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Bowhead whales

Arctic Ocean - Aberdeen, Fair Isle, Jan Mayen, Ice edge, Spitsbergen, Birding

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard MV Plancius
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Embark on a 12-day expedition cruise aboard the MV Plancius. From Vlissingen to explore the North Sea's wonders. Witness diverse marine life, from dolphins to majestic whales. Visit Fowlsheugh's seabird cliffs or the vibrant Ythan Estuary. Explore Fair Isle's serene charm, known for its knitwear. Journey to the remote Norwegian island of Jan Mayen, a haven for whales. Discover its volcanic terrain and historic sites. Sail through sea ice near Spitsbergen, encountering bowhead whales and seals. Enjoy the rich wildlife of Forlandsundet, home to walruses, Arctic foxes, and reindeer.
Admire the colorful houses of LongyearbyenAn Arctic fox gazes across the landscapeEnjoy views of Beerenberg, the highest peak on Jan MayenSpot the Minke whaleBowhead whales
Highlights
  • Discover over 100,000 pairs of seabirds at Fowlsheugh or witness the teeming wildlife at Ythan Estuary
  • Experience the beautiful knitwear of Fair Isle and observe accessible seabird breeding grounds
  • Explore Jan Mayen and keep a lookout for minke, fin, orca, and blue whales
  • Witness the stunning beauty of Forlandsundet and its fascinating wildlife
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: Vlissingen | Embark

You board the vessel at midday in Vlissingen, headed north. Far north.

Day 2: At Sea

Crossing the North Sea and sailing by Doggersbank, you can hope to be lucky enough to spot such species as white-beaked dolphins, harbor porpoises, minke whales, and orcas.

Day 3: Aberdeen

Passengers who boarded in Vlissingen will be offered an excursion by bus to Fowlsheugh, a seabird cliff south of Aberdeen. Over 100,000 pairs of seabirds of different species can be seen here. Alternatively, you can join an excursion to the Ythan Estuary, where the beaches are teeming with harbor seals, gray seals, and birds that keep to the shorelines. Both outings are included in the price of the booking.

Day 4: Fair Isle

Plan to stay the day on Fair Isle, an island in the Shetlands whose seventy-odd inhabitants are known for their beautiful knitwear. This is a fantastic location with accessible seabird breeding grounds, and you may even spot grey seals.

Day 5-6: Jan Mayen

You sail north to the Norwegian island of Jan Mayen, 300 nautical miles northeast of Iceland. Your two days at sea do not pass idly, however. Keep a close lookout for any spouts of water from the surrounding seas, heralding the arrival of a minke, fin, orca, or blue whale.

Day 7: Mt. Beerenberg, Jan Meyen

Jan Mayen is a stark volcanic island crowned by the snow-capped summit of Mt. Beerenberg. From the slopes of this imposing 2,300-meter-high (7,545-foot) volcano, broken glaciers grasp out into the frigid sea. With permission from the Norwegian authorities, you can now visit the weather station. You can also walk to the remains of a 17th-century Dutch whaling station amid the thick moss beds of this stark volcanic landscape.

Day 8-10: At Sea

Basking in the midnight sun, you sail north along the edge of the sea ice in search of bowhead whales, harp seals, polar bears, and a variety of seabirds. You then change direction after about 79° north, cutting east to the rocky edges of the continental shelf of west Spitsbergen. Here you have a good chance of seeing fin whales and, near the glacial mouths of the gaping Spitsbergen fjords, surfacing minke whales.

Day 11: Forlandsundet

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. Alternatively, you might sail into St. Johns Fjord or head 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 12: Longyearbyen | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. You disembark in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

Ship/Hotel

MV Plancius

MV Plancius
MV Plancius

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$3,200 2-3 travelers
Quadruple Porthole
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Quadruple Porthole
4 cabins with private facilities, 2 bunk beds. (ca. 15 m2)
Quadruple Porthole
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Triple Porthole
4 cabins with private facilities, 2 bunk beds. (ca. 15 m2)
Twin porthole cabin
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Twin with Porthole
9 twin private cabins with porthole. Two Lower berths. (ca. 15 m2)
Twin with window
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Twin with Window
26 twin private cabins with window. Two Lower berths (ca. 15 m2)
Twin Deluxe
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Twin Deluxe
2 twin private deluxe cabins. Lower berths - two single beds.(ca. 15 m2)
Superior
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Superior
10 twin superior cabins. Lower berth - double bed. (ca. 21 m2)

Notes

- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double or triple occupancy. Request the Twin or Triple Share Program where you are matched with a cabin mate of the same gender. Even if a cabin mate is not found for you, no single supplement will be charged.
- Single occupancy: All cabins 1.7 times the share twin price
-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 Plancius - including medical, accident and repatriation/evacuation insurance.
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
  • 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
  • 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

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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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
Gale Cantor

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