Spitsbergen, the land of the Polar Bear, is an Arctic archipelago about 650 kilometres (400 miles) north of Norway and only a 1000 kilometres (600 miles) south of the North Pole. It is by far the largest wilderness area of Europe and offers some of the finest scenery and wildlife experiences in the world. Its rugged mountains and rolling tundra offer plenty of opportunities for hikers, climbers and skiers while the often ice covered seas are great for polar diving while on an Arctic expedition cruise aboard the Plancius.
Day 1 : Embark in Longyearbyen Day 2 : Raudfjord or Liefdefjord Days 3-4 : Beverleysundet Day 5 : Phippsøya Day 6 : Retracing Westward Route Day 7 : Prins Karls Forland Day 8 : Disembark in Longyearbyen
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.
Visit Raudfjord or Liefdefjord on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, beautiful fjords dominated by spectacular glaciers and favored by Ringed and Bearded seals and where Polar bears are often spotted. In the evening the ship sails by the island of Moffen where a big herd of walrus can be found.
Sail through Beverleysundet, named by Parry in 1827 and also sailed by the Swedish-Russian Arc-of-Meridian Expedition in 1898. Push east to reach the area of Nordaustlandet, where the Nobile expedition drifted around in 1928 and where the Italian Sora tried to come to the rescue. There we hope to get to Alpinøya, reached by Sora in 1928, and then to the mouth of Finn Malmgrenfjord, and Albertinibukta and to climb Soraberget (205 M) from where we have a fantastic view on the icecap of Nordaustlandet. Alternatively you may land at Storøya, where again we may meet a group of walrus.
Today reach your journey's 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.
Retracing your route westwards, venture through and along the pack ice, keeping watch for Polar bear and the elusive Greenland whale (Bowhead). About 40 nautical miles west of Spitsbergen we sail along the edge of the continental shelf, where Fin whales forage in summer in the upwellings along the Spitsbergen banks. At the mouth of the Kongsfjord you also have good chances to see Minke whales.
Land at the northern tip of Prins Karls Forland near Fuglehuken. Seabirds nest on the cliffs, and along the coast you can see Harbour seals, the only population found in Spitsbergen. Here you can also observe the remains of the Polar bear hunting era, with demolished set guns and bear traps. At the opposite site of Forlandsundet at Sarstangen is a haul out place for walrus. Alternatively, sail into St. Johns Fjord or south to the mouth of Isfjorden and land at Alkhornet. Seabirds nest on its cliffs and Arctic fox search the cliff base for fallen eggs and chicks, while Spitsbergen reindeer graze the relatively luxuriant vegetation. At nighttime the ship arrives in Longyearbyen.
Day 8 Disembark in Longyearbyen
Return to Longyearbyen and disembark for the transfer to the airport and the flight to Oslo and home.
2 cabins with private facilities, 1 bunk bed and 1 lower berth. (ca. 15 m2)
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Twin with Porthole
9 twin private cabins with porthole. Two Lower berths. (ca. 15 m2)
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Twin with Window
26 twin private cabins with window. Two Lower berths (ca. 15 m2)
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2 twin private deluxe cabins. Lower berths - two single beds.(ca. 15 m2)
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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.
Please Note: 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.
- All meals throughout voyage aboard 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 snow shoes.
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
- AECO fees and government taxes
- Comprehensive pre-departure material.
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!