Spitsbergen is the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago, which we will attempt to circumnavigate on this voyage. Lying entirely within the Arctic Circle, it is rugged, wild, unspoiled—utterly unforgettable. When it comes to viewing Arctic wildlife Spitsbergen is known as one of the most prolific destinations. Offering one of the world’s best opportunities to view polar bears, you’ll be able to see the world’s largest carnivores in their natural habitat. Walrus populations love Spitsbergen as well, feeding in the food-rich icy waters around the island. Whales and seabirds will entertain you during the sailing portions of the expedition, while you may catch a sighting of reindeer or Arctic fox when taking Zodiac excursions to land.
Discover the ethereal beauty of Iceland—element sculpted landscapes, mighty glaciers, and geothermal hotspots—while offshore, rock pinnacles serve as the seasonal home for thousands of nesting seabirds. Meet the citizens of colorful fishing villages; cruise by Zodiac beneath emerald hillsides laced with waterfalls; and walk among ruins that recall the heyday of Viking exploration. In the capital of Reykjavík explore the fabled Golden Circle—Thingvellir National Park; Gullfoss waterfall; and the Geysir Center. Your exploration of Greenland begins in Scoresbysund where, for two days, (weather permitting) search for the wildlife that lives among the glittering icebergs or on the wildflower-carpeted tundra. Sailing southward, explore coves and inlets of the pristine coast by Zodiac and visit millennia-old Norse sites and thriving local villages, including Nuuk, the world’s smallest capital. Prins Christian Sund is a photographer’s heaven with cliff-hugging frozen waterfalls and towering volcanoes. And, as you sail the length of Kangerlussuaq Fjord, witness the breathtaking spectacle of sheer vertical cliffs, massive glaciers, and elegant icebergs.