Iceland & Greenland – Arctic Expedition Cruise under the Midnight Sun

Iceland & Greenland – Arctic Expedition Cruise under the Midnight Sun

Iceland & Greenland – Arctic Expedition Cruise under the Midnight Sun

Iceland & Greenland – Arctic Expedition Cruise under the Midnight Sun

Travel information 24 days MS Fridtjof Nansen
Departure
6 June 2023
Price from
10990 €
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Embark on an epic 24-day discovery of showstopping scenery, fascinating cultures and Arctic wildlife as we circumnavigate Iceland before heading to pristine west-coast Greenland. 

The land of ice and fire … and elves 

Starting your expedition in Iceland’s culture-rich capital Reykjavik, you’ll journey north to commence your circumnavigation of the country. You’ll call at breathtaking Stykkishólmur, the tranquil fishing village of Patreksfjördur and Iceland’s second city Akureyri.  

Heading onto Grimsey, you’ll cross the Arctic Circle before continuing to Bakkagerði, where elves are said to dwell. With soaring rhyolite peaks and the majestic Dyrfjöll mountain, it’s a stunning location. Finally, you’ll explore Iceland’s Pompeii, Heimaey, before arriving back in Reykjavik. 

Spectacular west Greenland 

From there, you’ll cross the Denmark Strait just as the Vikings did, arriving at colourful Qaqortoq. Here, you’ll meet the friendly locals, visit your first Greenlandic fjord, the Kvanefjord, and set out on a wildlife exploration day. Heading onto Maniitsoq, the ‘Venice of Greenland, and ancient Sisimiut, you’ll arrive at the jaw-dropping Ilulissat Ice Fjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  

Real expedition awaits in the vast Disko Bay as we explore the untouched wilderness and Arctic nature of the Vaigat Sound and the enchanting Evighed Fjord, the “Fjord of Eternity”. Continuing on to Nuuk, Greenland’s photogenic capital, you’ll also stop at eerie Ivittut and beautiful Prince Christian Sound, before completing your adventure where it all began, in Reykjavik. 

Iceland & Greenland – Arctic Expedition Cruise under the Midnight Sun Iceland & Greenland – Arctic Expedition Cruise under the Midnight Sun
  • Day 1
    Reykjavík

    The start of the expedition

    6 June 2023

    Start your expedition cruise in Iceland’s capital city, a centre for art, culture, history and pleasure 

    Your expedition cruise begins at Reykjavík, where MS Fridtjof Nansen awaits you at the harbour. Reykjavík means ‘Smoky Inlet’ and was so named because of the steam rising from its hot springs. Today, the hot water from geothermal energy supplies numerous pools and hot tubs.  

    The world’s northernmost capital city is simultaneously traditional and cosmopolitan, with plenty to do and see. Explore busy Laugarvegur with its delightful boutiques, outdoor shops and pubs, and drink in knowledge to your heart’s content in the wonderful museums of art, culture and history. After that, it’s time to go aboard, meet your Expedition Team and start the adventure! 

    Pre-Programme 

    Arriving a few days earlier will allow you to explore this beautiful country in more depth. Why not book a two- or four-day Pre-Programme with us to Iceland’s famous Golden Circle? Highlights such as visiting Gullfoss waterfall and Thingvellir National Park, taking a dip in Iceland´s oldest swimming pool as well as hiking in unique, beautiful surroundings await you! 

    Day 1
    Reykjavík

    The start of the expedition

  • Day 2
    Stykkishólmur - Full day

    Welcome to Sagaland

    7 June 2023

    Visit the fjord of a thousand islets and the land that inspired Jules Verne 

    Our first stop is the quaint fishing village of Stykkishólmur, located on the north side of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. With an absence of traffic and a population of only around one thousand, it sometimes feels as though time has stood still here. From here you have a fantastic view across Breiðafjörður (‘Broad Fjord’) with its countless islets.  

    The old town centre is characterised by colourful old houses which stand out against the rugged scenery. Do take a look at the Volcano Museum and the Regional Museum, and try local delicacies at the restaurant. This region was the setting for Jules Verne’s book Journey to the Centre of the Earth

    Day 2
    Stykkishólmur - Full day

    Welcome to Sagaland

  • Day 3
    Patreksfjördur - Full day

    The fjord of St Patrick

    8 June 2023

    Look for puffins and Arctic foxes as we visit a rose-hued beach and Iceland’s highest waterfall 

    This tranquil fishing village was named for Saint Patrick by its discoverer back in the 8th century. The harbour has a rich maritime history and remains lively today, giving you the opportunity to learn about the many species of fish brought ashore. What’s more, you can take a dip in its outdoor pool.  

    Nearby Latrabjarg cliff is home to Puffins, Northern Gannets, Guillemots and Razorbills. Nesting on its face, they are safe from Arctic foxes. Also close by are Rauðsandur (‘Red Sand’) Beach, famous for its rose-hued sand, and the Dynjandi waterfalls where six falls combine to form the highest waterfall in the Westfjords. 

    Day 3
    Patreksfjördur - Full day

    The fjord of St Patrick

  • Day 4
    Northwest Iceland

    Northwest Iceland

    9 June 2023

    A day for spontaneous exploration in Iceland’s north-western region 

    One of the best things about expedition cruising is that anything can happen on any given day. That’s why we’ve set one day aside as an exploration day, with no pre-arranged plan.   

      We aim to be in Iceland’s Northwestern Region, but the Captain and the Expedition Team will set the final plan for the day, depending on conditions and opportunities as they arise.   

      Activities might include hiking, participating in a beach clean-up or launching our kayaks. If we spot a pod of whales as we’re sailing, we may decide to linger and enjoy the sight. Being adaptable to adventure is what expedition cruising is all about.  

    Day 4
    Northwest Iceland

    Northwest Iceland

  • Day 5
    Akureyri - Full day

    Capital of the north

    10 June 2023

    See Iceland’s vibrant northern capital and the Waterfall of the Gods 

    Located at the head of Iceland’s longest fjord, the lively university town of Akureyri is aknown as the country’s northern capital. As we cruise past towering, snow-capped peaks along the fjord’s lush coastline, this is your best opportunity to spot whales of various species. The town itself has numerous top-class eateries and two fascinating museums.  

    You can also visit the Arctic Botanical Gardens and view the striking architecture of Akureyri Church. 

    Optional excursions are available to stunning Goðafoss, the ‘Waterfall of the Gods’, and to uniquely beautiful Lake Mývatn, which is a wonderful place for bird-spotting. ‘Game of Thrones’ fans may recognise this landscape! 

    Day 5
    Akureyri - Full day

    Capital of the north

  • Day 6
    Grimsey - Full day

    Step across the Arctic Circle

    11 June 2023

    Explore the island of folklore and legend as we straddle the Arctic Circle 

    For an unforgettable experience, you have to visit the small, grassy island of Grimsey. Steeped in folklore and legend, this island bisects the Arctic Circle, which means you can stand with your feet astride this important geographical feature. The Circle is marked by a large, concrete sphere.  

    There are only 60 human inhabitants, but many thousands of seabirds, and the locals sometimes intrepidly descend the cliffs in search of eggs. Boats will take you from the ship to this craggy, windswept island for your visit, and in the evening we return to the port of Húsavík for the night. 

    Day 6
    Grimsey - Full day

    Step across the Arctic Circle

  • Day 7
    Bakkagerði - Full day

    The land of the elves

    12 June 2023

    Enjoy spectacular scenery and wildlife in the company of the so-called Hidden Folk 

    According to folklore, this tiny coastal hamlet of about 100 people is also home to a considerable population of elves, and when you experience the serenity and view the impressive scenery it´s not hard to see why. Surrounded by mountain peaks, Bakkagerði is a superb base for hikers, bird-watchers and all lovers of nature.   

    The coastal cliffs abound with Fulmars, Kittiwakes, Eider Ducks and Puffins. After your walk, you can enjoy a meal of fresh fish or the local speciality, fish soup, at one of the local cafés, or simply take in the peace and breathtaking views. Perhaps you’ll even glimpse an elf! 

    Day 7
    Bakkagerði - Full day

    The land of the elves

  • Day 8
    Heimaey - Full day

    Iceland`s Pompeii

    13 June 2023

    A friendly welcome awaits you on this isle of fire and turbulent history 

    With about 4,000 friendly inhabitants, Heimaey (‘Home Island’) is the only inhabited island in the Vestmannaeyjar archipelago to the south of Iceland’s mainland. In 1973, the settlement was nearly wiped out by a volcanic eruption. The volcanic cone Eldfell (‘Fire Mountain’) still towers 220 metres above the sea.  

    Lower down, you can see the tongue of lava which nearly blocked the harbour and was only stopped by heroic efforts. On this windy but hospitable island you can ascend the volcano and also learn about its dark and turbulent history of runaway slaves, murder, revenge, magic, and Barbary pirates. 

    Day 8
    Heimaey - Full day

    Iceland`s Pompeii

  • Day 9
    Reykjavík

    Pause - beginning the next leg of the journey

    14 June 2023

    Take a trip to the Blue Lagoon for an unforgettable outdoor spa experience 

    Returning to Reykjavík, you now have another opportunity to explore the delights you may have missed on your first visit. Don’t forget, this is a city of art, culture, galleries and museums. Or if you simply wish to relax, why not take a trip to the famous Blue Lagoon.  

    Here you can relax in geothermally heated water of a bright blue colour that’s derived from silica and many other minerals carried down from the volcanic landscape. As you soak, you can also enjoy a drink and chat with locals and fellow guests as you look forward to the next step on your adventure – Greenland! 

    Day 9
    Reykjavík

    Pause - beginning the next leg of the journey

  • Day 10-11
    At Sea

    Crossing the Denmark Strait

    15 June 2023 - 16 June 2023

    Relax and learn all about the Arctic as we follow in the wake of Viking explorers 

    Voyaging westward, MS Fridtjof Nansen enters the Denmark Strait, waters once sailed by Erik the Red and other Viking explorers on their way to Greenland. As we sail, the ship has plenty of onboard facilities that you can use. In the Science Center, you can learn all about the Arctic, its wildlife and its inhabitants.  

    Why not take some time to use the ship’s fitness room and get the blood pumping. After that, you can enjoy a relaxing sauna as you gaze out to sea. Later, chat with other guests as you enjoy a drink in the Explorer Lounge & Bar - all just suggestions, of course! 

    Day 10-11
    At Sea

    Crossing the Denmark Strait

  • Day 12
    Qaqortoq - Full day

    Picture-perfect Greenlandic town

    17 June 2023

    An opportunity to savour local arts, crafts and traditions amid stunning scenery 

    Welcome to beautiful Greenland! This colourful and picturesque settlement has roots dating back 4,300 years, and the town is typified by its arts and crafts. On landing, you can already notice faces and fish shapes carved into the rocks, and in the shops you can buy locally made fabrics, glassware, and herbal skincare products.  

    Explore the lush green scenery of the surrounding hills and nearby lake; the bluffs overlooking the town offer a breathtaking view of the bay. And after your walk, you’re invited to enter a home for a kaffemik, a social occasion in which your hosts tell traditional stories as you enjoy cakes and coffee. 

    Day 12
    Qaqortoq - Full day

    Picture-perfect Greenlandic town

  • Day 13
    Kvanefjord

    Exploration day Kvanefjord

    18 June 2023

    Explore this pristine landscape of icebergs and floes in the ‘Place of Much Ice’ 

    Unspoilt Kvanefjord is a 30-mile long inlet in Sermersooq, the ‘Place of Much Ice’. As we sail along the fjord, past icebergs and floes in pristine white and shades of blue, you can be among the few visitors to admire the majestic scenery of this almost unexplored place.  

    Depending on the weather and the ice conditions, your Captain and the Expedition Team will look for opportunities to set out in the ship’s expedition boats, and perhaps even go ashore to stretch your legs and view the local wildlife. Make sure to have your camera ready to record this true adventure! 

    Day 13
    Kvanefjord

    Exploration day Kvanefjord

  • Day 14
    Maniitsoq - Full day

    The ‘Venice of Greenland’

    19 June 2023

    Four thousand years of local culture await you in this northern ‘Venice’ 

    Maniitsoq, whose name translates as ‘The Uneven Place’, is sometimes humorously called ‘The Venice of Greenland’ because of the many natural canals which criss-cross the archipelago. Instead of gondolas, though, you may sight a pod of humpback whales!  

    Greenland’s sixth-largest town, Maniitsoq was founded at the mouth of the fjord in 1755, and now has a population of 2,500. In the museum, which used to be a blubber station, you can view artefacts from 4,000 years of habitation in the area. There are also two restaurants, where the friendly and welcoming owners are eager to serve you. 

    Day 14
    Maniitsoq - Full day

    The ‘Venice of Greenland’

  • Day 15
    Sisimiut - Full day

    Fur, fox holes and outdoor fun

    20 June 2023

    Musk oxen, Arctic foxes, and a popular venue for adventurous activities as we pass into the Midnight Sun zone 

    In a spectacular location 25 miles north of the Arctic Circle, Sisimiut is a modern town. However, human settlement dates back 4,500 years, and the small museum houses many local artefacts. The people are proud of their traditions and still maintain these today.  

    The name Sisimiut translates as ‘The People at the Fox Holes’, a reference to the burrows of the Arctic foxes which live here. Another local animal is the musk ox, whose thick fur provides the material for qiviut fabric. The town is a regional hub and is a popular venue for back-country activities such as skiing and dog sledding. 

    Day 15
    Sisimiut - Full day

    Fur, fox holes and outdoor fun

  • Day 16
    Ilulissat - Full day

    Icefjord - UNESCO World Heritage Site

    21 June 2023

    Enjoy a beautiful hike to an Inuit settlement from this colourful World Heritage Site 

    Our journey now comes to Disko Bay, one of Greenland’s major attractions. The nutrient-rich waters of Ilulissat’s bay once supported huge populations of whales, walruses and seals. Erik the Red is credited as the first European to enter the bay, in 985 CE.  

    Today, the area is a World Heritage Site and a vibrant hub for those seeking adventure on Greenland’s icecap. From the colourful houses by the water, you can take a short but beautiful hike to the old Inuit settlement of Sermermiut, or simply relax and watch the icebergs change hue as they slowly drift by. 

    Day 16
    Ilulissat - Full day

    Icefjord - UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • Day 17
    Vaigat Sound - Full day

    Probing the Vaigat Sound

    22 June 2023

    A day of exploration by boat and on foot in unspoiled and majestic scenery 

    Arriving at the northernmost point of our journey, we now have a day to explore remote and untamed Vaigat Sound. Your experienced Captain and Expedition Team will judge the weather and ice conditions to choose the best course.  

    All being well, there should be opportunities to explore in boats or even kayaks, and there are several locations where we could go ashore to observe the mighty glacier and the Arctic flora. The sound teems with wildlife, so watch for orcas, bowheads, and four species of seal. You’ll feel like the first ones to explore this region, and in some locations you may well be right! 

    Day 17
    Vaigat Sound - Full day

    Probing the Vaigat Sound

  • Day 18
    Evighed Fjord - Full day

    Exploration day at ‘Eternity Fjord’

    23 June 2023

    ‘Eternity Fjord’ beckons you to experience its dream-like landscape of glaciers and towering mountains 

    The name of this magnificent feature translates as ‘Eternity Fjord’, and indeed it has a dreamlike atmosphere of permanence. Bounded by mountains towering to 6,600 ft, this fjord penetrates 46 miles inland and is up to 2,300 ft deep in parts.  

    At the head of the fjord, the Maniitsoq icecap meets the water in a series of ridges and ice caves, and it calves colossal icebergs. This region is sparsely inhabited, with just a few tiny fishing hamlets. Our aim on this day is to take a nature walk, but the exact programme will be determined by the Captain and Expedition Team according to the prevailing conditions. 

    Day 18
    Evighed Fjord - Full day

    Exploration day at ‘Eternity Fjord’

  • Day 19
    Nuuk - Full day

    The photogenic capital of Greenland

    24 June 2023

    Explore Greenland’s capital and take a scenic hike in Paradise Valley 

    Located at the mouth of a fjord system, Greenland’s capital offers a cheery and fascinating prospect with its colourful houses and mix of old and ultra-modern architecture. Founded in 1728, Nuuk is Greenland’s oldest modern-day settlement, but still has fewer than 18,000 citizens.  

    This picturesque city has a cathedral, museums, and several restaurants and cafés to suit all tastes. Make sure to visit Hans Egede’s house; once the home of Nuuk’s founder, it dates to 1721 and is the oldest building in Greenland. You could also take a long nature walk through Paradise Valley, with its splendid views and small lake. 

    Day 19
    Nuuk - Full day

    The photogenic capital of Greenland

  • Day 20
    Ivittuut - Half day

    Muskoxen and a Norse settlement

    25 June 2023

    An eery, abandoned mining town that once held the secret to Allied victory in WW II 

    Now a ghost town of abandoned buildings, grassed-over streets and rusting machinery, Ivittuut once played a crucial role in WW II. Here, cryolite was mined, a mineral essential in the production of aluminium. This gave the Allies the edge in manufacturing aeroplanes and was one of the keys to victory. It was even occupied by a small US Army force to prevent it falling into German hands.  

    The area was also home to Norse settlers a millennium ago, though no trace of their habitation remains today. Now only musk oxen and the ghosts of the past inhabit this eery but beautiful place. 

    Day 20
    Ivittuut - Half day

    Muskoxen and a Norse settlement

  • Day 21
    Prince Christian Sound

    A river of melted ice

    26 June 2023

    Follow in the footsteps of explorer John Cabot among jagged mountain peaks  

    Expect to see some of the most incredible panoramas on the planet as we cruise into Prince Christian Sound. The explorer John Cabot compared the view, with its bergs and floes, to a ‘river of melted ice’. Jagged mountain peaks rise to 7,200 ft, their muted grey and green hues contrasting sharply with the brilliant white glaciers.  

    The only signs of human presence here are the weather station, installed by the US in WW II, and the small hunting and fishing village of Aappilattoq. If our passage is blocked by sea ice, we have an alternative trip planned to Cape Farewell, the southernmost point of Greenland. 

    Day 21
    Prince Christian Sound

    A river of melted ice

  • Day 22-23
    Irminger Sea

    Heading back to Iceland

    27 June 2023 - 28 June 2023

    Make the most of the ship’s excellent facilities as you reflect on your Greenlandic adventure 

    After exploring the wonders of Greenland, we head back across the Denmark Strait to Iceland. We may ponder whether some of the last Norse Greenlanders returned via this route as their settlements failed; all we know is their crofts and churches were found abandoned in the 15th century after decades of lost contact.  

    Now you have another opportunity to enjoy the ship’s top facilities and to reflect on your amazing experiences with your travelling companions. On these last evenings onboard, be sure to enjoy the social atmosphere in the Explorer Lounge & Bar. 

    Day 22-23
    Irminger Sea

    Heading back to Iceland

  • Day 24
    Reykjavík

    The end of this saga – until the next one

    29 June 2023

    Round off your adventure with a last opportunity to experience the delights of this wonderful city 

    MS Fridtjof Nansen will arrive back at the Icelandic capital early in the morning. Once you’ve disembarked, you have a final opportunity to explore this attractive and compact city and enjoy its wonderful ambiance and facilities.  

    We feel sure you’ll have had an incredible experience exploring Greenland’s west coast and Iceland with us, and we hope to see you again in the future for more adventures! 

    Post-Programme 

    Want to extend your adventure? If you'd like to discover more of Iceland, why not add on our Post-Programme before you head home, or simply extend your stay to enjoy Reykjavik and the surrounding geothermal attractions. After all, Iceland has so much to offer you may want to linger just a little longer! 

    Day 24
    Reykjavík

    The end of this saga – until the next one

Departures

2023

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What's included

Included in your voyage

Expedition Cruise  

  • Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice 
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurants Aune and Fredheim 
  • À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm included for suite guests 
  • Complimentary tea and coffee 
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported. 
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to use at water refill stations on board 
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore 
  • Range of included excursions 

Onboard Activities 

  • Experts on the Expedition Team deliver in-depth lectures on a variety of topics 
  • Use of the ship’s Science Center which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes 
  • Citizen Science program allows guests to assist with live scientific research 
  •  Professional onboard photographer gives top tips and tricks for the best landscape and wildlife photos 
  • Use of the ship’s hot tubs, panoramic sauna, outdoor and indoor gyms, and outdoor running track  
  • Informal gatherings with the crew such as daily recaps and preparation for the day to come 

Landing Activities 

  • Escorted landings with small expedition boats  
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment for activities 
  • Complimentary wind and water-resistant expedition jacket 
  • Expedition Photographers help with your camera settings  

Not included in your voyage

  • International flights  
  • Travel insurance 
  • Luggage handling 
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners 
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team   
  • Optional treatments in the wellness and spa area 

Notes

  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions 
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change  
  • Please make sure you meet all entry and boarding requirements 
  • No gratuities expected 
Pool area on MS Fridtjof Nansen
Photo: Oscar Farrera
Your ship

MS Fridtjof Nansen

Year built 2020
Shipyard Kleven Yards, Norway
Passenger capacity 528 (500 in Antarctica)
Gross tonnage 20 889 T
Length 140 m
Beam 23,6 m
Speed 15 knots

MS Fridtjof Nansen is the latest addition to Hurtigruten’s fleet of custom built ships – and the next generation expedition ship. She will explore some of the most spectacular corners of the globe.

Read more about MS Fridtjof Nansen

A large boat in a body of water with a mountain in the background

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