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A mother bear and her two cubs

North Spitsbergen Polar Bear Special

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Ortelius
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Sailing along the pack-ice of North Spitsbergen, this Arctic voyage offers the best opportunities to spot the King of the Arctic. Sail to Raudfjord on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, a beautiful fjord dominated by spectacular glaciers and favored by ringed and bearded seal. The cliffs and shoreline of the fjord also support thriving seabird colonies and a surprisingly rich vegetation, which flourishes in sheltered spots. Polar bears are often seen on this unique Arctic wildlife cruise.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Longyearbyen | Embark
Day 2 : Raudjord
Day 3 : Andøya | Liefdefjorden
Day 4 : Hinlopen Strait
Day 5 : Phippsøya
Day 6 : At Sea
Day 7 : St. Johns Fjord | Isfjorden
Day 8 : Longyearbyen | Disembark

Highlights

  • Search for the King of the Arctic, the polar bear
  • Enjoy excursions in Zodiac dinghies to get a closer look at the region
  • Watch for minke whale and the elusive Greenland whale
  • Navigate through pack ice and ice floes

Ship

Ortelius

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

A mother bear and her two cubs Embark on a snowshoe expedition Surfacing Humpback Whales Glimpse the King of the Arctic

Day 1 Longyearbyen | Embark

Arrive in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of the Spitsbergen archipelago, of which West Spitsbergen is the largest island. Before embarking there is an opportunity to stroll around this former mining town, whose parish church and Polar Museum are well worth visiting. In the surrounding area of Longyearbyen, more than 100 species of plants have been recorded. In the early evening the ship sails out of Isfjorden, where in the mouth of the fjord you may see your first Minke Whale.

Day 2 Raudjord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sail to Raudfjord on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, a beautiful fjord dominated by spectacular glaciers and favored by ringed and bearded seals. The cliffs and shoreline of the fjord also support thriving seabird colonies and a surprisingly rich vegetation, which flourishes in sheltered spots. Polar bears are often seen here. 

Day 3 Andøya | Liefdefjorden

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Depending on the weather, the ship may sail into Liefdefjorden, cruising near the 5km long face of the impressive Monaco Glacier. The waters of the glacier front are a favorite feeding spot for thousands of kittiwakes and on previous voyages polar bears have been seen on the glacier, providing wonderful opportunities for photography.

Day 4 Hinlopen Strait

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to bearded seals, ringed seals, polar bears, and ivory gulls. At the entrance there is the possibility to see blue whale. Navigate the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in your zodiacs and explore the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots. On the east side of Hinlopen Strait, attempt a landing at Palanderbukta on Nordaustlandet, home to reindeer, pink-footed geese, breeding ivory gulls, and walruses.

Day 5 Phippsøya

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today try to reach your northernmost point at Phippsøya, in the Seven Islands north of Nordaustlandet. Here you are at 81 degrees north, just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole. Polar bears inhabit this region, along with ivory gulls. Sit for several hours in the pack ice, before turning west again.

Day 6 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Retracing your route westwards, sail through and along the pack-ice, on the watch for polar bears and the elusive Greenland whale (bowhead). About 40 nautical miles west of Spitsbergen sail along the edge of the continental shelf, where Fin Whale forage in summer in the upwelling’s along the Spitsbergen banks. At the mouth of the Kongsfjorden you have good chances to see Minke Whale.

Day 7 St. Johns Fjord | Isfjorden

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In Forlandsundet at Sarstangen is a haul-out place for walruses. Alternatively, sail into St. Johns Fjord or south to the mouth of Isfjorden and land at Alkhornet. Seabirds nest on its cliffs and arctic foxes search the cliff base for fallen eggs and chicks, while Spitsbergen reindeer graze the relatively luxuriant vegetation. At nighttime arrive in Longyearbyen.

Day 8 Longyearbyen | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark in Longyearbyen for the flights south to Oslo and onward home.

Ortelius

Per person starting at
$3,900
Twin porthole cabin
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Quadruple 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
Triple Porthole Cabin
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Triple Porthole
2 triple cabins with bunk beds and private facilities. These cabins are spacious 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 portholes, private toilet and shower and 2 single lower berths. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin.
Twin Window on the Ortelius
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Twin Window
10 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
Twin Deluxe on the Ortelius
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Twin Deluxe
6 superior cabins with double beds, private toilet and shower and a separate day room. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin
Superior Suite on the Ortelius
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Superior
1 suite with a double bed, private toilet and shower and a separate day room. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin.

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.
- 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.

Fares include:
- 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 program
- AECO fees and governmental taxes
- Comprehensive pre-departure materials

Not included:
- 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 mandatory)
- 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 Ortelius reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of US Dollar 25 per passenger per night.

Included

  • 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Mary C

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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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