Quark Expeditions, Muskoxen Spotting, Credit Sam CrimminQuark Expeditions, Lilliehook Glacier in a Zodiac, Credit David MerronQuark Expeditions, Kayaking in the Arctic, Credit Acacia JohnsonQuark Expeditions, Zodiac Adventure, Credit Acacia JohnsonOcean Adventurer

Three Arctic Islands Ocean Adventurer Cruise

Best time to visit
August, September

The dream Arctic adventure, a dazzling journey north from Iceland to high above the Arctic Circle. Cross oceanic waters shimmering with polar melt, take in the wonders of East Greenland, then marvel at abundant wildlife around Spitsbergen, Svalbard.

You will have a full two weeks at sea, discovering majestic glaciers and fjords, seeking out reindeer and polar bears, and finding time to completely unwind. A journey like this is an adventure, yet it’s also an opportunity to stop and reconnect. With an untamed natural world as your continual backdrop, you will get to explore land and water that is rarely seen.

This unique experience is only possible twice a year. It’s a multi-day cruise aboard the Ocean Adventurer or World Explorer, exceptional Arctic ships that combine modern luxuries with easy access to the wild outdoors.

Day 1 - Reykjavik Arrival

Start your journey in the Icelandic capital. You may wish to extend your trip and have more time to discover Iceland.

Days 2 - 4 - Sailing the Denmark Strait

Sail along Iceland's breathtaking western coastline then across the Denmark Strait to Greenland. These first few days will help you fully unwind, settle into Arctic scenery, and discover both the enormity and nuance of Arctic Circle waters.

Days 5 - 8 - Exploring East Greenalnd

East Greenland is majestic, the world's largest fjord system opening before your eyes. Small zodiac boats help you explore remote arms and a variety of new activities ensure you can explore nature your way.

Ocean Adventurer

Cruise Scoresby Sund in the Ocean Adventurer

Denmark

Muskoxen roam on endless pastures. Icebergs float peacefully through the polar blue. Red sandstone punctuates a white vista. You’re in the Arctic, cruising the greatest fjord system of them all. Stretching more than 600 kilometers along East Greenland’s coastline, Scoresby Sund is the longest and largest fjord system on our planet. In the Ocean Adventurer you cruise this Arctic paradise for many days, admiring its varied natural wonders. Scoresby Sund is a landscape too vast and too glorious for too many words. You just sit and watch, as panoramas of ice sparkle and an unknown world reveals itself. For such an immense place you need an immense vessel. And the recently refurbished Ocean Adventurer is an ideal ship for such a polar expedition.

Quark Expeditions, Muskoxen Spotting, Credit Sam Crimmin

Spot Muskoxen on C. Hofmann Halvo

Denmark

Wild and unruly, muskoxen reflect their Arctic home. They roam in herds, their shabby fur fluttering on the wind. And C Hofmann Halvo is the best place on the planet to enjoy close-up encounters with these massive animals. Only from closeup can you appreciate their size and power. A resounding crack echoes across the air as males meet in battle. A grazing cow lifts her head, snow crusted upon her face. Up ahead the herd moves, a soft rumble of hooves across the wilderness. To visit C. Hofmann Halvo you will need to go on a multi-day cruise in Greenland’s Scoresby Sund. Towering mountains provide the backdrop to the moving herds and to watch them roam is a highlight of any expedition.

Young man stands in the Glacier lagoon with his arms wide spread. Man wearing only swimming shorts. Ice bergs drifting in the lagoon. Cold temperatures for ice swimming. Calm surface of the water.

Polar Plunge in Arctic Waters

Denmark

A rite of passage, a once only plunge into the freezing waters of the Arctic. Yes, it’s cold, very very cold. But there is such inimitability to making this plunge, to experiencing the waters at the very north of our planet. On the Ocean Adventurer you can jump safely into the bracing Arctic, a rejuvenating moment as you join the lucky few who have briefly swam so far north.

Quark Expeditions Hike, Credit Acacia Johnson

Polar Hike on Denmark Island

Denmark

Icebergs drift past as you hike on Denmark Island. Hundreds carpet the ocean below, moving, changing, sparkling beneath blue skies. Stunning icebergs are just one highlight of hiking across Denmark Island, an expedition hike that’s possible as part of a Arctic cruise on the Ocean Adventurer. From this remote island you will enjoy remarkable views of Fonfjord and Scoresbysund. Embracing the unexpected is part of the thrill here, as you hike in an extremely remote corner of the world. As icebergs drift past and silence reigns you appreciate what it is to be a true adventurer.

Quark Expeditions, Zodiac Crusing in Remote Arctic, Credit David Merron

Zodiac Cruising in the Remote Arctic

Norway

The ice splits and an iceberg calves from the glacier. A great crack echoes across Arctic stillness, followed by a roaring splash that confirms nature’s change. A polar bear wanders across an ice sheet and you safely observe its progress, in awe at its size and elegance. Mesmeric sea birds flutter overhead and you glide in safety, through the crisp blue tones of sea ice and fjords. On an Arctic cruise you can see so much from the ship. But you get closer on a zodiac, a small boat that means you can fully explore the Arctic wilderness.You can reach shorelines and search for wildlife in areas where ships simply can’t access. The brand new Ultramarine ship offers these regular excursions better than any other Arctic vessel. This ship’s water-level hangar quickly deploys up to 20 zodiac boats, enabling passengers to enjoy more spontaneous off-ship adventures. It’s perfect for spotting wildlife and maximises your time on excursions, as you get off and on the ship faster than with other ships.

Days 9 & 10 - Cruising to Spitsbergen

After four action-packed days you cruise eastwards to Svalbard and the island of Spitsbergen, where wildlife is abundant, including polar bears. Here the excursions will continue and there is flexibility in the program so you can maximise the best weather.

Days 11 - 14 - Exploring Spitsbergen

Now nature gets really close as you discover Svalbard's largest island. The beautiful highlight of a longer Arctic cruise is that nothing is rushed. With two weeks you can fully relax and appreciate the surroundings, rather than simply jump around seeking photo opportunities. And as this cruise continues you find a deeper connection to nature.

Quark Expeditions, Birdwatching, Credit Nicky Souness

Spot Puffins & Seabirds on 14th of July Glacier

Norway

Wildlife abounds on and around the 14th of July Glacier. Atlantic puffins brighten the landscape with their colourful beaks. Purple sandpipers and Arctic terns come here to nest. In the sparkling waters you see drifting ice and two different seals, with bearded and ringed seals swimming past your zodiac boat. Located in the bay of Krossfjord, Spitsbergen, this is actually two glaciers merged into one. To explore such a remote destination is a highlight of a multi-day cruise on the Ultramarine. This brand new ship has a special zodiac hangar system, helping you get into a small boat faster. That means you can enjoy more impromptu wildlife cruising in the zodiac, ideal in a wildlife paradise such as this one.

Quark Expeditions, Lilliehook Glacier in a Zodiac, Credit David Merron

Explore Lilliehook Glacier in a Zodiac

Norway

A maze of icebergs beneath towering sheets of mountain and ice. Bearded seals poking their heads from the water. A white wonderland changing before your eyes, with new icebergs calving and crashing from the Lilliehook Glacier.Lilliehook Glacier is one of Spitsbergen’s great wonders and you will explore on a zodiac boat, as part of a multi-day polar cruise on the Ultramarine or Ocean Adventurer ships. This labyrinth of ice is most impressive when you get close up, when you hear and see its ephemeral powers, aboard a small zodiac boat.

Quark Expeditions, Kayaking in the Arctic, Credit Acacia Johnson

Sea Kayaking in the Arctic

Norway

Paddling slowly amid a sea of icebergs you gasp at the setting. Just the soft sound of paddles break the silence and Arctic enormity creates a feeling of anonymity. Sea kayaking in the Arctic makes you feel small. You really experience the scale of mother nature. And from such an intimate vantage point you can truly delve into nature’s subtlety. Some previous kayaking experience is essential as you will need to do a wet exit.As you paddle you may feel small but back on the Ultramarine ship you feel big inside, grateful for such a personal encounter with nature. Gliding over the surface of remote Arctic bays in a sea kayak is possible as an excursion during a cruise on the Ultramarine or Ocean Adventurer.

Day 15 - Departure from Longyearbyen

After almost two full weeks cruising one of the world's most remote and dramatic regions, you will disembark in Longyearbyen and fly to Oslo for your outbound flight.