Wild Svalbard, Greenland and Iceland

A combination of ‘Jewels of the Arctic’ + ‘Iceland’s Westfjords & North Coast’

Departure Date: 17 Jul 2025 – 05 Aug 2025 | 20 days

Departure/Arrival: Oslo, Norway – Reykjavik, Iceland

Voyage code: GRI001S

Voyage type: Discovery + Expedition

Ship: Sylvia Earle

Price: from AUD $40,695 (Aurora Stateroom Superior)

Call us on 1800 637 688 for full pricing and special offers!

Summary

Welcome to Aurora Expeditions’ Wild Svalbard, Greenland and Iceland expedition voyage.

Combining our Jewels of the Arctic and Iceland’s Westfjords & North Coast voyages, you’ll marvel at Svalbard’s dazzling frozen scenery while being on polar bear spotting duty. In East Greenland, sail deep into the world’s largest fjord, Scoresbysund, visit Ittoqqortoormiit, one of the world’s remotest Inuit settlements, cruise among iridescent icebergs sculpted into fantastic shapes, and walk across tundra blooming in brightly coloured flowers, while tasting delicious wild berries. Heading south across the Arctic Circle to Iceland, you’ll explore the remote Westfjords and North Coast of this enchanting country, a land and people whose lives have been shaped by the powerful forces of volcanic activity.

Highlights

  • Watch arctic fox hunt beneath towering cliffs that are home to enormous colonies of guillemots and fulmars
  • In Svalbard, push through pack ice, searching for polar bears and ringed seals
  • Marvel at thundering waterfalls, lava fields and landscapes shaped by volcanic activity in Iceland
  • Practise your wildlife photography skills in Husavik, Iceland’s premier whale watching destination

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Aurora Expeditions operates in remote and challenging environments, and in the spirit of expedition travel, we encourage you to adopt a flexible and adventurous attitude when joining our voyages. This itinerary is a guide only and is subject to change due to weather, sea state and other conditions beyond our control.

 

Itinerary

Having made your way to Oslo, you will be met by a representative of Aurora Expeditions and transferred to our group hotel. Upon arrival at your included hotel, please visit the Aurora Expeditions hospitality desk to collect your luggage cabin tags and to speak with our ground operations team, who may have information to share with you about pre-embarkation or to provide you with information about where to dine, withdraw cash or purchase last minute items from a local pharmacy or supermarket.

The remainder of your time is at leisure. All meals today are at your own expense.

Accommodation: Radisson Blu Plaza Oslo (or similar)

This morning, please ensure your cabin luggage is fitted with cabin tags clearly labelled with your name and cabin number. Enjoy breakfast at the hotel before transferring to the airport for our charter flight to Longyearbyen for embarkation. Any valuables or personal items should be kept on you throughout the day. In Longyearbyen, explore the town on a guided excursion tour.  

On the drive to Camp Barentz, located in Advent Valley, your guide will give you an introduction to Longyearbyen’s fascinating history. Once at Camp Barentz we enjoy a presentation in the large ‘lavvo’ – a traditional building common in northern Norway. You will also have the opportunity to meet the friendly huskies and perhaps pick up some souvenirs. A visit to the Svalbard Museum is included back in town before embarking the vessel in the late afternoon. 

After the tour, you will be transferred directly to the pier to embark in the late afternoon. Settle into your cabin before attending important safety briefings and enjoy the thrill of departure as we ‘throw the lines’ and set sail.  

Note: the excursion is contingent on the arrival time of our charter flight to Longyearbyen.  

Svalbard offers arctic wilderness at its best. The members of our experienced Expedition Team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to tailor our itinerary, choosing the best options based on the prevailing weather, sea-ice conditions and opportunities for wildlife encounters.

Phenomenal fjords, magnificent mountains ranges, and a polar desert rich in fossils set the stage for heroic tales of early exploration. See walrus hauled-out on sea ice or on beaches. On land, we stretch our legs on walks across tundra carpeted in brightly coloured wildflowers. We visit towering cliffs noisy with nesting guillemots and puffins, and scree slopes that hold Svalbard’s largest little auk colonies. Most memorable are encounters with the majestic polar bear on pack ice. Your Expedition Team is just as keen as you are to find them and they will be on constant watch to spot these inspiring creatures.

If you have chosen an optional activity such as kayaking, you will have an opportunity to enjoy that activity when conditions allow. For those who are enthusiastic to participate in a polar plunge, as soon as conditions are suitable, you will hear the announcement to prepare for an exhilarating dip – a memory you will savour for years to come.

As we sail towards the coast of East Greenland, we may encounter whales feeding in the rich waters of the north. As we approach East Greenland, be prepared to encounter more pack ice and perhaps spot seals and a variety of seabirds, including the northern fulmar and Brünnich’s guillemot. The strong, icy currents have isolated East Greenland from the Polar Basin, attracting large numbers of fish, seals and whales. Climatic conditions and the concentration of ice in the vicinity often create thick morning fog that only vanishes in presence of the midday sun. Our experts will inform and entertain us with fascinating discussions on plants, animals, ice and heroic tales of exploration.

In the coming days, a host of choices are available 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 tailor our itinerary on a day-to-day basis. This allows us to make best use of the prevailing weather, ice conditions and encounters with wildlife. We generally attempt up to two landings or Zodiac excursions per day, including cruising along spectacular ice cliffs, following whales feeding near the surface.

Be prepared to experience ice – and 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 soaring up to 2,000 metres (6,562 feet), and glaciers birthing gigantic icebergs that drift throughout the fjord system, combine to create breathtaking scenes.

The tundra landscape is home to musk oxen, arctic hare and reindeer. Throughout the area there are ancient Thule archaeological sites, historical trappers’ huts, and the cabins of present-day Inuit hunters. 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 has an excellent museum, gift shop, an abundance of Greenlandic sled dogs and provides the opportunity to meet the friendly locals.

Explore Scoresbysund, the world’s largest fjord and a favourite hunting ground of the local Inuit. Massive glaciers flow into this fjord, the birthplace of hundreds of majestic Greenland icebergs. It is a spectacular place that simply needs to be seen to be believed. North of Scoresbysund lie Kong Oskar and Kaiser Franz Josef fjords, two of the most significant fjord systems in Greenland, each one encompassing several smaller fjords and sounds. Thanks to the fertile volcanic soil and the surrounding mountains offering protection from strong winds, the area is rich in wildlife. You may spot everything from musk ox and arctic foxes to mountain hares, and even reindeer, near the fjord. Look skyward and you could catch a glimpse of birds, including the 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, located within the Northeast Greenland National Park. Cruising through Kong Oskar Fjord, we 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 stretch our legs on hikes across tundra in search of ancient graveyards and summer villages occupied 3,000 years ago by Inuit. We may see musk ox, arctic hare and reindeer grazing. The maze of calm, interconnecting waterways in this area provides excellent opportunities for sea kayaking. We will see ring seals, perhaps catch a glimpse of the elusive narwhal, and maybe even a polar bear hunting on pack ice.

Crossing the Denmark Strait to Iceland, search for whale blows and photograph the many seabirds that trail our ship in the ever-present arctic winds.

On arrival in Reykjavik, Iceland’s cosmopolitan capital, our crew and expedition team prepare to welcome expeditioners joining us on our Icelandic Landscapes: Westfjords & North Coast voyage, while you enjoy a day trip to Iceland’s famous Golden Circle. In the late afternoon, reboard the vessel and meet your fellow expeditioners to begin the next part of your Arctic adventure around Iceland. 

At Arnarstapi, our Zodiacs tender us ashore. Located on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, this area features diverse landscapes characterised by lava fields, glistening fjords and home to Breidafjordur Bay which is rich in birdlife. The area is crowned by the magnificent, ice-capped Snæfellsjökull volcano, a 700,000-year-old dormant subglacial volcano, visible from Reykjavik on a clear day and immortalised in Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth. You can choose from a selection of shore excursion options that best suits your interests and level of fitness. Options include a bus tour to Mount Kirkjufell, one of the most famous mountains in Iceland, or a choice of hikes including a glacier hike at Snæfellsjökull Glacier.  

Over the next two days, we explore the Westfjords region featuring outstanding landscapes with jaw-dropping views of dramatic fjords carved by ancient glaciers, sheer table mountains that plunge into the sea and pristine North Atlantic vegetation.  

At Patreksfjordur, a shore excursion by coach takes us to Latrabjarg cliffs. As Europe’s largest bird cliff, Latrabjarg is home to millions of seabirds, such as puffin, razorbill, fulmar and guillemot. Enjoy the impressive variety of natural wonders and unspoiled nature. Latrabjarg also happens to be the westernmost point in Europe, east coast of the North American continent on the other side of the Atlantic. Alternatively, enjoy a shore excursion by coach to Rauthasnduris to explore the beach and seal watching.

At Dynjandi, witness one of Iceland’s most impressive waterfalls – a difficult feat in a country that is filled with spectacular cascading falls.

Arrive in Husavik, the whale watching capital of Iceland. Choose from a selection of shore excursions to best suit your interests and level of fitness. Choose to visit Godafoss Falls and soak at Myvatn Nature baths, an outdoor hot spring bathing complex surrounded by mountain views. Alternatively, explore both Godafoss and Dettifoss waterfalls, the Mývatn region and Krafla.

In the evening, we reboard our vessel in Akureyri, Iceland’s second largest city outside the capital area and is blessed with a superb snow-capped mountain backdrop.

Siglufjordur is the northernmost town on Iceland’s mainland and is a historic fishing town whose fortune has been closely linked to the success of the fishing industry. It’s an area of spectacular natural beauty surrounded by mountains and the fjord. In the morning, our expedition team will lead you on a guided hike suited to your level of fitness. After lunch, you’ll have free time to explore this quaint town at your leisure, visiting the numerous galleries, museums, artisanal workshops and local church. If we’re lucky, we might get to taste some local beer.  

On Vigur Island, birdwatchers can try and tick a few species on their list, while others can enjoy walks and hikes of varying levels of difficulty, soaking in the stunning surrounds.

During the early morning, we cruise into Reykjavik and disembark at approximately 8.00 am. Farewell your expedition team and fellow passengers as you continue your onward journey. Transfer to Keflavik airport or to your centrally located hotel. 

Note: We do not recommend booking flights departing prior to 12.00 pm on the day of disembarkation, as we may experience delays at the conclusion of the voyage.

Inclusions

  • All transfers mentioned in the itinerary.
  • One night’s hotel accommodation including breakfast, in Oslo on Day 1.
  • Charter flight from Oslo to Longyearbyen on Day 2.
  • Sightseeing tour of Longyearbyen, prior to embarkation, on Day 2 (time permitting).
  • Charter flight from Oslo to Longyearbyen on Day 2.
  • Onboard 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 Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages.
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises.
  • Educational lectures and guiding services provided by Expedition Team.
  • Complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consultation).
  • One 3-in-1 waterproof, polar expedition jacket.
  • Complimentary use of Muck Boots during the voyage (in Spitsbergen).
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information.
  • Port surcharges, permits and landing fees.

Exclusions

  • International or domestic flights – unless specified in the itinerary.
  • Transfers – unless specified in the itinerary.
  • Airport arrival or departure taxes.
  • Passport, visa, reciprocity and vaccination fees and charges.
  • Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges.
  • Hotel accommodation and meals – unless specified in the itinerary.
  • Optional excursions and optional activity surcharges.
  • All items of a personal nature, including but not limited to alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), gratuities, laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, wi-fi, email or phone charges.

Note: A $15 USD per person per day gratuity for the crew is automatically added to your onboard account. It is at your discretion if you would like to remove the tip (or adjust the amount) when you settle your bill. It is not necessary to tip the expedition team members. This gratuity amount is included for suites as part of their ‘Suite Benefits’. 

Activities

Included Activities

Bird watching

Lectures on wildlife, our environment, history and destinations

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Near shore cruises

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Photography

Polar plunge

Trips ashore

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Walking & hiking

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Whale and mammal spotting

Zodiac cruises

Add-on Activities

Sea Kayaking

Sea Kayaking One of the most exhilarating ways to experience Antarctica, the Arctic and beyond. Sea kayaking holidays in the …

Cabins & Prices

Browse our comfortable staterooms and suites below. Please contact us for best pricing and current availability.

Aurora Stateroom Triple Share

Aurora Stateroom Superior

Balcony Stateroom Category C

Balcony Stateroom Category B

Balcony Stateroom Category 

Balcony Stateroom Superior

Junior Suite

 

Captain’s Suite

 

Some cabin images of the Sylvia Earle are artist’s impressions only and final results may vary.

Prefer a shorter voyage?

‘Wild Svalbard, Greenland and Iceland’ is a combination of the 13 day Jewels of the Arctic & the 9 day Iceland’s Westfjords & North Coast. View these itineraries below or contact us for more information.

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