North Atlantic Expedition on board the Ocean Albatros
An epic 12-day expedition cruise showcasing the uniqueness of the Arctic
North Atlantic Expedition
Iceland’s West Coast With Snaefellness
Jan Mayen island
Guided Nature hikes
Ny Ålesund And Ny London
The Polartours experience
Get really close to the North Pole
Expert guides answer all questions
Cruise among the Arctic wildlife
Free photography workshop
This voyage is the perfect chance to experience the Arctic region's early summer splendour. You can look forward to magnificent scenery on some of the northernmost islands of the planet. After embarking at Reykjavik onboard Albatros Expeditions’ modern vessel, the Ocean Albatros, we begin our spectacular voyage towards the high Arctic as we depart from Iceland’s volcanic wonderland. Along our way, we have planned landings at an incredible three Arctic islands: Iceland (Grimsey), Jan Mayen, and Spitsbergen. Our first days will take us by the ragged cliffs of the Icelandic western and northern coasts, including planned visits at the famed “Iceland in miniature”, Snaefellness and the large fjord, Ísafjarðardjúp. From here, we hope to make a call on the enigmatic island of Jan Mayen before we make landfall at the glaciated islands of Svalbard. We travel in the early summer; which means the air is filled with migrating birds – and the sun never sets. When approaching Svalbard, we will scout for sea mammals and even seal-hunting polar bears on the pack ice. The spring and early summer allows us to enjoy the immense beauty of Svalbard on this high Arctic adventure voyage among whales, walruses and millions of sea birds.
There are few wilder, more magnificent and untouched places than the Arctic Islands of the North Atlantic! And few ships better suited than Ocean Albatros for such a voyage.
We compensate all 3.12 tons of CO2 that this trip will cause.
Your ship: Ocean Albatros
Welcome aboard the brand new Ocean Albatros. This stunning, purpose-built polar cruise ship will be deployed to a large selection of expedition cruise destinations, Antarctica, the Arctic, and a variety of exciting new destinations in between.
Ocean Albatros offers a total of 95 comfortable staterooms and suites, all with unobstructed sea view, and most with their own balcony. Like her sistership, the Ocean Victory, her amenities include two restaurants, a wellness area, the “Albatros Nordic Bar”, an open deck dining facility, a modern lecture lounge, and other state-of-the-art amenitie … Read more about Ocean Albatros
Keep in mind this is an expedition cruise, so your itinerary will depend greatly on the weather, amount of ice and wildlife breeding behavior.
Adventure options during the cruise
Arrive in Reykjavik embark and start your adventure!
Iceland, the West Coast.
In the morning, we sail along the 100-kilometre long peninsula Snaefellsnes, which with its dramatic cliff coast, hardened lava floods, sandy beaches and volcanic peaks, is a picture of Iceland in mini-format.
We round the nest on the peninsula and can enjoy the view of the nearly 1,500-metre-high snow-covered volcano, Snæfellsjökull, which was the centre of Jules Verne's novel, "The Journey To The Center Of The Earth". The volcano with the almost perfect cone shape and the surrounding area became in 2001 the Snæfellsjökull National Park.
We will attempt a landing at Snaefellsnes.
In the afternoon we will pass Iceland’s westernmost point and the huge bird cliffs of Latraberg.
Iceland's rugged West Fjords
In the morning, we sail around Iceland's rugged West Fjords, possibly into Isafjardardjúp to enjoy the view of the steep mountains and see the terrific aerobatics of the Arctic terns.
During the day as we leave Isafjardardjúp and sail towards the West Fjords, which always offer one unforgettable experience after another. We finish the day sailing along the coast of Hornstrandir, the northernmost part of the West Fjords. From here, there are only 300 kilometres to the eastern coast of Greenland. In 1975, the area was converted into nature reserves, and currently has some of the strictest rules to protect the peculiar and fragile nature. Along the coast, there are good opportunities to see whales and seals, and the mountainside is alive with the rich bird life. We continue as we pass Hornvik Bay, which is considered one of the most beautiful places in Iceland, where we can see two of the largest bird cliffs in Europe where millions of seabirds breed.
We continue along the northern coast towards Siglufjordur and Grimsey.
Siglufjordur and crossing the Arctic Circle at Grimsey
In the afternoon, we will have arrived at the island of Grimsey, which is located about 40 kilometres from the mainland and is the only part of Iceland with an Arctic designation. The Polar circle crosses the island at 66 ° 33 'N, and gives the island one full day of 24-hour sunlight every year in June.
Over 100 inhabitants reside in the little rocky island, all living close to the harbour in the only city on the island. The fishing banks in the surrounding seas make the economy flourish, the port is expanded, and there is a small airport with daily flights to the mainland and a school for the children. The island has been inhabited right back from the settlement of Iceland and is mentioned in the sagas as an important land, rich in fish and birds.
The seabirds far exceed the number of inhabitants on Grímsey, and bird cries can be heard 24 hours a day over the bright Arctic summer. Up to 36 different species breed on the island and have their nests on the rocks. One of Iceland's largest tern colonies is here, and it is said that the runway must be cleared for terns before the aircraft can land.
We’ll attempt landing by Zodiacs to experience the local life and explore the island's bird life.
At sea towards Jan Mayen
During our voyage, our lecturers onboard will make inspiring and enriching presentations about Arctic history and nature, wildlife and climatology.
Explore Jan Mayen
Approximately in the middle of the North Atlantic lies the enigmatic volcanic island of Jan Mayen. And if not exactly in the middle, at least it is located precisely on the Mid Atlantic Ridge, the reason for its volcanic existence. And enigmatic it is, not only because of its isolation but also due to the almost perpetual clouds and fog that hovers above it. Jan Mayen belongs to Norway, and the mountain, Beerenberg is one of the higher of Norway’s 300 summits above 2,000 metres.
The island is inhabited by only 18 persons, running the meteorological station and the Norwegian Defense. We will try to go ashore at the narrowest part of the island, from either south or north, depending on the prevailing wind and surf. The volcanic origin is visible all over with cinder cones, lava flows and the Mount Fuji-like appearance of Beerenberg looming above.
Travel north exploring Svalbard
Svalbard in Sight, in search for whales
We are getting closer towards the islands of Svalbard, but we will first spend some time southwest of the islands - around the continental shelf. This area is rich in krill and gives us the best chance of spotting whales feasting.
During the night the ship will sail north along the coast of Spitsbergen.
NY Ålesund and NY London
We enter the beautiful Kongs Fjord, renowned for its former mining settlement and captivating beauty. Our first destination is Ny Ålesund - a scientific research centre situated even further north than Longyearbyen, though it can be argued whether this constitutes an actual town. Our captain will do their best to bring the boat close to the shore, allowing us to explore the area on foot.
Our next destination is the abandoned marble mining settlement of Ny London. It experienced a brief but eventful existence, beginning in a flurry of mining activity reminiscent of the Klondike Gold Rush before being crippled by wars and financial losses just nine years later. We can still see the remains of workshops, locomotives, and cranes that tell the story of the ambitious yet failed enterprise.
Observe whales close to Smeerenburg
We have now entered North West Svalbard, which was declared a national park in 1973. The day could begin with a cruise in Danskergattet, looking for seals in Virgohamna, before crossing from Danskøya to Amsterdamøya to make a landing at Smeerenburg, the legendary whaling town of the 17th century. 200-plus men were living – and quite often dying – here in the heyday of blubber production.
There are several interesting places to visit in this northwestern corner of Spitsbergen. If conditions allow, we’ll make a landing on Ytre Norskøya, where whalers would have their lookout posts.
Isfjorden and Longyearbyen
Located on the west side of Spitsbergen, Isfjorden is the second-longest fjord of the Norwegian archipelago, Svalbard. At the fjord entrance stand Alkhornet and Daudmannsøyra, a coastal plain. Parts of Isfjorden is included in the Nordre Isfjorden Land National Park of Norway. It is surrounded by several large settlements in Svalbard, including Barentsburg, Longyearbyen (on the Adventfjorden) and Pyramiden.
We aim to have a final landing along the coast, before we navigate towards Longyearbyen. We might land at Longyearbyen by evening.
Remnants of former mining stations can be seen along the way.
Arrive in Longyearbyen, disembarkation
Dates & Prices
- 30% Discount
Preferred date unavailable? Contact us
Single Cabin Supplement
When booking online, you can choose the option to "Upgrade to single occupancy". This will guarantee you the whole cabin to yourself, for an additional fee. If you don't select this option, then another traveler of the same sex might be placed into the same cabin with you.
12-day/11-night cruise on Ocean Albatros in a shared outside double stateroom with a private bathroom in the category chosen
Local transport in Longyearbyen on day 12
English-speaking expedition staff
Near-port walks with the expedition team
Nature hikes and Zodiac cruises per itinerary
Information briefings and lectures by the expedition team
Special photo workshop
Full board on the ship
Dinner drink package
Free coffee, tea, and afternoon snacks on the ship
Welcome and farewell cocktails
Taxes, tariffs, and landing fees
Digital visual journal link after the voyage, including voyage log, gallery, species list, and more
What's not included
International flight to Aberdeen
Extra excursions and activities not mentioned in the itinerary
Single room supplement and cabin upgrades
Meals not on board the ship
Beverages (other than coffee and tea and dinner-drink package)
Tips for the crew (we recommend USD 14 per person per day)
Transfer to the ship in Reykjavik
Travel, cancellation, and senior insurance
Anything not mentioned under ’Inclusions’
Should I Cross the Drake Passage by Ship or Fly to Antarctica?
When it comes to traveling to Antarctica, one of the first questions that often arises is, "Can I fly to Antarctica?". The answer is: Yes, you can. Most trips start in Patagonia (Ushuaia and Punta Arenas) and cross the Drake Passage by ship, but there are also trips that use planes to cross that infamous sea passage. Here are the Pros and Cons for each method:
Flying to Antarctica:
Pros: Flying to Antarctica is the quickest way to reach the continent. It offers convenience and is often the choice for those with very limited time.
Cons: There are limited commercial flights to Antarctica, and these are primarily reserved for research and expedition purposes. Tourist accessibility is limited, and it can be costly. Also, as not many trips include flights, you'll be limiting your choice a lot if you decide to only look for such trips.
Crossing the Drake Passage by ship:
Pros: If you choose to cross the Drake Passage by ship, you embark on an incredible adventure. This journey is not just a means of transportation; it's an expedition in itself. The crossing takes 1.5 - 2 days, which are filled with scientific lectures that prepare you for the experience. You'll witness diverse wildlife, including penguins and whales, as your anticipation starts building up. To us, the crossing is a quintessential experience of a true Antarctic explorer.
Cons: Crossing the Drake Passage takes some time, and the seas can be rough. It's not the quickest way to reach the continent, and you need to allocate more time for your expedition.
In conclusion, when it comes to traveling to Antarctica, you have these two choices. Flying offers efficiency and direct access, perfect for specific purposes. Crossing the Drake Passage by ship provides an unmatched adventure and connection with Antarctica's unique environment. Consider what truly matters to you, and you'll find the Antarctic transportation choice that suits your goals and spirit of exploration.
What activities can I expect on a Polar Cruise?
All cruises in the polar regions operate to itineraries that are more-or-less fixed. We say "more or less", because wildlife (breeding, seasonality) and weather always play an important role in routing. Most cruises will offer a range of land-based and water-based activities that you will enjoy at various points in your cruise, including:
- Land excursions (including hiking trails, visitor centers, time relaxing on beaches, observing animals, etc.)
- Bird Watching
- Snorkeling (from ship or beaches)
- Dinghy rides
- Diving (on ships with diving itineraries)
- Naturalist presentations. These usually take place every evening - on board the bigger ships also with help of projectors, microscopes etc.
All boats carry English speaking, scientifically trained guides. They will lead you on your excursions, allowing you to learn as much as possible about the unique wildlife and habitats of the Polar Regions.
How to choose the right ship?
Choosing the right ship for a cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic seems difficult, but it doesn't have to be. Our fleet is over 30 vessels, we are sure that there is the perfect one for you. Please, follow these simple steps, and you will be able to find your ideal ship:
- Determine your budget and desired level of comfort: Are you looking for luxury or more budget-friendly options? On our website you can set the price range.
- Consider ship size: Large ships offer more amenities and facilities, but they can also feel crowded and impersonal. Smaller ships offer a more personal experience, but may not have as many amenities.
- Look at the cabins: Although you probably won’t spend much time in your cabin, look at the photos and read the descriptions to make sure you're happy with the one you choose.
- Consider the activities on board: Are you interested in kayaking, camping, diving or a photography workshop? Or maybe you want to take part in a Citizen Science Program? These activities can enhance your overall experience. See what our ships have to offer.
- Read customer reviews: Learn about other travelers' experiences by reading reviews.
- Ask your Polar Specialist: Feel free to contact your Polar Specialist. They are happy to share their knowledge and are always ready to help.
In addition: We work with responsible partners who provide a great experience for their passengers. All of our providers are committed to sustainability and to preserving the beauty of the polar regions. You don’t need to worry about the impact of your cruise, because we’ve already taken care of it.
What is the booking process for a Polartours Cruise?
We love to help people find their dream vacation to the Arctic and Antarctic. Whether you give us a call, contact us via email, or use our website inquiry form, one of our Polar travel experts will be more than happy to answer any questions, recommend ships and itineraries, and walk you through the whole process!
Step 1: Find your perfect trip. If you have already started looking for Polar Cruises, you will have quickly noticed that the sheer amount of options can be quite overwhelming. To help you navigate the countless departures and itineraries that our fleet offers, we have put together a great filter page for Antarctic and Arctic Expedition Cruises. Use this page to filter all trips by price, date, ship category, and even destinations you wish to visit. We update all dates, prices, and availabilities daily, and are proud to host what is doubtlessly the world's most complete collection of information.
Step 2: Found something you love? We'll hold your spaces, free of charge! If you find a cruise you like, you can either inquire directly with us or make an unbinding booking online. We will then reach out to the shipowners to put a hold on your spaces for a limited time, free of charge. Once we have confirmed your block with the ship, we will send you a written confirmation of your reservation and include full payment details in an invoice. Typically, we are able to hold unpaid reservations for up to 1 week*. This gives us time to clarify all your remaining questions, and also ensures that no other passengers can book your spaces, while we continue our conversation.
Step 3: Confirm your booking. In order to confirm your booking, we ask for a deposit payment. You can pay via bank transfer or credit card. Keep in mind, that we can only hold your spaces for a limited amount of time. If we don't receive your payment after this time, we can no longer guarantee that the places will be available or that the price won't increase. To prevent disappointment, we will automatically cancel your reservation if we don't receive your deposit by the due date stated on your booking reservation.
Step 4: Booking confirmation & Payment. As soon as we have received your deposit and a completed passenger information form, we will be pleased to send your booking confirmation and updated invoice, along with your trip itinerary, important information, and other great tips for your cruise.
Step 5: Final payment. In your initial invoice, we will define a final payment date by when you need to pay us the remaining amount of your trip. Once we have received your final payment we'll send you your cruise documents and voucher. As your trip approaches, we make sure to pass along all necessary information, so you feel super prepared and stress-free.
*For last-minute bookings, we might not be able to hold your spaces for so long. We will also require the full payment of your cruise upon booking.
When is the best time to book?
An expedition cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic is a big deal! Most people plan for this type of trip at least 8 months in advance. This means the earlier you book, the better chance you'll have to reserve your prefered cabins. Early bird discounts are also popular and a great way to get 10-30% off your cruise.
Most expedition cruises offer optional activities like camping and kayaking, but the spaces are limited. A cruise with 120 passengers can have only 10-15 spaces for kayaking. These are reserved on a first come first served basis. The earlier you book, the higher your chance of grabbing a spot.
Even though last minute deals do occur, keep in mind that the airline prices will be much higher if you purchase them last minute. You may save a few hundred on your cruise, but you may end up paying the most for airfare.
What can i do to avoid seasickness?
If you are prone to motion sickness then here are a few hints to help you.
Firstly, book a cabin in the middle of the ship. The middle of the ship will move less, both in roll and in pitch. Secondly, chose a larger ship. Bigger vessels typically are more stable, and some of them are even equipped with "stabilizers", fins under water that remove the rolling in the swells. Thirdly, take medical advice on anti-seasickness medication. Some traditional remedies are said to be very effective, such as taking ginger or using commercially-available acupressure wristbands.
Watch this informative video about life onboard an expedition ship and seasickness from our expert guide and Polartours Brand Ambassador, Kevin.
North Atlantic Expedition
No dates selected