Arctic Ocean Expedition, Bremerhaven – Fair Isle – Jan Mayen – Ice edge – Spitsbergen – Birding

Sailing between our home port of Vlissingen and our most cherished Arctic archipelago, Svalbard, this expedition visits the German port of Bremerhaven, the islands of Fair Isle and Jan Mayen, and the amazing Spitsbergen ice edge, giving you the chance to search for whales, and other animals of the land, sea, and air.

Trip Itinerary

Birding

We will have at least one dedicated expedition guide in our team who will share their expert knowledge about bird species and who will be available to help you identify, photograph on deck and learn more about the birds that we see. In addition to outdoor sessions, our guide will focus on species and related information on the birds of the Arctic in re-caps and lectures onboard.

Workshop

In this engaging audio workshop, we will provide you the theoretical background of various acoustic tools that we will help you use to locate and interpret the songs of whales and seals. This fun and informative workshop covers both the theory and practice of analyzing marine mammal sounds, requiring you to bring no additional equipment.

Day 1

You board the vessel in Vlissingen in the afternoon, and we depart on our voyage that evening.

Day 2

The Frisian Islands (Friesland in German and Dutch), also known as the Wadden Sea Islands, lie between western Denmark and the northwestern reaches of the Netherlands. Large areas of the Wadden Sea, where these islands are located, become dry during low tide, and much of the Frisian Islands comprise an international wildlife reserve of environmentally protected areas. You will be able to see these islands from a distance, and in the late evening or early hours of the following day, the vessel will arrive in Bremerhaven.

Day 3

Passengers who joined us in Vlissingen will have some free time on this day, enjoying the opportunity to roam about town on their own. There are several fine museums and attractions (Klimahaus, Schifffahrtsmuseum, Zoo am Meer, etc.) in addition to walks along the shoreline. You then board the vessel by midday, departing in the afternoon and sailing about five hours to the small island of Helgoland. The ship will not make landings here, but we will sail as close as possible to the island in the hopes of getting some good views of the steep seabird cliffs on its west side. These cliffs are known for their many breeding seabirds (gannets, kittiwakes, and guillemots), a winning sight for any bird lover. We’ll then continue our voyage across the North Sea. 

Day 4

Crossing the North Sea and sailing by Doggersbank, we hope to be lucky enough to spot such species as white-beaked dolphins, harbour porpoises, minke whales, and orcas.

Day 5

We plan to stay the day on Fair Isle, an island in the Shetlands whose seventy-odd inhabitants are known for their beautiful knitwear. This is a fantastic location with accessible seabird breeding grounds, and you may even spot grey seals.

Day 6 – 7

You sail north to the Norwegian island of Jan Mayen, 300 nautical miles northeast of Iceland. Your two days at sea do not pass idly, however. Keep a close lookout for any spouts of water from the surrounding seas, heralding the arrival of a minke, fin, orca, or blue whale.

Day 8

Jan Mayen is a stark volcanic island crowned by the snow-capped summit of Mt. Beerenberg. From the slopes of this imposing 2,300-meter-high (7,545 feet) volcano, broken glaciers grasp out into the frigid sea. With permission from the Norwegian authorities, you can now visit the weather station. You can also walk to the remains of a 17th- century Dutch whaling station amid the thick moss beds of this stark volcanic landscape.

Day 9 – 11

Basking in the midnight sun, you sail north along the edge of the sea ice in search of bowhead whales, harp seals, polar bears, and a variety of seabirds. You then change direction after about 79° north, cutting west to the rocky edges of the continental shelf of west Spitsbergen. Here you have a good chance of seeing fin whales and – near the glacial mouths of the gaping Spitsbergen fjords – surfacing minke whales.

Day 12

German whalers sailed from Hamburg to Spitsbergen in the middle of the 17th century. They established whaling stations, for instance in Hamburgbukta, south of Magdalenefjorden. We are in the area and time allowing we may stop there. Otherwise the focus is on Forlandsundet, between the main island of Spitsbergen and the narrow Prins Karls Forland, is a place of great beauty and fascinating wildlife. Walruses sometimes haul out here. Alternatively, you might sail into St. Johns Fjord or head south to the mouth of Isfjorden, landing at Alkhornet. Seabirds nest on these cliffs, Arctic foxes search below for fallen eggs and chicks, and reindeer graze the sparse vegetation. 

Day 13

Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. You disembark in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies. But if you’re still craving additional chances to spot the Arctic’s most iconic apex predator, stay on board for our seven-night north Spitsbergen voyage, “in search of polar bears & pack ice.”

Please Note...

All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. Landings are subject to site availabilities, permissions, and environmental concerns per AECO regulations. Official sailing plans and landing slots are scheduled with AECO prior to the start of the season, but the expedition leader determines the final plan. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. The average cruising speed of our vessel is 10.5 knots.

Cabin Information

Ship name Cabin Name Price Sale Price Departs on Returns on
m/v Janssonius Quadruple Porthole $3,250 NA May 30th, 2023 Jun 11th, 2023
m/v Janssonius Triple Porthole $3,950 NA May 30th, 2023 Jun 11th, 2023
m/v Janssonius Twin Porthole $4,150 NA May 30th, 2023 Jun 11th, 2023
m/v Janssonius Twin Window $4,500 NA May 30th, 2023 Jun 11th, 2023
m/v Janssonius Twin Deluxe $5,350 NA May 30th, 2023 Jun 11th, 2023
m/v Janssonius Superior $5,950 NA May 30th, 2023 Jun 11th, 2023
m/v Janssonius Junior Suite $6,300 NA May 30th, 2023 Jun 11th, 2023
m/v Janssonius Grand Suite with private balcony $7,300 NA May 30th, 2023 Jun 11th, 2023

Inquire about this trip.