Polar Bear Special - North Spitsbergen Cruise

Rinie van Meurs
A mother bear and her two cubs
Erwin Vermeulen
Surfacing Humback Whales
Rinie van Meurs
Polar bear relaxing on an iceberg.
Franco Banfi
Unforgettable shades of blue
Franco Banfi
Glimpse the King of the Arctic
Monica Salmang
Bar and observation room
Monica Salmang
Modern and comfortable lounge
Sailing along the pack-ice of North Spitsbergen will provide the best opportunities to spot the King of the Arctic while on this expedition cruise aboard the small ship, Plancius.

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, while in the surrounds of Longyearbyen, more than 100 species of plant have been recorded. In the early evening the ship sails out of Isfjorden, where in the mouth of the fjord we may see our first Minke whale.

Day 2

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Sail to 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. Polar bear are often seen here.

Day 3

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Liefdefjorden / Andøya

Depending on the weather you may 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. 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 kittiwakes. As well, Polar bear have been seen on the glacier, providing wonderful opportunities for photography.

Day 4

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hinlopen Strait

Today sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to Bearded seal, Ringed seal, Polar bear, and Ivory gull. At the entrance there is the possibility to see Blue whale. Navigate the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in your zodiac and explore the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots. On the east side of Hinlopenstrait, attempt a landing at Palanderbukta on Nordaustlandet, home to reindeer, Pink-footed goose, breeding Ivory gull, and walrus.

Day 5

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


Try to reach the northernmost point of your journey at Phippsøya, in the Seven Islands north of Nordaustlandet. Here find yourself at 81 degrees north, just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole. Polar Bbear inhabit this region, along with Ivory gull. The ship may sit for several hours in the pack ice, before turning west again.

Day 6

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Retracing Westward Route

Retracing your route westwards, venture through and along the pack ice, keeping watch for Polar bear and the elusive Greenland whale (Bowhead). About 40 nautical miles west of Spitsbergen sail along the edge of the continental shelf, where Fin whale forage in summer in the upwellings along the Spitsbergen banks. At the mouth of the Kongsfjord you have also good chances to see Minke whale.

Day 7

  • Ship
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Prins Karls Forland

Land at the northern tip of Prins Karls Forland near Fuglehuken. Seabirds nest on the cliffs, and along the coast see Harbour seal, the only population found in Spitsbergen. Here you can also 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, 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. Arrive in Longyearbyen overnight.

Day 8

  • Breakfast

Longyearbyen / Disembark

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

 Quadruple PortholeTriple PortholeTwin with PortholeTwin with WindowTwin DeluxeSuperior
*Please note that the June 9 and 30, 2016 departures are bilingual English-German.
*Free snowshoeing/hiking available for June 9, 16, and 23, 2016 departures.
- 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.

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.
- 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 in cruise fare:
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; 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 fuel prices will exceed US Dollar 120 per Barrel Brent 90 days prior to departure the Plancius reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of EURO 18 per passenger per night.