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Giant whale jaw in the arctic

Around Spitsbergen

Example 10 Day Cruise aboard MV Plancius
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Embark on a 10-day arctic voyage around Spitsbergen, where you have chances to see the King of the Arctic, walrus, reindeer, various bird species, and surprisingly beautiful flora. Aboard the MV Plancius, an ice-strengthened vessel that is ideal for polar exploration, discover the remote shores, distinctive wildlife, and thrilling history of Spitsbergen on this unforgettable arctic cruise.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Longyearbyen | Embark
Day 2 : Glaciers and Wildlife on the Western Coast
Day 3 : Andøya | Liefdefjorden | Monaco Glacier
Days 4-5 : Phippsøya | Seven Islands
Day 6 : Hinlopen Strait
Day 7 : Freemansundet | Barentsøya
Day 8 : Hornsund Glaciers and Wildlife Sightings
Day 9 : Ahlstrandhalvøya | Recherchefjorden
Day 10 : Longyearbyen | Disembark


  • Visit a research center to learn about the arctic's environment and history
  • Discover arctic history with visits to former whaling and hunting stations
  • Board Zodiac dinghies for a closer look at the landscapes and wildlife
  • Encounter an impressive array of wildlife unique to the Arctic region


MV Plancius

Places Visited

  • Arctic
  • Europe
  • Norway
  • Scandinavia
  • Svalbard
  • Ahlstrandhalvøya
  • Andoya
  • Freemansundet
  • Hinlopen Strait (Hinlopenstretet)
  • Hornsund
  • Laagoya
  • Longyearbyen
  • Ny Alesund
  • Phippsoya
  • Seven Islands (Sjuoyane)
  • Spitsbergen


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Giant whale jaw in the arctic Polar bear relaxing on an iceberg. Travelers find a walrus on a zodiac trip through the arctic. Guillemots on the cliffs. Colorful flora of Spitsbergen

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 sails out of Isfjorden as your arctic cruise gets underway.

Day 2 Glaciers and Wildlife on the Western Coast

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Heading north along the west coast, arrive by morning in Krossfjorden, where you take to the Zodiacs for an exhilarating cruise along the sculpted front of the 14th of July Glacier. On the surprisingly green slopes near the glacier, a colorful variety of flowers bloom, while large numbers of kittiwakes and Brünnich’s guillemots nest on the nearby cliffs. There is also a good chance of spotting opportunistic arctic foxes, who patrol the base of the cliffs in case a hapless chick falls from its nest, and bearded seals, who cruise this scenic fjord.

In the afternoon sail to Ny Ålesund, the world’s most northerly settlement and your first port call on your polar voyage. 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 geese, pink-footed geese, and Arctic terns. Visitors interested in the history of arctic exploration can 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 Andøya | Liefdefjorden | Monaco Glacier

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Near the mouth of Liefdefjorden, go ashore for a walk on the tundra island of Andøya. Many common eiders and pink-footed geese nest here, and the more rare king eider may also be seen. Sailing into Liefdefjorden, cruise near the face of the impressive Monaco Glacier. The waters of the glacier front are a favorite feeding spot for thousands of kittiwakes and occasionally polar bears are seen on the glacier.

Day 4-5 Phippsøya | Seven Islands

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Today reach your northernmost point at Phippsøya, in the Seven Islands north of Nordaustlandet. Here you are at 81 degrees north, just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole. Polar bears inhabit this region, along with ivory gulls. Sit for several hours in the pack ice, taking in the spectacular surroundings and seeing a Ross gull, before turning south again.

Day 6 Hinlopen Strait

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to bearded seals, ringed seals, polar bears, and ivory gulls. Navigate the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in your zodiacs 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 geese, breeding ivory gulls, and walruses.

Day 7 Freemansundet | Barentsøya

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In Freemansundet plan to land at Sundneset on the island of Barentsøya to visit an old trapper's hut and then take a brisk walk across the tundra in search of Spitsbergen reindeer and barnacle geese. Later cruise south to Diskobukta on the west side of Edgeøya. After a Zodiac cruise through the shallow bay, land on a beach littered with whale bones and tree trunks, which have drifted here from Siberia. You can also climb to the rim of a narrow gully which is inhabited by thousands of kitttiwakes, together with black guillemots and piratical glaucous gulls. During the breeding season, the base of the cliffs is patrolled by arctic foxes and polar bears, especially females with young cubs, searching for young birds that have fallen from the nesting ledges.

Day 8 Hornsund Glaciers and Wildlife Sightings

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Start the day quietly cruising the side fjords of the spectacular Hornsund area of southern Spitsbergen, enjoying the scenery of towering mountain peaks. Hornsundtind rises to 1,431m while Bautaen shows why early Dutch explorers gave the name ‘Spitsbergen’ - pointed mountains - to the island. There are also 14 magnificent glaciers in the area and very good chances of encounters with seals and polar bears. Visit the Polish research station where the friendly staff give you insight into their research projects. Behind the station the mountains are home to thousands of pairs of nesting little auks.

Day 9 Ahlstrandhalvøya | Recherchefjorden

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today land on Ahlstrandhalvøya at the mouth of Van Keulenfjorden. Here piles of beluga skeletons (the beluga is a small white whale), the remains of 19th-century slaughter, are yet another reminder of the consequences of thoughtless exploitation. Cruising to Recherchefjorden during the afternoon, explore an area of tundra at the head of the fjord where many reindeer feed.

Day 10 Longyearbyen | Disembark

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

MV Plancius

Per person starting at
Plancius' Quadruple Cabin.
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Quadruple Porthole
4 cabins with private facilities, 2 bunk beds. (ca. 15 m2)
The quadruple porthole cabin
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Triple Porthole
2 cabins with private facilities, 1 bunk bed and 1 lower berth. (ca. 15 m2)
Plancius' Twin Porthole Cabin.
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Twin with Porthole
9 twin private cabins with porthole. Two Lower berths. (ca. 15 m2)
Plancius' Twin Window Cabin.
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Twin with Window
26 twin private cabins with window. Two Lower berths (ca. 15 m2)
Plancius' Twin Deluxe Cabin.
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Twin Deluxe
2 twin private deluxe cabins. Lower berths - two single beds.(ca. 15 m2)
Plancius' Superior Cabin.
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10 twin superior cabins. Lower berths (either two single beds or one queen-size bed (ca. 21 m2)


- 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
- 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:
- 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
- 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 MV Plancius reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of US Dollar 25 per passenger per night.


  • 9 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 9 Dinners
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Callie W

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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney

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