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Colorful homes in Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Svalbard - Last Stop before the North Pole

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Albatros
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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 Albatros, 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 Albatros 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
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.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen | Embark

Board a chartered flight in Oslo, Norway, bound for Longyearbyen in Spitsbergen. 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 Albatros, 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 | Fly to Oslo

  • 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. Board a charter flight to Oslo and connect with your overnight flight home.

Ship/Hotel

Ocean Albatros

Ocean Albatros BBQ Deck
Ocean Albatros Fitness
Ocean Albatros Pool Deck

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$7,390
Ocean Albatros Cat GOcean Albatros Cat G
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Category G
Single Stateroom (Porthole) - 14 m2 Standard single Stateroom onboard, located on deck 3. This is a conveniently located State Room close to the Mudroom which facilitates access to the Zodiacs during embarkation and disembarkation to begin your adventures.
Ocean Albatros Cat FOcean Albatros Cat F
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Category F
Triple Stateroom (Porthole) - 22 m2 There are four Triple Staterooms on board Ocean Albatros featuring portholes, all with private en-suites. Located on Deck 3, they're close to the mudroom and loading platforms. Triple staterooms are normally with twin beds however a double bed can be accommodated.
Ocean Albatros Cat EOcean Albatros Cat E
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Category E
French Balcony Stateroom - 14 m2 The French Balcony Suite is a standard Stateroom with a French balcony, a double bed, floor-to-ceiling windows and a bathroom. All French Balcony Suites are located on Deck 7.
Ocean Albatros Cat DOcean Albatros Cat D
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Category D
Albatros Stateroom (Porthole) - 13-22 m2 The standard Stateroom on Ocean Albatros is close to the Mudroom and has quick access to the Zodiac platforms for disembarkation during landings. This is very convenient if you have more limited mobility and would like a short distance to the Zodiacs. The State Rooms are perfect for those who wish a comfortable base during their stay onboard Ocean Albatros. The standard State Rooms all have a double bed or 2 single beds and a bathroom. The State Rooms are located on deck 3 and 4.
Ocean Albatros Cat COcean Albatros Cat B Balcony
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Category C
Balcony Stateroom - 18-22 m2 The most abundant type of Stateroom on Ocean Albatros located on decks 4 & 6. They have a balcony, a double bed or two single beds, a bathroom and a sofa that can be used as a bed for a child if traveling as a family. If you desire to book two staterooms with connecting doors, this is also a possibility within this category.
Ocean Albatros Cat COcean Albatros Cat C Balcony
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Category Csp
Superior Balcony Stateroom (48) app. 24 sqm, including Balcony.
Ocean Albatros Cat COcean Albatros Cat C Balcony
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Category Cxl
Grand Balcony Stateroom (4) app. 30 sqm, including Balcony.
Ocean Albatros Cat BOcean Albatros Cat B Balcony
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Category B
Balcony Suite approximately - 25-32 m2 Ocean Albatros has 6 Balcony Suites on board located on decks 4 & 6. The suites feature double or twin beds and a seating area, bathroom, and a large balcony. The balcony suites can host 2 people.
Ocean Albatros Cat AOcean Albatros Cat A Balcony
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Category A
Junior suite - 39 m2 The 4 junior suites aboard Ocean Albatros have a great view from their location high up on the ship on deck 7. The suites feature a double bed or twin beds, sofa bed, seating area, a spacious bathroom and a private balcony. The suite can accommodate up to 3 people.
Ocean Albatros Premium SuiteOcean Albatros Premium Suite
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Premium Suite (Freydis Suite)
Premium suite - 45 m2 – FS (Freydis Suite) The second largest of all the staterooms on board the Ocean Albatros is the Premium Suite. This 2-bedroom suite features a double bed (or twin beds), a sofa bed, table and chair, a balcony and a spacious bathroom. Located on deck.4. This category is available upon request. Please refer to Albatros Expeditions for price.
Ocean Albatros Family SuiteOcean Albatros Family Suite
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Family Suite (Brynhilde Suite)
Family suite - 52 m2 – BS (Brynhilde Suite) The largest of all the staterooms on board the Ocean Albatros is the Premium Suite. The Double-Bedroom, Family Suite is going to be located on Deck 7, featuring two interconnecting French Balcony Suites, accommodating up to 5 people on two double beds and a sofa bed. This category is available upon request. Please refer to Albatros Expeditions for price.

Notes

Kayaking activities available on both Arctic and Antarctic voyages. 
Although kayaking opportunities are possible in most locations during each excursion in the Antarctic region, weather, sea, and ice conditions will dictate the when and where to ensure your safety and improve your experience.
In order to sign up for this activity, you need to have previous kayaking experience and attend a mandatory safety briefing by the Kayak Master. The cost is $345/person per outing and it can only be booked onboard.

Possible shared staterooms for same-gender, single travelers: Category C (Balcony Stateroom) and Category F (Triple Porthole Stateroom)
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
  • Welcome and Farewell Cocktails   
  • Digital visual journal link after voyage, including voyage log, gallery, species list and more.
  • English-speaking expedition team
  • Information briefings and lectures by expedition team
  • Special photo workshop
  • Guided walks with the expedition team
  • Local transport in Longyearbyen on days 1 and 8
  • Dinner drink package
  • Free coffee, tea, and afternoon snacks on the ship
  • Taxes, tariffs, and landing fees
  • Nature hikes and Zodiac cruises per itinerary
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Beverages (other than coffee and tea)
  • Anything not mentioned under 'inclusions'
  • Extra excursions and activities not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Meals not on board the ship
  • Tips for the crew (we recommend USD 14 per person per day)
  • Emergency Evacuation insurance of at least $200,000 per passenger is required. Please bring a copy of your insurance onboard.
  • Snowshoeing - Offered on all Nov - Dec trips if conditions allow. (For Svalbard trips, only in June) This be booked onboard only.
  • Kayaking - Offered on all ships and all trips if conditions allow. This can be booked onboard only.

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