear, Arctic terns, kittiwakes and Glaucous gulls
  • An excursion into Scoresbysund, one of the largest fjord complexes in the world
  • If conditions are right, we could sail within 10° of the North Pole!

Key information

  • 13 nights on the ship
  • Expedition cruising in comfortable conditions
  • Countries visited: Spitsbergen, Iceland, Arctic

What's included

  • All meals while on the ship
  • Beer and house wine during dinner
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Full complement of qualified Expedition Staff
  • We can include flights from the UK.  Please contact us for a quote.

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Mandatory transfer package (including charter flights from Oslo to Longyearbyen) which is £500 per person (or equivalent in booking currency) paid upon booking
Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailor made trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrive in Oslo, Norway

    Our Arctic adventure begins in Oslo, where you may arrive at any time during Day 1 of your itinerary. Upon arriving in this splendid capital city, known for its green spaces and museums, check into your included airport hotel.

  • Day 2

    Embarkation Day in Longyearbyen, Svalbard

    After breakfast, the group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen’s largest settlement. As you embark this afternoon, you’ll enjoy great views of the mountainous landscape that serves as a backdrop for this seaside town.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Days 3-6

    Explore Spitsbergen and the Svalbard Archipelago.

    Exploring Spitsbergen, the largest of the Norwegian-ruled Svalbard islands, rewards us with abundant wildlife and austere beauty. Visit spectacular glacier fronts and steep-walled fjords with walrus, Polar bears and Svalbard reindeer amongst our possible wildlife sightings. Birders will be thrilled to see Arctic terns, skuas, Long-tailed ducks, kittiwakes and Ivory gulls. As an added bonus, when conditions are right, we could sail within 10° of the North Pole!

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 7-8

    Greenland Sea.

    While sailing south through the Greenland Sea, the Expedition Team will teach you about the wildlife and history of Greenland, our next stop. On deck,  learn to identify seabirds on the wing. Take in a lecture, share photos, sip an icy cocktail in the bar or watch a movie—there are many things to do during our time at sea.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 9-12

    Exploring East Greenland

    During our tour of Greenland’s remote eastern coast, we’ll enjoy Zodiac cruises and shore visits to several locations. Explore the remains of ancient Thule settlements and keep an eye out for grazing Musk ox — 40 percent of the world’s population lives here. Finally, sail through spectacular Scoresbysund, the birthplace of many icebergs and, some say, the most beautiful fjord system in the world.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 13-14

    At sea in the Denmark Strait.

    As we cruise south, the Denmark Strait is our pathway toward Iceland. The Expedition Team will keep you informed and entertained with presentations about the history of exploration in the Arctic and the seabirds you’ll see soaring above the ship.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 15

    Disembark Reykjavik, Iceland and end.

    We disembark in Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, at the end of our journey.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Group Information

The World Explorertakes a maximum capacity of 176 passengers. The Exodus group forms part of the ship’s complement, enjoying the relaxed, intimate and informal atmosphere, which breaks into smaller groups to facilitate the frequent excursions. We offer these cruises in conjunction with our partner, Quark Expeditions, and Exodus participants will join an international group, not all of whom have booked through Exodus. Occasionally some of these may be younger than 18 years old, the Exodus' stated minimum age for this trip.

Visas

Greenland

No visa required for British passport holders.

Iceland

No visa required for British passport holders.

Arctic

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Greenland

There are no specific health risks.

Iceland

There are no specific health risks.

Arctic

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All meals while on the ship included.

Typical Meals

The ships galley offers good quality service and cuisine throughout, with excellent chefs preparing international menus including vegetarian dishes, accompanied by a wide variety of drinks from around the world on sale.

Breakfast: Buffet style – unlimited tea and coffee, a selection of fruit juices, hot options including bacon and eggs or omelettes, a selection of bread and toast and jam/honey/marmalade, fruit and cereal.

Lunch: Three course set meal or buffet, or the occasional BBQ.

Dinner:Three or four courses with a starter of soup and/or salad, a choice of mains with at least one vegetarian option and a dessert, with tea and coffee.

Weather

Spitsbergen has a short season from mid June to mid August; and there is 24 hour daylight in all three months. There may be more sea ice in the earlier months and some more flowers, but in reality with the capricious nature of the weather and wildlife there is not much to choose between different dates.

Greenland has an Arctic climate with average temperatures that do not exceed 10° C in the warmest summer months.  However, the conditions in the coastal regions of the Arctic during the northern summer are both mild and changeable. Enjoyable sunny days can swiftly change to cold, windy storms with snow flurries and rolling seas. Average daily temperatures in mid-season are between -4 and +2 Celsius; however, wind conditions can make it seem colder. It is common that you will experience daytime temperatures below freezing.

Is this trip for you?

Travelling Conditions

The voyages are designed to be as flexible as possible, taking advantage of circumstances and events as they occur, as well as passengers’ wishes and particular interests wherever possible. The atmosphere on board is relaxed and friendly with expedition staff, including naturalists and Polar experts, on hand and the opportunity to mingle with people from all over the world. The ship is kept warm, clean and comfortable with a wet / mud room in which to hang gear and store boots ready for the next adventure.

On the Zodiac cruises you are sitting still for most of the time with the potential for some sea spray and a cold headwind - if you are not dressed appropriately you will get cold. On the shore excursions, the majority of landings are ‘wet’ which means that the Zodiacs beach and you are helped to slide into the ankle deep shore break before walking up onto dry land (wellington boots are issued to all passengers). There are, of course, no paths, so be prepared for slippery, rough terrain and sometimes fairly deep snow. Back on board the cosy ship after each adventure, you can have a sauna and/or a hot shower and then relax with a tea, coffee, hot chocolate or something stronger from the bar.

Optional activities:

Sea kayaking option:

Kayaking in the Arctic is probably one of the most intimate and inspiring ways you can explore the rugged coastlines and calm bays of the regions we visit.

Kayaking in the Polar Regions is highly weather-dependent, however we guarantee at least one outing throughout your voyage, but your kayak guides will take you out as many times as possible throughout your voyage.

Offered on most Arctic voyages, spaces are limited and require some kayaking experience. All equipment, guides and instructions are provided by Quark.

Paddling Excursion: 

Explore the ocean from a more intimate vantage point on a sit-on-top kayak. No experience is required to manoeuvre these very stable kayaks, allowing you to enjoy an unforgettable experience on the water, taking in breathtaking landscapes and wildlife. Whether it’s your first time in a kayak or you want greater flexibility to try other Adventure options, this shorter excursion is for you.  
 
Paddling in the Polar Regions is highly weather-dependent and a one-time experience. Your kayak guides will attempt to take you out on the water for 1-1.5 hours of paddling. Offered on most voyages, spaces are limited. All equipment, guides and instructions are provided by Quark. 

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailor made trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

World Explorer

The Three Arctic Islands: Spitsbergen, Greenland and Iceland voyage is offered on the World Explorer which is a Polar Adventure Ship. Please visit the Polar Fleet page (www.exodus.co.uk/polar-holidays/polar-fleet) for Ship Information and Deck Plans.

Polar Adventure Ships

These are small (approx. 100 passengers) ice rated vessels well qualified for Polar waters. Intimate adventures are always more enjoyable with like-minded passengers and staff, so these voyages are for people who like flexible itineraries and plenty to keep them busy. Activities include frequent Zodiac excursions, trekking and many hours on deck in areas that other ships only dream about accessing. Food and staff are superb and every guest benefits from the technical advances of this superb fleet. Rest assured our Polar Adventure Ships enable any traveller to maximize their experience sensitively in the Poles.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailor made trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Wonderful adventure

    This was a marvellous trip and a great way of seeing two wonderful areas of the Arctic. In Spitsbergen we saw polar bears and arctic foxes and sailed through the ice to reach 80 degrees north. In Greenland we saw musk oxen and puffins and the most amazing icebergs. We also visited an Inuit community and had the occasional whale sighting. The ship was great - the Ocean Adventurer. The cabin was comfortable and the food was really good. The operator was first class. We had a great tour leader and a full range of specialist guides, i.e. geologist, ornithologist, photographer, marine biologist etc. They were professional and great fun. the other guests were good company. We had four days around Spitzbergen and four days around Greenland so we were able to get a sense of both rather than concentrating on just one. So polar bears AND icebergs! You don't actually get to see Iceland as part of the tour but you do disembark in Akureyri in north Iceland. We asked Exodus to change our flight back to the UK so we could arrange seven days there. We then drove from Akureyri to Keflavic along the Icelandic ring road seeing the major sights. The waterfalls are truly amazing. Greenland is actually icy and Iceland is green. So we had polar bears, icebergs and waterfalls in a three-week trip. Note: to get to Spitzbergen you fly via Oslo. Exodus brought forward our flight and booked us into a hotel for two nights so we had a short city break as well. There are some great museums in Oslo (Munch, Viking Long Ship and the Fram Museum of Arctic Exploration) and this was a great start to our Arctic journey of a lifetime.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    To see a polar bear jumping and swimming from ice-flow to ice-flow.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    The expedition and ship staff were all first class. The operator was very professional and we be very happy to travel again with them.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    See above - the trip covers Spitzbergen and Greenland - you need to make additional arrangements to see Iceland otherwise you just fly from Akureyri to Keflavic for the flight home..

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We'd already been to Antarctica. We found the artic different. No penguins of course but we had polar bears, arctic foxes, musk oxen and puffins - and visiting the Inuit village.

Dates & Prices

 

Please contact our specialist Polar sales team on 020 8003 9957 or at [email protected] for further dates and prices

Polar Ships: For information regarding ship specifications, visit the Polar Fleet page.

 

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