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Visit the colorful town of Longyearbyen in the far north

North Atlantic Expedition

Reykjavík - Longyearbyen - Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Albatros
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Embark in Reykjavik onboard the Ocean Albatros on this 12-day cruise from Reykjavík to Longyearbyen and begin the trip towards the high Arctic as you depart from Iceland’s volcanic wonderland. Along the way, there are planned landings at an incredible three Arctic islands: Iceland (Grimsey), Jan Mayen, and Spitsbergen. The first days will take you by the ragged cliffs of Iceland's western and northern coasts, including planned visits to the famed "Iceland in miniature", Snaefellness, and the large fjord, Ísafjarðardjúp. When approaching Svalbard, scout for sea mammals and even seal-hunting polar bears on the pack ice. Enjoy the beauty of Svalbard on this high Arctic adventure voyage among whales, walruses, and millions of sea birds.
View of Reykjavik from the Church TowerColorful homes in Longyearbyen, SvalbardLongyearbyen, SvalbardVisit the colorful town of Longyearbyen in the far north
Highlights
  • Enjoy the beauty of Svalbard, and see whales, walruses, and sea birds
  • Visit the famed “Iceland in miniature”, Snaefellness
  • Scout for sea mammals and seal-hunting polar bears on the pack ice
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: Reykjavík, Iceland | Embark

The rock-like columns of Hallgrímskirkja Church loom over the city of Reykjavik, a hip Scandinavian capital that needs little introduction. With new Nordic cuisine, excellent shopping, fantastic excursions and an easy relaxed vibe, Reykjavik is one of Scandinavia's most welcoming and exciting cities. Explore the city's world-class (and often very quirky) museums, shop for snuggly local sweaters, or simply watch this bustling city in action on a cozy cafe terrace. 

MV Ocean Albatros awaits embarkation in the city's bustling harbor, with comfortable staterooms ready to welcome the guests. After the mandatory safety briefings and lifeboat drill, Ocean Albatros will sail out of Reykjavík and chart a course for the majesty of the Snæfellsnes Pensinsula.

Day 2: At Sea | Siglufjordur

From Iceland's bustling capital, sail around the northwestern tip of this rugged island, en route to the town of Siglufjörður. 

The waters around Iceland are some of the richest on planet Earth; here, the warm currents of the Gulf Stream meet the cold East Greenland current, producing waters rich in oxygen and nutrients. Plankton bloom in these productive waters, and they in turn nourish a plethora of species. Round the Westfjords (the rugged peninsula forming Iceland's northwest corner), join your expedition team on deck to watch for the endemic wildlife of this unique seascape. Puffins bob along the waves, diving into the chilly depths in search of food, while fulmars and other seabirds glide along the side of the vessel. If you are lucky, you may witness the whales which come to feast on the vast shoals of herring in the area. Your experienced onboard guides will regale the guests with tales of Iceland's rich folklore, culture and unique marine ecosystems. 

A day at sea is the ideal time to familiarise yourself with your expedition vessel; relax in the Observation Lounge with a coffee and a pair of binoculars, take in an expertly crafted lecture to learn more about the region, or enjoy a specially made cocktail with new friends as you approach Siglufjörður. 

Day 3: Siglufjörður | Grimsey

In the morning, Ocean Albatros will arrive in the small town of Siglufjörður, the northernmost town on the Icelandic mainland. Like almost every town in Iceland, the harbor is the heart of the town, which boomed from a tiny hamlet to a true town in the 1940s and 50s during the herring boom. This little fish has been the mainstay of the town's economy since time immemorial and made Siglufjörður one of Iceland's largest towns in the 1950s. 

Siglufjörður is a town that has fully embraced its history and identity - everywhere in town, the herring reigns supreme! The Herring Era Museum, a series of period buildings shows the traditional processing of these fish, which continues to this day. The town occupies one of the most stunning fjords (bearing the same name) in Iceland; up to 18 species of birds can be found in the area, making it a hugely popular spot for visitors driving the ring road of Iceland. 

Over lunch,  re-embark Ocean Albatros and reposition from Siglufjörður to Grimsey, a small island off Iceland's northern coast. This tiny emerald island is the only part of Iceland that crosses the Arctic Circle - indeed, it runs directly through the northern half of the island. The spot is marked by a massive concrete sphere "Orbus et Globus", a sculpture that is moved annually to account for tiny changes in Earth's orbit (and therefore in the position of the Arctic Circle). The island is home to only around 70 hardy locals, but also to thousands of seabirds. Watch out for curious puffins peeking out of their burrows, and beware the territorial Arctic terns overhead! The island holds a huge tern population, and workers often have to clear the runway of these elegant yet feisty little birds to allow planes to land. 

Grimsey marks your official passage into the Arctic; from here, sail into the unknown as you head next to the enigmatic island of Jan Mayen. 

Day 4: At Sea | Jan Mayen

Leaving Iceland behind, Ocean Albatros will spend a day at sea en route to Jan Mayen, an isolated volcanic island roughly equidistant between Greenland, Svalbard and Iceland. Here, warmer water from the Atlantic meets the cold waters of East Greenland, often producing murky foggy conditions. However, the mixing of waters produces nutritious waters which nourish the wildlife of the area - from the vast shoals of herring so important to towns like Siglufjörður, to the whales which grow more common as you approach the shores of Jan Mayen. 

Days at sea are never dull. AThere is a variety of activities onboard for the guests to enjoy to engage the mind, body and soul. Join your knowledgeable Expedition Team lecturers in the Theatre to hear specially-crafted lectures on local history, wildlife, geology, culture and more, unwind with a massage in the Albatros Polar Spa, or simply watch the seabirds gliding along the ship from the hot tubs as the Ocean Albatros flies across the Davis Strait.

Day 5: Jan Mayen

The active volcanic island of Jan Mayen lies approximately equidistant between Svalbard, Greenland and Iceland. If not exactly in the middle of the Greenland Sea, it is located precisely on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the reason for its volcanic existence. This enigmatic and isolated island is the only active volcano in Norway, and the northernmost active volcano in the world - although the almost perpetual clouds and fog hovering over the summit can make it hard to spot! The volcanic peak of Mt. Beerenberg reaches 2,277m altitude - making it one of Norway's 300 summits exceeding 2000m. 
 
The island is inhabited by only 18 persons, a mixture of scientists running the meteorological station and Norwegian Military personnel. Subject to strong winds and a large well, landing on this incredibly remote island can be challenging; try to go ashore at the narrowest part of the island, from either south or north, depending on the prevailing wind and surf. The volcanic origin is visible all over with cinder cones, lava flows and the Mount Fuji-like appearance of Beerenberg looming above, while creeping tundra plants and squabbling seabirds seek out a living in the extreme environment of the island. 

Day 6: At Sea | Svalbard

From Jan Mayen, we set a northeasterly course, aiming for the high Arctic islands of Svalbard. Situated approximately 800km north of the Norwegian mainland, Svalbard is extremely remote and isolated; Longyearbyen, the island's "capital" lies only 1200km from the North Pole, 800km closer than Oslo. 

Sailing to Svalbard requires a ship capable of handling any ice or rough weather that may be encountered in these northerly seas. To the west of Jan Mayen lies the West Ice, a vast expanse of floating sea ice that hugs the coast of East Greenland, occasionally drifting across the Greenland Sea to Svalbard even in summer. Luckily, Ocean Albatros boasts Polar Code 6 and Ice Class 1A ratings, making her ideal for all but the thickest Arctic ice. The unique X-Bow design of the hull also offers enhanced stability in rough seas. 

Keep your binoculars close at hand as you approach Svalbard. These islands are a haven for wildlife; migrate northwards, so do the whales, seals and birds that live on and around this magnificent archipelago during the summer. As you approach Svalbaexpect the concentration of wildlife to increase. Approach the continental shelf offshore of Svalbard during your second afternoon at sea, keep watch for the whales that come to feed on the abundant plankton that rises to the surface. Once hunted to near-extinction for their oily blubber, these gentle ocean giants are now staging a comeback and are common around Svalbard in summer - a true conservation success story! 

Day 7-8: Southern Svalbard

Arrive on the afternoon of the seventh day of your voyage on the forbidding shores of southern Svalbard. Roughly triangular, the southern half of Svalbard comprises countless fjords, islets and skerries, all of which beckon exploration. 

At first glance, this region may seem barren and lifeless. But look closer and the exact opposite it true - saxifrages, Svalbard poppies and other tundra plants defy the brutal weather, their jewel-like flowers reaching for the weak Arctic sunlight. Tiny calico snow buntings flit between crags, while perfectly camouflaged purple sandpipers scamper along the shore. Look higher up on the vegetated slopes, and there - greyish white 'boulders' move and resolve themselves into sheep-sized reindeer: the unique subspecies native to Svalbard. A flash of bluish-black and the screeches of nearby birds herald the arrival of the Arctic fox, the only native land predator on Svalbard (the polar bear being classified as a marine mammal). 

Day 9: Kongsfjorden Region

During the ‘night’ (what is night, when the sun never sets?), Ocean Albatros will have repositioned past the saw-toothed mountains of  Prins Karls Forland and arrived in magnificent Kongsfjord. Surrounded by craggy mountains, bounded by the magnificent Kongsbreen and Kongvegen Glaciers, and crowned by the Three Crowns (a set of pyramidal mountains said to represent the monarchies of Norway, Sweden and Denmark), this is surely one of the most beautiful and tranquil corners anywhere in the world. 

First landing will be at the small settlement of Ny Ålesund. Situated further north than Longyearbyen, Ny-Ålesund is Earth's northernmost settlement, if a group of scientific stations, a post office and a single shop open for a few hours can be described as such... You will have to judge for yourself!

These islands' geographical location has made them the staging post for exploratory and scientific expeditions for centuries - a proud legacy that continues to this day. The setting is spectacular, and the scientific projects are as fascinating as the history of the town, which has hosted the Nobile, the Norge and the Fram, Amundsen, Nansen and Nordenskiöld, all legends of polar exploration who passed this lonely outpost seeking to push the boundaries of humanity. The remnants of these expeditions (such as the mooring mast of the Norge) can still be seen today. 

Day 10: Northwestwern Spitzbergen

One of the largest protected wilderness areas in Europe, North West Svalbard was declared a national park in 1973. The area is famed for its history, which documents some of the earliest human arrivals on Svalbard. While Norse explorers may have sighted these icy shores during the Viking Age, the first definite arrival was the expedition of William Barents, the legendary Dutch explorer for whom the Barents Sea is named. While now protected from human disruption, when Barents arrived in 1596, he noted the vast numbers of whales and seals which were soon prey to English and Dutch whalers, who arrived within a decade of Barents to pillage the area's wildlife. The area occupied the triple point between land, sea and ice, and as such was the perfect location from which to harvest the gentle giants of the oceans.

Sites used to dismember whale carcasses and render them for their precious oil include the Dutch settlement of Smeerenburg, where the remains of 16th-century blubber ovens and building foundations can still be seen. Other sites such as nearby Ytre Norskøya record the darker side of this industrialised slaughter, where hundreds of young men who hoped to make their fortunes are buried thousands of miles from home. 

Today, all that remains from this period of history are bones and the scant remnants of human habitation. Slowly reclaimed by creeping Arctic nature, the region is now a nature lovers paradise. Tiny Arctic poppies and purple saxifrage defy the brutal conditions to flower in the brief summer, while geese, eider ducks and other seabirds return to the island to raise their young. Walrus can be found hauled out on beaches, always be on the lookout for wandering polar bears in this wild region. The experienced Expedition Team will be on the constant lookout for wildlife (including polar bears) throughout the voyage.

Day 11: Central Spitzbergen

Retreat from your voyage's northernmost point, set a course for central Spitzbergen. Measuring around 400km in length from north to south, Spitzbergen is the largest island of Svalbard, the archipelago it is synonymous with. The entire island of Spitzbergen experiences a polar tundra climate, with short, cool summers and long, dark, brutally cold winters. Nonetheless, life clings on here, and Svalbard's extraordinary wildlife can be found throughout Spitzbergen. 

On your final full day in Svalbard, head to wherever offers us the best opportunities for landing, exploration and wildlife experiences, guided by your experienced Expedition Leader and Captain - such is the essence of an Arctic expedition! Perhaps you will find a particularly spectacular glacier, and launch our fleet of Zodiacs to explore the hinterland where ice meets land meets sea. Notice a colony of seabirds, or a herd of reindeer, and come ashore to observe them. Or maybe you will be lucky enough to spot a polar bear, king of the Arctic as you cruise along the coastline towards your final destination of Longyearbyen, the 'capital' of Svalbard. 

Day 12: Longyearbyen | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Early in the morning, the ship is at anchor outside Longyearbyen. After breakfast and farewell greetings to the expedition team and crew, disembarkation will take place.

Ship/Hotel

Ocean Albatros

Ocean Albatros BBQ Deck
Ocean Albatros Fitness
Ocean Albatros Pool Deck

Dates & Prices

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Deals

Last Minute Offer 22218
Don't miss out on this offer and enjoy up to 50% off. Grab this limited-time opportunity to book your cruise today. This offer is valid on new bookings only and selected departures. To qualify, personal details and full payment must be received within 48 hours of the booking. This promotion is subject to availability and cannot be combined with any other discount. Additional restrictions may apply. Please contact us for details.
Applies to Jun 5, 2024 departure

Per person starting at
$8,790 2-3 travelers
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
  • 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 11 Dinners
  • 11 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
  • Near-port walks with the expedition team
  • Dinner drink package
  • Free coffee, tea, and afternoon snacks on the ship
  • Taxes, tariffs, and landing fees
  • Nature hikes and Zodiac cruises per itinerary
  • Flight: Longyearbyen-Oslo
  • Local transport in Longyearbyen on day 12
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.
  • Transfer to the ship in Reykjavik
  • International flight to Reykjavik/Keflavik

Map

When to Go

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.

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