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Walruses huddled together on the ice

Spitsbergen Encounter

Photography Symposium - Example 10 Day Cruise aboard RCGS Resolute
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Spitsbergen and the Svalbard archipelago offer a tremendous wildlife and birdlife experience, as well as a fascinating lesson in glaciology. This voyage focuses on the western and northern coast of Spitsbergen, and as far north as the permanent pack ice.

Onboard Photographic Symposium:
An additional highlight of this departure is the shipboard photography symposium open to all guests. The members of the photographic team each have a special area of expertise including wildlife photography, landscape, and composition, along with technical elements including gear and equipment and computer-based processing, file management, and storage. Make regular use of the ship's multi-media studio for breakout sessions and to review and critique your images throughout the voyage. For photography buffs, this trip is not to be missed!

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Embark in Longyearbyen, Svalbard
Day 2 : Bourbonhamna
Day 3 : Lilliehook Glacier
Day 4 : Monaco Glacier and Liefdefjorden
Day 5 : Phippsøya
Days 6-7 : Hinlopen Strait
Day 8 : Smeerenburg
Day 9 : Prince Charles Island
Day 10 : Disembark in Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Highlights

  • Take advantage of the on-board photography symposium
  • Zodiac among the massive glaciers along the coast
  • Encounter polar bears in Phippsoya, 540 nautical miles from the North Pole
  • Learn about the importance of whaling near Smeerenburg station

Ship

RCGS Resolute

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

Walruses huddled together on the ice A view of Svalbard's coast. Homes in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway A humpback whale breaks the surface Take a zodiac tour to see polar bears.

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 Lilliehook Glacier

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Lilliehook Glacier is an incredible sight. The face stretches almost seven kilometers across 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 area is home to numerous bird colonies and a variety of different species. As you cruise the dark waters, you are always on the lookout for bearded and ringed seals, both species known to frequent this fjord.

Day 4 Monaco Glacier and Liefdefjorden

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
No trip along the north coast of Spitsbergen would be complete without a visit to 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 that come here to hunt for ringed seals or feed on birds' eggs.

Day 5 Phippsøya

  • 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

  • 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 Smeerenburg

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Fuglesangenoya is home to a large dovekie colony. Nearby is the old whaling station of Smeerenburg, literally translated as ‘Blubber Town’. As you hike the shoreline of the old station, 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 Prince Charles Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Vsit the walrus colony on Prince Charles Island and hope to see these odd looking animals ashore. It is an incredible sight. Approaching from downwind can often confirm that walrus are ashore - the smell of a walrus haul out 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.

RCGS Resolute

Per person starting at
$6,695
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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Main Deck Triple
Located on Deck 3 these cabins feature the option for a double or two single beds and a third Pullman berth, which can fold out from the wall if required. A sectional lounge is placed by the portholes with a writing desk and chair, ample storage and private washroom facilities. A flatscreen entertainment system is also included. These cabins provide easy access to the expedition room and gangway.
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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Twin Private Cabin
Twin Private cabins are located on Deck 4 and have the option for either a queen or two single configured beds. Features include a comfortable lounge adjacent to the large picture window, writing desk and chair, ample storage and private washroom facilities with shower.
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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Superior Cabin
Located forward on Deck 5 the Superior cabins have the option for either a queen or two single beds. Features include a comfortable lounge adjacent to the large picture window, writing desk and chair, ample storage and private washroom facilities with shower.
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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Superior Plus Cabin
Superior Plus cabins are located midships on Deck 5. They are spacious and well appointed with the option for either a queen or two single beds. A comfortable lounge is placed by the large picture window, writing desk and chair, ample floor to ceiling cabinet storage and private washroom facilities with shower.
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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Shackleton Suite
The Shackleton Suites are situated on Deck 6. Suites include the comfort of a sectional lounge, writing desk, substantial floor to ceiling cabinetry, and washroom facilities with shower. A flat screen entertainment system is also included. Sleeping quarters feature the option for either a queen or two single beds with upgraded linen/ pillows.
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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One Ocean Suite
The One Ocean Suites are situated on Deck 6 and offer an indulgent amount of space. Sleeping quarters feature a queen size bed with upgraded linen/pillows. Included is a comfortable sectional lounge with matching club chairs, a large desk, expansive floor to ceiling cabinetry, and spacious washroom facilities with both a shower and bathtub.

Notes

- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy.  

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. Photographic goals on this departure are formed and led by the light available both onshore and on the water. With a varied and diverse itinerary and flexible plans, aim to make the most out of the beautiful Arctic light, even if outside conventional shore landing times.​

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 chefs
  • Welcome reception & welcome dinner
  • Farewell dinner hosted by the Captain
  • Daily afternoon tea with fresh snacks
  • Coffee, tea & hot chocolate available anytime
  • Access to the wellness area
  • 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 include:
  • 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 a 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
Payment & Cancellation Policies
Kassandra Miller
Kassi M

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