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Greg Mortimer<br>10 Night Svalbard Odyssey<br>Longyearbyen Return

Greg Mortimer
10 Night Svalbard Odyssey
Longyearbyen Return

Ship: Greg Mortimer
Cruise Line: Aurora Expeditions
Departures:  22 June 2020
Duration: 10 Nights
Ports: Longyearbyen, Magdalenefjord, Moffen Island, Woodfjorden, Barentsoya Island, Edgeoya Island, Hornsund, Bellsund, Longyearbyen
Airport gateway (Arrival) : Longyearbyen
Airport gateway (Departure) : Longyearbyen

Revel in the diversity of the Svalbard Island and sail into the kingdom of the polar bear. We explore the coastline, with no open sea crossings, against a backdrop of spectacular glacier covered peaks. We discover deep fjords in the west; mysterious, fossil-rich desert plains in the east; and best of all, seals and whales in the Arctic pack ice. This voyage offers the best chance for seeing reindeers and polar bears, and features wildflower walks across sweeping tundra, trapper camps and historic sites. On foot and by Zodiac, we visit abandoned whaling settlements, search for walrus, Arctic fox and reindeer and observe in millions of migratory birds, including little auks, guillemots and puffin.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Longyearbyen

Enjoy a guided tour of colourful Spitsbergen’ capital Longyearbyen. Late afternoon sees us warmly welcomed on board the ship.
 

Days 2 to 3 – Magdalenefjorden

Wake up to spectacular alpine peaks and glacier valleys of Spitsbergen’s rugged west coast. In Magdalenefjorden we Zodiac cruise a safe distance from the aqua-blue ice cliffs of 14th July Glacier or Waggonway Glacier, and take long walks among summer flowers, alert for reindeer and Arctic fox. Thanks to the nutrient-rich Gulf Stream and relatively mild temperatures, Atlantic puffins and guillemots fill the cliffs. We look for bearded seals, with their precious curling whiskers. We may visit the remains of a 350-year old Dutch whaling settlement on Amsterdam Island and learn of an ill-fated ballooning attempt over the North Pole.
 

Days 4 to 6 – Moffen Island & Woodfjorden

Rounding Spitsbergen’s northwest coast, we enter the Arctic Ocean and the world of pack ice. Ghostly beluga whales rise up in open leads and polar bears stalk ringed, bearded and harp seals. Offshore, walruses feed on clams or haul out on beaches, especially on Moffen Island, a walrus sanctuary. We visit trapper huts and stay alert for reindeer and Arctic fox. Delightful walks reveal delicious berries and some of the tundra’s 164 exquisite flowering plants including purple saxifrage, yellow spider plants and Svalbard poppies. If ice conditions allow, we attempt to cross latitude 80° north before turning south to Woodfjorden.
 

Days 7 to 8 – Hinlopen Strait, Barentsøya and Edgeøya Islands

We attempt to pass through narrow Hinlopen Strait, a channel flanked by austere, cream-coloured slopes rich in fossils between Spitsbergen and ice-capped Nordaustlandet. This polar desert is a landscape eroded by severe frost. Even in summer, pack ice could bar our way, but there is much to strive for. We Zodiac cruise beneath Alkefjellet, sheer basalt cliffs rising at more than 250 metres – literally buzzing with some 200,000 nests of Brunnich’s guillemots. During shore excursions, we seek eider ducks, Arctic foxes and the elusive Svalbard ptarmigan. As we pass Barentsøya and Edgeøya islands, we cross polar bear migration routes.
 

Days 9 to 10 – Hornsund & Bellsund Fjords

This is true expedition cruising. If ice conditions allow, we round South Cape and sail north toward Hornsund and Bellsund, deep fjords home to stunning glaciers and wildlife. If ice bars our way, we simply adjust our itinerary, backtrack and delve deeper into the wonders of Spitsbergen’s north and west coasts.
 

Day 11 – Longyearbyen

A midnight cruise of glorious Isfjorden returns us to Longyearbyen and the end of our voyage.

* Ports of call may vary based on itinerary and departure dates selected

 

Cabin Pricing

* All prices quoted are PER PERSON in British Pounds and include taxes, fees and port expenses (if applicable).
* All prices quoted are for the cruise departing on . Prices for alternative departure dates may vary.

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Ports

Longyearbyen

Longyearbyen (lit. Longyear City) is the largest settlement and the administrative center of Svalbard, Norway. As of 2008, the town had a population of 2,040. Longyearbyen is located in the valley of Longyeardalen and on the shore of Adventfjorden, a bay of Isfjorden located on the west coast of Spitsbergen. Since 2002, Longyearbyen Community Council has had many of the same responsibilities of a municipality, including utilities, education, cultural facilities, fire department, roads and ports. The town is the seat of the Governor of Svalbard. It is the world's northernmost settlement of any kind with greater than 1,000 permanent residents.

Magdalenefjord

Moffen Island

Woodfjorden

Barentsoya Island

Edgeoya Island

Hornsund

Hornsund is a fjord on the western side of the southernmost tip of Spitsbergen island.
 
The fjord's mouth faces west to the Greenland Sea, and is 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) wide. The length is 30 kilometres (19 mi), the mean depth is 90 metres (300 ft), and the maximal depth is 260 metres (850 ft). Hornsund cuts different geological formations, from the Precambrian to the west to the upper Mesozoic to the east, and it is perpendicular to the main regional fractures of Spitsbergen.
 

Bellsund

Bellsund is a 20 km long sound on the west coast of Spitsbergen, part of the Svalbard archipelago of Norway. It is separated from Van Mijenfjorden by the islands of Akseløya and Mariaholmen. Bellsund is located south of Nordenskiöld Land and north of Wedel Jarlsberg Land.[

 

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Greg Mortimer Cabin Info

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Cruise line info

Aurora Expeditions

Aurora Expeditions

From the start, Aurora Expeditions was destined to be different. Co-founders Greg and Margaret Mortimer had a passion for adventure, exploring wild places and sharing the experience with friends and in 1991, Aurora Expeditions, named in honour of Sir Douglas Mawson's ship, was born.

Their aim was simple - to take small groups of travellers on voyages of discovery to regions that inspired them, thereby creating lifelong ambassadors for the preservation and protection of these sacred places. More than two decades later, that pioneering spirit burns just as brightly, as does our preference for small-group, personal expeditions.

Less people means more solitude and greater flexibility if tides, currents, ice or weather dictate a schedule change. And because we have fewer people to ferry ashore, we often make more landings.

We make the most of our size advantage to create intimate expeditions varying in length from 10 to 26 days. Simply choose the region you’d like to explore, the amount of time you’ve got and what activities you enjoy. Focus on one destination or combine back-to-back trips for the ultimate adventure.

You’ll be accompanied by expedition staff we believe are the world’s best. Remote area specialists, their onboard lectures entertain and expand your knowledge.

Whether you’re joining us for the first time or returning for another thrilling adventure, our original goals remain unchanged. Explore wild places that stir the soul, offer personal attention on unforgettable expeditions and welcome new friends into the Aurora family.
 

 

Ship info

Greg Mortimer

Proudly named after Aurora's adventurous co-founder, this 104-metre ship is our very first, purpose-built expedition vessel. Capable of negotiating the strongest winds and waves, the Greg Mortimer is built to world-class polar standards – designed in close consultation with our expedition specialists, taking advantage of our more than 25 years of experience.

Accommodating a maximum of 100 passengers plus kayakers and divers in the polar regions*, and 160 passengers in other destinations, the Greg Mortimer redefines expedition cruising for the future. Not only is the ship bigger to contend with adverse weather conditions, its added creature comforts make for a more enjoyable journey out on the open ocean. The Greg Mortimer remains true to our ethos and focus on multiple landings, flexible itineraries and family atmosphere – just with an improved home base!
 

Ship Life

As your base and home away from home during your Aurora Expeditions adventure, the Greg Mortimer is designed to serve your every need. It's your bedroom, bathroom, lounge, dining room and even your observatory. Make yourself at home, the Greg Mortimer is yours to enjoy!

Onboard observation points

Let's face it – you don't want windowless rooms when travelling around some of the most beautiful locations around the world. This is why the Greg Mortimer is designed with plenty of dedicated observation spaces – ideal for keen bird spotters, wildlife watchers and those wanting to watch the scenery go past. From the indoor 180-degree lounge and outdoor 360-degree open deck, both on deck 8, to the 270-degree open sundeck on level 7, there are plenty of observation points to share around the ship! If these are full, then you can take up a spot on one of the two hydraulic viewing platforms on deck 5. Aurora Expeditions also has an open bridge policy, which means at any point you can come up to the bridge and check out what the captain and officers are up to. From watching navigational practices to observing mapping techniques, you can get a firsthand look at the inner workings of the Greg Mortimer.

Shore excursions

Although the ship is fun, the real enjoyment comes from the many shore excursions that are available. Depending on the weather and itinerary, it's possible to take two to three landings daily, taking a look at everything from rock formations and ancient ruins to cute groups of penguins. We know time is of the essence in these wild locations, so the Greg Mortimer has been designed with more Zodiacs (15) than any other Aurora ship, which means you can maximise your time on shore. From four dedicated sea level launching platforms, transfers are quicker, safer and enable you to get closer to the action for a longer period of time. Just remember to charge your camera before you step onto the Zodiac!

Activity options

One of the great benefits of travelling with Aurora Expeditions is the number of optional activities that you can participate in. From kayaking and skiing to diving and climbing, these are one-in-a-lifetime opportunities that you need to take advantage of. Aboard the Greg Mortimer there is a specially designed launching platform for all activities, a concept overseen by our activity experts. This area also includes individual lockers in the expansive mudroom and rapid drying areas for wetsuits so you can quickly get warm after exploring in the elements! 

Dining

From the moment you step onto the Greg Mortimer, we aim to give you the best hospitality service possible. Starting with the official Captain's welcome, as our guests, you're welcome to 24 hours complimentary coffee, tea and snack facilities in addition to the range of different menu options and courses for each meal. Meals are served in large dining room/restaurant with family style dining, perfect to swap stories with your new expedition family. Enjoy the range of house wine, beers and soft drinks included with dinner after a long day in the wild, preparing yourself for another exciting day to follow. On the last day of your trip, the team on the Greg Mortimer put on a special farewell four-course dinner and cocktails – a perfect way to reflect on your time on the ship and consolidate lifelong friendships with the people you've met on-board.

On-board entertainment

When you’re relaxing during a sea day or you have a little downtime on the ship between excursions, what is there to do onboard the Greg Mortimer? Plenty! On all our expeditions, there are experts who lead presentations in the spacious lecture room so you can understand the region a little better. These often include topics as broad as history and culture to biology and climate change, these presentations aim to educate and entertain. If you're keen to just watch the surroundings and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, you have access to two bars/lounges where the stunning floor to ceiling windows offer a special perspective on the landscape. The Greg Mortimer is also decked out with other facilities for your enjoyment. There is a library on Deck 5 with books and maps and a Wellness Centre complete with gym equipment, sauna and spa. Feeling a little sore after walking around all day? Treat yourself to a massage at the Wellness Centre and feels the aches disappear! Keen photographers and artists will revel in the multimedia room on Deck 5.


Ship Features

As a modern and custom-designed ship, the Greg Mortimer is at the cutting edge of nautical technology. Robust, powerful and built with our guests in mind, this ship marks a significant investment in our fleet's capabilities. From the European Arctic to the depths of Antarctica, and other far-flung destinations in-between, the Greg Mortimer will make your journey a breeze!

X-BOW™

Our expeditions face some of the worst Mother Nature can throw at us. However, this won't be problem on the Greg Mortimer with the introduction of the patented X-BOW™, created by Norwegian ship designer ULSTEIN. As one of the leaders in marine engineering, ULSTEIN's X-BOW™ is an inverted bow concept that's been built on over 100 vessels in the shipping industry. Excitingly, we are the first expedition cruise operator to utilise this technology for the challenging open ocean waves!

Hydraulic viewing platforms

Although there is no doubt that you'll love the aesthetics of the Greg Mortimer, we are all here to admire the spectacular landscape and spot the elusive wildlife in their natural habitat. To ensure you get the best views possible, the new ship features unique viewing platforms, custom-built for the Greg Mortimer. Accessed from Deck 5, the two platforms fold out hydraulically for unobstructed views of passing marine life and seabirds – make sure your camera is locked and loaded!

Zodiac launching platform

Zodiacs are a vital part of getting up close and personal on your adventure – sneaking into areas that the Greg Mortimer can't reach. On this new ship, there are specially designed launching platforms that enables us to load Zodiacs easily and quickly, allowing you to spend more time exploring on the two to three daily landings. There are 15 Zodiacs that are boarded from either side of Deck 3 (sea level), perfect for when there is a group of fluffy cute penguin chicks that we need a photo of!

Custom-built activity platform

Regardless of your destination, we offer a number of additional activities to allow you to see more of the environment. From kayaking and diving to climbing and ski touring, it's these optional activities that often leave the biggest impression on your trip as a whole. Onboard the Greg Mortimer, there is a spacious prep and loading platform for these activities and more – designed in consultation with our expert activity guides.

Environmentally friendly

Climate change and carbon emissions continue to be major issues that everyone needs to be aware of and actively managing. We at Aurora Expeditions treat preserving and protecting the environment with the upmost importance and this is reflected in several features on the Greg Mortimer.

This includes reduced emissions into the air and sea, lower energy consumption, high fuel efficiency, reduced light pollution for minimal wildlife disruption and lower on-board plastic use. It's vital to also mention the state-of-the-art virtual anchoring technology of the X-BOW™, which means the ship can float anchorless while launching Zodiacs, kayaks etc, without disturbing delicate sea floor areas.

We are inaugural members of the International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators (IAATO), and the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO), highlighting our ongoing efforts to protect the most fragile environments around the world.

Safety features

Safety is always a critical element of Aurora operations, with the Greg Mortimer featuring the most up-to-date and concise safety technology across our fleet. This starts with the return-to-port equipment – not compulsory on a ship of this size – which duplicates the propulsion system. This enables the ship to maintain operating systems and comfort in the event of engine failure. Furthermore, the Greg Mortimer is Polar Code 6 compliant, holds BV class and is fully compliant with the latest SOLAS requirements. It's also built with a Rolls Royce stabiliser system.  If there's an incident or accident during your adventure, the ship has an onboard, fully-stocked medical centre – where our trained medical team can provide necessary treatment in a timely fashion.

Safety continues to be an issue that our team takes very seriously and the Greg Mortimer allows us to create an environment where you can concentrate on the brilliant landscape and wildlife, without worrying about your wellbeing.
 

Greg Mortimer Deck plans

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