North Spitsbergen – Polar Bear & Pack Ice Special

Explorer CruiseNorway and Spitsbergen

From $4,050 USD
May 27 - June 28, 2019
8 Days / 7 Nights

North Spitsbergen-Polar Bear & Pack Ice Special, adventure voyage on Plancius and new Hondius. Explore an Arctic island with Polar Bear and Midnight Sun.


Join us on the North Spitsbergen-Polar Bear & Pack Ice Special, an adventure voyage on m/v Plancius and the newest, most advanced vessel, the Hondius. The Hondius is the world’s first-registered Polar Class 6 cruise ship, optimized for exploratory voyages providing you the utmost first-hand contact with the Arctic. Spitsbergen, land of Polar Bear and Midnight Sun, of fjords, ice and glaciers, with some of the finest scenery and wildlife in the world.


May 27 - June 17, 2019


m/v Plancius
Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen
PLA04, May 27 - June 3, 7 nights
PLA05, June 3 - June 10, 7 nights
PLA06,  June 10 - June 17, 7 nights
PLA07, June 17 - June 24, 7 nights

m/v Hondius
Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen
HDS04, June 14 - June 21, 7 nights
HDS05, June 21 - June 28, 7 nights
HDS06, June 28 - July 5, 7 nights

Snowshoeing on all above departures. Snowshoe/Hiking. Free rental of snowshoes.


  • m/v Plancius, regular rates in USD, per person
  • Quadruple Porthole - $4,050
  • Triple Porthole - $5,000
  • Twin Porthole - $5,600
  • Twin Window - $6,100
  • Twin Deluxe - $6,500
  • Superior - $7,350
  • Additional category cabins on m/v Hondius
  • Junior Suite - $7,900
  • Grand Suite with balcony - $9,100
  • Hondius Suite - $ 10,500


  • 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 and leadership by experienced expedition staff
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes
  • Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers
  • on the group flights to and 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
  • 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)
  • $25 Service fee

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 and Ortelius,  and 90 on Hondius.

Tour Options

  • Snowshoe/hiking, including the use of snow shoes, Free of charge
  • We are please to offer the Spitsbergen, 4th (Bradt Travel Guide) by Andreas Umbreit (Jul 15, 2009), $12.-


Largest town, biggest island
You touch down in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Enjoy strolling around this former mining town, whose parish church and Svalbard Museum make for fascinating attractions. Though the countryside appears stark, more than a hundred species of plant have been recorded in it. In the early evening the ship sails out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of your voyage.


Route to Raudfjorden
Sailing to Raudfjorden, on the north coast of Spitsbergen, you take in an expansive fjord spilling with glaciers – and maybe even visited by ringed and bearded seals. The cliffs and shoreline of this fjord also support thriving seabird colonies, rich vegetation, and the possibility of polar bears.


The massive Monaco Glacier
Depending on the weather, you could sail into Liefdefjorden 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.


Highlights of Hinlopen
Today you sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to bearded seals, ringed seals, and polar bears. At the entrance there is even the possibility to spot blue whales. After cruising among the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in the Zodiacs, you can 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 on Nordaustlandet. Here reindeer, pink-footed geese, and walruses are likely sights. You can take an alternate route if ice prevents entry into Hinlopen.


Stop at the Seven Islands
The northernmost point of your voyage may be north of Nordaustlandet, in the Seven Islands. Here you reach 80° north, just 870 km (540 miles) from the geographic North Pole. Polar bears inhabit this region, so the ship may park for several hours among the pack ice before wheeling around west again.


Sailing the continental shelf
While retracing your route west, keep watch for polar bears and elusive Greenland (bowhead) whales. About 40 nautical miles west of Spitsbergen, you sail the edge of the continental shelf. Here fin whales forage during the summer in the upwelling zones (where cold, nutrient-rich water wells up from below the sea's surface) that run along the Spitsbergen banks. At the mouth of Kongsfjorden, you have a good chance of sighting minke whales.


Reindeer, foxes, and so many seabirds
Walruses sometimes haul out in Forlandsundet, your next stop. Alternatively, you might sail into St. Johns Fjord or south to the mouth of Isfjorden, landing at Alkhornet. Seabirds nest on these cliffs, Arctic foxes search below for fallen eggs and chicks, and reindeer graze the sparse vegetation. You arrive in Longyearbyen later at night.


There and back again
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. You disembark in Longyearbyen, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

Please note: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. The onboard expedition leader determines the final itinerary. Average cruising speed for m/v Hondius is 10,5 knots.