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Polar bear in the Arctic

Bear Island & Around Spitsbergen

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Ortelius
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You board the vessel at midday in Vlissingen and head north. Crossing the North Sea, you stand an excellent chance of spotting minke whales, white-beaked dolphins, and harbor porpoises. Cruising around Spitsbergen gives you a great chance to see whales, foxes, reindeer, seals, and polar bears. Make a landing on the island of Kvitøya, a site of historical significance, and home of a large walrus population. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Tromsø
Day 2 : At Sea
Day 3 : Bear Island
Day 4 : Tusindøyane
Day 5 : Edgeøya
Day 6 : Kong Karls Land
Day 7 : Kvitøya
Days 8-9 : Stop at the Seven Islands (Sjuøyane)
Day 10 : Raudfjorden
Day 11 : Spitsbergen
Day 12 : Longyearbyen | Disembark

Highlights

  • Discover the stunning Bear Island
  • Explore the rarely visited Kvitøya
  • Look out for walruses in Forlandsundet
  • Admire the splendors of Prins Karls Forland

Ship

Ortelius

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Bearded seal in Svalbard, Norway Homes in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway Arctic fox during spring in Svalbard Scattered houses of Tromso Polar bear in the Arctic

Day 1 Tromsø

Arrive in Tromsø, nicknamed the “Paris of the North,” located in an area rich with Norse and Sámi history. Enjoy exploring this sub-Arctic Norwegian town, said to have been inhabited since the last ice age.

Day 2 At Sea

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

Day 3 Bear Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Bear Island is an isolated island between northern Norway and Svalbard. Some of possible landing sites are:

Sørhamna, which features the remains of a whaling station active between 1905—8, and Tunnheim, where coal mining was attempted between 1916—25 before the settlement was destroyed in WWII. Alternately, you may explore the west coast for a scenic landing opportunity.

Day 4 Tusindøyane

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At the southern reaches of Edgeøya, you enter the realm of the historic whalers and trappers. Tusindøyane, meaning “the thousand islands,” consists of numerous small islands all under special protection for the summer. You arrive after August 15, when the protection is lifted, so you can enjoy landings that are rare these days. On Ækongen, among rocks covered in fantastic lichen, you find remains of the 17th-century whalers and early 20th-century trappers. Bölscheøya is another option, with walking opportunities on the relatively flat islands. Red-throated divers may be seen on the lakes in this area, with chicks ready to fledge.

Day 5 Edgeøya

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The aim is to next explore the rarely seen glacier fronts of eastern Edgeøya, with a visit to Ryke Yseøyane. This area has terrain not too dissimilar to Tusindøyane and yields a good chance of spotting polar bears.

Day 6 Kong Karls Land

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
You then sail by the fully protected islands of Kong Karls Land, reaching the immense front of the Austfonna ice cap. At Bråsvellbreen you’ll be able to see meltwater waterfalls flowing into the sea. In the afternoon, you may attempt a Zodiac cruise at Isisøyane. This will take you near the ice front, with spectacular views and a chance to see polar bears.

Day 7 Kvitøya

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today you attempt to reach the rarely visited Kvitøya, far to the east and close to Russian territory. The enormous ice cap covering this island leaves only a small area bare. You land at the western tip of Andréeneset, where the Swedish explorer S. A. Andrée and his companions perished in 1897. (Your voyage will end far better.) Another objective for the day is Kræmerpynten, where a sizable group of walruses reside.

Day 8-9 Stop at the Seven Islands (Sjuøyane)

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
The northernmost point of your voyage may be north of Nordaustlandet, in the Seven Islands. Here you reach 80° north, just 870 km (540 miles) from the geographic North Pole. You may also land on one of the Seven Islands, Sjuøyane, in a high Arctic environment where walruses may be encountered.

Day 10 Raudfjorden

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sailing to Raudfjorden, on the north coast of Spitsbergen, you take in an expansive fjord spilling with glaciers – and maybe even visited by ringed and bearded seals. The cliffs and shoreline of this fjord also support thriving seabird colonies, rich vegetation, and the possibility of polar bears.

Day 11 Spitsbergen

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Reaching the western coast of Spitsbergen, the search is on for walruses in Forlandsundet. Fuglehuken, on the northern tip of Prins Karls Forland, is home to the northernmost population of harbor seals in the world. The goal is a decent walk to see wildlife, 17th-century whaler graves, and the remains of the trapping era.

Day 12 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.

Ortelius

Deals

Save 5%
Polar Savings - Book before September 1, 2019 and save 5% per person. Contact us for details.
Applies to all upcoming departures.

Per person starting at
$5,550
Twin porthole cabin
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Quadruple Porthole
4 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
Triple Porthole Cabin
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Triple Porthole
2 triple cabins with bunk beds and private facilities. These cabins are spacious with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin.
Twin Porthole on the Ortelius
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Twin Porthole
23 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.
Twin Window on the Ortelius
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Twin Window
10 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
Twin Deluxe on the Ortelius
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Twin Deluxe
6 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
Superior Suite on the Ortelius
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Superior
1 suite with a double bed, private toilet and shower and a separate day room. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin.

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.
- Due to the extreme nature of itinerary destinations, travel insurance is mandatory for all cruises aboard the Ortelius - including medical, accident and repatriation/evacuation insurance.

PLEASE NOTE: The chances that you can reach Kvitøya and complete a full Svalbard circumnavigation (based on experiences from 2013 – 2017) are about 70%. In case the full cannot circumnavigation cannot be completed, a circumnavigation of Spitsbergen through Hinlopen Strait may be made. Programs may vary depending on ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. The onboard expedition leader determines the final itinerary. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. 

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 rubber boots and 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.
  • Transfers to / from the vessel outside Spitsbergen.
  • 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).
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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