Travel to Spitsbergen for a special polar bear

Special polar bear North of Spitsbergen – May 31st to June 7th, 2017

Voyage and expedition cruise to Spitsbergen, Svalbard Expedition cruise on board the vessel Ortelius

Size of the group: 116 expeditioners maximum

Duration: 7 nights/8 days

The ship in details…

Expedition cruise basics…

The Svalbard archipelago is located half way between North Cape and North Pole. This region is home of polar bears, arctic foxes, seals, reindeers, numerous of birds and walrus. But Svalbard is also characterized by great landscapes of high peaks, glaciers and beautiful tundra areas! The history is also fascinating, from the early whalers and sealers to the coal mining period.


PROGRAM AND ITINERARY:

About the program and itinerary…

Day 1: departure from Longyearbyen
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 early evening the ship will sail out of Isfjorden.

Day 2: Raudfjord
You will sail to Raudfjord on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, a beautiful fjord dominated by spectacular glaciers and favoured 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 bear are often seen here.

Day 3: Liefdefjorden, Andøya
Near the mouth of Liefdefjorden, you will visit Andøya. Many common eider and Pink-footed Goose nest here, and the more rare King Eider may also be seen. Sailing into Liefdefjorden, you will cruise near the face of the impressive Monaco Glacier. The waters of the glacier front are a favourite feeding spot for thousands of Kittiwakes and occasionally Polar Bear are seen on the glacier.

Day 4: Hinlopen Strait
Today you will sail into Hinlopen Strait and explore the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with thousands of Brünnich’s Guillemot. On the east side of Hinlopenstrait, you’ll attempt a landing at Augustabukta on Nordaustlandet, home to reindeer, Pink-footed Goose, breeding Ivory Gull, and Walrus. Near Torrelneset, you will explore the polar desert of Nordaustlandet, next to the world’s third largest ice cap, which meets the sea nearby. You may encounter Walrus along the way.

Day 5: Seven Islands
You will try reach your northernmost point at Phippsøya, in the Seven Islands north of Nordaustlandet. Polar Bear inhabit this region, along with Ivory Gull. The ship may sit for several hours in the pack ice, before turning west again.

Day 6: Retracing your route westwards
Retracing your route westwards, your route takes you through and along the pack ice, keeping watch for Polar Bear. About 40 nautical miles west of Spitsbergen you sail along the edge of the continental shelf, where Fin Whale forage in summer in the upwellings along the Spitsbergen banks. At the mouth of the Kongsfjord you have also good chances to see Minke Whale.

Day 7: Prins Karls Forland
You land at the northern tip of Prins Karls Forland near Fuglehuken. Seabirds nest on the cliffs, and along the coast you see Harbour Seal, the only population found in Spitsbergen. Here you also will observe the remains of the Polar Bear hunting era, with demolished set guns and bear traps. At the opposite site of Forlandsundet at Sarstangen is a haul out place for Walrus. Alternatively you sail into St. Johns Fjord or south to the mouth of Isfjorden and land at Alkhornet. Seabirds nest on its cliffs and Arctic Fox search the cliff base for fallen eggs and chicks, while Spitsbergen Reindeer graze the relatively luxuriant vegetation. At nighttime you arrive in Longyearbyen.

Day 8: Longearbyen
Return to Longyearbyen and disembark for the transfer to the airport and the flight to Oslo and home.

Map of the itinerary of the voyage and expedition cruise to see Polar Bear in Spitsbergen, Svalbard


PRICES (per person):

– Quadruple Porthole: € 3050
– Triple Porthole: € 3780
– Twin Porthole: € 4250
– Twin Window: € 4630
– Twin Deluxe: € 4950
– Superior: € 5570

The ship in details…

Prices include: voyage aboard the 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, free use of rubber boots and snow shoes, 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.

Prices do not include: any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights, pre- and post- land arrangements, transfers to/from the vessel outside Spitsbergen, passport and visa expenses, Government arrival and departure taxes, meals ashore, baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory), all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.


OUR OPINION ON THIS VOYAGE:

Sailing along the pack-ice of North Spitsbergen, will give you the best opportunities to spot the King of the Arctic. You sail to Raudfjord on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, a beautiful fjord dominated by spectacular glaciers and favoured 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 bear are often seen here. Travelling early in the season like this voyage, will give you the opportunity to meet a lot of drifting ice from the previous winter. This where you will focus your attention to spot polar bears…

☞ Interest of this trip: fauna (polar bear, walrus, arctic fox, birds, reindeers…), flora, glacier, historic sites, landscapes, sea ice…