During the afternoon cross Kongsfjord from Krossfjorden to the town site of Ny Alesund, a former mining village and currently the world’s most northern community. Founded by the Kings Bay Kull Company A/S in 1916, Ny Alesund operated as a coal mine sporadically until coal mining was ended in 1962. Since then, the community has become the site of numerous international polar science institutes. Ny Alesund earned its place in aviation pioneering history as a jumping off place for North Pole aviation exploration. Notable pioneer aviators such as Zeppelin, Amundsen, Ellsworth, Byrd and Nobile all used Ny Alesund and the airship anchor pylon for Amundsen and Nobile is still in place today.
Just a few miles from Fuglesangen is the former whaling station of Smeerenburg, literally translated as Blubber Town. Hike the shoreline of this former whaling station, learning about the importance of whaling in the discovery and exploration of the Svalbard archipelago. A harsh industry in an equally harsh environment and as a testament to this whaling site all that is left is the blubber ovens.
At 81 degrees north latitude, Phippsoya is only 540 nautical miles from the North Pole. Because of its proximity to the pack ice, Phippsoya offers the potential for great polar bear viewing. Be sure to get up to the bridge and take a picture of the GPS showing your latitude or, better yet, take your own handheld GPS with you and mark in the waypoint.
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 is often a great place to spot polar bears.
Search for the belugas and then hope to go ashore at Bourbonhamna. A hunter’s cabin, grinding wheel and two overturned boats are points of interest a short walk away at Ingebrigstenbukta. However, it is the massive piles of beluga whalebones that catch everybody’s attention. The bones and all the artifacts are protected by the Svalbard Government and cannot be removed. While wandering amongst these bone relics you may also expect to glimpse dozens of reindeer in the area.
Landing at Dolerittneset near Kapp Lee, you will remark on the lush vegetation of this region, although in the high 70’s of latitude. This site has a large scattering of reindeer antlers, but it is the plethora of ancient whalebones that makes the landing memorable. Some 400 years ago whales were slaughtered here and were hunted almost to extinction in the waters of Svalbard. Now nature has turned the decaying old bones into items of beauty. Time and the elements have altered their original shape and sculptured them into works of art. They are painted with luxuriant blankets of green mosses and grasses, spattered with blotches of black and orange lichen, and framed with purple saxifrage, yellow cinquefoil and white sandwort. Now, even after death, the noble whale supports life by robustly protecting the delicate flora from the harsh winds and providing nutrients to ensure their survival.
Glacier-filled bays abound in Hornsund and sail with your expedition vessel into one of these bays for a close-up view of the glacier. The entire archipelago of Svalbard is a lesson in glaciology and onboard guides will use hikes and zodiac cruises as classrooms for continuing tuition on the formation of this fantastic landscape.
|Triple Share||Twin Semi-Private||Twin Private||Superior||Shakleton Suite||One Ocean Suite|
|Kayaking option: $695|
Initial deposit is $1700 for Antarctic Voyages, $2100 for Arctic Voyages, and most travelers will call our office and pay the deposit with a credit card. We accept Visa, Mastercard, AmEx, and Discover. Alternatively, you can send a check to our Missoula, Montana, office or register online at: https://www.adventure-life.com/forms/register
Final payment is due 100 days prior to departure.
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|Days Prior to departure||Fee|
|90 days or more||Deposit|
|89 days or less||100% trip cost|