Arrive in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of Norway's Svalbard archipelago. Located on Spitsbergen, the chain's only permanently inhabited island, Longyearbyen is the largest settlement on the islands. From here board the MV Plancius. Settle in to your cabin and set sail in the early evening.
In the morning, quietly cruise the side fjords of the Hornsund area in southern Spitsbergen. As you sail, admire the towering mountain peaks and expansive landscape. From this perspective, it is easy to tell why the early Dutch explorers named the area Spitsbergen, meaning "pointed mountains." There are 14 magnificent glaciers in the area and high chances of encountering seals and Polar Bears.
At the south side of Bear Island, sail by the largest bird cliffs in the North Atlantic, which were once occupied by more than 10 species of seabirds. Today, the cliffs are deserted except for a very late Fulmar or Gannet. Land at Kvalrossbukta, a 19th century whaling station, and stroll the tundra along the coast. In the evening, hope for clear skies in order to observe the Northern Lights in Zenith.
Continue sailing southward across the Barents Sea for great whale watching opportunities. The area is also favorable for viewing birdlife. In the evening, admire the ever-changing sky as the Northern Lights take form.
Navigate through a maze of fjords, eventually stopping in Tromso, the Norwegian gateway to the Arctic. Disembark the ship after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your connecting flights home.