Spitsbergen - Basecamp Plancius Cruise

Jan Belgers-Oceanwide Expeditions
Snowshoeing remote polar destinations
Sea kayaking in Antarctica
Rinie van Meurs
A mother bear and her two cubs
Amos Nachoum
Hiking the arctic tundra.
Jesper Regin-Visit
Ski the Arctic.
Oceanwide Expeditions
Plancius lounge area.
Monica Salmang
Bar and observation room
Basecamp Plancius - where all adventure activities are free of charge. The ship becomes your base camp for these polar voyages. “Base camp” is by definition a temporary storing and starting place, from which an activity starts. Activity modules are offered which go beyond a normal shore program. The vessel will stay for two or three days at specific locations to serve active passengers as a comfortable hub to allow more time than usual for wide ranging activities.

Day 1

Longyearbyen / Embark

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

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Glaciers and Wildlife on the Western Coast

Heading north along the west coast, we arrive by morning in Krossfjorden, where we board the Zodiacs for a cruise along the faceof the 14th of July Glacier. On the 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, patrolling 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 Ålesund, the world’s most northerly settlement. Once a mining village - served by the world’s most northerly railway, which can still be seen - Ny Ålesund 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.

Day 3

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Ytre Norskøya

On the offshore island of Ytre Norskøya, we visit a 17th century Dutch whaling site, whose large graveyard is a reminder of the hardships and dangers of life here at that time. The island’s bird life is prolific, with colonies of Little auk, Black guillemot, Brünnich’s guillemot, puffins and Arctic skua accessible to visitors. Eastward, we visit Raudfjord on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, a beautiful fjord dominated by spectacular glaciers and favored by Ringed and Bearded seal. The cliffs and shoreline of the fjord also support thriving seabird colonies and a surprisingly rich vegetation, which flourishes in sheltered spots.

Day 4

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Raudfjord System

Spend the whole day in the Raudfjord system, with ample opportunities for kayaking and hiking (with or without snowshoes) on short or long walks (easy, moderate and challenging hikes are on offer).

Day 5

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Andøya / Snowshoeing

Depending on the weather we may now sail to the mouth of Liefdefjorden and go ashore for a walk on the tundra island of Andøya. Many Common eider and Pink-footed goose nest here, and the more rare King eider may also be seen. We hope to sail into Liefdefjorden, cruising near the 5km long face of the impressive Monaco Glacier. The waters of the glacier front are a favorite feeding spot for thousands of kittiwake and on previous voyages Polar bear have been seen on the glacier, providing wonderful opportunities for photography. The whole day we will have good opportunities for kayaking, and short (easy) to longer (moderate to challenging) hikes (with or without snowshoes).

Day 6

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Bockfjord / Müllerneset

At Bockfjord there are warm water springs with colorful sediments, close to the shore and about 10km inland. There we can climb a volcano which erupted some thousands of years ago. This is about the warmest area of Spitsbergen with stands of Cassiope and Dryas vegetation. The shores of Woodfjord are littered with hundreds of large timber logs from Siberia. Another day full of Basecamp activities: kayaking and hiking!

Day 7

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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 Palanderbukta on Nordaustlandet, home to reindeer, Pink-footed goose, breeding Ivory gull, and walrus.

Day 8

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Our northernmost point could be 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 bears inhabit this region, along with Ivory gull. We may sit for several hours in the pack ice, taking in our spectacular surroundings and perhaps seeing a Ross gull, before we turn south again.

Day 9

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Prins Karls Forland

We land at the northern tip of Prins Karls Forland near Fuglehuken. Seabirds nest on the cliffs and along the coast we see Harbour seal, the only population found in Spitsbergen. Further we also will observe the remains of the Polar bear hunting era, with demolished set guns and bear traps. At the opposite site of Forlandsundet at Sarstangen is a haul out place for walrus. Alternatively we sail into St. Johns Fjord or south to the mouth of Isfjorden and land at Alkhornet. Seabirds nest on its cliffs and Arctic fox search the cliff base for fallen eggs and chicks, while Spitsbergen reindeer graze the relatively luxuriant vegetation. The reindeer may seem unbothered by human presence, but this is not really the case. The animals must survive the harsh winter, when temperatures plummet and food is hard to find, so they preserve what energy they can, fleeing only when it is absolutely necessary. In the afternoon we cruise through beautiful Borebukta, following a glacier front before continuing to Longyearbyen.

Day 10

  • Breakfast

Longyearbyen / Disembark

Return to Longyearbyen and disembark for the transfer to the airport for your flights home or your group charter flight to Brussels, Belgium.

- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double or triple occupancy. Request the Twin or Triple Share Program where you are matched with a cabin mate of the same gender. Even if a cabin mate is not found for you, no single supplement will be charged.
- Single occupancy: All cabins 1.7 times the share twin price
- Due to the extreme nature of itinerary destinations, travel insurance is mandatory for all cruises aboard the Plancius - including medical, accident and repatriation/evacuation insurance.

The ice conditions will determine the sailing plan, either the North or around Spitsbergen itinerary.

All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions and in order to take advantage of opportunities to see wildlife. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.

Fares include:
* 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 on Plancius
* On Spitsbergen voyages: 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 programme.
* 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 strongly recommended); excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges; and the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

Please Note: It is agreed that if world fuel prices will reach or exceed US Dollar $120 per Barrel Brent 90 days prior to departure, the MV Plancius reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of US Dollar 25 per passenger per night.
Asia, Arctic, North America, Europe, Iceland, Norway, Greenland, Svalbard, Canada, Longyearbyen, Ny Alesund, Andoya, Phippsoya, Hinlopen Strait (Hinlopenstretet), Ytre Norskøya Island, Raudfjord, Krossfjorden, Prins Karls Forland, Bockfjord, Western Europe, Scandinavia
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