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Kayaking with Aurora Expeditions

Iceland, Jan Mayen & Svalbard on Aurora Expeditions

10-day cruise from £4,210 pp incl. flights

Special offer: Save 20% with our Expedition Fares

Summary

Highlights

  • Kayak through pack ice, keeping an eye out for breaching whales and enigmatic walrus
  • Zodiac cruise under dramatic bird cliffs in Iceland’s staggeringly beautiful Westfjords
  • Be one of few people in the world to visit remote Jan Mayen Island
  • Search for the polar bear in Svalbard, the Arctic’s apex predator and most beguiling creature
  • Sail within 965 kilometres (600 miles) of the North Pole

In Brief

  • 1 Night Reykjavík
  • 2 Nights Westfjords
  • 1 Night At Sea
  • 1 Night Jan Mayen
  • 2 Nights At Sea
  • 2 Nights Northwest Corner of Spitsbergen
  • 1 Night Longyearbyen

About

Recommended for:
Exploration cruise | Natural world | Off the beaten track | Photography | Unique & unusual | Wildlife

Discover the staggering beauty of Iceland’s Westfjords, Svalbard’s remote northwest coast and seldom-visited Jan Mayen – the world’s northernmost active volcanic island. Making the most of your expedition ship's cutting-edge technology, you'll steer close to the shoreline, marvelling at dramatic bird cliffs home to thousands-strong puffin colonies, taking in creaking glaciers and mighty icebergs, and cruising past remote settlements hidden away among spectacular fjords. There's also the chance to get right up close to the action, striking out on tundra hikes and exploring rugged coastlines by kayak and Zodiac, all the while keeping an eagle eye out for walrus and polar bears as they patrol the pack ice.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1
Reykjavik

With included VIP airport lounge access, you'll begin your holiday in consummate style before your flight direct to Reykjavik, where you will be met and transferred to the pier. Here, you'll catch your first glimpse of the Greg Mortimer, your home from home for ten days of Arctic exploration. Settling into your stylish cabin in the late afternoon, you'll have time to relax before those all-important safety briefings and the first of your full-board meals – a delicious three-course dinner washed down with complimentary wines and beers.


Stay: Aurora Expeditions' Greg Mortimer (Superior)

Meals: D

Days 2-3
Látrabjarg and Isafjordur

Having sailed through the night, you'll awake to views of Iceland's Westfjords – a coastline riven by carving glaciers which, over thousands of years, have formed a dramatic labyrinth of deep, blue waterways framed by plunging granite cliffs. Head to Látrabjarg, Europe's westernmost point and one of the continent’s richest breeding grounds for seabirds, including a huge puffin colony. You’ll have the chance to photograph these 'clowns of the sea' on a Zodiac cruise, weather permitting. You'll also visit remote Ísafjörður, the largest town in the Westfjords peninsula with a population of 2,600. With its 18th- and 19th-century fisherman's houses, it's an atmospheric gateway to the nearby Hornstrandir nature reserve. Only accessible on foot or by boat – subject to park ranger approval – the reserve is inhabited by Arctic foxes, seals and a host of migratory seabirds.

Stay: Aurora Expeditions' Greg Mortimer (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Day 4
At Sea

With day at sea, you'll have time to make the most of the facilities on board the Greg Mortimer as you cross the Denmark Strait to remote Jan Mayen Island. Head out on deck to watch out for the tell-tale signs of spray from passing whales, or head for the comforts of the lounge to enjoy a presentation from the ship's resident team of experts. Or, perhaps treat yourself to a massage in the wellness centre or a work out in the gym between meals.

Stay: Aurora Expeditions' Greg Mortimer (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Day 5
Jan Mayen

The approach to Jan Mayen is truly spectacular, the island's rugged coastline framed by the 2,227-metre Beerenberg volcano. Depending on conditions, your route will bring you north to look out for whales and dolphins, and watch as colossal glaciers creak and crash into the icy sea. If the weather's favourable, you can also look forward to making land at Kvalrossbukta, a sheltered bay on the island’s west coast home to the Norwegian weather station of Olonkinbyen. Call in here for a tour of the station, before embarking on a three-hour hike to Kvalrossbukta on the other side of the Island, where the fleet of Zodiacs will be waiting to transport you back to the Greg Mortimer.

Stay: Aurora Expeditions' Greg Mortimer (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Days 6-7
At Sea

The sea around Jan Mayen offers excellent whale-watching opportunities – bottlenose, fin, and even bowhead whales can all be seen playing in the pack ice. See if you can spot them from the ship's deck as you sail north towards Svalbard, retracing the route of Dutch explorer Willem Barents, who first charted these waters in the late 16th century, finally landing on Spitsbergen's northwest coast on 17th June 1596, almost 424 years ago to the day. As you approach Svalbard, all eyes will be focused on the pack ice in the hope of spotting roaming polar bears.

Stay: Aurora Expeditions' Greg Mortimer (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Days 8-9
Northern Svalbard / Northwest Corner of Spitsbergen

Depending on the weather, your route should take you above 80° north to reach Moffen Island and its walrus colony. Over the coming days, as long as the conditions remain in your favour, you'll explore some of northern Spitsbergen's most remote and beautiful landscapes, including the Kongsfjorden, a fjord with two giant glaciers at its head. Perhaps spend time ashore on a guided hike across the tundra, taking in views of flower-filled fields and towering bird cliffs near the 14th July Glacier, a favourite nesting site for Atlantic puffins. Or, keep watch for polar bears and Arctic fox, and feel the palpable sense of history at the 350-year-old former Dutch whaling settlement on Amsterdamøya. There's also the chance to visit Raudfjord's glaciers and bird cliffs, or join a guided trek to Ytre Norskya for spectacular views across Spitsbergen's north coast and maybe even as far as the North Pole itself.

Stay: Aurora Expeditions' Greg Mortimer (Superior)

Meals: B L D

Day 10
Longyearbyen/UK

After a final night on board, you'll cruise into Longyearbyen where you'll disembark. Enjoy a tour of the town before an onward transfer to the airport in the afternoon for your flight to the UK. or, extend your stay in Svalbard with a night or two at the superb Funken Lodge – an ultra-stylish base for excursions into the island's wild interior. There's everything from fat-bike tours to glacier hikes and even dogsledding on wheels. Contact our specialists for the available options.

Important Note: due to the unpredictable nature of expedition cruising, please use this itinerary as a guide only and is subject to change due to ice and weather conditions.

Meals: B

Map

Pricing

Any element of this cruise can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Prices

10-day cruise on board Greg Mortimer (Aurora Expeditions) from £4,210 incl. flights

Departure: 12 June 2020

Aurora Stateroom: £4,210
Balcony Stateroom: £4,690
Balcony Suite: £5,650

Save 20% with our Expedition Fares
Book by: 31 January 2019

Fares include

  • International flights
  • Transfer to ship
  • On-board accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service
  • All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage
  • Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell drinks including a four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises mentioned in the itinerary
  • Educational lectures and guiding services from expedition team
  • Access to our onboard doctor and basic medical services
  • A 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket
  • Complimentary loan of muck boots during the voyage
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • A printed photo book produced with photos from your voyage
  • Gratuities for crew will automatically be added to your bill. Please advise at the time of settlement if you would like this to be removed
  • Port surcharges, permits and landing fees

Optional Activity

Sea Kayaking – £700

Exploration by kayak is an ideal way to surround yourself in the sights and sounds of the Arctic - paddling among icebergs and brash ice, observing wildlife in an unobtrusive manner. Some kayak excursions may be long in duration and on choppy water, so a reasonable level of kayaking experience is required to participate in this activity. Up to 20 paddlers will have the option to kayak during the voyage. If you are interested in Sea Kayaking activity, please let us know.

Photography – FREE

All Aurora Expeditions voyages offer fantastic opportunities for photography and videography and on selected voyages an expert photographer will offer informal lectures filled with tips to improve your skills. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced amateur, you’ll certainly pick up some useful hints in the presentations.

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Meet the team

Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0615 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

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