Enjoy this remarkable voyage around Spitsbergen. Here you will have the chances to see the polar bears, walrus, reindeer, various bird species and surprisingly beautiful flora. Take a cruise around Spitsbergen and explore the magical waters of the Northern Arctic. From a tundra walk on the shores of Reindyrsflya to the impressive Monaco Glacier at Liefdefjorden - This is a truly remarkable journey that combines unforgettable sights, unique wildlife encounters and extraordinary expedition experiences
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With its origins in Poland, the M/V Ortelius now plies the waters of the Antarctic and Arctic as an ice-strengthened Polar expedition vessel. It is named after the Flemish cartographer and geographer, Abraham Ortelius, who also created the first modern atlas. Adept at navigating through solid one year sea-ice and loose multi-pack ice, this ship is ideally suited to reaching more remote locations such as the Ross Sea. The comfortable M/V Ortelius accommodates up to 108 passengers in 50 cabins. Staterooms range from quadruple and triple cabins with portholes and both upper and lower berths, to twin porthole, window and deluxe cabins with lower berths only up to superior cabins which feature a double bed. The ship has plenty of open-deck spaces as well as a large bridge accessible to passengers. Alongside the expedition team that is made up of an expedition leader plus 5 guides/lecturers, the ship is manned by 34 extremely experienced nautical crew, an international catering staff and you can find a doctor onboard for any required medical attention. On board there are also two restaurants, a bar/lecture room and a sauna. There are 11 Zodiacs on board, maximising time spent on shore and wildlife opportunities.
With its origins in Poland, the M/V Ortelius now plies the waters of the Antarctic and Arctic as an ice-strengthened Polar expedition vessel. It is named after the Flemish cartographer and geographer, Abraham Ortelius, who also created the first modern atlas. Adept at navigating through solid one year sea-ice and loose multi-pack ice, this ship is ideally suited to reaching more remote locations such as the Ross Sea.
The comfortable M/V Ortelius accommodates up to 108 passengers in 50 cabins. Staterooms range from quadruple and triple cabins with portholes and both upper and lower berths, to twin porthole, window and deluxe cabins with lower berths only up to superior cabins which feature a double bed. The ship has plenty of open-deck spaces as well as a large bridge accessible to passengers. Alongside the expedition team that is made up of an expedition leader plus 5 guides/lecturers, the ship is manned by 34 extremely experienced nautical crew, an international catering staff and you can find a doctor onboard for any required medical attention.
On board there are also two restaurants, a bar/lecture room and a sauna. There are 11 Zodiacs on board, maximising time spent on shore and wildlife opportunities.
Length: 90.95m / 299.4ft
Breadth: 17.20m / 57.8ftMax
Speed: 14.5 knots
Electricity: 240 volts Passenger
Capacity:116 passengers & 52 Crew & Staff
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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.
Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.
Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.
Luxurious properties with impeccable facilities and service.
Optional Activities vary for each itinerary. Limited spaces available. Contact your Destination Specialist for pricing & availability.
Experience the unforgettable thrill and serenity of kayaking in Antarctica as part of a small, expertly guided paddling group.Learn More
All cabin accommodation on board vessel
All meals whilst on board
Guiding and lectures by experienced expedition crew
All shore excursions and landings by zodiac
Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes
Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen.
All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
Comprehenisve pre-departure material
Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
Pre and Post land arrangements
Transfers to and from the vessel outside of Spitsbergen
Passport and visa expenses
The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).
Available on request. Please contact us for more information
Please note this itinerary may be subject to change depending on weather, ice and sea conditions.
Departure date, seasonality and availability.