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Around Spitsbergen - In the realm of the Polar Bear | Plancius

10 Days
From AUD 8,580

Trip Code: ACTSAS

DIFFICULTY RATING: 2 (light adventure)

SHIP: Plancius

DestinationDestination

Arctic, Spitsbergen

DestinationDeparture Date

06/07/2023, 15/07/2023, 24/07/2023

TransportAccommodation

Standard



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OVERVIEW

A voyage around Spitsbergen, where you have chances to see the King of the Arctic, Walrus, Reindeer, various bird species and surprisingly beautiful flora. Near the mouth of Liefdefjorden, we will go ashore for a walk on the tundra of Reindyrsflya. Sailing into Liefdefjorden, we will cruise near the face of the impressive Monaco Glacier. The waters of the glacier front are a favourite feeding spot for thousands of Kittiwakes and occasionally Polar Bear are seen on the glacier.

ITINERARY

Embark in Longyearbyen

You touch down in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Enjoy strolling around this former mining town, whose parish church and Svalbard Museum make for fascinating attractions. Though the countryside appears stark, more than a hundred species of plant have been recorded in it. In the early evening the ship sails out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of your voyage.

Cruise along the 14th of July Glacier

Heading north along the west coast, we arrive by morning in Krossfjorden, where we board the Zodiacs for a cruise along the sculpted front of the 14th of July Glacier. On the green slopes near the glacier, a colourful variety of flowers bloom, while large numbers of Kittiwake and Brünnich’s Guillemot nest on the nearby cliffs. There is also a good chance of spotting Arctic Fox, who patrol the base of the cliffs in case a chick falls from its nest, and Bearded Seal, who cruise this fjord. In the afternoon we sail to Ny Ålesund, the world’s most northerly settlement.

Once a mining village - served by the world’s most northerly railway, which can still be seen - Ny Ålesund is now a research centre. Close to the village is a breeding ground for Barnacle Goose, Pink-footed Goose and Arctic Tern. Visitors interested in the history of Arctic exploration will want to walk to the anchoring mast used by Amundsen and Nobile, in the airship Norge in 1926 and Nobile in the airship Italia in 1928, before their flights to the North Pole.

Reindyrsflya & Monaco Glacier

Near the mouth of Liefdefjorden, we will go ashore for a walk on the tundra of Reindyrsflya. Sailing into Liefdefjorden, we will cruise near the face of the impressive Monaco Glacier. The waters of the glacier front are a favourite feeding spot for thousands of Kittiwakes and occasionally Polar Bear are seen on the glacier.

Northernmost landing at Phippsøya - Day 4 & 5

We have our northernmost landing at Phippsøya, in the Seven Islands north of Nordaustlandet. Here we will be at 81 degrees north, just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole. Polar Bear inhabit this region, along with Walrus and Ivory Gull. We may sit for several hours in the pack ice, taking in our spectacular surroundings with their own wildlife. When the edge of the sea-ice is tens of miles north of the Seven Islands (mostly in August) we will spend a second day to get to and in the sea ice. Alternatively (mostly in July) we turn to Sorgfjord where we may find a herd of Walrus not far from the graves of 17th century whalers. On a nature walk, we may encounter families of Ptarmigans. The opposite side of the fjord is also a beautiful area for an excursion.

The polar desert of Nordaustlandet

Today we will sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to Bearded Seal, Ringed Seal, Polar Bear, and Ivory Gull. We’ll navigate the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in our zodiacs and explore the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with thousands of Brünnich’s Guillemot. On the east side of Hinlopen Strait, we’ll attempt a landing at Augustabukta on Nordaustlandet, home to reindeer, Pink-footed Goose, breeding Ivory Gull, and Walrus. Near Torrelneset, we will explore the polar desert of Nordaustlandet, next to the world’s third largest ice cap, which meets the sea nearby. We will walk along beautiful coastline covered in smooth rocks, sculpted by the surf over thousands of years. We may encounter Walrus along the way.

Barentsøya visit and walk across the tundra

In Freemansundet we plan to land at Sundneset on the island of Barentsøya to visit an old trapper's hut and then take a brisk walk across the tundra in search of Spitsbergen Reindeer and Barnacle Goose. Later we cruise south to Diskobukta on the west side of Edgeøya. After a Zodiac cruise through the shallow bay, we land on a beach littered with whale bones and tree trunks, which have drifted here from Siberia. We can also climb to the rim of a narrow gully which is inhabited by thousands of Kittiwake, together with Black Guillemot and piratical Glaucous Gull. During the breeding season, the base of the cliffs is patrolled by Arctic Fox and Polar Bear, especially females with young cubs, searching for young birds that have fallen from the nesting ledges.

Hornsund area

We start the day quietly cruising the side fjords of the spectacular Hornsund area of southern Spitsbergen, enjoying the scenery of towering mountain peaks. Hornsundtind rises to 1,431m, while Bautaen shows why early Dutch explorers gave the name ‘Spitsbergen’ - pointed mountains - to the island. There are also 14 magnificent glaciers in the area and very good chances of encounters with seals and Polar Bear.

Bell Sund’s flora, fauna, &history

Today you find yourself in Bell Sund, one of the largest fjord systems in Svalbard. The ocean currents make this area slightly warmer than other areas in the archipelago, which shows in the relatively lush vegetation. Here there are excellent opportunities to enjoy both history and wildlife. A possibility is Ahlstrandhalvøya, at the mouth of Van Keulenfjorden, where piles of beluga skeletons can be found. These remains of 19th-century whale slaughter are a haunting reminder of the consequences of rampant exploitation. Fortunately, belugas were not hunted into extinction, and you have a good chance of coming across a pod. Alternately, while cruising the side fjords of Bellsund, you can explore tundra where reindeer like to feed as well as rock slopes where little auks are breeding.

Disembark in Longyearbyen

Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. You disembark in Longyearbyen, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

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Plancius

Plancius

M/V Plancius started life as an oceanographic research vessel for the Royal Dutch Navy. After a change of owner, the ship underwent a complete refit and refurbishment to be converted into a comfortable ice-strengthened Antarctic vessel.

Accommodating up to 116 passengers, M/V Plancius has 53 cabins, all with private toilet and shower. The cabins range from quadruple, triple and twin porthole cabins to twin cabins with windows, twin deluxe cabins and twin superior cabins that are 21 square metres and feature a queen-size bed. Quadruple cabins include two bunk beds, triple cabins feature 1 bunk bed plus 1 single bed, whilst twin cabins are fitted with 2 single beds.

The ship has a large restaurant/lecture room and a spacious observation lounge with bar and huge panoramic windows. There are large open deck spaces, including full walk-around possibilities on one deck, providing excellent opportunities for wildlife spotting and to feast on the spectacular scenery.

The 10 Zodiacs and 2 gangways ensure a swift Zodiac operation, so no time is wasted getting you ashore to explore the stunning beauty and amazing wildlife of the Antarctic.

Ice Class: Length: 89 m / 293 feet
Breadth: 14.5 m / 47 feetMax
Draft: Cruising
Speed: 12 knots
Electricity: 240 volts Passenger
Capacity:
116

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Accommodation

We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.

Standard

Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.

Superior

Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.

Deluxe

Luxurious properties with impeccable facilities and service.

Pricing per person & date

Around Spitsbergen - In the realm of the Polar Bear | Plancius from AUD 8,580
Departing Ending Duration
06 Jul 2023 15 Jul 2023 10
15 Jul 2023 24 Jul 2023 10
24 Jul 2023 02 Aug 2023 10

Important Info

  • All on-board accommodation 
    All meals throughout voyage 
    All shore excursions and activities by Zodiac
    Program of lectures by experienced guides and naturalists
    Complimentary use of rubber boots during voyage
    Pre-scheduled transfers and baggage handling between airport and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen
    Group transfer from the vessel to airport in Ushuaia (directly after disembarkation)
    All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme
    Comprehensive Pre-departure material 

    Exclusions

    Any airfare, whether scheduled or charter flights
    Pre and post land arrangements 
    Passport and visa expenses
    Government arrival and departure taxes
    Meals whilst ashore
    Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance
    Excess baggage charges
    All items of a personal nature (such as laundry and telecommunication charges)
    Gratuities for crew

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request

  • Contact us for more details

  • Season and availability