Faire Isle – Jan Mayen – Spitsbergen, Whale Safari

Explorer CruiseSpitsbergen

From $2,380 USD
May 18 - May 29, 2018
12 Days / 11 Nights

Sail on the mv Ortelius on a whale safari, Hansweert or Aberdeen across the North Sea to Faire Island, Jan Mayen, to Longyearbyen, West Spitsbergen.


Join the mv Ortelius on a 12 or 9-day voyage across the North Sea. Embark in Hansweert or Aberdeen, sail to the Fair Isle in the Shetlands, a haven for sea-birds. Continue north to the Norwegian island of Jan Mayen, dominated by Mt Beerenberg, a 2300m volcano with impressive glaciers. Watch for the blow of Minke, Fin or Blue Whale; visit a 17th century Dutch whaling station. Look for Bowhead Whales, Harp Seals, Polar Bears before reaching Spitsbergen.


May 18 - May 29, 2018


OTL2a S, May 18 - May 29, 2018, 11 nights, from $2,380, from Vlissingen
OTL 2b S, May 20 - May 29, 2018, 9 nights, from $2,130, from Aberdeen


  • Quadruple Porthole, OTL2a
  • $2,380
  • Quadruple Porthole, OTL 2b
  • $2,130
  • Triple Porthole, OTL 2a
  • 2,970
  • Triple Porthole, OTL 2b
  • $2,660
  • Twin Porthole, OTL 2a
  • $3,320
  • Twin Porthole, OTL 2b
  • $2,980
  • Twin Window, OTL 2a
  • $3,630
  • Twin Window, OTL 2b
  • $3,260
  • Twin Deluxe, OTL 2a
  • $3,880
  • Twin Deluxe, OTL 2b
  • $3,490
  • Superior, OTL 2a
  • $4,400
  • Superior, OTL 2b
  • $3,960

OTL 2a, Rates per person in USD, 2018, 11 nights.
OTL 2b, Rates per person in USD, 2018, 9 nights.


  • 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 Plancius and Ortelius
  • 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. Please note that 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

  • S=Snowshoe / hiking. Activity is free of charge


OTL03a, 11 night voyage:
Departure from Hansweert. In Hansweert passengers will board the ship at mid-day.

Day 2 AT SEA

We cross the North Sea.


OTL03b, 9 nights voyage:
Arrival in Aberdeen, famed as the Granite City and many times a winner of the Britain in Bloom competition. As we reach the North Sea, we see the lighthouse on Girdle Ness to the south, designed by the grandfather of Robert Louis Stevenson.

More passengers will board the ship in Aberdeen.

The Scottish waters offer excellent possibilities to spot Minke Whale, White-beaked Dolphin and Harbour Porpoise. Several other cetaceans, including Orca (Killer Whale), are also native to these waters.

The highlights of Day 3: Killer Whale / White-beaked Dolphin / Minke Whale


At Fair Isle, in the Shetlands, we are welcomed by the 70 or so inhabitants (famed for their knitwear, examples of which we will see) to be followed by a walk to the bird observatory. Fair Isle is a haven for sea-birds, which are very accessible. We also view Grey Seals.

The highlights of Day 4: Bird Observatory / Storm Petrels / Red-throated Diver

Day 5 - 6 AT SEA

We sail north to the Norwegian island of Jan Mayen, situated 300 nautical miles north-east of Iceland. During our two days at sea there will be plenty of time to watch for the blow of a Minke, Fin or Blue Whale, which could herald a rewarding encounter with these gentle giants. Perhaps we might run into a pod of Orca, who can often be quite curious about boats such as ours.

The highlights of Day 5 - 6: Blue Whale / Minke Whale / Killer Whale


Jan Mayen is a volcanic island of breathtaking beauty and mystique, dominated by Mt Beerenberg. From the slopes of the 2300m volcano, impressive glaciers spill into the sea. Until recently, the island was off-limits as it is a military base, and was rarely visited by tourists, but with permission from the Norwegian authorities we hope to visit the weather station. We will also walk across the island to Kvalrossbukta to look at the remains of a 17th century Dutch whaling station and a substantial colony of Fulmar.

The highlights of Day 7: Volcanic Island / Mt Beerenberg / 17th Century Dutch Whaling Station

Day 8 - 10 AT SEA

In the midnight sun, we sail north along the edge of the sea-ice, looking out for Bowhead Whales, Harp Seals, Polar Bears and a variety of seabirds, until about 79 North. Then we will sail west to the edges of the continental shelf off West Spitsbergen, where we have good chances to meet Finn Whales and near the mouths of the big Spitsbergen fjords, Minke Whales.

Highlight: Sailing along the sea-ice edge


We will look for Walrus at Poolepynten. In the evening we could land at Alkhornet another seabird colony, where at the slopes we can find reindeer and Arctic Fox.

Highlights: Walrus / Svalbard Reindeer / Arctic Fox


We disembark in Longyearbyen, the administrative centre of Spitsbergen, for flights south to Oslo and onward home.