Trip Summary and Itinerary Map
- Sail on board a 12 passenger vessel, the small number allowing for huge flexibility
- 8 full days exploring Svalbard, home to thousands of polar bears
- Sail along the ice edge spotting whales and seals
- Single departure 20th August
- This newly refurbished and strong ship makes the perfect platform from which to explore in small groups
- 2 highly experienced guides to accompany you along the way
Aug 20th – Embarkation Day:
Board the Kinfish at 4pm from the dock in Longyearbyen and enjoy a welcome cocktail with the captain.
August 21st to August 29th – Expedition Days:
While there is a carefully planned daily schedule based on distances between points of interest and the location of the ice in any given season, our timetable in Svalbard by nature must be flexible.
We usually begin by heading north towards the ice edge which is a great place to scout for polar bears, but that’s not the only goal. We’ll use our planned itinerary as a rough guide so that every day the conditions are maximized for the best wildlife watching opportunities, be they land or sea-based.
Every morning your Expedition Leader will work with the bridge officers to make decisions about the day, taking into account ice situation and the weather, looking at whether Plan A makes the most sense or if Plan B, C, or D will be better for us. If we come across something amazing, we would never just pull the plug because we have something else “scheduled” for the afternoon. While the captain has final say on all decisions made, we will always check in with the group and take into account your wishes.
What to expect:
Svalbard has a little bit of everything, including massive scenic fjords from which artfully sculpted glaciers emerge to meet the sea, up to the high snowcapped peaks, and all the way down to Arctic tundra covered in colourful vegetation such as mosses and lichens that the Svalbard reindeer love to feed on. It’s not uncommon to find seals or walruses resting on ice floes at the mouths of these fjords, and if we’re lucky, we’ll spot a whale or two as we sail up the west coast.
We’ll plan to stop in at the world’s northernmost civilian settlement, the research village of Ny Ålesund, which also boasts the world’s northernmost post office. At the height of the summer season, there are about 120 inhabitants working amongst the 15 permanent research stations. It’s from here that Amundsen and Nobile initiated their courageous attempts to reach the North Pole by airship, and there are a couple of monuments dedicated to their efforts that are worth visiting.
From there we’ll continue heading north, poking into other landing sites and fjords of interest, getting out into the two zodiacs to make landings where we’ll plan hikes to stretch our legs and optimize our chances for excellent wildlife opportunities.
During the entire expedition, we’ll be on the lookout for polar bears, which can be spotted on land just as often as on the sea ice. There are an estimated 3000-4000 animals in the region and the population is considered to be stable. This powerful animal is amazing to behold in the wild, with males weighing up to 700kg when they are at their healthiest. If we find them, we will get as close as we can without disturbing them or putting passengers at any risk. Getting out into the inflatable zodiacs is an excellent way to safely observe the wildlife from proximity.
Weather and ice conditions permitting, we’ll sail into Hinlopen Strait and plan to visit Alkefjellet (‘Bird Mountain’), a series of otherworldly basalt cliffs stretching a number of kilometres in length and in some places, up to 100 meters high,on which we’ll find thousands of nesting birds and the occasional Arctic fox hunting nearby.
Nordauslandet, Bråsvellbreen, Barentsøya, and Edgeøya are all locations that we may also explore, weather and ice permitting, and offer magnificent scenery with vast tundra which hold the prospect of continued incredible landscapes and wildlife sighting opportunities.
Aug 30th – Disembarkation Day:
Disembark in Longyearbyen at around 0800.
About The Ship
- A great illustration of how perfect this little ship is for exploring the ice is that she was originally a research and rescue ship, saving 17 vessels from total loss during her service.
- Ice Class 1A
- She has just 12 passenger capacity and can reach places that larger ships cannot go.
- Facilities include two lounges and an open bridge and there are two zodiacs available for landings.
This little ship has such incredible character and being so small, she really gives an exclusive expedition experience.
Jon Goldsmith Head of Arctic
Prices, Departures and Inclusions
* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in EUR (€) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost €8200
- All nights onboard the Kinfish
- All meals onboard the vessel (including coffee, tea, water and breakfast juice)
- House wine and beer with lunch and dinner
- Expedition leader and guide
- Excursions with two Mark V Zodiac boats
- All flights to and from Svalbard (Longyearbyen)
- Overnight accommodation before and after the expedition
- Premium alcohol and souvenirs purchased onboard
- Tips for the vessel’s crew members
- Cancellation/trip interruption and medical evacuation insurance