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Polar bears lounge in the sun

Spitsbergen Encounter

Example 10 Day Cruise aboard Akademik Ioffe
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Explore Spitsbergen and the Svalbard Archipelago - regions rich in wildlife and birdlife, glaciology, and history on this 10-day Arctic cruise aboard the Akademik Ioffe. Beginning in the capital city of this Norwegian Territory, from the moment the ship's lines are thrown, enter into the land of the polar bear, beluga whale, walrus, and reindeer. Throughout the journey enjoy a comprehensive series of presentations by polar experts, shore excursions to places of historic interest, visits to wildlife colonies, exquisite native flora and stunning landscapes, and sea kayaking. This voyage focuses on the western and northern coast of Spitsbergen, and as far north as the permanent pack ice, an area with the highest concentration of wildlife and places of historic and scenic interest in the archipelago.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Embark in Longyearbyen, Svalbard
Day 2 : Bourbonhamna
Day 3 : Krossfjorden
Day 4 : Liefdefjorden | Monacobreen
Day 5 : Phipps√łya
Days 6-7 : Hinlopen Strait | Nordaustlandet
Day 8 : Fuglesangen | Smeerenburg
Day 9 : Poole Pynten, Prins Karls Forland
Day 10 : Disembark in Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Highlights

  • Watch for beluga whales in the narrow strait near Bourbonhamna
  • Zodiac or kayak near massive glaciers along the coast
  • Learn about the importance of whaling near Smeerenburg Station
  • Encounter polar bears in Phippsoya, 540 nautical miles from the North Pole

Ship

Akademik Ioffe

Places Visited

  • Arctic
  • Europe
  • Norway
  • Scandinavia
  • Svalbard
  • Bourbonhamna
  • Fuglesangen
  • Hinlopen Strait (Hinlopenstretet)
  • Krossfjorden
  • Longyearbyen
  • Monacobreen (Monaco Glacier)
  • Nordaustlandet
  • Phippsoya
  • Poolepynten
  • Seven Islands (Sjuoyane)
  • Smeerenburg
  • Spitsbergen

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Polar bears lounge in the sun Travelers walking around the arctic landscape. Take a zodiac tour to see polar bears. A view of Svalbard's coast. A walrus gathering

Day 1 Embark in Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Today embark your expedition ship in Longyearbyen. Sail out of Adventfjorden and into Isfjorden during the early evening. With almost 24 hours of daylight during this time of year, enjoy the views from the outer decks. Meet your expedition team during an introductory briefing and then enjoy a welcome dinner in the ship's comfortable dining room.

Day 2 Bourbonhamna

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Beluga whales are frequently seen as they transit the narrow sound near Bourbonhamna. It is estimated that there are approximately five to ten thousand belugas in the Svalbard population. The beluga has no dorsal fin, a feature of high Arctic whale species such as the narwhal and bowhead. Since a dorsal fin could be damaged when the animal surfaces in areas with ice, it has been postulated that the lack of dorsal fin is an adaptation to living in frequently ice-covered waters.

On the first shore excursion, an old hunting cabin and other artifacts are points of interest during a scenic hike to Ingebrigstenbukta. However, it is the massive piles of beluga whale bones that catch everybody's attention. The bones and all artifacts are protected by the Svalbard Government and cannot be removed. While wandering amongst these relics, you can hope to catch a glimpse of dozens of reindeer that inhabit the area.

Day 3 Krossfjorden

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Lilliehook Glacier, at the head of the northwestern arm of Krossfjorden, is an incredible sight. The glacier face stretches almost seven kilometers and has a height of around 80 meters. Viewed from the ship or on a zodiac cruise you come to appreciate the enormous scale of your surroundings. The shores of Krossfjorden are home to numerous bird colonies and a variety of different species. Anchor off one small harbor and cruise in the zodiacs along the bird cliffs near the 14th of July Glacier. While cruising the dark waters, be on the lookout for bearded and ringed seals, both species known to frequent this fjord.

Day 4 Liefdefjorden | Monacobreen

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
No trip along the north coast of Spitsbergen would be complete without a visit to Monacobreen (*Monaco Glacier). A wide glacier face at the head of the fjord makes for spectacular kayaking and zodiac cruising. The coastal plain near the mouth of Liefdefjorden offers superb hiking and is often a great place to spot polar bears who come here to hunt for ringed seals or feed on nutrient-rich bird's eggs.

Day 5 Phipps√łya

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At 81° north latitude, Phippsoya is just 540 nautical miles from the North Pole. Your ice-strengthened expedition ship allows you to approach the edge of the pack ice in safety and comfort. Because of its proximity to the permanent ice pack, Phippsoya offers the potential for great polar bear viewing. The crew has enjoyed excellent encounters here with the bears in recent seasons. Be sure to get up to the ship’s bridge and take a picture of the GPS showing your latitude or, better yet, take your own handheld GPS with you and mark in the waypoint as you are so close to the North Pole!

Day 6-7 Hinlopen Strait | Nordaustlandet

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
From the ice edge, turn south into the main strait separating Svalbard's two main islands: Spitsbergen and Nordaustlandet. In Hinlopen Strait, the bird cliffs at Alkefjellet are home to more than a hundred thousand breeding Brunnich's guillemots, as well as thousands of kittiwakes and black guillemots. It is a spectacular site and a challenging one for the zodiacs as the tidal currents roar through Hinlopen Strait. Nearby Murchison Fjord is a wonderful place to kayak or cruise as the ship navigates the waterways between the islands. There are some excellent hiking routes here as well, which take you up to high points that offer staggering views and further opportunities to encounter Arctic wildlife.

Day 8 Fuglesangen | Smeerenburg

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
As your zodiac approaches the shore of Fuglesangenoya, it becomes apparent there are thousands of nesting birds on the island. Home to a large dovkie colony, the formation of the island allows for excellent viewing without impacting upon the perimeter of the colony.

As you hike the shoreline of the former whaling station of Smeerenburg (literally translated as "Blubber Town"), learn about the importance of whaling in the discovery and exploration of the Svalbard archipelago. The blubber ovens stand as a reminder to this harsh industry in an equally harsh environment.

Day 9 Poole Pynten, Prins Karls Forland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The sight and sound of a walrus haul-out embodies the Arctic like nothing else can. Visit the well-known walrus colony on Prince Charles Island and hope to see these odd-looking animals ashore. Approaching from downwind can often confirm that walrus are ashore, as their smell is quite unique! Tonight, celebrate your journey with a special dinner attended by the ship's Captain. It's a great time to reflect on a wonderful voyage in this wild and remote place.

Day 10 Disembark in Longyearbyen, Svalbard

  • 1 Breakfast
Arrive in Longyearbyen this morning. Disembark after breakfast and say farewell to your expedition team and fellow passengers. A transfer into town is provided for those choosing to stay a few days. If you are departing today, you have a few hours this morning to explore the town before transferring to the airport for your onward flights.

Akademik Ioffe

Per person starting at
$5,495
Main Deck Triple Cabins
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Main Deck Triple
Deck 3. Two lower berths (one which can be converted to a sofa during the day) and one upper berth. Shared facilities, in cabin washbasin, writing desk/chair, ample storage, and two portholes.
Twin Semi Private Cabins
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Twin Semi-Private
Deck 4. Two lower berths (one which can be converted to a sofa during the day), a writing desk/chair, bookshelf and tall wardrobes with internal shelving for storage. Facilities are semi-private (one bathroom between two cabins) and all cabins have a window that can be opened.
Twin Private Cabins
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Twin Private
Deck 4 and 5. Two lower berths (one which can be converted to a sofa during the day), a writing desk/chair, bookshelf and ample storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window that can be opened.
Superior Cabins
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Superior
Deck 6. Two lower berths, a sofa, a writing desk/chair and ample storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window that can be opened.
Shackleton Suites
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Shackleton Suite
Deck 4 & 5. One double bed, one sofa bed, separate sleeping quarters, up-graded bedding, a writing desk/chair, IPod alarm clock, mini stereo, capsule coffee maker, mini bar. Private facilities. Large window that can be opened.
One Ocean Suite
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One Ocean Suite
Deck 5. One double bed, one sofa bed & separate sleeping quarters, up-graded bedding, a writing desk/chair, IPod alarm clock, mini stereo, capsule coffee maker, mini bar. Private facilities with tub. Windows overlooking the bow.

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.

- Twin and superior cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.5 times the shared price, suites for 2 times the shared price. Single supplement is not available in triple cabins.

- Child and Youth Prices: 25% discount for young people aged up to 17 years, and 20% off for those aged from 18-21 years who can prove they are in full-time education.

Please note: Specific sites visited will depend on ice and weather conditions experienced and the itinerary will be updated throughout the voyage in order to take advantage of favorable conditions.

This itinerary includes:
  • Extensive pre-departure information package
  • Onboard Information Folder
  • Educational presentations from experienced guides such as ornithologists, glaciologists, historians, geologists, naturalists and marine mammals experts
  • Photography advice and instructions from the resident photographer. Extended photography workshops available on select departures
  • All zodiac and landing excursions
  • Zodiac cruising, hiking, guided walks, photography workshops, fitness & yoga
  • All meals during the voyage prepared by One Ocean Expeditions chefs
  • Welcome reception & welcome dinner
  • One Ocean Expeditions Farewell dinner hosted by the Captain
  • Daily afternoon tea with fresh snacks
  • Coffee, tea & hot chocolate available anytime
  • Access to wellness area (Finnish Sauna, Plunge Pool filled with sea water, Hot Tub)
  • Natural essential oil amenities
  • Services of English speaking medical officer
  • Use of multimedia room to download images. Lightroom, Adobe, Photoshop and card readers are available for use on MAC and PC computers
  • Windproof / waterproof jacket and bib pants
  • Comfortable insulated rubber boots
  • Water resistant binoculars
  • Waterproof backpack
  • Trekking poles available on shore
  • Transfers from/ to designated meeting points to/from the ship
  • Luggage transfer from designated locations to/from your cabin
This itinerary does not includes:
  • International and national airfares
  • Visa and passport fees, airport taxes
  • Pre- or post-cruise hotel accommodation in arrival / departure cities
  • Meals & transfers in arrival / departure cities
  • Personal expenses
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
  • Massages from registered therapist
  • Personal laundry charges
  • Postage, telephone calls & email set up
  • Medical expenses such as fees, prescriptions or medications
  • Travel medical insurance including medical evacuation (mandatory)
  • Trip interruption / cancellation insurance
  • Gratuities to staff and crew

Included

  • 9 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 9 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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