Arctic Adventure

Expedition Voyage

Priced from $14,960* pp Aurora Stateroom or $16,070* pp Balcony C

Important:  Limited Sale Period
Bookings must be deposited by 30 October 2019

Dates: 09-25 June 2020

Fully escorted

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Duration: 17 days

Experience the Solo Connections difference when you travel with us on this amazing Arctic Adventure! Solo Connections tours are fully escorted, unique small group tours designed specifically for solo travellers over 50. Our tour includes your own private Aurora stateroom, all meals and tailor-made sightseeing during this unforgettable Arctic cruise. 

 

Join us on the journey of a lifetime as we head to the top of the world during a High Arctic summer.  In the lands of the midnight sun we will explore snowmelts, glaciers and icebergs, look for walrus and polar bears on ice floes, and in true Viking fashion we’ll do it by sea!  Unlike the Norsemen of yesteryear we‘ll travel in luxury on board our Aurora Expedition ship and enjoy the perfect blend of history, wildlife and scenery as well as fine dining and every modern comfort.

Highlights

  • Reykjavik
  • Gullfoss Waterfall
  • Iceland’s Westfjords
  • Zodiac Trips
  • Jan Mayan Island
  • Sail within 600KM of North Pole
  • Wildlife – Polar Bears, Walruses etc
  • Svalbard
  • Longyearbyen
  • Copenhagen

For more information, or to secure your place, call us today at 1300 044 444

 

 

 

 

Air & Cruise Pricing – includes return economy class flights and taxes*

$14,960* pp Aurora Stateroom or $16,070 pp Balcony Stateroom

Business Class flight upgrades available on request

Includes

  • Economy class airfares including taxes ex Brisbane*
  • Private single category Aurora Stateroom (Upgrade to Balcony Stateroom available)
  • Private single rooms in quality accommodation
  • New Ship – Greg Mortimer (launching October 2019)
  • Meals as per itinerary – 14 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 13 Dinners
  • Beer & Wine included with dinner on board ship
  • Sightseeing tours and transfers by private vehicle
  • Tour Manager – travels with group from/to Brisbane
  • Local English Speaking Guides – Iceland and Denmark
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises mentioned in the itinerary
  • Educational lectures and guiding services from expedition team on board ship
  • Access to  onboard doctor and basic medical services on Greg Mortimer
  • A 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket
  • Complimentary loan of muck boots during the voyage
  • A printed photo book produced with photos from your voyage
  • Port Surcharges – Landing Fees & Permits
  • Tipping – Guides & Drivers PLUS Onboard Gratuities Greg Mortimer

Excludes

  • Any meals, tours, flights, shore excursions or transfers other than mentioned above or in the itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature i.e. laundry, drinks, phone calls, internet, etc
  • Visas – if not travelling on Australian Passport
  • Travel Insurance

*Stateroom categories and pricing available until sold out.  Limited number of staterooms in each category

^Please note: Airport Transfers are only available in conjunction with the group flight arrival and departure times.

For more information, or to secure your place, call us today at 1300 044 444

 

 

 

Day 1 – Tuesday 9 June 2020

Depart Brisbane 2:45PM

Today we meet our Tour Escort and fellow travellers at Brisbane International Airport for our flight to Reykjavik via Singapore and Copenhagen.

Day 2 – Wednesday 10 June 2020                                                                                                                                L, D

Arrive Reykjavik 9:45AM

 Welcome to Iceland.  This Nordic island nation, is defined by its dramatic landscape with volcanoes, geysers, hot springs and lava fields.  Widely known as “The Land of Fire and Ice”, Iceland is home to some of the largest glaciers in Europe, and some of the world’s most active volcanoes.  Reykjavik sits on the coast and is the country’s largest city and is the world’s northernmost capital.  It is one of Europe’s most dynamic and interesting cities and where the majority of Iceland’s population make their home. On arrival today we’ll be met by our local guide and spend a little time sightseeing before we check into our hotel this afternoon.  Welcome dinner will be at a local restaurant tonight.

Accommodation:  Fosshotel or similar (2 Nights)

 Day 3 – Thursday 11 June 2020                                                                                                                                               B-D

Iceland Golden Circle Tour

Today after breakfast we’ll take the Iceland Golden Circle Tour.   We’ll visit Þingvellir National Park, where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates are pulling apart at a rate of a few centimetres per year. Þingvellir was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its cultural value in 2004, and is the site of a stunning rift valley and the Rock of Law – the first Viking parliament.

We’ll travel to the geothermal hot spring area of Geysir where we can view boiling mud pits, exploding geysers and the active hot spring of Strokkur as it spouts steaming water 30 metres into the air every few minutes.

Today we’ll also continue to one of Iceland’s most iconic and beloved features at the Gullfoss Waterfall (“Golden Falls“). Feel the spray of the waters of the glacial River Hvítá as it plummets down into a 32-meter deep crevice.  Returning to our hotel late this afternoon dinner tonight will be at a local restaurant.

 Day 4 – Friday 12 June 2020                                                                                                                                                    B-D

Board Greg Mortimer

A leisurely breakfast this morning and some time at leisure.  Your Tour Manager will be on hand to ensure the group is looked after and anyone wanting to join in some final exploring of this fascinating city can do so.  This afternoon we’ll make our way to Reykjavik pier to embark the Greg Mortimer.

This 104-metre ship is Aurora Expeditions very first, purpose-built expedition vessel. Built to world-class polar standards and designed in close consultation with Aurora’s expedition specialists the ship was named after the co-founder of Aurora Expeditions and utilises some of the latest advancements in naval design and technology to revolutionise the small ship expedition cruising experience. The X-Bow® hull makes sailing smoother and faster, and the new virtual anchoring system uses GPS and high-tech steering to hold the ship’s position so that sea floor is protected.  Shore excursions are also made easier with four sea-level Zodiac-loading platforms and an activity preparation area, plus an observation lounge and viewing platforms offer spectacular panoramic views of scenery and wildlife. Also on board is a state-of-the-art lecture theatre, two Jacuzzis/plunge pools, a multi-media room and library, gym, wellness centre and more!

We’ll have time to settle into our cabins before a safety briefing and then tonight enjoy cocktails and the Captain’s Welcome Dinner.

Please refer to this itinerary for our expedition cruise as a guide only, as changes may occur due to unpredictable sea and weather conditions. Flexibility is key, and we will take each day as it comes and enjoy what is on offer.

Sea Kayaking is an optional activity at a cost of $1200 per person.   Exploring by kayak is an ideal way to surround yourself in the sights and sounds of the Arctic -paddling among icebergs and brash ice, observing wildlife in an unobtrusive manner. Some kayak excursions may be long in duration and on choppy water, so a reasonable level of kayaking experience is required to participate in this activity. Up to 20 paddlers will have the option to kayak during the voyage

On this trip we’ll discover the staggering beauty of Iceland’s Westfjords, remote and seldom-visited Jan Mayen Island – the world’s northernmost active volcanic island, and Svalbard’s northwest coast. See dramatic bird cliffs and puffins nesting on ledges, marvel at volcanic geology, Zodiac cruise through impressive glacier-filled fjords, strike out on tundra hikes, and search for polar bears hunting or walrus hauled out on pack ice.

 Day 5 – Saturday 13 June 2020                                                                                                                                 B-L-D

West & North-West Iceland                                          

 One third of Iceland’s coastline is in the Westfjords, and the entire peninsula is carved and cut by long fjords. The Westfjords region is home to Látrabjarg; the westernmost point in Europe, and one of the continent’s most remarkable seabird breeding cliffs, a delight for bird lovers. It is one of the best places in Iceland to photograph puffins, an opportunity you’ll have on a Zodiac cruise, weather permitting. The small town of Ísafjörður is the largest town in the Westfjords peninsula, with some 2,600 inhabitants. It is an ancient church site and has been trading post since the 16th century. The growth of the town was triggered by salt fish production and fishing industry still remains the town’s main activity, along with tourism which has grown significantly in recent years.

Day 6 – Sunday 14 June 2020                                                                                                                                   B-L-D

West & North-West Iceland          

Nearby Hornstrandir nature reserve is a peninsula accessible only by boat or by foot and inhabited by Arctic foxes, seals, birds and the occasional hiker. We plan to Zodiac cruise along the shoreline of Hornstrandir nature reserve and attempt a landing, subject to approval by the park ranger.

Day 7 – Monday 15 June 2020                                                                                                                                               B-L-D

At Sea

Cross the Denmark Strait to Jan Mayen Island accompanied by sea birds while keeping a look out for whales. Enjoy a presentation from Aurora’s team of experts, get to know your fellow expeditioners, stay fit at the gym or treat yourself to a massage in the wellness centre.  Aurora Expeditions has an open bridge policy, which means at any point you can come up to the bridge and check out what the captain and officers are up to. From watching navigational practices to observing mapping techniques, you can get a firsthand look at the inner workings of the Greg Mortimer.

Day 8 – Tuesday 16 June 2020                                                                                                                                            B-L-D

Jan Mayen

 The approach to Jan Mayen is spectacular. The huge Beerenberg volcano (2,277metres) is the world’s northernmost active volcano, and last erupted in 1985. The northern part of the island is a great place to look for whales and dolphins, and contains impressive glaciers, some of which reach the sea. If the weather is friendly, we will try to land at Kvalrossbukta, a relatively sheltered bay on the island’s west coast. This is one of the landings used to supply the weather station Olonkinbyen, situated on the eastern side of the island. We hope to land on front of the Norwegian station at Olonkinbyen, stop to visit the weather station before embarking on a three-hour hike (weather permitting) to the other side of the Island where the Greg Mortimer will be waiting for us in Kvalrossbukta, and our trusty Zodiacs will transport us back to the ship.

Day 9 – Wednesday 17 June 2020                                                                                                                                    B-L-D           

At Sea

The sea around Jan Mayen offers excellent whale-watching opportunities (bottlenose, fin, and perhaps bowhead whales in the pack ice). Sail towards Svalbard, searching for the ice edge as we continue north, retracing the route of Dutch explorer Willem Barents who discovered Spitsbergen and the Barents Sea, named after him.   Make the most of shipboard life!  You’re welcome to 24 hours complimentary coffee, tea and snack facilities and all meals offer different menu options and courses.

Day 10 – Thursday 18 June 2020                                                                                                                                    B-L-D               At Sea

It’s breeding season for the harp seals and we hope to see them breeding on the sea ice. As we approach Svalbard, all eyes will be focused on spotting polar bears in the pack ice.  On all Aurora expeditions, there are experts who lead presentations in the spacious lecture room so you can understand the region a little better. These often include topics as broad as history and culture, to biology and climate change, and these presentations aim to educate and entertain.

If you’re keen to just watch the surroundings and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, we have access to two bars/lounges where the stunning floor to ceiling windows offer a special perspective on the landscape.

Day 11 – Friday 19 June 2020                                                                                                                                               B-L-D

Northern Svalbard & Northwest Corner of Spitsbergen

We plan to cross 80° North, always on the lookout for polar bears on the pack ice, to reach Moffen Island, famous for its large walrus colony. In the coming days, depending on the weather and sea ice conditions, we may explore sites including the incredibly scenic Kongsfjorden (Kings Bay), a fjord headed by two giant glaciers.

Day 12 – Saturday 20 June 2020                                                                                                                                         B-L-D

Northern Svalbard & Northwest Corner of Spitsbergen

Perhaps spend time ashore to hike on the lush tundra amongst the early summer flowers and observing the remarkable bird cliffs near the 14thJuly Glacier, where puffins nest between the cracks in the cliffs. Keep watch for polar bears and Arctic fox and feel a sense of history at the 350-year-old remains of a Dutch whaling settlement, Smeerenberg on Amsterdamøya.

Day 13 – Sunday 21 June 2020                                                                                                                                            B-L-D

Northern Svalbard & Northwest Corner of Spitsbergen

We may visit Raudfjord which features fascinating geology, glaciers and bird cliffs. A possible hike on Ytre Norskya offers splendid views to the north coast of Spitsbergen and maybe even to the North Pole in clear weather!

Day 14 – Monday 22 June 2020                                                                                                                                             B

Longyearbyen

During the early morning we cruise into Longyearbyen the small coal-mining town on Spitsbergen Island, in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago    Farewell your expedition team and fellow expeditioners as we all continue our onward journeys. We will enjoy a town tour of Longyearbyen before an onward transfer to the airport in the afternoon for our onward flights via Tromso to Copenhagen – arriving later this evening.  Copenhagen is the capital of Denmark and overlooks the Øresund strait with Sweden just minutes away, it is a cultural and geographic link between mainland Europe and Scandinavia.

On arrival in Copenhagen we’ll be met and transferred to our hotel.

Accommodation:  First Hotel Chain or similar (2 Nights)

Day 15 – Tuesday 23 June 2020                                                                                                                                          B-D

Copenhagen

After a restful night’s sleep we will depart after breakfast for a sightseeing tour of Copenhagen.  With a history that dates back to 1043, the city is full of historic landmarks, significant buildings and interesting sights.  As we tour this lovely city today we’ll see the famous Little Mermaid – the sculpture made of bronze and granite that was inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale.  We’ll also see Christiansborg Palace, located on the tiny island of Slotsholmen, and which contains the Danish Parliament Folketinget, the Supreme Court, and the Ministry of State.

Parts of the palace are used by the Royal Family for various functions and events. The Royal Reception Rooms include The Tower Room and The Oval Throne Room where foreign ambassadors to Denmark are received by the Queen.

This afternoon we’ll return to the hotel and our farewell dinner will be at a local restaurant tonight.

Day 16 – Wednesday 24 June 2020 Depart Copenhagen 12:25PM                                                                                   B

Day 17 – Thursday 25 June 2020 Arrive Brisbane 4:55PM

This morning we’ll have breakfast before transfer to the airport for our flight.  Happy memories of our great arctic adventure and new friends as we make the journey home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information, or to secure your place, call us today at 1300 044 444

 

 

 

Click on image to enlarge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below is a map of the Greg Mortimer voyage from Reyjkavik to Longyearbyen.

Click on image to enlarge

 

If you’re in Brisbane on 23 October we’d love you to join us!

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