Around Spitsbergen

Explorer CruiseNorway and Spitsbergen

BEST SELLER
From $4,900 USD
July 5 - August 11, 2018
10 Days / 9 Nights

Around Spitsbergen cruise on m/v Plancius and Ortelius, the Arctic Archipelago, wilderness with fjords, jagged mountains, huge glaciers and rich wildlife.

Overview

Around Spitsbergen explorer cruise on m/v Plancius and Ortelius, around the Arctic Archipelago about 600 miles from the North Pole. Spitsbergen is the largest wilderness area of Europe, with National Parks and Nature Preserves outside four human settlements, an unspoilt oasis of fjords, jagged mountains and huge glacier fronts. Zodiac excursions reward you with views of colonies of nesting birds, mammals, reindeer, arctic fox, and the polar bear.

Operation

July 5 - August 11, 2018

Departure

  • OTL9, July 14 - July 23, 2018, 9 nights
  • OTL11, August 1 - August 10, 2018, 9 nights
  • PLA9 B D, July 6 - July 15, 2018, 9 nights
  • PLA13 B, August 11 - August 20, 2018, 9 nights

Price

  • Quadruple Porthole: $4,900
  • Triple Porthole: $6,000
  • Twin Porthole: $7,000
  • Twin Window: $7,450
  • Twin Deluxe: $7,900
  • Superior: $8,850

m/v Otelius & Plancius, per person, prices in USD.

Included

  • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists
  • Experienced expedition staff
  • Free use of rubber boots and snow shoes
  • On Spitsbergen voyages: Transfers and baggage handling between the airport,
  • hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to/from Longyearbyen
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • AECO fees and governmental taxes
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material

Not Included

  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
  • Pre- and post land arrangements
  • Transfers to / from the vessel outside Spitsbergen
  • Passport and visa expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes
  • Meals ashore
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory)
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges
  • Customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided)
  • Service fee $25

Please Note

  • The ice conditions will determine the sailing plan.
  • All rates are quoted per person in US Dollar, based on twin occupancy. US Dollar rates apply for all sales outside Europe. 5% Discount will be granted for bookings for one or more consecutive voyages.
  • All dates & rates are subject to change. All voyages will operate subject to a minimum of 70 participants on Plancius, 60 participants on Ortelius.

Tour Options

  • B = Bilingual: English - German PLA13
  • G = German speaking

Day 1 ARRIVAL 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 KROSSFJORDEN - NY ALESUND

Heading north along the west coast, we arrive by morning in Krossfjorden, where we 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 Brünnich'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 we 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 center. 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.

Highlights of Day 2: Kittiwake and Brünnich's Guillemot | Arctic Fox | Barnacle Goose, Pink-footed Goose and Arctic Tern

Day 3 LIEFDEFJORDEN - MONACO GLACIER

Near the mouth of Liefdefjorden, we will go ashore for a walk on the tundra of Reindyrsflya. Sailing into Liefdefjorden, we will cruise near the face of the impressive Monaco Glacier. The waters of the glacier front are a favorite feeding spot for thousands of Kittiwakes and occasionally Polar Bear are seen on the glacier.

Highlights of Day 3: The impressive Monaco Glacier | Thousands of Kittiwakes

Day 4 & 5 PHIPPSØYA - NORDAUSTLANDET

We have our northernmost landing at Phippsøya, in the Seven Islands north of Nordaustlandet. Here we will be at 81 degrees north, just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole. Polar Bear inhabit this region, along with Walrus and Ivory Gull. We may sit for several hours in the pack ice, taking in our spectacular surroundings with their own wildlife. When the edge of the sea-ice is tens of miles north of the Seven Islands (mostly in August) we will spend a second day to get to and in the sea ice.

Alternatively (mostly in July) we turn to Sorgfjord where we may find a herd of Walrus not far from the graves of 17th century whalers. On a nature walk, we may encounter families of Ptarmigans. The opposite side of the fjord is also a beautiful area for an excursion.

Highlights of Day 4 & 5: 81 degrees north, just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole | Pack ice | Polar Bears

Day 6 HINLOPEN STRAIT

Today we will sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to Bearded Seal, Ringed Seal, Polar Bear, and Ivory Gull. We'll navigate the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in our zodiacs and explore the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with thousands of Brünnich's Guillemot. On the east side of Hinlopenstrait, we'll attempt a landing at Augustabukta on Nordaustlandet, home to reindeer, Pink-footed Goose, breeding Ivory Gull, and Walrus. Near Torrelneset, we will explore the polar desert of Nordaustlandet, next to the world's third largest ice cap, which meets the sea nearby. We will walk along beautiful coastline covered in smooth rocks, sculpted by the surf over thousands of years. We may encounter Walrus along the way.

Day 7 BARENTSØYA - EDGEØYA

In Freemansundet we plan to land at Sundneset on the island of Barentsøya to visit an old trapper's hut and then take a brisk walk across the tundra in search of Spitsbergen Reindeer and Barnacle Goose. Later we cruise south to Diskobukta on the west side of Edgeøya.

After a Zodiac cruise through the shallow bay, we land on a beach littered with whale bones and tree trunks, which have drifted here from Siberia. We can also climb to the rim of a narrow gully which is inhabited by thousands of Kitttiwake, together with Black Guillemot and piratical Glaucous Gull. During the breeding season, the base of the cliffs is patrolled by Arctic Fox and Polar Bear, especially females with young cubs, searching for young birds that have fallen from the nesting ledges.

Highlights of Day 7: Visit an old trapper's hut | Walk across the tundra in search of Spitsbergen Reindeer

Day 8 CRUISING THE HORNSUND

We 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.

Highlights of Day 8: Enjoy the scenery of towering mountain peaks | Encounters with seals and Polar Bear

Day 9 AHLSTRANDHALVØYA - RECHERCHEFJORDEN

Today we land on Ahlstrandhalvøya 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 we will come across a pod. Cruising into Recherchefjorden during the afternoon we can explore an area of tundra at the head of the fjord where many reindeer feed.

Highlights of Day 9: 19th century remains of Beluga whale bones

Day 10 ARRIVAL LONGYEARBYEN

Return to Longyearbyen and disembark for the transfer to the airport and the flight to Oslo and home.

The ice conditions will determine the sailing plan, but the above is a realistic plan.

Please note: The chances that we can complete a full Spitsbergen Circumnavigation (based on our experiences from 1992 until 2014) are about, 20 % in the first half of July, 50 % in the second half of July, 80 % in the first half of August, 90 % in the second half of August. In case we cannot complete a full circumnavigation we will mostly resort to a program in Northeast or Southeast Spitsbergen.

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