polartours header c
Albatros Expedition Northern Light Adventure

Northern Lights Explorer

Chase for Northern Lights in three different arctic countries aboard the Greg Mortimer

Length

20 Days

Ship category

Premium

Ship type

Mid-Sized Ship

Capacity

126 Passengers

Northern Lights Explorer

20 Reviews

Trip highlights

See the spectacular Aurora Borealis

Sail to the northernmost active volcano in the world

Visit Norway, Greenland & Iceland in one trip

Photograph magnificient seabirds

The Polartours experience

Best price guaranteed

Experience the chill of a polar plunge

Discover the world's largest fjord system in Greenland

Polar experts & naturalists to answer all your questions

Shorter days in the high latitudes means darkening evening skies, so on this voyage we stay close to the coastlines of the Arctic Circle, skirting around the Norwegian and Greenland seas, and exploring remote islands and villages of the region. As night falls, we look skywards hoping to catch the magic of the northern lights. This spectacular natural phenomenon offers a surreal light display as vibrant hues of blue, green, pink and violet dance across the night sky. Places located near the Arctic Circle such as northern Norway, Iceland and Greenland, are some of the best places in the world to witness this stunning light show.

Your ship: Greg Mortimer

Greg Mortimer deck plan

Welcome aboard the Greg Mortimer, a cruise ship built for expeditions to the most remote places on earth. The first passenger cruise ship to feature the revolutionary Ulstein X-BOW®, allowing the ship to cross polar oceans more comfortably and efficiently. A Greg Mortimer polar cruise is designed for rugged remote areas. The ship accommodates roughly 126 passengers per voyage, and with an expansive observation deck, the ship brings you closer to the incredible secluded environment the Arctic and Antarctic have to offer. With unsurpassed environmental credentials and a perfect base camp for far … Read more about Greg Mortimer

Cabins

Captain’s Suite

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Balcony Stateroom Cat. A

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Balcony Stateroom Cat. B

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Balcony Stateroom Cat. C

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Balcony Stateroom Superior

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Aurora Stateroom Triple

Type:

Triple

Max. occupancy:

3

More about this cabin

Aurora Stateroom Twin

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Junior Suite

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Map

Itinerary

Keep in mind this is an expedition cruise, so your itinerary will depend greatly on the weather, amount of ice and wildlife breeding behavior.

Paddling Excursion

0 Days

Paddling Excursion

Please note that depending on the ship, length of your cruise, and the itinerary, this price may vary. Inquire with your Polar Specialist. Enjoy being out on Polar waters on a two-person inflatable kayak, which enables you to enjoy a more intimate sailing experience in an unforgettable location. The kayaks are stable and comfortable, the perfect vehicle to see the Polar regions from a different perspective. This is a one-time activity, and no prior experience is necessary. IMPORTANT: This activity is dependent on weather conditions and logistics.

Price on request

Sea-Kayaking-What-To-Wear-In-Antarctica

0 Days

5.0

(1)

Sea Kayaking

Embark on an exhilarating sea kayaking adventure in some of the world's most magnificent and biodiverse wilderness areas, including Antarctica and the Arctic. Take in the breathtaking scenery as you navigate through ice and icebergs of all shapes and sizes. In Antarctica, spend unforgettable moments with penguins, seals and whales, and keep an eye out for the occasional encounter with leopard seals or killer whales. In the Arctic, paddle through bird colonies, past massive glaciers and around huge icebergs. Led by experienced guides, you will join a small group of like-minded adventurers to explore the picturesque coastlines of these wild and remote destinations. Paddling offers an intimate and unique way to experience the beauty of these regions and make the most of your time there. Important: This activity is subject to weather conditions and logistics.

Price on request

Gjesvarstappan, Norway
Tromso
Tromso

Having made your way to Kirkenes, you will be met by a representative of Aurora Expeditions and transferred to our group hotel. Upon arrival at your included hotel, please visit the Aurora Expeditions hospitality desk to collect your luggage cabin tags and to speak with our ground operations team, who may have information to share with you about pre-embarkation or to provide you with information about where to dine, withdraw cash or purchase last minute items from a local pharmacy or supermarket.

The remainder of your time is at leisure. All meals today are at your own expense.

Accommodation: Thon Hotel Kirkenes

Greg Mortimer Scotland
Greg Mortimer  Scotland cruise
Quark Expeditions_ Essential Greenland Arctic

This morning, please ensure your cabin luggage is fitted with cabin tags clearly labelled with your name and cabin number. Your luggage will be collected from your hotel and transferred directly to the port for clearance and delivered to your cabin ahead of your arrival on board. Please keep any valuables or personal items with you throughout the day.

After a leisurely breakfast, check-out of your room before commencing an excursion of Kirkenes and surrounds. Transfer to the pier for embarkation in the late afternoon, when you will have time to settle into your cabin before attending our mandatory safety briefings, and enjoy the thrill of departure as we ‘throw the lines’ and set sail.

This evening, get to know your fellow expeditioners, friendly expedition team and crew at the Welcome Dinner to celebrate the start of a thrilling adventure.

Rembrandt van Rijn _ North Norway
Rembrandt van Rijn _ North Norway
Rembrandt van Rijn _ North Norway

Over the next few days, we explore parts of Norway’s remarkable 1,000-kilometre (600-mile) coastline. Starting in North Cape, in the very north of the country, we make our way south, stopping in the Lofoten Islands.

The spectacular northern lights are a natural phenomenon that is most commonly seen in the sky above the Arctic Circle, between autumn and early spring. As we are near North Cape in northern Norway, keep a close watch in hope of witnessing this dazzling spectacle in the night sky. The North Cape is located at a latitude of 71° 10´ 21 and is Europe’s northernmost point.

Today, you can choose from a selection of shore excursion options that best suits your interests and level of fitness:  

Option 1: Behind the scenes of the seafood industry (3 hours)

Duration: 3 hours

Level of difficulty: Easy 

During this tasteful and educational tour, you will learn all there is to know about the leading industry in Finnmark and more specifically, in North Cape municipality. Visit a local fish factory and observe their daily operations before tasting the local delicacies at one of the most scenic locations on the island.

As one of the largest factories in the municipality and exporter of king crab, your host does much more than simply processing fish. Your guide will show you around the factory and tell you about the production of stockfish, klipfish, fresh fish, king crab and less know products such as roe, liver, fish heads and much more.

Undoubtedly, a tour like this requires a seafood tasting! After your visit to the factory in Nordvåg you will be taken to a lavvo restaurant in Sarnes. As one of the most scenic areas on the island, this is the perfect location for a guided seafood tasting. You will have the opportunity to savour various delicacies and taste the national spirit of Scandinavia while your guide explains you exactly what is on your plate.

Note: Make sure to wear sturdy (waterproof) footwear.

Option 2: Trek to Kirkeporten (2.5 hours)

Duration: 3 hours

Level of difficulty: Moderate-Strenuous 

Just a short hike away from the village of Skarsvåg, Kirkeporten boasts one of the most spectacular views on the island of Magerøya with the North Cape Horn peeking through a gated cliff.

After a short drive to the village of Skarsvåg make your way up the hill, and if weather permits you will have a spectacular view to the North Cape Horn. This monolith pokes out of the side of the North Cape plateau and makes it very easy to orientate oneself. Continuing down into Mefjorden, the arch-shaped cliff will slowly reveal itself. Kirkeporten is the name of a geological wonder, a fissure several meters wide in an overhanging cliff shaped as a gate. Both Kirkeporten and the North Cape cliff were places of sacrifice for the indigenous Sami population.

Note: It is recommended to dress in layered clothing and wear proper hiking boots/shoes. The hike is approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) on dirt and gravel path with boulders, uneven terrain and some consistent, but gradual slopes. Visibility of sights may be affected in adverse weather conditions.

Option 3: A Panoramic Journey to the North Cape (3 hours)

Duration: 3 hours

Level of difficulty: Easy 

Take in magnificent vistas along Europe’s far northern shores and enjoy an independent visit at the splendid North Cape.

This scenic drive takes you to one of Europe’s most stunning natural sights. Located on the reaches of Magerøya Island where the Norwegian and Barents Seas meet, the cliffs of Nordkapp rise more than 305 metres (1,000 feet) from the sea waters and are topped by a large, flat plateau.

Upon arrival at the North Cape Hall, you will have time to take in its spectacular vista of barren tundra. The North Cape Hall has shopping facilities, post office and a chapel, a bar, restaurants and a cinema with a 225-degree wide-screen. There will be an audio-visual presentation of Magerøya and the North Cape, showing the magnitude of the areas breathtaking scenery during the four seasons. Adjacent to the cinema there is a Hall of Fame, with models of important events that have taken place at the North Cape Plateau, and Cave of Lights with a terrace offering a nice view of the ocean further north. There will be ample time for photo opportunities, shopping, writing and posting cards, or simply finding yourself the perfect overlook to enjoy the breathtaking views.

Note: It is recommended to dress in layered clothing and wear comfortable walking shoes. Walking at North Cape Hall is optional and involves uneven terrain to some of the sites.

Rembrandt van Rijn _ North Norway
Rembrandt van Rijn _ North Norway
Rembrandt van Rijn _ North Norway

Tromso

Tucked above the Arctic Circle, Tromsø is the main gateway to experiencing the northern lights in Norway.

Today we embark on an enchanting journey into the celestial wonders of the Arctic sky at the Tromsø Science Centre. Join an immersive experience that combines the magic of a Northern Lights followed by an engaging presentation by an astronomer, providing you with insight into the captivating phenomena of the Aurora Borealis.

Settle into the comfort of the planetarium’s auditorium for a cinematic journey into the heart of the Arctic night. Join the award-winning photographer Ole Salomonsens on his journey through northern Norway, Finland and Sweden in pursuit of his passion – filming the wildest and most spectacular light show the nature has to offer. Extreme Auroras is a stunning new full-dome visual, featuring the aurora in science, history and myths.

After the movie, enjoy a live presentation by the in-house astronomer, introducing them, a presentation of the few Norse constellations that are still known, and the Hunting Party story from the Sami mythology. This talk looks at the sky from a northern angle and will add new knowledge to old.

At the end you will have time to explore the Science Centre’s interactive displays and exhibits. Engage with hands-on activities that further enhance your understanding of the natural forces at play, making this experience both entertaining and educational.

Please note: It is recommended to dress in layered clothing. Walking is up to 300 metres and is at the individual’s discretion.

Optional Evening Tour (paid excursions, please contact reservations for pricing & booking prior to departure):

Aurora Borealis Husky Dinner - Evening Optional Tour

Experience an incredible encounter with some of the finest husky sled-racing dogs in this corner of the world, while looking out for the captivating Northern Lights.

Enjoy a scenic drive through the charming old city, over the island of Tromsø, onto Sandnessund Bridge and to Kvaløya Island with peaks rising to an elevation of over 3,200 feet. Arriving at the Husky Centre, your hosts will welcome you for an eventful evening. With the centre being located 25 km away from Tromsø and the city lights, the night sky is dark and well suited for viewing the Northern Lights. While you wait for a display of the colourful lights you will have time to cuddle with the huskies and their puppies, and learn about dog-sled racing, breeding and animal welfare while on tour of the kennel. Your host will also give you some insight into the natural phenomenon of Aurora Borealis.

In the cosy Gamme-hut you will be treated to dinner around an open fire. The traditional Norwegian fish dish, Bacalao, has Portuguese roots but is made from regional produce. While you enjoy your meal, your guide will keep a close eye on the sky and inform you about any Aurora activity.

Duration: 4.5 hours

Includes: Transport, husky cuddles and presentation, dinner

Please note: It is recommended to dress in layered clothing. Walking is up to 400 m and is at the individual’s discretion. Thermal suits and boots are provided at the centre. Snow is possible at this time of the year. There is no guarantee the Northern Lights will be visible.

Minimum and maximum numbers apply: 15/70

Rembrandt van Rijn _ North Norway
Rembrandt van Rijn _ North Norway
Rembrandt van Rijn _ North Norway

Tromso

We make our way to the stunning Lofoten – meaning puma’s foot – Islands. This is a land scoured by ice and legend, the towering crags with their sharp edges, standing in silent protection of the villages below.  

Following lunch onboard, you can choose from a selection of shore excursion options that best suits your interests and level of fitness:  

Option 1: Guided hike towards Tjeldbergtind (3 hours) 

Duration: 3 hours

Level of difficulty: Moderate-Strenuous 

Experience the pristine landscape of Lofoten on this adventurous hike to a mountain top overlooking the beautiful peaks of the archipelago. After a steep ascent your reward awaits you with a 360 panoramic view of Lofoten’s iconic jagged mountains, picturesque lakes, and peaceful surroundings. You will also have a spectacular view of Svolvær, Kabelvåg, Vågan and on a clear day you can see the mainland. 

Note: It is recommended to dress in layered clothing and wear proper hiking boots. This hike is approximately 5 km (3.1 mi) on uneven terrain with loose gravel and some steep and consistent inclines. The highest point is 367 meters (1,204 feet). Visibility of sights may be affected in adverse weather conditions. Participants should be in good physical condition. 

Option 2: Taste of Lofoten (1.5 hours – limited seats available) 

Duration: 2 hours including snacks

Level of difficulty: Easy 

Lofoten lies in the middle of what is often called ”the world’s largest dinner plate”, and the unique commodities the inhabitants of Lofoten have fed on and lived from for centuries, are in large scale. Experience real flavours and an authentic gastronomic experience. 

On the way to the tasting venue, you will make stops to see the fish racks and the first taste of Lofoten is served. Arriving at the tasting venue the stories and delicacies from the north continue. Enjoy dried arctic cod, salmon, Lofoten lamb, tasty cloudberries and locally produced yoghurt made from local milk grazing right by the arctic coast. You will also get a taste of roe/caviar from arctic cod. 

Note: The tour includes tastings of eight delicacies and should not be considered as a full meal. Drinks are not included, and a selection of beverages is available for purchase. 

Option 3: Lofoten Fishing Village

Duration: 2 hours

Level of difficulty: Easy

Combine history and culture in the urban fishing village of Svolvær. Join this cultural walk featuring the history of the fisheries, the historical land-owning fish buyers and the present day sights in the centre of Svolvær. During this 3-5 km (up to 3.1 mi) cultural walk you will make several stops of interest and your local guide welcomes all questions and comments to ensure the best possible experience. You will visit the most important current and historical sites and includes a tasting of Stockfish.  

Optional Evening Tour (paid excursion, please contact reservations for pricing & booking prior to departure):

Northern Lights at Hov Farm - Evening Optional Tour

We invite you to the small village of Hov on the island of Gimsøy for a chance to appreciate Norway’s scenery and hopefully get a glimpse of the famous Northern Lights. Take in lovely Norwegian vistas enroute to Hov, located approximately one hour from the pier.

One of the oldest inhabited places in Lofoten, Hov is home to burial mounds and boat landings dating to the Stone Age and Viking Age. Hov also boasts a beautiful beach with fine, snow-white sand, on which you walk along on your evening hike to Hovsund Lighthouse.

Arriving at Hov your host will welcome you and invite you to join them for an unforgettable evening. During the visit you will be invited into the restored barn from the 1950s. To the north there have been installed large windows that deliver beautiful views of the ocean, and the Northern lights should they appear. At the barn you will be treated to a northern lights presentation by the host as well as a delicious 3 course dinner with a focus on food produced in local area.

You will also be taken on a guided stroll on the beautiful Hov beach towards Hovsund Lighthouse. The coastal walk is approx. 4 km and easily accessible for everyone. There is no light pollution and therefore gives you a great advantage to see the Northern Lights should they appear.

Duration: 6 hours

Includes: Transport, 3 course meal, guided beach walk

Please Note: Guests should bring warm, layered clothing and good hiking/winter boots. There is no guarantee the Northern Lights will be visible.

Minimum and maximum numbers apply: 15/120

Rembrandt van Rijn _ North Norway
Rembrandt van Rijn _ North Norway
Rembrandt van Rijn _ North Norway

Tromso

As you traverse the scenic vistas of Lofoten, marvel at majestic mountain peaks and expansive fertile lands that once set the stage for Viking sagas. Your expedition begins in Haukland Beach, a paradisiacal haven with its pearly white sands and sapphire waters, embraced by lush greenery and towering peaks, evoking the essence of an Arctic paradise. We will have ample time to hike from Uttakleiv, to Haukland Beach—a gentle stretch over hills and along the coastal path to the pristine white sand beach.  

Upon reaching the Viking Museum in Borg, enjoy an exhibition showcasing archaeological discoveries and meticulous recreations of Viking dwellings, gaining a vivid understanding of the daily lives of these seafaring people a millennium ago. The museum endeavours to authentically recreate the Viking village atmosphere, complete with handicrafts, traditional buildings, and era-specific cuisine. As part of this immersive experience, you'll be treated to a soup crafted from an ancient North Norwegian recipe, prepared over an open fire—a culinary journey back in time amid the fascinating history of the Vikings. 

Drive through the scenic landscapes of Lofoten to Norway's renowned Sund where you will visit a Black smith at the Fishery Museum, famous for his beautiful cormorants made of steel. The decorative wrought iron cormorants are famous all over the world, and can be found in the Pentagon, the Kremlin and in the King of Norway's palace. 

Continue to the village of Reine where your ship will be waiting for you. This fishing village is one of the most beautiful in Norway, and we are sure that when you see it you will understand why!

Albatros Expedition through North Atlantic
Black-legged Kittiwake (Atlantic) (Rissa t. tridactyla)
Aurora Borealis Placius Oceanwide expeditions

Jan Mayen Island

A beautiful late summer day on Svalbard (Spitsbergen) with the most spectacular nature scenery
A beautiful late summer day on Svalbard (Spitsbergen) with the most spectacular nature scenery
A beautiful late summer day on Svalbard (Spitsbergen) with the most spectacular nature scenery

Jan Mayen Island

The approach to Jan Mayen is spectacular. The huge 2,277-metre (7,470 foot) Beerenberg volcano is the northernmost active volcano in the world, and it last erupted in 1985. The northern part of the island is a great place to look for whales and dolphins and contains impressive glaciers, some of which reach the sea. If the weather is favourable, we will try to land at Kvalrossbukta, a relatively sheltered bay on the island’s west coast. This is one of the landings used to supply the weather station Olonkinbyen, situated on the eastern side of the island.  

Vikingfjord
Vikingfjord Exterior
Black-legged Kittiwake (Atlantic) (Rissa t. tridactyla)

Our series of onboard lectures continue as sail towards the wild coast of East Greenland. You will learn about sea ice, glaciers, the unique geology found in East Greenland and daring tales of European exploration. We are also in the prime zone to view the northern lights, so glance up to the skies and you might just see more than shimmering stars.

Greenland
Albatros Expedition Disko Bay
Albatros Expedition through north atlantic

Blomsterbukta

Daneborg and Clavering Island

Rypefjord & Terrassepynt

Ofjord & Bear Islands

Rodefjord and Rode island

Ella Island

Nansen fjord

Føhnfjord

Milneland

Vestfjord

Ittoqqortoormiit

Nordvestfjord

Jan Mayen

In the coming days, a host of choices are available to us, and depending on ice and weather conditions, the east coast of Greenland is ours to explore. The members of our experienced Expedition Team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to tailor our voyage to suit the day-to-day conditions. This allows us to make best use of the prevailing weather, ice conditions and any opportunities for wildlife encounters. We generally attempt up to two landings or Zodiac excursions per day, including cruising along spectacular ice cliffs, following whales feeding near the surface.

Be prepared to experience ice – and lots of it! East Greenland contains some of the Arctic’s most impressive scenery. Deep fjords and narrow channels, flanked by sharp ice-clad peaks soaring up to 2,000 metres (6,562 feet), and glaciers birthing gigantic icebergs that drift throughout the fjord system, combine to create breathtaking scenes.

The tundra landscape is home to musk oxen, arctic hares and reindeer. Throughout the area there are ancient Thule archaeological sites, historical trappers’ huts, and the cabins of present-day Inuit hunters. A highlight is a visit to the Inuit village of Ittoqqortoormiit, the most isolated and northernmost permanent settlement in the region, with approximately 450 inhabitants. The community has an excellent museum, gift shop, an abundance of Greenlandic sled dogs and provides the opportunity to meet the friendly locals.

Explore Scoresbysund, the world’s largest fjord system and a favourite hunting ground of the local Inuit. Massive glaciers flow into this fjord, the birthplace of hundreds of majestic Greenland icebergs. It is a spectacular place that simply needs to be seen to be believed. North of Scoresbysund lie Kong Oskar and Kaiser Franz Josef fjords, two of the most significant fjord systems in Greenland, each one encompassing several smaller fjords and sounds. Thanks to the fertile volcanic soil and the surrounding mountains offering protection from strong winds, the area is rich in wildlife. You may spot everything from musk oxen and arctic foxes to mountain hares, and even reindeer, near the fjord. Look skyward and you could catch a glimpse of birds, including the glaucous gull, black-legged kittiwake, northern fulmar, common raven and common eider.

We will attempt to enter Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord, a remote and rarely visited fjord system with countless opportunities for exploration, located within the Northeast Greenland National Park. Cruising through Kong Oskar Fjord, we marvel at the geological beauty of the mountains. We will then head south along the coast of Liverpool Land, with our passage dependent on ice conditions.

We stretch our legs on hikes across tundra in search of ancient graveyards and summer villages occupied 3,000 years ago by Inuit. We may see musk oxen, arctic hares and reindeer grazing. The maze of calm, interconnecting waterways in this area provides excellent opportunities for sea kayaking. We will see ring seals, perhaps catch a glimpse of the elusive narwhal, and maybe even a polar bear hunting on pack ice.

Greenland
Albatros Expedition Disko Bay
Albatros Expedition through north atlantic

Blomsterbukta

Føhnfjord

Milneland

Vestfjord

Ittoqqortoormiit

Nordvestfjord

Ella Island

Crossing the Denmark Strait to Iceland, search for whale blows and photograph the many seabirds that trail our ship in the ever-present arctic winds. The dark night skies promise more opportunities to experience the northern lights.

photo workshop
Akureyri
Albatros Expedition circumnavigating iceland

Akureyri

Picturesque Akureyri is Iceland’s second largest city outside the capital area and is blessed with a superb snow-capped mountain backdrop.  

Choose from a selection of shore excursions in Akureyri to best suit your interests and level of fitness: 

Option 1 - Góðafoss, Lake Myvatn & Baths 

Duration: 8 hours including lunch 

Level of difficulty: Easy 

Our first stop will be the Goðafoss waterfall is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland. In the year 1,000 the Lawspeaker Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði made Christianity the official religion of Iceland. There is a 400-metre trail, easy and mostly flat, approximately 10 minutes to get to the main viewpoint. Next, you'll visit Lake Myvatn and explore the area. At the conclusion of lunch, re-join the coach to travel to Mývatn Nature Baths. Drawing on a centuries-old tradition, the tastefully designed complex offers bathers a completely natural experience that begins with a relaxing dip amidst clouds of steam rising up from a fissure deep in the Earth´s surface and ends with a luxurious swim in a pool of geothermal water drawn from depths of up to 2,500 metres / 8,200 feet.

Option 2 - Góðafoss, Lake Myvatn & Dimmuborgir 

Duration: 8 hours including lunch 

Level of difficulty: Moderate 

Our first stop will be the Goðafoss waterfall is one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Iceland. In the year 1,000 the Lawspeaker Þorgeir Ljósvetningagoði made Christianity the official religion of Iceland. There is a 400-metre trail, easy and mostly flat, approximately 10 minutes to get to the main viewpoint. Next, you'll visit Lake Myvatn’s Skútustaðagígar pseudo craters. Wander the marked walking paths through the area. You can easily walk around the bowl-like landmasses or take a hike to reach the top for a magnificent view of the scenic surroundings. At the conclusion of lunch, re-join the coach to travel to Dimmuborgir, an area strewn with enormous lava rocks and cliffs. The formation of these extraordinary lava cliffs and pillars are the result of molten lava flowing over a pond in the eruption of Lúdentsborgir and Þrengslaborgir some 2,300 years ago. The most famous of these formations is "The Church", aptly named, as this is a cave, open at both ends and with a dome-like ceiling. 

Option 3 - Hverfjall Volcanic Crater Hike, Dimmuborgir & Dettifoss 

Duration: 8 hours including lunch 

Level of difficulty: Strenuous 

Our first stop will be Dimmuborgir, an area strewn with enormous lava rocks and cliffs. The formation of these extraordinary lava cliffs and pillars are the result of molten lava flowing over a pond in the eruption of Lúdentsborgir and Þrengslaborgir some 2,300 years ago. The most famous of these formations is "The Church", aptly named, as this is a cave, open at both ends and with a dome-like ceiling. From here walk up the steep slopes of Hverfjall Crater and around the crater’s rim for otherworldly and awesome views of the surrounding landscape. This is a 9km loop trail and takes approximately 3 hours or 3.5 hours to include walking around the rim. At the conclusion of lunch, re-join the coach to travel to Dettifoss waterfall in northeast Iceland and is reputed to be the most powerful waterfall in Europe. The falls are 100 metres / 328 feet wide and have a drop of 44 metres / 144 feet down to the Jökulsárgljúfur canyon. 

In the late afternoon, we reboard our vessel in Akureyri, Iceland’s second largest city outside the capital area and is blessed with a superb snow-capped mountain backdrop. 

Albatros Expedition circumnavigating iceland
Albatros Expedition circumnavigating iceland
Albatros Expedition circumnavigating Iceland

Over the coming days, we explore the Westfjords region, which features outstanding landscapes with jaw-dropping views of dramatic fjords carved by ancient glaciers, sheer, table-top mountains that plunge into the sea, and pristine north Atlantic vegetation. The region features attractive towns such as Isafjordur, surrounded by sheer mountains and steeped in history, evident in its preserved wooden architecture. Delight in its lively cultural scene and abundant outdoor activities.

Albatros Expedition circumnavigating iceland
Albatros Expedition circumnavigating iceland
Albatros Expedition circumnavigating iceland

Thingeyri, a quaint village nestled on a slender strip of land, graces the shores of one of Iceland's most picturesque fjords, Dýrafjörður. Much like many other coastal settlements in Iceland, the village's culture and industry have been intricately woven with the influence of the sea over centuries. The surrounding landscape is adorned with towering mountains, lending a distinctive charm to the scenic expanse that envelops Thingeyri. This idyllic region is often hailed as the "Alps of the Westfjords," especially the highland area nestled between the majestic fjords of Dyrafjordur and Arnarfjordur. The beauty of Thingeyri lies not only in its coastal simplicity but also in the dramatic backdrop of high mountains that paints a captivating portrait of this Icelandic village. 

Visit the dramatic and powerful Dynjandi waterfall, then choose from two shore excursion options that best suits your interests and level of fitness: 

Option 1 - That Viking Thing Experience  

Duration: 2 hours + free time 

Level of difficulty: Easy  

Today you will step back in time and learn about the Viking ways and how the hardy Norse people lived off the land. Walk through a recreated Viking area, learning about what is fact and what is fiction in the many stories you've heard about the famous Vikings. A short hike brings you to the old ruins of the Viking meeting place called a Thing - the closest translation in English is 'parliament.' Step inside the interactive Viking Museum for a chance to dress up in authentic hand-sewn Viking clothing, take photographs, drink Icelandic Viking beer, bake your own Viking bread, and explore the museum - all part of learning more about Viking ways.  

Option 2 - Sandafell Mountain Hike   

Duration: 3 hours  

Level of difficulty: Moderate-Difficult (dependent on fitness level)  

For avid explorers, Iceland is littered with hidden gems, and possibly the best-kept secret of all is the Westfjords. Lying in the most north-westerly area of the island, this sprawling area of natural beauty is truly a hiker’s paradise. Rocky peaks, deep crevices, and charming Icelandic towns all add to the appeal of the Westfjords, not to mention the various hiking trails snaking across the unusual countryside. Today we will hike Sandafell, offering gorgeous views over the town, surrounding mountains and the water below. 

Albatros Expedition circumnavigating iceland
Albatros Expedition circumnavigating iceland
Albatros Expedition circumnavigating Iceland

Arnastapi is the starting point of our adventures on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, gateway to Snæfellsjökull National Park. Snaefellsnes Peninsula is an area of diverse landscapes that is characterised by lava fields and glistening fjords and home to a vast array of birdlife. The area is crowned by the magnificent, ice-capped Snæfellsjökull volcano, a 700,000-year-old dormant subglacial volcano, visible from Reykjavik on a clear day and immortalised in Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth.

You can choose from three shore excursion options that best suits your interests and level of fitness:

Option 1 - Highlights of Snaefellsness 

Duration: 8 hours including lunch

Level of difficulty: Easy-Moderate (dependent on fitness)

Our first stop will be the dramatic black pebble beach of Djúpalónssandur, where you can marvel at the black sands and colossal rock formations, volcanic landscapes, and remains of a 1948 shipwreck. Next, you'll visit Búðir, a picturesque hamlet surrounded by the stunning landscapes of the Snæfellsnes Peninsula. Stop to admire Búðakirkja, the 19th-century church, and explore the area before enjoying lunch at Hotel Búðir. The restaurant is renowned for its fresh and local food, sourcing fresh ingredients directly from local farmers and fishermen. At the conclusion of lunch, re-join the coach to travel to Snæfellsjökull National Park, encompassing a large area of Snæfellsnes Peninsula's western tip. For the more active, explore some incredible hiking trails, or simply enjoy your drive through the park and take in the beauty that surrounds you. Concluding your day, we continue to the iconic Mount Kirkjufell, a favourite among photographers and known to many as a filming location for the TV show "Game of Thrones." Not far from this majestic mountain is a waterfall that completes the picturesque scene.

Option 2 - Natural Wonders of Snaefellsnes 

Duration: 8 hours including lunch

Level of difficulty: Moderate

Upon disembarkation, we will hike the coastal trail that connects the two villages of Arnarstapi and Hellnar. Now a National Reserve, this easy level hike encompasses geology, wildlife, amazing photo opportunities, folklore and most of all adventure. This old trail takes us along the wild shoreline with a view of the ocean and extraordinary columnar basalt and lava cliff formations on one side and stunning mountains and Snæfellsjökull Glacier on the other. The cliffs are alive with a wide range of bird species such as the Arctic Tern, the kittiwakes, gulls and fulmars. Next, you'll step into the 8,000-year-old Vatnshellir Cave, replete with stunning geology, fascinating rock formations, and colourful volcanic rock. We will meet at our base near the cave, where your friendly guide will provide you with all the equipment that you need, including a helmet and headlamp (we strongly recommend that you wear comfortable and sturdy footwear, as the volcanic rock can be quite difficult to traverse). Then your friendly guide will give you a brief safety talk before we descend the spiral staircase into this subterranean wonderland. The tour meanders through the path of the lava flow around 200 meters into a large cave that lies around 35 meters beneath the surface of the earth, where we will be greeted by some rainbow-coloured volcanic rocks and incredible petrified lava formations. The cave is a fairly easy walk, although it will involve a degree of climbing. Following lunch, re-join the coach and travel to the iconic Mount Kirkjufell, a favourite among photographers and known to many as a filming location for the TV show "Game of Thrones." Not far from this majestic mountain is a waterfall that completes the picturesque scene.

Option 3 - Snaefellsnes Adventure 

Duration: 8 hours including lunch

Level of difficulty: Moderate-Difficult

The Land of Fire and Ice is well-known for its incredible landscapes and contrasting terrains that include several natural and geological wonders rarely found anywhere else on Earth. The unique geological history of Snæfellsnes will draw you in where you can explore sites revealing Iceland's unique geological history up close. Your first stop is at the Pufubjarg bird cliff, home of nesting puffins and fulmars. From here, hike along the rugged coastline to witness the exceptionally beautiful Londrangar basalt cliffs, a geologic wonder that looks like a huge rock castle. There are many local birds here, and they are a noisy bunch. Puffins, but especially fulmars, nest in the many cavities in the two pillars. From here you hike across a pretty lava field covered in moss to Malarrif, where you can see the lighthouse and explore the beach. Following an early lunch, re-join the coach and head for Eldborg crater, located on a short volcanic rift, just 200 metres in diameter, and 50 metres deep. It is the largest crater on this rift and was created in an eruption which occurred somewhere between 5000 and 6000 years ago. Unlike many of Iceland’s volcanoes, it has a very classic shape, with smooth sloping sides and a very definite crater. A marked hiking path leads through a shrub-covered lava field to the top of the crater offering incredible views of Snaefellsnes National Park. Concluding your day, we continue to the symmetrical, hexagonal-shaped basalt columns at Gerðuberg Cliffs. Stand in awe at these impressive cliffs, a natural marvel that spans 500 metres. To enjoy the best view, take a walk by the structures. Climbing up the cliff is possible but to really soak in the views of this geological structure, it's best to enjoy a walk alongside the cliffs.

Quark Expeditions_ Essential Greenland Arctic
Quark Expeditions_ Essential Greenland Arctic
Quark Expeditions_ Essential Greenland Arctic

Arrival at Reykjavik

During the early morning, we cruise into Reykjavik and disembark at approximately 8.00 am. Farewell your expedition team and fellow passengers as you continue your onward journey. Transfer options are as follows:

  1. Direct to Keflavik Airport. 2. Bus Stop #12 Höfðatorg (outside the Fosshotel Reykjavik). 3. For late afternoon and evening airport departures, Bus Stop #12 Höfðatorg (outside the Fosshotel Reykjavik) where we will hold your luggage on the coach until your departure to the airport at 1pm.

Note: We do not recommend booking flights departing prior to 12.00 pm on the day of disembarkation, as we may experience delays at the conclusion of the voyage.

Dates & Prices

From

Until

Info

Availability

Price

8

Sep

2024

27

Sep

2024

Available

From

USD 19,195

8

Sep

2024

27

Sep

2024

Available

From

USD 19,195

Preferred date unavailable? Contact us

Info

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.

What's included

Leadership throughout your voyage by our experienced Expedition Leaders, including shore landings and other activities

All Zodiac transfers and cruising as per the daily program

All shore landings as per the daily program

Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping

All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board throughout your voyage (Please inform us of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.)

Select beer and wine during dinner; and coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock

Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled

A photographic journal documenting the expedition

A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for landings and Zodiac cruising excursions

An official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep

Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock

Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin

All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program

All luggage handling aboard the ship

Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person

Greenland voyages cruise passenger tax

One night’s pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Reykjavik

Group transfer from the Reykjavik hotel to the ship on Day 2

Group transfer from the ship to downtown Reykjavik on disembarkation day

What's not included

International airfare

Arrival and departure transfers

Passport and visa expenses

Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above

Meals ashore unless otherwise specified

Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended

Excess-baggage fees on international flights

Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned

Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified

Phone and Internet charges (connectivity may vary by location)

Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew

Additional overnight accommodation

Adventure Options not listed in Included Activities

Credit Card charges may apply

A fuel surcharge may apply at a later stage. More info

Reviews

Rashidah A

Greg Mortimer Antarctica and Arctic Cruises

Premium

Es war in der Tat eine ausgezeichnete Reise und sehr gut organisiert. Von dem Moment an, als Frau Natalya Getman mit mir Kontakt aufnahm, bis ich das Schiff für die Kreuzfahrt verließ, hatte ich das Gefühl, dass ein 5-Sterne-Service für mich bereitgestellt wurde. Sie half mir bei allen Formalitäten und beantwortete alle meine Fragen; freundlich und professionell. Die Ocean Explorer ist ein Reiseziel ganz für sich allein. Das unglaubliche Abenteuer zum Nordpol auf einem erstaunlich starken Eisbrecher war natürlich ein einmaliges Erlebnis. Zu sehen, wie das Schiff durch das Eis schneidet, war wirklich erstaunlich. Der Anblick von 8 schönen Eisbären, mehreren Gruppen von Walrossen und Tausenden von Trottellummen auf der Expedition war einfach fantastisch. Bei verschiedenen Zodiacfahrten konnte ich auch die wunderschönen Eisberge und das Kalben der Gletscher beobachten, eine Erfahrung fürs Leben. Natürlich war das Personal außergewöhnlich und wertschöpfend, kenntnisreich und hilfsbereit. Es war wirklich eine atemberaubende Reise und absolut empfehlenswert.

Deanna Rieden

Greg Mortimer Antarctica and Arctic Cruises

Premium

This was the trip of a lifetime. Our final continent. Once we arrived in Punta Arenas, we were met at the airport by Paula from Aurora who took us to hotel. My baggage was lost by airline and she gave me a coat to wear immediately. Shout out to Paula and Michael for tracking my Luggage. Once we transferred to Antarctica we were met by ship crew with drinks and smiles. The week was packed with excursions and amazing information presented by scientists in different aspects of expertise. The ship staff was friendly, personable making the trip an amazing adventure. The fly and cruise is the way to go!

Doug Beham

Greg Mortimer Antarctica and Arctic Cruises

Premium

Couldn't be better! This company checks all the boxes: well-planned expeditions, pristine ship, and skilled & courteous service from all the employees. Best cruise company I have traveled with by far. (Copied from Google)

FAQ

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.

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
  • Kayaking
  • 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Life Onboard & Seasickness
Northern Lights Explorer

5.0

(20)

Premium

From

USD 19,195



2024 Polartours, a Ventura TRAVEL GmbH brand

All rights reserved

Polar Specialist

Your contact

Bruna

Book a video consultation

15min face to face consultation

Polar Specialist