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Polar bear in the Arctic

Discovery of the King of the Arctic

Example 13 Day Cruise aboard L'Austral
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Board luxurious L'Austral for this 13-day excursion through the high Arctic, visiting Norway's northernmost provinces in the Spitsbergen Archipelago. Glaciers, icebergs, fjords, and mountains dominate the landscape. Spot the wildlife that calls this rugged tundra home, like walruses, polar bears, whales, seals, and foxes. Get an unparalleled view of the Northern Lights from the charming coal-mining town of Longyearbyen, and marvel at the Monaco Glacier. In fact, you'll have the opportunity to hike across some of the most iconic glaciers of the Arctic on this exciting expedition cruise. From aboard the ship, you'll even see the impressive ice floes. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Longyearbyen | Embark
Day 2 : Gnålodde | Hornsund
Day 3 : Bakanbukta | Agardhbukta
Day 4 : Boltodden | Isbukta
Day 5 : Ahlstrandhalvoya, Bellsund
Day 6 : Ny-Alesund | Kongsbreen, Kongsfjorden
Day 7 : Sailing toward the Ice Floes
Day 8 : Baghogda, Wijdefjorden
Day 9 : Jotunkjeldene | Monaco Glacier
Day 10 : Sailing toward the Ice Floes | Ytre Norskøya
Day 11 : Signehamna | 14th July Glacier
Day 12 : Alkhornet | Nordenskiöld Glacier
Day 13 : Longyearbyen | Disembark

Highlights

  • Explore Longyearbyen, capital of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago
  • Visit beautiful Gnålodde, a delight for lovers of the animal kingdom
  • Discover the assets of the High Arctic: the tundra, glaciers & polar bears
  • Hike along the exceptional ancient glacial Daghøgda Valley

Ship

L'Austral

Places Visited

  • Arctic
  • Europe
  • Norway
  • Scandinavia
  • Svalbard
  • 14th of July Glacier
  • Bellsund
  • Hornsund
  • Isbukta
  • Isfjord
  • Longyearbyen
  • Monacobreen (Monaco Glacier)
  • Ny Alesund
  • Spitsbergen
  • Sundneset (Barentsøya)
  • Ytre Norskøya Island

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Polar bear in the Arctic Sail past bird colonies on your Arctic cruise Explore the expansive National Parks of the Arctic Homes in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway A mother polar bear and her young relax on the Arctic landscape

Day 1 Longyearbyen | Embark

Longyearbyen is the capital of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago, located on Svalbard’s main island, and is the northernmost territorial capital on the planet. With winter temperatures dropping to below 40°C, the landscapes of this mining town are simply breathtaking. The glaciers, the mountains stretching as far as the eye can see, and the untouched nature make you feel like you’re in completely unexplored territory.

Day 2 Gnålodde | Hornsund

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Gnålodden Cliff culminates at over 700 meters high and is home to over a thousand species of sea birds. Tridactyl gulls, northern fulmars, and thick-billed murres are lords and masters in this often deafening commotion, particularly during the nesting season. Polar bears and arctic foxes also frequent the site, a delight for lovers of the animal kingdom. The “bird cliff”, as it is known, is surrounded at its foot by very rich vegetation, unfurling its carpet of moss across a décor of wild tundra. During your visit, stop at the former hunter’s cabin, which was also used as a satellite station during the 1930s. 

Nestled between millennial glaciers and carved mountains, and considered to be “the crown of Arctic Norway”, Spitsbergen is a place that never sees the night. Your ship takes you closer to this fascinating archipelago and, more particularly, the Hornsund fjord. Considered to be Svalbard’s southernmost fjord, it is especially reputed to be its most stunning: at the end of its vast bay, 8 great glaciers slowly make their way down to the sea before giving way to the many icebergs elegantly drifting along its cold and mysterious waters.

Day 3 Bakanbukta | Agardhbukta

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located to the east of Spitsbergen, this bay has many surprises in store. At the entrance to the national park on the east coast, it is a region often taken over by the ice until late in the season. This preserved bay offers the opportunity to discover the assets of the High Arctic: the tundra, glaciers, and polar bears. Near to the bear den areas of Barentsøya and Edgeøya, this site often provides an occasion for great sightings of the local fauna.

Located to the east of Spitsbergen, in Storfjorden, Agardhbukta is a former trapping site where a cabin remains. During your visit here, you have the opportunity to see the ice floes and explore one of the spots where the polar bears pass by to travel to Bellsund, on the western coast of Spitsbergen. The vast plains of the Agardhdalen area also offer the psossibility of long hikes to disover the High Arctic tundra.

Day 4 Boltodden | Isbukta

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
On the eastern coast of Spitsbergen, in the heart of an exceptional geological site, set off to discover the remnants left by the first to explore the region, the Pomors. These settlers, hunters, and trappers from Nothern Russia were the first to discover the Svalbard Archipelago, in the 14th century. At the time, they believed they had arrived on the coast of Greenland. They named this land “Grumant”. This port of call certainly fascinates history and geology lovers. 

On the southeast point of the island of Spitsbergen, Isbukta is a small bay that shelters an immense glacier, the Vasil’evbreen, whose front is more than 20 kilometers long. This is an opportunity for an unforgettable Zodiac outing. If the conditions allow it, you can land directly at the foot of this majestic glacier, so as to discover the moraine and walk on the first section of the glacier. Depending on the ice conditions, you may perhaps be lucky enough to approch Stellingfjellet, home to one of the largest guillemot colonies on the archipelago.

Day 5 Ahlstrandhalvoya, Bellsund

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 6 Ny-Alesund | Kongsbreen, Kongsfjorden

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During your cruise, discover Ny Alesund, a former mining town that has been transformed into a scientific base. Founded in 1916, this small town was the departure point for many Arctic expeditions, including those of the famous explorer Roald Amundsen. Don't miss a visit to the museum and its famous post office, considered to be the most northerly in the world!

Very close to the former mining town of Ny-Ålesund, set off to discover Kings Bay and the magnificent surprises it holds in store for you. Your ship sails in one of the most beautiful fjords in Svalbard: Kongsfjorden (the fjord of the King), a gateway to grandiose landscapes. Here, the snow-capped mountains are reflected in the water where superb icebergs try to outdo each other in their beauty, a delight for photographers. Bearded seals, reindeer, barnacle geese, and black guillemots frequent these places that have a unique atmosphere. Once you arrive at the end of the fjord, admire the Kongsbreen (glacier of the King) and its three characteristic rocky points, which take their names from three Scandinavian countries: Svea (Sweden), Dana (Denmark) and Nora (Norway).

Day 7 Sailing toward the Ice Floes

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your captain sails right up to the limit of the ice, to the edge of the ice floe. Weather conditions and state of the ice allowing, go out in a Zodiac dinghy for a unique experience in the middle of these floating slabs of ice. In addition to this grandiose journey through the middle of these floes with their cut and blue-tinged edges, sometimes over 2 meters thick, it is also often an opportunity to see a particular kind of fauna totally dependent on the ice floe: birds, seals, and polar bears.

Day 8 Baghogda, Wijdefjorden

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sailing into Wijdefjorden guarantees you an unforgettable moment of wonderment. The particularity of this gigantic fjord is that it almost entirely separates the island of Spitsbergen in two, from north to south. Sailing in Wijdefjorden enables you to reach the Daghøgda Valley and go for an exceptional hike along an ancient glacial valley. At the end of your walk, reach two lakes surrounded by impressive vertical cliffs. It is an exquisite spectacle, in the heart of the Svalbard Archipelago’s longest fjord.

Day 9 Jotunkjeldene | Monaco Glacier

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Discover the thermal springs of Jotunkjeldene. Located in Bockfjorden, to the northeast of Spitsbergen, they offer sumptuous landscapes thanks to their geological and botanical particularities. You may be surprised by the site’s entirely brown and red décor, punctuated by a carpet of algae and moss. Surrounded by majestic glaciers, the fjord rests on the Sverrefjellet Volcano, which erupted 100,000 years ago and is now extinct. However, warm springs rise to the surface all year long. During your visit, do make sure that you walk on the surrounding moraine so as to preserve as much as possible the carbonate deposits formed by the springs, which are very fragile and subject to erosion.

Located to the northwest of the Svalbard archipelago, the Monaco Glacier is probably one of Spitsbergen’s most beautiful and majestic. Named in honor of Prince Albert I of Monaco, a sailor, it stands as an impenetrable, blue-tinged jagged wall, the last glacier before reaching a latitude of 80° North. Imagine the sound of the ice cracking as it breaks free and crashes into the transparent water. To make the magical landscape even more perfect, you might be lucky enough to spot bears and whales, as these two animals have a special fondness for this area.  

Day 10 Sailing toward the Ice Floes | Ytre Norskøya

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your captain sails right up to the limit of the ice, to the edge of the ice floe. Weather conditions and state of the ice allowing, you are able to go out in a Zodiac dinghy for a unique experience in the middle of these floating slabs of ice. In addition to this grandiose journey through the middle of these floes with their cut and blue-tinged edges, sometimes over 2 meters thick, it is also often an opportunity to see a particular kind of fauna, totally dependent on the ice floe: birds, seals and polar bears.

At first sight, the small island of Ytre Norskøya seems to be sterile and arid land. But once you are ashore, you are welcomed by a thick carpet of golden moss, dotted with pygmy buttercups, Svalbard poppies, and lichen. On the beach are the remains of the ovens that were used to melt whale blubber, precious evidence of the history of the whalers who came and set up in this area as of the 17th century. Another trace of the past: the presence of one of the largest cemeteries in Svalbard, with no fewer than 165 tombs. The Ytre Norskøya cliff is home to many sea birds, including little auks, barnacle geese, Atlantic puffins, and thick-billed murres.

Day 11 Signehamna | 14th July Glacier

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located on the western coast of the Lilliehöök fjord, Signehamna bears many traces of its past. Indeed, you see the remnants of a former German weather station that was used during the Second World War. In the heart of this sheltered bay frequented by many sea birds, abandoned cans, cables, and utensils just lie on the floor like historic evidence that visitors are asked not to touch. Around you, admire the mosses and lichens that are characteristic of the tundra as well as the very old plutonic rocks. A short walk enables you to enjoy a superb panorama with a view over the lake and a chain of snow-topped mountains.  

At the entrance to Cross Bay, between tundra, plutonic rocks, and mountains covered with a surprising endemic flora, set off to discover the 14th July Glacier. It was thus named by Prince Albert I of Monaco, following an expedition that he led there at the beginning of the 20th century. The glacier’s surroundings are frequented by numerous birds (tridactyl gulls, thick-billed murres, barnacle geese, common eiders, Atlantic puffins…), as well as arctic foxes and reindeer. As you arrive in front of the glacier, admire the impressive wall of ice and the reflection of the cliffs in the water. It is quite common to see a section of ice come loose, or a bearded seal lounging on an iceberg. 

Day 12 Alkhornet | Nordenskiöld Glacier

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At the northern entrance of Isfjorden, there is a small paradise for bird lovers: the Alkhornet Cliff. It is home to a very rich avifauna, made up of thousands of birds frolicking in a joyous tumult: gulls, guillemots, pink-footed geese, terns, seagulls, puffins, arctic skuas… The Alkhornet Cliff, easily recognizable by its rhinoceros-horn shape, is also frequented by reindeer, which are not overly timid. Attracted by the tundra that covers the foot of the mountain, they come to graze in peace in a verdant setting covered with grass and moss. With a little luck, you perhaps have the opportunity to see some seals and Arctic foxes, who are also regular visitors.

Situated deep inside Isfjorden, the Nordenskiöld Glacier is one of the very beautiful discoveries of your cruise. Its front of ice, nearly 5 km wide, is one of the most spectacular in the Svalbard Archipelago. 30 meters high, the glacier, like a gigantic frozen statue whose sections of ice sometimes come spectacularly loose, is impressive. The polar bear, the king of the Arctic, perhaps makes an appearance in these parts, which are also frequented by reindeer and seals. 

Day 13 Longyearbyen | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Longyearbyen is the capital of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago, located on Svalbard’s main island, and is the northernmost territorial capital on the planet. With winter temperatures dropping to below 40°C, the landscapes of this mining town are simply breathtaking. The glaciers, the mountains stretching as far as the eye can see and the untouched nature, make you feel like you’re in completely unexplored territory.

L'Austral

Per person starting at
$15,060
Superior Stateroom
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Superior Stateroom
8 cabins, 226 sq ft, located on Le Champollion Deck. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area and private bath.
Deluxe Stateroom
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Deluxe Stateroom
28 cabins, 200 sq ft with private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4
200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5
200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6
200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Deluxe Suite
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Deluxe Suite
3 suites, 290 sq ft with 54 sq ft private balcony, located on the Le France Deck. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, desk, minibar, private bath.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite - Deck 5
398 sq ft with 86 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living area, private bath.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite - Deck 6
398 sq ft with 86 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living area, private bath.
Owner's Suite
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Owners Suite
484 sq ft with 97 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living, dining areas, private bath with large tub and shower, minibar, 2 flat screen TVs, DVD, CD, and IPOD, Video on demand, Satellite phone

Notes

Please note:
Fares are based on double occupancy and are capacity controlled. Rates may increase at any time as the ship sells out and subject to change without notice.

*Rates are capacity controlled and are subject to change without notice.

Cruise fares are per person and include the following:
  • All meals while on board the ship 
  • Gratuities to onboard crew, local guides and drivers
  • Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • Evening entertainment and events
  • 24h room service (special selection)
  • English-speaking lecturer 
  • Water sports activities (except scuba diving) using the ship’s equipment, when permitted by local authorities and confirmed by ship Master according to safety and sea conditions onsite
  • Highly experienced bilingual (French-English) Expedition team 
  • Park entry fees into protected areas
  • Complimentary boot rental on select cruises
  • Free and unlimited Wi-Fi (Internet access may be slower or in some situations interrupted, depending on certain geographic locations or other circumstances beyond our control).
 Cruise, Flights & Transfers program rates are per person and also include:
  • Flights Paris/Longyearbyen/Paris in economy class, on European airlines
  • Meet and Greet by representatives at the destination airport
  • Transfers to and from the ship and other services before and after the cruise according to detailed programs available upon request 10 months prior departure
* Flights are being studied and are subject to change until the flight plan is confirmed and this up to 3 months prior to each cruise
 
Cruise fares do not include:
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned in each “Cruise, Flights & Transfers” package and for which details are available upon request
  • Pre or post cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions mentioned
  • Visa expenses and/or immigration reciprocity taxes if applicable
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional Spa package to be booked prior to your departure
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned
  • Laundry services, hair salon and à la carte Spa treatments
  • Personal expenses, on board medical consultations and drug prescriptions
  • Cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s)
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.
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