Iceland & Greenland – Arctic Expedition Cruise under the Midnight Sun

Iceland & Greenland – Arctic Expedition Cruise under the Midnight Sun

Iceland & Greenland – Arctic Expedition Cruise under the Midnight Sun

Iceland & Greenland – Arctic Expedition Cruise under the Midnight Sun

Travel information 24 days MS Fridtjof Nansen
Departure
June 6, 2023
Price from $ 17,783
$ 14,226
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Embark on an epic 24-day discovery of showstopping scenery, fascinating cultures, and Arctic wildlife as we circumnavigate Iceland before heading to Greenland’s pristine west coast.

The land of ice, fire, and elves

You will start your expedition in Iceland’s culture-rich capital of Reykjavik and journey north to begin your circumnavigation of the country. You’ll call at breathtaking Stykkishólmur, the tranquil fishing village of Patreksfjördur, and Iceland’s second city, Akureyri.

Heading onto Grimsey, you’ll cross the Arctic Circle before continuing to Bakkagerði, where the elves are said to dwell. This stunning location features soaring rhyolite peaks and the majestic Dyrfjöll mountain. Finally, you’ll explore Iceland’s Pompeii, Heimaey, before arriving back in Reykjavik.

Spectacular west Greenland

From there, you’ll cross the Denmark Strait just like the Vikings did, arriving at colorful Qaqortoq. Meet friendly locals, visit your first Greenlandic fjord (the Kvanefjord), and set out on a wildlife exploration day. Heading onto Maniitsoq, the ‘Venice of Greenland’, and ancient Sisimiut, you’ll arrive at the jaw-dropping Ilulissat Ice Fjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Real expedition awaits in the vast Disko Bay, as we explore the untouched wilderness and Arctic nature of the Vaigat Sound and the enchanting Evighed Fjord, the ‘Fjord of Eternity’. Continuing on to Nuuk, Greenland’s photogenic capital, you’ll also stop at eerie Ivittut and beautiful Prince Christian Sound, before completing your adventure in Reykjavik, where it all began.

Iceland & Greenland – Arctic Expedition Cruise under the Midnight Sun Iceland & Greenland – Arctic Expedition Cruise under the Midnight Sun
  • Day 1
    Reykjavík

    Start of the Expedition

    June 6, 2023

    Start your expedition cruise in Iceland’s capital city, a center for art, culture, history, and pleasure.

    Your expedition cruise begins at Reykjavík, where MS Fridtjof Nansen awaits in the harbor. Reykjavík means ‘Smoky Inlet’, coming from the steam rising from its hot springs. Today, the hot water from geothermal energy heats numerous pools and hot tubs.

    The world’s northernmost capital is both traditional and cosmopolitan, with plenty to do and see. Explore the delightful boutiques, outdoor shops, and pubs of busy Laugarvegur. Or, take in knowledge to your heart’s content in the wonderful museums of art, culture, and history. After that, it’s time to go aboard, meet your Expedition Team, and start the adventure!

    Pre-Program

    Consider arriving a few days earlier to explore this beautiful country in more depth. We recommend booking a two-day or four-day Pre-Program with us to Iceland’s famous Golden Circle. Highlights include visits to Gullfoss waterfall and Thingvellir National Park, taking a dip in Iceland´s oldest swimming pool, and hiking in unique, beautiful surroundings.

    Day 1
    Reykjavík

    Start of the Expedition

  • Day 2
    Stykkishólmur - Full Day

    Welcome to Sagaland

    June 7, 2023

    Visit the fjord of a thousand islets and the land that inspired Jules Verne.

    Our first stop is the quaint fishing village of Stykkishólmur, located on the north side of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. With no traffic and a population of only around 1,000, it sometimes feels as though time stands still here. You will have a fantastic view of the countless islets of Breiðafjörður (‘Broad Fjord’).

    The old town center stands out for its colorful old houses, which contrast against the rugged scenery. Take a look at the Volcano Museum and the Regional Museum, and try local delicacies at the restaurant. This region was the setting for Jules Verne’s book Journey to the Center of the Earth!

    Day 2
    Stykkishólmur - Full Day

    Welcome to Sagaland

  • Day 3
    Patreksfjörður - Full Day

    The fjord of St. Patrick

    June 8, 2023

    Look for puffins and Arctic foxes as we visit a rose-hued beach and Iceland’s highest waterfall.

    This tranquil fishing village was named for Saint Patrick by its discoverer back in the 8th century. The harbor has a rich maritime history and remains lively today, giving you the opportunity to learn about the many species of fish brought ashore. You can also take a dip in the outdoor pool.

    The nearby Latrabjarg cliff is home to puffins, northern gannets, guillemots, and razorbills. They remain safe from Arctic foxes by nesting on its face. Also close by is Rauðsandur (‘Red Sand’) Beach, famous for its rose-hued sand, and the Dynjandi waterfalls, where six falls combine to form the highest waterfall in the Westfjords.

    Day 3
    Patreksfjörður - Full Day

    The fjord of St. Patrick

  • Day 4
    Northwest Iceland

    Northwest Iceland

    June 9, 2023

    A day for spontaneous exploration in Iceland’s northwestern region.

    One of the most exciting things about expedition cruising is that anything can happen on any given day. We’ve set one day aside as an exploration day, with no pre-arranged plan.  

      We aim to be in Iceland’s Northwestern Region, but the Captain and the Expedition Team will set the final plan for the day, depending on conditions and opportunities as they arise.  

    Activities might include hiking, participating in a beach clean-up, or launching our kayaks. If we spot a pod of whales as we’re sailing, we may decide to linger and enjoy the sight. Adapting to adventure is what expedition cruising is all about. 

    Day 4
    Northwest Iceland

    Northwest Iceland

  • Day 5
    Akureyri - Full Day

    Capital of the North

    June 10, 2023

    See Iceland’s vibrant northern capital and the Waterfall of the Gods.

    Located at the head of Iceland’s longest fjord, the lively university town of Akureyri is known as the country’s northern capital. This is the best opportunity to spot whales of various species, as we cruise past towering, snow-capped peaks along the fjord’s lush coastline. The town itself has numerous top-class eateries and two fascinating museums.

    You can also visit the Arctic Botanical Gardens and view the striking architecture of Akureyri Church.

    Optional excursions are available to stunning Goðafoss, the ‘Waterfall of the Gods’, and to the uniquely beautiful Lake Mývatn, a wonderful place for bird-spotting. ‘Game of Thrones’ fans may recognize this landscape!

    Day 5
    Akureyri - Full Day

    Capital of the North

  • Day 6
    Grimsey - Full Day

    Step across the Arctic Circle

    June 11, 2023

    Explore the island of folklore and legend as we straddle the Arctic Circle.

    For an unforgettable experience, you have to visit the small, grassy island of Grimsey. Steeped in folklore and legend, this island bisects the Arctic Circle, which means you can stand with one foot on each side of this important geographical feature. The Circle is marked by a large, concrete sphere.

    There are only 60 human inhabitants, but many thousands of seabirds. Locals sometimes intrepidly descend the cliffs in search of eggs. Boats will take you from the ship to visit this jagged, windswept island. In the evening, we return to the port of Húsavík for the night.

    Day 6
    Grimsey - Full Day

    Step across the Arctic Circle

  • Day 7
    Bakkagerði - Full Day

    The land of the elves

    June 12, 2023

    Enjoy spectacular scenery and wildlife in the company of the so-called ‘Hidden Folk’.

    According to folklore, this tiny coastal hamlet of about 100 people is also home to a considerable population of elves. When you experience its serenity and impressive scenery, it´s easy to see why. Surrounded by mountain peaks, Bakkagerði is a superb base for hikers, bird-watchers, and all kinds of nature-lovers.

    The coastal cliffs abound with fulmars, kittiwakes, eider ducks and puffins. After your walk, enjoy fresh fish or the local specialty, fish soup, at one of the local cafés. Or, simply take in the peace and breathtaking views. You may even spot an elf!

    Day 7
    Bakkagerði - Full Day

    The land of the elves

  • Day 8
    Heimaey - Full Day

    The Icelandic Pompeii

    June 13, 2023

    A friendly welcome awaits on this isle of fire, featuring a turbulent history.

    With about 4,000 friendly inhabitants, Heimaey (‘Home Island’) is the only inhabited island in the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago, south of Iceland’s mainland. In 1973, the settlement was nearly wiped out by a volcanic eruption. The Eldfell (‘Fire Mountain’) volcanic cone still towers 722 feet above the sea.

    Father down, see the tongue of lava which nearly blocked the harbor and was only stopped by heroic efforts. On this windy-but-hospitable island, ascend the volcano and learn about its dark and turbulent history, including runaway slaves, murder, revenge, magic, and Barbary pirates.

    Day 8
    Heimaey - Full Day

    The Icelandic Pompeii

  • Day 9
    Reykjavík

    The next leg of the journey is upon us.

    June 14, 2023

    Take a trip to the Blue Lagoon for an unforgettable outdoor spa experience.

    Upon returning to Reykjavík, you have another opportunity to explore the delights you may have missed on your first visit. Don’t forget, this city is full of art, culture, galleries, and museums. Or if you simply wish to relax, why not take a trip to the famous Blue Lagoon?

    Relax in geothermally heated water that shines bright blue, caused by the silica and many other minerals carried down the volcanic landscape. As you soak, enjoy a drink and chat with locals and fellow guests as you look forward to the next step on your adventure: Greenland!

    Day 9
    Reykjavík

    The next leg of the journey is upon us.

  • Day 10-11
    At Sea

    Crossing the Denmark Strait

    June 15, 2023 - June 16, 2023

    Relax and learn all about the Arctic as we follow in the wake of Viking explorers.

    Voyaging westward, MS Fridtjof Nansen enters the Denmark Strait, waters once sailed by Erik the Red and other Viking explorers on their way to Greenland. As we sail, the ship has plenty of onboard facilities for you to use. In the Science Center, you can learn all about the Arctic, its wildlife, and its inhabitants.

    Take some time to use the ship’s fitness room and get the blood pumping. After that, enjoy a relaxing sauna as you gaze out to sea. Later, chat with other guests over a drink in the Explorer Lounge & Bar. Or do whatever you feel!

    Day 10-11
    At Sea

    Crossing the Denmark Strait

  • Day 12
    Qaqortoq - Full Day

    Picture-perfect Greenlandic town

    June 17, 2023

    This is an opportunity to savor local arts, crafts, and traditions amid stunning scenery

    Welcome to beautiful Greenland! This colorful and picturesque settlement has roots dating back 4,300 years. This town stands out for its arts and crafts. Upon landing, you can already notice faces and fish shapes carved into the rocks. In the shops, you can buy locally made fabrics, glassware, and herbal skincare products.

    Explore the lush scenery of the surrounding hills and nearby lake. The bluffs overlooking the town offer breathtaking views of the bay. After your walk, you’re invited to enter a home for a kaffemik, a social occasion in which your hosts tell traditional stories as you enjoy cakes and coffee.

    Day 12
    Qaqortoq - Full Day

    Picture-perfect Greenlandic town

  • Day 13
    Kvanefjord

    Exploration day in the Kvanefjord

    June 18, 2023

    Explore the pristine landscape of icebergs and floes in the ‘Place of Much Ice’

    The unspoiled Kvanefjord is a 30-mile inlet in Sermersooq, the ‘Place of Much Ice’. Icebergs and floes glide past in pristine white with shades of blue as we sail along the fjord. Be among the few visitors to admire the majestic scenery of this almost unexplored place.

    Depending on the weather and the ice conditions, your Captain and the Expedition Team will look for the chance to launch the ship’s small boats (RIBs) and maybe even land ashore to stretch your legs and view the local wildlife. Have your camera ready to record this adventure!

    Day 13
    Kvanefjord

    Exploration day in the Kvanefjord

  • Day 14
    Maniitsoq - Full Day

    The ‘Venice of Greenland’

    June 19, 2023

    Four thousand years of local culture await you in this ‘northern Venice’

    Maniitsoq, whose name translates as ‘The Uneven Place’, is sometimes humorously referred to as the ‘Venice of Greenland’, due to the many natural canals which crisscross the archipelago. Instead of gondolas, you may sight a pod of humpback whales.

    Greenland’s sixth-largest town, Maniitsoq, was founded at the mouth of the fjord in 1755, and now has a population of 2,500. The museum used to be a blubber station and now hosts artifacts from 4,000 years of habitation in the area. There are also two restaurants, where the friendly and welcoming owners are eager to serve you.

    Day 14
    Maniitsoq - Full Day

    The ‘Venice of Greenland’

  • Day 15
    Sisimiut - Full Day

    Fur, fox holes, and outdoor fun

    June 20, 2023

    Expect musk oxen, Arctic foxes, and a popular venue for adventurous activities as we pass into the zone of the Midnight Sun.

    Sisimiut is a modern town with a spectacular location 25 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Human settlement here dates back 4,500 years, giving its small museum many local artifacts. The people are proud of their traditions and maintain them.

    The name Sisimiut translates as ‘The People at the Fox Holes’, a reference to the burrows of the Arctic foxes which live here. Another local animal is the musk ox, whose thick fur provides the material for qiviut fabric. The town is a regional hub and is a popular venue for Arctic activities like skiing and dog sledding.

    Day 15
    Sisimiut - Full Day

    Fur, fox holes, and outdoor fun

  • Day 16
    Ilulissat - Full Day

    Icefjord - UNESCO World Heritage Site

    June 21, 2023

    Enjoy a beautiful hike to an Inuit settlement from this colorful World Heritage Site

    Our journey brings us to Disko Bay, one of Greenland’s major attractions. The nutrient-rich waters of Ilulissat’s bay once supported huge populations of whales, walruses, and seals. Erik the Red is credited as the first European to enter the bay, settling in the area in 985 A.D.

    Today, the area is a World Heritage Site and a vibrant hub for those seeking adventure on Greenland’s icecap. You can take a short-but-beautiful hike from the colorful houses by the water to the old Inuit settlement of Sermermiut. Or, simply relax and watch the icebergs change hue as they slowly drift by.

    Day 16
    Ilulissat - Full Day

    Icefjord - UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • Day 17
    Vaigat Sound - Full Day

    Probing the Vaigat Sound

    June 22, 2023

    Enjoy a day of exploration by boat and on foot amid unspoiled and majestic scenery.

    Arriving at the northernmost point of our journey, we now have a day to explore remote and untamed Vaigat Sound. Your experienced Captain and Expedition Team will judge the weather and ice conditions to choose the best route.

    If all is well, opportunities should abound to explore by boat or even kayaks. There are several locations where we could go ashore to observe the mighty glacier and the Arctic flora. The sound is teeming with wildlife, so watch for orcas, bowheads, and four species of seal. It will feel like you’re the first to explore this region, and in some locations you may well be!

    Day 17
    Vaigat Sound - Full Day

    Probing the Vaigat Sound

  • Day 18
    Evighed Fjord - Full Day

    Exploration day at ‘Eternity Fjord’

    June 23, 2023

    ‘Eternity Fjord’ beckons you to experience its dream-like landscape of glaciers and towering mountains.

    The name of this magnificent feature translates as ‘Eternity Fjord’, and has a dreamlike atmosphere of permanence. Bounded by mountains towering to 6,600 ft, this fjord penetrates 46 miles inland and is up to 2,300 ft deep in parts.

    At the head of the fjord, the Maniitsoq icecap meets the water in a series of ridges and ice caves, and it calves colossal icebergs. This region is sparsely inhabited, with just a few tiny fishing hamlets. Our aim this day is to take a nature walk. Nonetheless, the Captain and Expedition Team will determine the program according to the prevailing conditions.

    Day 18
    Evighed Fjord - Full Day

    Exploration day at ‘Eternity Fjord’

  • Day 19
    Nuuk - Full Day

    Greenland’s photogenic capital

    June 24, 2023

    Explore Greenland’s capital and take a scenic hike in Paradise Valley.

    Greenland’s capital is located at the mouth of a fjord system and is a cheery and fascinating place, filled with colorful houses and mix of old and ultra-modern architecture. Founded in 1728, Nuuk is Greenland’s oldest modern-day settlement, but still has fewer than 18,000 citizens.

    This picturesque city has a cathedral, museums, and several restaurants and cafés to suit all tastes. Make sure to visit the house of Hans Egede, Nuuk’s founder. It dates to 1721 and is the oldest building in Greenland. You could also take a long nature walk through Paradise Valley, featuring splendid views and small lake.

    Day 19
    Nuuk - Full Day

    Greenland’s photogenic capital

  • Day 20
    Ivittuut - Half Day

    Musk oxen and a Norse settlement

    June 25, 2023

    This is an eerie, abandoned mining town that once held the secret to the Allied victory in World War II

    Now a ghost town of abandoned buildings, grassed-over streets and rusting machinery, Ivittuut once played a crucial role in World War II. Cryolite was mined here, a mineral essential in the production of aluminum. This gave the Allies the edge in manufacturing airplanes and was a key to victory. It was even occupied by a small US Army force to prevent it falling into German hands.

    A millennium ago, the area was home to Norse settlers, though no trace of their habitation remains today. Only musk oxen and the ghosts of the past inhabit this eerie but beautiful place.

    Day 20
    Ivittuut - Half Day

    Musk oxen and a Norse settlement

  • Day 21
    Prince Christian Sund

    ‘A river of melted ice’

    June 26, 2023

    Follow in the footsteps of explorer John Cabot among jagged mountain peaks.

    Expect some of the most incredible landscapes on the planet as we cruise into Prins Christian Sound. The explorer John Cabot compared the view, with its bergs and floes, to a ‘river of melted ice’. Jagged mountain peaks rise to 7,200 ft, their muted grey and green hues contrasting sharply with the brilliant white glaciers.

    The only sign of human presence here is the weather station that the US installed in World War II, and the small hunting and fishing village of Aappilattoq. If our passage is blocked by sea ice, we will begin an alternative itinerary to Cape Farewell, the southernmost point of Greenland.

    Day 21
    Prince Christian Sund

    ‘A river of melted ice’

  • Day 22-23
    Irminger Sea

    Heading back to Iceland

    June 27, 2023 - June 28, 2023

    Make the most of the ship’s excellent facilities as you reflect on your Greenlandic adventure.

    After exploring the wonders of Greenland, we head back across the Denmark Strait to Iceland. The last Norse Greenlanders may have returned via this route as their settlements failed, but the only concrete evidence are their crofts and churches, found abandoned in the 15th century after decades of lost contact.

    Take this additional opportunity to enjoy the ship’s top-knotch facilities and reflect with your travelling companions on your amazing experiences. On these last evenings onboard, be sure to enjoy the social atmosphere in the Explorer Lounge & Bar.

    Day 22-23
    Irminger Sea

    Heading back to Iceland

  • Day 24
    Reykjavík

    End of a saga

    June 29, 2023

    Round off your adventure with a last opportunity to experience the delights of this wonderful city.

    MS Fridtjof Nansen arrives back in the Icelandic capital early in the morning. Once you’ve disembarked, use your last chance to explore this attractive and compact city and enjoy its wonderful ambiance and facilities.

    You’ll have surely had an incredible experience exploring Iceland and Greenland’s west coast with us. We hope to see you again for another adventure in the future!

    Post-Program:

    Want to extend your adventure? If you want to discover more of Iceland, tack on a Post-Program before heading home or simply extend your stay to enjoy Reykjavík and the surrounding geothermal attractions. Iceland has so much to offer, so why not linger a bit longer?

    Day 24
    Reykjavík

    End of a saga

Departures

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What's Included

Included in Your Expedition

Expedition Cruise

  • Expedition cruise in the cabin of your choice
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurants Aune and Fredheim
  • Fine-dining in À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm is included for suite guests
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to fill at onboard water refill stations
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organize and guide activities, both on board and ashore
  • Range of included excursions

Onboard activities

  • Experts from the Expedition Team present detailed lectures on a variety of topics
  • Use of the ship’s Science Center, which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
  • The Citizen Science program allows guests to contribute to current scientific research
  • The onboard professional photographer will give tips and tricks for taking the best landscape and wildlife photos
  • The ship has hot tubs, a sauna, an outdoor and indoor gym, and an outdoor running track
  • Participate in informal gatherings with the crew, such as daily recaps and the next day’s preparations

Landing activities

  • Escorted landings with small boats (RIBs)
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment needed for the activities
  • Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition photographers help you configure your camera settings

Not Included In Your Expedition

  • International flights
  • Travel protection
  • Baggage handling
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team
  • Optional treatments in the wellness and spa area

Notes

  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change
  • Please ensure you can meet all entry and boarding requirements
  • No gratuities are expected
Pool area on MS Fridtjof Nansen
Photo: Oscar Farrera
Your Ship

MS Fridtjof Nansen

Year built 2020
Shipyard Kleven Yards, Norway
Passenger capacity 528 (500 in Antarctica)
Gross tonnage 20,889 T
Length 459 ft
Beam 77.4 ft
Speed 15 knots

MS Fridtjof Nansen is a next-generation expedition ship, just the latest in Hurtigruten’s fleet of custom built ships. She explores some of the most spectacular corners of the globe.

Read more about MS Fridtjof Nansen

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