Arctic islands expedition
Most people do island hopping in Greece or the Caribbean - explorers go hopping in the Arctic!
This is an expedition where the elements rule, and the weather, wind and ice conditions will determine our schedule. Safety is paramount and the captain will decide the final sailing itinerary during the voyage. Hence, this itinerary is just an indication of what you can experience, and why every expedition with Hurtigruten is unique.
At a latitude of nearly 70 degrees north, the same as Alaska and Siberia, you find Tromsø, beautifully set in a landscape of islands, fjords and mountain peaks. It is the capital of Northern Norway and the largest city in the Nordic countries north of the Arctic Circle. Tromsø is a lively, colourful town rich in Arctic history. In spring the extended daylight lasts nearly 24 hours. Tromsø is often referred to as the Gateway to the Arctic. In the early days, explorers, hunters and polar seafarers roamed the streets of the city. Wives and children waved good-bye to those who sail northbound to spend the winter in Spitsbergen or North-East Greenland. Young, ambitious explorers like Roald Amundsen came to town to recruit capable hands for future adventures. And your adventure starts here as well.
Halfway between the Norwegian mainland and Spitsbergen you find the small island of Bjørnøya. The first you will observe is its 400 meters high mountain walls rising straight out of the sea and distinctive spires and arches located along the southern coast. As we sail further north you’ll see that the rest of the island is flat. We will attempt a rare landing on this iconic island.
Majestic peaks and dramatic fjords make our visit to Hornsund special. It is the southernmost fjord in Svalbard. Traces of human activity spanning 400 years can be found at almost all landing sites. The relatively small fjord has a long tradition in the Hurtigruten history. The old steamer D/S Lyngen had scheduled stops here to serve trappers in the area. Hornsund's stronghold ended in 1973 when hunting for polar bear was prohibited in all Arctic countries.
Ny-Ålesund is the northernmost community with year-round activity. Scientists from around 15 countries come here to undertake their research. You will find a local museum exhibiting the history of the place, the world’s northernmost post office as well as a small café and a souvenir shop.
Longyearbyen is truly a fascinating place, and today you will probably find it even more intriguing. Every nation has a national day, but not all of them celebrate as enthusiastically as the Norwegians do on their Constitution Day, May 17th . There are no military parades, but colourful processions of marching bands and children carrying flags and banners. You will see people in beautiful folk costumes called "bunad". The different designs are typically elaborate, with embroidery, scarves, shawls and hand-made jewellery, indicating where in Norway the wearer's ancestry lies. Almost all of Longyearbyen's 2,100 inhabitants take part in the procession - and you are welcome to join too. MS Fram will bring their banner and Norwegian flags. Ice cream, food, cakes and drinks are also a big part of the celebration.
This is an ideal day to participate in expert lectures from our expedition team.
Jan Mayen is the most isolated island in the Northern Hemisphere. The closest land mass is Iceland some 600 kilometres away and Norway, almost 1000 kilometres to the east. The volcano Beerenberg is the northernmost active volcano on earth and had its last eruption in 1985. It is also one of the highest mountains in Norway with its perfectly coned shape and a summit at 2277 meters above sea level. In the 16th century Dutch whalers operated out of Jan Mayen and today a Norwegian weather station occupies a few souls all year round having mail dropped from a plane occasionally. Tourist visits to Jan Mayen are extremely rare, and arrivals by boat even rarer. We will do our best to make it possible to set foot on this exotic outpost. This will be an experience of a lifetime.
Spending a day on sea is great for relaxing, sorting photos and enjoying lectures.
Ísafjörður is a destination of excellence and the ideal place for spotting wildlife in their natural habitats. It’s a must-see for any serious explorer. Take a stroll around this cosy town and enjoy its diverse architecture. You'll find the country's oldest dwelling here, along with other fine examples of timber houses built by wealthy foreign traders in the 18th century. We offer several optional excursions to let you discover this area.
The Reykjavik area is great for recreational activities. The dramatic, rugged landscape features volcanic craters, caves, lava fields, geothermal waters and hot springs. A variety of restaurants, museums, churches, lighthouses and festivals add a surprisingly rich cultural offering.
Small boat cruises in SvalbardExcursion Spitsbergen (1-2 hours in Polarcirkel Boat) From 119 €
Kayaking, SvalbardExcursion Spitsbergen (2-4 hours) From 119 €
Arctic Sky and Ice on SvalbardExcursion Spitsbergen (Starting at 23:00, stay as long as you want during the night) From 19 €
Horse riding in ÞingeyriExcursion Iceland, Isafjordur (Approx. 4 hours) From 163 €
Savour the flavour of SuðureyriExcursion Iceland, Isafjordur (Approx. 3 hours) From 87 €
Vigur Paradise IslandExcursion Iceland, Vigur Island (Approx. 3 hours) From 103 €
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Wonderful few days to Spitsbergen. Scenery was fantastic. Guides were pleasant enthusiastic and informative. The trips ashore on the Polarcirkel boats were well organised and very interesting telling us some of the history of Spitsbergen. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.Anonymous
Thoroughly enjoyed walking around Longyearbyen, visiting wonderful museum and eating some excellent food. We managed to traverse the pack ice and that part of the voyage was awesome. We witnessed a polar bear devouring a seal, also awesome.Mr Newman , Ascot England