Chasing the Midnight Sun

Delve into the intricacies and interdependencies of global sustainability and the livelihoods in the Arctic Circle

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Exploring development, production, and distribution challenges.
Boston,USA and Kigali, Rwanda
12- 15 days
20-22K

The below itinerary represents the most recent iteration of the program. Alterations will be made to best fit the educational objectives of traveling participants.

The World Itinerary

Convening in Oslo

Day 1
The group convenes in Oslo and proceeds to our central accommodations. We spend the initial day deep in conversations about our individual learning plans that introduce a framework for our travels and bring the group together as a traveling team. We also set out to explore the remarkable green architecture of Norway’s capital, a hub of trade, banking, industry and shipping.

Day in Oslo, Nobel Prize

Day 2
We will start the day with a private walking tour around this majestic city, including the twin-towered City Hall, Parliament building (Stortinget) and the historic Akershus Fortress. After lunch in the bustling waterfront area, we move to the Nobel Peace Center. This groundbreaking museum honors the history and legacy of Nobel Peace Prize laureates and their diligent and groundbreaking work. We close the day with a private dinner with Norwegian experts in Arctic research, helping us to organize our minds and bodies for our upcoming departure for the North.

Travel to Svalbard

Day 3
We fly to Longyearbyen, the capital of the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, located between mainland Norway and the North Pole. One of the world’s northernmost inhabited areas, known for its rugged, remote terrain of glaciers and tundra sheltering polar bears, Svalbard reindeer, and Arctic foxes, this is a landscape like no other. Summer brings the “midnight sun”—sunlight 24 hours a day, and where our day starts and has no end.

Getting to know the arctic circle

Days 4-5
We spend two days in Longyearbyen, visiting the North Pole Museum and stopping at the Global Seed Vault, a secure backup facility for the world’s crop diversity. The Seed Vault provides long-term storage of duplicate seeds conserved in genebanks worldwide. This provides security for the world’s food supply against losing seeds in genebanks due to mismanagement, accident, equipment failures, funding cuts, war, sabotage, disease, and natural disasters. Students have the opportunity to spend an afternoon visiting and joining workshops on Arctic research at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), the world’s northernmost higher education institution. This research center educates the next generation of Arctic experts in biology, geology, geophysics, and technology. We also take the opportunity to step out of our daily lives and explore the Arctic landscape on foot! During shorter and longer hikes, we enjoy the magnificent views, the fresh air, and the Arctic wildlife.

Arctic Sail

Days 6 – 11
We embark on a 5-day- expedition, taking advantage of the midnight sun by sailing around the clock. This is an exciting expedition moving across the Greenland Sea, one of the most remote sailing areas on the planet. During the voyage, we skirt the edges of large ice sheets, icebergs, and glaciers. As the sea ice opens during the summer months, it becomes possible to sail around the entire island, giving us the time to step ashore and explore remote, untouched anchorages. We soak up the beauty, silence, and natural wonders of this truly unique voyage while observing a variety of wildlife, including seals, whales, and Greenlandic gyrfalcons. This itinerary is for guidance only as each voyage will vary depending on ice and weather conditions, and opportunities to see wildlife. Flexibility is key and all part of the adventure of an expeditionary cruise.

Greenland arrival

Day 12
We arrive on Greenland’s east coast and then take a flight across the country to Nuuk, Greenland’s capital, a small city on the country’s southwest coast, with a lively waterfront dotted with brightly colored houses against the backdrop of Sermitsiaq mountain. After having lunch, we will have the afternoon to walk around, rest, and debrief on our adventure so far.

Climate Research in Greenland

Day 13
We visit Pinngortitaleriffik, the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, where local scientists research Arctic ecosystems, monitor the living resources and the environment in Greenland, and advise the authorities on sustainable exploitation of living resources and safeguarding the environment and biodiversity. We continue to meet with scientists at the international Greenland Climate Research Center, learning more about the impact of climate change on arctic communities and ecosystems.

Flying to Iceland

Days 14-16
We fly to Iceland, a spectacular Nordic country famed for its dramatic landscape and use of geothermal energy coming from the extensive volcanoes, geysers, hot springs and lava fields within the nation. After settling in our hotel, we tour Reykjavik’s old town center, parliament, harbor, and distinctive landmarks, stopping at the National Museum and ending with a guaranteed sighting of the Northern Lights in the planetarium show. We spend one day touring the famed “Golden Circle”, including the immense Guillfoss, one of the most beautiful and powerful waterfalls in Iceland, which plummets 105 feet (32 meters) in two tiers into the river gorge. We learn about the conservation efforts made by Sigridur Tomasdotti to preserve the waterfall in the early 20th century, when British developers sought to harness its incredible force for hydroelectric power. The forefront of the next agricultural revolution is aking place in Iceland, where the island’s volcanic origins have resulted in abundant geothermal energy. The natural resource accounts for a quarter of Iceland’s electricity and has helped boost the year-round availability of fresh food in the past two decades. We visit geothermal-powered greenhouses, meeting with farmers, scientists, and engineers to learn about the potential revolutions created through the confluence of the latest technologies and our food.

Closing the program

Day 17
We close off the program by reflecting on our journey and what it has meant to us, individually and collectively. Then, looking ahead with ambition and intent, we start the next chapter of our lives with a new understanding of the world, using our learnings to build sustainability-driven organizations and drive initiatives that generate cross-cultural collaboration. Students depart.