The volcanic Island on the mid-Atlantic Ridge
Information about Jan Mayen
Not part of Greenland, this is a volcanic Island on the mid-Atlantic Ridge that ships often visit it on route between Svalbard and Iceland as part of the cruise. However, it is a bit of detour south for ships heading across from Svalbard to the very NE of Greenland, with the chance to explore the ice edge as they approach the East Greenland current, an area where they might encounter Walrus and Polar Bears on the sea ice (both more elusive when exploring NE Greenland), and even Narwhal and Bowhead Whales on the edge of the sea ice.
For ships that do sail past or visit Jan Mayen, it is a volcanic island on the mid-Atlantic ridge, like Iceland to the SW. It is great for a range of breeding seabirds, and for whale watching.
Pictures of Jan Mayen
Highlights Close to Jan Mayen
Located at the mouth of Kempe Fjord in the northern end of King Oscar Fjord. With the larger islands to the east such as Geographical Society Island.
It is in the middle of the King Oscar Fjord and Kaiser Franz Joseph Fjord ‘complex’ that matches Scoresbysund to the south. It is a great area to explore with stunning scenery, often the first Greenland landscape that many cruise ships experience that have come across from Svalbard, and you may even find wolf tracks on walks ashore. But expeditions tend to spend more time in Scoresbysund since the entrance to this fjord system can be blocked off by sea-ice drifting south in the cold southern flowing East Greenland current.
Sheer sided fjord on the south side of Milneland. Great ship cruising, often as part of the circumnavigation of Milneland.
Denmarkøya, on the south-east side of Milne Island, is the location of a group of small islands with landing potential at the end of Føhnfjord, at a position between the deeper fjord systems and the open ‘bay’ of Scoresbysund. The popular landing here is Hekla Havn, named after the expedition ship used by Carl Ryder when the expedition explored NE Greenland from 1891 to 92. As well as the hut remains from the expedition, there are older Innuit remains, as well as good tundra walks, wildlife, and some great geology.
Close to the entrance of Scoresbysund and the only community on the NE coast.
This small community is one of the remotest in the World, set up by Denmark (with Greenlanders brought in from other parts of Greenland) to mark sovereignty, with the concern (at the time) that emerging nation of Norway might make a claim with hunters visiting the area.
It is the one chance to visit and experience a community in NE Greenland.
A large and rugged island with steep cliffs, well into SW Scoresbysund that can be circumnavigated with access to several deeper fjord systems with glaciers coming down from the Greenland ice sheet.
Starting from the open sound (the actual area named Scoresbysund) and going in a clockwise direction from the Bear Islands: Ofjord to Storo island, then Rodefjord, then Føhnfjord back to the islands of Denmarkøya. Great ship and Zodiac cruising (even over several days), plus the chance of some landings. Spectacular ship cruising, Greenland at its best and a 'destination' within a destination with numerous highlights.
Much of the area has steep sided fjords, but where there are slopes with tundra, look at for Musk-ox.
Isolated fjord, is to the north of the Arctic Circle, and isolated between Scoresbysund further to the north, and the numerous fjords of the SE coast.
The ice sheet comes even closer to the coast here with the Christian IV Glacier at the head of the fjord. Often lots of ice in the fjord, and the isolated location, this has to be one of the best locations in Greenland to try and find a Polar Bear. Some visit this fjord after visiting NE Greenland and before heading to Iceland.
The cruises crossing the Denmark Strait can be great for seabirds and whale watching, including the Northern Bottle-nosed Whale in the seas associated with the continental slope.
Stunning narrow and steep sided fjord that comes down from the north-west, deep in Scoresbysund, Fjord fed by several glaciers including the Daugaard-Jensen Glacier with massive icebergs floating down the fjord. Great ship cruising and excellent Zodiac cruising amongst the huge icebergs.
There is the chance of seeing seals, and, if you are very lucky, a seabird, but bear in mind they are quite shy. Although the location is a long way from Ittoqqortoormiit, hunters do get into the remoter regions of the fjord system, and it means wildlife can be be wary.
Just before reaching the mouth of the fjord there are some areas of tundra that can be good for Musk-Ox.
Rodefjord and Rode island
Spectacular fjord on western side of Milne Island, red rocks contrasting with huge white icebergs floating down the fjord.
As well as ship and Zodiac cruising there is the chance to go ashore on Rode island - and climb to the top and look down on an iceberg graveyard in the red terrain. Many icebergs drift down from Vestfjord. Awesome!
Rypefjord & Terrassepynt
Rugged fjord that comes in from the North-West into Ofjord near Storo island, deep in Scoresbysund.
Great ship and Zodiac cruising with huge icebergs carving from the impressive Eielson glacier at the head of the fjord. Compared to many steep sided coasts in the region there is the chance for a landing at Terrassepynt. To climb up the tundra slope and look down at the fjord and the glacier at the head. Also great for Musk Ox.
The most westerly fjord, deep in the Scoresbysund that ‘splits’ into Rodefjord and Føhnfjord around Milneland.
Two large glaciers coming off the icesheet terminate in Vestfjord, Døde Bræ and Vestfjord Glacier, split by a nunatak reaching a height of 2,468 m (8,097 ft). The glaciers can carve so many icebergs it can be a challenge to get into the fjord at times. But still spectacualr scenery at the entrance.