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Three Arctic Islands: Iceland, Greenland, Spitsbergen

13 days

Variety is the spice of this adventure, named one of National Geographic Traveler’s 50 Tours of a Lifetime. Check three different Arctic regions off your list, heading above the Arctic Circle to Spitsbergen in the Svalbard archipelago, to the remote East Greenland and ending in beguiling Iceland. The towering cliffs, iconic wildlife, massive glaciers and swaths of untouched tundra of these three Arctic tours de force never cease to impress.

Spitsbergen Destination Guide

Spitsbergen Destination Guide

Our Spitsbergen destination guide is your best resource for learning everything there is to know about the Realm of the Polar Bear. Visitors can experience some the Arctic’s best outdoor adventure, learn about a rich culture and history, explore Longyearbyen, the world’s northern-most town, and witness the midnight sun in all its glory.

The guide features details about what you can experience on our expeditions, useful travel tips and even a packing checklist.

 

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 complete 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.

Explore the ocean from a more intimate vantage point on a sit-on-top kayak. No experience is required to manoeuvre these very stable kayaks, allowing you to enjoy an unforgettable experience on the water, taking in breathtaking landscapes and wildlife. Whether it’s your first time in a kayak or you want greater flexibility to try other Adventure options, this shorter excursion is for you.  
 
Paddling in the Polar Regions is highly weather-dependent and a one-time experience. Your kayak guides will attempt to take you out on the water for 1-1.5 hours of paddling. Offered on most voyages, spaces are limited. All equipment, guides and instructions are provided by Quark. 

Pricing subject to change based on season. Please proceed to checkout or contact a Polar Travel Adviser for more details. 

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 your 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 sea 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