Four Arctic Islands: Ocean Atlantic

Greenland and Svalbard

The goal of this expedition is to sail as close as possible to the pack ice in search of polar bears. How far north we reach and the exact route up there will depend on ice. However, the many amazing locations along the west coast of Svalbard are kept navigable by the warm Gulf Stream. On our way to Greenland we will cruise along the pack ice before continuing to volcanic Jan Mayen. Onwards to Ittoqqortoormiit (Scoresbysund) and its deep and fascinating fjord system. Crossing the Denmark Strait to the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik before disembarking right in the city center

  • Spot whales and polar bears
  • Explore incredible scenery
  • Listen to and watch Arctic birdlife and glaciers
  • Discover breathtaking ice-covered fjords
  • Glimpse herds of Svalbard’s unique reindeer
  • Brave the Arctic waters for a polar plunge
  • Take advantage of time spent with expert guides
Enjoy the immense beauty of the Arctic on this adventure cruise among whales, walruses, polar bears and millions of sea birds. Experience high summer in the Arctic with Ocean Atlantic - one of the few ice-class expedition ships built to withstand the North Pole’s pack ice.

(Including flights from Oslo-Longyearbyen)


Stewart's Take

This voyage showcases the uniqueness and splendour of Arctic nature

Overview

The goal of this expedition is to sail as close as possible to the pack ice in search of polar bears. How far north we reach and the exact route up there will depend on ice. However, the many amazing locations along the west coast of Svalbard are kept navigable by the warm Gulf Stream. On our way to Greenland we will cruise along the pack ice before continuing to volcanic Jan Mayen. Onwards to Ittoqqortoormiit (Scoresbysund) and its deep and fascinating fjord system. Crossing the Denmark Strait to the capital of Iceland, Reykjavik before disembarking right in the city center.
DAY 1 LONGYEARBYEN Upon arriving to Longyearbyen, a short city tour will introduce you to the fascinating history and contemporary society in the Capital of Svalbard – possibly the northernmost ‘real’ town in the world. Our vessel, Ocean Atlantic, is docked close to the town center. After boarding and a welcome drink, the Expedition Leader will provide information about the voyage, the ship's daily routines and the various security and safety procedures. Before sailing, there will be a mandatory safety drill. The Captain then takes the ship out of Advent Fjord and our Arctic adventure commences. DAY 2 KONGSFJORDEN, NY ÅLESUND AND LILLIEHÖÖK GLACIER During the ‘night’ (what is night, when the sun never sets?), we have passed Prins Karls Forland and have arrived in the magnificent Kongsfjord. Our first landing will be at Ny Ålesund. This settlement is in fact further north than Longyearbyen, making it THE northernmost town. But… is a group of scientific stations, a post office and a single shop open for a few hours a real town? You will have to judge for yourself. The setting is nice, the scientific projects are very interesting, and so is the town history. The Captain will try to get alongside, so we can enjoy an easy walk through the area. In the afternoon, we continue further north into the fjord system, and depending on the ice situation, we may do a Zodiac cruise along the Lilliehöök Glacier front… or enjoy a lecture.n With some arctic luck we will be able to navigate past the magnificent scenery in the bay of Fjortende Juli, where the glacier Fjortende Juli-breen calves into the fjord. A fitting end to a day full of scenic views and arctic wildlife. DAY 3 FORMER WHALING STATION AT SMEERENBURG AND YTRE NORSKØYA We have now entered North West Svalbard, which was declared a national park in 1973. The day could begin with a Zodiac 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 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. DAY 4 CRUISING TOWARDS THE PACK ICE During the night the ship will steer far north towards the edge of the polar pack ice. How far north only time and weather will tell, but the main target for us is just the ‘edge’, possibly at 80 degrees north! This is the kingdom of the polar bear! As the pack ice retreats during summer, polar bears ride the floes north, as this is where their prey - the seals - resides. Bears who for unfortunate reasons do not ‘catch’ the ice moving north, are stranded on Svalbard all summer, and will have to sustain on berries, eggs and whatever whale cadavers they can find. A hard life indeed! During the day, lectures on polar mammals, environment and/or culture can be enjoyed on board in the Viking Theater. Should we get into the pack ice where the sea usually is calm, a Zodiac cruise will be arranged. At the end of the day, we will start cruising towards the Jan Mayen. DAY 5-6 NORTH SEA Listen to a lecture from our experienced expedition staff, see a film about Arctic nature – or go out on deck to catch glimpses of migrating birds and hopefully some whales. DAY 7 JAN MAYEN Listen to a lecture from our experienced expedition staff, see a film about Arctic nature – or go out on deck to catch glimpses of migrating birds and hopefully some whales. 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 meters. The island is inhabited by only 18 persons, running the meteorological station and the Norwegian Defense. We 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. After a pleasant stroll on the narrow isthmus we board the Zodiacs and Ocean Atlantic to continue our voyage west. DAY 8-9 SCOUTING PACK ICE, ITTIQQORTOORMIIT AND THE FJORD OF SCOREBYSUND We will scout after wildlife along the pack ice and cruise into the fjords in the most unique and unspoiled nature of North East Greenland. We will try to make landings at Bear Island and Cape Brewster. We will visit Ittiqqortoormiit. With only 470 inhabitants it is one of the most isolated towns in Greenland only accessible by helicopter and boat in short time in the summer. The town is located at the longest fjord in the world, Scoresby Sund. We will explore this fjord and hope to be able to offer kayaking and landings weather and ice conditions permitting. DAY 10-11 BLOSSEVILLE COAST. AT SEA TOWARDS ICELAND Possibly the most dramatic coast outside of Antarctica, the Blosseville is guarded by Greenland’s highest mountains and steepest fjords – and a belt of pack ice which before global warming would keep out any adventurous sailor for years. The recent decade has had warmer summers and much less ice which enables ice strengthened vessels as Ocean Atlantic to venture along the coast, on lookout for stunning wildlife, abandoned Inuit settlements and otherworldly landscapes. On our last day of this remarkable voyage we set course for Iceland and its capital of Reykjavík. DAY 12 REYKJAVÍK ARRIVAL AND DISEMBARKATION In the morning Ocean Atlantic goes alongside in the port of Reykjavik. It’s time to say farewell to the crew and begin the homeward journey.

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M/V OCEAN ATLANTIC

Ocean Atlantic

The newly renovated Ocean Atlantic is an expedition vessel with an international ice class rating of 1B, with high maneuverability, shallow draft and strong engines to allow for extended voyages into the polar regions. Ocean Atlantic is newly renovated (2016) with elegant common areas and accommodation for 198 passengers. The ship was built in 1985 and underwent an extensive rebuild in 2010. With a length of 140m she has ample space on the multiple decks for several lecture halls, a relaxed restaurant serving 4-star international cuisine, professionally staffed bars and observation platforms – and even a pool. All common areas on the Erickson Deck feature large panel windows, enabling passengers to quickly spot passing whales and photographic sights from the comfort of indoor lounges. All private cabins are stylish appointed and feature individual bathroom facilities, phone for internal calls, individual temperature controls and TV. Ideal for relaxation, the vessels’ accommodation ranges in size from 11 - 35 m2 and are designed with either portholes or windows. Daily shore landings are made possible by her fleet of 20 Zodiacs.

For full information about this vessel click here:

Included
  • 12-day/11-night cruise with full board on Ocean Atlantic in shared exterior double stateroom with bathroom/toilet
  • Charter flight Oslo-Longyearbyen.
  • English-speaking expedition team with briefings and lectures
  • Nature hikes and Zodiac cruises as per itinerary, when conditions permit
  • Guided walk in Longyearbyen and Ny Ålesund and Ittiqqortoormiit
  • Free coffee, tea and afternoon snacks on the ship
  • Taxes, tariffs and AECO fees
  • Guiding and lectures by our experienced expedition leader and team
  • Special photo workshop
  • Welcome and farewell cocktails
  • Digital visual journal link after voyage, including voyage log, gallery, species list and more!
Excluded
  • Extra excursions and activities not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Single room supplement and stateroom upgrades
  • Meals not on board the ship
  • Beverages (other than coffee and tea)
  • Tips for the crew (we recommend USD 14 per person per day)
  • Travel & cancellation insurances
  • Personal expenses
  • Anything not mentioned under ’Inclusions’
Deposits Reservations require a deposit of 20% at the time you receive a booking confirmation from Expeditions Online. A payment link will be sent to you and this may be paid by major credit card. Bookings within 90 days of departure require full payment. Final Payments Balances are due 90 days prior to departure. Cancellations All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. Cancellations received from time of booking to 91 days prior to departure 20 % of the total cruise tariff. From 90 days until departure: 100% of the total cruise tariff. We strongly recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance. Booking Terms Please read carefully the General Booking Conditions for Expeditions Online. This voyage is operated by Albatros Expeditions and you additionally travel under their terms and conditions as the operator as well as of the Shipping Company/transport carrier. Details will be forwarded to you at the time of booking.
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