Arctic > Ortelius > Fair Isle - Jan Mayen - Spitsbergen, Whale Safari

Fair Isle - Jan Mayen - Spitsbergen, Whale Safari

Travel north from the sub-Arctic to the Arctic while keeping a sharp eye out for wildlife encounters. There are plenty of chances for whale watching and to spot a variety of migrating birds. The expedition crosses paths with dolphins as well as large baleen whales on the way to mysterious Jan Mayen with its massive volcano. You’ll visit a sea-bird paradise, mingle with the local community of Fair Isle and make a stop at Jan Mayen to visit a Norwegian meteorological station. Finally, you’ll sail along the pack ice into the domain of the Polar bear; into Svalbard to visit with its rich wildlife and explore its astounding landscape.

Day 1: Embarkation in Hansweert (Netherlands) - In Hansweert passengers will board the ship at mid-day.

Day 2: At sea towards Aberdeen - We cross the North Sea

Day 3: Granite City: Aberdeen - We 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.

More passengers will board the ship in Aberdeen.

The Scottish waters offer excellent possibilities to spot Minke Whale, White-beaked Dolphin and Harbour Porpoise. Several other cetaceans, including Orca (Killer Whale), are also native to these waters.

Day 4: Fair Isle, haven for sea-birds - 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. Fair Isle is a haven for sea-birds, which are very accessible. We view also Grey Seals.

Day 5 - 6: We sail north to the Norwegian island of Jan Mayen - 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 - Jan Mayen is a volcanic island of breath-taking 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.

Day 8 - 10: Looking out for Whales, Harp Seals, Polar Bears and a variety of seabirds - 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, until about 79 North, then we will sail west to the edges of the continental shelf off West Spitsbergen, where we have good chances to meet Finn Whales and near the mouths of the big Spitsbergen fjords, Minke Whales.

Day 11: Poolepynten - We will look for Walrus at Poolepynten. In the evening we could land at Alkhornet another seabird colony, where at the slopes we can find reindeer and Arctic Fox.

Day 12: Longyearbyen, the administrative centre of Spitsbergen - We disembark in Longyearbyen, the administrative centre of Spitsbergen, for flights south to Oslo and onward home.

Itinerary details

Fair Isle - Jan Mayen - Spitsbergen, Whale Safari
11 nights / 12 days
m/v Ortelius

Season 2017

Dates & Rates Cabins (all Prices in US$ Dollar)
Code Date Quadruple
Superior Suite
OTL03a-17 Start May 20, 2017
End May 31, 2017
2,380 2,970 3,320 3,630 ------ 4,400
OTL03b-17 Start May 22, 2017
End Jun 31, 2017
2,130 2,660 2,980 3,260 3,490 3,960

Fares include:

  • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
  • AECO fees and governmental taxes.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.

Not included:

  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
  • Pre- and post- land arrangements.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Meals ashore.
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).