Spitsbergen, Jan Mayen, Iceland – Arctic Islands Discovery (Westbound)

Spitsbergen, Jan Mayen, Iceland – Arctic Islands Discovery (Westbound)

Spitsbergen, Jan Mayen, Iceland – Arctic Islands Discovery (Westbound)

Spitsbergen, Jan Mayen, Iceland – Arctic Islands Discovery (Westbound)

Travel information 14 days MS Fram
Departures
July 15, 2022
July 12, 2023
Price from $ 9,586
$ 7,502
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Discover picturesque fjords, majestic glaciers, mountain peaks, and thrilling wildlife on an awe-inspiring expedition to High Arctic islands.

The world’s northernmost town

Your expedition starts in Longyearbyen, the town on top of the world. Get a taste of life this far north by meeting the resilient residents of this one-of-a-kind town. From here, we take in the stunning terrain of North West Spitsbergen National Park. Explore picturesque fjords, steep mountains, and beautiful offshore islands while scanning the landscape for wildlife.

A lonely volcano

Jan Mayen is Norway’s most isolated island. At 7,470 ft, Mt. Beerenberg dominates the skyline as the world’s northernmost active volcano. Visits to Jan Mayen are rare, due to the often-unruly seas and weather, and we are one of the few to attempt landings. From here, we set sail for Akureyri, Iceland’s lively ‘northern capital’.

The land of ice and fire

Discover Grímsey, home to large colonies of Atlantic Puffins. Soak up the slow-paced life of remote fishing villages like Patreksfjörður and Stykkishólmur before exploring their scenic surroundings. Your journey ends in vibrant Reykjavík, just hours away from Iceland’s famous lagoons, geysers, hot springs, and waterfalls.

Spitsbergen, Jan Mayen, Iceland – Arctic Islands Discovery (Westbound) Spitsbergen, Jan Mayen, Iceland – Arctic Islands Discovery (Westbound)
  • Day 1
    Oslo/Longyearbyen

    From 59º N to 78º N

    Your journey begins with a flight from Oslo, Norway’s fjord-side city surrounded by forested hills and lakes. The numerous electric cars you see on the roads illustrates the city’s commitment to sustainability, earning it the title of European Green Capital in 2019. Explore this green metropolis and discover its vibrant arts scene, modern beauty, and culinary delights.

    Thanks to an efficient and well-connected public transportation system, all the various neighborhoods are accessible without a car. Make use of the buses, trains, and trams while you’re here! Or tour the city on an Oslo city bike and admire the work of Oslo’s world-renowned architects in the open air.

    There’s no shortage of cultural experiences. Spend the day visiting some of the many excellent museums and contemporary art galleries. Soak up the history of Norwegian polar exploration at the Fram Museum, which features many displays and a chance to step aboard a polar exploration vessel. Discover what it was like to live and work on the Fram as you explore the decks and cabins.

    Need to rest? Options abound for enjoying traditional Norwegian dishes or New Nordic cuisine. Choose from cozy cafés, hip coffee shops, modern fine dining, hot dog stands, and maybe even a microbrewery.

    Oslo is surrounded by nature and offers a variety of activities. If you have time, take a walk in the forested hills that frame the city. Or simply spend some time relaxing in one of the many parks before your flight to Longyearbyen in the Svalbard Archipelago.

    Day 1
    Oslo/Longyearbyen

    From 59º N to 78º N

  • Day 2
    Longyearbyen

    A lively frontier town in the High Arctic

    After an overnight stay, you have the opportunity to explore the colorful frontier town of Longyearbyen on your own before boarding your ship in the afternoon. An excursion is included in your cruise, or choose from a selection of optional adventures before your cruise begins.

    Longyearbyen is a small town on the island of Spitsbergen, where the 2,000 inhabitants are outnumbered by snowmobiles. Walk to the church during your stay, which is just a few minutes away from the hotel. You might encounter the Svalbard reindeer on the way, who often walk around town tending to their own business. Although wild, they are quite curious and tame. Stroll the main street, admire the colorful buildings, and pick out souvenirs and gifts from shops in the world’s northernmost town.

    Make sure to remove your shoes before entering public buildings! This is a custom that originated in the mining days to prevent people from trekking coal dust indoors. It is just another way the town’s mining history continues to affect its culture.

    Polar bears live outside Longyearbyen. It’s rare to see them in town, but you may spot art inspired by these iconic Arctic bears. See if you can find the polar bear statue or the giant mural in the town center.

    Once you board the ship, pick up your complimentary expedition jacket and find your cabin before attending a mandatory safety drill. Locate the restaurants, Science Center, observation deck, and the Explorer Lounge & Bar—you may be spending a lot of time there. We’ll then say a fond farewell to Longyearbyen as we start our journey of discovery.

    Day 2
    Longyearbyen

    A lively frontier town in the High Arctic

  • Day 3-6
    North West Spitsbergen National Park

    On the lookout for polar bears in Svalbard

    Leaving the limited civilization behind, we now enter full exploration mode. There is no Internet in these remote areas, nor are there telephone masts to provide a cell phone signal. Free from emails and text messages, this is a rare opportunity to disconnect from the modern world. It's time to get back in sync with what truly matters.

    North West Spitsbergen National Park embodies Arctic beauty in all its rugged, untouched glory. This is a wilderness of steep mountains, stark glaciers, and eerily beautiful offshore islands. It’s also a rare spot in the world where beauty and history collide. View the world’s largest concentration of graves, blubber ovens, and other cultural relics from Svalbard’s first explorers.

    Weather and sea conditions will determine which areas we attempt to visit. Kongsfjorden is one of the most beautiful fjord areas in Spitsbergen, with panoramic coastal views and a lush alpine tundra. Framed by dramatic mountains, you might even catch sight of glaciers calving icebergs into the sea.

    We may also call on Ny-Ålesund, a former mining town that’s steeped in culture, and which has been transformed into an international science hub. Its picturesque mix of old and new buildings hosts a variety of research stations from different countries, dedicated to studying glaciology, wildlife, and climate change.

    In the summer months, the northwest corner of Spitsbergen is a magnet for birdwatchers. Scan for wildlife, including whales, bearded seals, walrus, Svalbard reindeer, and the ‘King of the Arctic’: the mighty polar bear. With a bit of luck, you’ll spot one or more of these apex predators as they trek along the coast’s drifting ice on the hunt for seals.

    The stunning terrain of this region makes it ripe for outdoor adventure. We’ll attempt to take full advantage of any opportunities that come our way. Activities might include using our small boats (RIBs) to go ashore for hiking, participating in a beach clean-up, or launching our kayaks.

    Day 3-6
    North West Spitsbergen National Park

    On the lookout for polar bears in Svalbard

  • Day 7
    At sea

    A relaxing day at sea

    Enjoy a relaxing day at sea with onboard lectures while we set course for Jan Mayen. Days at sea can be as active or relaxing as you wish!

    Drop by the Science Center and find out more about the places you’re exploring. Its cutting-edge scientific equipment and extensive library will enhance your knowledge of Svalbard’s topography, history, and wildlife.

    Don’t miss the fascinating lectures given by members of the Expedition Team. They’ll recap your expedition so far, share their knowledge of the region, and prepare you for more adventures ahead. Lecture topics could vary from local history and storytelling to biology and geology.

    As we set off on our journey, perhaps spend some time getting to know the crew and your fellow explorers. Strike up a conversation at the bar and see what you and your shipmates have in common!

    Day 7
    At sea

    A relaxing day at sea

  • Day 8
    Jan Mayen Island

    The isolated Arctic island with an active volcano

    Jan Mayen stands shrouded in mist in the middle of the Norwegian Sea. This island has snow-capped mountains, lush mosses, and lichens that seem to glow green against the black rock. This volcanic isle is about as remote as you can get. The atmosphere is surreal in this untouched wilderness and no permanent residents. It’s sure to be an unforgettable part of your Arctic adventure.

    Jan Mayen has two main areas. The north is dominated by Beerenberg, the northernmost active volcano on Earth. It last erupted in 1985 and is mostly covered in ice. The south is flatter and unglaciated, with a weather station that houses about 30 people in the summer, all of whom work for the Norwegian Meteorological Institute or the Norwegian Armed Forces.

    Even though no mammals are native to Jan Mayen, the island is far from empty. Designated an Important Bird Area, a large number of seabirds flock to the steep cliffs and slopes to breed. The island supports birds such as the Northern Fulmar, Brünich’s guillemot, and the little auk.

    The waters around this this prime destination for birders are rich with life, too. If the weather is calm, catch sight of one of the numerous whale species found in these waters, or even seals having a feast in these rich fishing grounds.

    Visits to Jan Mayen are extremely rare for travelers. Hurtigruten is one of the few who attempt landings on this Arctic island. If we’re successful, you’ll set foot on one of Earth’s most remote places, taking in views rarely seen by human eyes. You’ll also feel the sense of peace that comes from being surrounded by such pristine nature.

    Day 8
    Jan Mayen Island

    The isolated Arctic island with an active volcano

  • Day 9
    At sea

    A relaxing day at sea

    Days at sea offer you an opportunity to really wind down. Take in the views in the panoramic Explorer Lounge as you relax with a drink in hand. For deeper relaxation, soak in a hot tub and recap the journey so far with your fellow travelers.

    If you’d rather work up a sweat, head to the gym on deck 7. Equipped with large windows, you can exercise with a full view of the stunning scenery outside.

    Join the Expedition Team in the Science Center to learn about what you’ll encounter in northern Iceland, the next leg of your expedition. Learn about Iceland’s stunning landscape, culture, and its populations’ belief in huldefólk (the Hidden People). Icelandic elves.

    Day 9
    At sea

    A relaxing day at sea

  • Day 10
    Akureyri

    Capital of Northern Iceland

    Akureyri is located near the base of the longest fjord in Iceland, Eyjafjörður. As we cruise along the fjord, enjoy incredible views of snow-capped mountain peaks and a lush coastline. The fertile waters here also make it one of the best places in the country for spotting whales and dolphins. Species including humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins, and harbor porpoises are regular visitors, although blue and fin whales as well as orcas are sometimes seen here, too.

    Nicknamed ‘Iceland’s Northern Capital’, Akureyri is a lively university town. With a population of almost 20,000, it’s the largest metropolitan area outside of the populated southwest region. There is plenty to delve into here, including tasty restaurants and cafés and interesting museums. Check out the Akureyri Museum, which gives you insight into how Icelanders used to live. The Norðurslóð Museum of natural history also features exhibitions about the local environment and the history of settlers.

    You’ll be astonished and delighted by the array of flowers and foliage at the Arctic Botanical Gardens. Its serene atmosphere is an oasis of lush green in the most unlikely of settings. While you’re exploring the town, check out the striking architecture of Akureyri Church, designed by the famous architect Guðjón Samúelsson.

    On an optional excursion outside of town, you can explore natural treasures that rank among Iceland’s must-see sights. At Goðafoss Waterfall, the ‘waterfall of the gods’, you’ll marvel at the translucent turquoise water pounding against immense black rocks.

    The unique and beautiful geology of Lake Mývatn is located within a highly active volcanic area and includes shimmering waters and otherworldly colors. It’s also a great place to watch for birds, especially Eider and Harlequinn Ducks. Watchers of the TV show Game of Thrones may also find a few familiar sites

    • Included Akureyri City Walk
    Day 10
    Akureyri

    Capital of Northern Iceland

  • Day 11
    Grímsey

    Step Across the Arctic Circle

    When people imagine a windswept, remote Icelandic isle, they’re probably thinking about Grímsey. We use small boats (RIBs) to reach this small, green, and grassy island. The only settlements here are located on the southern and western parts of the island—mostly around the little harbor. There are barely 60 residents!

    Grímsey is serene, beautiful, and steeped in folklore and legend. Legend has it that local fishermen are hardy because of Grímsey’s first settler, Grímur. Legend has it that he slew the giants and trolls who inhabited the island and took one of their daughters as his bride.

    Grímsey’s sheer cliffs are home to vast colonies of seabirds—outnumbering humans 17,000 to 1. The opportunity to see Atlantic Puffins, Grímsey’s iconic seabird species, is a major attraction for bird lovers.

    Grimsey may be best known for its proximity to the Arctic Circle, which cuts across the island—the only part of Iceland to do so. You’ll have the chance to step across that line.

    Explore the island by foot and hike to Orbis et Globus, a nine-ton concrete sphere that marks the edge of the Arctic Circle. The walk to the monument will allow you to take in the windswept scenery and do some birdwatching. The locals move the globe (which is nine-feet wide) a bit each year, since the Arctic Circle creeps slowly northward at a rate of about 48 feet per year.

    By 2050, Grímsey Island will lie outside the Arctic Circle!

    • Included Arctic Circle Crossing Ceremony
    Day 11
    Grímsey

    Step Across the Arctic Circle

  • Day 12
    Patreksfjörður

    West of the Westfjords

    When Örlygur Hrappsson saw this destination for the first time in the 9th century, he gave it a straightforward name: Patreksfjörður, meaning ‘the fjord of St. Patrick’, after his spiritual guide. The town’s appeal is just as simple; this settlement on the west coast of Iceland is utterly gorgeous.

    Discover the peace and silence of a tranquil fishing village. Serving as a fishing port as far back as the 16th century, this town is steeped in rich maritime history. Over the centuries, Patreksfjörður has served as a base for fishermen, merchants, and naval mariners from England, France, and Germany.

    Explore the lively harbor and learn about the town’s local fishing tradition and the different kinds of fish found in its waters. Or take a dip in the outdoor pool, a new addition to the town, where you can enjoy wonderful views over the fjord. The sheer beauty of this region makes hiking here a very rewarding activity, weather conditions permitting.

    On an optional excursion, you can visit Látrabjarg, Europe’s largest bird cliff and westernmost point. It is home to millions of birds, including puffins, Northern Gannets, guillemots, and razorbills. Birdwatching here is spectacular. Safe from Arctic foxes, the birds cling to the high cliffs, and offer excellent photo opportunities.

    Nearby, you also have the dream beach of Rauðisandur. In contrast to other beaches in Iceland with black volcanic sands, Rauðisandur offers rose–colored sand with golden hues.

    The Dynjandi Waterfalls are one of the big draws of this area, and it’s easy to see why. Six different cascades combine to make the largest waterfall in the Westfjords, with a cumulative height of 300 feet. In a country famed for its waterfalls, this is one of the most impressive.

    • Included Stroll through Europe’s westernmost village
    Day 12
    Patreksfjörður

    West of the Westfjords

  • Day 13
    Stykkishólmur

    Welcome to Sagaland

    Stykkishólmur (pronounced ‘Stikkish holmur’), is a small fishing town surrounded by views of the innumerable little isles of the picturesque Breiðafjörður Bay. With a population of only about 1,000 people, it has no traffic, and a laid-back pace, and gives the impression that time stands still here.

    Stykkishólmur’s most defining feature may be the well-preserved houses found in the old city center. Bursting with color, they stand in stark contrast to the distant mountain ranges. Many buildings have been repurposed: The former library is now an art installation, the old recreation center now hosts a volcano museum, and the seafood processing plant is now a restaurant that serves delicious fish soup.

    Another highlight of the town is the Norwegian House, named for the imported Norwegian wood used to build it in 1832. The Regional Museum of Snæfellsnes is based here, with rotating exhibitions and handicrafts for sale. For a lovely view of the town, hike to the top of the cliff with the little orange lighthouse.

    Most people come to see the fantastic Snæfellsnes Peninsula National Park. It’s nicknamed ‘Little Iceland’ because everything the country has to offer can be found here, including fjords, mountains, waterfalls, volcanoes, lava fields, and more.

    An optional excursion to Snæfellsnes will take you to some of its most iconic sights, such as the black-sand beach at Djúpalónssandur, where you can try to lift the ‘strength testing’ rocks placed there by Vikings. A word of warning, though! The heaviest rock weighs 340 lbs!

    Another stop is at the photogenic Lóndrangar basalt cliffs, where huge stacks of jagged rocks jut out of the sea. Interesting fact: The massive Snæfellsjökull volcano, which looms over the landscape, is the setting of Jules Verne’s classic sci-fi novel Journey to the Center of the Earth.

    • Included Stykkishólmur Discovery Walk
    Day 13
    Stykkishólmur

    Welcome to Sagaland

  • Day 14
    Reykjavík

    The End of the Adventure

    Our voyage of discovery ends in Reykjavík, the northernmost capital in the world. Reykjavík is both quaint and cosmopolitan. This small city is the perfect size for a walking tour, packed full of art, culture, and history.

    Stroll along Laugavegur, the main shopping street, filled with boutiques and outdoor shops, or head toward the architecturally striking Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral. Art lovers can visit the Reykjavík Art Museum, the National Gallery, and the many smaller galleries and museums that dot the city. From the comprehensive National Museum to the delightfully quirky Icelandic Punk Museum, you’re bound to find one or more museum to entertain and inform you.

    The abundance of geothermal energy in Iceland has forged a strong tradition of soaking in public swimming pools and smaller hot tubs, known as ‘heittur pottur’. To Icelanders, they’re the perfect way to relax and catch up with friends and relax after a long day. Reykjavik has 18 public swimming pools, many with saunas and heitur pottur.

    The list of possibilities doesn’t end there. Reykjavík means ‘Smoky Bay’ in English. It was named by the first Viking settlers, who saw steam rising from the surrounding geothermal features. You’ll be just hours from Iceland’s famous lagoons, geysers, hot springs, and waterfalls. We highly recommend booking a Post-Program to explore the surrounding area.

    The Golden Circle offers a route to three of Iceland’s most beloved attractions. Þingvellir National Park’s unique geology and natural features give it an almost otherworldly beauty. Nature’s raw power is on show at Iceland’s most treasured waterfall, Gullfoss. The Geysir geothermal area, with its multitude of hot springs, completes the trio.

    Whatever’s next for you, we wish you a safe onward journey and look forward to seeing you on your next adventure!

    Day 14
    Reykjavík

    The End of the Adventure

Departures

2022

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
July:
15.

2023

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
July:
12.

Available Promotions on This Itinerary:

  • 2022 Season: Save up to $ 2,084

    Get the whole family together on one of our expedition cruises! Whether you’re gazing at a fleet of frigate birds in the Galápagos; or watching a waddle of penguins… well, waddle, past you on the Antarctic Peninsula, this is one gift that definitely won’t be returned.
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  • 2023-2024 Season: Save up to 20%

    Don't wait, plan your next adventure with savings up to 30% off select 2023 and 2024 sailings. Life changing experiences start here, discover our new itineraries today!
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  • New Season

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What's Included

Included in Your Expedition

Flights

  • Flight in economy class from Oslo to Longyearbyen.

Hotel

  • Overnight in Longyearbyen before the expedition cruise, including breakfast and lunch

Transfers

  • All transfers in Longyearbyen include an excursion before the expedition cruise

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 restaurant Aune
  • Fine-dining À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm is included for suite guests
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Please note that Wi-Fi and phone reception are very limited in the remote areas where we travel and streaming is not supported. When in Svalbard, there is no Wi-Fi or cell coverage, except in Longyearbyen or Barentsburg.
  • 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 activities

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 projects
  • The onboard professional photographer will give tips and tricks for taking the best landscape and wildlife photos
  • The ship has hot tubs, a sauna, and an indoor gym
  • 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 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

Notes

  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change
  • Please ensure you meet all visa entry requirements
  • No gratuities are expected
MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo
MS Fram in Antarctica
Photo: Sandra Walser
Your Ship

MS Fram

Year built 2007
Year of refurbishment 2022
Shipyard Fincantieri, Italy
Passenger capacity 250 (200 in Antarctica)
Beds 276
Car capacity 0
Gross tonnage 11,647 T
Length 374 ft
Beam 66.3 ft
Speed 13 knots
MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo

The original Fram was the most famous explorer ship of its time and the achievements of her expeditions are unparalleled. The advanced technology on the MS Fram, in the spirit of the famous original, makes her exceptionally well suited for expedition cruises in polar regions.

Read more about MS Fram

Icebergs – one of many favorite photo motives when on an expedition with MS Fram
Photo: Tomas Mauch
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