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The coastline is 18,000 kilometres in total, and includes both the highest parts of the Northern Hemisphere’s largest ice cap and the world’s northernmost area of land.

For thousands of years, various Inuit cultures have lived and survived in this wild and rugged environment. The region is unique and its scenery unspoilt, home to some of the most exciting wildlife that the northern hemisphere has to offer. Nine species of land mammal live in the park, including the largest predator, the polar bear, and giant walruses.

Polar bears tend to stay away from inhabited areas and may be seen in more remote locales. There is a good chance of seeing musk oxen, up to 40% of the world’s population live near the coastline, reindeer, mountain hares and Arctic foxes, and whales. Whales are everywhere, the most common being, fin, humback, and minke whales, as are seals and sharks, and approximately 60 species of bird breed here. The area has fewer than fifty permanent residents, these being the researchers at weather and monitoring stations within the park. Hunters from Ittoqqortoormiit are permitted to hunt in the park.

View suggested itineraries

Key info

  • Ideal for viewing: bearded seal, musk ox, ringed seal, walrus, polar bear

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itineraries:

East Greenland

Sailing north from Reykjavik, this voyage explores Greenland and its surrounding waters, home to an impressive array of wildlife – you will undoubtedly be accompanied by fulmars, kittiwakes and rafts of guillemots. The autumn scenery is dramatic, with vivid colours by day and the spectacular northern lights by night.

  • When to go: May-Oct
  • Duration exc. flights: 8 days
  • Price exc. flights: From £3,695 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

Spitsbergen, Greenland & Iceland

Sailing amid awe inspiring scenery of fjords and glaciers, this comprehensive itinerary starts in Spitsbergen, home to the world's highest population of polar bears. Continuing across the Greenland Sea, orcas and dolphins follow in your wake, and there are chances to see walrus, Arctic hare and musk ox.

  • When to go: May-Oct
  • Duration exc. flights: 13-14 days
  • Price exc. flights: From £6,345 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour
Recommended cruise vessels:

Ortelius

The ice-strengthened Ortelius is an excellent vessel for expeditions in the Arctic and Antarctic. With the highest ice-class notation, it offers possibilities to travel to remote locations such as the Ross Sea and Franz Josef Land. Flexibility assures maximum wildlife opportunities.

Plancius

The Plancius accommodates a maximum of 114 passengers in cabins ranging from triple to superior, all with outside view and private facilities. She offers a range of itineraries in Antarctica and the Arctic, and the large open deck spaces offer excellent opportunities to watch wildlife.

Polar Pioneer

Small and manoeuvrable, the Polar Pioneer is an ice-strengthened vessel, capable of venturing into remote corners of the world that many larger ships cannot reach. The atmosphere is relaxed and informal, and you will be in the company of an experienced team of expedition experts and crew.

Rembrandt van Rijn

The Rembrandt van Rijn is a three-masted passenger sailing schooner, well suited for expedition cruising among small islands in the Arctic. She has an experienced crew of seven with two Zodiac inflatables used for shore landings and wildlife viewing in areas that would otherwise be inaccessible.