Trip Summary and Itinerary Map
- 8 full days of exploration in Svalbard
- Good chance to circumnavigate Svalbard, if ice conditions allow
- Choice of two modern 116 & 176 passenger expedition ships
- July & August departures
- Extras incl. complimentary wellington boot loan
Day 1: Longyearbyen
Arrive in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of the Spitsbergen archipelago of which West Spitsbergen is the largest island. Before embarking there is an opportunity to stroll around this former mining town, whose parish church and polar museum are well worth visiting. In the early evening the ship will sail out of Isfjorden.
Day 2: 14th of July Glacier
Heading north along the west coast, arrive by morning in Krossfjorden, where you board the Zodiacs for a cruise along the sculpted front of the 14th of July Glacier. On the green slopes near the glacier, a colourful variety of flowers bloom, while large numbers of Kittiwake and Brunnich's Guillemot nest on the nearby cliffs. There is also a good chance of spotting Arctic fox, who patrol the base of the cliffs in case a chick falls from its nest, and bearded seal, who cruise this fjord. In the afternoon you sail to Ny Alesund, the world's most northerly settlement.
Once a mining village - served by the world's most northerly railway, which can still be seen - Ny Alesund is now a research centre. Close to the village is a breeding ground for Barnacle Goose, Pink-footed Goose and Arctic Tern. Visitors interested in the history of Arctic exploration will want to walk to the anchoring mast used by Amundsen and Nobile, in the airship Norge in 1926 and Nobile in the airship Italia in 1928, before their flights to the North Pole
Day 3: Monaco Glacier
Near the mouth of Liefdefjorden, you step ashore for a walk across the tundra of Reindyrsflya. You may also sail into the fjord and cruise within sight of the 5-kilometer-long (3.1 miles) face of the precipitous Monaco Glacier. The waters in front of this glacier are a favorite feeding spot for thousands of kittiwakes, and the base of the ice is a popular polar bear hunting ground. If ice conditions prevent sailing here early in the season, an alternate route along the west coast of Spitsbergen can be implemented.
Days 4-5: Phippsoya
The northernmost point of your voyage may be north of Nordaustlandet, in the Seven Islands. Here you reach 80° north, just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole. Polar bears inhabit this region, so the ship may park for several hours among the pack ice to watch for them. When the edge of this sea ice is tens of miles north of the Seven Islands (mostly in August), you can spend a second day in this area. Alternatively (mostly in July) you may turn to Sorgfjord, where you have the chance to find a herd of walruses not far from the graves of 17th century whalers. A nature walk here can bring you close to families of ptarmigans, and the opposite side of the fjord is also a beautiful area for an excursion.
Day 6: Hinlopen Highlights
Today you sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to bearded and ringed seals as well as polar bears. At the entrance there is even the possibility to spot blue whales. As with Liefdefjorden, you can take an alternate west Spitsbergen route if ice prevents entry into Hinlopen. After cruising among the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in the Zodiacs, you then view the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with their thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots. On the east side of Hinlopen Strait, you may attempt a landing where reindeer, pink-footed geese, and walruses are likely sights. Near Torrelneset you can also visit the polar desert of Nordaustlandet, next to the world’s third-largest ice cap. Here you may encounter walruses during a coastline hike over the area’s raised beaches.
Day 7: Barentsoya and Edgeoya
The plan is to make landings in Freemansundet, though polar bears sometimes make this impossible. Potential stops on Barentsøya include Sundneset (for an old trapper’s hut), Kapp Waldburg (for its kittiwake colony), and Rindedalen (for a walk across the tundra). You might also cruise south to Diskobukta, though Kapp Lee is more likely your destination. On Kapp Lee is a walrus haul-out, Pomor ruins, and the chance for hikes along Edgeøya.
Day 8: Hornsund
You start the day quietly cruising the side fjords of the spectacular Hornsund area of southern Spitsbergen, enjoying the scenery of towering mountain peaks. Hornsundtind rises to 1,431m, while Bautaen shows why early Dutch explorers gave the name 'Spitsbergen' - pointed mountains - to the island. There are also 14 magnificent glaciers in the area and very good chances of encounters with seals and Polar Bear.
Day 9: Ahlstrandhalvoya and Recherchefjorden
Today you land on Ahlstrandhalvya at the mouth of Van Keulenfjorden. Here piles of Beluga skeletons (the Beluga is a small white whale), the remains of 19th century slaughter, are yet another reminder of the consequences of thoughtless exploitation. Fortunately, Beluga were not hunted to the edge of extinction and may still be seen locally. Indeed, there is a good chance that you will come across a pod. Cruising into Recherchefjorden during the afternoon, explore an area of tundra at the head of the fjord where many reindeer feed.
Day 10: Longyearbyen
Return to Longyearbyen and disembark for the transfer to the airport and the flight to Oslo and home.
NOTE: 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.
What our customers think
We were really lucky with sightings; saw polar bears on four occasions, blue whales twice, lots of fin whales and about 70 beluga whales in an hour on one day, as well as a couple of lovely white arctic foxes and a few walruses.
Declan UK August 2017
About The Ship
Prices, Departures and Inclusions
Prices quoted below are per person based on 2 people sharing. Cabin availability changes all the time so please contact us for up-to-date details and information on specific cabin availability.
* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in EUR (€) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost €4100
- The 6-Jul-2018, 11-Aug-2018 and 20-Aug-2018 are German/English departures.
Single Supplement & Child Policy
For those travelling solo and want their own cabin, the single supplement is 1.7 times the cost of a single berth, please contact us for details. However, there is no single supplement for passengers willing to share a cabin.
Child Policy: Children aged 10 years old or over are welcome. On select departures, children under 16 may receive a 40 % discount, please contact us for details.
- Voyage aboard the vessel as indicated in the itinerary
- Accommodation during the voyage on full board basis
- All shore excursions and zodiac activities
- Educational lectures by expert onboard polar guides
- Access to an onboard doctor and basic medical services
- Loan of rubber boots for the voyage's duration
- Comprehensive pre-departure information
- Port taxes and any entry fees to historic landing sites
- Flights to & from points of embarkation/disembarkation
- Any additional services before & after your voyage
- Transfers not specific to the itinerary
- Travel insurance
- Optional adventure activities
- Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses
- Airport arrival or departure taxes
- Items of a personal nature: laundry, beverages, etc
- Customary staff gratuity at the end of the voyage
- Additional onboard purchases (i.e. gift shop)