Closing date: 31 Jul 2019
Deep in the ‘Land of Fire and Ice’, where mountainous volcanoes glow in the luminescent light of the midnight sun, you’ll unearth a place of wonder. The Icelandic and Norwegian Islands are overflowing with mesmerising natural phenomena, from sparkling glacial valleys to majestic fjords lined with waterfalls. Add the remarkable wildlife – rare seabirds, puffins, whales, Arctic foxes and Svalbard’s polar bears – and even the most organised traveller might struggle to experience everything this unique part of the world can offer.
Thankfully, Aurora Expeditions, together with Polar Routes, is gifting one lucky winner the trip of a lifetime: an expedition for two people on their Iceland, Jan Mayen and Svalbard voyage. Packed with activities to ensure you see and do as much as possible, you’ll set sail from Reykjavik on 12 June 2020 aboard the new state-of-the-art Greg Mortimer vessel in an Aurora Stateroom.
You’ll enjoy 11 days exploring Iceland’s Westfjords region, the seldom-visited Jan Mayen island, look for polar bears in Svalbard, among others. This wonderful prize, worth over £10,000, also includes return economy flights.
Deep, narrow fjords weave between soaring mountains and tumbling waterfalls in Iceland’s Westfjords. Few places offer such a sense of peace, with soul-stirring natural beauty at every turn and a glorious quiet broken only by the sounds of local wildlife. One of Europe’s most extraordinary seabird breeding cliffs can be found at Látrabjarg – the continent’s westernmost point, and one of the best places in Iceland to photograph puffins.
In the Westfjords, visitors can hike among secluded wilderness, soak in the superb scenery and kayak along deep and silent fjords at remote Hornstrandir Nature Reserve – home to Arctic fox and towering bird cliffs teeming with birds. Even for a country as isolated as Iceland, Hornstrandir is where you will truly feel like you have escaped from the modern world. Take a Zodiac boat along the Nature Reserve’s shoreline for a fresh perspective on this region’s wild majesty and diversity: around 260 different species of flora and fauna can be found within its boundaries.
Stark and misty, a trip to the little-visited volcanic island of Jan Mayen is an unforgettable experience. As you approach, you’ll quickly discover what a real wilderness looks like: a huge volcano covered in glaciers and snow, shrouded by wisps of fog. The enormous Beerenberg volcano – the world’s northernmost active volcano, which last erupted in 1985 – rises straight up, towering above land and ocean. You can embark on the three-hour hike from one side of the island to the other, looking out for whales and dolphins on the northern shores.
To the north of Jan Mayen lies Svalbard: a Norwegian archipelago with a rugged tundra that shelters polar bears, Svalbard reindeer, Arctic foxes and more. As you sail towards Svalbard, you head into the heart of the action, especially in summer when wildlife is at its peak.
On the northern coast of Spitsbergen the largest island in the archipelago, you’ll discover the fascinating Moffen Island, famous for its large walrus colony. Watch from a distance as they clamber on top of each other and huddle together, before continuing your adventure in Svalbard, a spectacular place where you can Zodiac cruise along glacier-filled fjords, hike on the lush tundra, kayak near icebergs, always on the look out for the majestic polar bear – the King of the North – standing stoically on the pack ice.
This incredible prize is brought to you by Polar Routes, together with Aurora Expeditions – small-group specialists with over 27 years’ experience.
Polar Routes are the experts when it comes to expedition cruises. They will align your preferences to the perfect polar partner, always maintaining a commitment to quality, value and sustainability. Their specialist knowledge is based on first-hand experience in the field – ensuring you have a true once-in-a-lifetime experience, whether you travel to the wilds of the Arctic or the wonders of Antarctica.
Aurora Expeditions, together with Polar Routes, are offering one lucky winner the chance to embark on their Iceland, Jan Mayen and Svalbard voyage. The trip for two includes 11 days of adventure, plus return flights. For your chance to win, simply answer the following question:
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