Home » Polar Pioneer: Jewels of the Arctic
This voyage offers a complete European Arctic experience: tundra walks amidst reindeer and exquisite dwarf vegetation, zodiac cruises near calving glacier fronts, hikes to breathtaking mountain vistas and warm welcomes into indigenous communities. We may see Reindeer, Arctic Fox, Musk Ox, countless sea and land birds, Walrus, Seals, whales and Polar Bears. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re an active adventurer or you’ve come to relax and you can enjoy it aboard the Polar Pioneer, the smallest ship operating in the region.
Duration: 14 Days
We board Polar Pioneer in the late afternoon and sail down magnificent Isfjorden.
Spitsbergen’s northwest coast features calving icebergs, historic whaling stations and trappers’ camps. Brunnich’s guillemots, little auks and kittiwakes nest in their thousands. Reindeer roam tundra dotted with wildflowers like saxifrage, moss campion and bell-heather. Zodiac to gain fantastic views of ice cliffs, including Monacobreen, one of Spitsbergen’s largest glaciers. In the north, we look for walrus and possibly polar bears – on the pack ice.
Crossing the Greenland Sea, our expert naturalists and guest lecturers entertain us with fascinating talks on plants, animals and early explorers like Nansen, Andrée and Scoresby. Relax and prepare for a landing, if conditions permit, on Greenland’s northeast coast, home to polar bear, Arctic hare and musk ox.
An ice cap covers 81 per cent of Greenland and pack ice, even in summer, may fill northern bays. Ashore, cosy trappers’ huts beckon from across the tundra, where musk ox, Arctic hare and eider ducks roam in Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord. Lively cascades at Kap Humboldt provide a microclimate for spectacular hanging gardens. Kong Oskar Fjord offers spectacular glacier-carved mountains.
In Scoresbysund, the world’s biggest fjord system, massive glaciers calve explosively, creating giant icebergs. Near Røde Island, our Zodiacs weave through a maze of grounded icebergs, some more than 30-metres high, sculpted with deep green tunnels and aquamarine lakes. Enjoy a warm Ittoqqortoormiit welcome from Inuit happy to share their culture. Our kayakers find ideal paddling conditions, wending their way through interconnected waterways, watching for polar bears and narwhals.
Sail south along the Blosseville Coast, search for musk ox and narwhals and marvel at the mountain scenery that dominates the skyline. If weather permits, we head for Rømer Fjord, a deep waterway with stunning mountain views.
We sail across Denmark Strait, reflecting on our rich experiences and enjoying the antics of northern fulmars, black-backed gulls, dolphins, orcas and other whales.
Arrive early morning in Keflavik. After breakfast, bid farewell to Polar Pioneer crew before your coach transfer to Reykjavik.
10.2sqm, deck 3, two lower bunk beds and one upper bunk bed, outside porthole, wash basin, lounge, desk, cupboard with hanging space, air-conditioning control, shared bathroom facilities on the same deck and outside deck accessed via deck 4.
9.8sqm, deck 3, two lower bunk beds, outside porthole, wash basin, lounge, desk, cupboard with hanging space, air-conditioning control, shared bathroom facilities on the same deck and outside deck accessed via deck 3 and 4.
12sqm, deck 4, upper and lower bunk, couch, private ensuite, side-facing window, desk and chair, cupboard with hanging space, air-conditioning control and outside deck access to the main deck.
12sqm, deck 4 & 5, two lower bunk beds (note: #402 and #403 have an upper and lower bunk and a couch), private ensuite, side-facing window, desk and chair, cupboard with hanging space, and air-conditioning control. Outside deck access to main deck (deck 4 cabins only) and outside deck access to the upper deck (deck 5 cabins only)
16.8sqm, deck 5, double bed (in a separate room), private ensuite, side-facing windows, separate lounge area*, desk and chair, cupboard with hanging space, TV, DVD player, mini-fridge, air-conditioning control and outside deck access from deck 5.
*Please note: Image depicts cabin #503 only. Cabin #502 has a foldable chair that can be laid out like a bed or couch.
22.5sqm, deck 5, double bed (in a separate room), private ensuite, forward- and side-facing windows, separate lounge area, desk and table area, TV, DVD player and mini-fridge, air-conditioning control and outside deck access from deck 5.
*Sea Kayaking - AU$1250 per person
Kayaking in the far-flung corners of the world is an experience guaranteed to refresh your soul. Paddling in small groups, you'll glide between ice floes, brash ice and icebergs dotted with wildlife.