Greenland’s Pristine Glaciers, Abundant Wildlife and 5,000 Years of Rugged History Beckons Explorers

New York, April 2010 — Hurtigruten has announced pricing specials on three new Greenland & Iceland expedition cruises — sailings that combine the remote polar regions of the world’s largest island and its 5,000-year-old history (that includes Eric the Red and Fridtjof Nansen), with Reykjavik, the vibrant capital city of Iceland, and on the 14-day sailing, Eastern Canada.  Each journey is complimented by informative lectures, landings and shore excursions and offers the chance to get close to the culture, wildlife and communities of Greenland’s most isolated areas.  Booking a cabin or suite by May 31 aboard Hurtigruten’s deluxe expedition ship, the 318-passenger MS Fram, saves 25% off the regular fare on the 11- to 14-day sailings.  Those booking a suite will also enjoy free round-trip airfare from JFK (NY) or Liberty Airport (Newark, NJ).

Reduced prices range from $4,053 to $6,170 per person, double for cabins, and $5,649 to $9,315 for suites plus free air.  All sailings include cabin category selected, three meals daily aboard ship, services of naturalist guides, specified land excursions and PolarCirkel boat landings, ship transfers, government fees, cruise taxes and port charges.  Add-on airfares from dozens of North American gateways range from $100 to $600.  Prices do not airline fuel surcharges, air taxes and ticketing fees of $439 to $489.

While guests see the effects of ‘global warming’ firsthand in Greenland, from both the deck of the luxury expedition ship and on shore, experts in numerous disciplines, including geology, weather, marine life, environment, history and culture, fill in the gaps of their understanding of this ice-encrusted ancient land.  Passengers take in sights and scenery little changed in 5,000 years while moving from village to village, as well as spend time ashore, meeting and sharing time with the local population.

•12-day “Peaks, Ruins and Eric the Red”– now priced from $4,053 to $7,646.  The MS Fram journeys from Greenland to Iceland, taking in the southern and eastern region before sailing across the Denmark Strait to Iceland.  Highlights of the Sept. 2 sailing include ancient Viking settlements, the beautiful setting of Evighedsfjorden, a visit to Qassiarsuk – the small community where the Viking Erik the Red settled in 982 when he was exiled from Iceland, Greenland’s oldest town Nuuk, the scenery of Skjoldungen Island, and Iceland’s Isafjördur and Reykjavik.   •11-day “Greenland’s Remote and Wild Coast” — now priced from $5,323 to $8,589.  Visits to the communities around Northeast Greenland offers passengers a close-up view of the isolated existence of these hardy souls — as well the chance to visit Scoesby Sund, the largest fjord in the world and home to a number of huge icebergs.  Sites include Ittoqqortoormiit, an isolated community of 527, where people still depend on hunting for their livelihood; and the Northeast Greenland National Park — the largest in the world — a rarely visited area of outstanding beauty.  The Sept. 13 sailing is round-trip from Reykjavik, Iceland and includes a visit to Iceland’s western fjords. •14-day “In the Wake of the Vikings” — now priced from $4,743 to $9,316.  Following in the footsteps of the ancient Norsemen this voyage travels from Iceland to southern Greenland and then onto Canada’s Labrador and Newfoundland.  This incredible odyssey, departing Sept. 26, encompasses some of Greenland’s and eastern Canada’s most spectacular natural and historical landscapes.  Highlights include a visit to Koge Bugt, where the Greenland ice tip reaches the sea; Umivik, where Fridtjof Nansen went ashore and started his epic traverse of the Ice Cap by ski; and Qassiarsuk, where Erik the Red was exiled.  The MS Fram then heads across the Labrador Sea in the footsteps of the Vikings, stopping in Newfoundland and then turning south to Halifax via St Anthony, Bonne Bay and Baddeck in Nova Scotia. The 12,700-ton, eight-deck MS Fram, makes significant use of Greenland’s culture as inspiration for design while incorporating a striking Scandinavian feel.  Suites include seating areas, some with two rooms, TV, mini-bar, queen-size beds and numerous bonuses including include a free bottle of champagne, two free shore excursions, complimentary wine with lunch or dinner and a free round of mini bar use.  The ship boasts an Internet café, a large glass-enclosed observation salon offering panoramic views, restaurant with ocean views, wellness center with saunas, work-out room and two glass-screened heated outdoor whirlpools; a friendly and well-informed crew is ready to offer assistance and suggestions when asked.

Hurtigruten is a world leader in expedition cruising, sailing to the most remote of destinations including Antarctica, Greenland and the Arctic’s Spitsbergen, as well as year round along Norway’s coast.  Additional information on all of these adventures, as well as brochures and reservations, can be obtained from travel agents or Hurtigruten’s visitor-friendly web site, www.hurtigruten.us; or by phone: (800) 323-7436; fax (888) 524-2145; 24-hour number for brochures, (800) 582-0835.

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