Iceland, Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen – Arctic Islands Discovery
Duration: 10 days
Ship: MS Fram
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- Experience true wilderness and amazing birdlife on Iceland
- Discover Jan Mayen, one of the most isolated islands in the world
- Encounter Arctic wildlife
- Enjoy small boat cruising
Reykjavik is the world’s northernmost capital city. Norwegian settlers named the place Reykjavik (meaning 'Smoky Bay') after the impressive columns of steam that rose from the local hot springs. The surroundings offer fantastic natural beauty with geysers, mountains, glaciers and geothermal baths that are well worth exploring before embarking on MS Fram.
As we reach the west of Iceland, you will come to understand why this area is dubbed the "Sagaland". Take your time to explore Stykkishólmur's beauty, with lava and rock formations, glaciers, volcanic activity, and hot and cold springs. Join in a range of exciting excursions such as kayaking and hiking.
Tiny Flatey Island rises only 22 metres above the sea and has no permanent population. In the early summer, colourful puffins return to their burrows on the island for the breeding season. We quietly observe these charming birds as they care for their young.
Hornbjarg cliff is located in the most remote location in Iceland, the northwest of the Westfjords. Hundreds of thousands of seabirds use the cliff face as their summer nesting location, with species that include razor bills, brünnich and common guillemots, kittiwakes and fulmars. Cruising in the midst of such abundant wildlife, on the cusp of the breeding season, with the rock face towering some 400 metres above is a memory that will stay with you for a long time.
Reykjafjörður is a pebbly beach nestled between two rock ridges on the north coast. In calm conditions our tender boats can take us ashore for an expedition landing where we may find shore birds wading along the beach and beautiful spring flowers.
Days at sea are an opportunity to wind down and watch the waves, or enjoy a lecture or two from the Expedition team.
The Norwegian island of Jan Mayen is one of the most isolated places in the world. Located where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet, the island is dominated by Beerenberg, the northernmost active volcano on earth. Dutch whalers operated from Jan Mayen in the 16th century, but today only a Norwegian weather station accommodates a few brave individuals throughout the year. Visits to Jan Mayen are extremely rare, especially from tourists. As one of the few vessels operating in this area, MS Fram and her crew will attempt to make a landing on this most exotic Arctic island.
As we sail further north and the air cools, we will be joined by an escort of fulmars flying along at port-hole level! Sea days are a chance to sort out your photos, relax and recharge for adventures ahead.
Cruising northbound from Jan Mayen, we will take advantage of the conditions at hand, and let the ice and weather guide us. We will explore several of the fjords on the western side of Svalbard. We might head into Hornsund to see the enormous Brepollen Glacier. If the conditions allow, you can try what the Norwegians call “brevandring” – this means traversing a glacier on foot. Don’t mistake this for ice climbing. Our brevandring is on relatively “even ice” – but on some occasions, we will have to negotiate small crevasses. Further north at St Jonsfjord we may experience the contrasting colours of lush green tundra, with pink and yellow summer flowers close to blue and white ice. If we are lucky, we may see walrus at Poolepynten on Prins Karls Forland.
Within the Svalbard Archipelago there are about 3,000 polar bears, probably the largest concentration on Earth. Polar bears are solitary animals with no set colony or living area. We are most likely to observe this marine mammal on the drift ice, close to the ocean or even in the water. We often observe polar bears on this itinerary – although not every day and seldom at very close range. Like most things in a true wilderness, there are no absolute guarantees. But the more eyes scouting through binoculars, the better our chances of observing the King of the Arctic.
In Longyearbyen it is time to say goodbye. The transfer bus takes you early in the morning to the airport for your flight to Oslo.
Included in your voyage
- Hurtigruten Expedition in cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis
- Transfer from ship to airport in Longyearbyen
- Economy flight Longyearbyen to Oslo
- Wind- and water-resistant jacket
- Landings with small boats and activities on board and ashore
- Professional English-speaking Expedition team that gives lectures as well as accompanies landings and activities
- Free tea and coffee
Not included in your voyage
- International flights
- Travel insurance
- Luggage handling
- Optional Excursions and Gratuities
|Year of refurbishment||2020|
|Ship yard||Fincantieri, Italy|
The original Fram was the most famous explorer ship of its time, and the achievements of her expeditions are unparalleled. MS Fram brings on the heritage of the original Fram, using the most advanced technology to make her exceptionally well suited for expedition voyages in Polar Regions.
Stykkisholmur - The Viking Sushi Adventure
Caves, craters and coves
Stykkishólmur - Highlights of Snæfellsnes
Hiking in the Berserk Lava field
Extend your cruise
Get more out of your journey by adding a Pre- or Post-programme before or after your expedition cruise.