Have questions? We're here.
North Spitsbergen Polar Bear

North & East Spitsbergen & Bear Island

Example 16 Day Cruise aboard Ortelius
Talk with an expert
Build your ideal Arctic trip. Call 1.406.541.2677
Start Planning My Trip
Discover North and East Spitsbergen on a 16-Day cruise aboard Ortelius. The North Spitsbergen Basecamp cruise offers various activities to explore the Arctic region, including hiking, snowshoeing, kayaking, and wildlife photography. The eastern shores of Spitsbergen provide breathtaking rugged landscapes and opportunities to spot exotic Arctic wildlife such as minke whales, Arctic foxes, and polar bears. The expedition also includes a visit to Bear Island, a paradise for bird enthusiasts, with large colonies of Brünnich's guillemots, kittiwakes, and fulmars nesting on shoreline cliffs amidst drift ice. Join the North Spitsbergen Basecamp cruise and the East Spitsbergen cruise, which focuses on polar bears and pack ice, for an extraordinary tour of this incredible Arctic island.
Mysterious Spitsbergen sceneryKayak in SpitsbergenNorth Spitsbergen Polar BearRugged RaudfjordenPomor trappers at RussebuktaBell Sund’s flora, faunaKittiwakes, canyons, and south EdgeøyaBearded seal in Svalbard, NorwayWalruses huddled together on the iceHomes in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, NorwayPolar bears in the ArcticArctic fox during spring in SvalbardNorth Spitsbergen Polar Bear
Highlights
  • Explore Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago
  • Spot Arctic foxes scouting for fallen chicks or a bearded seal paddling
  • Visit Raudfjorden to take in an expansive fjord spilling with glaciers
  • Discover Hinlopen Strait, home to bearded seals, ringed seals & polar bear
  • See Marvellous birdlife including Kittiwake and Brünnich’s Guillemot
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
0

Full Itinerary

Expand All

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 plants 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.

Day 2: Kongsfjorden | Blomstrandhalvøya

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
On the first day of your activity program, travelers will slowly ease into things. Blomstrandhalvøya is located on the northern side of the fjord, which will offer shelter and room to change plans in case the weather changes. In the afternoon, you visit Ny Ålesund, one of the northernmost settlements on Earth. Once a mining village served by the world’s most northerly railway – you can still see its tracks – Ny Ålesund is now a research center.

Close to the community is a breeding ground for barnacle geese, pink-footed geese, and Arctic terns. And if you’re interested in the history of Arctic exploration, visit the anchoring mast used by polar explorers Amundsen and Nobile in their airships, Norge (1926) and Italia (1928). In the evening, travelers head north along the west coast and spend the night in the sheltered surroundings of Krossfjorden.



 

Day 3: Amsterdamoya

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Next to activities, travelers will next head toward Amsterdamoya, where you have the chance to hike past the remains of a 17th-century whaling station. You can also enjoy the beautiful panorama of Smeerenburgsleta. In the afternoon, you make for the islands around Fair Haven.

Day 4: Raudfjorden

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At Raudfjorden, on the north coast of Spitsbergen, you can take in an expansive fjord spilling with glaciers – and maybe even be 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. Here, travelers will find the right balance between safe activities and wildlife watching.

Day 5: Liefdefjorden

  • 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 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, you may use an alternate route along the west coast of Spitsbergen. Near the area of Texas Bar and Hornbaekpollen, there are also some great hikes.

Day 6: North Spitsbergen splendors

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This is your reserve day for activities around North Spitsbergen. Weather and wildlife permitting, your expedition team will choose the right location for another day of splendid outdoor adventures.

Day 7: Forlandsundet or St. Johns Fjord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Forlandsundet, between the main island of Spitsbergen and the narrow Prins Karls Forland, is a place of great beauty and fascinating wildlife. Walruses sometimes haul out here, and seabirds can be found around Fuglehuken. You may also see walrus populations around Sarstangen and Poolepynten. Alternatively, travelers might sail into St. Johns Fjord or south to the mouth of Isfjorden, landing at Alkhornet. Seabirds nest on these cliffs, Arctic foxes search below for fallen eggs and chicks, and reindeer graze the sparse vegetation. You will arrive in Longyearbyen later that night.

Day 8: Longyearbyen

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 travelers might spot the first minke whale of the voyage.

Day 9: Hornsund

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Travelers start the day by quietly cruising the side fjords of the spectacular Hornsund area in southern Spitsbergen, enjoying the scenery of towering mountain peaks. The mountain of Hornsundtind rises to 1,431 meters (4,695 feet), while the peak of Bautaen testifies to why early Dutch explorers gave this island the name Spitsbergen, meaning “pointed mountains.”

There are 14 magnificent glaciers in the area, and travelers have a fair chance of encountering seals and polar bears. The nearby cliffs of Sofiakammen are also home to thousands of pairs of nesting kittiwakes and little auks, and in the evening, you might see thousands of harp seals rutting on ice floes at Sørkapp.

Day 10: Bear Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Travelers arrive at the southeastern end of Bear Island, a great place for viewing large seabird colonies. The nearby nesting cliffs are part of an extensive nature reserve where large ships are not allowed to bring passengers on shore. Afterward, you’ll sail northeast into Sorhamna, where you can get closer to the seabird cliffs. Chiefly Brünnichs guillemots, kittiwakes, and fulmars nest here.

Just north of this, in Kvalrossbukta, travelers will land and see the remains of a whaling station from early in the previous century. You might also make a landing in a shallow valley, such as Rendalen, and look for (at a safe distance) great skuas, large seabirds known to be fiercely territorial. As you continue north along the east side of Bear Island, you may still encounter dazzling shoals of drift ice.

Day 11: Hopen Island

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
On the way to Hopen, travelers may encounter sea ice with rutting harp seals. You land at the southern end of Hopen Island, at Koefoetodden, where you can see the remains of 17th-century whaling sites. Through nearby Bekkeskaret are an easy route to Kvasstoppen (190 meters, 620 feet) and the remains of a plane from World War II. Hopen Radio station is the most remote manned weather station in all of Svalbard.

Day 12: South Edgeøya

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sailing along the western side of the Tusenöyane (where you’re not allowed to land in summer), you may see polar bears and walruses as you approach Risetreppen. This beautiful canyon features an accessible kittiwake colony. During your walk, you may encounter reindeer on the lush tundra.

Day 13: Russebukta

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At Ardalstangen, you go on shore in an area with lakes and different species of waterfowl. Nearby in Habenichtbukta, travelers can look from some distance to a wintering site of 18th-century Pomor trappers, who often stayed for years in the same place. Later in the afternoon, you land at the south side of Russebukta, near a tundra with reindeer and great walking opportunities.

Day 14: South Spitsbergen

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, you aim to land at the mountain of Stellingfjellet, near the largest colony of Brünnich’s guillemots in Spitsbergen. Later in the day, you will make landings at the rarely visited coast of south Spitsbergen, at the bay of Isbukta.

Day 15: Bell Sund

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Travelers continue your voyage in Bell Sund, one of the largest fjord systems in Svalbard. The ocean currents make this area slightly warmer than other areas in the archipelago, which shows in the relatively lush vegetation. Here there are excellent opportunities to enjoy both history and wildlife.

One possibility is Ahlstrandhalvøya, at the mouth of Van Keulenfjorden, where piles of beluga skeletons can be found. These remains of 19th-century whale slaughter are a haunting reminder of the consequences of rampant exploitation. Fortunately, belugas were not hunted to extinction, and you might even see one here. Alternatively, travelers may land at Millarodden on the north side of Bell Sund. Here, travelers can see a walrus haul-out site and possibly make an excursion on the tundra of Ingeborgfjellet, with its thousands of little auks.

Day 16: Longyearbyen | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
The adventure comes to an end exactly where it started. Today you disembark in Longyearbyen, taking away memories that will accompany you wherever your next journey lies.

Ship/Hotel

Ortelius

M/V Ortelius Reception Area
M/V Ortelius at Torellneset, Spitsbergen
The bar and observation lounge aboard the Ortelius.

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$8,600
M/V Ortelius Quadruple Porthole
Select a Date
Quadruple Porthole
4 quadruple cabins with 2 portholes, 2 upper / lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Hairdryer, Ample storage space.
M/V Ortelius Triple Porthole
Select a Date
Triple 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
Twin Porthole on the Ortelius
Select a Date
Twin Porthole
23 twin cabins with 2 portholes, 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Hairdryer, ample storage space.
Twin Window on the Ortelius
Select a Date
Twin Window
10 twin cabins with 2 windows, 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Hairdryer, ample storage space.
M/v Ortelius Twin Deluxe
Select a Date
Twin Deluxe
6 superior cabins with 3 windows, 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Small sofa, Refrigerator, Coffee & tea maker, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Hairdryer, ample storage space.
M/V Ortelius Superior Cabin
Select a Date
Superior
1 suite with 2 windows (minimum), 1 double bed, 1 single (sofa) bed, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Refrigerator, Coffee & tea maker, Hairdryer, ample storage space.

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 will be discounted 40% in triple or quad cabins, one child per cabin.
- 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.
Included
  • 15 Breakfasts, 14 Lunches, 15 Dinners
  • 10 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • All Miscellaneous Service Taxes and Port Charges Throughout the Program
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.
  • AECO Fees and Governmental Taxes
  • During “Basecamp” departures, all offered activities (including camping, kayaking, snowshoe/hiking, mountaineering, photo workshop), as well as standard included shore excursions and zodiac cruises, are free of charge.
  • Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to Longyearbyen.
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Passport and Applicable Visa Expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes
  • Pre- and Post Land Arrangements
  • Fuel Surcharge - to be invoiced separately
  • Meals ashore
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • Medical travel insurance, including emergency medical attention and evacuation coverage with a minimum of $100,000 of evacuation coverage is required.
  • Parkas are not provided on your cruise. Please bring your own windproof, waterproof, insulated parka with you. You will want to make sure it is roomy enough to fit warm layers underneath. Click here for information about parka rental.

Map

Inquire

* By providing your phone number, you consent to receive direct phone calls or SMS messages from our Trip Planners to get the process started. We do not share your information with third-parties.
Travel Agents

We Love to Talk Travel

Call 1.800.344.6118
or
Chat Now
Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

Arctic Travel Guide

Favorite Arctic All Trips

More Reasons

Why Travel With Adventure Life

All News

Recognized By