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A humpback whale breaks the surface

Spitsbergen Explorer

Example 10 Day Cruise aboard Akademik Sergey Vavilov
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Explore the Svalbard Archipelago - a region by its very nature rich in both wildlife and history on this 10-day Arctic cruise aboard the Akademik Sergey Vavilov.Beginning in the capital city of this Norwegian Territory, from the moment the ship's lines are thrown, enter into the land of the polar bear, beluga whale, walrus, and reindeer.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Embark in Longyearbyen
Day 2 : Krossfjorden
Day 3 : Fuglesangen and Smeerenburg
Day 4 : Liefdefjorden and Monacobreen
Days 5-6 : Into the Ice
Day 7 : Hinlopenstretet
Day 8 : Raudfjorden
Day 9 : Alkehornet and Tryghamna
Day 10 : Disembark in Longyearbyen


Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

A humpback whale breaks the surface A curious arctic fox Travelers set out to explore the wildlife more closely in zodiacs Polar bears lounge in the sun A walrus gathering

Day 1 Embark in Longyearbyen

Embark on your expedition cruise vessel, the Akademik Sergey Vavilov, in Longyearbyen and sail out of Adventfjorden and into Isfjorden during the early evening. On board, meet for an introductory briefing and then adjourn to the dining room for your first meal aboard.

Day 2 Krossfjorden

A fjord cutting deep into the mountains of Spitsbergen, Krossfjorden offers an abundance of wildlife and scenery for your first morning on the ship. Whether it be cruising by ship or zodiac in front of the 15-kilometer-wide face of Lilliehookbreen (glacier), tramping across the tundra in search of a World War II German weather station, or searching for Atlantic puffins on the cliffs near 15th of July Glacier, this is a worthy welcome to the Arctic.

Day 3 Fuglesangen and Smeerenburg

As your zodiac approaches the shore of Fuglesangenoya, it becomes apparent there are thousands of nesting birds on the island. Home to a large dovkie colony, the formation of the island allows for excellent viewing without impacting upon the perimeter of the colony.

As you hike the shoreline of the former whaling station of Smeerenburg (literally translated as "Blubber Town"), learn about the importance of whaling in the discovery and exploration of the Svalbard archipelago. The sole remaining testament to this harsh industry in an equally harsh environment are the blubber ovens found on site.

Day 4 Liefdefjorden and Monacobreen

No trip along the north coast of Spitsbergen would be complete without a visit to Monacobreen (Monaco Glacier). A wide glacier face at the head of the fjord makes for spectacular kayaking and zodiac cruising. The coastal plain near the mouth of Liefdefjorden offers superb hiking and it often a great place to spot polar bears.

Day 5-6 Into the Ice

Your journey lives up to its name of "expedition" when the ship works its way into the ice edge. Senior officers on your capable vessel are experienced ice navigators who examine the ice edge and, when conditions allow, move the ship into the ice in search of wildlife. A day or even two days spent on the ice requires all hands on deck. Warm jackets, binoculars, and spotting scopes are standard and all eyes are engaged in looking for wildlife. Perhaps you can catch a glimpse of a herd of harp seals splashing through the leads between ice flows, a solitary bearded seal soaking up the sun, maybe a walrus and - of course - the mighty polar bear.

Day 7 Hinlopenstretet

Dividing the eastern side of the Svalbard archipelago from the western side, Hinlopen Strait is full of wildlife. The water that flushes through the strait each day is rich in phyto and zooplankton, nourishing the Brunnich's guillemot colony at Aklefjellet on the western shore of Hinlopen Strait. More than 120,000 pairs of guillemots nest on these cliffs each summer. The water moving through Hinlopen Strait each day also brings sea ice, which dictates the ship's access into the area. Exploring the sea ice generally brings you into much closer contact with polar bears and your captain works with the expedition team to maximize the viewing potential.

Day 8 Raudfjorden

Tucked into the northwestern tip of Spitsbergen, Raudfjorden offers an excellent place to hike, zodiac cruise, or kayak. Your excursion takes you on a search of reindeer ashore and ringed and bearded seals adrift. For those interested in the tundra vegetation, especially the wildflower, select spots along the shoreline of this fjord make for excellent hiking and interpretation.

Day 9 Alkehornet and Tryghamna

Alkehorney, of "The Horn," is an incredible horn-shaped mountain close to the entrance of Isfjorden (Ice Fjord). Home to a massive colony of Brunnich's guillemots and black legged kittiwakes, and host to reindeer and Arctic fox, this is an incredible summary of your Arctic visit. A lust tundra slope below the bird cliffs is rich in Arctic flora - and to top it all off, this site has a rich history that unfolds as you hike around the headland.

Day 10 Disembark in Longyearbyen

Enjoy a heart breakfast on board the Akademik Sergey Vavilov before you disembark in Longyearbyen. Transfer to airport to continue your travels.

Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Per person starting at
The Triple Cabins.
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Triple Share
Bunk beds and a sofa bed. Facilities are shared and there is a washbasin in the cabin, writing desk, porthole.
Twin Private Cabins.
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Twin Semi-Private
1 lower berth, 1 sofa bed and semi-private (one bathroom between two cabins) facilities. Writing desk, window.
Twin Private Cabin.
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Twin Private
1 sofa bed, 1 lower berth and private facilities. Writing desk, window.
The Superior Cabins.
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2 lower berths, sofa and private facilities. Writing desk, window.
The Shackelton Suite.
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Shackleton Suite
1 double berth, 1 sofa bed, separate sleeping quarters and private facilities, up-graded bedding. Fridge, TV, VCR, writing desk, windows.
One Ocean Suite.
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One Ocean Suite
1 double berth, 1 sofa bed, separate sleeping quarters and private facilities, up-graded bedding. Fridge, TV, VCR, writing desk, windows.


This Add-on is available only for our travelers extending or customizing their itinerary.

- Single Supplement: 1.5x for twin and superior cabins and 2x for suites. Single supplement is not available in the triple cabin category.

- Child and Youth Prices: 25% discount for young people aged up to 17 years, and 20% off for those aged from 18-21 years who can prove they are in full-time education.

An important note regarding itinerary changes:
Safety comes first and that means weather, ice, wildlife, political or other conditions may require the itinerary to be modified en route - half the intrigue of Polar exploring. In every expedition, each undertaking is a little different. It may mean certain shore excursions may be cancelled if conditions are not suitable but other fun things to do are always found. Polar exploring is not predictable which is one of the many reasons it is so special.
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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
Justin Chappelle

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