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Three Arctic Islands Iceland, Greenland, Spitsbergen

13 or 14 days

This award-winning and popular expedition cruise takes you from high above the Arctic Circle in Spitsbergen, Norway, to Scoresbysund on the northeast coast of Greenland, ending in fascinating Iceland. Iconic arctic animals such as the polar bear, musk ox, reindeer and walrus are commonly seen. From active volcanoes to massive glaciers to the best sites for wildlife spotting, this adventure takes in varied destinations. If you want to experience the Arctic in all of its beauty, then you must venture to these Three Arctic Islands.

Day-by-Day Expedition in Brief

  • Marvel at one of National Geographic Travelers’ 50 Tours of a Lifetime
  • Experience the glaciers and wildlife of Spitsbergen
  • Explore a remote fjord-strewn coast of Greenland
  • Cruise in a Zodiac
  • Hike the tundra
  • Take advantage of optional kayak adventure opportunities

Day 1 — Embarkation Day in Longyearbyen, Norway

Your voyage will embark in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen.

Days 2 to 5 — Spitsbergen, Norway

Exploring Spitsbergen, the largest of the Norwegian-ruled Svalbard islands, rewards you with abundant wildlife and austere beauty. Here, you’ll visit spectacular glacier fronts and steep- walled fjords with walrus, polar bears and Spitsbergen reindeer among your possible wildlife sightings.

Days 6 and 7 — Greenland Sea

While sailing south through the historic Greenland Sea, you’ll learn about the wildlife and history of Greenland, your next stop. On deck, you’ll learn to identify seabirds on the wing. Take in a lecture, share your photos, sip an icy cocktail in the bar or watch a movie—there are many things to do during your time at sea.

Days 8 to 11 — East Greenland

During your tour of Greenland’s remote eastern coast, you’ll enjoy Zodiac cruises and shore visits to several locations. Visit the remains of ancient Thule settlements, and keep an eye out for grazing muskoxen; 40% of the world’s population lives here. Finally, you will sail through spectacular Scoresbysund, the birthplace of many icebergs and, some say, the most beautiful fjord system in the world.

Day 12 — Denmark Strait

At sea, the Denmark Strait is your pathway toward Iceland. Your Expedition Team will keep you informed and entertained with presentations about the history of exploration in the Arctic and the seabirds you’ll inevitably see soaring above your ship.

Day 13 — Depart Reykjavik

You’ll disembark in Akureyri, and transfer to your waiting charter flight to Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, at the end of your journey. If you have booked post-expedition accommodation, we provide a transfer to a central downtown location.
View full 13-day itinerary »

Adventure Options Add an Extra Rush of Adrenaline to Your Expedition

Every Quark Arctic voyage includes great daily outdoor activities including Zodiac cruises, hiking and some also offer snowshoeing. We also offer kayaking on most of our voyages; a great way to experience the beauty of the Arctic in a more personal way.  Contact a Quark Polar Travel Adviser to learn more about adventure options, including physical requirements.

$595 per person

Kayaking in the Arctic is probably one of the most intimate and inspiring ways you can explore the rugged coastlines and calm bays of the regions we visit.

Kayaking in the Polar Regions is highly weather-dependent, however we guarantee at least one outing throughout your voyage, but your kayak guides will take you out as many times as possible throughout your voyage.

Offered on most Arctic voyages, spaces are limited and require some kayaking experience. All equipment, guides and instructions are provided by Quark. Please contact a Quark Polar Travel Adviser for more information.

Pre- and Post-Trip Options Extend your stay

Reaching the Arctic can be as fun as being there. Quark offers various travel packages that let you see more of the world before and after you Arctic adventure

Iceland Experience Package

From the charming city of Reykjavik, to the therapeutic waters of the Blue lagoon, and the bubbling hot springs of Thingveller National Park, you will be mesmerized by the unique beauty and striking geography of this Nordic island. Iceland offers adventures for every activity and skill level – ask about the other options available to enjoy the fresh air and explore the dramatic landscape.

Expedition Facts

Onboard Lectures

Presentations by Quark’s Expedition Team are included as part of your voyage. Through formal illustrated presentations, as well as informal briefings, the Quark Expeditions Team will cover a range of topics including ornithology, marine biology, glaciology, geography, geology, history and the environment.

“Odden Ice Tongue”

The Greenland Sea was home to a seasonal ice bridge called the “Odden Ice Tongue”. Last formed in 1997, this bridge of ice would form from the eastern edge of Greenland halfway to Svalbard, reaching Jan Mayen Island. The name came from the way the ice was formed in the currents of the Greenland Sea, which made it resemble a tongue.

The Quark Expedition Team Is Exceptional

“The Quark expeditions team is, as always, EXCEPTIONAL!! Their level of quality of care, enthusiasm, knowledge, friendliness, safety and passion exceed expectations. My first experience with the Quark family was earlier in the year with a trip to Antarctica. I was so happy with my experience that I had to book another trip with them later in the same year to the other end of the World - The Arctic, which was another great experience. I’m looking forward to where the Quark family can take me next!”

Arlene

Three Arctic Islands, Sept. 4, 2012