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Best of Svalbard

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Sea Spirit
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Explore the many waterways and islands of this unique Arctic landscape. The long days of summer sunlight illuminate the surroundings as you slip your moorings and sail into a true wilderness where wildlife abounds. The scenery as you sail through Isfjorden on the first evening is spectacular and there is already the possibility of marine mammal encounters. Cross back through the bountiful waters of the Barents Sea and then along the coastal islands of the Svalbard Archipelago. From panoramic open decks, enjoy Arctic landscapes and wildlife sightings. Bountiful inshore and offshore waters are home to walrus and a wide variety of whales. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Longyearbyen, Svalbard
Day 2 : Longyearbyen | Embark
Days 3-11 : Across the Barents Sea
Day 12 : Longyearbyen | Disembark

Highlights

  • Observe majestic polar bears around the beautiful Barents Sea
  • Walk in the footsteps of famous polar explorers at various historical sites
  • Explore the spectacular fjords and coasts of western Svalbard
  • Discover the North Pole and the ruins of a WWII weather station

Ship

Sea Spirit

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

A sow and her cubs Journey to Franz Josef Land to see the unique, perfectly spherical stones that dot the landscape Franz Josef Land scenery Arctic village Walking through vast arctic landscapes.

Day 1 Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Welcome to Longyearbyen, the Arctic adventure capital of the Norwegian territory of Svalbard and starting point of our expedition. After arriving via scheduled commercial flight, you are free to explore this small but fascinating settlement. Be sure to see the excellent Svalbard Museum and enjoy the shops, cafes and restaurants in the town center. Your hotel for the night has been arranged by us and is included in the price of the voyage.

Day 2 Longyearbyen | Embark

Spend the night in Longyearbyen. In the afternoon be welcomed aboard the expedition ship Sea Spirit; transfers from the hotel are included. Explore the ship and get comfortable in your home-away-from-home for the extraordinary adventure to come. The long days of summer sunlight illuminate the surroundings as you slip your moorings and sail into a true wilderness where wildlife abounds. The scenery as you sail through Isfjorden on the first evening is spectacular and there is already the possibility of marine mammal encounters.

Day 3-11 Across the Barents Sea

  • Ship
  • 9 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 9 Dinners
The goal for this voyage is a circumnavigation of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Along the way, we hope to experience the many facets of this incredible High Arctic territory. Our exact schedule and route will be shaped by weather and ice. At the peak of the summer season, we expect ice conditions to be favorable for a circumnavigation. We also expect there will be enough sea ice around to support ice-dependent animals such as polar bears and walrus. In addition to seeing Spitsbergen from every angle, this itinerary offers the appealing possibility of setting foot on all four of Svalbard’s main islands.

The first of many pristine natural areas on this itinerary is South Spitsbergen National Park, a vast region of varied landscapes including polar deserts and impassible mountain ranges. The centerpiece of this park is Hornsund, a picture-perfect fjord where countless mighty glaciers cascade from soaring mountaintops into icy inlets. The park also includes the southern shores of Bellsund, a picturesque bay where we find the remains of historical whaling operations, including wooden boats, cabins, and thousands of whale bones—a scene from the distant past, literally frozen in time. Throughout the park, there is always a high probability of wildlife sightings. There are also plenty of possibilities for world-class hiking through wild polar landscapes with fascinating geology. Wildflowers will be at their peak during this time.

Next along our route is the wildlife-rich Southeast Svalbard Nature Reserve, a pristine and rarely visited wilderness containing hundreds of uninhabited islands. On the large islands of Edgeøya and Barentsøya, we discover broad tundra valleys supporting the territory’s densest population of endemic Svalbard reindeer. We are likely to see rapidly growing reindeer calves at this time of year. The valleys are also important breeding areas for ground-nesting birds such a geese, eiders and sandpipers. Arctic foxes prowl the vast landscape, seeking to provide food for their young cubs, who are just now emerging from their dens. Shallow, murky seas are ideal feeding grounds for walrus, which can be seen resting in large numbers on gently sloping beaches. Historical sites throughout the islands provide glimpses into the region’s bygone era of trapping and hunting.

During this voyage, we expect to encounter significant sea ice concentrations in the enormous Northwest Svalbard Nature Reserve. In this remote and isolated region, ice can persist very late into the summer, giving it a truly polar character. This reserve covers the rugged northwestern parts of Spitsbergen and the entirety of Nordaustlandet, the second largest island in Svalbard. Here we find the massive Austfonna ice cap, part of which meets the sea along the 45-kilometer ice cliff known as Bråsvellbreen—one of the great wonders of the Arctic world. The polar desert environment supports little in the way of vegetation but hosts prodigious numbers of seabirds at breeding sites such as the spectacular sea cliffs of Alkefjellet. The probability of encountering polar bears and walrus in this icy wilderness is very high.
At this time of year, we expect to find the edge of the polar pack ice not too far from Nordaustlandet. We hope to sail along this dynamic boundary between solid sea ice and open ocean. Here we have an unparalleled opportunity to witness the dramatic interplay between polar bears and seals. We will take the ship as close as safely possible to the jumbled and constantly shifting ice floes in the hope of observing polar bears in their preferred habitat.
Finally, we reach Northwest Spitsbergen National Park, the crown jewel of Svalbard’s scenic wonders. Here we find deep fjords flanked by serrated mountain ranges and immense tidewater glaciers calving icebergs into turquoise waters. The skies are filled with millions of murres, guillemots and little auks, whose eggs are just now hatching at countless breeding colonies located on small islands, mountainsides and sea cliffs within the park. This is also a great time to encounter marine mammals, including beluga whales and various Arctic seals. Set among this incredible scenery and wildlife activity, we also find evidence of Svalbard’s earliest sealers and whalers.

Human habitation along our route can be found at Ny Ålesund, a former mining town and airship base that is now home to an international community of Arctic researchers. This is one of the world’s most northerly settlements where we find a museum, gift shop and post office.
The ambitious Svalbard and Polar Ice Edge route offers a comprehensive view of the Arctic’s many faces. Every day offers something new and exciting. We will not miss a single opportunity to encounter amazing Arctic wildlife, to witness incredible polar scenery, and to walk in the footsteps of historic expeditions that came before.

Day 12 Longyearbyen | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
After filling up with one last buffet breakfast on board, we bid you farewell in Longyearbyen. Transfer to the airport or to the town center in case you plan to stay longer in Svalbard. By this time, you may already be making plans for your next amazing trip with us into the polar worlds!

Sea Spirit

Longyearbyen

Deals

Save 10%
Early Booking Savings - Book by October 31, 2020 and save 10% per person. Select departures only. Valid for Triple, Main Deck and Classic Suites cabin types. For new bookings after February 6, 2020. Contact us for details.
Applies to Jun 29, 2021 departure

Save 15%
Early Booking Savings - Book by October 31, 2020 and save 15% per person. Select departures only. Valid for Superior, Deluxe, Premium and Owner's Suite cabin types. For new bookings after February 6, 2020. Contact us for details.
Applies to Jun 29, 2021 departure

Per person starting at
$8,195
Sea Spirit
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Triple Classic
Averaging 226 sq ft. Two twin beds (convert to a King) and a sofa bed, picture window, two wardrobes and en suite facilities.
Sea Spirit
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Main Deck Suite
Averaging 248 sq ft. Two twin beds or a King Size bed, minimum two portholes, and en suite facilities.
Sea Spirit
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Classic Suite
Averaging 226 sq ft. Two twin beds or a King Size bed, picture window, two wardrobes, and en suite facilities.
Sea Spirit
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Superior Suite
Averaging 215 sq ft. Two twin beds or a King Size bed, picture window overlooking outside walkway, and en suite facilities.
Sea Spirit
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Deluxe Suite
Averaging 258 sq ft. Two twin beds or a King Size bed, private balcony, walk-in closet or wardrobe, and en suite facilities.
Sea Spirit
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Premium Suite
Averaging 323 sq ft. Two twin beds or a King Size bed, private balcony, lounge area, and en suite facilities.
Sea Spirit
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Owner's Suite
Averaging 463 sq ft. King size bed and sofa bed, separate living room with game and meeting area, private deck, and en suite facilities with jetted bathtub.

Notes

Travel Insurance:
All passengers must have comprehensive travel insurance coverage with a minimum $200,000 (Antarctica) and $150,000 (Arctic) emergency medical coverage. Additional insurance is strongly recommended.

Solo Travelers:
All rates posted are per person based on double occupancy. Single supplement: 1.7 for Main Deck and Classic, Superior Suite; twice the posted price for Deluxe, Premium and Owner's Suite.

Included in your cruise fare:
  • 1 pre-voyage hotel night
  • Group transfer to the ship on day of embarkation
  • Shipboard accommodation
  • All meals on board throughout the voyage
  • Tea and coffee station 24 hours daily
  • All scheduled landings/excursions (subject to weather and ice conditions)
  • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader & Expedition Team
  • Branded Poseidon Expeditions parka
  • Rubber boots for shore landings for the time of the cruise
  • Welcome and Farewell cocktails
  • All port fees
  • Group transfer to airport or central location upon disembarkation
  • Pre-departure materials
  • Digital Voyage Log
  • Emergency Evacuation Insurance to a maximum benefit of US$150,000 per person
Excluded in your fare:
  • Airfare
  • Visa and passport fees. For this trip Russian visa is required. See your country’s Russian consulate or embassy for details
  • Luggage and trip cancellation insurance
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages other than those for special events and celebrations
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and telecommunication charges
  • Staff gratuities
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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