Travel around Spitsbergen to Svalbard

Svalbard – Around Spitsbergen – July 6th to 15th, 2018

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

Size of the group: 116 expeditioners maximum

Duration: 9 nights/10 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: Krossfjorden
Heading north along the west coast, you arrive by morning in Krossfjorden, where you board the Zodiacs for a cruise along the sculpted front of the 14th of July Glacier. On the green slopes near the glacier, a colourful variety of flowers bloom, while large numbers of Kittiwake and Brünnich’s Guillemot nest on the nearby cliffs. There is also a good chance of spotting Arctic Fox, who patrol the base of the cliffs in case a chick falls from its nest, and Bearded Seal, who cruise this fjord. In the afternoon you sail to Ny Ålesund, the world’s most northerly settlement. Once a mining village Ny Ålesund is now a research centre. Close to the village is a breeding ground for Barnacle Goose, Pink-footed Goose and Arctic Tern. Visitors interested in the history of Arctic exploration will want to walk to the anchoring mast used by Amundsen and Nobile, in the airship Norge in 1926 and Nobile in the airship Italia in 1928, before their flights to the North Pole.

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.

Days 4 and 5: Seven Islands
You have your northernmost landing at Phippsøya, in the Seven Islands north of Nordaustlandet. Polar Bear inhabit this region, along with Walrus and Ivory Gull. You may sit for several hours in the pack ice, taking in the spectacular surroundings with their own wildlife. When the edge of the sea-ice is tens of miles north of the Seven Islands (mostly in August) you will spend a second day to get to and in the sea ice.

Day 6: 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 7: Barentsøya
In Freemansundet a landing will be planned at Sundneset on the island of Barentsøya to visit an old trapper’s hut and then take a brisk walk across the tundra in search of Spitsbergen Reindeer and Barnacle Goose. After a Zodiac cruise through the shallow bay, you will land on a beach littered with whale bones and tree trunks, which have drifted here from Siberia. You can also climb to the rim of a narrow gully which is inhabited by thousands of Kitttiwake, together with Black Guillemot and piratical Glaucous Gull. During the breeding season, the base of the cliffs is patrolled by Arctic Fox and Polar Bear, especially females with young cubs, searching for young birds that have fallen from the nesting ledges.

Day 8: Hornsund
You start the day quietly cruising the side fjords of the spectacular Hornsund area of southern Spitsbergen, enjoying the scenery of towering mountain peaks. There are also 14 magnificent glaciers in the area and very good chances of encounters with seals and Polar Bear.

Day 9: Ahlstrandhalvøya
Today you land on Ahlstrandhalvøya at the mouth of Van Keulenfjorden. Here piles of Beluga skeletons, the remains of 19th century slaughter, are yet another reminder of the consequences of thoughtless exploitation. Fortunately, Beluga were not hunted to the edge of extinction and may still be seen locally. Cruising into Recherchefjorden during the afternoon you can explore an area of tundra at the head of the fjord where many reindeer feed.

Day 10: 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 Spitsbergen, Svalbard


PRICES (per person):

– Quadruple Porthole: € 3950
– Triple Porthole: on request
– Twin Porthole: on request
– Twin Window: € 6150
– Twin Deluxe: on request
– Superior: € 7400

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:

This expedition cruise around Spitsbergen, the main island of the Svalbard archipelago, is a good idea for those who would like to see a little bit of everything there. July is perfect for wildlife and flora and the ice conditions are usually good.

☞ Interest of this trip: fauna, flora, glacier, historic sites, landscapes, walks, sea ice…