greg mortimer three arctic islands cruise

East Greenland Explorer

  • Overview

    East Greenland is one of the most isolated habitations in the world. Along the more than 20,000 kilometres / 12,427 miles of coastline you’ll only encounter two towns and 5 small settlements, inhabited by no more than 3,500 people. An awesome wilderness of more than 1,457,000 km² including the world's largest national park, East Greenland offers fantastic possibilities for great adventures. In East Greenland, steep mountains rise from the sea and giant white and blue icebergs float in deep fjords. Only 120 years ago, there was no connection between East and West Greenland. Therefore, the culture, traditions, and even language are different between inhabitants of the east and west.

    Discover the world’s largest fjord system in East Greenland. Zodiac cruise and kayak along sounds filled with spectacular icebergs calved from glaciers of Greenland’s enormous ice cap. Rock-climbers will thrill to the adventure of scaling some of the world’s least explored and dazzling mountain ranges while scuba divers plunge below the icy sea to witness a strange dazzling world seen by few where icebergs, catfish and lumpsuckers, and odd-looking sea cucumbers all vie for attention. On shore, encounter colourful tundra on hikes and meet friendly Inuit locals who still practice a traditional hunting and fishing lifestyle.

    Duration: 13 days
    Passengers: 120 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Reykjavik, Iceland
    Disembarkation Point: Reykjavik, Iceland
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.7x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Reykjavik, Iceland

      Arrive in Reykjavik, Iceland, and make your own way to our group hotel.

      In true expedition style, we encourage exploration and adventure as this itinerary is merely a guide. We offer flexibility in challenging environments in a way that puts you amongst the action, to see and do as much as possible. Subject to change due to ice and weather conditions.

    • Day 2 - Drive Reykjavik to Akureyri

      After a leisurely breakfast, check-out of your room and board your comfortable coach for your drive on the ring road north to Akureyri, Iceland’s second largest town, where your ship the Greg Mortimer awaits. Whatever the time of year, Akureyri is a lively and energetic town, and home to around 20,000 inhabitants. It is by far the most densely populated community outside the Reykjavík area, and is the centre of trade, culture and services for the north of Iceland. It is a town closely associated with educational institutions and cultural events, all of those having strong traditional roots.

      The 400 km/248 mile journey to Akureyri takes approximately six hours and you will get a glimpse of Iceland’s dramatic landscape along the way. Upon embarkation, you’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important briefings. Spend some time out on the observation decks and say goodbye to Iceland as we sail across the Denmark Strait to Greenland.

    • Day 3 - At Sea

      As we cross the Denmark Strait to Greenland, enjoy informative and entertaining lectures from our expert expedition team including naturalists, historians and geologists.

    • Day 4/11 - East Greenland

      As we approach East Greenland we may encounter more pack ice where we may see seals and a variety of seabirds, including northern fulmar and migratory Brunnichs guillemots. This stretch of coastline is ripe for exploration, with its many secrets locked in place by drift ice for up to eight months each year. Home to snowy owls and musk ox, it's the world's largest national park, covering 972,000km2; most of which is inland ice and the rest a composite fjord landscape.

      Over the next seven days a host of choices are open to us, and depending on ice and weather conditions, the east coast of Greenland is ours to explore. Our experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design our voyage from day to day. This allows us to make best use of the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities. We will generally make up to two landings or Zodiac excursions per day; cruising along spectacular ice cliffs, following whales that are feeding near the surface.

      Over the coming days, be prepared to experience ice, 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 up to 2,000 metres / 6,562 feet high. Glaciers create gigantic icebergs that drift throughout the fjord system creating breath-taking scenes. The landscape is filled with multi-coloured tundra home to musk oxen and Arctic hare. Throughout the area are ancient Thule archaeological sites, historical trappers' huts, and modern Inuit hunters' cabins. 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 boasts an excellent museum, gift shop, an abundance of Greenlandic sled dogs, and the opportunity to meet Inuit people.

      Explore Scoresbysund, the largest fjord system in the world – a spectacular place that simply needs to be seen to be believed. North of Scoresbysund are, Kong Oscar and Kaizer Franz Josef fjords, two of the most significant fjord systems in all of Greenland, each one encompassing several smaller fjords and sounds. Thanks to the fertile volcanic soil mountains that protect areas from the strong winds, the area is rich in wildlife. You may spot everything from muskox and arctic foxes to mountain hares and even reindeer near the fjord. Look skyward and you could catch a glimpse of birds including 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 within the Northeast Greenland National Park. Cruising through Kong Oskar Fjord we will 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 aim to reach Scoresbysund, the world’s biggest fjord and favourite hunting ground of the local Inuit. Massive glaciers dump into this fjord, the birthplace of the famous big Greenland icebergs.

      We plan to visit the remote Inuit community of Ittoqqortoormiit (Scoresby Town) and to hike across the tundra in search of ancient graveyards and summer villages occupied 3,000 years ago by the Inuit. This area provides excellent opportunities for sea kayaking in its maze of calm, interconnecting waterways. If we are lucky we may see musk oxen, arctic hare and seals.

      Places we may along the east coast include:

      Cape Humboldt is a beautiful bay on Ymer Island. There is a good chance to take a tundra walk and see musk oxen graze. We will also keep a lookout for Arctic fox and ptarmigan. A lone trapper's hut looks over the bay and magnificent icebergs.

      Sefstrom Glacier adorns the narrow peaked waterway in Alpefjord. Enjoy Zodiac cruising and kayaking in this pretty area, where colourful Arctic flora adorns the tundra ground.

      Ittoqqortoormiit is Scoresbysund’s colourful Inuit community of approximately 500 people. Here you can explore the village, the fascinating museum or sit in the beautiful Lutheran Church. The locals are friendly and from underneath their arctic fox-fur jackets, the shy young children are keen to say hello and practice their English.

      Sydkap in Scoresbysund offers good walking and delightful views across the sound. Kayakers will have good opportunities to explore the lonely beaches. We may explore the ancient gravesites on the island, or the lakes with green tunnels and giant icebergs offer hours of enjoyment for kayak and Zodiac rides.

      Rømerfjord: Rømer Fjord with its narrow channels and towering peaks is simply stunning, and lies roughly 167 kilometres / 104 miles south of Scoresbysund. There are great hiking options in the fjord where flowering tundra plants, scattered bones of whales and muskox from centuries of hunting by the Inuit, and fumaroles can be found. These are areas where heated groundwater boil to the surface creating bubbling pools and mineral formations as the water reacts with the atmosphere.

      Rode Ø: Rode Ø island is a glorious place for Zodiac cruising, hiking and kayaking, with its rich red Devonian sandstone geology. Discover the impressive mafic dyke that runs through the east side of Rode Ø. Glaucous gulls find perfect perches and nesting sites along the top of the basalt extrusions. Kayak along the maze of icebergs - pillars and arches, caves and peaks that look as though an artist had sculpted them.

      Hare Fjord: The scenery here is breathtaking. Walk across the tundra alongside a ravine or Zodiac cruise where you might find musk ox, along with flitting shore birds, seals and a variety of colours in the lush Arctic tundra. Kayakers can enjoy sublime paddling in one of the most remote fjords in the world. Nearby is the spectacular and impressive Ø Fjord, a perfect place for small ship cruising.

      Nordvest Fjord: If mountains rising 1,200 metres straight out of the water wasn’t enough, how about the fjord itself, descending to 1,500 metres? There are also countless icebergs pouring out of the Daugård-Gensen Glacier. A great place for kayaking and Zodiac cruising with plenty of gorgeous bergs while the glacier itself, seemingly small from a distance, proved to be a formidable river of ice snaking down the valley.

      Eskimobugt: No one can state the exact age of the neo-Eskimo site at Eskimobugt, but it may only be a few hundred years old. Subterranean winter houses designed with a tunnel that faces the sea where occupants would crawl through to the stand-up living chamber; at the opposite end is the sleeping platform. The walls were erected with carefully laid stones while the roof structure would be built from whatever material was available - driftwood, walrus bone, and available skin covering. Fire hearths were created by laying rocks in a circle with a bed of white quartzite stones. Learn from our historian about the incredible resourcefulness of the Inuit people whose men travelled formidable distances by kayak to hunt, and whose women crafted sophisticated garments from animal skins and fur – a people for whom survival in such extremes was paramount. Hiking here offers panoramic views, sightings musk ox and, occasionally Arctic hare.

      Skipperdalen: See some of the most striking sedimentary sandstone, shale and siltstone formations imaginable. The alternating colours and patterns in the layers of rocks defied belief, and the layers of sediment here are estimated to have taken about 4,000 years to be laid down. You can also find the remains of a simple but highly effective wooden fox trap in use by Norwegian trappers in both Greenland and Svalbard from the early 1900s to 1960s. Skippendalen is also a marvellous place to hike and paddle in kayaks.

      Other possible landing points in the area include:

      Rypefjord
      Nordenskjöld glacier & Blomsterbugten
      Alpenfjorden
      FjordFonfjord
      Bjorn Oya
      Milne Land
      Hekla Havn
      Denmark Island

    • Day 12 - Denmark Strait

      In the Denmark Strait, we sail back towards Iceland. Keep a lookout for whale blows and the many seabirds that trail our ship in the ever present Arctic winds. Enjoy the time to reflect on your recent adventures, share and exchange photos, and breathe in the fresh ocean air. As we near Iceland, we re-enter an inhabited world as we encounter fishing vessels working the coastal waters.

    • Day 13 - Disembark in Akureyri, transfer to Reykjavik

      During the early morning we arrive into the northern Icelandic town of Akureyri. Upon disembarkation, farewell your expedition team, crew and fellow expeditioners as our buses will be waiting to transfer us back to downtown Reykjavik or to the airport.

      NOTE: Due to departure flight schedules out of Reykjavik, we recommend that passengers stay overnight in Reykjavik before continuing with your onward international travel arrangements.

    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

    Kayaking

    The experience of sea kayaking in the humbling wilderness of Antarctica or the European Arctic is guaranteed to stir your soul. Paddle between brash ice and icebergs of all shapes and sizes, skim past penguin rookeries or under soaring bird cliffs, or drift quietly as you watch wildlife unobtrusively, absorbing the majestic scenery.

    AUD 1,250 per person

    Rock Climbing in Greenland

    Explore the remote and rugged summits of East Greenland, scaling sheer granite cliffs and glacial remnants in pursuit of breathtaking views of Scoresby Sund’s ice-filled fjords.

    Experienced climbers will relish the chance to explore up and along the rarely-scaled peaks that dominate the landscape. And when you reach the top? A view that few people on earth will ever lay eyes on!

    AUD 1,520 per person

    Arctic Scuba Diving

    To participate in our polar diving activity, all divers must be a trained, certified scuba divers with proof of certification beyond entry level, i.e. Advanced Diver certification or equivalent rating issued by a recognised scuba training organisation.

    In addition to this, it is extremely important that adequate training and experience is gained in dry-suit diving, and in the use of other new and unfamiliar equipment to be used in polar waters. To ensure your safety and enjoyment and to avoid any unnecessary problems on the trip, recent diving experience and proof of a minimum of 20 logged dives using a dry-suit is required prior to joining the voyage.

    AUD 1,520 per person

    Endless Arctic nights

    Svalbard is the Arctic North as you always dreamed it existed. This wondrous archipelago is a land of dramatic snow-drowned peaks and glaciers, of vast icefields and forbidding icebergs, an elemental place where the seemingly endless Arctic night and the perpetual sunlight of summer carry a deeper kind of magic. One of Europe's last great wildernesses, this is also the domain of more polar bears than people, a terrain rich in epic legends of polar exploration.

    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

    Expedition Gear

    Complimentary custom-designed polar expedition jacket and use of gumboots during voyage

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Professional produced voyage log
    - Comprehensive pre-departure information
    - Group sightseeing tour in Longyearbyen on arrival
    - Group transfer to/from airport to Polar Pioneer in Longyearbyen
    - Port taxes & entry fees
    - Medical services on board
    - All shore excursions and lectures during the voyage
    - All meals and accommodation during the voyage

    Not included in your Expedition

    - International and internal flights that are not specified
    - Travel insurance (mandatory)
    - Items of a personal nature such as; Beverages / Laundry / Medical expenses / Gratuities / Internet & Wifi
    - Optional excursion and activities not included in the voyage itinerary
    - Mandatory expedition gear not provided
  • Map
    Map coming soon
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    GREG MORTIMER

    The Greg Mortimer, named after the Australian adventurer and Polar tourism pioneer (Greg Mortimer OAM), this unique vessel utilises some of the latest advancements in naval design & technology to revolutionise the small ship expedition cruising experience. The X-BOW makes sailing smoother and faster while protecting the vulnerable environments visited using a virtual anchoring system. Shore excursions are made easier, with four sea-level Zodiac loading decks & a specially-crafted activity platform, designed in close consultation with our world-renowned expedition & activity leaders. Unlike many new ships, the Greg Mortimer is not striving for absolute luxury. It will of course, be brand new, modern and comfortable in every way, but will stay true to a relaxed, comfortable and homely style of travel, purely focused on the expedition and destination. Ship Features: - Highly qualified and experienced expedition team and international crew - X-BOW® hull, designed to offer faster and more comfortable travel enabling the ship to pierce through waves and maintain speed of travel, lower fuel consumption and reduced air pollution emissions - All cabins feature twin or king bedding configuration and private bathroom. 80% of cabins include a private balcony. 60% of cabins can accommodate a third person - Purpose-built activities preparation areas including four Zodiac launching platforms for fast and safe transition off the ship as you embark on multiple daily excursions - Observation lounge and viewing platforms offer spectacular panoramic views of scenery and wildlife. - State-of-the-art lecture theatre, two hot tubs/plunge pools, art room, library, gym, wellness centre and more!

    Features & Facilities
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 4
    Guests #: 120
    Crew #: 62
    Ice Class: 1A
    Speed: 12
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built: 2019
    Length: 104m
    Width: 18
    Draft: 5
    Tonnage: 7400
    Registry: Bahamas
    Elec Outlets: 220V 2 Round plug
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
All available dates
greg mortimer triple stateroom

Triple Cabin

10 Sep 2021 - 22 Sep 2021
Triple cabin featuring 3 single beds with en-suite and porthole.
AUD 11,100pp
AUD 8,880pp
greg mortimer twin stateroom

Stateroom Twin

10 Sep 2021 - 22 Sep 2021
Twin or double cabin with en-suite and porthole.
AUD 12,300pp
AUD 9,840pp
greg mortimer balcony stateroom

Balcony Stateroom 'C'

10 Sep 2021 - 22 Sep 2021
With 58 rooms available, the Greg Mortimer's Balcony Staterooms are the most abundant cabin category on board. All include en-suite bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows and balconies and a select number are also connecting rooms, perfect for families or groups. Balcony Staterooms A, B & C vary slightly in size and position on the ship.
AUD 13,800pp
AUD 11,040pp
greg mortimer balcony stateroom

Balcony Stateroom 'B'

10 Sep 2021 - 22 Sep 2021
With 58 rooms available, the Greg Mortimer's Balcony Staterooms are the most abundant cabin category on board. All include en-suite bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows and balconies and a select number are also connecting rooms, perfect for families or groups. Balcony Staterooms A, B & C vary slightly in size and position on the ship.
AUD 14,100pp
AUD 11,280pp
greg mortimer balcony stateroom

Balcony Stateroom 'A'

10 Sep 2021 - 22 Sep 2021
With 58 rooms available, the Greg Mortimer's Balcony Staterooms are the most abundant cabin category on board. All include en-suite bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows and balconies and a select number are also connecting rooms, perfect for families or groups. Balcony Staterooms A, B & C vary slightly in size and position on the ship.
AUD 14,300pp
AUD 11,440pp
greg mortimer balcony suite

Balcony Suite

10 Sep 2021 - 22 Sep 2021
With a bit more room to stretch the legs, the Greg Mortimer's two Balcony Suites are perfect for polar adventurers who travel with plenty of gear. Featuring private balconies, en-suite bathrooms and a comfortable desk area, these will sell out quickly! Suite Cabin Inclusions: * Free pair of binoculars per suite. * 1-hour spa treatment (per person). * Free stocked mini bar. - Balcony Suites and Junior Suites stocked once only, not replenished. - Captain Suite – replenished. * Gratuities/tips for crew included. * 1 free bottle of champagne.
AUD 16,800pp
AUD 13,440pp
greg mortimer junior suite

Junior Suite

10 Sep 2021 - 22 Sep 2021
The Greg Mortimer's four Junior Suites take in some impressive scenery from their vantage points on Deck 7. When you aren't enjoying a landing, you can relax in the suites' separate lounge area, or just watch the world float by from the private balcony. Suite Cabin Inclusions: * Free pair of binoculars per suite. * 1-hour spa treatment (per person). * Free stocked mini bar. - Balcony Suites and Junior Suites stocked once only, not replenished. - Captain Suite – replenished. * Gratuities/tips for crew included. * 1 free bottle of champagne.
AUD 18,300pp
AUD 14,640pp
greg mortimer single stateroom

Stateroom Single

10 Sep 2021 - 22 Sep 2021
Single cabin with double bed, en-suite and porthole. Dedicated single cabins are limited, please enquire.
AUD 18,450pp
AUD 14,760pp
greg mortimer owner's suite

Captain's Suite

10 Sep 2021 - 22 Sep 2021
The largest of all our rooms, the Greg Mortimer's singular Captain's Suite will take you to the polar regions in ultimate style and comfort. Complete with large lounge area, balcony, walk-in wardrobe and en-suite, you'll need to get in early to secure this suite. Suite Cabin Inclusions: * Free pair of binoculars per suite. * 1-hour spa treatment (per person). * Free stocked mini bar. - Balcony Suites and Junior Suites stocked once only, not replenished. - Captain Suite – replenished. * Gratuities/tips for crew included. * 1 free bottle of champagne.
AUD 21,000pp
AUD 16,800pp