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Colorful homes in Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Svalbard - Last Stop before the North Pole

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Atlantic
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Discover Svalbard's enormous grandeur on this Arctic adventure tour with whales, walruses, polar bears, and an abundance of marine birds. Experience the Arctic's high summer aboard Ocean Atlantic, one of the only ice-class expedition ships capable of navigating the North Pole's pack ice. Sail as close to the pack ice as possible from the North Pole north of Svalbard, the polar bear's preferred summer habitat. Ocean Victory's ability to travel north and the specific itinerary depends on weather and ice conditions. Skirt the island for breathtaking views of stunning fjords, glaciers, and ice; keep an eye out for polar bears and other animals, and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience at the top of the world.
Walruses coming ashore in the arcticBearded seal in Svalbard, NorwayWalking through vast arctic landscapes. Polar bears in the ArcticColorful homes in Longyearbyen, Svalbard
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
Places Visited
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen | Embark

Upon arriving at Longyearbyen, a short city tour 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 Victory, 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: Regnardneset | Lilliehook Glacier

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During the ‘night’ (what is night, when the sun never sets?), you have passed Prins Karls Forland and arrived in the magnificent Krossfjord. Your visit to Svalbard is in the middle of the arctic summer, and at this time of year, the migrating birds are very active. The months of June and July offer the best chances of spotting exotic and fantastic birds. Plan on making a landing during the morning at Möllerhamna or in another suitable location. The majestic landscape around Regnardneset in the innermost area of Krossfjorden gives you your first taste of what has enticed the early explorers of these lands in the far north. In the afternoon, continue further north into the fjord system. You may do a Zodiac cruise along the Lilliehöök Glacier front or enjoy a lecture depending on the ice situation.

With some arctic luck, be able to navigate past the magnificent scenery in the bay of Fjortende Juli, where the glacier Fjortende Juli-Breen calves into the fjord. A fitting end to a day full of scenic views and arctic wildlife.

Day 3: Northwest Svalbard

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
You have now entered northwest Svalbard, 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 land at Smeerenburg the legendary whaling town of 17th century. 200-plus men were living – and quite often dying – here in the heyday of blubber production.

There are several exciting places to visit in this northwestern corner of Spitsbergen. If conditions allow, make a landing on Ytre Norskøya, where whalers would have their lookout posts.

Day 4: Alkefjellet

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning, arrive and cruise slowly by the famous Alkefjellet. If the weather is on “our side,” we may have a good view of the cliffs. The whole area is home to a dense congregation of Brünichs guillemots. There are so many birds that hardly an inch is free. The breeding pairs offer a wild view of frantic activity during the summer, along the cliffs and the sea in front.

More wildlife awaits us as we land at the polar desert landscapes of Torrelnesset. The beach here is home to a host of walruses that lay amongst each other. They feed on the clams and any other mollusks that they can find in the shallows of Svalbard’s waters.

Day 5: Sjuoyane

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During the night, the ship steers far north towards the edge of the polar pack ice. Only time and weather will tell how far north, 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 seals - 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. A hard life indeed!

During the day, you can enjoy lectures on polar mammals, the environment, and culture in the Viking Theater. You can arrange a zodiac cruise if you get into the pack ice where the sea is usually calm.

A part goal of the day is also to reach the island Nordaustlandet, and hopefully, it is 7 (or 9, depending on how you count) smaller islands Sjuøyane in the far north of Svalbard. The almost vegetation-free, rocky islands located around 1000 km are more northern than mainland Norway’s famous Nordkapp.

Weather permitting, land and walk these most northern landmasses. The high Arctic islands are pretty barren, only with moss and lichens covering the stones. The birdlife is rich in this area, and some of the rarer gulls frequent these islands. So bring your binoculars.

Start cruising towards the Liefdefjord and its landscapes.

Day 6: Monaco Glacier

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During the night, we head to Wood Fjord and its branch, the Liefde Fjord. Plan to embark on a Zodiac cruise along the broad glacier front of Monacobreen to give a unique insight into the glacial forces and the unlimited forms of icebergs. The ice front is named after Albert I of Monaco, a significant sponsor of Svalbard research.

Many trappers historically hunted and were trapped in these areas. Some of them stayed over the winter and built cabins. The cabin known as Texas Bar, said to be named after the US state of Texas, was built in 1927. Plan to visit the area around the cabin and enjoy the scenery that surrounds you.

Day 7: NY Alesund | NY London

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today enter the beautiful Kongs Fjord known for the former mining settlement and simply being one of the most fantastic fjord areas in all of Svalbard. Our first landing will be at Ny Ålesund. This settlement is, in fact, further north than Longyearbyen, making it THE northernmost town. But, there is a group of scientific stations, a post office, and a single shop open for a few hours in a real town? Judge for yourself. The setting is lovely, the scientific projects are exciting, and the town's history. The Captain tries to get alongside so that you can enjoy a leisurely walk through the area.

On the opposite side of the fjord, we find the abandoned marble mining settlement Ny London. Its history is short but hectic, as the marble deposits allowed for an almost Klondike-like rush to mine the resources. Wars and failing financial viability ended the adventure only nine years after it started. We take a walk amongst the ruins of workshops, locomotives, and cranes, a testament to the tremendous but failed investments.

After the visit, you are southbound towards the entrance to the Isfjord. On our way towards Longyearbyen, we hope to get last glimpses of wildlife and the genuinely unique landscapes of Svalbard.

Day 8: Longyearbyen | Disembark

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

Ship/Hotel

Ocean Atlantic

Theater
Coffee Lounge
Mudroom

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$3,790
Category G
Select a Date
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
  • Charter flight Oslo-Longyearbyen-Oslo
  • 8-day/7-night cruise in a shared outside/inside double stateroom with private bathroom/toilet in the category chosen
  • English-speaking expedition team
  • Nature hikes and Zodiac cruises per itinerary
  • 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
  • Welcome and farewell cocktails    
  • Taxes, tariffs and AECO fees  
  • Special photo workshop
  • Welcome and farewell cocktails
  • Digital visual journal link after voyage, including voyage log, gallery, species list and more!
EXCLUSIONS
  • Hotel accommodation in Oslo
  • 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 'Price includes'.

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Beyond expectations! Then again we weren't sure what to expect. Lovely stay at the lodge, met other like-minded travelers (many had their trips planned by Adventure Life) and the owner was a gracious hostess. It felt like you were one happy family, visiting with a favorite aunt.
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