Summary : Pack in all the excitement of a longer arctic cruise into six EPIC days! Yes, in less than a week, you’ll cruise through the pack ice up to 80°N along the west coast of Spitsbergen like an explorer of long ago, on a constant search for wildlife. Though this rocky island is covered in mountains and glaciers, the towering cliffs and fjords play host to a surprisingly thriving and varied ecosystem. Exploring as much of the area as possible will provide optimal opportunities to spot the most iconic of iconic arctic wildlife, the polar bear.
Activities : Birding, Hiking, Kayaking, Triple/Quad Cabins
$3,495 to $8,295
Your Spitsbergen adventure begins when you board your ship in Longyearbyen, the island’s largest settlement. As you embark, you’ll enjoy great views of the mountainous landscape that serves as a backdrop for this seaside village.
You’ll sail around this magical island, constantly searching for polar bears and other natural wonders. Covering western Spitsbergen as well as outlying islands to the north, your expedition will afford ample opportunities to view immense glaciers, deep fjords, soaring mountains and unique flora and fauna.
Sailing north into Krossfjord, have your camera handy, ready to capture some of the best calving in Spitsbergen. Deep in the fjord, the highly active Lilliehöök Glacier awaits. Listen in awe to the growling as big chunks break off into the icy waters below. A Zodiac excursion to nearby Ny London, an abandoned mining settlement, provides an ideal place for a guided walk. Encounters with wildlife, such as the indigenous Svalbard reindeer, are possible here.
After cruising overnight, wake up to the stunning sight of the magnificent Monaco Glacier, another prolific iceberg producer. As if that isn’t thrilling enough, your Expedition Team will also be on the lookout for belguas and other marine mammals. Possible landing sites include Texas Bar, Worsleyneset and the Andoyane Islands (where polar bears have been known to roam). At 80°N, you’ll reach a walrus sanctuary on the tiny, crescent-shaped Moffen Island. Watching large groups of these lumbering giants jockeying for space is an unforgettable experience, so be ready with your binoculars.
The abandoned settlement of Smeerenburg (which means “blubber town”) was established by Dutch whalers nearly 400 years ago. Here, at one of Europe’s most northerly outposts, you’ll have time to explore ashore and learn about Spitsbergen’s whaling history. Afterwards, cruising to Magdalenafjord rewards you panoramic vistas of snow-capped mountains and massive glaciers reflected in the crystal-clear waters.
During your last full day of your arctic adventure, the options are open. You may visit the Russian mining town of Barentsburg, home of the world’s northernmost brewery, or Trygghamma, where you may have the chance to walk on a glacier. Round out the day in Alkehornet, taking in the towering cliffs teeming with nesting seabirds, such as fulmars, guillemots and thick-billed murres. Encounters with reindeer might be possible here. Later, in the evening, swap stories with your shipmates and crew one last time, at the captain’s dinner.
The time to say goodbye has come. Your adventure ends as it began, in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here you'll transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice and weather conditions - and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition.
Bilingual Departure: English/French
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
Due to the remoteness of the areas in this itinerary, travelers are to carry a minimum of $50,000 of emergency medical coverage. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. All guests are strongly recommended to have comprehensive travel insurance coverage. The shipping company will not be held responsible for delays due to force majeure. Any additional costs accrued will be the responsibility of the traveler. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends that the travel insurance policy covers trip cancellation insurance, trip delay (interruption or after departure coverage), baggage and repatriation. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions.
Not included in cruise rate. This is a pre-booked option for kayakers with some experience. Places are strictly limited so please advise at time of booking. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for additional details.
Arrival transfer from Longyearbyen airport to your hotel if you arrive one day prior to embarkation; transfer from your hotel or Longyearbyen airport to the ship on embarkation day; group transfer from the ship to Longyearbyen airport or a designated drop-off location downtown on disembarkation day; shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping; meals on board throughout your voyage; shore landings per the daily program; Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program; photographic journal documenting the voyage; a pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings; an expedition parka – yours to keep; coffee, tea, cocoa available around the clock; hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges; luggage handling aboard ship; emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of $500,000 per person*. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising; laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges; phone and internet charges; the customary gratuity at the end of the voyage for ship’s crew and staff; additional overnight accommodation; optional kayaking; fuel surcharge may apply.
*Emergency Evacuation Insurance:
Emergency evacuation coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $500,000 is included in the cost of this expedition. Included coverage is applicable only while traveling with the shipping company between the first and last day of the expedition. Additional days of travel prior to the expedition and/or after the expedition, including pre- and post-packages/hotels/flights, purchased from the shipping company or from suppliers other than the shipping company, are not covered by the included emergency evacuation insurance. We strongly advise all passengers to purchase medical, cancellation and baggage insurance, and additional emergency evacuation coverage.