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Walruses coming ashore in the arctic

Svalbard: Last Stop before the North Pole

Example 7 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Atlantic
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Experience the immense beauty of Svalbard on this Arctic adventure cruise among whales, walruses, polar bears and countless sea birds. Experience high summer in the Arctic aboard Ocean Atlantic - one of the few ice-class expedition ships built to withstand the North Pole’s pack ice. Sail as close as possible to the pack ice from the North Pole north of Svalbard, the polar bear´s favorite summer residence. How far north Ocean Atlantic can reach and the exact route will depend on the weather and ice conditions. Skirt the island for spectacular views of majestic fjords, glaciers, and ice; watch for polar bears and other wildlife, and enjoy this experience across the top of the world.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen | Embark
Day 2 : Kongsfjorden | Ny-Ålesund
Day 3 : Smeerinburg, Fuglesongen
Day 4 : Sailing 80 degrees north
Day 5 : Andøyane and Monaco Glacier
Day 6 : Blomstrand Peninsula | Lilliehook Glacier
Day 7 : Longyearbyen | Disembark

Highlights

  • Sail along Spitsbergen’s glacier-lined coastline
  • Spot polar bears, walruses, ringed seals and more
  • Cruise in a Zodiac to explore glaciers, fjords, icebergs and more
  • Hike on tundras and polar desert

Ship

Ocean Atlantic

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Walruses coming ashore in the arctic Bearded seal in Svalbard, Norway Homes in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway Walking through vast arctic landscapes. Svalbard reindeer in spring Polar bears in the Arctic Colorful homes in Longyearbyen, Svalbard
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Day 1 Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen | Embark

Upon arriving at Longyearbyen, a short city tour that introduces you to the fascinating history and contemporary society in the Capital of Svalbard – one of the  northernmost towns in the world.

The vessel, Ocean Atlantic, is docked close to the town center. After boarding and a welcome drink, the Expedition Leader provides information about the voyage, the ship's daily routines, and the various security and safety procedures. Before sailing, there is a mandatory safety drill. The Captain then takes the ship out of Advent Fjord and the Arctic adventure commences.

Day 2 Kongsfjorden | Ny-Ålesund

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During the ‘night’ (what is night, when the sun never sets?), you will have passed Prins Karls Forland and have arrived in the magnificent Kongsfjord. The visit to Svalbard is in the early summer and this is both the challenge and gift of this special voyage. Winter ice is possibly blocking the inner waters of many fjords, but this gives the best opportunities to observe the omnipresent – but still elusive – polar bear, hunting for seals in its prime habitat. At this time of year, the migrating birds have just arrived. They are all eager to settle and feed to get the best start for the coming hectic summer months.

The first landing is at Ny Ålesund. This settlement is in fact further north than Longyearbyen, making it the northernmost "town"--consisting of just a group of scientific stations, a post office and a single shop open for a few hours. The setting is nice, the scientific projects are very interesting, and so is the town history. The Captain tries to get alongside so you can enjoy an easy walk through the area.

Day 3 Smeerinburg, Fuglesongen

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The ship now enters North West Svalbard, which was declared a national park in 1973. The day could begin with a Zodiac cruise in Danskergattet, looking for seals in Virgohamna, before crossing from Danskøya to Amsterdamøya to make a landing at Smeerenburg, the legendary whaling town of the 17th century. 200-plus men were living – and quite often dying – here in the heyday of blubber production.

There are several interesting places to visit in this northwestern corner of Spitsbergen. If conditions allow, make a landing on Fuglesongen, the largest colony of little auks in Svalbard. The arctic fox has noticed this as well and can often be seen roaming the base of the bird cliffs.  

Day 4 Sailing 80 degrees north

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During the night the ship will have steered far north towards the edge of the polar pack ice. How far north, only time and weather can tell, but the main target is just the ‘edge’, possibly at 80 degrees north. This is the kingdom of the polar bear: as the pack ice retreats during summer, polar bears ride the floes north, as this is where their prey - the seal - resides. Bears who for unfortunate reasons do not ‘catch’ the ice moving north, are stranded on Svalbard all summer and have to sustain on berries, eggs and whatever whale cadavers they can find. 

During the day, lectures on polar mammals, environment and/or culture can be enjoyed on board in the Viking Theater. 

Day 5 Andøyane and Monaco Glacier

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Most likely the northeastern coast of Spitsbergen Island and Hinlopen Strait are still locked in by coastal ice. You can try your luck and sail as far east as possible. Should this fail, Wood Fjord and Liefde Fjord could be excellent alternatives for the day. In this case, circumvent the bird-rich Andøya in Zodiacs, and make a landing on Reindyrflya. Other interesting landings in this fantastic fjord system could be Mushamna and the oddly named ‘Texas Bar’. In the afternoon, a Zodiac cruise along the broad glacier front of Monacobreen gives a unique insight into the glacial forces and the unlimited forms of icebergs.

Day 6 Blomstrand Peninsula | Lilliehook Glacier

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning, reach the west coast of Spitsbergen and Kongsfjorden. Ocean Atlantic anchors behind Blomstrand Peninsula. The name is a bit misleading: Blomstrand is now an island - the Blomstrand Glacier has receded, revealing a shallow water strait. Cruise through this on a Zodiac and make a landing on the island. Strong hikers might want to scale Irgensfjellet, 385 m for a nice view of ‘The Three Sisters’, nunatak mountains far into the Kongs Glacier, as well as enjoy a view down to Ny Ålesund. 

After lunch, continue further north into the fjord system and depending on the ice situation, you may do a Zodiac cruise along the Lilliehöök Glacier front or enjoy a lecture.   

Day 7 Longyearbyen | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Early in the morning, the ship returns to the starting point in Longyearbyen. After breakfast and farewell greetings to the expedition team and crew, disembarkation takes place. The transfer is arranged to the airport.

Please note that all the outings and landings rely on weather, sea and ice conditions being favorable both for the ship to access the areas, as for the zodiacs and kayaks to maneuver under adequate conditions, ensuring the safety of all the passengers and staff.

For this reason, during moments of harsh weather and throughout the entire trip, Ocean Atlantic has excellent public areas, such as wellness/sauna, restaurant, bar and a library for the passengers to spend their spare time.  The ship is staffed by experts in the field whose also share great lectures along the way, ranging from exploration history to biology, geology, ice, and wildlife.
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Ocean Atlantic

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Per person starting at
$1,700
Category G
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Category G - Single
Size 9-10 m². Cabins feature a single bed, private bathroom, and a porthole. Located on Columbus Deck (Deck 4).
Category F
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Category F
Size 18-21 m². Large Inside Triple Cabin, featuring a double or two single beds, and a fold-out single bed, a relaxing sitting area, and a bathroom with a bathtub, and a porthole. Located on Marco Polo Deck (Deck 5).
Category E
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Category E
Size 18-21 m². Large Inside Cabin, featuring a double or two single beds, a relaxing sitting area, and a bathroom with a bathtub. Located on Marco Polo Deck (Deck 5).
Category D
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Category D
Size 11-12 m². Featuring two single beds, private bathroom, and a porthole. Located on the Columbus Deck (Deck 4).
Category C
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Category C
Size 12-13 m². This Standard Cabin has two single beds, private bathroom, and a window. Located on the Marco Polo Deck (Deck 5).
Category B
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Category B
Size 20-23 m² Featuring a double bed or two single beds, a sofa bed that enables triple accommodation, a relaxing sitting area, private bathroom and windows. Partly obstructed view. Located on the Magellan and Hudson Deck (Deck 7 & 8).
Category A
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Category A
Size 19-24 m². Featuring a double bed or two single beds, a relaxing sitting area, a private bathroom, and windows. Located on the Marco Polo Deck (Deck 5).
Premium Suite
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Premium Suite
Size 35 m². These 2-room suites are designed with a large double bed or two twin beds, an elegant living room, a large private bathroom, and windows. Located on the Marco Polo Deck (Deck 5).

Notes

INCLUSIONS
  • 7-night cruise with accommodation
  • English-speaking expedition team.
  • Local transportation in Longyearbyen upon arrival and on departure (day 1 and day 8), including short Longyearbyen city sightseeing.
  • Nature hikes and Zodiac cruises as per itinerary, when conditions permit.
  • Guided walk in Ny Ålesund.
  • Information briefings and lectures by expedition team.
  • Full board on ship.
  • Free coffee, tea and afternoon snacks on the ship.
  • Taxes, tariffs and AECO fees.
EXCLUSIONS
  • International flights to/from Longyearbyen.
  • Hotel accommodation in Longyearbyen.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Cancellation insurance.
  • Extra excursions and activities not mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Single room supplement.
  • Meals not on board the ship.
  • Beverages (other than coffee and tea).
  • Tips for the crew (we recommend USD 14 per person per day).
  • Personal expenses.
  • Anything not mentioned under 'Inclusions'.
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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