03/12/2017
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North Atlantic Cruise

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Shelf ice between Jan Mayen and Spitsbergen. Photo: Birding Breaks.
Shelf ice between Jan Mayen and Spitsbergen. Photo: Birding Breaks.

Join us on this wildlife cruise from Aberdeen via Fair Isle and Jan Mayen to Spitsbergen for a fantastic variety of seabirds, cetaceans and polar mammals.

Day 1 Embarkation in Aberdeen
We embark in Aberdeen, famed as the Granite City and many times a winner of the Britain in Bloom competition. As we reach the North Sea, Scottish waters offer excellent possibilities to spot Minke Whale, White-beaked Dolphin and Harbour Porpoise. Several other cetaceans, including Orca, are also native to these waters.

Day 2 Fair Isle
We alight at Fair Isle, Shetland, where a visit to the bird observatory could deliver the odd rarity – a Collared Pratincole graced the islands in May 2017. Fair Isle also is a haven for seabirds, with breeding European Storm Petrel, Arctic and Great Skuas, Northern Fulmar, Puffin, Guillemot and Razorbill, among others; we may also see Grey Seals.

Day 3-4 At sea
We sail north towards the Norwegian island of Jan Mayen, situated 300 nautical miles north-east of Iceland. During our two days at sea there will be plenty of time to watch for the blow of a Minke, Fin or Blue Whale, which could herald a rewarding encounter with these gentle giants. Perhaps we might run into a pod of Orca, who can often be quite curious about boats such as ours.

Day 5 Jan Mayen
Jan Mayen is a volcanic island of breath-taking beauty and mystique dominated by Mount Beerenberg. From the slopes of the 2,300-m volcano, impressive glaciers spill into the sea. Until recently, the island was off limits as it is a military base, but with permission from the Norwegian authorities we hope to visit the weather station. We will also walk across the island to Kvalrossbukta to look at the remains of a 17th century Dutch whaling station and a substantial colony of Northern Fulmar.

Day 6-8 At sea
In the midnight sun, we sail north along the edge of the sea ice, looking out for Bowhead Whales, Harp Seals, Polar Bears and a variety of seabirds, such as King Eider, Brünnich’s Guillemot and Little Auk. Ivory Gull is a possibility. At about 79 degrees north, we will west to the edges of the continental shelf off west Spitsbergen, where we have good chances to encounter Fin Whales and, near the mouths of the big Spitsbergen fjords, Minke Whales.

Day 9 Poolepynten
We will look for Walrus at Poolepynten. In the evening we could land at Alkhornet. The cliffs here are alive with thousands of seabirds, while on the slopes we might find reindeer and Arctic Fox.

Day 10 Longyearbyen
On our final day we disembark in Longyearbyen, the administrative centre of Spitsbergen, for flights south to Oslo and onward home.

 

This tour is operated for Birdwatch and BirdGuides by Birding Breaks (registered with the Chamber of Commerce in Amsterdam under licence number 54226104). The price includes voyage and nights aboard the vessel, all meals aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea, all shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac, local guides and lectures by experienced staff. Flights from Longyearbyen to London or elsewhere, drinks, tips and personal expenses are not included. For further information and reservations, please call the company on 0031 20 77 92 030 or email info@birdingbreaks.nl.

 

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We work in partnership with professional specialist companies to offer exciting itineraries led by experienced guides, at prices that offer superb value for money, so you can book your holiday with complete peace of mind. Please ensure you read the terms and conditions provided by partner companies, together with details of what’s included and excluded from the tour cost, prior to confirming your reservation – thank you.