Svalbard – Spitsbergen Encounter

Arctic Svalbard Cruise

  • Akademik Sergey Vavilov
  • Research Ship
  • 92 Capacity
  • 9 Days
  • 2014 View Departure>
    • 2014
    • Jun 5 Thu Offer
  • Price from
  • $4,195

Summary : Embark Akademik Sergey Vavilov, your home for 8 nights, and sail out of Isfjorden (Ice Fjord) to begin an incredible exploration up the northwest coast of Spitsbergen. Spitsbergen, the larger of the two main islands, makes up the bulk of the Svalbard archipelago. Throughout the voyage, you will be in the land of the polar bear, beluga, walrus and reindeer, so keep your eyes peeled for wildlife. Visit numerous bird colonies showcasing Brunnich’s guillemot (also known as the thick-billed murre), little auk (dovekie), barnacle and pink-footed geese and the Arctic tern. This voyage features an onboard wellness program, excellent cuisine prepared by a culinary team, and a kayaking option.

Activities : Birding, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography


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Day 1
Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Embark the expedition cruise vessel, Akademik Sergey Vavilov, in Longyearbyen and sail out of Adventfjorden and into Isfjorden during the early evening. On board, meet for an introductory briefing and then adjourn to your dining room for the first meal aboard.

Day 2
Krossfjorden / Ny Alesund

The shores of Krossfjorden are home to numerous bird colonies and species. Anchor off one small harbor and cruise the bird cliffs near the 14th of July Glacier. As you cruise these waters, keep alert for bearded and ringed seals, known to frequent this fjord.

During the afternoon, cross Kongsfjord from Krossfjorden to the town site of Ny Alesund, a former mining village and currently the world’s most northern community. Founded by the Kings Bay Kull Company A/S in 1916, Ny Alesund operated as a coal mine sporadically until coal mining was ended in 1962. Since then, the community has become the site of numerous international polar science institutes. Ny Alesund earned its place in aviation pioneering history as a jumping off place for North Pole aviation exploration. Notable pioneer aviators such as Zeppelin, Amundsen, Ellsworth, Byrd and Nobile all used Ny Alesund, and the airship anchor pylon for Amundsen and Nobile is still in place today.

Day 3

Tucked into the northwestern tip of Spitsbergen, Ruadfjord offers an excellent place to hike, zodiac cruise and kayak. Whilst here you'll search for reindeer ashore and ringed and bearded seals adrift. For those interested in tundra vegetation and especially wildflowers, there are select spots along the shoreline of this fjord offering excellent hiking and interpretation.

Day 4
Hinlopenstretet and Alkefjellet

Dividing the eastern side of the Svalbard archipelago from the western side, Hinlopen Strait is full of wildlife. The water that streams through this strait each day is rich in phyto- and zooplankton, nourishing the thick-billed murre colony at Aklefjellet on the western shore of Hinlopen Strait. More than 120,000 pairs of murres nest on these cliffs each summer. The water moving through Hinlopen Strait each day also brings the sea ice, and access into the area is dictated by the ice conditions of the day. Exploring the sea ice generally brings you in to much closer contact with polar bears and your captain will work with the expedition team to maximize the viewing potential.

Day 5

At 81 degrees north latitude, Phippsoya is only 540 nautical miles from the North Pole. Because of its proximity to the pack ice, Phippsoya offers the potential for great polar bear viewing. Be sure to get up to the bridge and take a picture of the GPS showing your latitude or, take your own handheld GPS with you and mark in the waypoint.

Day 6
Liefdefjorden and Monacobreen

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 paddling and zodiac cruising. The coastal plain near the mouth of Liefdefjorden offers superb hiking and is often a great place to spot polar bears.

Day 7
Fuglesangen and Smeerenburg

As your zodiac approaches the shore of Fuglesangenoya, it will become apparent that there are thousands of birds nesting on this island. Home to a large dovekie colony the formation of this island allows for excellent viewing without impacting upon the perimeter of the colony. Just a few miles from Fuglesangen is the former whaling station of Smeerenburg, literally translated as Blubber Town. Hike the shoreline here, and learn about the importance of whaling in the discovery and exploration of the Svalbard archipelago. A harsh industry in an equally harsh environment and, as a testament to this whaling site, all that is left is the blubber ovens.

Day 8
Poole Pynten, Prins Karls Forland

There is something about the sight and sound of a walrus haul out that spells Arctic in a way that not many other sites do. Visit this well-known haul out on Prince Charles Island and hope to see the walrus ashore. Approaching from downwind can often confirm that the walrus are ashore as the odor of a haul out is without equal.

Day 9
Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Come alongside shore in the morning and prepare to disembark following breakfast on board your vessel.


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.

Medical Documentation: Once you have booked your voyage to the Polar Regions, you will be required to complete a Medical Information Form. This form must be completed, signed and returned no later than 90 days prior to departure.

Enhanced Photography Program:
Join the expedition team and specialty photographers for an extended shore excursion aimed at capturing specialty subjects with a remarkable backdrop. An onboard photographer is available to work with you throughout the voyage to help you improve your photography and encourage you to look at scenes or events in a different way in order to capture them digitally. Also available is an onboard multimedia download studio with computers, cables, and hard-drives for back-up storage and for creating DVDs of your images.


Opportunity to incorporate snowshoeing into the daily onshore program where snow pack is sufficient. Snowshoes and trekking poles provided. Traveling by snowshoes offers a new view of the Arctic! Come prepared with warm socks and comfortable clothing. Also, it’s recommended to bring a small knapsack to carry water and an extra layer of clothing. Available on a first come, first serve basis.

Sea Kayaking Option: $695 per person
Pre-booked option. If you have experience sea kayaking and are interested in doing this activity during the expedition, you will need to book this option prior to departure from home. You cannot book this activity once onboard. There is a separate document for sea kayakers that you will need to review beforehand.

Mandatory Insurance:
All guests are required to have comprehensive travel insurance which must cover accidents, injury, illness and death, medical expenses, including any related to pre-existing medical conditions, emergency repatriation (including helicopter) and personal liability. You must carry proof of insurance with you and produce it if requested by expedition staff. The expedition team reserves the right to cancel or suspend your participation on a trip or in certain activities that comprise part of a trip, at any time, including after the commencement of your tour, with no right of refund, if you are unable to provide proof of insurance when requested.

Accommodations onboard; meals; complimentary tea and coffee 24 hours per day; shore excursions; services of guides and naturalist staff; access to multimedia room and download stations; use of onboard expedition rubber boots; use of wet weather gear; transfers as applicable.

Not Included:
International airfare; pre- and post-cruise hotel nights; passport and visa fees; excess baggage charges; airport taxes; travel insurance; all gratuities; extra meals; items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks; medical expenses; optional activities and trips; kayaking supplement ($695 per person).