plancius greenland norther lights cruise

Spitsbergen - Northeast Greenland, Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)

  • Overview
    A voyage starting in Longyearbyen (Spitsbergen) sailing into Raudfjord and to Moffen Island on the North coast of West Spitsbergen, then sailing along the Northeast coast of Greenland and ending in Akureyri (Iceland). Approaching Greenland we will attempt to sail through the sea ice into Foster Bugt, making our first landing at Myggebugten. Beyond the old hunters’ hut (in the first half of last century Norwegian trappers hunted here for Polar Bear and Arctic Fox) there is an extensive tundra populated by Musk Oxen.
    Duration: 14 days
    Passengers: 116 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen
    Disembarkation Point: Akureyi, Iceland
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.7x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Longyearbyen, Svalbard; Embarkation Day

      We arrive in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of the Spitsbergen archipelago of which West Spitsbergen is the largest island. Before embarking there is an opportunity to stroll around this former mining town, whose parish church and Polar Museum are well worth visiting. In the surrounding area of Longyearbyen, more than 100 species of plants have been recorded. In the early evening the ship will sail out of Isfjorden, where in the mouth of the fjord we may see our first Minke Whale.

    • Day 2 - Raudfjord, West Spitsbergen

      We sail into Raudfjord on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, a beautiful fjord with spectacular glaciers. It is home to Ringed and Bearded Seal, seabird colonies and a surprisingly rich vegetation. We have good chances to see Polar Bear, for instance near Hamilton Glacier, or more to the head of the fjord. From there we continue to Moffen Island on which Walrus haul out.

    • Day 3/4 - At sea, enroute to Greenland

      At sea, on our way to Greenland, we may see the edge of the East Greenland sea-ice. We keep watch for whales, and also for migrating seabirds.

    • Day 5 - Myggebugten

      Approaching Greenland we will attempt to sail through the sea ice into Foster Bugt, making our first landing at Myggebugten. Beyond the old hunters’ hut (in the first half of last century Norwegian trappers hunted here for Polar Bear and Arctic Fox) there is an extensive tundra populated by Musk Oxen. The small lakes are home to geese. We sail through Kaiser Franz Joseph Fjord, a magnificent fjord with towering mountains on both sides, its inner reaches choked with huge icebergs. An alternative is Sofia Sund, which is much narrower.

    • Day 6 - Blomster Bugt

      We will land at Blomster Bugt to view the beautiful geological formations. Arctic Hare are usually seen here, and there is a lake with Great Northern Diver and their young. In the afternoon we sail along Teufelschloss and Ella Ø and may land at a beautiful spot in the early evening.

    • Day 7 - Segelsällskapets Fjord

      In the morning we enter Segelsällskapets Fjord with the beautiful Berzelius Mountains on the north side. We will land on the south side of the fjord in an astounding place where the ancient sedimentary geology is literally at your feet. A hike will take us near a small lake with good chances to see Muskoxen, Arctic hare, and Ptarmigan. In the afternoon the ship will venture into Alpe Fjord, which is as spectacular as the name implies. We may embark on a long Zodiac cruise around the Gully Glacier which once blocked the access to the interior of the fjord and venture deep inside to the very end. Adventure at its finest!

    • Day 8 - Antarcticahavn

      The first half of the day we spend in Antarcticahavn, a wide and extensive valley where we also could see groups of Musk Oxen. At this time of year the autumnal colours of the sparse vegetation make the landscapes even more beautiful.

    • Day 9 - Scoresby Sund & Volquart Boons Kyst

      Today we reach the Scoresby Sund and sail in the morning along the ragged and glaciated Volquart Boons Kyst. Here we may organise a zodiac cruise along one of the glacier fronts of this coast, and have our first landing near for instance Måne Glacier. Later we land on Danmark Ø where we find the remains of an Inuit settlement abandoned around 200 years ago. The circular ‘tent rings’ of stones indicate the summer houses, while the winter houses can be seen closer to a small cape. The sites are well preserved, allowing entrances and even bear-proof meat caches to be identified. There are also grave sites. In the evening we continue our sailing through the beautiful fjords to the west, choked with icebergs.

    • Day 10 - Hofman Halvø

      We go ashore at C. Hofman Halvø, a reliable spot for viewing Musk Oxen. We may also spot Rock Ptarmigan and Great Northern Diver at sea. The landscape here is particularly beautiful, especially during autumn when the Dwarf Willow and Dwarf Birch change colour. Arctic Blueberry and Crowberry add their own colourful touch - the berries are tasty too! In the evening we sail through the fjord towards Scoresby Land, enjoying the contrast between the warm autumnal colours of the vegetation on shore, backed by huge dark mountains, and the cold blue of the icebergs.

    • Day 11 - Northwest fjord, Scoresby Land

      In Northwest fjord in Scoresby Land in the morning, we encounter huge icebergs, some over 100m high and more than a kilometre in length. Most of the bergs are grounded as the fjord is only about 400m deep here. We land near Sydkap to view the remains of the Thule culture winter houses. As many as 20 people lived in these tiny houses, hunting Greenland Whale and using their vertebrae to build the houses. We may also land at Gurreholm on Jameson Land. The landscape here is gently undulating.

    • Day 12 - Ittoqqortoormiit

      In the morning we land at Ittoqqortoormiit, the biggest settlement in the Scoresby Sund with about 500 inhabitants. At the post office you can buy stamps for your postcards, or just wander around to see the sledge dogs and the drying skins of Seal, Musk Ox and Polar Bear. After dinner we will sail south passing the amazing landscape of the Blosseville Coast.

    • Day 13 - At sea

      We will spend the whole day at sea and we will have splendid opportunities to see large whales and seabird migration and, in the night, the Aurora borealis (Northern Lights).

    • Day 14 - Akureyri, Iceland; Disembarkation

      In the morning, we arrive in Akureyri and upon request you can transfer by chartered bus to a centrally located hotel in Reykjavik (6 hours). The transfer is supplemented and must be booked and paid for in advance.

    Please consider that our voyages are expeditionary in nature. This means, that there are no concrete itineraries, your captain and expedition leader will utilise their vast experience to chart the best course for your expedition depending on the climatic and environmental conditions. Mentioned highlights and wildlife cannot be guaranteed.

  • Highlights & Activities

    Scoresby Sund

    Sailing deep into Scoresby Sund, towering mountains and unforgettable landscape make for a dramatic couple of days. However, it is icebergs on a grand scale that are sure to impress us the most. Scoresby Sund icebergs are often some of the most dramatic and intricately shaped, set against Greenland’s incredible mountains, there are few landscapes like this!

    Dance Under the Aurora Borealis

    The bright dancing lights of the aurora are actually collisions between electrically charged particles from the sun that enter the earth's atmosphere.

    Auroral displays appear in many colours although pale green and pink are the most common. Shades of red, yellow, green, blue, and violet have been reported. The lights appear in many forms from patches or scattered clouds of light to streamers, arcs, rippling curtains or shooting rays that light up the sky with an eerie glow.

  • Inclusions

    All meals on board

    Onboard your expedition all meals are included and prepared by our chefs. Meals are prepared to a restaurant standard and to cater for most diet requirements.

    All Zodiac excursions

    During the course of your expedition, you will have direct access to our onboard expedition team. Our expedition team members are a wealth of information, they have backgrounds in exploration or science based backgrounds. Our teams will usually comprise of naturalists, historians, geologists and ornithologists.

    Your expedition team members will expertly guide you off the ship and provide you with firsthand knowledge about the geology and wildlife of the region. Back onboard the vessel, team members hold lectures about their studies or the wildlife that was seen during the course of the day.

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Free use of rubber expedition boots
    - Comprehensive pre-departure material
    - AECO and government fees
    - Port taxes
    - All shore excursions and lectures
    - All accommodation and meals on board

    Not included in your Expedition

    - Transfer and baggage handling between ship in Akureyri and Hotel Reykjavik
    - Gratuities
    - Internet / Wifi & Phone
    - Laundry
    - Beverages
    - Mandatory waterproof gear not provided
    - Baggage / cancellation / interruption and medical travel insurance
    - Arrival and departure taxes
    - Passport & Visa expenses
    - Pre and post-cruise travel
    - Any airfare whether scheduled or charter flights
  • Map
    Screen shot 2017 07 05 at 2.03.58 pm
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    MV PLANCIUS

    The ship sailed for the Dutch Navy until June 2004 and was eventually purchased by Oceanwide Expeditions. The vessel was completely rebuilt as a 116-passenger vessel in 2009 and complies with the latest SOLAS-regulations (Safety Of Life At Sea). M/v “Plancius” is classed by Lloyd’s Register and flies the Dutch flag. M/v “Plancius” accommodates 116 passengers in 53 passenger cabins with private toilet and shower in 4 quadruple porthole cabins, 2 triple porthole cabins, 9 twin porthole cabins, 26 twin cabins with window and 2 twin deluxe cabins, all (ca. 12,5 square meters) and 10 twin superior cabins (ca. 21 square meters). All cabins offer lower berths (one queen-size bed in the superior cabins and two single beds in the twin cabins), except for the 4 quadruple cabins (for 4 persons in 2x upper and lower beds), and 2 triple cabins (1 bunk bed plus 1 lower bed).

    Features & Facilities
    • Comfortable and recently refurbished
    • Large Observation Decks
    • Open Bridge
    • Spacious observation lounge (with bar)
    • Restaurant
    • Lecture Room
    • Internet/Wifi
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 4
    Guests #: 116
    Crew #: 47
    Ice Class: 1D
    Speed: 12
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built:
    Length: 89m
    Width: 14
    Draft:
    Tonnage: 3434
    Registry: Netherlands
    Elec Outlets: 220V / 2 Round Pin
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
All available dates

Quad Cabin

05 Sep 2018 - 18 Sep 2018
An excellent cabin choice for single travellers or families of 4
USD 5,950pp
USD 5,950pp

Triple Cabin

05 Sep 2018 - 18 Sep 2018
An excellent cabin choice for single travellers or families of 3
USD 7,690pp
USD 7,690pp

Twin Porthole

05 Sep 2018 - 18 Sep 2018
Twin cabin with porthole and private facilities
USD 8,960pp
USD 8,960pp

Twin Window

05 Sep 2018 - 18 Sep 2018
Twin cabin with window and private facilities
USD 9,750pp
USD 9,750pp

Twin Deluxe

05 Sep 2018 - 18 Sep 2018
Spacious corner cabins, with twin beds, private facilities and 2 windows.
USD 10,380pp
USD 10,380pp

Superior

05 Sep 2018 - 18 Sep 2018
Suite cabins with mid-ship locations on deck 5 & 6
USD 12,290pp
USD 12,290pp