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Walruses huddling together in Svalbard.

North Spitsbergen Explorer - Into The Pack Ice

Longyearbyen Roundtrip - Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Ortelius
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Embark on an 8-day voyage aboard the Ortelius cruise ship, venturing into the fascinating landscapes of North Spitsbergen. Explore the charming town of Longyearbyen, with its intriguing parish church and captivating Svalbard Museum. Prepare to be awed as you sail through the pack ice, discovering vast fjords like Raudfjord, teeming with glaciers and potential sightings of ringed seals and polar bears. Journey to the northernmost point of the voyage, the Seven Islands, where you'll reach an impressive 80° north. Marvel at walrus haul-out sites and the breathtaking Arctic scenery. Encounter a variety of whales and wildlife, including elusive Greenland whales, before returning to Longyearbyen.
Surfacing Humpback WhalesA mother bear and her two cubsArctic Polar Bear Homes in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, NorwayWalruses huddling together in Svalbard.
Highlights
  • Experience Raudfjord's expansive fjord glaciers, seals, and polar bears
  • Reach the northernmost point, see walruses, and sail into pack ice
  • Spot wildlife in Isfjorden and look out for minke whales
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 | Embark

You touch down in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Enjoy strolling around this former mining town, whose parish church and Svalbard Museum make for fascinating attractions. Though the countryside appears stark, more than a hundred species of plant have been recorded in it. In the early evening, the ship sails out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of your voyage.

Day 2-7: North Spitsbergen

This voyage will take you into the pack ice and along the remote shorelines of rugged north Spitsbergen. Places you might visit include the following:

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

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 you from sailing here early in the season, you may sail along the west coast of Spitsbergen.

The Seven Islands
The northernmost point of the voyage may be north of Nordaustlandet, in the Seven Islands. Here you may reach 80° north, just 870 km (540 miles) from the geographic North Pole. At Phippsøya there is a walrus haul-out site, while Rossøya is the northernmost landmass in Spitsbergen. The vessel may sail deeper into the pack ice when wheeling around west again.

Sailing in the pack of ice
While retracing the route west, keep watch for polar bears, ringed seals, and elusive Greenland (bowhead) whales. This is also the habitat of ivory gulls. About 40 nautical miles (74 km) west of Spitsbergen, sail the edge of the continental shelf. Here fin whales forage during the summer in the upwelling zones (where cold, nutrient-rich water wells up from below the sea’s surface) that run along the Spitsbergen banks. At the mouth of Kongsfjorden, you have a good chance of sighting minke whales.

Forlandsundet wildlife
Walruses sometimes haul out in Forlandsundet, at Palfyloddden. But if you cannot go there, you might sail to the mouth of Isfjorden, where you may see different species of rorqual whales. The intended landing site is Alkhornet, where seabirds nest on the cliffs, Arctic foxes search below for fallen eggs and chicks, and reindeer graze the sparse vegetation. Another possibility is the glacier front in Ymerbukta, where you can see congregations of various eider duck species.

Day 8: Longyearbyen | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Even great adventures must eventually come to an end. The vessel arrives back in Longyearbyen in the early morning, and bus transportation to the airport will be provided.

Ship/Hotel

Ortelius

M/V Ortelius Reception Area
M/V Ortelius at Torellneset, Spitsbergen
The bar and observation lounge aboard the Ortelius.

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$4,300 2-3 travelers
M/V Ortelius Quadruple Porthole
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Quadruple Porthole
4 quadruple cabins with 2 portholes, 2 upper / lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Hairdryer, Ample storage space.
M/V Ortelius Triple Porthole
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Triple Porthole
4 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
Twin Porthole on the Ortelius
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Twin Porthole
23 twin cabins with 2 portholes, 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Hairdryer, ample storage space.
Twin Window on the Ortelius
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Twin Window
10 twin cabins with 2 windows, 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Hairdryer, ample storage space.
M/v Ortelius Twin Deluxe
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Twin Deluxe
6 superior cabins with 3 windows, 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Small sofa, Refrigerator, Coffee & tea maker, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Hairdryer, ample storage space.
M/V Ortelius Superior Cabin
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Superior
1 suite with 2 windows (minimum), 1 double bed, 1 single (sofa) bed, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone & WiFi (supplemented), Refrigerator, Coffee & tea maker, Hairdryer, ample storage space.

Notes

- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy.
- Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the double occupancy rate.
- 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 Ortelius - including medical, accident and repatriation/evacuation insurance.
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.
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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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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