Spitsbergen & East Greenland Adventure
Spitsbergen and East Greenland Adventure aboard Polar Pioneer
This epic voyage combines 2 of our most popular itineraries, the Jewels of the Arctic and the Northern Svalbard Explorer, to create a fantastic 24 day expedition to discover the very best of the European Arctic. Explore the stunning Spitsbergen coastline with its calving glaciers, towering bird cliffs, pack ice and wildlife such as walruses, reindeer and even polar bears. If that’s not enough you will also get to experience the world’s largest fjord system, calving icebergs, friendly native communities and untouched tundra-covered valleys of spectacular Greenland. Enjoy exciting Zodiac cruises and optional kayaking excursions as you get up close to some of nature’s finest spectacles.
Namibia Birding and Photography GuideAn accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country. Read more >
Falklands Expert & GuideBorn in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. Read more >
- Explore Spitsbergen’s stunning northwest coast & the North East Greenland National Park
- Aim for 80° North on alert for polar bears!
- Other wildlife spotting opportunities including reindeer, walrus and whales
- Zodiac cruise beneath high cliffs buzzing with seabirds
- See Scoresby Sund, the world’s largest fjord system
- Visit Inuit communities and share their Arctic lifestyle
- Kayaking and rock climbing options
- Photo Workshop
- Accommodation onboard Polar Pioneer with all meals, snacks, tea and coffee included
- Group transfers to and from ship
- Group sightseeing tour in Longyearbyen post-voyage
- Dog sledding day tour in Longyearbyen
- All shore excursions and Zodiac (inflatable boat) cruises
- Educational lectures and guiding services from an expert team
- Complimentary custom-designed polar expedition jacket
- Loan of gumboots during the voyage
- Daily cabin service
- Professionally-produced hard back voyage log
- Port taxes and charges & entry fees to historic landings sites
ITINERARY23 Nights 24 Days
- Day 1 | Reykjavik
- Day 2 | Denmark Strait
- Day 3 | Blossville Coast
- Days 4 - 5 | Scoresby Sund
- Days 6 - 8 | East Greenland Coast
- Days 9 - 10 | Greenland Sea
- Days 11 - 12 | Spitsbergen Coast
- Days 13 - 14 | Longyearbyen
- Day 15 | Northwest Spitsbergen
- Days 16 - 17 | Nordaustlandet North Coast
- Days 18 - 19 | East Nordauslandet, Kvitøya & Storøya
- Days 20 - 21 | South Nordaustlandet
- Days 22 - 23 | North & West Spitsbergen
- Day 24 | Longyearbyen
Your Arctic adventure begins in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. Arrive independently and transfer to the port to board your ship. Embarkation will begin in the late afternoon and you can take the time to settle into your new surroundings as the ship sails towards the Denmark Strait.
As we sail across Denmark Strait towards Greenland, you can enjoy onboard presentations and talks from the experts that will accompany you on your voyage. Learn about the wildlife, history and geology of the areas you are about to encounter and spend time on deck enjoying the flying antics of northern fulmars and black-backed gulls, and spot dolphins, orcas and other whales in their feeding grounds.
As we sail along the Blosseville Coast we will keep an eye out for musk ox and narwhals, and marvel at the mountain scenery that dominates the skyline. If weather permits, we head for Romer Fjord, a deep waterway with stunning mountain views.
This is where your adventure begins in earnest as we spend 2 days exploring the beautiful Scoresby Sund, the world's biggest fjord system. The vast Greenland icecap sweeps down in massive glaciers that calve explosively, creating giant icebergs, and we will get up close to these on exciting Zodiac explorations. Near Sydkap, our Zodiacs weave through a maze of grounded icebergs, some more than 30-metres high, sculpted with deep green tunnels and aquamarine lakes. In Ittoqqortoormiit you will enjoy a warm welcome from Inuit happy to share their culture and explain the challenges of Arctic life. For the kayakers there are ideal paddling conditions here, and you can spend your time weaving through the interconnected waterways, watching for polar bears and narwhals.
East Greenland Coast
Upon arriving at Greenland’s eastern coast the overwhelming first impression is usually “ice”, and lots of it! An ice cap covers 81 per cent of the island and pack ice, even in summer, may fill the northern bays. We will spend our days exploring by Zodiac and visiting places like Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord where walks along the tundra in search of sightings of musk ox, Arctic fox and eider ducks wll delight. Visit trappers’ huts, see the spectacular hanging gardens at Kap Humboldt and witness the spectacular glacier-carved mountains of Kong Oskar Fjord up close.
After your exploration of Greenland its time to head towards more adventures in Svalbard. We sail through the Polar Basin's nutrient-rich waters, searching for fin and beluga whales, encroaching pack ice, and seabirds. The expert naturalists and guest lecturers onboard will entertain us with fascinating, illustrated talks on European Arctic plants and animals, and epic tales of such early explorers as Nansen, Andree and Scoresby. These are relaxed days, wonderful for getting to know fellow expeditioners and preparing for your time in the Polar wonderland of Spitsbergen.
Welcome to Spitsbergen! You will spend your days here discovering the calving icebergs, historic whaling stations and trappers’ camps of Spitsbergen’s spectacular northwest coast. You can enjoy Zodiac excursions to get fantastic views of ice cliffs, including Monacobreen, one of Spitsbergen’s largest glaciers, and search for wildlife including walrus and possibly even polar bears. Enjoy gentle hikes along the tundra dotted with wildflowers and keep an eye out for reindeer. Birdwatching opportunities here are endless as Brunnich’s guillemots, little auks and kittiwakes nest in their thousands. Make sure you have your camera ready for fantastic scenic and wildlife photo opportunities.
Please note: As this tour is a combination of 2 itineraries, your ship will head towards Longyearbyen on the night of day 12 to collect more passengers and allow those who have only booked the Greenland portion of the trip to disembark. The areas you will have visited on these 2 days may be visited again in the following days, however this will give us the opportunity to explore places we may have missed or spot wildlife we may not have seen first time around.
A midnight cruise in Isfjorden leads us into Longyearbyen where we will disembark the ship in the morning to enjoy a thrilling dog-sledding excursion, before embarking again in preparation for the next part of our adventure.
As you awake along the coast of the Nordvest-Spitsbergen National Park the sight that will greet you will be the dramatic landscapes of alpine peaks and glacier valleys. Exploring the area by Zodiac you will cruise past spectacular sea-cliffs on a constant look out for reindeer, walrus, Arctic fox and a plethora of seabirds. You will have time to explore some of the region’s calving glaciers such as Smeerenburg on Amsterdam Island and discover the remains of ancient whaling stations at Ytre Norskøya.
Nordaustlandet North Coast
The next stop on your adventure will be northern coast of Nordaustlandet, Svalbard’s second largest island. Nordaustlandet is a rarely visited polar desert which is rich in geological wonders and is home to many roaming polar bears and large colonies of walruses. Exploring by Zodiac we hope to enjoy landings at Sjuøyane (The Seven Isles), the most northerly point of Norway, and the magnificent 40 kilometre fjord at Rijpfjord. As well as exploring by Zodiac you can enjoy relaxing walks across the tundra in search of wildlife like reindeer and even more walruses.
East Nordauslandet, Kvitøya & Storøya
These days will be spent exploring the eastern coast of Nordauslandet and attempting to reach Kvitøya and Storøya, Svalbard’s most easterly islands, with an exciting Zodiac cruise around Karl XII Island on the way. Your time here will be mostly dictated by weather conditions and ice and your captain will choose the best route each day to make the most of all opportunities. The thickening pack-ice as we sail north will often bring sightings of polar bears and walrus as they hunt and haul-out on the ice, and we will keep an eye out for the elusive ivory gulls which are known to frequent the area.
Rounding down the east and south sides of Nordaustlandet your ship will complete its circumnavigation of the island by cruising north through the Hinlopen Strait. As we spend more time exploring around this area you can enjoy a Zodiac cruise under Alkfjellet, where thousands of nesting birds fill the sheer cliffs, and Austfonna, an impressively large ice cap with one of the longest glacier fronts in the northern hemisphere. There will also be time to make landings at Isisøya and Murchisonfjorden, impressively scenic lands steeped in a rich Arctic history.
North & West Spitsbergen
Returning back along the stunning north-western Spitsbergen coast, we keep an eye on ice and weather conditions and make as many landings as possible. All landings will be dictated by weather conditions but we can expect the opportunity to visit areas such as Woodfjord, Liefdefjord, Krossfjord and Kongsfjord.
A midnight cruise of beautiful Isfjorden brings us to Longyearbyen, and signals the end of our spectacular voyage. After disembarkation you can enjoy a group tour of this unique Arctic town which is the administrative capital of Svalbard. A transfer to the airport will be provided. Or should you wish to spend more time here there are many opportunities for extra excursions and adventures.
What Our Customers
Superlatives abound – a truly amazing experience...awesome. Thanks to all for making it such a memorable experience.
We have just returned from our Spitsbergen trip with Wildfoot and had to tell you what an amazing time we had! We saw 6 polar bears including a mother with 2 cubs as well as whales, walruses and lots of birds. The ship (Expedition) was really comfortable and the guides were so helpful and friendly. Thank you so much for making it all so easy.
I came to Wildfoot because a friend had booked with you when you were Antarctica Bound and they were right. Everything went perfectly, even when our flight was cancelled, you made sure we still made it to the ship with time to spare. L’Austral is a beautiful ship with first class service and food and the guides looked after us well. Very happy to recommend Wildfoot and L’Austral...
We had always wanted to see the Arctic and travelling all the way from Australia needed lots of information. After getting nowhere, we came across Wildfoot and found people who knew what they were talking about! Sara and John were so helpful and made the process easy, suggesting Iceland Greenland and Spitsbergen. This was perfect for us – amazing scenery and lots of wildlife, especially the polar bears in Spitsbergen. Thanks for everything. Ps, the ship was great too!
Just wanted to say thank you for suggesting a trip to Franz Josef Land as something different for the Arctic. We had a super trip and really enjoyed the Sea Spirit. Galapagos next!
Standing on the North Pole has been an ambition of mine since childhood and now I have done it! Thank you for making the process so easy - seeing polar bears and whales too was a real bonus.
The Sea Spirit expedition was excellent and the team organising it all were extremely good. 10 out of 10. Everything went very smoothly. The Iceland extension worked perfectly, all the organisation, connections etc. were excellent
The cruise was beyond my expectations. Got to see everything the captain wanted, even a polar bear mother with three cubs. Coal Miners Cabins were smashing. I did loads of birding and exploring over three days. All the people were great from the expedition leaders down to the passengers. So glad to have achieved my ambition of some 50 years standing and got amongst the ice of the Arctic, walked amongst it’s islands and witnessed the antics of its wonderful wildlife. What’s next??? I’ll need to speak with Sara again.
Thanks so much for enabling me to get to places I had always wanted to see from a very young age. “Ace” as my boys used to say!
Just wanted to send a quick note to say thank you very much for all your help in arranging our recent trip to Svalbard. Everything ran smoothly and the trip was a great success. Unfortunately I had to flew back a few days early and missed out on Isfjord Radio, which the rest of the team said was a brilliant place with amazing food, still the Basecamp Hotel and Nordenskiold Lodge were pretty amazing places, so I’m not complaining!
Writing back to tell you that the trip to the Arctic was all that it promised and more. It was a great wild-life sightseeing opportunity and the staff were really good.I had an excellent trip and have thousands of photos to go through.
I had an absolutely fabulous time won the Sergey Vavilov, it is an excellent ship. Sara was indeed right in her recommendation that they would be the most likely to push north into the ice to find the polar bears. We even circumnavigated Spitsbergen which was awesome and not o n the itinerary.It is such a wonderful way to take a trip when you are on your own – so if any of your potential single clients are unsure, definitely recommend it – I didn’t feel alone from the moment I stepped on board. I will be at the Birdfair next weekend and so will catch up with whoever is there – regarding this trip, and potentially my next!
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
We had a wonderful time, even though we didn't do all the places we were supposed to but we all felt were we went instead couldn't beaten. Saw animals I wanted to see. Bit worried what the food was like as some of the ships cooking leaves something to be desired, but food was very good. We thought all the guides were brilliant and informative, friendly and knowledgeable It was far better than we expected and even my husband thoroughly enjoyed it!
I wanted to let you know that I had a wonderful cruise in the Russian Far East. The landscape and destination were inspiring, we had some excellent wildlife sightings (sea otter, grey whale, Steller's sea eagle, snowy owl and Arctic fox were all firsts for me), and the Heritage team were superb. Rough seas forced a few changes to the itinerary but we also had some fabulous weather. All in all, a thrilling travel experience.Thanks once again for all your efforts
I thought you might like to know that this was an excellent holiday. Our guide, Brad, was absolutely wonderful, his enthusiasm and knowledge made the holiday even better. All in all the whole trip was excellent and we saw lots of bears, 24 on the first day. Fewer on the second and third days but still plenty, as well as arctic foxes,silver foxes and snowy owls. Even on the last day near the town we saw a bear on rocks by the beach.
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Visit the wildfoot website for inspiration on your choice of adventures and destinations, then call us and speak to one of our specialists for first hand advice. We can start the planning process straight away, if you are ready.
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