Fair Isle, Moussa, Jan Mayen and Svalbard
8 to 19 June 2013
Jan Mayen is the world's most northern volcano, and this trip is the one of the very few ways in which it is possible to visit this unique island. The trip also visits the Geopark of Shetland and Arctic islands of Svalbard which also have incredible geology.
Copyright Oceanwide Expeditions
The Plancius leaving Holland
A White sided Dolphin in the North Sea
Aberdeen, the 'Granite City'
Fair Isle is the most remote inhabited island in the British Isles
Fair Isle is made up of Old Red Sandstone
Moussa Broch on Old Red Sandstone in Geopark Shetland
Crossing the Arctic Circle
Hiking across the volcanic landscape of Jan Mayen
Mount Beerenburg, Jan Mayen
Mount Beerenburg, Jan Mayen
Tundra Polygons, Svalbard
For this voyage passengers can board the ship in Hansweert (The Netherlands ) on June 06 (OTL04) or June 08 (PLA04) and sail from there to Aberdeen (OTL04 arrival June 08 or, PLA04 arrival June 10) where more passengers will board the ship.
Day 1 (June 06 and June 08) - In Hansweert passengers will board the ship at mid-day.
Day 2 - We cross the North Sea
Day 3 (June 08 and June 10) - Arrive in Aberdeen, famed as the Granite City and many times a winner of the Britain in Bloom competition, and embark on our trip. As we reach the North Sea, we see the lighthouse on Girdle Ness to the south, designed by the grandfather of Robert Louis Stevenson.
Day 4 - At Fair Isle, in the Shetlands, we are welcomed by the 70 or so inhabitants (famed for their knitwear, examples of which we will see) to be followed by a walk to the bird observatory. Later, on Mousa, one of the smaller Shetland Islands, we visit one of the best preserved brochs in Scotland. Brochs are circular stone towers probably built by the Picts. During a night excursion we will watch thousands of Storm Petrel return to their burrows or crevices.
Day 5 and 6 - We sail north to 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 7 - Jan Mayen is a volcanic island of breathtaking beauty and mystique, dominated by Mt Beerenberg. From the slopes of the 2300m volcano, impressive glaciers spill into the sea. Until recently, the island was off-limits as it is a military base, and was rarely visited by tourists, 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 Fulmar. We also plan to sail by Koksletta where thousands of Little Auk and Brünnich's Guillemot breed close to a glacier, watched over by Glaucous Gull.
Days 8 and 9 - In the midnight sun, we sail north along the edge of the sea-ice, looking out for different species of whales, dolphins, seals and a variety of seabirds, until the sea-ice stops us, then we will sail to North Spitsbergen.
Day 10 - Depending on the position of the sea-ice, we sail into Raudfjord or one of the other fjords in Northwest Spitsbergen, where we have chances of seeing Polar Bear at the heads of the fjords, and where seals are sunbathing on the fjord ice. At Fuglesangen we have an opportunity to see thousands of Little Auk on their breeding grounds.
Day 11 – Fuglehuken, the northern tip of Prince Karls Forland is probably the place where Willem Barentsz made the first landing in Spitsbergen. It is an area with beautiful seabird colonies and many remains of the Polar Bear hunting period of a century ago. Later we will look for Walrus at Sarstangen, Engelskmansbukta or Poole-Pynten. In the evening we could land at Alkhornet another seabird colony, where at the slopes we can find reindeer and Arctic Fox.
Day 12 (June 17 and June 19) - We disembark in Longyearbyen, the administrative centre of Spitsbergen, for flights south to Oslo and onward home
Vessel m/v Plancius
Please note that on this trip GeoWorld Travel's James Cresswell will be your guide. He will also be the main geology and glaciology guide for the whole ship. Our GeoWorld Travel group will be a small group aboard the ship amongst a larger Oceanwide Expeditions group. Booking this trip through GeoWorld Travel is exactly the same price as booking through Oceanwide directly. The advantage of booking Polar trips through GeoWorld travel is you know you will have a geologist aboard. Our GeoWorld Travel group will have additional meetings and discussions that other passengers will not have.