Summary : This epic voyage circumnavigates the large island of Spitsbergen in Svalbard. Explore glaciers, mountains and fjords in the west, and the barren High Arctic wilderness in the eastern part of Svalbard. Enjoy expedition landings, hikes, kayaking and other activities in the largest Arctic wilderness in Europe.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins
NEW – Pre-Bookable Kayaking!
$8,106 to $29,251
Your Arctic adventure starts with an evening flight from Norway's capital Oslo. Before departure, you can spend some time exploring this fjord-side city surrounded by forests, lakes and hills. Oslo offers a varied architecture, a strong café and bar culture, top-notch restaurants and endless shopping possibilities. The contrast will be significant when you arrive in Longyearbyen some of hours later. Still, this very small settlement offers all amenities of a modern town, in addition to its stunning location in a wild Arctic landscape.
After an overnight stay in one of our hotels, you can join an exciting excursion in the unique little town of Longyearbyen and the surrounding area. The influence of the Arctic environment is obvious, but it is also surprisingly cosmopolitan, with art galleries, pubs, long wine lists at restaurants, shops and a mini-shopping center. The town is often called an antidote to modern-Day life and is a prime destination for adventure travelers. In addition, the history and heritage of the first coal miners is evident everywhere.
Kongsfjorden is considered to be one of the most beautiful fjord areas in Spitsbergen, with mighty glaciers calving icebergs into the sea, framed by dramatic mountain formations. As you sail northwest, you will reach Krossfjorden and Mitrahalvøya, where you can see ruined buildings from the whaling period, beautiful alpine flora, bird cliffs and quite often, Svalbard reindeer. Try crossing a glacier with your expedition team. On your way back, you will visit the former mining settlement of Ny-Ålesund, now an international center for research, with a picturesque mix of old and new buildings. The North West Corner of Spitsbergen offers the largest concentration of graves, blubber ovens and other cultural treasures from the first inhabitants of Svalbard. Raudfjorden offers plenty of opportunities for great hikes. Hamiltonbukta is too shallow for your ship to navigate, but it’s perfect to explore by kayak. You will also see the enormous Monaco Glacier in Liefdefjord.
Eastern Svalbard also boasts the highest population of polar bears on the archipelago – you will have great hopes to see one on this journey! Today, you'll explore Sorgfjorden, which borders the North East Spitsbergen Nature Reserve, and was the location of a famous 17th-century battle between whalers. Enjoy the view on deck as you pass the spectacular bird cliff of Alkefjellet, one of the largest of its kind. Kvitøya is the easternmost island in the Svalbard archipelago. It is 98% covered by the ice cap Kvitøyjøkulen. You will plan to land at the western point of the island where the relics of the Andrée expedition were found in 1930. This was a failed effort to fly over the North Pole in the balloon "Örnen" (the eagle). Edgeøya is the third-largest island in the Svalbard archipelago. On its western shores, the landscape is largely un-glaciated, unlike most other places on the east side of Spitsbergen. Kapp Lee is a wonderful site where you will find cultural heritage from all eras of human exploration of Svalbard. There are seven small islands farthest north in the Svalbard Archipelago. The northernmost of them; Rossøya is less than 621 miles from the North Pole, and when you are here you can be quite sure that there is no human being between yourself and 90 degrees North. If you are lucky, you may meet some of the marine mammals of Svalbard as you head towards the South Cape Land. In winter, Storfjorden is mainly frozen, making it a perfect polar bear habitat. You will continue to the southern cape and the southernmost tip of Spitsbergen, where Hornsund has large variations in its landscape and geology within short distances. Ice being pushed into the fjord early in the season attracts polar bears that hunt on the ice.
In central Spitsbergen, the Isfjord is the most prominent fjord system in Svalbard. You will explore both the outer and the inner parts of the fjord. One of the most striking features of the outer part is the Alkehornet peak, where thousands of Brunnich's guillemots nest during the summer season. In the inner parts of the Isfjord, the landscape changes constantly. Immense U-shaped valleys, carved out of the mountains by the giant glaciers that covered the area some ten thousand years ago, are home to large populations of the endemic Svalbard Reindeer. Later on, you might find a scenic fjord arm and arrange a farewell barbecue in the beautiful Arctic surroundings.
Every good explorer voyage comes to an end. You'll look back on memories of calving glacier fronts or buzzing birdlife – or simply the subtle, elated feeling of having spent time on top of the globe, just over 100 miles from the Geographical North Pole. An early morning transfer takes you to the airport for your flight back to Oslo.
The above itinerary is a guide only, as the exact program depends on weather and ice conditions and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Although travel insurance is not mandatory to participate in this voyage, ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for Antarctic trips which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Multilingual Departures: English/Norwegian/German (All Departures)
Depending on weather conditions, there may be an opportunity to sign up for fishing during the voyage. Spend 2.5-3 hours fishing with an officer and members of the crew and preparing your catch. When you return to the ship, you will be invited to meet the chef, prepare your catch, and have it served for dinner. Included: Waterproof clothing and a fishing rod. Maximum participants: 3 passengers. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Depending on weather and land conditions, there may be an opportunity to sign up for hiking during the voyage. Included: Water bottle, snack bar, and lunch pack (if hike is during lunch time). Physical fitness is essential. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Kayaking: Pre-bookable, please inquire
Embark on a 2-4 hour kayaking excursion accompanied by expert guides in a stable double kayak. Included: head-to-toe kayaking gear, including a dry suit; snack and/or lunchbox as needed. Outings are subject to weather and prevailing ice conditions. Please contact ExpeditionTrips to pre-book kayaking.
Taught by two professional photography instructors, this pre-bookable photography school program covers basic image editing, wildlife and landscape photography, and DSLR video instruction. This program is designed for proficient beginners to experienced photographers. Included: photography booklet, designated work station with software provided, priority access to the Photo Optics test center equipment, and a Zeiss Lens cleaning kit. Min/max participants: 2-10 passengers. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Science Center: Included
'Hands-on' science program where guests can perform their own science experiments with the assistance of professional biologists and geologists. Featuring ten Leica DM500 biological microscopes and ten Leica EZ4 geological microscopes, groups of 2-3 guests per microscope will work with a trained biologist or geologist. Occasionally, scientists invite guests along to sample biomaterial for use in the science center. There is also a large screen connected to the scientist's microscope for viewing during every session.
Cabin accommodations and meals aboard the ship; landings and activities onboard and ashore; professional English-speaking expedition team that gives lectures and accompanies landings and activities; onboard 'hands-on' science center; complimentary tea and coffee; and a wind- and water-resistant jacket. Arctic Superior Suites (P, U, QJ, YA) include an Arctic Pure amenity kit (bathroom). Expedition Suites (Q, MG, MX) include a soft drink package, a wine package, an Arctic Pure amenity kit (bathroom), a fleece blanket/throw, a cabin kit (bathrobe and slippers), an espresso maker, sweets/snacks and sparkling wine (on embarkation day), a separate check-in with sparkling wine, and a suite breakfast. Subject to change without notice.
International flights to/from the U.S.; travel insurance; luggage handling; optional excursions and gratuities; fuel surcharge may apply.