To start this adventure through the cold northern seas demands to prepare the anorak and the waterproof pants. Afterwards, it is up to board the MS Fram, Hurtigruten’s flagship exploration boat, which was inaugurated in 2007 and designed specifically to sail in these places, is equipped with all the amenities required for a cruise of its category.
The first route starts from Kangerlussuaq (Greenland), a town situated at the end of a spectacular 170 km long fjord. The route continues in Qeqertarsuaq, the only city on the volcanic island of Disko, known today by the Arctic Research Station, a pioneer in the study of native fauna and flora. The boat arrives until the city of Ilulissat, the most important urban center of the bay of Disko. It rises in an enclave of singular beauty, in the fjord of the same name, that in 2004 was classified as Patrimony of the Humanity by the Unesco.
Passing through Sisimut, the second largest city in Greenland, the route reaches Nuuk, the capital of the country and its oldest urban nucleus, dating from the first third of the eighteenth century. During the visit to this university city, the passengers of Hurtigruten will be able to approach the National Museum of Greenland, where the eight mummies of Qilakilsoq are exhibited.
The itinerary continues through the small communities of southern Greenland, in an area where you will find vestiges of Viking history, local handicrafts and landscapes of extraordinary beauty, such as the Straits of Prince Christian. In this 110-kilometer pass at the southern tip of Greenland, drifting icebergs abound. Once crossed the Straits of Denmark, the boat will dock in Grundarfjörður, Iceland, after sailing through the waters of Breidafjördur Bay along the coast of the Snaefellsnes peninsula, in whose main volcano Julio Verne located the beginning of the Journey to the Center of the Earth. Reykjavik, the northernmost capital of the world, is the end point of this tour.
And it is in this city where the second Hurtigruten trip begins to visit the three Arctic islands: Spitsbergen, Greenland and Iceland, and the Northwest National Park of Greenland, considered the largest National Park in the world. After touring the Icelandic capital and various localities on the west coast of the country such as Grundarfjörður and Flateyri, who live mainly from fishing and tourism, the next stop will be Ísafjörður, the capital of the fjords of western Iceland. Here, Hurtigruten passengers will be able to discover the country’s oldest home, along with other wooden houses built by foreign merchants in the mid-eighteenth century.
The ship will then reach the southern end of the expedition northeast of Greenland, where the population is the only one allowed to hunt within the national park. Here you can see local customs, how to dry the skin of animals or how they keep sleds. In Ittoqqortoomiit, the local guides will meet with the expedition and give them local maps for the visit of the site.
After navigating the Fram Strait that divides Spitsbergen and northeastern Greenland, the MS Fram enters the National Northeast Park in Greenland. For six days, the expedition will be fooled by this immense and frozen landscape where Nature speaks for itself, with its 2,500 meters above sea level and a rich terrestrial fauna such as Arctic foxes and wolves, and birds Like the white hawk of Greenland. The expert guides and lecturers of the MS Fram will accompany in each landing to give talks that will allow to enjoy a little more of this Arctic adventure.
Walrus colonies and bird sanctuaries will be traveling companions on the Moffen Islet, before arriving at Kings Bay, the longest fjord on the northwest coast of Spitsbergen, the largest of the islands of the Svalbard archipelago. Ny Ålesund is the next stop on this route: it is one of the northernmost communities in the world, formerly a coal mining community, an advanced research station in the Arctic today. Starting point for numerous expeditions to the North Pole is the anteroom to the Northwest National Park of Spitsbergen: islands, fjords and beaches closer to the North Pole than any other inhabited place to relax the mind and sharpen the senses. Traveling to the Magdalenefjorden, the famous northwest fjord of Spitsbergen, Nature will speak between wild peaks and bluish frozen waters.
Discovering the modern small town of Longyearbyen, the capital of Svalbard, nestled in the middle of this stunning arctic landscape, will be the perfect finishing touch to this unique itinerary.