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Reindeer feeding in the arctic.

Spitsbergen Odyssey

Example 11 Day Cruise aboard Polar Pioneer
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Revel in the diversity of Svalbard Island and sail into the kingdom of the polar bear. Explore the coastline, with no open sea crossings, against a backdrop of spectacular glacier-covered peaks. Discover deep fjords in the west; mysterious, fossil-rich desert plains in the east; and best of all, seals and whales in the Arctic pack ice. This voyage offers the best chance for seeing reindeers and polar bears, and features wildflower walks across sweeping tundra, trapper camps and historic sites. On foot and by Zodiac, visit abandoned whaling settlements, search for walrus, arctic fox and reindeer and observe in millions of migratory birds, including little auks, guillemots and puffin. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Embark in Longyearbyen
Days 2-3 : West Coast | Magdalenefjorden
Days 4-6 : Moffen Island | Woodfjorden
Days 7-8 : Hinlopen Strait | Barentsøya and Edgeøya islands
Days 9-10 : Hornsund and Bellsund Fjords
Day 11 : Disembark in Longyearbyen

Highlights

  • Sail along Spitsbergen’s glacier-filled coastline
  • Enjoy almost 24 hours of exquisite Arctic sunlight
  • Spot polar bears, walruses, ringed seals, auklets, guillemots and puffins
  • Visit abandoned whaling settlements, trapper camps, and historic sites
  • Photograph delicate Arctic tundra flowers

Ship

Polar Pioneer

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Reindeer feeding in the arctic. Kayaking through the arctic waters. Travelers walking across the beaches of Spitsbergen. An arctic fox searches the rocks of the Arctic A polar bear walks across the arctic landscape.

Day 1 Embark in Longyearbyen

Arrive in Spitsbergen and enjoy a tour of colorful Longyearbyen. Late afternoon sees you warmly welcomed on board Polar Pioneer and enjoying your departure under the Midnight Sun.

Day 2-3 West Coast | Magdalenefjorden

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Enjoy stunning alpine peaks and glacier valleys on the cruise up the west coast of Spitsbergen. In Magdalenefjorden, cruise in zodiacs to a safe distance from the aqua-blue cliffs of 14th July Glacier or Waggonway Glacier. Search for reindeer and Arctic fox as you enjoy long walks through summer flowers. Thanks to the nutrient-rich Gulf Stream and relatively mild temperatures, the cliffs are filled with Atlantic puffins and guillemots. Spot bearded seals and other marine life. Learn of an ill-fated ballooning attempt over the North Pole and visit the remains of a 350-year-old Dutch whaling settlement on Amsterdam Island.  

Day 4-6 Moffen Island | Woodfjorden

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Rounding Spitsbergen’s northwest coast, enter the Arctic Ocean and the world of pack ice. Ghostly beluga whales rise up in open leads and polar bears stalk ringed, bearded, and harp seals. Offshore, walrus feed on clams or haulout on beaches, especially on Moffen Island, a walrus sanctuary. Visit trapper huts and stay alert for reindeer and Arctic fox. Delightful walks reveal delicious berries and some of the tundra’s 164 exquisite flowering plants including purple saxifrage, yellow spider plants, and Svalbard poppies. If ice conditions allow, attempt to cross latitude 80° North before turning south to Woodfjorden.

Day 7-8 Hinlopen Strait | Barentsøya and Edgeøya islands

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Attempt to pass through narrow Hinlopen Strait, a channel flanked by austere, cream-colored slopes rich in fossils between Spitsbergen and ice-capped Nordaustlandet. This polar desert is a landscape eroded by severe frost. Even in summer, pack ice could bar the way, but there is much to strive for. Zodiac beneath Alkefjellet, sheer basalt cliffs rising more than 250 meters and literally buzzing with some 200,000 nests of Brunnich’s guillemots. On walks, seek eider ducks, Arctic foxes, and elusive Svalbard ptarmigan. As the ship passes Barentsøya and Edgeøya islands, cross polar bear migration routes.

Day 9-10 Hornsund and Bellsund Fjords

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
This is true expedition cruising, where plans are dictated by ice conditions and a desire to explore. If pack ice allows, round South Cape, returning to the world of open water and rugged coastal mountains, and sail north toward Hornsund and Bellsund, deep fjords with remarkable glaciers and wildlife. If ice stops the ship's progress on the east side, your captain adjusts the itinerary, backtracking and delving deeper into the wonders of Spitsbergen’s north and west coasts, including a visit to colonies where hundreds of thousands of little auks nest, darkening the sky as they commute to their fishing grounds.

Day 11 Disembark in Longyearbyen

  • 1 Breakfast
A midnight cruise of Isfjorden returns you to Longyearbyen and the end of your spectacular voyage.

Polar Pioneer

Per person starting at
$5,515
Polar Pioneer's Triple Cabin.
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Triple Shared
Triple Cabins have two lower and one upper berth, a desk, a small washbasin, storage and hanging space and portholes. Showers and toilets are very close by and are shared with other Main Deck cabins.
Polar Pioneer's Public Twin Cabin.
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Twin Shared
Twin Shared Cabins have two lower bunks, a desk, small washbasin, ample storage and hanging space and portholes. Showers and toilets are very close by and are shared with other Main Deck cabins.
Polar Pioneer's Private Twin Cabin.
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Twin Private
Twin Private Cabins have two lower bunks, a desk, windows, and a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin. Two cabins have upper and lower bunks (cabins 402 and 403).
Polar Pioneer's Mini Suite.
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Mini Suite
Mini Suites have a separate small bedroom with double bed, a sofa bed in the main room, a desk, video player and TV, windows and a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin.
Polar Pioneer's Captain Suite.
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Suite
The Suite features a large lounge area, a separate small bedroom with double bed, a sofabed in the main room, a video player and TV, refrigerator, large forward and side facing windows, and a private bathroom with shower, toilet and washbasin.

Notes

Please note that all of Polar Pioneer itineraries are at the mercy of weather conditions and not all landings are guaranteed. These itineraries are flexible and will change voyage to voyage, allowing the best chance to make the most of surprising wildlife displays and unexpected opportunities.

- Rates 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 costs are 1.7 times the twin rate

Please note: Rates are posted based off of the current exchange rates from Australian dollars. Please contact us for current rates.

Included in cruise fare:
• Group transfer to and from airport to Polar Pioneer in Longyearbyen
• Group sightseeing tour in Longyearbyen on arrival pre-voyage
• Accommodation during the voyage
• All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during the voyage
• All shore excursions and Zodiac (inflatable boat) cruises
• Educational lectures and guiding services from an expert team
• Access to an on-board doctor and basic medical services
• Complimentary custom-designed Polar Expedition jacket
• Loan of gumboots during the voyage
• Daily cabin service
• Comprehensive pre-departure information
• Professionally produced electronic voyage journal
• Port taxes and charges
• All entry fees to historic landings sites

Not included in cruise fare:
• International or domestic flights to or from Polar Pioneer
• Airport arrival or departure taxes
• Transfers not mentioned in the itinerary
• Visa, passport, and vaccination charges
• Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges
• Hotels and meals not included in voyage itinerary
• Optional excursions not included in the voyage itinerary
• Optional activity surcharge. Please contact us if you wish to book any optional activities such as sea kayaking, scuba diving and snorkeling
• All items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks, laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, gratuities, and email or phone charges.

Pre and Post Voyage Package Available:
A pre & post voyage package is available at an additional cost. The package includes overnight in Oslo hotel with half board (D,B), transfer to the Oslo airport with English speaking guide, and flight to & from Longyearbyen in economy class. Contact us for details.

Included

  • 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Callie W

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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