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.
Land at the rarely visited coast of South Spitsbergen, between Sørkap and Isbukta, and sail by Stellingfjellet, the biggest colony of Brünnichs guillmots in Spitsbergen.
Cruise north to Diskobukta on the west side of Edgeøya. After a Zodiac cruise through the shallow bay, land at Blankodden 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 kittiwakes, together with black guillemots and piratical glaucous gulls. During the breeding season, the base of the cliffs is patrolled by Arctic fox and polar bear, searching for young birds that have fallen from the nesting ledges. From there, walk to Kapp Lee.
At the east side of West Spitsbergen (west side of Storfjorden), walk to some breeding places of ivory gulls in Agardhfjellet at about 400 m high. The valley leading to the outcrops with the nests is littered with fossils of Belemnites and Ammonites.
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 goose. Also plan for a zodiac cruise near the Freeman glacier and visit a kittiwake colony.
At Diskobukta make a long inland excursion into the braided rivers, which are easily crossed this late in the season.
At Caltex fjellet, search for breeding places of ivory gulls and proceed into Smelledalen with some Pingo’s. Alternatively land at Plurdalen, an area where 40 years ago extensive explorations for oil were carried out.
At Habenichtbukta Russian Pomors built their hunting station in which they lived during periods in the 18th and 19th centuries. Land in the area and make an inland excursion to ponds and lakes, populated by divers, ducks and geese - See more at: http://www.oceanwide-expeditions.com/trips/trip/otl14-15-around-spitsbergen/itinerary/#sthash.YaJuc7g3.dpuf
At Andrétangen you have a good opportunity to observe a herd of walruses near an old trapper station. Inland, near a lifted shore in a surf zone from thousands of years ago, you can find the skeletons of stranded whales from that time. In the afternoon land at Kong Ludvigøyane or Tiholmane to explore remains of the Pomor period.
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 bear. You may visit the Polish research station where the friendly staff offers insight into their research projects. Behind the station the mountains are home to thousands of pairs of nesting little auk.
Return to Longyearbyen and disembark for the transfer to the airport and the flight to Oslo and home.