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East Greenland's Northern Lights
Fly independently to Reykjavik, the world’s northernmost capital city, and overnight at the Radisson.
Embark the Sea Spirit
After a morning at leisure to explore Reykjavik on your own, we will be transferred to Reykjavik’s port to begin our expedition to Greenland. As we sail out to sea, get ready for a great adventure! Use spotting scopes to assist with seabird identification from the deck of our ship. Also watch for whales. (B,D)
Days 3 & 4
Sail through the Denmark Strait en route for mysterious Greenland. The onboard Expedition Team will keep us informed and entertained with presentations about Greenland’s wildlife, history and geography. (B,L,D Daily)
Greenland National Park
Fjords and flower meadows punctuate the scenery of Greenland National Park, where Arctic fox and musk oxen roam free. 40% of the world’s musk oxen population lives on the eastern coast of Greenalnd. Our days will be spent exploring and learning about the unique history and geology of Greenland during hikes and excursions aboard our Zodiacs.
King Oscar Fjord is a hiker’s paradise. You may walk across the delicate flower-and-berry-strewn tundra at Holm Bay, Zodiac-cruise through spectacular Alepfjord or challenge yourself with a climb to the top of nearby Ella Island. From Ella Island you’ll head to the Antarctic. Yes, curiously, there is an Antarctic Sound in the Arctic. The area is home to beautiful purple and gold colored rocks with Ymer Island and Blomsterbugten, the “Bay of Flowers”, ready to explore in the distance. East Greenland presents a variety of colorful wild flowers against a dramatic mountain backdrop. Walking along the coast, encounter fields of moss campion, moss heather and Alpine azalea – splashed of pink, violet and red dotting the landscape.
Keeping a constant eye out for wildlife, we head south along the Liverpool Coast. Weather conditions are variable here, but we’ll aim to visit Storefjord and the “warming island” of Uunartoq Qeqertaq. Discovered in 2005, this small island is called a “warming island” as it was uncovered as the result of climate change and the melting of ice. (B,L,D Daily)
Arriving at Scoresbysund, you’ll be mesmerized by the largest, longest, and – some say – most beautiful fjord system in the world. This area was named for William Scoresby, who charted the east coast of Greenland in 1822.
At the start of the sound, Ittoqqortoormitt is East Greenland’s most northerly community and one of the world’s last remaining examples of a living hunter society. While there are remains of ancient Inuit settlements in the area, the town was officially settled in 1925, making it one of the youngest towns in Greenland. In this remote, modern-day village, stroll through the streets with a local guide, learning about the lives of the 500 people who inhabit this community, trapped nine months of the year by sea ice. You can also support the local Inuit artisans by purchasing unique handicrafts. Our time here is spent bonding with the Inuit people and gaining an appreciation of their way of life. With clear skies, we have a great opportunity to see the Northern Lights here.
Sailing on, deeper into Scoresbysund you’ll encounter massive icebergs and an ancient Thule settlement as we approach Sydkap and Øfjord. The Thule often used whale bones in building their structures and we will search for remains of those buildings. While exploring, our naturalist guides will help you watch for lemmings and musk oxen in this area.
Pushing onward, we come to Rypefjord and Kap Hofmann Halvø. Keep our eyes peeled for sightings of rare blue icebergs, which are more normally seen in the Antarctic. With binoculars in hand, birders should keep watch for wheatears, snow buntings and ravens at Rypefjord.
At Cape Hofmann Halvø we’ll have our best chance for closer encounters with grazing musk oxen and enjoy a final hike out on the colorful tundra. While at sea near the cape, we may also spot rock ptarmigans or northern divers. (B,L,D Daily)
Days 12 & 13
Re-cross the Denmark Strait, enjoying a couple of days for whale watching. Watch for white-beaked dolphins along with humpback, minke and blue whales. Birders can search for kittiwakes, gannets, guillemots, fulmars and razorbills on our journey back to Iceland.
Disembark / Reykjavik
Your Greenland adventure comes to an end as you enter port in Reykjavik. Transfer to the airport to meet your independent flights home. (B)