Arctic Discovery

Arctic Discovery: Iceland, Jan Mayen & Svalbard 11 Day Discovery Cruise
SH Vega
10 Nights
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Board our boutique expedition ship in the world’s most northerly town for our Arctic Discovery cruise and explore Svalbard and Jan Mayen before navigating the shores of the Land of Fire and Ice - Iceland. This remarkable journey takes you from the land of the midnight sun inside the Arctic Circle past Spitsbergen’s towering glaciers calving spectacular icebergs, then across the Greenland Sea to the rarely visited Jan Mayen before reaching Iceland. In these northerly waters, watch polar bears carrying their cubs and fluking whales in the icy floes. Join us on our voyage of Arctic discovery as we sail from ice-bound islands to hot springs, spouting geysers and gushing waterfalls that make for a remarkable trip accompanied by polar experts.

Trip Highlights

Sit up on deck and take in the glow of the midnight sun as you spy on polar bears in their natural habitat
Sail past Spitsbergen’s most beautiful glacier, Monacobreen, as it calves icebergs
Step foot onto the soil of the rarely visited, most northerly volcanic island of Jan Mayen Island
Listen to the thunderous roar of Dynjandi waterfall and cruise along remote fjords
Keep your eye out for breaching humpback whales in far-flung icy waters


Day 1
The world's most northerly town, Longyearbyen, on Spitsbergen, Svalbard's largest island, also claims the most northerly high street and pub. It's home to The North Pole Expeditions Museum chronicling early pole-reaching efforts by air. Nearby, Svalbard Global Seed Vault preserves duplicate seeds from gene banks worldwide. Arctic waters around are populated by whales, including bowheads and narwhals, while walruses are regularly seen hauling out.
Day 2-4
Svalbard is the kingdom of the polar bears, deep in the Arctic Circle, featuring varied polar landscapes and gargantuan glaciers. Beyond magnificent fjords in the north, the remaining sea ice serves as prime hunting grounds for polar bears. Closer to Longyearbyen, tundra and beaches replace snow and ice. Alongside 600 polar bears, this Arctic hotspot is home to walrus, Svalbard reindeer, ringed seals and arctic fox
Day at sea
Day 5
Spend your day at sea enjoying the facilities available onboard. Head to the sauna, get in a workout in the state-of-the-art gym or relax in the hot tub while taking in incredible views along the way. If you prefer to learn a little more about your surroundings, listen to an informative talk or have a chat with one of our knowledgeable experts.
Jan Mayen Island
Day 6
The snow-covered stratovolcano Beerenberg dominates the ice cap and glaciers at the northeast end of Jan Mayen Island. Halfway between Svalbard and Iceland, this Norwegian island's only residents are the Norwegian Armed Forces or meteorological station staff. Purple saxifrage and endemic dandelions grow next to the black sands, while northern fulmars, Brünnich’s and black guillemots and little auks make Jan Mayen an important birding area.
Day at sea
Day 7
Sea days are rarely dull. Take the time to sit back and let the world go by. The ship’s observation decks provide stunning views of the passing ocean. A day at sea gives you the opportunity to mingle with other passengers and share your experiences of this incredible trip or head to our library which is stocked full of reference books. Get an expert’s view in one of our on-board lectures or perhaps perfect your photography skills with invaluable advice from our onboard professional photographers.
Day 8
Known for its colourful old town, heart-shaped traffic lights and woodlands, Akureyri in northern Iceland lies in Eyjafjörður, a humpback whale feeding ground. Nearby tours of Lake Mývatn, the most geologically active area in Iceland, include lava formations, hot springs, caves and rifts, boiling mud pools, volcanic craters, the roaring Godafoss waterfall and Game of Thrones locations.
Day 9
Surrounded by fjords in the Westfjords region, Ísafjördur is a bustling fishing town in northwest Iceland with colourful wooden 18th- and 19th-century houses in its old town, Neskaupstadur. Nearby, Sudavik is home to the Arctic Fox Centre. Iceland’s only mammal, the arctic fox, lives on the lush tundra of Hornstrandir Nature Reserve, the northernmost peninsula in the Westfjords with two of Europe’s largest bird cliffs.
Vigur Island
Day 9
A jewel of the Westfjords, Vigur is the fjord's second-largest island and a thriving seabird sanctuary. Flocks of arctic terns, puffins, guillemots and eider ducks nest atop rocky cliffs. As one of only two inhabited islands, Vigur supports a family farm continuing the centuries-old eiderdown harvest across 3,500 nests. This remote pillar also houses Iceland's sole windmill, its tiniest post office and a 200-year-old, still-seaworthy rowing boat.
Dynjandi Waterfall
Day 10
Considered one of Iceland’s most impressive, this thunderous waterfall in the Westfjords region gives the impression of a bridal veil as it spreads its tumbling waters down a series of ever- growing cascades. Dynjandi is one of the most photographed sights in Iceland. Walking up to it takes 15 minutes passing five smaller waterfalls. Nearby, Hrafnseyri is the birthplace of Jón Sigurdsson, 19th-century leader of the Icelandic Independence movement. The museum includes an Icelandic turf house.
Day 11
In the centre of Iceland’s sprawling capital city, the modern organ-pipe-shaped Hallgrimskirkja church dominates the top of town. Cosy bars, cafes and shops line the surrounding streets heated by Iceland's geothermal waters. The regenerated harbour is home to a striking modern concert hall. Popular trips include to the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa near the village of Grindavik, and the Golden Circle tour taking in Gullfoss Waterfall and the mighty Strokkur geyser in Thingvellir National Park.