Venture, Svalbard Greenland & Icelandic Sagas ex Longyearbyen to Reykjavik
Cruise Line Seabourn
Ship Seabourn Venture
Destination Arctic North Atlantic
Nights 28
Departure Date 07 Aug 2021
Description 28 Night Cruise sailing from Longyearbyen to Reykjavik aboard Seabourn Venture.

An epic, ultra-luxury expedition to the splendors of summer in the Arctic. Snow-capped ranges, stately, iceberg-crowded fjords, shining glaciers and abundant wildlife.

Highlights of this cruise:

Sprawled in a glacial valley on the severely beautiful island of Spitzbergen in Norway’s Arctic Svalbard archipelago, Longyearbyen was originally a coal mining company town. Today it is the administrative center for the region. Its population of about 2,000-plus souls is highly transient. About a quarter leave every year, and the average stay is just under six years. During our summer visits, the population of terns arriving to nest dwarfs that of the people.

Bear Island
The Northeast Greenland National Park is the most northerly and largest national park in the world. It is Greenland’s only national park and is larger than all but 30 of the world’s countries.

Within the park there are many fjords, including the many-branched Scoresby Sound, the largest fjord in the world. At the entry to the Øfjord in Scoresby Sund are the Bear islands (Bjørne Øer), a scattering of low, glaciated rock islands surrounded by broad waterways dotted with icebergs and ringed by distant snow-capped ranges. These islands benefit from warm currents that keep the fjord open even in winter, and attract wildlife including walruses, seals and beluga and bowhead whales. They afford us many inviting landing places, with easy climbs to spectacular views. The islands and their surroundings reveal an epic geological history, particularly where glacial action has planed the surfaces smooth to reveal twisted and rippled layers of differently colored rocks.

Hekla Haven, Denmark Island
On Denmark Island in the extensive Scoresby Sound in East Greenland is a sheltered cove called Hekla Havn, so named for the converted sealer ‘Hekla’ used by Carl Ryder for his 1891-92 sailing expedition to East Greenland. The Ryder party wintered here, and erected stone cairns that still stand on the heights. Some remnants of their buildings are left, along with a much more recent and sizeable hut. The landscape around the cove is dramatic, with tall, stratified basalt ridges and peaks encircling the fjord and rounded, glaciated gneiss domes making up the island itself. Photographers are frequently entranced by the striking patterns of minerals in the rocks here. There are also some older Inuit tent circles and standing stones of interest. On the horizon, immense curving glaciers are evident.

Reykjavik, Iceland’s capital, is the northern-most national capital in the world. Its name translates as ‘smoky bay’, referencing the geothermal nature of the surrounding area. The city benefits from astonishing landscapes shaped by glaciers, earthquakes, and volcanic activity throughout the centuries. An amphitheater of mountains encircles the greater Reykjavik area, a coastline indented with coves, peninsulas and islands. Most of city’s growth came during the early 20th century, and the majority of its architecture is typical of that era. Colorful rooftops and the elegant spire of Hallgrímskirkja Church dominate Reykjaviks’s skyline. Known for its arts, Reykjavik hosts a number of internationally recognized festivals, most notably the Iceland Air music festival, Reykjavik Arts Festival and the Reykjavik International Film Festival.

The Westfjords in northwest Iceland is a remote and sparsely populated peninsula of steep, tall mountains cut by dozens of fjords. The lack of flat lowlands suitable for farming played a key role in keeping this region wild and sparsely populated. The raw and untamed natural landscape around Ísafjörður is characterized by a subarctic environment. A colorful show of blooming tundra wildflowers carpets the mountain slopes and valleys during the short, cool summer.

Vigur Island, second largest island in the Westfjords region, is one of the most renowned areas in Iceland for viewing nesting birds en masse. The area’s cliffs host an astonishing wealth of nesting birdlife, while the occasional arctic fox can be spotted patrolling the edges of the bird colonies in hope of an easy meal.

According to Icelandic history, Ísafjörður was first settled in the 9th century by a man called Helgi Magri Hrólfsson. The oldest house in Iceland, built in 1734, can be found in Ísafjörður and is now a part of a local museum.

Ella Island
At the northern end of the King Oscar Fjord in the expansive Northeast Greenland National Park, Ella Island is wedged in the entry to the Kempe Fjord. In the past, the explorer and geologist Lauge Koch had a cabin on the island, and the botanist Thorvald Sørensen spent four years there in the 1930s gathering data for his PhD thesis. The island has exposed areas of very old sedimentary rock containing fossils from the Cambrian era. At present, the island is uninhabited except in summer when a contingent of Denmark’s elite Sirius Sledge Patrol resides in their small base on the island. The island shorelines and the tundra slopes offer spectacular views of the fjord-scape, the nearby Trail and Geographical Society Islands and the Stauning Alps to the southwest.

Akureyri is the second largest urban area in Iceland with a population of around 18,000. Nicknamed ‘The Capital of the North,’ it is situated at the head of Eyjafjörður, the longest fjord in Iceland, only 62 miles (100 km) from the Arctic Circle. Surrounded by snow-streaked mountains, the Akureyri hills flourish in summer with a profusion of arctic wildflowers. Mt. Kerling is the highest peak visible from town, at 5,064’ (1,538 m). Often cloudy, with a mild climate, Akureyri has much less precipitation than its southern counterpart Reykjavik. It is a cultured city, with a university, numerous galleries, museums, art exhibitions, and live theater performances.

Nearby Hrísey Island is a spectacularly beautiful and peaceful island often called ‘The Pearl of Eyjafjörður,’ with an atmosphere of calm and settled tranquility. Numerous Atlantic puffins fly overhead, and the occasional whale is seen traversing the fjord.

The remote town of Seydisfjordur is perched at the end of a narrow, twisting fjord in East Iceland. A very picturesque village of 700 people, it is known for its thriving arts scene and large number of resident artists. Tourism is on the rise, as well, since its natural setting of mountains and waterfalls is simply breathtaking. Surrounded by impressive, 3,560’ (1,085 m) snow-capped mountains, Seydisfjordur is home to the Technical Museum of Iceland, and the area hosts populations of both eider ducks and Atlantic puffins. Settled by Norwegian fishermen in 1848, the town quickly became an important center for trade between Iceland and Europe. It is known throughout Iceland for its colorful Norwegian-style wooden houses.

Heimaey Island is the largest in the Westman Islands located four miles off the south-west coast of Iceland. One of the most visually impressive islands in Iceland, it is ringed by tall, vertical sea cliffs many hundreds of feet high. Heimaey is also the home to over eight million Atlantic puffins, more nesting puffins than anywhere else on earth. A local story tells that puffin chicks, taking their first flights at night, often become stranded in the village streets, where the local children rescue them and set them free the next day.

In January of 1973 the island received the nickname, ‘Pompeii of the North’ when a volcanic eruption and lava flow destroyed half the town. This caused a crisis when the town’s only harbor was nearly blocked by advancing lava. Nowadays it is a lively place with a vibrant culture and over four thousand residents. Archaeological excavations suggest that people lived on Heimaey as early as the 10th Century.

Sailing Dates
  • 07 Aug 2021
Category Twin Per Person Single Per Person
V1 - Veranda Suite AU $40,999 Request Price
V2 - Veranda Suite AU $44,999 Request Price
V3 - Veranda Suite AU $48,999 Request Price
V4 - Veranda Suite AU $52,999 Request Price
Panorama Veranda Suite AU $61,999 Request Price
Penthouse Suite AU $72,999 Request Price

Cruise Itinerary

1 07/08 Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen
2 08/08 At sea    
3 09/08 At sea    
4 10/08 At sea    
5 11/08 At sea    
6 12/08 At sea    
7 13/08 At sea    
8 14/08 At sea    
9 15/08 At sea    
10 16/08 At sea    
11 17/08 Hekla Havn, Denmark Island 07:00 AM 12:00 PM
12 18/08 Bear Island, Norway 07:00 AM 12:00 PM
13 19/08 At sea    
14 20/08 Vigur Island, Iceland 12:00 PM 05:00 PM
15 21/08 Reykjavik, Iceland 07:00 AM 05:00 PM
16 22/08 Grundarfjordur, Iceland 07:00 AM 05:00 PM
17 23/08 Vigur Island, Iceland 07:00 AM 12:00 PM
18 24/08 At sea    
19 25/08 Hekla Havn, Denmark Island 07:00 AM 12:00 PM
20 26/08 Bear Island, Norway 07:00 AM 12:00 PM
21 27/08 At sea    
22 28/08 Ella Island, Greenland 07:00 AM 12:00 PM
22 28/08 Blomster Bugt, Greenland 03:00 PM 05:00 PM
23 29/08 At sea    
24 30/08 At sea    
25 31/08 Akureyri, Iceland 07:00 AM 06:00 PM
26 01/09 Seysdisfjordur, Iceland 10:00 AM 07:00 PM
27 02/09 At sea    
28 03/09 Heimaey, Iceland 08:00 AM 05:00 PM
29 04/09 Reykjavik, Iceland 07:00 AM
All itineraries and ports of call at the discretion of the cruise line subject to local weather conditions and may change without notice.

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