Summary : Svalbard, a remote and spectacular archipelago of immense glaciers, narrow fjords, sheer mountain cliffs and abundant wildlife, has lured many explorers into its enticing web. Visit Svalbard during the second half of the season. The ice is slowly starting to loosen its grip, which offers good opportunities to explore Svalbard’s eastern parts, where few people set foot. During this expedition, explore the archipelago, searching for wildlife such as polar bears, walrus and whales. If lucky, you will be able to complete a circumnavigation of Spitsbergen or explore the spectacular Norduastlandet.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking
$999,999,999 to $0
Arrive in Longyearbyen, embark your expedition ship in the afternoon and sail out through the spectacular Ice Fjord.
You are now in a part of the world where activities are totally dependent on ice and weather conditions. The exact itinerary depends on these factors and on the wildlife encountered. The goal is to make daily landings with Zodiac crafts. Here are some examples of places you may visit:
In the scientific village of Ny Ålesund, Arctic terns nest by the main street. It was from here that Amundsen and Nobile started their heroic expeditions to the North Pole. On the islands of Danskøya, Amsterdamøya and Ytre Norskøya, find remnants from the bustling activity during the 17th century whaling period. Two of the most courageous attempts to reach the North Pole started on Danskøya. Swedish balloonist Andrée made an attempt with a hydrogen balloon and American journalist Wellman started out with an airship. The site is still littered with interesting remnants from these expeditions.
Svalbard offers the visitor countless spectacular fjords. During the journey, explore a few of them such as: Liefdefjorden, meaning “the fjord of love,” lined with snow-covered mountain peaks and at its base you may cruise along the face of the spectacular Monaco Glacier. Many common eiders and pinkfooted geese nest in the area, and if lucky, see the rare king eider. In Krossfjorden, delight in the beautifully sculptured front of the 14th of July Glacier to the raucous greeting of the large numbers of kittiwakes and Brünnich’s guillemots nesting on the nearby cliffs. Raudfjorden is an area of immense natural beauty – dominated by beautiful glaciers it is also a favorite spot for seals and the bird cliffs are bursting with life.
Hinlopen and Alkefjellet
If the ice allows, you may enter Hinlopen Strait. Here is Alkefjellet (Auk Mountain), a sheer, basaltic cliff, which is the home to some 200,000 Brünnich’s guillemots. Also, you may continue into the beautiful bay of Palanderbukta in Nordaustlandet.
The island of Nordaustlandet is covered by an enormous ice cap and fascinates naturalists, as well as historians. There are huge glacier fronts here, intersected by hundreds of melt-waterfalls. Even further east is Kvitøya (White Island). In very favorable ice and weather conditions, you may land on this ice-capped island where few people have set foot. Here Andrée and his men were found 33 years after their unsuccessful attempt to reach the North Pole with a hydrogen balloon. Barentsøya and Edgeøya offer magnificent landscapes and vast tundra. Chances are good to encounter walrus, Arctic fox and Svalbard reindeer here.
The grand fjords of Hornsund offer spectacular glaciers and a breathtaking landscape of towering mountain peaks. This is a favorite haunt for some of Svalbard’s polar bears.
Return to Longyearbyen early in the morning, disembark, and being your journey home.
Please, read this itinerary as a guide only; your exact route and program will vary depending on ice and weather conditions--and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to a successful expedition.
10 nights on board the Quest; all meals; an experienced Expedition Leader and knowledgeable naturalist guides/lecturers; lectures on board and on shore; all shore excursions and activities by Zodiac; a detailed post-expedition log.
Flight to/from Longyearbyen; travel and cancellation insurance; the customary gratuity to the ship's crew; personal expenses such as bar and shop charges.
Vera Simonsson; Morten Jorgensen; Erik Edvardsson; Lisa Strom; Oscar Westman; Jonas Sundquist; Adam Rheborg; Henrik Lovendahl; Ola Skinnarmo