Join a Hurtigruten explorer cruise with MS Fram from Greenland via Iceland and Jan Mayen to Svalbard. Discover Norse heritage, experience an amazing and varied Arctic wildlife and enjoy a summer expedition under the Midnight Sun. Meet isolated Inuit communities, go on adventures among colossal icebergs, mountains and fjords and much more. A unique adventure awaits.
This tour can commence in: Copenhagen
Flight from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland.
This small airstrip is the main gateway to Greenland, and on arrival your transfer to MS Fram will be waiting for you. Slightly less than 600 people live and work in Kangerlussuaq (the long fjord). The airport was built by the Americans during World War II and was operative as an American base until 1992. Today, Kangerlussuaq is a commercial airport. Kangerlussuaq is situated only 40 kilometers from the immense Greenland Ice Cap. This indescribable waste land of ice stretches 2,500 kilometers from North to South and nearly 1,000 kilometers from East to West at the widest part of the country. The tallest point of the Ice Cap is 3,200 meters above sea level. The unpaved road goes through a wide variety of the most beautiful natural scenery from Arctic desert to tundra with low growing shrubs, and through hilly terrain with a grand view of the edge of the Ice Cap. Cruise departure around midnight.
Today you will see Nuuk - the capital and the oldest town in Greenland. Old and new traditions meet here, from picturesque old buildings in "Kolonihaven" to the modern building of the Greenland Home Rule. The town is located on the tip of a large peninsula, at the mouth of one of the largest and most spectacular fjord systems in the world. Being the capital, Nuuk also houses university, a teachers training college, churches and the Greenland National Museum where the mummies from Qilakilsoq are to be found.
The abandoned mining town of Ivittuut, which means “grassy place”, is today a stronghold for musk oxen. The area was settled by about twenty farms of vikings, a district called the "Middle Settlement" by modern archaeologists from its placement between the larger Western and Eastern settlements. It is the smallest and least well known of the three, and no written records of its residents exist today.
Qassiarsuk and the hillsides of Qassiarsuk. A little over a thousand years ago (985 A.D.), a group of Norsemen left Iceland to settle in Greenland. Their leader Erik the Red named his chieftain’s seat Brattahlíð, meaning "steep hill" in Old Norse. Soon afterwards, the Norsemen established a flourishing community in the fjord. Farming is still the main occupation in Qassiarsuk and the sheep farmers in the area cultivate the same fields, and let their animals graze on the same hillsides. Enjoy a guided walk through the village and see the reconstructions of Erik the Red's farm and Tjodhilde's Church.
The Denmark Strait connects the Greenland Sea to the Irminger Sea. This crossing is the one the Vikings had to use while migrating from Iceland to South Greenland some 1000-years ago. As clever as they were, the Viking would look at the direction of the flight of the sea birds to find land.
The Denmark Strait was also a battle ground during WW2 between ships of the Royal Navy and the German Kriegsmarine on the 24th of May 1941. The British battle ship HMS Prince of Wales fought the largest German battle ship Bismark which was attempting to break in to the North Atlantic to attack allied merchant marine. During these days at sea the expedition team will be at your disposal and will share their knowledge during interesting lectures.
Reykjavik is the world’s northernmost capital city. Norwegian settlers named the place Reykjavik (meaning “Smoky Bay”) after the columns of steam that rose from the hot springs in the area and made such a profound impression. The surroundings offer fantastic natural beauty with geysers, mountains, glaciers and geothermal baths.
As you reach the west region of Iceland, you will understand why this area is dubbed “The Sagaland”. Take your time to explore Stykkishólmur’s diversity with lava and rock formations, glaciers, volcanic activity, and hot and cold springs. Participate in a range of exciting excursions such as kayaking, hiking and horse riding.
Following the Mid-Atlantic Ridge that divides the North American and the Eurasian continental plate,ship will enter into the Greenland Sea on this crossing. The Greenlandic Ocean borders to Greenland to the west and the Svalbard archipelago to the East. The complex water current system was first described in detail in 1909 by Fridtjof Nansen. This area was also a popular whale-hunting ground for 300-years until the beginning of the 20th century. The remaining whales of the area have been protected since 1911. The expedition team will share their knowledge during the lectures as ship set sail towards Jan Mayen.
Jan Mayen is the most isolated island in the Northern Hemisphere. It is home to the Beerenberg Volcano, the northernmost active volcano on earth. Tourists visiting and actually landing on the shores of Jan Mayen are extremely rare. The Hurtigruten team will do the best to make it possible for you to set foot on this exotic outpost. This will be an experience of a lifetime.
Enjoy a day with lectures from the Expedition Team as you sail towards Spitsbergen and Longyearbyen. You will cruise through the rather shallow shelf with an average depth of only 230 metres. Part of the Arctic Ocean, the Barents Sea has a high biological production due to similar seas at a comparable latitude. The Sea was named after the Dutch explorer, Wilhelm Barents, who on one of his expeditions to find the Northern sea route, happened to sight Spitsbergen - a name he gave due to the alpine mountains he observed.
The Isfjord is the most prominent fjord system on Svalbard, and you will sail through it on your way to Longyearbyen. You will arrive at this unique and exotic settlement during the night. Longyearbyen is the Norwegian administrative centre of Svalbard. This is a small community of only 2000 inhabitants that have an atmosphere that resembles it being a part of a much larger city. You will find cafés, hospital, several excellent restaurants and hotels – a university and more sports equipment outfitters than anywhere else on earth if you make it relative to population.
As you have reached the end destination for this expedition, you will probably sense that time has passed faster than expected. Lingering is the subtle exhilaration of having spent time on top of the globe, just a few hundred miles from the Geographical North Pole. An early morning transfer takes you to the airport for your flight back to Oslo.