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Polar bear and cub

North Spitsbergen, Arctic Summer

Example 11 Day Cruise aboard Rembrandt van Rijn
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The North Spitsbergen cruise sails to some of the remotest locations of northern Europe. This 11-day expedition gives you the opportunity to spot historic whaling remains, glaciers, a variety of Arctic birds including the Little Auk, and polar bears. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Longyearbyen | Embark
Day 2 : Trygghamna & Alkhornet
Day 3 : Fuglefjorden
Day 4 : Ermaktangen
Day 5 : Reindyrsflya
Day 6 : Monaco Glacier
Day 7 : Fuglesangen | Magdalenafjorden
Day 8 : Kongsfjorden & Krossfjorden
Day 9 : Fuglehuken
Day 10 : Bohemanflya
Day 11 : Longyearbyen | Disembark

Highlights

  • Spot the first minke whale of your voyage in Isfjorden
  • See reindeer grazing on the lush vegetation if there’s not too much snow
  • Observe spirited communities of little auks
  • Enjoy strolling around the town of Longyearbyen

Ship

Rembrandt van Rijn

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Hiking in the arctic. Spot the Minke whale Polar bear and cub An Arctic Fox searches for some food. A walrus relaxes on the snow.

Day 1 Longyearbyen | Embark

You touch down in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Enjoy strolling around this former mining town, whose parish church and Svalbard Museum make for fascinating attractions. Though the countryside appears stark, more than a hundred species of plant have been recorded in it. In the early evening the ship sails out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of your voyage. In the evening you sail for Trygghamna, where you see the remains of a 17th-century English whaling station and 18th-century Pomor hunting station, both of which you can visit the next morning.

Day 2 Trygghamna & Alkhornet

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
From Trygghamna you walk to Alkhornet, a large seabird cliff where the birds are scouting out breeding places. Below the cliffs is a common place to spot Arctic foxes, and you may also see reindeer grazing on the lush vegetation if there’s not too much snow.

Day 3 Fuglefjorden

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
You sail into Fuglefjorden amid views of Svitjodbreen and Birgerbukta, both breeding areas for great skuas as well as likely spots to see a polar bear. On Birgerbukta you can see 17th-century Basque ovens once used for cooking whale blubber. The aim next is to visit Ytre Norskøya, a small island that served for many years as a Dutch whaling lookout. Here you can still follow the whalers’ tracks to the summit of the island, passing popular bird cliffs on the way. On shore are the remains of more 17th-century blubber ovens, while Arctic skuas and common eiders breed among the graves of some two hundred Dutch whalers.

Day 4 Ermaktangen

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Raudfjorden, on the north coast of Spitsbergen, is a fine place for gazing over the glaciers. It’s also a favorite hangout for ringed and bearded seals, colonies of seabird, and the occasional polar bear and beluga whale. Ermaktangen, at the fjordh coast of Spitsbergen, is a fine place for gazing over the glof the land.

Day 5 Reindyrsflya

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
If ice conditions permit, you may land on the northern side of Reindyrsflya, the largest tundra area of Spitsbergen. This vast and rolling plain is a popular grazing area for reindeer, and several species of waders also breed here. Similarly, the lakes afford you a good chance of spotting red-throated divers and king eiders.

Day 6 Monaco Glacier

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Depending on the weather, you could sail into Liefdefjorden and cruise within sight of the 5-kilometer-long (3.1 miles) face of the precipitous Monaco Glacier. The waters in front of this glacier are a favorite feeding spot for thousands of kittiwakes, and the base of the ice is a popular polar bear hunting ground. If ice conditions prevent sailing here early in the season, an alternate route along the west coast of Spitsbergen can be implemented.

Day 7 Fuglesangen | Magdalenafjorden

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning you land at Fuglesangen, where you can observe spirited communities of little auks. You then sail south to Magdalenafjorden, one of the glacier-filled highlights of Spitsbergen. A shore visit shows you the remains of 17th-century English whaling, and you can also see more large colonies of little auks.

Day 8 Kongsfjorden & Krossfjorden

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
You head north for Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden. The landscape is likely to show signs of winter, the crags and slopes still blanketed with snow. Here there are rich opportunities for snowshoeing – we provide the snowshoes – and visiting places of historic interest: Ny London, where you can see the remains of early 20th-century marble mining, and Ny Ålesund, the northernmost community in the world. There are also research stations and the famous anchor mast of the dirigible Norge, which took the first flight across the North Pole to Nome, Alaska in 1926. Krossfjorden offers views of colossal glaciers and lofty mountain peaks, but ultimately the extent of fjord ice dictates the itinerary here.

Day 9 Fuglehuken

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
On your journey south, the goal is a landing at Fuglehuken. Here you see remains from the great era of polar bear hunting. There are also large seabird colonies and a haul-out spot for harbour seals. Alternatively, you could land on the coast of Forlandsundet, at Engelskbukta or Sarstangen. Walruses are occasionally seen here, and the tundra is a fine place for a walk.  

Day 10 Bohemanflya

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The next stop is Bohemanflya, an expansive tundra with its own avifauna (depending on when spring arrives) and spectacular geological formations along the coast. In Gipsvika you can go on shore near Templet, a mountainous location of eroded sedimentary rock from the Upper Carboniferous period – around 290 million years ago.

Day 11 Longyearbyen | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. You disembark in Longyearbyen, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

Rembrandt van Rijn

Per person starting at
$4,500
Rembrandt van Rijn's Triple Private Porthole Cabin.
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Triple Private Porthole
Main deck, upper and lower berths, private bath facilities and porthole.
Rembrandt van Rijn's Twin Private.
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Twin Private Inside
Lower deck, upper and lower berths, inside cabins with private bath facilities.
Rembrandt van Rijn's Twin Private Porthole.
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Twin Private Porthole
Lower deck, upper and lower berths or two lower berths, private bath facilities and porthole.

Notes

- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy.
- Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the double occupancy rate.
- Children between the ages of 3-15 receive a 40% discount in triple cabins, one child per cabin.
- Due to the extreme nature of itinerary destinations, travel insurance is mandatory for all cruises aboard the Rembrandt Van Rijn - including medical, accident and repatriation/evacuation insurance.

Included in this voyage
  • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the 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 snowshoes.
  • Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
  • AECO fees and governmental taxes.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.
Excluded from this voyage
  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
  • Pre- and post- land arrangements.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Meals ashore.
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).
PLEASE NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. Willingness to compromise on comfort is a basic requirement on board a historic sailing vessel. Important information about the sailing program: The boat is equipped with sails to be used in good conditions (based on open sea, water depth, wind, and time). This is not guaranteed. The captain decides whether to use the sails or the engine. There is no claim to one or the other propulsion method. If sails are used, the crew operates them. Guests follow the safety instructions of the team. Average cruising speed for s/v Rembrandt van Rijn is 6.5 knots.
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
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