Day 1: Longyearbyen
Longyearbyen, the capital of the Svalbard archipelago, is located on Svalbard's main island of Spitsbergen. A former mining town with a permanent population of just over 2,000 people, it has the most northerly airport to receive scheduled flights in the world. Ringed in by mountains, this small town during the summer months becomes the focus for all visitor exploring the archipelago.
Day 2: Lilliehöök Glacier
Welcome to Cross Bay’s décor of plutonic rocks and tundra. Admire the immense expanses of flowers that cover the mountain slopes, amidst 14 alpine glaciers plunging majestically into the sea.
In this setting of wild beauty, which endemic wildlife has chosen to call home, set off to discover the sublime Lilliehöök Glacier. Located in the fjord of the same name, it forms a kind of circle and its front is 7 km wide. As you approach it, you will fall under the spell of the icebergs floating around it, like jewels bedecking the magical waters of the Arctic. Walruses, sea birds, seals and Svalbard reindeer will perhaps accompany as you explore these unique places.
Day 3: 14th July Glacier
At the entrance to Cross Bay, between tundra, plutonic rocks and mountains covered with a surprising endemic flora, come face to face with the 14th July Glacier. It was thus named by Prince Albert I of Monaco, following an expedition that he led there at the beginning of the 20th century.
The glacier’s surroundings are frequented by numerous birds (Tridactyl gulls, thick-billed murres, barnacle geese, common eiders, Atlantic puffins…), as well as Arctic foxes and reindeer. As you arrive in front of the glacier, admire the impressive wall of ice and the reflection of the cliffs in the water. It is quite common to see a section of ice come loose, or a bearded seal lounging on an iceberg.
Day 4: Magdalenefjorden, Spitsbergen
Nestling in north western Spitsbergen, Magdalena Bay is one of Svalbard’s unmissable sites. In a spectacular landscape of snow-topped Alpine mountains, deep fjords, beaches and majestic glaciers, it offers multiple opportunities for wonderment. It's not uncommon to observe whales, walruses, seals, common eiders, terns, polar bears and Arctic foxes here.
The site of Gravneset, located in Magdalenafjorden, is home to the remnants of a former whaling station used during the 17th century, as well as the graves of many sailors buried here up until the end of the 18th century. Not far from here, the Gully Glacier offers a magnificent view, a delight for photographers.
Day 5: Virgohamna, Spitsbergen
A day in a land of rich history! Virgohamna, or Virgo Bay, to the north west of Spitsbergen, was home to a whaling station in the 17th century. Above all, though, it is known as the staging area for many attempts to reach the North Pole by balloon. In 1896, Swedish balloonist Andrée set up camp here and lifted off a year later with two team members on a trip that would cost them their lives. A few years later, the American explorer Wellmann also attempted this crazy adventure, without success.
During your visit, you will be able to see a pile of planks, rusty cans, pipes, debris from earthenware and all kinds of waste on the ground. Visitors are asked to respect these historic remnants, in homage to the conquerors of the poles.
Day 6: Sailing Among Ice Floes
Your captain will sail right up to the limit of the ice, to the edge of the ice floe. Weather conditions and state of the ice allowing, you will be able to go out in a Zodiac for a unique experience in the middle of these floating slabs of ice. In addition to this grandiose journey through the middle of these floes with their cut and blue-tinged edges, sometimes over 2 metres thick, it is also often an opportunity to see a particular kind of fauna, totally dependent on the ice floe: birds, seals and polar bears.
Day 7: Texas Bar, Liefdefjorden and Monacobreen
Despite the name given to the place, we are neither in Texas nor in a bar; it is actually an unusual place in the High Arctic. Texas Bar is a former trapper’s hut that was used by Arctic fox and polar bear hunters in the past. The hut, still in place, has a rudimentary interior with bunkbeds and kitchen utensils. Located at the entrance to Liefdefjorden (the “fjord of love”), it stands peacefully in a landscape of hills covered with moss, lichen and flowers.
The cliffs with their changing colours, very frequented by birds, complete the beauty of the panorama. Take a little hike up the slopes and admire the superb view over the Monaco Glacier, which is further south.
Day 8: Monaco Glacier, Spitsbergen
Located to the North-West of the Svalbard archipelago, the Monaco Glacier is probably one of Spitsbergen’s most beautiful and majestic. Named in honour of Prince Albert I of Monaco, a sailor, it stands as an impenetrable, blue-tinged jagged wall, the last glacier before reaching a latitude of 80° North.
Imagine the sound of the ice cracking as it breaks free and crashes into the transparent water. And to make the magical landscape even more perfect, you might be lucky enough to spot bears and whales, as these two animals have a special fondness for this area.
Day 9: Ny Ålesund and Kongsbreen kongsfjorden
During your cruise, discover Ny-Ålesund, a former mining town that has been transformed into a scientific base. Founded in 1916, this small town was the departure point for many Arctic expeditions, including those of the famous explorer Roald Amundsen. Don't miss a visit to the museum and its famous post office, considered to be the most northerly in the world!
Day 10: Kongsfjorden, Spitsbergen
Very close to the former mining town of Ny-Ålesund, set off to discover Kings Bay. Your ship will sail in one of the most beautiful fjords in Svalbard: Kongsfjorden (the fjord of the King), a gateway to grandiose landscapes. Here, the snow-capped mountains are reflected in the water where superb icebergs try to outdo each other in their beauty, another treat for photographers.
You can expect to be in the company of the bearded seals, reindeer, barnacle geese and black guillemots that frequent the area. Once you arrive at the end of the fjord, admire the Kongsbreen (glacier of the King) and its three characteristic rocky points, which take their names from three Scandinavian countries: Svea (Sweden), Dana (Denmark) and Nora (Norway).
Day 11: Alkhornet, Spitsbergen
At the northern entrance of Isfjorden, there is a small paradise for bird lovers: the Alkhornet Cliff. It is home to a very rich avifauna, made up of thousands of birds frolicking in a joyous tumult: gulls, guillemots, pink-footed geese, terns, seagulls, puffins, Arctic skuas…
The Alkhornet Cliff, easily recognisable by its rhinoceros-horn shape, is also visited by reindeer, which are not overly timid. Attracted by the tundra that covers the foot of the mountain, they come to graze in peace in a verdant setting covered with grass and moss. With a little luck, you will perhaps have the opportunity to see some seals and Arctic foxes, who are also regular visitors.
Day 12: Pyramiden, Spitsbergen
This port of call will definitely make an impression on history enthusiasts. A real ghost town, Pyramiden was founded by Sweden at the beginning of the 20th century before being sold a few years later to the Soviet Union. Constructed at the foot of a mountain in the form of a pyramid, this former mining town, abandoned in 1998, has conserved all the buildings from its glory days, when it lived off coal mining.
During your visit, you will be able to walk past a swimming pool, swings, a football pitch and a cinema. Even more unusual: reindeer like to wander the deserted streets, the only companions for the handful of men who still live there in summer.
Day 13: Nordenskiöld, Spitsbergen
In the Billefjorden, one of the three branches of the Isfjorden, you will approach the majestic Nordenskiöld Glacier, right opposite Pyramiden, a former Russian mining settlement. This wall of ice with turquoise blue reflections, whose name is a tribute to the Finnish geologist Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld (1832-1901), is 25 km long and 11 km wide. You could be lucky enough to see a polar bear walking along the coastal ice or on the surrounding rocks.
Day 14: Disembarkation in Longyearbyen
Upon reaching your return to Longyearbyen, you'll disembark from your home for the past two weeks, ready for your onward travel.
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.
About The Ship
- Modern luxury ships for 264 guests
- 5* experience without the high price tag
- 95% of the suites have a private balcony
- 1C ice class + advanced stabilizing system
- Only zodiac landings & excursions
- Rubber boots are provided on loan
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.
This trip can run as a group trip, with prices starting from $10,652 per person for a complete group. If you are looking to join a group or you are a solo traveller we will help to form likeminded groups of travellers. Please let us know your travel plans.
The trip can also run on a private basis to fit around your plans. Departures may be tailored and can be set up on a date of your choice. Please note that there is a higher price for smaller groups. Please enquire for further details.
- Includes roundtrip flight Paris/ Longyearbyen return
- Open Bar for duration of voyage
- 24 hour room service
- Pre and post voyage transfers
- Voyage aboard the vessel as indicated in the itinerary
- Accommodation & meals during the voyage on full board
- 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
- Access to fitness room
- Laundry, wake up & photography services
- Unlimited Wi-Fi on board
- Complimentary waterproof parka jacket
- Comprehensive pre-departure information
- Port taxes & any entry fees to landing sites
- Safety and port taxes (EUR 500 per person)
- Airport taxes (EUR 40 per person)
- Flights to and from points of embarkation/disembarkation
- Any additional pre/post land services, including meals
- Transfers not specified in the itinerary
- Optional non-complimentary adventure activities
- Visa, passport and any vaccination expenses
- Airport arrival or departure taxes
- Personal travel insurance
- Items of a personal nature (laundry, beverages, etc)
- Customary staff gratuity at the end of the voyage
- Additional onboard purchases (i.e. gift shop)