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A baby cub follows its mother across the Arctic ice

Spitsbergen Encounter

Example 10 Day Cruise aboard Akademik Sergey Vavilov
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Board the Akademik Sergey Vavilov for a 10-day expedition exploring Spitsbergen and the Svalbard Archipelago - regions rich in wildlife and birdlife, glaciology, and history. From the moment the ship's lines are thrown, enter into the land of the polar bear, beluga whale, walrus, and reindeer. Throughout the journey enjoy a comprehensive series of presentations by polar experts, shore excursions to places of historic interest, visits to wildlife colonies, and sea kayaking. This voyage focuses on the western and northern coast of Spitsbergen, and as far north as the permanent pack ice, an area with the highest concentration of wildlife and places of historic and scenic interest in the archipelago.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Longyearbyen, Svalbard | Embark
Day 2 : Bourbonhamna
Day 3 : Lillihook Glacier | Krossfjorden
Day 4 : Liefdefjorden | Monacobreen
Day 5 : Phipps√łya
Days 6-7 : Hinlopen Strait | Nordaustlandet
Day 8 : Fuglesangen | Smeerenburg
Day 9 : Poole Pynten, Prins Karls Forland
Day 10 : Longyearbyen, Svalbard | Disembark

Highlights

  • Explore fascinating historic locations of early industry and exploration
  • Admire the sublime Arctic scenery during Zodiac and hiking excursions
  • Navigate along the polar pack ice edge searching for wildlife
  • Visit a walrus colony on Prince Charles Island

Ship

Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Places Visited

  • Arctic
  • Europe
  • Norway
  • Scandinavia
  • Svalbard
  • Bourbonhamna
  • Fuglesangen
  • Hinlopen Strait (Hinlopenstretet)
  • Krossfjorden
  • Longyearbyen
  • Monacobreen (Monaco Glacier)
  • Nordaustlandet
  • Phippsoya
  • Poolepynten
  • Seven Islands (Sjuoyane)
  • Smeerenburg

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

A baby cub follows its mother across the Arctic ice Travelers walking around the arctic landscape. Take a zodiac tour to see polar bears. A view of Svalbard's coast. A walrus gathering

Day 1 Longyearbyen, Svalbard | Embark

Today embark your expedition ship in Longyearbyen. Sail out of Adventfjorden and into Isfjorden during the early evening. With almost 24 hours of daylight during this time of year, enjoy the views from the outer decks. Meet your expedition team during an introductory briefing and then enjoy a welcome dinner in the ship's comfortable dining room.

Day 2 Bourbonhamna

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Beluga whales are frequently seen as they transit the narrow sound near Bourbonhamna. It is estimated that there are approximately five to ten thousand belugas in the Svalbard population. The beluga has no dorsal fin, a feature of high Arctic whale species such as the narwhal and bowhead. Since a dorsal fin could be damaged when the animal surfaces in areas with ice, it has been postulated the lack of dorsal fin is an adaptation to living in frequently ice-covered waters.

On the first shore excursion, an old hunting cabin and other artifacts are points of interest during a scenic hike to Ingebrigstenbukta. However, it is the massive piles of beluga whale bones that catch everybody's attention. The bones and all artifacts are protected by the Svalbard Government and cannot be removed. While wandering amongst these relics, you can hope to catch a glimpse of dozens of reindeer that inhabit the area.

Day 3 Lillihook Glacier | Krossfjorden

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Lilliehook Glacier, at the head of the northwestern arm of Krossfjorden, is an incredible sight. The glacier face stretches almost seven kilometers and has a height of around 80 meters. Viewed from the ship or on a zodiac cruise you come to appreciate the enormous scale of your surroundings. The shores of Krossfjorden are home to numerous bird colonies and a variety of different species. Anchor off one small harbor and cruise in the zodiacs along the bird cliffs near the 14th of July Glacier. While cruising the dark waters, be on the lookout for bearded and ringed seals, both species known to frequent this fjord.

Day 4 Liefdefjorden | Monacobreen

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
No trip along the north coast of Spitsbergen would be complete without a visit to Monacobreen (*Monaco Glacier). A wide glacier face at the head of the fjord makes for spectacular kayaking and zodiac cruising. The coastal plain near the mouth of Liefdefjorden offers superb hiking and is often a great place to spot polar bears who come here to hunt for ringed seals or feed on nutrient-rich bird's eggs.

Day 5 Phipps√łya

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At 81° north latitude, Phippsoya is just 540 nautical miles from the North Pole. Your ice-strengthened expedition ship allows you to approach the edge of the pack ice in safety and comfort. Because of its proximity to the permanent ice pack, Phippsoya offers the potential for great polar bear viewing. The crew has enjoyed excellent encounters here with the bears in recent seasons. Be sure to get up to the ship’s bridge and take a picture of the GPS showing your latitude or, better yet, take your own handheld GPS with you and mark in the waypoint as we are so close to the North Pole!

Day 6-7 Hinlopen Strait | Nordaustlandet

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
From the ice edge, turn south into the main strait separating Svalbard's two main islands: Spitsbergen and Nordaustlandet. In Hinlopen Strait, the bird cliffs at Alkefjellet are home to more than a hundred thousand breeding Brunnich's guillemots, as well as thousands of kittiwakes and black guillemots. It is a spectacular site and a challenging one for the zodiacs as the tidal currents roar through Hinlopen Strait. Nearby Murchison Fjord is a wonderful place to kayak or cruise as the ship navigates the waterways between the islands. There are some excellent hiking routes here as well, which take you up to high points that offer staggering views and further opportunities to encounter Arctic wildlife.

Day 8 Fuglesangen | Smeerenburg

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
As your zodiac approaches the shore of Fuglesangenoya, it becomes apparent there are thousands of nesting birds on the island. Home to a large dovkie colony, the formation of the island allows for excellent viewing without impacting upon the perimeter of the colony. As you hike the shoreline of the former whaling station of Smeerenburg (literally translated as "Blubber Town"), learn about the importance of whaling in the discovery and exploration of the Svalbard archipelago. The blubber ovens stand as a reminder to this harsh industry in an equally harsh environment.

Day 9 Poole Pynten, Prins Karls Forland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The sight and sound of a walrus haul-out embodies the Arctic like nothing else can. Visit the well-known walrus colony on Prince Charles Island and hope to see these odd-looking animals ashore. Approaching from downwind can often confirm that walrus are ashore, as their smell is quite unique! Tonight, celebrate your journey with a special dinner attended by the ship's Captain. It's a great time to reflect on a wonderful voyage in this wild and remote place.

Day 10 Longyearbyen, Svalbard | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Arrive in Longyearbyen this morning. Disembark after breakfast and say farewell to your expedition team and fellow passengers. A transfer into town is provided for those choosing to stay a few days. If you are departing today, you have a few hours this morning to explore the town before transferring to the airport for your onward flights.

Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Per person starting at
$5,695
Main Deck Triple Cabins
Select a Date
Triple Share
Deck 3. Two lower berths (one which can be converted to a sofa during the day) and one upper berth. Shared facilities, in cabin washbasin, writing desk/chair, ample storage, and two portholes.
Twin Semi Private Cabins
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Twin Semi-Private
Deck 4. Two lower berths (one which can be converted to a sofa during the day), a writing desk/chair, bookshelf and tall wardrobes with internal shelving for storage. Facilities are semi-private (one bathroom between two cabins) and all cabins have a window that can be opened.
Twin Private Cabins
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Twin Private
Deck 3, 4 and 5. Two lower berths (one which can be converted to a sofa during the day), a writing desk/chair, bookshelf and tall wardrobes with internal shelving storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window that can be opened.
The Superior Cabins.
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Superior
Deck 3. Two lower berths, a sofa, a writing desk/chair and ample storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have portholes that can be opened.
Shackleton Suites
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Shackleton Suite
Deck 4 & 5. One double bed, one sofa bed, separate sleeping quarters, up-graded bedding, a writing desk/chair, IPod alarm clock, mini stereo, capsule coffee maker, mini bar. Private facilities. Large window that can be opened.
One Ocean Suite
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One Ocean Suite
Deck 5. One double bed, one sofa bed & separate sleeping quarters, up-graded bedding, a writing desk/chair, IPod alarm clock, mini stereo, capsule coffee maker, mini bar. Private facilities with tub. Windows overlooking the bow.

Notes

- Single Supplement: 1.5x for twin and superior cabins and 2x for suites. Single supplement is not available in the triple cabin category.

- Child and Youth Prices: 25% discount for young people aged up to 17 years, and 20% off for those aged from 18-21 years who can prove they are in full-time education.

Please note: Specific sites visited will depend on ice and weather conditions experienced and the itinerary will be updated throughout the voyage in order to take advantage of favorable conditions.

Special onboard Photographic Symposium 
This program runs parallel to your daily off ship excursions and activities. The photography team, led by Nikon master and award-winning photographer, Daisy Gilardini, provides practical guidance and deep insight. Special excursions include early mornings and late evenings chasing the gorgeous Arctic light. You can make regular use of your shipboard multi-media studio for breakout sessions and to review and critique images throughout the voyage. The program is open to photographers of all abilities and is included as part of the voyage. Please register your interest at the time of booking.

This itinerary includes:
  • Comprehensive pre-voyage information package including details to help you prepare for your trip in Canada's Atlantic provinces
  • Transfers from the airport to your hotel upon arrival
  • Transfers to the ship on embarkation day and from the ship to the airport or local hotel on disembarkation
  • Shipboard accommodation in your selected cabin category with daily housekeeping. Cabins feature outside views with windows or portholes that open on each deck
  • High quality, eco friendly, Canadian made natural amenities in every cabin
  • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage with daily afternoon tea
  • 24 hour tea, coffee, hot chocolate in bar lounge plus in cabin tea, coffee, hot chocolate replenished daily
  • Experienced Expedition Leader and professional expedition team of marine bioligists, naturalists, historians, adventure guides and photographers
  • Daily off-ship excursions by Zodiac boat breaking into small groups for shore landings
  • Guided hikes and walks on shore of various durations for guests of all abilities
  • Visits to wildlife colonies, historic sites, places of outstanding natural beauty and community visits
  • Educational presentations and talks by polar experts in their field (ie. marine biologists, naturalists, historians etc). Onboard or on shore
  • Resident photography guide available to assist all guests
  • Access to computers in the multimedia lab for image downloads, file back up and management
  • An emergency trained Physician onboard every voyage
  • Dedicated hospitality team including Hotel Manager, four chefs, professional bar staff and Adventure Concierge staff
  • Onboard sauna, plunge pool, Jacuzzi and fitness centre including personal trainer and massage options (charge applies for massage and spa treatments)
  • Sea Kayaking programme available (additional charge of $695pp) – must be reserved at the time of booking your voyage and you must have some prior paddling experience
  • Access to well stocked library full of polar reference books
  • End of voyage video, photos and take home USB
  • Port fees and all permits to access visited areas
This itinerary does not includes:
  • Any internartional or local airfare unless otherwise specified in the voyage itinerary
  • Visa and passport expenses
  • Pre or post-cruise hotel accommodation unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
  • Pre or post-cruise transfers unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
  • Personal expenses on board such as alcoholic beverages, bar charges or laundry expenses
  • Telecommunication charges (ie. email, satellite phone)
  • Baggage, cancellation or medical travel insurance related expenses (comprehensive travel insurance is mandatory on all trips)
  • A voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for expedition staff and ship crew (suggested amount –
  • $US12-15 per day)

Included

  • 8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 8 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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