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Hiking in Spitsbergen

Arctic Ocean Expedition, Helgoland - Fair Isle-Jan Mayen-Spitsbergen

Example 11 Day Cruise aboard MV Janssonius
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Search for whales, and other Arctic wildlife of the land, sea, and air on an adventurous voyage from the German port of Bremerhaven to our favorite Arctic island group. Crossing the North Sea, you stand an excellent chance of spotting minke whales, white-beaked dolphins, and harbor porpoises, among many other species on this 10-day voyage aboard the m/v Hondius.  Enjoy places of great beauty and fascinating wildlife. You will take home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.
Whale sighting in Polar waters!A mother polar bear and her young relax on the Arctic landscapeLone kayakerHerd of Arctic reindeerHiking in Spitsbergen
Highlights
  • Enjoy birding with fellow birders & visit remote places with rare birds
  • Look out for Blue Whales, Fin Whales and Minke Whales along your journey
  • Snowshoe across the pristine snows of the Arctic landscape
  • Visit the remains of a 17th century Dutch whaling station
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Vlissingen | Embark

Passengers who joined us in Vlissingen will have some free time on this day, enjoying the opportunity to roam about town on their own. There are several fine museums and attractions (Klimahaus, Schifffahrtsmuseum, Zoo am Meer, etc.) in addition to walks along the shoreline. You then board the vessel by midday, departing in the afternoon and sailing about five hours to the small island of Helgoland. The ship will not make landings here, but we will sail as close as possible to the island in the hopes of getting some good views of the steep seabird cliffs on its west side. These cliffs are known for their many breeding seabirds (gannets, kittiwakes, and guillemots), a winning sight for any bird lover. We’ll then continue our voyage across the North Sea. 

Day 2: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Crossing the North Sea and sailing by Doggersbank, you stand an excellent chance of spotting minke whales, white-beaked dolphins, and harbour porpoises. Several other cetaceans, including orcas (killer whales), are also native to these seas.

Day 3: Fair Isle

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At Fair Isle, in the Shetlands, the roughly seventy inhabitants (renowned for their knitwear) welcome you for a walk to the local bird observatory. This location is a haven for sea birds, though you may also spot grey seals.

Day 4-5: Jan Mayen

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
You sail north to the Norwegian island of Jan Mayen, 300 nautical miles northeast of Iceland. Your two days at sea do not pass idly, however. Keep a close lookout for any spouts of water from the surrounding seas, heralding the arrival of a minke, fin, orca, or blue whale.

Day 6: Jan Mayen

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Jan Mayen is a stark volcanic island crowned by the snow-capped summit of Mt. Beerenberg. From the slopes of this imposing 2,300-meter-high (7,545 feet) volcano, broken glaciers grasp out into the frigid sea. With permission from the Norwegian authorities, you can now visit the weather station. You can also walk to the remains of a 17th- century Dutch whaling station amid the thick moss beds of this stark volcanic landscape.

Day 7-9: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Basking in the midnight sun, you sail north along the edge of the sea ice in search of bowhead whales, harp seals, polar bears, and a variety of seabirds. You then change direction after about 79° north, cutting west to the rocky edges of the continental shelf of west Spitsbergen. Here you have a good chance of seeing fin whales and – near the glacial mouths of the gaping Spitsbergen fjords – surfacing minke whales.

Day 10: Spitsbergen

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
German whalers sailed from Hamburg to Spitsbergen in the middle of the 17th century. They established whaling stations, for instance in Hamburgbukta, south of Magdalenefjorden. We are in the area and time allowing we may stop there. Otherwise the focus is on Forlandsundet, between the main island of Spitsbergen and the narrow Prins Karls Forland, is a place of great beauty and fascinating wildlife. Walruses sometimes haul out here. Alternatively, you might sail into St. Johns Fjord or head south to the mouth of Isfjorden, landing at Alkhornet. Seabirds nest on these cliffs, Arctic foxes search below for fallen eggs and chicks, and reindeer graze the sparse vegetation.

Day 11: Longyearbyen | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. You disembark in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies. But if you’re still craving additional chances to spot the Arctic’s most iconic apex predator, stay on board for our seven-night north Spitsbergen voyage, “in search of polar bears & pack ice.”

Ship/Hotel

MV Janssonius

MV Janssonius
MV Janssonius
MV Janssonius

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
MV Janssonius Quadruple Porthole cabin
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Quadruple Porthole
Quadruple cabins with bunk beds and private facilities (these can also be used as triple or twin cabins). Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin
MV Janssonius
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Triple Porthole
Triple cabins with bunk beds and private facilities. These cabins are spacious with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin.
MV Janssonius
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Twin Porthole
Twin cabins with portholes, private toilet and shower and 2 single lower berths. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin.
MV Janssonius
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Twin Window
Twin cabins with windows, private toilet and shower and 2 single lower berths. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin
MV Janssonius
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Twin Deluxe
Superior cabins with lower birth twin beds, private toilet and shower and a separate day room. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin
MV Janssonius
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Superior
Suite with a double bed, private toilet and shower and a separate day room. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two windows per cabin.
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Junior Suite
Suite with a double bed, private toilet and shower and a separate day room. Spacious outside cabins with windows.
MV Janssonius
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Grand Suite with private balcony
Suite with a double bed, private toilet and shower and a separate day room. Spacious outside cabins with 4 windows and a private balcony.
Included
  • 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners
  • 10 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • All Miscellaneous Service Taxes and Port Charges Throughout the Program
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Passport and Applicable Visa Expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes
  • Pre- and Post Land Arrangements
  • Fuel Surcharge - to be invoiced separately
  • Meals ashore
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • Medical travel insurance, including emergency medical attention and evacuation coverage with a minimum of $100,000 of evacuation coverage is required.

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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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