Arctic traveler with yellow coat & red backpack stands at edge of glassy alpine lake with snow-covered peaks in distance.
2 guides in orange & blue coats stand by woman Arctic traveler in yellow coat as arctic reindeer stands nearby on gold tundra.
2 inflatable tandem kayaks are paddled by travelers through calm water by mountains & icebergs on a Four Arctic Islands cruise.
Man in yellow coat, bright sport sunglasses & dark ballcap sits with camera in Zodiac boat, cruising in calm Arctic water.
Hikers on a Four Arctic Islands cruise walk in a line across golden tundra under cloudy skies with sea & mountains behind.
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Polar Regions Arctic Cruise

Four Arctic Islands: Spitsbergen, Jan Mayen, Greenland & Iceland

Four Arctic Islands is an award-winning 18-day expedition cruise that’s perfect for first-time visitors to the Arctic. This voyage highlights four spectacular destinations near the top of the world and provides an unforgettable taste of the diversity of the Arctic, featuring giant icebergs, towering mountains, expansive tundra, iconic wildlife, traditional Inuit culture and more.

Your adventure begins in the remote Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, renowned for its stunning scenery and abundant, varied wildlife such as polar bears and walrus. From there, sail south across the Greenland Sea to the mysterious, volcanic Jan Mayen, a nature reserve so remote that few have ever been fortunate enough to explore this Arctic treasure. The next stop is Greenland’s beguiling east coast, where you will cruise deep into Scoresby Sund to marvel at the overwhelming beauty of the world’s largest fjord system, gaze in awe at unimaginably vast icebergs, and admire the diversity of the flora and fauna that have fascinated explorers and visitors for centuries—and seize the opportunity to explore the remains of ancient Thule settlements. Your epic adventure culminates with a journey under the midnight sun to Reykjavik, where you can soak up Icelandic culture in a city that never sleeps.

Home base is the elegant 128-guest Ocean Adventurer—the perfect expedition ships for those who enjoy soft adventure and creature comforts. Enjoy opportunities to hike, Zodiac cruise, photograph wildlife and scenery, and learn from onboard expert-led lectures. Optional added-cost activities of sea kayaking and one-time paddling excursions may also be available.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Arctic cruises, Svalbard cruises, Greenland cruises, Iceland cruises and Arctic land trips.



Itinerary

Four Arctic Islands: Spitsbergen, Jan Mayen, Greenland & Iceland Itinerary

The Four Arctic Islands: Spitsbergen, Jan Mayen, Greenland & Iceland voyage begins with a charter flight from Helsinki, Finland, to embark Longyearbyen, Svalbard, disembarking in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Route map for Four Arctic Islands Arctic cruise from Longyearbyen, Svalbard to Reykjavik, Iceland
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Day 1
Arrive Helsinki, Finland

This Arctic voyage begins in Helsinki, renowned for its extraordinary architecture and intriguing mix of eastern and western influences. If arriving early, explore the many museums, galleries and restaurants, relax at a Finnish sauna or wander the vibrant Design District before retiring at the included airport hotel.

Accommodations

Airport Hotel TBA

Meals

n/a

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Day 2
Fly to Longyearbyen, Svalbard & Embark

After breakfast, transfer to the airport and board the private group charter flight to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen’s largest settlement. As the ship sets sail, enjoy great views of the mountainous landscape that serves as a backdrop for this seaside town.

Accommodations

Ocean Adventurer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 3 - 6
Exploring Spitsbergen

Exploring Spitsbergen, the largest of the Norwegian-ruled Svalbard islands, rewards you with abundant wildlife and austere beauty. Visit spectacular glacier fronts and steep-walled fjords with walrus, polar bear and Spitsbergen reindeer among the possible wildlife sightings. Birders will be thrilled to see arctic terns, skuas, long-tailed ducks, kittiwakes and ivory gulls. As an added bonus, when conditions are right, sail within 10 degrees of the North Pole!

Accommodations

Ocean Adventurer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 7 - 8
Greenland Sea

While sailing south through the historic Greenland Sea toward Jan Mayen, the expedition team will keep you informed with presentations about the history and politics of the Arctic, its fascinating wildlife, geology, ecology and climate, and the incredible sights you will soon explore. On deck, learn to identify seabirds on the wing. The team will also keep a lookout for the whales that frequent the waters here.

Accommodations

Ocean Adventurer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 9 - 10
Exploring Jan Mayen

North of the Arctic Circle, about 280 miles (450 km) east of Greenland and 340 miles (550 km) north of Iceland, the mysterious Jan Mayen rises from the depths of the North Atlantic. Often shrouded in thick fog, the small mountainous island was declared a nature reserve in 2010 and is rarely visited, save for the 18 rotating personnel of the Norwegian military and Norwegian Meteorological Institute, who are the only inhabitants.

Landing here will be dictated by the weather and sea. If conditions allow, as the ship approaches, keep watch on deck as the spoon-shaped island’s highest summit emerges. At 7,470 feet (2,277 meters) high, the breathtaking Beerenberg volcano features a symmetrical cone shape and impressive glaciers that spill into the sea. With luck, get a closeup view of the volcano and the stratified cliffs of the spectacular north coast while Zodiac cruising along the coast of the island, searching for wildlife.

Designated an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for the large numbers of breeding seabirds, Jan Mayen supports colonies of northern fulmars, little auks, glaucous gulls, kittiwakes, and black and Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres).

Accommodations

Ocean Adventurer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 11 - 15
Exploring Scoresby Sund, Greenland

Your tour of Scoresby Sund—the largest, deepest and, some say, most beautiful multi-armed fjord system in the world—will offer plenty of opportunities to explore ashore or by Zodiac cruise. At one moment you’ll be stepping back in time, exploring the remains of ancient Thule settlements with views of icebergs and towering mountains rising straight out of the sea, and the next you’ll be immersed in contemporary culture, meeting the locals and gaining an appreciation for their way of life in Ittoqqortoormiit, East Greenland’s northernmost community.

At the mouth of the sound, this remote settlement boasts a blend of traditional and modern lifestyles and is geographically closer to Iceland than it is to its nearest Greenlandic neighbors to the southwest. Here, you’ll have the chance to support local Inuit artisans by purchasing unique handicrafts. In terms of wildlife, grazing muskoxen are a possible sight, as 40 percent of the world’s muskoxen population lives in this region. Polar bear sightings are also a remote possibility, as are encounters with more elusive Arctic wildlife, such as the Arctic hare. Seabirds to watch out for nesting atop the steep cliffs of the sound include little auks, fulmars and  guillemots.

Accommodations

Ocean Adventurer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 16 - 17
Denmark Strait

As the ship cruises south, the Denmark Strait is her pathway toward Iceland. Take in a presentation, share your photos, sip an icy cocktail in the bar or watch a film—there are many things to do during this time at sea. The expedition team will also be on hand to answer any questions and point out wildlife.

Accommodations

Ocean Adventurer

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 18
Disembark Reykjavik, Iceland

Disembark in Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, at the end of the journey.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Mandatory Transfer Package (approximate package price in 2023 & 2024 is $695 and includes one night’s pre-expedition hotel night at Helsinki airport hotel, charter flight from Helsinki to Longyearbyen and arrival transfer in Longyearbyen); shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping; all meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board; select beer and wine during dinner; all shore landings per the daily program; leadership throughout the voyage by an experienced expedition leader; all Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program; formal and informal presentations by the expedition team and special guests as scheduled; photographic journal documenting the expedition; a pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings; an official Quark Expeditions parka to keep; coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock; hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin; all miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; all luggage handling aboard ship; emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person; Greenland voyages cruise passenger tax; transfer from Longyearbyen town center to port on embarkation day; group transfer to downtown Reykjavik on disembarkation day.

Excluded

International airfare; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above; meals ashore unless otherwise specified; baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance (strongly recommended); excess baggage fees on international flights; mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned; laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified; phone and internet charges; voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew; additional pre- or post-expedition overnight accommodation; optional paddling activities (additional fee).

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 25% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 120 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 180 days – $1,250 fee
179 to 120 days – 100% of deposit
119 to 90 days – 50% of total trip cost
89 to 60 days – 75% of total trip cost
59 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The 18-day Four Arctic Islands voyage begins in Helsinki, Finland (HEL) and ends in Reykjavik, Iceland (KEF).  Plan to arrive any time on Day 1 of the itinerary. An arrival transfer is not needed, as the Day 1 hotel is at the airport. A group flight (with airport transfer) to Longyearbyen is on Day 2 of the itinerary. The scheduled flight time will be communicated in your final documents.

On Day 18 of the itinerary, the ship is scheduled to arrive at the pier between 7:00am and 8:00am local time. Disembarkation follows breakfast, with an included transfer downtown. Plan flights to depart Reykjavik according to guidelines provided in your final documents. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

A group charter flight between Helsinki and Longyearbyen is required on this trip’s itinerary; see the Mandatory Transfer Package information listed in this trip’s Inclusions. The flight to Longyearbyen is expected to depart early. There is a luggage limit of 50 lbs (23 kg) checked luggage and 18 lbs (8 kg) cabin baggage on the flight. Please pack accordingly as there is no option to pay for additional luggage.

Activities

Hiking, Zodiac cruising, daily presentations, photography guides and the polar plunge are optional and included. Various optional activities may be available on your Four Arctic Islands: Iceland, Greenland, Spitsbergen cruise, for guests aged 16 and older, at the following per person costs in 2023 & 2024: sea kayaking for $695 and one-time paddling excursion for $195. Sea kayaking is arranged in small groups of 10 people, multiple times per voyage, and only conducted during calm weather conditions. You must have some prior kayaking experience, including the capability to do a wet exit. Each departure’s first paddling excursion may be pre-booked and all subsequent outings are booked on the ship. Contact AdventureSmith for more details and to reserve your spot on these adventure activities.

Room Configuration

Select double-occupancy cabins may be available for single occupancy with a single supplement fee. Solo travelers willing to share can reserve a triple or twin-shared cabin, where you will be matched with a person of the same gender. If the other cabin berth goes unsold, you will be guaranteed the double rate. Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at 1.7x (2x for Premium cabins) the per-person listed rate in select cabins based upon availability. Premium Cabins are as follows:
Ocean Adventurer: Superior, Deluxe, Suite & Owner’s Suite

Families & Children

At date of embarkation, a minimum age restriction of 8 years and minimum height and weight requirements (weight of 64lbs or 29kg and 48 in. or 1.2 m. tall) must be met. Children under 16 years of age must be supervised by a parent/guardian at all times, and may not participate in adventure options.

Travel Insurance

Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of up to $500,000 USD per paying traveler provides coverage between the first and last day of ship-based travel and is included in the cost of this trip. For ship- and land-based trips, additional days of travel pre- and post-expedition are not covered. Travelers are responsible for having adequate international medical coverage prior to embarkation, with a minimum benefit of $50,000 USD. In addition, we highly recommend our travelers also protect their investment with travel insurance that includes trip cancellation and other benefits. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice, weather conditionswildlife encountered and the captain’s discretion. Flexibility is the key to the success of any Arctic expedition.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

Rates are variable per remaining availability and are subject to change.

Aug 09 - Aug 26, 2024
Ocean Adventurer • 18 days
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From $8671USD
Per Person
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A brown kayak paddle icon depicting a one-time paddle activity option One-Time Paddling
Accommodation

Learn About the Small Ship on Your Itinerary

Expedition Ship
Ocean Adventurer

A handsome and refurbished expedition ship, the Ocean Adventurer combines travel to the Arctic with superior onboard comfort for her 128 passengers.

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