Jan Mayen

Get to know what it’s like to visit this destination.

Getting To Know Jan Mayen​ – Expedition Cruise Guide


Destination Snapshot

Jan Mayen is a remote Norwegian island situated in the Arctic Ocean, approximately halfway between Norway and Greenland. It is known for its stunning and harsh natural beauty, and it’s one of the more adventurous destinations for expedition cruising due to its remote location and the challenging weather conditions often encountered in this part of the world.

Here’s what you might expect from an expedition cruise that includes Jan Mayen:


Weather: Weather in this region is unpredictable and can change rapidly, which means landing on Jan Mayen is not guaranteed. Expedition cruises have to be flexible with their itinerary.

Permissions: Visits to Jan Mayen are strictly controlled to protect its delicate environment. Any landings require permission from the Norwegian authorities.

Small Groups: Due to the sensitive nature of the environment, if landings are allowed, they are typically done in small groups under strict guidelines.

Vessel Types

Ice-Class Ships: The ships that venture to Jan Mayen are often ice-class vessels capable of safely navigating through polar waters.

Zodiac Landings: Larger ships anchor offshore, and passengers are ferried to the island using Zodiac boats, weather permitting.

Travel Considerations

Prepare for Seasickness: The seas can be rough, so it’s recommended to be prepared for seasickness.

Limited Facilities: Jan Mayen has no tourist facilities; it is an untouched natural environment managed by a small team of Norwegian personnel.

Specialized Gear: You will need to pack specialized gear for cold and wet weather, including waterproof boots and layers for warmth.

Advance Booking: Given the uniqueness of the destination, spots on these cruises are limited and should be booked well in advance.

Environmental Concerns

Minimal Impact: There is a strong emphasis on leaving no trace due to the fragile Arctic environment. All waste is taken back to the ship, and visitors must keep a safe distance from wildlife.

Research and Conservation: Some cruises may have a scientific or conservation focus, contributing to research efforts or raising awareness about the challenges facing the Arctic. Choose an operator with a strong focus on sustainable travel and check their credentials, are they carbon/climate neutral, B-CORP or have other important accreditations and Sustainability Goals.

Choosing a reputable expedition company with experience in polar voyages is crucial for a journey to Jan Mayen. The company should prioritize safety, environmental responsibility, and have knowledgeable guides to enhance the experience and manage the logistics of Arctic travel. Keep in mind that such a trip is for the adventurous traveler; it’s not about luxury but rather about the raw and powerful nature of one of the planet’s most isolated spots.

Jan Mayen Expedition Cruise

Key highlights of Jan Mayen Island

  • Wildlife: In the surrounding waters, you may spot various species of whales, seals, and seabirds.
  • Hiking: There may be opportunities for hiking on the island. One of the most significant challenges for those who land on Jan Mayen is Beerenberg, an active stratovolcano and the northernmost located on Earth, though climbing it requires special permission and expertise.
  • Photography: For photography enthusiasts, Jan Mayen offers dramatic landscapes, including the volcano, glaciers, and the rugged coastline.
Tallin cruise port ship

Regular expedition cruise line visitors

  • Ponant
  • Quark Expeditions
  • Aurora Expeditions
  • Hurtigruten
  • Heritage Expeditions
  • Poseidon Expeditions
  • Oceanwide Expeditions
  • Swan Hellenic




Jan Mayen


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