North Spitsbergen: Polar Adventure Cruise & Wildlife Tour

   
 

North Spitsbergen: Polar Adventure Cruise & Wildlife Tour

BY ADVENTURESMITH EXPLORATIONS
www.adventuresmithexplorations.com

UPDATED

2 weeks ago

DURATION

8 Days

SEASON

May - July

RATES

USD 3,900.00 per person

EXPIRES

Jun 25, 2017
North Spitsbergen: Polar Adventure Cruise & Wildlife Tour
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DESCRIPTION

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Come explore Northern Spitsbergen. With its rugged mountains, sweeping tundra, and ice-caps and glaciers, it is a true high-Arctic archipelago. Only 600 miles from the North Pole, Spitsbergen is still today a virtually unspoiled wilderness with abundant wildlife. Three small ships travel this stunning route, ranging from 8 to 12 days: the 20-guest sailing ship Noorderlicht, the 114-guest Plancius and the 116-guest Ortelius.

The wildlife here was once a huge draw for whalers and trappers, but now discerning visitors are discovering the attractions of huge Arctic seabird colonies and the chance to enjoy and photograph species such as walrus, the indigenous Svalbard reindeer, Arctic fox and, of course, polar bear. Several whale species, such as the magnificent beluga, minke whale and fin whale, are also found in the waters surrounding Spitsbergen.

ADDITION RATE INFORMATION

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Rates vary by season and cabin starting at $3900 per person. Please see website for full details on rates.

ITINERARY

Day 1: Arrive Longyearbyen & Embark Isfjorden
Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, Svalbard & Jan Mayen Islands
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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, while in the surrounds of Longyearbyen, more than 100 species of plant have been recorded. In the early evening the ship will sail out of Isfjorden, where in the mouth of the fjord you may see your first Minke whale.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Plancius or Ortelius

MEALS: dinner

Day 2: Krossfjorden
Raudfjord, Spitsbergen, Svalbard & Jan Mayen Islands
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Sail to Raudfjord on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, a beautiful fjord dominated by spectacular glaciers and favored by ringed and bearded seal. The cliffs and shoreline of the fjord also support thriving seabird colonies and a surprisingly rich vegetation, which flourishes in sheltered spots. Polar bear are often seen here.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Plancius or Ortelius

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3: Monaco Glacier
Liefdefjorden, Svalbard & Jan Mayen Islands
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Depending on the weather, we may now sail to the mouth of Liefdefjorden and go ashore for a walk on the tundra island of Andoya. Many Common Eiders and Pink-footed Geese nest here, and the rarer King Eider may also be seen. We hope to sail into Liefdefjorden, cruising near the 5km long face of the impressive Monaco glacier. The waters of the glacier front are a favorite feeding spot for thousands of Kittiwakes; and on previous voyages Polar Bears have been seen on the glacier, providing wonderful opportunities for photography.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Plancius or Ortelius

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4: Hinlopen Strait, Alkefjellet & Palanderbukta
Hinlopen Strait, Svalbard & Jan Mayen Islands
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Today sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to Bearded Seals, Ringed Seals, Polar Bears, and Ivory Gulls. We'll navigate the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvoya in our zodiacs and explore the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with thousands of Brunnich's guillemots. On the east side of Hinlopenstrait, we'll attempt a landing at Palanderbukta on Nordaustlandet, home to Reindeer, Pink-footed Geese, breeding Ivory Gulls, and Walruses.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Plancius or Ortelius

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 5: Phippsoya
Phippsoya, Svalbard & Jan Mayen Islands
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Today reach the northernmost point at Phippsoya, in the Seven Islands north of Nordaustlandet. Here we will be at 81 degrees north, just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole. Polar Bears inhabit this region, along with Ivory Gulls. We may sit for several hours in the pack ice, taking in our spectacular surroundings and seeing a Ross Gull, before we turn south again.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Plancius or Ortelius

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 6: At Sea, Whale Watching
Kongsfjord, Spitsbergen, Svalbard & Jan Mayen Islands
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Retracing your route westward, through and along the pack ice, keep watch for polar bear and the elusive Greenland whale (bowhead). About 40 nautical miles west of Spitsbergen sail along the edge of the continental shelf, where fin whale forage in summer in the upwellings along the Spitsbergen banks. At the mouth of the Kongsfjord we have also good chances to see Minke whale.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Plancius or Ortelius

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 7: Forlandsundet, St. Johns Fjord Or Alkhornet
Prins Karls Forland, Svalbard & Jan Mayen Islands
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In Forlandsundet at Sarstangen is a haulout place for walrus. Alternatively sail into St. Johns Fjord or south to the mouth of Isfjorden and land at Alkhornet. Seabirds nest on its cliffs and Arctic fox search the cliff base for fallen eggs and chicks, while Spitsbergen reindeer graze the relatively luxuriant vegetation. At nighttime arrive in Longyearbyen.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Plancius or Ortelius

MEALS: breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 8: Longyearbyen
Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, Svalbard & Jan Mayen Islands
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Return to Longyearbyen and disembark for the transfer to the airport and the flight to Oslo and home.

ACCOMMODATIONS: n/a

MEALS: breakfast

WHAT'S INCLUDED

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  • Shipboard accommodation
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff
  • Free use of rubber boots and snow shoes on Plancius and Ortelius, and of snowshoes on Noorderlicht and Rembrandt vessels
  • On Spitsbergen voyages only, transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen
  • On Northeast Greenland voyages with Ortelius and Plancius, transfers and baggage handling between ship in Akureyri and hotels in Reykjavik by coach (6 hours)
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • AECO fees and governmental taxes
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material

NOTES

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Itinerary Notes: Read this itinerary as a guide only. As this is an expedition to a remote part of the world, the exact route and program varies according to ice, weather conditions, wildlife, availability of anchorages, political conditions and other factors beyond our control. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. Visits to research stations depend on final permission.


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