an inflatable boat carries passengers to get a close-up view of an iceberg in greenland at the scoresby sund cruise
The aurora borealis or northern lights cast a green hue on a dark sky in the arctic circle
a landscape view of greenland with brown land, blue ocean, and snow-capped peaks
people hike on the tundra in greenland near red bushes
a white rabbit pauses on the tundra in greenland
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Polar Regions Arctic Cruise

Scoresby Sund Aurora Borealis

Experience the aurora borealis, or northern lights, at a maximum intensity on this special 8- or 9-day voyage to Scoresby Sund, East Greenland. It is the longest fjord in the world, and at this time of year, the conditions are optimal to experience the phenomenal northern lights. 

The Scoresby Sund Aurora Borealis Arctic cruise begins in Reykjavik and ends in Akureyri, Iceland. Set off on the 170-guest Hondius or 108-guest Plancius across the Arctic Circle and continue north to East Greenland and back. Sail the Denmark Strait and look for flashing icebergs on Greenland’s east coast. Zodiac past glacier fronts, basalt columns and ice formations at Vikingebugt. At Danmark Island, find the remains of an Inuit settlement abandoned 200 years ago. Photograph azure icebergs against a red, sediment backdrop near the Rode Fjord and search for musk oxen and rich foliage.

Send a postcard from Ittoqqortoormiit, a town with 500 inhabitants and plenty of sled dogs to meet. Time at sea is perfect for witnessing the aurora borealis, or northern lights, and searching for seabirds including fulmar, kittiwake, gannet and rafts of common guillemot. 

Greenland and its surrounding waters are home to an impressive array of wildlife. There are about 50 bird species on the island such as gyrfalcon, snowy owl, and barnacle and pink-footed goose. If you’ve ever wanted to see the aurora borealis, the time is right for this September northern lights cruise.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Arctic cruises.



Itinerary

East Greenland - Scoresby Sund, Aurora Borealis Itinerary

Visit the longest fjord in the world on this Arctic trip that begins and ends in Reykjavik, Iceland. Note that the itinerary listed is for 2021. Departures in 2020 follow an almost identical itinerary, with just the absence of Day 7’s visit to Turner Sound and Romer Fjord.

Scoresby Sund Aurora Borealis route map.
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Day 1
Reykjavik to Embark Akureyri, Iceland

The journey begins in the morning, where by request, you can transfer via chartered bus from the city hall of Reykjavik to the embarkation point in Akureyri. Arrive in the afternoon after a six-hour drive through northern Iceland. This transfer must be booked and paid for in advance. In the early evening, embark the expedition ship and enjoy dinner on board as the ship leaves Iceland and sails north toward the Denmark Strait.

Accommodations

Hondius or Plancius

Meals

dinner

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Day 2
Cross the Arctic Circle

At sea, sailing north through the Denmark Strait, watch for fulmar, kittiwake, gannet and rafts of common guillemot. Cross the Arctic Circle and continue north, perhaps spotting whales. In the evening the first icebergs appear as the ship approaches the east coast of Greenland near Brewster.

Accommodations

Hondius or Plancius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
Volquart Boons Coast & Danmark Island

Today, reach Scoresbysund, sailing along the glaciated Volquart Boons Coast. Zodiac cruise along one of the glacier fronts of this coast, along with a visit to the basalt columns and ice formations of Vikingebugt. The afternoon goal is to visit Danmark Island, where there are the remains of an Inuit settlement abandoned around 200 years ago. The circular stone tent rings indicate the summer houses, while the winter houses can be seen closer to a small cape. The sites are well preserved, allowing entrances and even bear-proof meat caches to be identified. There are also grave sites. In the evening, continue sailing through the beautiful fjords to the west that are choked with icebergs.

Accommodations

Hondius or Plancius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
Røde Island

The goal is a Zodiac cruise near Røde Island, one of the world’s most cherished iceberg attractions. The austere blue-white of the icebergs contrasts sharply against the brooding red backdrop of the sediment slopes. The afternoon plan is to sail through northern parts of Røde Fjord, with the chance to see musk oxen and warm autumnal foliage.

Accommodations

Hondius or Plancius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Iceberg Exploration & Sydkap

In the morning, encounter colossal icebergs, some over 328 feet high and more than 3,280 feet in length. Most of the bergs are grounded as the fjord is only about 1,312 feet deep here. Land near Sydkap to view the Hall Bredning fjord and possible arctic hares.

Accommodations

Hondius or Plancius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
Liverpool Land & Ittoqqortoormiit

Today make a tundra landing on Liverpool Land, in Hurry Inlet. In the afternoon, visit Ittoqqortoormiit, the biggest settlement near Scoresbysund with about 500 inhabitants. Stop in the post office to purchas postcard stamps or just wander around to see the sled dogs and the drying skins of seals and musk oxen. In the afternoon sail south, passing the picturesque landscapes of the Blosseville Coast.

Accommodations

Hondius or Plancius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 7
Remote Shores of Turner Sound & Romer Fjord

Turner Sound and Rømer Fjord grant you the opportunity to sail far inland, as they have no glacier front at the head and are not clogged with ice. In this location, you may get the opportunity to spot narwhals.

Accommodations

Hondius or Plancius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 8
At Sea

The whole day at sea grants excellent opportunities to see large whales, seabird migration and, at night, the magical aurora borealis (northern lights).

Accommodations

Hondius or Plancius

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 9
Disembark Akureyri to Reykjavik, Iceland

Disembark in Akureyri and transfer by chartered bus (a six-hour drive that must be booked in advance) to the Reykjavik city hall.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Voyage aboard the indicated vessel in the itinerary; all meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea; all shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac; program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff; free use of rubber boots and snow shoes; all miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; AECO fees and governmental taxes; comprehensive pre-departure material.

Exclusions

Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre- and post-cruise land arrangements; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (strongly recommended); excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges; transfer supplement for bus shuttle between Akureyri (ship) and Radhus Reykjavikur / city hall in Vonarstraeti and v.v. (6 hours) (2020, $100 one way or $200 round trip; 2021, $120 one way or $200 round trip); the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 20% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 90 days – 100% of deposit
89 to 60 days – 50% of total trip cost
59 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The main Scoresby Sund Aurora Borealis cruise begins in Reykjavik, Iceland (KEF), where you’ll be picked up and transferred by scenic bus through North Iceland. The ship embarks and disembarks in Akureyri, Iceland (AEY), with a transfer back to Reykjavik on day 9. Plan flights to arrive Reykjavik at least one day prior to embarkation. Plan flights to depart Reykjavik anytime on the day after disembarkation. Bus transfers are not included and must be pre-booked; see associated costs in Exclusions above. Contact AdventureSmith for more details.

Activities

Guided shore excursions, hiking, snowshoeing, wildlife spotting and Zodiac cruises are included in the fare and will be offered to all passengers during each voyage. Every day there will be excursions on land, weather and ice permitting. The landings will take 3 to 6 hours per day over untracked area. According to circumstances (the weather, the ice-situation or the passengers’ wishes) the program can sometimes be adjusted. Ample time will be devoted to wildlife, vegetation, geography and history.

Various additional activities may be available on your Scoresby Sund Aurora Borealis cruise. The following table details what additional activities may be available on each departure and their per-person cost for the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Key: (K) kayaking $450 (4-14 kayakers on Plancius or 4-28 kayakers on Hondius); (D) polar diving $550 (8-24 divers); (P) a photo workshop is also included, requiring a minimum of 20 guests, and must be booked in advance. Please contact AdventureSmith for details on which activities are available on your specific departure date and to reserve space with your booking.

2020 & 2021 Seasons:
Sep 14 – Sep 21, 2020 – Hondius – K, D, P
Sep 07 – Sep 15, 2021 – Hondius – K, D
Sep 12 – Sep 20, 2021 – Hondius – K, P

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at 1.7x the per-person Twin or Superior listed rates. Single travelers wishing to book on a “sharing basis” may do so at no additional cost in Twin, Triple or Quadruple categories upon availability.

Families & Children

Upon request (some voyages may be excluded), children under 16 years old with parents may receive a 40% discount in the following cabins: Grand Suite, Superior, Triple (1 child sharing with 2 parents/adults) and Quadruple (1 child sharing with 3 parents/adults, or 2 children sharing with 2 parents/adults). Parents are entirely responsible for their children at all times, on land and on board; there is no onboard day care or nursery facility.

Travel Insurance

Emergency medical evacuation insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum recommended coverage of $100,000 per person. Trip cancellation insurance is optional but highly recommended. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 15 or 21 days of booking (depending on plan) for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice, weather conditionswildlife encountered and the captain’s discretion. Flexibility is the key to the success of any Arctic expedition.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

Sep 12 - Sep 20, 2021
Hondius • 9 days
From $4500USD
Per Person
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Sep 07 - Sep 15, 2021
Plancius • 9 days
From $4500USD
Per Person
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Accommodations

Choose the Small Ship that Fits Your Travel Style

Expedition Ship
Hondius

The 170-guest M/V Hondius was built exclusively for cruises in Antarctica and the Arctic. She is one of the strongest ice-strengthened vessels currently cruising in the polar regions.

Expedition Ship
Plancius

The Plancius is a 108-passenger small ship designed and built exclusively for polar cruises. A wide variety of cabins, ample space on five decks and a wide range of activities offered make the Plancius a great option for active expedition cruises.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

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