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

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

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

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

Travel information 13 days MS Fram
Departure
May 28, 2023
Price from $ 10,485
$ 8,541
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

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

The Land of Ice and Fire

Your journey begins in Reykjavik, the world’s northernmost capital. Soak up the slow-paced life of remote fishing villages like Stykkishólmur and Patreksfjördur, which are situated close to many of Iceland’s famous lagoons, geysers, hot springs, and waterfalls. Then explore the scenic surroundings.

Rarely visited Arctic islands

Soak up the vibe of Iceland’s lively ‘northern capital’ Akureyri before changing pace in remote Grimsey, home to large colonies of Atlantic Puffins. On the vast island of Jan Mayen, see the imposing Mt. Beerenberg, the northernmost active volcano on the planet. Rugged terrain and unpredictable conditions make visitors to this isolated land rare. We are one of the few to attempt landings here.

Northwest Spitsbergen National Park in the Svalbard archipelago showcases Arctic beauty in all its rugged and pristine grandeur. Witness picturesque fjords, steep mountains, and beautiful islands while looking out for the wildlife. Your expedition ends in Longyearbyen, the town on top of the world. Get a taste of life this far north as you explore this one-of-a-kind town.

Iceland, Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen – Arctic Islands Discovery (Eastbound) Iceland, Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen – Arctic Islands Discovery (Eastbound)
  • Day 1
    Reykjavik

    The beginning of the adventure

    Our voyage of discovery begins in Reykjavik, the northernmost capital in the world. Reykjavik is quaint and cosmopolitan at the same time. This small city is the perfect size for a walking tour, packed full of art, culture and history.

    Take a stroll along Laugavegur, the main shopping street, with its boutiques and outdoor shops. Or head towards the architecturally striking Hallgrimskirkja Cathedral. Art lovers can visit the Reykjavik Art Museum, National Gallery and the many smaller galleries and museums dotting the city. From the comprehensive National Museum to the delightful Icelandic Punk Museum, you’re bound to find one or more to engage you.

    The abundance of geothermal energy sources in Iceland has forged a strong tradition of public bathing in swimming pools and hot tubs known as “heittur pottur” in Icelandic. They’re what pubs are to the British - a perfect way of catching up with friends and unwinding after a long day. Reykjavik has 18 public swimming pools, many with saunas and heitur pottur.

    Pre-Programme

    Why not book a Pre-Programme with us to spend some extra time discovering a few of Iceland’s natural highlights.  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 treasured waterfall Gullfoss. The Geysir geothermal area with its multitude of hot springs completes the trio.

    Day 1
    Reykjavik

    The beginning of the adventure

  • Day 2
    Stykkishólmur

    Iceland in miniature

    Stykkisholmur, pronounced ‘Stikkish – holmur’, is a small fishing town surrounded by views of innumerable islets in the picturesque Breiðafjörður Bay. With a population of roughly a thousand people, no traffic, and a laid-back, slow pace, it gives the impression of a place where time has stood still.

    Perhaps Stykkisholmur’s most defining feature is the well-preserved houses found in its old city centre. Bursting with colour, they stand out in contrast to the distant mountain ranges. Ingeniously repurposed, the former library is now an art installation, the old recreation centre now harbours a volcano museum, and the seafood processing plant is now a restaurant that serves delicious fish soup.

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

    Most people, however, come here to see the fantastic Snæfellsnes Peninsula National Park. It’s nicknamed ‘Little Iceland’ as 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 – if you’re feeling energetic – you can try your hand at lifting the ‘strength testing’ rocks placed there by Vikings. A word of warning though: the heaviest rock weighs around 340 lb!

    Another stop is at the Lóndrangar basalt cliffs where huge stacks of jagged rock jut photogenically out of the sea. Interesting fact: the massive Snæfellsjökull volcano, which looms over the landscape, is the setting of the classic sci-fi novel Journey to the Centre of the Earth, by Jules Verne.

    • Included Stykkishólmur Discovery Walk
    Day 2
    Stykkishólmur

    Iceland in miniature

  • Day 3
    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 seabird 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 dreamy 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 3
    Patreksfjörður

    West of the Westfjords

  • Day 4
    Akureyri

    Capital of northern Iceland

    Akureyri is located near the base of the longest fjord in Iceland, Eyjafjörður. As we cruise along the fjord, you’ll have incredible views of snow-capped peaks and lush coastline. The fertile waters here make it one of the best places in the country to spot whales and dolphins. Species including humpback whales, white-beaked dolphins and harbour porpoises are regular visitors, although orcas and blue and fin whales have been 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 the populated southwest region, meaning there’s plenty to delve into here including some top-notch eateries and museums. Check out the Akureyri Museum, which gives you an insight into how Icelanders used to live. The Nordurslod Museum of natural history also combines exhibitions about the local environment and the history of settlers.

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

    On an optional excursion outside town, you can explore natural treasures often considered some of the must-see sights in Iceland. At Goðafoss waterfall, nicknamed ‘waterfall of the gods,’ you’ll have the chance to see translucent turquoise water pounding against immense black rocks.

    Located within a highly active volcanic area, Lake Mývatn has unique and beautiful geology, with shimmering waters and otherworldly colours. It’s also a great place for birds; Eider and Harlequinn Ducks in particular. Watchers of hit series Game of Thrones may recognise it.

    • Included Akureyri City Walk
    Day 4
    Akureyri

    Capital of northern Iceland

  • Day 5
    Grímsey

    Step across the Arctic Circle

    When people imagine a windswept, remote Icelandic isle, they’re probably thinking about Grimsey. We'll use our expedition boats to reach this small, green and grassy island. With barely 60 people living here, the only settlements are located on the southern and western parts - mostly around the little harbour.

    Grimsey is serene, beautiful, and steeped in folklore and legend. The hardiness of the local fishermen is attributed to Grimsey’s first settler, Grímur. Legend has it he slew the giants and trolls who inhabited the island and took one of their daughters as his bride.

    Grimsey’s sheer cliffs are home to vast colonies of sea birds – outnumbering humans 17,000 to 1 – and in summer, the intrepid islanders will abseil down them to collect the eggs that are considered a local delicacy. The chance to see Atlantic Puffins, the iconic seabird species of Grimsey, is a major attraction for bird lovers.

    Grimsey is probably 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.

    You can explore the island on foot and hike to the ‘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 observe birds. The nine-foot globe is moved a bit each year by the locals as the Arctic Circle creeps slowly northwards at a rate of about 48 feet a year.

    By 2050, Grimsey Island will lie outside the Arctic – more reason to visit now.

    • Included Arctic Circle Crossing Ceremony
    Day 5
    Grímsey

    Step across the Arctic Circle

  • Day 6
    At sea

    A relaxing day at sea

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

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

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

    As our journey gets underway, why not spend some time getting to know the crew and your fellow explorers. Strike up a conversation at the bar and see what you have in common with your shipmates!

    Day 6
    At sea

    A relaxing day at sea

  • Day 7
    Jan Mayen Island

    Isolated Arctic island with an active volcano

    In the middle of the Norwegian Sea, Jan Mayen stands shrouded in mist. It’s a snow-capped mountainous island streaked with lush mosses and lichens, which almost seem to glow green against the black rock. This volcanic isle is about as remote as you can get. It’s an untouched wilderness with a surreal atmosphere and no permanent residents, making it 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’s mostly covered in ice, and last erupted in 1985. 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.

    Although there are no mammals native to Jan Mayen, the island is far from empty. Designated an Important Bird Area, large numbers of seabirds flock to the steep cliffs and slopes to breed. The island supports populations of birds including the Northern Fulmar, Brünich’s Guillemot and Little Auk.

    Not just a prime destination for birders, the waters around Jan Mayen are rich with life too. If the weather is calm, you might be able to see one of a number of whale species nearby, or even seals having a feast in these rich fishing grounds. For travellers, visits to Jan Mayen are extremely rare, and Hurtigruten are one of the few to attempt landings on this Arctic island. If we’re successful, you’ll be setting foot on one of Earth’s most remote places, taking in views seen by few others. You’ll also feel the sense of peace that comes from being surrounded by such pristine nature.

    Day 7
    Jan Mayen Island

    Isolated Arctic island with an active volcano

  • Day 8
    At sea

    A relaxing day at sea

    Days at sea are an opportunity to wind down. Recline in the panoramic Explorer Lounge, drink in hand, and take in the view. For even deeper relaxation, soak in a hot tub and recap the journey so far with your shipmates. 

    On the other hand, if you’d rather work up a sweat, head to the gym on Deck 7.  Equipped with large windows, you can work out knowing you’re not missing out on any of the stunning scenery outside.

    Join the Expedition Team in the Science Center to learn about what you’ll encounter in Svalbard, the next leg of your expedition. You may learn about Svalbard’s stunning landscape, rich explorer history and rare wildlife.

    Day 8
    At sea

    A relaxing day at sea

  • Day 9-12
    North West Spitsbergen National Park

    Adventures in an Arctic wilderness

    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 one of those rare parts of the world where natural beauty and fascinating history combine. Here, you’ll find the largest concentration of graves, blubber ovens and other cultural relics from Svalbard’s first explorers.

    Weather and sea conditions will determine which areas we’ll 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 mountain formations, you might catch sight of glaciers calving icebergs into the sea. 

    We may also call on Ny-Ålesund, a culturally rich former mining town now transformed into an international science hub. With a picturesque mix of old and new buildings, it hosts a variety of research stations from different countries dedicated to the study of glaciology, wildlife, and climate change.

    The north-west corner of Spitsbergen is a magnet for birdwatchers in the summer months. You’ll also scan for wildlife, including whales, bearded seals, walruses, Svalbard reindeer and the ‘Lord of the Arctic’ himself, the mighty polar bear. With a bit of luck, you’ll be able to 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 expedition boats to come ashore for hiking, participating in a beach clean-up or launching our kayaks.

    Day 9-12
    North West Spitsbergen National Park

    Adventures in an Arctic wilderness

  • Day 13
    Longyearbyen

    Lively Frontier Town in the High Arctic

    Your Arctic adventure around Svalbard is over for this time. As you wind down from your expedition, you’ll have some time to look back on all your new memories, still holding onto that elated feeling of having just been quite literally near the “top of the world.”

    After saying goodbye to the ship and its crew, you’ll take a transfer to the airport for your flight. If you want to spend more time in Longyearbyen, you can extend your stay with one of our Post-Programmes to really get to know the area.

    In Longyearbyen, you’ll find many places hold the record for being the most north anything. The world’s northernmost cinema, church, library, high school, supermarket – they’re all here. You can chalk off each landmark with a customary selfie.

    If you have the time, grab some souvenirs from the local shops before heading home. A toasty Svalbard sweater or a box of local handmade chocolates would make a wonderful gift for family and friends. Svalbard is a duty-free zone and Longyearbyen has a selection of sports and outdoor clothing shops, so you could stock up on supplies for your next adventure!

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

    Day 13
    Longyearbyen

    Lively Frontier Town in the High Arctic

Departures

2023

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What's Included

Included in Your Expedition

Transfers

  • Transfer from the ship to the airport in Longyearbyen after the expedition cruise

Flights

  • Flight in economy class from Longyearbyen to Oslo after 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

  • 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 can meet all entry and boarding 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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