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Spitsbergen, Greenland and Iceland - M/S Fram
14 days
Arctic, Greenland, Iceland, Spitsbergen - Trip code FRNP

Spitsbergen, Greenland and Iceland - M/S Fram

This incredible expedition takes you to the biggest islands in the Arctic - Spitsbergen, Greenland and Iceland. After a short stop in Longyearbyen, you will head north through the magnificent North West Spitsbergen National Park. The area is characterised by big inland glaciers and a typical alpine landscape and is filled with spectacular contrasts, from lush areas to naked moraines, rocky ridges and glaciers diving into the sea. Kongsfjorden and Magdalenefjorden impress with their dramatic landscapes and interesting history. At 78° 55' N you visit Ny Ålesund, one of the world's northernmost year-round communities and an advanced High Arctic research station. As we sail towards the coast of Greenland, you can enjoy the solitude of this remote corner of the world. Once in the fjords of north east Greenland your sense of distance, size and shape of landscapes will be challenged. These are the largest fjords in the world and the surrounding alpine landscape, with hanging glaciers and dramatic vertical granite walls, reaches as far as the eye can see. From the Westfjords of Iceland we spend three days exploring untouched nature with cliffs and valleys, high waterfalls and pure streams. This includes seeing famous places like Grundarfjörður, Flateyri and Ísafjörður, before ending this extraordinary arctic voyage in Reykjavik. This is an expedition where the elements rule, and the weather, wind and ice conditions will determine our final schedule. Safety is paramount and the captain will decide the final sailing itinerary during the voyage. This itinerary is just an indication of what you may experience on what promises to be a unique expedition.

Trip highlights

  • Wildlife galore - from Arctic fox to seals and ivory gulls
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 - Oslo to Longyearbyen

Your Arctic adventure starts with an evening flight from Norway's capital, Oslo. Before departure, you can spend some time exploring this fjord-side city surrounded by forests, lakes and hills. Oslo offers a varied architecture, top-notch restaurants and endless shopping possibilities. The contrast will be significant when you arrive in Longyearbyen a couple of hours later. On arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel in Longyearbyen(or similar)

Premium Hotel
Single room available
Meals Provided: Dinner
Day 2 - Longyearbyen

Spend the morning exploring Longyearbyen and its surroundings, before embarkation in the afternoon. Longyearbyen is a Norwegian settlement often referred to as the capital of Svalbard. This is a lively small town, situated amid some incredible Arctic landscape. Barentsburg is a Russian settlement with an exotic collection of Russian artefacts and architecture and is very different to Longyearbyen. The museum, library and newly opened brewery function as meeting points and a research station is under construction. See a colourful folklore show and visit the hotel and museum. Experience a different side of Svalbard - a little piece of Russia in the Arctic. You will board your expedition vessel in the afternoon.

Accommodation: M/S Fram(or similar)

Premium Boat
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 3 - North West Spitsbergen Nationa Park

The first national park we visit covers the northwest corner of Spitsbergen. The area is characterised by big inland glaciers and a typical alpine landscape contrasted by green areas and moraines. We continue into Kongsfjord and Magdalenefjord, offering spectacular scenery and interesting history. At 78° 55' N we visit Ny-Ålesund, the starting point for numerous expeditions towards the North Pole. Today it is home to an advanced High Arctic research station.

Accommodation: M/S Fram(or similar)

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

After exploring the Spitsbergen shore, our course is set for the isolated coast of North East Greenland. We spend the day crossing the Fram Straight, during which our expedition team will give lectures on interesting subjects connected to this area

Accommodation: M/S Fram(or similar)

Premium Boat
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 5 - North East Greenland National Park, Greenland

As we arrive in the largest national park in the world, enjoy the solitude and remoteness of this far corner of the globe. Apart from the abandoned trapping stations, a weather station and the traditional Sirius sled patrol, there are no other signs of human life here.

Accommodation: M/S Fram(or similar)

Premium Boat
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 6 - North East Greenland National Park

We will cruise within the boundaries of North East Greenland National Park and will enjoy some landings on shore. With the exception of 30 or so researchers who overwinter here, this area remains uninhabited by humans for most of the year. During the very short summer months, when the water is no longer frozen, we are able to step ashore to explore this alpine wilderness. Look out for musk oxen who populate the valleys within the park and enjoy the incredible icebergs which form the back-drop as you look out to sea.

Accommodation: M/S Fram(or similar)

Premium Boat
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 7 - North East Greenland National Park

Once inside the fjords of North East Greenland your sense of distance, size and shape of landscapes will be challenged. These are the largest fjords in the world and the alpine landscape around, with hanging glaciers and vertical granite faces, reaches as far as the eye can see. We will take to a Polar Circle boat at any given opportunity, so that we can fully explore the fjord lands and it's incredible glacial scenery.

Accommodation: M/S Fram(or similar)

Premium Boat
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 8 - North East Greenland National Park

As well as terrestrial wildlife like musk oxen, arctic fox, hare and wolf, we may see a variety of sea birds. And remember, where there is ice, there might be polar bears.

Accommodation: M/S Fram(or similar)

Premium Boat
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 9 - North East Greenland National Park

The very isolated weather and research station, Danmarkshavn is one of the places we hope to visit en-route. Sailing into fjords like Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord or Alpefjord will provide an expedition of a lifetime and a pure wilderness experience.

Accommodation: M/S Fram(or similar)

Premium Boat
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 10 - North East Greenland National Park

We might meet the Sirius Patrol, who are a part of the Danish Navy, who supervise the park using traditional methods with the use of mushing dogs. Before the Danes acquired sovereignty of this area, the Norwegians claimed it. A natural place to attempt a landing is Myggbukta (Mosquito bay), where the legendary Governor of North East Greenland had his base.

Accommodation: M/S Fram(or similar)

Premium Boat
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 11 - North East Greenland National Park

You will have ample time to explore this glacial wilderness, one of the most isolated places on earth. Our expert guides and lecturers will safely guide you on hikes and small boat trips, whilst also providing lectures and briefings on the places that we visit.

Accommodation: M/S Fram(or similar)

Premium Boat
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 12 - Ittoqqortoormiit, Scoresbysund

Ittoqqortoormiit is the most isolated town in Greenland. Here, you can wander freely and perhaps visit the museum, the church, or the local photo exhibition.

Accommodation: M/S Fram(or similar)

Premium Boat
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 13 - The Westfjords of Iceland

is the capital of the Westfjords region. Take a stroll around this cosy town and enjoy its diverse architecture. You'll find the country's oldest dwelling here, along with fine examples of timber houses built by wealthy foreign traders in the 18th century. Our optional excursions offer a variety of experiences from hikes to tastings of local food.

Accommodation: M/S Fram(or similar)

Premium Boat
Single room available
Meals Provided: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 14 - Reykjavik

Reykjavik is Iceland's capital city and referred to locally as the 'smallest big city on Earth'. In relative close surroundings of the city you may find glaciers, waterfalls, geysers and mountains. We will arrive in the morning hours and it is here, that our voyage ends.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Polar information

Ship information
The M Fram is a comfortable vessel for your polar exploration with modern amenities such as a fitness room, Jacuzzi and sauna. The ample indoor and outdoor public spaces are designed to ensure you enjoy the passing scenery and wildlife sightings; each table in the restaurant has scenic views and the observation lounge has panoramic windows. There's also a selection of shore excursions to choose from, allowing you to experience as much of the polar wilderness as possible.

What's included?

Included meals
  • Breakfast: 13
  • Lunch: 12
  • Dinner: 13
Transport
  • MS Fram
  • Zodiac
Trip staff
  • Expedition Crew
  • Naturalist(s)
Accommodation
  • 12 nights premium boat
  • 1 nights premium hotel
Award Winning Explore Leaders
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Price Guarantee Promise
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Airport Transfers
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FairFX currency card
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Trip information

Country information

Arctic Region Holidays & Tours

Greenland Trips

Iceland Holidays & Tours

Climate

Iceland has a cool and temperate climate and, despite its location just south of the Arctic Circle, its northerly latitude is counteracted by the warm waters of the North Atlantic Drift which encircles the island. Temperatures in winter can fluctuate between about 10°C and -10°C and precipitation in the form of rain, sleet or snow is to be expected at any time. Days will be short, with daylight often only guaranteed between about 11 am and 4 pm in December. The best time for seeing the Aurora Borealis is October to March. Summer is generally cool with average temperatures for June and July around 12 - 15 degree centigrade in Reykjavik, although is known to be warmer in other parts of the country. In June and July you can enjoy continuous daylight and see the Midnight Sun, whilst late spring and early autumn offer long twilights.

Time difference to GMT

0

Plugs

2 Pin Round

Religion

National Church of iceland

Language

Icelandic

Spitsbergen Holidays & Tours

Climate

Between May and September is the best time to visit this region, with summer temperatures reaching a maximum of 5 degrees centigrade. 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

Budgeting and packing

Clothing

Pack comfortable, casual clothing for all activities. Wind and waterproof outer layers are essential, and a jacket is provided in the cost of the cruise. Beware of tight clothing that leaves no room for trapped air, which is an excellent insulator. Wool, silk and some of the new synthetic fibres, like polar fleece, retain heat better than cotton. Parkas A wind and waterproof jacket is provided as part of the cost of your holiday. 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

Waterproof boots are available on-board for a small charge. 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 Personal toiletries A refilllable water bottle Books/reading material Camera and memory cards (and something to protect the camera when out in the elements) Seasickness remedy Walking poles

Tipping

Local crew
Tipping is collected at the end of the voyage and is divided among the crew. Tipping is a very personal matter and the amount you wish to give is at your discretion, but as a generally guideline, we suggest US$12 per person per day.
Country Information

Arctic Region Holidays & Tours

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

Greenland Trips

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

Iceland Holidays & Tours

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.


Dinner price
£18.00 - 24.00
Beer price
£4.00 - 6.00
Water price
£2
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Icelandic Krona (ISK).
Recommended Currency For Exchange
Both GBP and USD are readily exchanged at banks and post offices.
Where To Exchange
Both GBP and USD are readily exchanged at banks and post offices
ATM Availability
Cash can be drawn on credit cards from ATM's in Reykjavik and at the airport.
Credit Card Acceptance
Most shops and restaurants take credit cards.
Travellers Cheques
Can be exchanged at banks and post offices.

Spitsbergen Holidays & Tours

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.


Dinner price
£35.00-40.00
Beer price
£6.00-8.00
Water price
£2.00-3.00
Foreign Exchange

Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

MS Fram, Zodiac

Ship description

The M Fram is a comfortable vessel for your polar exploration with modern amenities such as a fitness room, Jacuzzi and sauna. The ample indoor and outdoor public spaces are designed to ensure you enjoy the passing scenery and wildlife sightings; each table in the restaurant has scenic views and the observation lounge has panoramic windows. There's also a selection of shore excursions to choose from, allowing you to experience as much of the polar wilderness as possible.

Cabins

Prices are based on the use of inside, category one cabins on decks 3, 5 and 6. Category one cabins are based on twin share, with one bed and one sofa bed. They are comfortable with a private toilet and shower, fridge and TV. The MS Fram has a number of different cabin categories, many of which are outside facing, with two beds (apart from superior cabins and suites, which have double beds). Some cabins have portholes and others, larger windows and sitting areas. All cabins are twin share, but we can also offer single occupancy at a supplement, if you are travelling alone. Call us for details on the cabin choice to fit your requirements.

Ship dining

All meals are included in the price of your expedition; a buffet breakfast and lunch, and set menu for dinner; it's free seating for breakfast and lunch, and assigned seating for dinner. Vegetarians and some special dietary requirements can be accommodated with advance notice - please kindly advise us of any dietary requests at the time of confirmation. Coffee and tea are provided free of charge at all times and all other beverages, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, are not included and can be purchased in the bar.

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.

Essential Information

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 Information

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.

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, 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. 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 Region Holidays & Tours

Greenland Trips

Iceland Holidays & Tours

Vaccinations

Nothing compulsory; tetanus recommended. 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 http://www.explore.co.uk/Travelhealth/ and from your local healthcare provider.

Spitsbergen Holidays & Tours

Vaccinations

Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at http://www.explore.co.uk/Travelhealth/ and from your local healthcare provider

Dates, prices and booking

Date
Price from
Single room option

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