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Polar bears in the Arctic

North Spitsbergen Explorer – Polar Bears , Bowhead Whales & more

Roundtrip Longyearbyen - Example 8 Day Cruise aboard MV Hondius
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Start your North Spitsbergen cruise with a trek around historic Longyearben, then join this 8-day expedition to the north of the island to take in the fantastically beautiful landscapes, the thousands of seabirds, and of course the star of the show, the polar bear. This voyage aboard the MV Hondius connects you with expert guides to enhance your experience of the stunning Arctic landscapes and uniquely hardy wildlife species that call this harsh habitat home. 
Walruses huddled together on the iceGlass-still waters around SpitsbergenArctic fox during spring in SvalbardHomes in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, NorwayPolar bears in the Arctic
Highlights
  • Explore the north coast of Spitsbergen to admire unique wildlife
  • Prepare to be face to face with the precipitous Monaco Glacier
  • Discover Hinlopen Strait, home to seals and polar bears
  • Visit St. Johns Fjord or south to the mouth of Isfjorden
Places Visited
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Longyearbyen, Norway | Embark

Arrive in Longyearbyen, the main hub of Spitsbergen, the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago. Explore this former mining town, known for its parish church and the intriguing Svalbard Museum. Despite its barren appearance, over a hundred plant species thrive here. In the early evening, the ship departs from Isfjorden, offering a chance to catch sight of the first minke whale of the journey.

Day 2-7: Exploring North Spitsbergen

This voyage takes you into the pack ice and along the remote shorelines of rugged north Spitsbergen. Our landings may change due to sea ice, weather conditions, and wildlife sightings. The expedition leader determines the final plan. Potential destinations include:

Raudfjord
On the north coast of Spitsbergen, you enjoy this expansive fjord filled with glaciers – and maybe even visit by ringed and bearded seals. The cliffs and shoreline also support thriving seabird colonies, rich vegetation, and the possibility of polar bears.

Hamiltonbukta
Here you can see an impressive colony of Brünnich’s guillemots.

Ytre Norskøya
This small island was once a lookout point for Dutch whalers, and in fact, you can still follow their tracks to the summit of the island. The remains of 17th-century blubber ovens can also be seen near about 200 graves. The north side of the island offers the rare opportunity to see puffins near their breeding places, and there is even a small colony of kittiwakes.

Monaco Glacier
Depending on the weather and sea ice, 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 precipitous 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, travelers can implement an alternate route along the west coast of Spitsbergen.

Northwest of Raudfjord
Travelers aim to sail into the pack ice outside the territorial waters of Svalbard, watching for polar bears and elusive Greenland (bowhead) whales. Sail from 80 N to 76 N along and in the outer fringes of the ice edge, look for harp seals, hooded seals, polar bears, and migrating seabirds like little auks, Brünnich’s guillemots, and kittiwakes. On previous voyages in this area, travelers have sometimes seen up to a hundred bowhead whales. Have the chance to see northern bottlenose whales and the first fin whales of the season. The pack ice sailing will be a highlight of this voyage and may take up to three days.

Forlandsundet, St. Johns Fjord, or Alkhornet
Walruses sometimes haul out in Forlandsundet. 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.

Day 8: Longyearbyen | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. Disembark in Longyearbyen, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

Ship/Hotel

MV Hondius

M/V Hondius
MV Hondius

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Deals

$1000 Travel Credit Arctic 2024 23769
Book your Svalbard 2024 cruise  and take advantage of the $1000 travel credit per person, which will be deducted from your cabin price on select June-July departures. This promotion is valid for new bookings only (not for existing reservations) and cannot be combined with other promotions. Additional restrictions may apply. Please contact us for details.

Code: ARCTIC2024
Applies to Jun 10, 2024 departure

Per person starting at
$4,000 2-3 travelers
MV Hondius
Select a Date
Quadruple Porthole
Located on deck 3. Approximately 129 to 194 sq. ft. 2 portholes, 2 upper & lower berths, Small sofa, Private shower & toilet, Flatscreen TV, Desk & chair, Telephone and WiFi, Coffee & tea maker, Hairdryer, Cabinet, Wardrobe.
MV Hondius
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Triple Porthole
Located on deck 3. Approximately 129 to 194 sq. ft. 2 portholes, 1 upper berth & 2 lower berths, Small sofa, Private shower & toilet, Flatscreen TV, Desk & chair, Telephone and WiFi, Coffee & tea maker, Hairdryer, Cabinet, Wardrobe.
MV Hondius
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Twin Porthole
Located on deck 3. Approximately 129 to 194 sq. ft. 2 portholes, 2 single beds, Small sofa, Private shower & toilet, Flatscreen TV, Desk & chair, Telephone and WiFi, Coffee & tea maker, Hairdryer, Cabinet, Wardrobe.
MV Hondius
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Twin Window
Located on deck 4. Approximately 129 to 151 sq. ft. 1 window, 2 single beds, Small sofa, Private shower & toilet, Flatscreen TV, Desk & chair, Telephone and WiFi, Coffee & tea maker, Hairdryer, Cabinet, Wardrobe.
MV Hondius
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Twin deluxe
Located on deck 6. Approximately 205 to 226 sq. ft. 2 windows, 2 single beds, Sofa, Private shower & toilet, Flatscreen TV, Desk & chair, Telephone and WiFi, Refrigerator, Coffee & tea maker, Hairdryer, Cabinet, Wardrobe.
MV Hondius
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Superior
Located on deck 6. Approximately 215 to 226 sq. ft. 2 windows, 1 double bed, Sofa, Private shower & toilet, Flatscreen TV, Desk & chair, Telephone and WiFi, Refrigerator, Coffee & tea maker, Hairdryer, Cabinet, Wardrobe.
MV Hondius
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Junior Suite
Located on deck 7. Approximately 205 to 215 sq. ft. 1 double window, 1 double bed, Sofa, Private shower & toilet, Flatscreen TV, Desk & chair, Telephone and WiFi, Refrigerator, Coffee & tea maker, Hairdryer, Cabinet, Wardrobe.
Grand Suite with Private BalconyMV Hondius
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Grand Suite with balcony
Located on deck 7. Approximately 291 sq. ft. 1 double window, 1 double bed, Sofa, Private balcony, Private shower & toilet, Flatscreen TV, Desk & chair, Telephone and WiFi, Refrigerator, Coffee & tea maker, Hairdryer, Cabinet, Wardrobe.

Notes

Single supplement - Single occupancy of a twin cabin is available at 1.7 times the twin occupancy rate.
Child discount: Children aged 3-15 will be discounted 40% in triple or quad cabins, one child per cabin.
Included
  • 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 7 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.

  • Transfers and Baggage Handling between the Airport, Hotels & Ship Only for Those on the Group Flights to/from 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.

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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
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