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Iceland, Jan Mayen and Svalbard - M/V Greg Mortimer
11 days
Arctic, Norway - Trip code GMIS

Iceland, Jan Mayen and Svalbard - M/V Greg Mortimer

Discover the staggering beauty of Iceland's Westfjords. Visit the remote and seldom-visited Jan Mayen island, the world's northernmost active volcanic island and enjoy Svalbard's northwest coast, at the culmination of your voyage. See dramatic bird cliffs and puffins nesting on ledges, marvel at volcanic geology or Zodiac cruise through impressive glacier-filled fjords and witness walrus hauled out on the pack ice, as you keep a watchful eye out for polar bears and their offspring.


Trip highlights

  • Sail through the pack ice - keeping an eye out for breaching whales and enigmatic walrus
  • Zodiac cruise - under dramatic bird cliffs in Iceland's staggeringly beautiful Westfjords
  • Be one of fortunate few - to visit remote Jan Mayen Island
  • Sail within 600 miles - of the North Pole
  • Search for polar bears in Svalbard - see the mighty King of the Arctic, roaming the tundra
Accommodation grade:
Premium
Our premium accommodation is hand-picked and chosen for its character, location or local importance. These properties have excellent facilities and a higher level of comfort and service. They provide the perfect wind down after an active day.
Trip pace:
Relaxed
You can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences on these Relaxed pace tours, with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings, but still come home feeling relaxed and refreshed.

Itinerary

Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.

Day 1 - Embark the M/V Greg Mortimer in Reykjavik

After making your own way to Reykjavik pier, embark the M/V Greg Mortimer in the late afternoon. You'll have time to settle into your cabin, before the important safety briefings begin.

Accommodation: M/V Greg Mortimer(or similar)

Premium Boat
Meals Provided: Dinner
Day 2 - West and 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 Latrabjarg; the westernmost point in Europe, and one of the continent's most remarkable seabird breeding cliffs - a delight for birdlovers. It is one of the best places in Iceland to photograph puffins, which you will have the opportunity to enjoy, depending on weather conditions. Over the next two days, we will explore this magnificent coastline. Our first stop will be the small town of Ísafjorður, which is infact, the largest town in the Westfjords peninsula, with some 2,600 inhabitants. It is an ancient church site and has been a trading post since the 16th century. The growth of the town was triggered by salt fish production and the fishing industry still remains the town's main activity, along with tourism.

Accommodation: M/V Greg Mortimer(or similar)

Premium Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 3 - West and North-West Iceland

Today, we visit nearby Hornstrandir Nature Reserve which is a peninsula only accessible by boat or by foot and is inhabited by Arctic foxes, seals, birds and the occasional hiker. We plan to Zodiac cruise along the shoreline of Hornstrandir Nature Reserve and will attempt a landing, subject to approval by the park ranger.

Accommodation: M/V Greg Mortimer(or similar)

Premium Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 4 - At Sea

Cross the Denmark Strait to Jan Mayen Island accompanied by sea birds, while keeping a look out for whales in the waters below. Enjoy a presentation from our team of experts and get to know your fellow expeditioners.

Accommodation: M/V Greg Mortimer(or similar)

Premium Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 5 - Visit Jan Mayen

The approach to Jan Mayen is spectacular. The huge Beerenberg volcano (2,277 metres) is the world's northernmost active volcano, which 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 as far as the sea. If the weather is on our side, 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 to the front of the Norwegian station at Olonkinbyen, visiting the weather station, before embarking on a three-hour hike to the other side of the Island, where the ship will be waiting for us in Kvalrossbukta. Our trusty Zodiacs will transport us back to the ship from this point.

Accommodation: M/V Greg Mortimer(or similar)

Premium Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 6 - At Sea

The sea around Jan Mayen offers excellent whale-watching opportunities, with the possibility of seeing 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, which is named after him.

Accommodation: M/V Greg Mortimer(or similar)

Premium Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 7 - At Sea

It's breeding season for the harp seals and we hope to see them breeding on the sea ice as we continue to sail towards north. As we approach Svalbard, all eyes will be focused on spotting polar bears in the pack ice or roaming the tundra.

Accommodation: M/V Greg Mortimer(or similar)

Premium Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 8 - Northern Svalbard, Moffen Island, Crossing 80° North

We plan to cross 80° North, always on the lookout for polar bears on the pack ice, to reach Moffen Island which is famous for its large walrus colony.

Accommodation: M/V Greg Mortimer(or similar)

Premium Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 9 - Northwest Corner of Spitsbergen and West Coast

In the coming days, depending on the weather and sea ice conditions, we may explore sites including the incredibly scenic Kongsfjorden, or Kings Bay, a fjord headed by two giant glaciers. Perhaps spend time ashore to hike on the lush tundra among the early summer flowers and observe the remarkable bird cliffs near the 14th July Glacier. Here, puffins nest between the cracks in the cliffs.

Accommodation: M/V Greg Mortimer(or similar)

Premium Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 10 - Northwest Corner of Spitsbergen and West Coast

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. 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 .

Accommodation: M/V Greg Mortimer(or similar)

Premium Boat
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 11 - Arrive Longyearbyen

During the early morning, we cruise into Longyearbyen. Enjoy a tour of Longyearbyen, before an onward transfer to the airport in the early afternoon.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Polar information

Ship information
The MV Greg Mortimer is currently under construction and will be running trips from the 2019-20 season. The vessel will be a 104-metre ship, purpose-built for expedition travel. Capable of negotiating the strongest winds and waves, the vessel is being built to world-class polar standards and has been designed in close consultation with expedition specialists. The MV Greg Mortimer is limited to just 120 passengers and guests can enjoy some added comforts such as spacious stateroom cabins, a large mud room with easy boarding access and a hydraulic viewing platform, offering unobstructed views of the wildlife. Other features include a library, Wellness Centre with a gym, sauna and spa and a multimedia room for keen photographers wishing to edit their photos after a day of exploration. As a modern and custom-designed ship, this vessel is at the cutting edge of nautical technology and will ensure a comfortable and safe passage through polar waters.

What's included?

Included meals
  • Breakfast: 10
  • Lunch: 9
  • Dinner: 10
Transport
  • M/V Greg Mortimer
  • Zodiac
Trip staff
  • Expedition Crew
  • Naturalist(s)
Accommodation
  • 10 nights premium boat

Trip information

Country information

Arctic

Norway

Climate

Seasonal Climate Despite the northern latitudes the climate in Norway is not extreme, due to the affects of the North Atlantic Drift. Between May and September is the best time to visit this region, with summer temperatures reaching the high teens and rain a regular feature year round along the coast. North of the Arctic Circle the sun does not set between the middle of May and the end of July, so you can expect to encounter the midnight sun during this period.

Time difference to GMT

+1

Plugs

2 Pin Round

Religion

Lutheranism

Language

Norwegian

Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.


Whilst landings are included in the cost of your trip as per the outline itinerary, some departures aboard the MV Greg Mortimer have additional optional excursions which can be pre-booked with the ship operator directly. These will be charged at an additional fee, depending on the excursion and we recommend booking these in advance to ensure availability. Please speak to a member of our Polar team who will advise you on the booking process.

Clothing


Parkas
A complimentary parka is provided for you on board the ship and is yours to keep after the voyage. It has a comfortable wind-resistant inner jacket, which is detachable from the waterproof outer shell, and is designed to be worn over your essential base layers.
Gloves
Keeping your hands warm and dry can be a challenge. Thin polypropylene gloves can be worn underneath warm outergloves. This allows you some protection from the cold when removing your gloves to operate your camera etc. We strongly recommend that you bring more than one pair of gloves, in case one gets wet (or lost).
Hat/Cap
Warm, woollen hat/cap to protect your ears, as well as a scarf, neck gaiter or other face protection, such as a balaclava.
Trousers
Water-resistant trousers of coated nylon or, even better, Gore-Tex® are essential for your comfort. They can be worn over your regular clothes to keep you warm and dry. We suggest that you purchase trousers a few sizes larger than you normally wear as you will be wearing them over other clothing. Gore-Tex® or similar fabrics are excellent for keeping out wind and water without trapping excess heat. Rain gear and Gore-Tex® products can be found in any outdoor sport clothing store. In addition to your waterproof trousers, warm ski pants are suggested if you have them. Warm trousers such as jeans, corduroys etc are also good.
Socks
Warm wool socks worn over a thin pair of silk, polypropylene socks should provide enough warmth and insulation for your feet. Bring several pairs of socks, since you will inevitably get your feet wet.
Outer Clothing Woollen, knit or cotton sweaters/tops, polar fleece tops (medium weight), several cotton turtlenecks and T-shirts for layering on and off the ship.
Underclothing
Thermal underwear is highly recommended as it will keep you warm without adding bulk. Most polar travellers prefer a lightweight version.


Footwear

Complimentary waterproof boots will be supplied on-board. However, if you have extra small or large feet, you are advised to bring your own. Also ensure you take good walking boots and trainers for relaxing.

Luggage

20kg

Luggage: On tour

One main piece of baggage and daypack. Remember you are expected to carry your own luggage so don't overload yourself.

Equipment

Sunglasses and sun cream
Insect repellant
Personal toiletries
A refilllable water bottle
Books/reading material
Camera and memory cards
Seasickness remedy
Walking poles

Tipping

Local crew
Tipping is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. It is an expression of satisfaction. The suggested amount is USD $10 - 12 per person per day spent on board. Of course, tipping is a personal choice and the suggested amount is set only as a guideline.
Country Information

Arctic

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Foreign Exchange

Norway

Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.


Lunch price
£18.00 - 25.00
Dinner price
£35.00 - 40.00
Beer price
£6.00 - 8.00
Water price
£2.00 - 3.00
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Norwegian Krona
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Take Norwegian Krona with you
Where To Exchange
Recommend you buy some Norwegian Krona before departing the UK (or whist in transit in Oslo).
ATM Availability
ATMs are available in Myre and at Oslo and Evenes Airports.
Credit Card Acceptance
Credit cards are generally accepted at many hotels and optional excursions may be paid for by credit card.
Travellers Cheques
Not recommended.

Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

M/V Greg Mortimer, Zodiac

Ship description

The MV Greg Mortimer is currently under construction and will be running trips from the 2019-20 season. The vessel will be a 104-metre ship, purpose-built for expedition travel. Capable of negotiating the strongest winds and waves, the vessel is being built to world-class polar standards and has been designed in close consultation with expedition specialists. The MV Greg Mortimer is limited to just 120 passengers and guests can enjoy some added comforts such as spacious stateroom cabins, a large mud room with easy boarding access and a hydraulic viewing platform, offering unobstructed views of the wildlife. Other features include a library, Wellness Centre with a gym, sauna and spa and a multimedia room for keen photographers wishing to edit their photos after a day of exploration. As a modern and custom-designed ship, this vessel is at the cutting edge of nautical technology and will ensure a comfortable and safe passage through polar waters.

Cabins

Prices are based on the use of outward facing, Stateroom cabins. All staterooms have private bathrooms, ample storage, with twin and double-bed configuration options. Across four of the five stateroom categories, you'll find large floor to ceiling windows that offer prime observation opportunities around the clock. Additionally, there are private balconies in most of the staterooms, allowing you to watch the world float past and take in the salty air of the open ocean.

Ship dining

Meals are served in the large, spacious dining room with an open seating arrangement, perfect for swapping stories with your extended expedition family. A range of courses is offered at each meal time and you can enjoy a variety of house wines, beers and soft drinks which are included with your evening meal. Complimentary coffee, tea and snacks are available throughout the day and any additional drinks can be purchased at the fully-stocked bar.

On the last day of your trip, the team on the MV Greg Mortimer will provide a special farewell four-course dinner with cocktails - a perfect way to end your voyage and reflect on your magnificent time on-board.

Essential Information

FCO Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice click here.

For more information from Explore about travel advice, click here
 

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

Norway: Entry visas NOT required by UK, AUS, NZ, USA, CAN Citizens. Other nationalities should consult the relevant consulate.

All visa information is subject to change. You should confirm all visa related issues with the relevant Embassy prior to departure.


If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may consider applying through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.
 

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Transfers

Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.


Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will now receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The transfers will be from the Explore designated airport or train station to the joining point of your tour, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  


For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here

Insurance

It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.


Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.

  

Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Arctic

Norway

Vaccinations

Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

Dates, prices and booking

Date
Price from
Friday 12 June 2020 - Monday 22 June 2020
GMIS_2020
From £4800
Single room option
Show full details for this departure, including trip notes
All customers that travel on an Explore Group or Private Journey trip will be provided with a complimentary transfer, provided they arrive and depart into the designated airport or train station on the trip start and end dates. Please see free transfers for terms and conditions.

These trip joining details are provided on a provisional basis and may change prior to this tour departing. Any changes to these details will be updated on this page.
For those not eligible for a free transfer the joining / ending time and location for your trip are detailed below:
Joining Point
Town
Reykjavik
Time and place
00:00 at
Ending Point
Town
Longyearbyen
Time
00:00
Information
A transfer is included into town on the day of disembarkation, where there is free time before an onward transfer to the airport in the afternoon.
If you have booked a pre or post trip accommodation directly with the hotel, or through any other intermediaries, please ensure you regularly check this page in case of any changes.
Download Trip Notes

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