Greenland: Largest and Least Visited National Park in the World
Northeast Greenland National Park
Northeast Greenland National Park is the largest but least-visited national park in the world.
Only a small number of expeditions are permitted to visit the park over its very short summer season.
Hurtigruten is one of the expedition cruises that does venture here, thanks to its expertise and experience.
Apart from trapper huts, some science research stations and two military outposts, there are no traces of human life here. The only others we might be lucky to meet are the Sirius Patrol park rangers who supervise the area on dog-sleds.
Once inside the park, there are large fjords, giant icebergs, alpine landscapes, hanging glaciers, and vertical granite cliffs reaching as far as the eye can see. The likes of hares, muskoxen and Arctic foxes roam the coasts and tundra in the summertime. They are usually spread out across this enormous region, making it a real highlight if passengers do manage to spot one or more of them.
The captain and Expedition Leader assess the ice conditions and choose the best locations for landings accordingly. Guests can also participate in exciting optional activities such as kayaking and long guided hikes.
Iceland: Visits to Jan Mayen are extremely rare, and Hurtigruten are one of the few to attempt landings on this Arctic island.
Jan Mayen Island
Jan Mayen Island looks like a narrow, tilted spoon that dropped into the cereal bowl of the sea. Situated at 71 degrees north and eight degrees west, this volcanic island in the Arctic Ocean is the most isolated island of Norway, even though it sits much closer to Greenland than Norway; 350 kilometres from Greenland, 549 kilometres north of Iceland. It also contains the country’s only active volcano.
The Norwegian island of Jan Mayen has two main areas. The north is dominated by ice-capped Beerenberg, the northernmost active volcano on earth. The south is flatter and unglaciated, where 30 people live at a weather station. Simply put, this island is not known for its flora and fauna.
Still, visitors on Norwegian cruises will likely encounter seabirds breeding on steep cliffs. The most abundant species is the northern fulmar, a gull-like relative of albatrosses. This bird is spectacularly evolved for the frigid conditions of the island. Other popular birds are the kittiwake and Brünich’s guillemot as well as the little auk, which breeds under rocks on steep slopes rather than on vertical cliffs. Including these, there are 27 species of birds that use the island as their regular nesting site.
Svalbard: Visit five wild and beautiful islands in and around the Arctic across four countries, with Svalbard’s pioneering and oldest tour operator.
As a pioneer of adventure travel in Svalbard, with over 127 years of sailing Norwegian waters, Hurtigruten’s extensive knowledge allows guests to see and experience the best of this Arctic treasure.
Encounters with rich wildlife, from whales and Arctic foxes to amazing bird-life and the ruler of Svalbard, the polar bear, all awaits.
From the uncommon ‘island-hopping’ cruise along the Arctic, to attempts at circumnavigating the mighty Polar Bear’s realm of Spitsbergen, comfortable and intimate expedition cruise experiences await with Hurtigruten.
Hurtigruten’s New Year Global Expedition Sale ends on 20 February, 2021 – hurry to secure your clients’ savings of up to $1,000 per cabin on Greenland, Iceland and Svalbard 2022 cruises.