Group of Greenland Odyssey cruise travelers hikes through an alpine valley of green grass under rocky peaks on a sunny day.
Colorful assortment of small buildings on a seaside town with dark mountains behind, seen on the Greenland Odyssey cruise.
Woman in blue & black jacket & white hat sits on a rock overlooking large glacier covered in snow on a sunny day in Greenland.
Group of Greenland Odyssey cruise travelers in black & blue coats looks at a large floating iceberg from a Zodiac boat.
Icy blue tabular icebergs sit in glassy water at sunset, seen on a Greenland Odyssey small ship expedition cruise.
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Polar Regions Arctic Cruise

Greenland Odyssey

Experience the enormity of Greenland–the world’s largest island–where jagged peaks pierce azure skies and countless glaciers snake their way towards the coast. Discover ancient rocks at Skaergaard Peninsula dating back some 55 million years. Hike across the tundra in search of arctic fox and reindeer, tasting delicious wild berries along the way. Zodiac-cruise along sounds and see ringed seals lazing on sea ice calved from Greenland’s enormous ice sheets—the largest in Arctic.

Encounter humpback and minke whales feeding in the nutrient-rich waters. Sail Prince Christian Sound, flanked by imposing mountains, as it carves its way through south Greenland where green pastures signal the presence of human settlement and where the Viking ruins of Erik the Red still stand at Hvalsey. Weaving through the fjords and channels, enter west Greenland, the country’s most developed region, home to the nation’s capital, Nuuk, and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ilulissat Icefjord.

In 2024, an alternative 30-day ultimate adventure—Arctic Cultures & Wilderness—offers a combination of Greenland Odyssey + the 2024 southbound Jewels of the Arctic.

Cruise aboard the 132-guest, adventure-ready polar expedition ship Sylvia Earle for her state-of-the-art design and technology, plus excursion-minded preparation rooms and multiple boarding platforms for efficient embarkation and disembarkation. This small ship offers an educational and engaged team of expedition guides who provide programming aimed at immersion into the surrounding polar wilds.

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



Itinerary

Greenland Odyssey Itinerary

The Greenland Odyssey embarks in Reykjavik, Iceland, cruising across the Greenland Sea to east Greenland, then rounding the southern tip of the country before exploring the western coast and ending with a charter flight to Toronto, Canada.

Route map of Greenland Odyssey cruise, from Reykjavik, Iceland to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, ending with a flight to Toronto, Canada.
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Day 1
Arrive Reykjavik, Iceland

Having made your way to Reykjavik, you will be met by a ship representative and transferred to the group hotel. Upon arrival at the included hotel, please visit the hospitality desk to collect your luggage cabin tags and to speak with the ground operations team, who may have information to share with you about pre-embarkation and 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.

Accommodations

Fosshotel Reykjavik (or similar)

Meals

n/a

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Day 2
Embark Reykjavik

Today, follow the path of one of Reykjavik’s most popular seismic attractions–the Golden Circle. Stops along the route include Thingvellir National Park, accredited as the site of Iceland’s first parliament. A shaky start to the new nation, it is also the point where the Eurasia and North American tectonic plates meet as an open fissure. The next stop is Gullfoss waterfall. This impressive water feature tumbles over 100 feet (34 meters) into the Hvítá River, offering a popular photographic opportunity.

Next explore the geothermal fields and geysers for which Iceland is famous. The variety of hot springs and bubbling pools are mesmerizing as the sheer capacity of water and steam erupting from the ground makes you ponder just how much power is beneath your feet. In the late afternoon, return to Reykjavik to board the ship. After boarding, there’s time to settle into your cabin before an important safety briefing and before throwing the lines. This evening meet your expedition team and crew at the captain’s welcome dinner.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
At Sea

Crossing the Greenland Sea, sail through the Polar Basin’s nutrient-rich waters, searching for encroaching pack ice, fin whales and seabirds. The onboard team of experts entertains with informative talks about sea ice, glaciers, European arctic plants and animals, and epic tales of early explorers such as Nansen, Andreé and Scoresby.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
Kangertitivatsiaq Fjord, Greenland

Popular among skilled rock climbers, Kangertitivatsiaq Fjord is home to spectacular mountain peaks and essential big walls that attract daring climbers. A new discovery for your operator in 2022, the 26-kilometre (16-mile) fjord is filled with glaciers including the Glacier of France. It’s an ideal place for ship cruising, Zodiac excursions and discovery hikes.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Tasiilaq, Sermilik Fjord

Overlooking King Oscar’s Harbor, Tasiilaq (formerly Ammassalik) is east Greenland’s largest town with a population of approximately 2,000 inhabitants. Here, green meadows contrast starkly with countless icebergs that often clog the waterways at nearby Sermilik Fjord, the largest in southeast Greenland, where you can Zodiac-cruise and kayak to search for fin and humpback whales and photograph the spectacular scenery.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
Skjoldungen Island

Continue south along Greenland’s King Frederik VI Coast, always on the lookout for whales, especially the rare sperm whale that is occasionally seen here. Weaving through the narrow channels of Skjoldungen Fjord, land at the end of the fjord for a walk along a glacial river, across a tundra valley covered in northern willow and blooming pink wildflowers. Kayakers can paddle across the front of a tidewater glacier, search for harp seals, ivory gulls and whales. Back on board, enjoy the stunning surrounds with a drink in hand, basked in the soft light of the setting sun.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 7
Prince Christian Sound

Prince Christian Sound connects the Labrador Sea with the Irminger Sea. Approximately 60 miles (100 kilometers) long and, in parts, as narrow as 600 feet (500 meters) wide, the fjord is flanked by jagged mountain peaks, some reaching over 7, 200 feet (2,200 meters) high, with countless glaciers coming all the way down to the sea. Slowly cruise through the sound to enjoy the spectacular scenery. Icebergs sculpted into fantastic shapes often block the entrance to the sound, a great spectacle for photography. At Kangersuneq Qinngorleq located at the northern end of the fjord, a glacier front is ideal for exploration by Zodiac or kayak. in the southern section of the sound, pass a small settlement named Appilatoq, which means red in Greenlandic, after the red mountains rising above the town. Appilatoq is well-known in Greenland for the jagged mountain peaks that surround it—a delight for photographers.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 8
Tasermiut Fjord, Klosterdal, Nanortalik

The towering, jagged mountains that surround Tasermiut Fjord is why it’s often referred to as the Patagonia of the north. At Klosterdal (Monastery Valley), be surrounded by three giant mountains: Napasorsuaq, Ketil and Nalumasortoq. Here you can walk to a Norse ruin, hike along the valley, or explore the bay by kayak. Continue to Nanortalik, the southernmost town in Greenland, located on an island of the same name. Its name derives from the West Greenlandic word “Nanoq” meaning “the place where bears pass through,” describing the polar bears that were once seen floating past on sea ice.

Deep fjords, woodlands and grasslands, and rugged mountainside cliffs, some over 3,280 feet (1,000 meters), attract enthusiastic climbers from around the world. On arrival, you’ll receive a warm welcome from the local community who have opened up their town for you to explore. Nanortalik is a town that’s known for their love of singing and you’ll be treated to a choir performance. Visit Nanortalik Church, a wooden, Danish Lutheran church built in 1916 that is currently the only church serving the Nanortalik congregation. The church is in the old colonial quarter of the town. Next to the church is a landmark boulder called the Knud Rasmussen Stone, named after Greenland’s most famous citizen, Dr Knud Rasmussen, an explorer and ethnologist.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 9
Hvalsey, Qaqortoq

Hvalsey Church is the best-preserved Norse ruin in Greenland. “Hvalsey” is old Norse for “‘Whale Island.” Christianity arrived in Greenland around 1,000 AD and gradually churches began to be built. Late medieval documents indicate there were up to 14 parish churches in the Eastern Settlement. Hvalsey itself was built in the early 14th century, but it was not the first church built on this site. After exploring Hvalsey ruins, continue to Qaqortoq, where Zodiacs shuttle you ashore.

Qaqortoq is the capital of south Greenland. With a history dating back to 1775, the town offers various cultural activities and attractions including an outdoor art project called Man and Stone, which features stone carvings scattered throughout the town created by local artists. Qaqortoq is Greenland’s southernmost town and is the administrative center of the south Greenland. Built from yellow stone, and dating back to 1804, the building that now houses the Qaqortoq Museum originally belonged to the town’s blacksmith. Qaqortoq’s landmark building is the Church of Our Savior. This large wooden Lutheran church, known as the Red Church, is in the historic part of town, near the harbor.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 10
Paamiut

Located on a peninsula with an impressive view of the surrounding mountains, the small settlement of Paamiut has existed since the mid-17th century, and the name of the town means “the people who live at the mouth,” referring to the nearby fjord. The town is home to a beautiful and ornate wooden church, which is remarkable given that Greenland completely lacks trees that can be used for construction. The local museum is worth a visit, and features exhibits of local handicrafts and photos from the whaling period. The town and surrounding area are best known for the resident population of white-tailed eagles, while minke, fin, humpback and orca are common visitors to this stretch of coast. Arctic char is the most commonly caught fish in these waters and depending on the luck of the day’s catch by local fisherman, you may enjoy a meal of freshly caught arctic char for the evening meal.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 11
Nuuk

Greenland’s capital, Nuuk, the world’s northernmost capital, lies at the mouth of its very own fjord system on the country’s mid-west coast. On a sightseeing tour of Nuuk, you’ll see charming old buildings including Greenland’s colorfully painted houses, and the award-winning City Hall. The small but fascinating National Museum features a unique ethnographical collection of artifacts of Inuit life, including the famous 545-year-old Qilakitsoq mummies, accidentally discovered by hikers in 1972.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 12
Sisimiut

Approximately 4,500 years ago, the Saqqaq culture arrived from Canada and settled in the area. They lived here for approximately 2,000 years, but mysteriously disappeared. The Dorset culture arrived around 500 AD and remained until the 1200s until they were replaced by the Thule culture, and today, most of the population of Sisimiut are descendants of the Thule culture.

Located above the Arctic Circle, Sisimiut enjoys 24 hours of daylight during the summer months. As Greenland’s second largest town, Sisimiut is the only place in Greenland that has an open-air public swimming pool, and the town is famous for its old blue church featuring a whale jaw gate. The town’s small museum features interesting exhibits explaining local history and life in Greenland. The local kayak club is the oldest in Greenland and some of the members are among the best in Greenland. You will be treated to a show featuring traditional kayaks.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 13
Ilulissat & Optional Helicopter Flight

Known as the “birthplace of icebergs,” this region produces some of the most dazzling icebergs found anywhere on earth. Hike to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Icefjord and stand in awe of its immensity. Sermeq Kujalleq, also known as Jakobshavn Glacier, is the most productive glacier – not only in Greenland but the entire Northern Hemisphere. It produces 20 million tonnes of ice each day, all floating into the Ilulissat Icefjord and Disko Bay. Conditions permitting, enjoy a Zodiac cruise at the mouth of the fjord and kayak through sea ice and icebergs.

An optional, added-cost 90-minute helicopter flight over the icefjord is a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience here. This excursion is the only way you can get close to the gigantic glacier. The 12-seater helicopter departs from Ilulissat Airport and sweeps over hills, lakes and ice fjords. Land on the mountain at Kangia, in the middle of the preserved area, where you can revel in the incredible surroundings. On the return flight to Ilulissat, fly above the edge of the glacier with breathtaking views of the massive icebergs drifting in the fjord. The views of some of the largest icebergs that become stranded on a moraine underneath the water, just outside the town, offers a wonderful finale to this excursion. Please note that this excursion requires a minimum of 8 passengers to operate.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 14
Eqip Sermia

Located roughly 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Ilulissat, Eqi Glacier is accessible only by sea, and is one of Greenland’s most active glaciers. Although smaller than Sermeq Kujalleq glacier in Ilulissat, Eqi Glacier is more accessible, and if sea-ice conditions permit, you can Zodiac cruise within safe distance of the glacier front, where seals float on bergy bits in front of the glacier while eagles can sometimes be seen soaring above. Several hikes are possible in the area, where you may encounter grouse, arctic hare and small arctic fox.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 15
Eternity Fjord

Evighedsfjorden, or Eternity Fjord, is one of the more spectacular fjord complexes in west Greenland due to its forested landscape. Hike through a forested valley, witness hills become towering snow-capped mountains as countless glaciers pour down from sheer cliff walls. Occasionally, the thunderous sound of a calving glacier breaks the silence in a place where you are unlikely to see another soul.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 16
Disembark Kangerlussuaq, Greenland & Fly to Toronto, Canada

Today, feast on a taste of Greenland at the lakeside Roklubben restaurant for a BBQ lunch, before joining a guided tour to Reindeer Glacier, having disembarked for the final time at the township of Kangerlussuaq. Greenland’s ice sheet covers 80% of the surface of the country. Reindeer Glacier, which stands as a roughly 200-foot-high (60 meters) ice wall in some places, offers visitors a clear contrast between land and ice. Travel on a tundra coach, looking for reindeer and musk oxen, while enjoying some stories of the area from a local guide. Once at the glacier, walk parallel to its edge to discover its many moods and angles. In the late afternoon, return to Kangerlussuaq airport to board the charter flight to Toronto, Canada for an overnight stay at the airport hotel.

Please note: It is compulsory to wear a face mask on your flight from Kangerlussuaq to Hamilton and in designated areas of Canadian airports.

Accommodations

Westin Toronto Airport Hotel

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 17
Depart Toronto, Canada

After check out, continue your onward journey.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Shared coach transfer from airport to hotel on Day 1; one night’s hotel accommodation in Reykjavik on Day 1 (including breakfast on Day 2); full-day Golden Circle tour on Day 2; charter flight from Kangerlussuaq to Toronto on Day 16; sightseeing in Kangerlussuaq (time permitting) and transfer to the airport on Day 16; one night’s hotel accommodation in Toronto on Day 16 (including breakfast on Day 17); 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 welcome & farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, and non-alcoholic beverages; all shore excursions & Zodiac cruises; educational lectures and guiding services from expedition team; complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consult); a 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket; comprehensive pre-departure information; port surcharges, permits and landing fees.

Exclusions

International or domestic flights, unless specified in the itinerary; transfers not mentioned in the itinerary; airport arrival or departure taxes; passport, visa and vaccination charges; travel insurance, emergency evacuation charges or personal insurance (required); hotels and meals not included in itinerary; optional excursions not included in the itinerary; optional activity surcharges; all items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, email or phone charges, gratuities of any kind.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a nonrefundable deposit of $2,500 is required per person at time of booking (additional nonrefundable $250 deposit is required for optional activities). The balance of the trip price is due 90 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:
91 days or more – 100% of deposit
90 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 Greenland Odyssey cruise begins in Reykjavik, Iceland (KEF), and ends in Toronto, Canada (YYZ). Plan flights to arrive to Reykjavik any time on Day 1, but we highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan flights to depart Toronto any time on Day 17. Airport shuttles are provided by the hotels for your arrival & departure. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

A group charter flight from Kangerlussuaq, Greenland to Toronto, Canada is required on this trip’s itinerary and is included in the listed per-person cabin rates. All transfers between the airport and hotels for these charter flights are included. Luggage weight limits for the charter flight is 50lbs for a checked bag, carry-on bags must be under 10 inches by 18 inches by 22 inches (26 cm x 46 cm x 56 cm) with a max weight of 22lbs/10kg.

Activities

Birdwatching, walking, Zodiac cruising, photography tips, lectures, a polar plunge & all trips ashore are included in the rate. Various optional activities may be available, with per-person 2024 prices starting at: kayaking $980; rock climbing $940. Rock climbing is offered while in Scoresbysund’s fjords, and begins with training excursions on granite cliffs before attempting at least two major ascents; a reasonable level of experience (at least Grade 10/Difficult/5.2) and a solid level of fitness are required. For the kayaking program, join 20 like-minded paddlers (in small groups of 10 per guide) to fully experience nature at its wildest. The optional, added-cost, 90-minute helicopter ride in Ilulissiat requires a minimum of 8 people to operate. Please contact AdventureSmith for further details and to reserve space with your booking.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at a 50% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability. Solo travelers willing to share may be matched with a person of the same gender, and if the other cabin berth goes unsold, will only pay the standard double-occupancy rate. 

Families & Children

Kids 8 years and older are welcomed aboard all departure dates. Children between 8-17 years of age must pay the adult price of the expedition.

Travel Insurance

A medical form for all travelers, signed by their doctor, is required for every departure. Comprehensive travel insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum required coverage of $250,000 USD per person, covering medical, accident and repatriation/emergency evacuation, as well as baggage loss and cancellation or curtailment of holiday. In addition, we highly recommend our travelers 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 conditions, wildlife encountered and the captain’s discretion. Flexibility is the key to the success of any Arctic expedition.

Arctic Cultures & Wilderness: Svalbard & Greenland Itinerary

This comprehensive, 30-day Ultimate Adventure (a combination of the Greenland Odyssey + 2024 main Jewels of the Arctic itinerary) sails from Longyearbyen, Svalbard, to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland with visits along east and west Greenland and western Iceland. End with a charter flight to Toronto, Canada.

A route map showing the Arctic Cultures & Wilderness cruise itinerary from Svalbard to Toronto, Canada by way of Greenland's east & west Coasts & Iceland.
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Day 1
Arrive Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Having made your way to Longyearbyen, you will be met by a ship representative and transferred to the group hotel. Upon arrival at the included hotel, please visit the hospitality desk to collect your luggage cabin tags and to speak with the ground operations team, who may have information to share about pre-embarkation and 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.

Accommodations

Radisson Blu Polar Hotel (or similar)

Meals

n/a

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Day 2
Embark Longyearbyen

This morning, ensure any cabin luggage is fitted with cabin tags and take it down to hotel reception. Luggage will be collected from the hotel and transferred directly to port for clearance and delivered to your cabin ahead of embarkation. Keep any valuables or personal items with you throughout the day, as well as wet-weather gear in case the ship needs to be reached by Zodiac for embarkation.

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, then a sightseeing excursion of Longyearbyen before transferring to the pier for embarkation in the late afternoon. Settle into your cabin before attending important safety briefings and enjoy the thrill of departure as the crew “throws the lines” and sets sail.

This evening, get to know your fellow expeditioners and the friendly expedition team and crew at the captain’s welcome dinner to celebrate the start of a thrilling adventure.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, dinner

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Days 3 - 5
Svalbard

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

Phenomenal fjords, magnificent mountain 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,  stretch the legs on walks across tundra carpeted in brightly colored wildflowers. 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. The expedition team is just as keen as you are to find polar bears, 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 savor for years to come.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 6 - 7
Greenland Sea

As you sail toward the coast of East Greenland, look for whales feeding in the rich waters of the north. Approaching 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. The ship’s experts will inform and entertain with fascinating discussions on plants, animals, ice and heroic tales of exploration.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 8 - 13
East Greenland

In the coming days, a host of choices are available, and depending on ice and weather conditions, the east coast of Greenland is yours to explore. The experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to tailor the itinerary on a day-to-day basis. This allows the captain to make best use of the prevailing weather, ice conditions and encounters with wildlife. The guides 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 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 favorite 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.

Another highlight is an 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, marvel at the geological beauty of the mountains. Then head south along the coast of Liverpool Land, with your passage dependent on ice conditions.

Stretch your legs on hikes across tundra in search of ancient graveyards and summer villages occupied 3,000 years ago by Inuit. Look for musk ox, arctic hare and reindeer grazing. The maze of calm, interconnecting waterways in this area provides excellent opportunities for sea kayaking. See ring seals, perhaps catch a glimpse of the elusive narwhal, and maybe even a polar bear hunting on pack ice.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 14
Denmark Strait

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

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 15
Reykjavik, Iceland

On arrival in Reykjavik, Iceland’s cosmopolitan capital, your crew and expedition team prepare to welcome expeditioners joining on the Greenland Odyssey 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.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 16
At Sea

Crossing the Greenland Sea, sail through the Polar Basin’s nutrient-rich waters, searching for encroaching pack ice, fin whales and seabirds. The onboard team of experts entertains with informative talks about sea ice, glaciers, European arctic plants and animals, and epic tales of early explorers such as Nansen, Andreé and Scoresby.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 17
Kangertitivatsiaq Fjord, Greenland

Popular among skilled rock climbers, Kangertitivatsiaq Fjord is home to spectacular mountain peaks and essential big walls that attract daring climbers. A new discovery for your operator in 2022, the 26-kilometre (16-mile) fjord is filled with glaciers including the Glacier of France. It’s an ideal place for ship cruising, Zodiac excursions and discovery hikes.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 18
Tasiilaq, Sermilik Fjord

Overlooking King Oscar’s Harbor, Tasiilaq (formerly Ammassalik) is east Greenland’s largest town with a population of approximately 2,000 inhabitants. Here, green meadows contrast starkly with countless icebergs that often clog the waterways at nearby Sermilik Fjord, the largest in southeast Greenland, where you can Zodiac-cruise and kayak to search for fin and humpback whales and photograph the spectacular scenery.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 19
Skoldungen Island

Continue south along Greenland’s King Frederik VI Coast, always on the lookout for whales, especially the rare sperm whale that is occasionally seen here. Weaving through the narrow channels of Skjoldungen Fjord, land at the end of the fjord for a walk along a glacial river, across a tundra valley covered in northern willow and blooming pink wildflowers. Kayakers can paddle across the front of a tidewater glacier, search for harp seals, ivory gulls and whales. Back on board, enjoy the stunning surrounds with a drink in hand, basked in the soft light of the setting sun.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 20
At Sea

As you sail south along the east coast of Greenland, enjoy a sea day to catch up on editing your photos and enjoy an informative lecture from the knowledgeable expedition team. Or relax in one of your observation lounges featuring floor-to-ceiling windows and soak in the impressive scenery and, perhaps, marine life.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 21
Prince Christian Sound

Prince Christian Sound connects the Labrador Sea with the Irminger Sea. Approximately 60 miles (100 kilometers) long and, in parts, as narrow as 600 feet (500 meters) wide, the fjord is flanked by jagged mountain peaks, some reaching over 7, 200 feet (2,200 meters) high, with countless glaciers coming all the way down to the sea. Slowly cruise through the sound to enjoy the spectacular scenery. Icebergs sculpted into fantastic shapes often block the entrance to the sound, a great spectacle for photography. At Kangersuneq Qinngorleq located at the northern end of the fjord, a glacier front is ideal for exploration by Zodiac or kayak. in the southern section of the sound, pass a small settlement named Appilatoq, which means red in Greenlandic, after the red mountains rising above the town. Appilatoq is well-known in Greenland for the jagged mountain peaks that surround it—a delight for photographers.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 22
Hvalsey, Qaqortoq

Hvalsey Church is the best-preserved Norse ruin in Greenland. “Hvalsey” is old Norse for “‘Whale Island.” Christianity arrived in Greenland around 1,000 AD and gradually churches began to be built. Late medieval documents indicate there were up to 14 parish churches in the Eastern Settlement. Hvalsey itself was built in the early 14th century, but it was not the first church built on this site. After exploring Hvalsey ruins, continue to Qaqortoq, where Zodiacs shuttle you ashore.

Qaqortoq is the capital of south Greenland. With a history dating back to 1775, the town offers various cultural activities and attractions including an outdoor art project called Man and Stone, which features stone carvings scattered throughout the town created by local artists. Qaqortoq is Greenland’s southernmost town and is the administrative center of the south Greenland. Built from yellow stone, and dating back to 1804, the building that now houses the Qaqortoq Museum originally belonged to the town’s blacksmith. Qaqortoq’s landmark building is the Church of Our Savior. This large wooden Lutheran church, known as the Red Church, is in the historic part of town, near the harbor.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 23
At Sea

Find a spot in one of the many observation lounges and enjoy the spectacular surrounding landscapes. Your talented and knowledgeable expedition members will present informative and entertaining talks about the region that you’re travelling through.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 24
Nuuk

Greenland’s capital, Nuuk, the world’s northernmost capital, lies at the mouth of its very own fjord system on the country’s mid-west coast. On a sightseeing tour of Nuuk, you’ll see charming old buildings including Greenland’s colorfully painted houses, and the award-winning City Hall. The small but fascinating National Museum features a unique ethnographical collection of artifacts of Inuit life, including the famous 545-year-old Qilakitsoq mummies, accidentally discovered by hikers in 1972.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 25
Eternity Fjord

Evighedsfjorden, or Eternity Fjord, is one of the more spectacular fjord complexes in west Greenland due to its forested landscape. Hike through a forested valley, witness hills become towering snow-capped mountains as countless glaciers pour down from sheer cliff walls. Occasionally, the thunderous sound of a calving glacier breaks the silence in a place where you are unlikely to see another soul.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 26
Ilulissat & Optional Helicopter Flight

Known as the “birthplace of icebergs,” this region produces some of the most dazzling icebergs found anywhere on earth. Hike to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Icefjord and stand in awe of its immensity. Sermeq Kujalleq, also known as Jakobshavn Glacier, is the most productive glacier – not only in Greenland but the entire Northern Hemisphere. It produces 20 million tonnes of ice each day, all floating into the Ilulissat Icefjord and Disko Bay. Conditions permitting, enjoy a Zodiac cruise at the mouth of the fjord and kayak through sea ice and icebergs.

An optional, added-cost 90-minute helicopter flight over the icefjord is a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience here. This excursion is the only way you can get close to the gigantic glacier. The 12-seater helicopter departs from Ilulissat Airport and sweeps over hills, lakes and ice fjords. Land on the mountain at Kangia, in the middle of the preserved area, where you can revel in the incredible surroundings. On the return flight to Ilulissat, fly above the edge of the glacier with breathtaking views of the massive icebergs drifting in the fjord. The views of some of the largest icebergs that become stranded on a moraine underneath the water, just outside the town, offers a wonderful finale to this excursion. Please note that this excursion requires a minimum of 8 passengers to operate.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 27
Qeqertarsuaq, Kuannit Basalt Columns

This compelling island seems to have more in common with Iceland than Greenland. While most of the interior is mountainous and glaciated, its beautiful shorelines boast black sandy beaches, unusual basalt columns, hot springs and dramatic lava formations. Plan to appreciate the colorful flowers on the Kuannit Hike, where you can walk stunning landscapes, see ancient basalt columns and perhaps spot whales in Disko Bay.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 28
Sisimiut

Approximately 4,500 years ago, the Saqqaq culture arrived from Canada and settled in the area. They lived here for approximately 2,000 years, but mysteriously disappeared. The Dorset culture arrived around 500 AD and remained until the 1200s until they were replaced by the Thule culture, and today, most of the population of Sisimiut are descendants of the Thule culture.

Located above the Arctic Circle, Sisimiut enjoys 24 hours of daylight during the summer months. As Greenland’s second largest town, Sisimiut is the only place in Greenland that has an open-air public swimming pool, and the town is famous for its old blue church featuring a whale jaw gate. The town’s small museum features interesting exhibits explaining local history and life in Greenland. The local kayak club is the oldest in Greenland and some of the members are among the best in Greenland. You will be treated to a show featuring traditional kayaks.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 29
Disembark Kangerlussuaq, Greenland & Fly to Toronto, Canada

Today, feast on a taste of Greenland at the lakeside Roklubben restaurant where you’ll enjoy a BBQ lunch before joining your guided tour to Reindeer Glacier, having disembarked for the final time at the township of Kangerlussuaq. Greenland’s ice sheet covers 80% of the surface of the country. Reindeer Glacier, which stands as a roughly 200-foot-high ice wall in some places, offers visitors a clear contrast between land and ice. Travel on a tundra coach, looking for reindeer and musk oxen, while enjoying some stories of the area from your local guide. Once at the glacier, walk parallel to its edge to discover it many moods and angles.

In the late afternoon, return to Kangerlussuaq airport to board your charter flight to Toronto, Canada for an overnight stay at an airport hotel.

Accommodations

Westin Toronto Airport Hotel (or similar)

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 30
Depart Toronto, Canada

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and check-out of your room, before continuing your onward journey.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

All transfers mentioned in the itinerary; one night’s hotel accommodation in Longyearbyen on Day 1 (including breakfast on Day 2); sightseeing tour of Longyearbyen, prior to embarkation on Day 2; sightseeing in Kangerlussuaq (time permitting) and transfer to the airport on Day 29; charter flight from Kangerlussuaq to Toronto on Day 29; one night’s hotel accommodation in Toronto on Day 29 (including breakfast on Day 30); 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 Welcome & Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, and non-alcoholic beverages; all shore excursions & Zodiac cruises; educational lectures and guiding services from expedition team; complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consult); a 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket; complimentary use of muck boots during the voyage; comprehensive pre-departure information; port surcharges, permits and landing fees; crew gratuities (suite guests only).

Exclusions

International or domestic flights, unless specified in the itinerary; transfers not mentioned in the itinerary; airport arrival or departure taxes; passport, visa and vaccination charges; travel insurance, emergency evacuation charges or personal insurance (required); hotels and meals not included in itinerary; optional excursions not included in the itinerary; optional activity surcharges; all items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, WiFi, email or phone charges; automatic crew gratuities of $15 per person, per day (non-suite guests) which may be removed or amended at the end of the cruise.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a nonrefundable deposit of $2,500 is required per person at time of booking (additional nonrefundable $250 deposit is required for optional activities). The balance of the trip price is due 90 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:
91 days or more – 100% of deposit
90 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 Arctic Cultures & Wilderness: Svalbard & Greenland cruise begins in Longyearbyen, Norway (LYR), and ends in Toronto, Canada (YYZ). Plan flights to arrive to Longyearbyen any time on Day 1, but we highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan flights to depart Toronto any time on Day 30. Airport shuttles are provided by the hotels for your arrival & departure. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

A group charter flight from Kangerlussuaq, Greenland to Toronto, Canada is required on this trip’s itinerary and is included in the listed per-person cabin rates. All transfers between the airport and hotels for these charter flights are included. Luggage weight limits for the charter flight is 50lbs for a checked bag, carry-on bags must be under 10 inches by 18 inches by 22 inches (26 cm x 46 cm x 56 cm) with a max weight of 22lbs/10kg.

Activities

Birdwatching, walking, Zodiac cruising, photography tips, lectures, a polar plunge & all trips ashore are included in the rate. Various optional activities may be available, with per-person 2024 prices starting at: kayaking $1,870. For the kayaking program, join 20 like-minded paddlers (in small groups of 10 per guide) to fully experience nature at its wildest. Please contact AdventureSmith for details on which activities are available on your specific departure date and to reserve space with your booking.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at a 50% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability. Solo travelers willing to share may be matched with a person of the same gender, and if the other cabin berth goes unsold, will only pay the standard double-occupancy rate. 

Families & Children

Kids 8 years and older are welcomed aboard all departure dates. Children between 8-17 years of age must pay the adult price of the expedition.

Travel Insurance

A medical form for all travelers, signed by their doctor, is required for every departure. Comprehensive travel insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum required coverage of $250,000 USD per person, covering medical, accident and repatriation/emergency evacuation, as well as baggage loss and cancellation or curtailment of holiday. In addition, we highly recommend our travelers 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 conditions, wildlife encountered and the captain’s discretion. Flexibility is the key to the success of any Arctic expedition.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

Jun 23 - Jul 22, 2024
Sylvia Earle • 30 days
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From $32095USD
Per Person
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Jul 06 - Jul 22, 2024
Sylvia Earle • 17 days
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From $17795USD
Per Person
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Accommodation

Learn All About the Small Ship on Your Itinerary

Expedition Ship
Sylvia Earle

Sylvia Earle offers a robust menu of adventure activities from kayaking and polar diving to mountaineering and backcountry skiing and snowboarding. Cruise responsibly knowing this brand new icebreaker polar expedition ship was built with cutting edge nautical technology including one of the lowest polluting marine engines in the world.

Deals

Current Deals on This Trip

Add to Wishlist
Offer expires June 28th, 2024
No Single Supplement On Select 2024 Arctic Expeditions

Solo travelers! Pay no single supplement on select 2024 Arctic expeditions aboard Greg Mortimer and Sylvia Earle.

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Offer expires June 28th, 2024
Save Up to 15% + $2,500 Air Credit On Select 2024 Arctic Expeditions

Save up to 15% and receive $2,500 in air credit per person when you book your 2024 Arctic expedition cruise aboard the Greg Mortimer or Sylvia Earle.

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Offer expires June 28th, 2024
Save Up to 25% On 2025 Arctic & Northern Europe Expedition Cruises

Save up to 25% per person when you book your 2025 Arctic or Northern Europe expedition cruise aboard the Greg Mortimer or Sylvia Earle.

Expert Review

Ship Reviews from our Experts so You Know What to Expect

Todd Smith • January 19th, 2021
Expert Aboard: Sylvia Earle & Greg Mortimer Ship Review

Read a detailed ship review about the identical polar sister ships Greg Mortimer & Sylvia Earle and what they offer travelers. Our expert has been aboard and writes this from his firsthand experience.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

Extend Your Trip

Additional Travel Options Before or After Your Cruise

Several hotel-based trip extensions are available in conjunction with this expedition. Book the 3-day Taste of Reykjavik pre-cruise extension tour to make the most of your time in Reykjavik, with included hotels, tours and private transfers. A local guide will join you to explore the classic Golden Circle, including the sacred site of Þingvellir National Park and the thrilling force of nature at the Geysir geothermal area and thundering Gullfoss Falls. Then treat yourself to a relaxing soak at the famous Blue Lagoon.

Or, opt for longer journeys like: The 9-day Iceland Complete to discover the world’s largest lava mass in Cross Eldhruan and later continue to the birthplace of icebergs: Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon and Skaftafell National Park. On the 11-day Across Iceland’s Wilderness, plant a tree, go horseback riding and visit geothermal lava fields, geysers, waterfalls, glaciers, a canyon and viking settlements. On the 10-day Iceland Self Drive itinerary, your route, car rental and hotels are covered, but you can set the pace, taking in breathtaking fjords, lakes, glaciers, waterfalls and icebergs while staying in typical Icelandic villages.

Combine Canada’s most multicultural city and one of the great natural wonders of the world in the exciting 5-day Toronto & Niagara Falls Explorer. Discover Toronto’s urban diversity on a hop-on, hop-off city tour and traverse the wine-producing region of the Niagara Peninsula en route to the natural wonder of Niagara Falls. Explore the magnificent falls and many of Niagara Falls’ landmarks on a half-day sightseeing tour. Contact AdventureSmith for more details and to reserve space.

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24 - 25 Day Cruise
Arctic Complete: Svalbard, Greenland & Iceland Cruise

Aboard 132-guest Greg Mortimer, embark on a voyage to Svalbard, exploring Iceland and East Greenland along the way. Scan for whales, polar bear and walrus. Be dazzled by iridescent icebergs and colorful sandstone rocks. And explore the world's largest fjord system.

Special Offer
From $25695USD
Jul Aug
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13 - 30 Day Cruise
Jewels of the Arctic

Discover the jewels of the Arctic aboard cutting-edge small expedition ships. Among Svalbard, Greenland and Iceland there is something for every traveler to discover. Add-ons like kayaking, rock climbing and scuba diving make the journey even more rewarding for the adventurous.

Special Offer
From $16195USD
Jun Jul Aug Sep
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11 Day Land Tour
Iceland Adventure: Circling the Land of Fire & Ice

On this 11-day Iceland Adventure, experience traditional, remote locales that unveil Iceland's rich natural history in further detail, along with a few major highlights. Enjoy an off-the-beaten-path adventure by land, with time spent on the water too.

From $14695USD
Jul Aug Sep
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