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Surfacing Humpback Whales

Arctic Ocean Expedition, Bremerhaven - Fair Isle - Jan Mayen - Spitsbergen

Example 13 Day Cruise aboard MV Janssonius
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Polar bears in the Arctic
Highlights
  • Cruise along the edge of sea-ice and into elaborate fjord systems
  • Explore the volcanic and glacier-covered Jan Mayen island
  • Observe orca and minke whales native to the Scottish waters
  • Tour ancient stone towers built by the Picts on the Shetland Islands
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Vlissingen

You board the vessel in Vlissingen in the afternoon, and we depart on our voyage that evening.

Day 2: Frisian Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Frisian Islands (Friesland in German and Dutch), also known as the Wadden Sea Islands, lie between western Denmark and the northwestern reaches of the Netherlands. Large areas of the Wadden Sea, where these islands are located, become dry during low tide, and much of the Frisian Islands comprise an international wildlife reserve of environmentally protected areas. You will be able to see these islands from a distance, and in the late evening or early hours of the following day, the vessel will arrive in Bremerhaven.

Day 3: Bremerhaven, Germany

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Passengers who joined us in Vlissingen will have some free time on this day, enjoying the opportunity to roam about town on their own. There are several fine museums and attractions (Klimahaus, Schifffahrtsmuseum, Zoo am Meer, etc.) in addition to walks along the shoreline. You then board the vessel by midday, departing in the afternoon and sailing about five hours to the small island of Helgoland. The ship will not make landings here, but we will sail as close as possible to the island in the hopes of getting some good views of the steep seabird cliffs on its west side. These cliffs are known for their many breeding seabirds (gannets, kittiwakes, and guillemots), a winning sight for any bird lover. We’ll then continue our voyage across the North Sea. 

Day 4: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Crossing the North Sea and sailing by Doggersbank, you stand an excellent chance of spotting minke whales, white-beaked dolphins, and harbour porpoises. Several other cetaceans, including orcas (killer whales), are also native to these seas.

Day 5: Fair Isle

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At Fair Isle, in the Shetlands, the roughly seventy inhabitants (renowned for their knitwear) welcome you for a walk to the local bird observatory. This location is a haven for sea birds, though you may also spot grey seals.

Day 6-7: Jan Mayen

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
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 8: Jan Mayen

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 feet) 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 9-11: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
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 west 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 12: Forlandsundet | Isfjorden

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
German whalers sailed from Hamburg to Spitsbergen in the middle of the 17th century. They established whaling stations, for instance in Hamburgbukta, south of Magdalenefjorden. We are in the area and the time allowing us may stop there. Otherwise, the focus is on 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 13: Longyearbyen

  • 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. But if you’re still craving additional chances to spot the Arctic’s most iconic apex predator, stay on board for our seven-night north Spitsbergen voyage, “in search of polar bears & pack ice.”

Photo Gallery

Polar bears in the Arctic Sun shining on the ice Walruses coming ashore in the arctic Surfacing Humpback Whales Admire the colorful houses of Longyearbyen

Map

Ship/Hotel

MV Janssonius

MV Janssonius
MV Janssonius
MV Janssonius

Dates & Prices

Per person starting at
$3,100
MV Janssonius
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Quadruple Porthole
quadruple cabins with bunk beds and private facilities (these can also be used as triple or twin cabins). Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin
MV Janssonius
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Triple Porthole
triple cabins with bunk beds and private facilities. These cabins are spacious with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin.
MV Janssonius
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Twin Porthole
twin cabins with portholes, private toilet and shower and 2 single lower berths. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin.
MV Janssonius
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Twin Window
twin cabins with windows, private toilet and shower and 2 single lower berths. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin
MV Janssonius
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Twin Deluxe
superior cabins with lower birth twin beds, private toilet and shower and a separate day room. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin
MV Janssonius
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Superior
suite with a double bed, private toilet and shower and a separate day room. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two windows per cabin.
MV Janssonius
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Junior Suite
suite with a double bed, private toilet and shower and a separate day room. Spacious outside cabins with windows.
MV Janssonius
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Grand Suite with private balcony
suite with a double bed, private toilet and shower and a separate day room. Spacious outside cabins with 4 windows and a private balcony.

Notes

Included in this voyage
  • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
  • AECO fees and governmental taxes.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.
Excluded from this voyage
  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
  • Pre- and post- land arrangements.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • 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.
  • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).
Please note: It is agreed that if fuel prices will exceed US Dollar 120 per Barrel Brent 90 days prior to departure Plancius reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of US Dollar 25 per passenger per night.

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We are so glad that we chose Adventure Life. The service is top-notch. Everything is well taken care of and we just have to print the documents and go. Franny even gave us timely updates on possible airport strike.
KC Chan

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