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Svalbard Circumnavigation

11 Days FROM USD 6,490

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Overview

Enjoy the immense beauty of Svalbard as you circumnavigate this incredible archipelago. A voyage among the walrus, whales, polar bears and sea birds, circumnavigating Svalbard is truly a unique voyage to tick off the bucket list. The vibrant yet short Svalbard summer is amassing with energy - Reindeer graze storing energy for the winter, the cliff's shimmer with life populated with countless birds and walrus, seal and whale forage along the pack ice. With your fleet of cozy and fast moving zodiacs you will have the opportunity to disembark your vessel and witness these wildlife up close. Apart from wildlife sightings you will undertake a number of shore excursions to rocky alcoves, deep fjords and dramatic Arctic tundra. 

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: ACABSC

Travel Style: Small Ship Expedition Cruise

Location: Svalbard

Ship: Ocean Atlantic

Flights: Local charter flights included as part of cruise package. Please contact us for assistance with your international flight.

CRUISE ITINERARY

Arrival to Longyearbyen, Capital of Svalbard – possibly the northernmost ‘real’ town in the world.

Our vessel, Ocean Atlantic, is docked close to the town center. After boarding and a welcome drink, the Expedition Leader will provide information about the voyage, the ship's daily routines and the various security and safety procedures. Before sailing, there will be a mandatory safety drill. The Captain then takes the ship out of Advent Fjord and our Arctic adventure commences.

Longyearbyen Embarkation

During the ‘night’ (what is night, when the sun never sets?), we have passed Prins Karls Forland and have arrived in the magnificent Kongsfjord. Our visit to Svalbard is in the early summer and this is both the challenge and gift of this special voyage. Winter ice will possibly block the inner waters of many fjords, but this will give us the best opportunities to observe the omnipresent – but still elusive – polar bear, hunting for seals in its prime habitat. At this time of year the migrating birds have just arrived. They are all eager to settle and feed to get the best start for the coming hectic summer months.

Our first landing will be at Ny Alesund. This settlement is in fact further north than Longyearbyen, making it THE northernmost town. But… is a group of scientific stations, a post office and a single shop open for a few hours a real town? You will have to judge for yourself. The setting is nice, the scientific projects are very interesting, and so is the town history. The Captain will try to get alongside, so we can enjoy an easy walk through the area.

In the afternoon, we continue further north into the fjord system, and depending on the ice situation, we may do a Zodiac cruise along the Lilliehook Glacier front… or enjoy a lecture.

Ny Alesund, Ny London and Lilenhook Glacier

We have now entered North West Svalbard, which was declared a national park in 1973. The day could begin with a Zodiac cruise in Danskergattet, looking for seals in Virgohamna, before crossing from Danskøya to Amsterdamøya to make a landing at Smeerenburg, the legendary whaling town of 17th century. 200-plus men were living – and quite often dying – here in the heyday of blubber production.

There are several interesting places to visit in this northwestern corner of Spitsbergen. If conditions allow we’ll make a landing on Ytre Norskoya, where whalers would have their lookout posts.

Smeerenburg and Ytre Norksoya

During the night we head to Wood Fjord and its branch, the Liefde Fjord. Our plan is to embark on a Zodiac cruise along the broad glacier front of Monacobreen. This gives a unique insight of the glacial forces and the unlimited forms of icebergs. The ice front is named after Albert I of Monaco, who was a major sponsor of Svalbard research.

During the afternoon the ship will steer far north towards the edge of the polar pack ice. How far north only time and weather will tell, but the main target for us is just the ‘edge’, possibly at 80 degrees north! This is the kingdom of the polar bear! As the pack ice retreats during summer, polar bears ride the floes north, as this is where their prey - the seals - resides. Bears who for unfortunate reasons do not ‘catch’ the ice moving north, are stranded on Svalbard all summer, and will have to sustain on berries, eggs and whatever whale cadavers they can find. A hard life indeed!

Monaco Glacier

During the day, lectures on polar mammals, environment and/or culture can be enjoyed on board in the Viking Theater. Should we get into the pack ice where the sea usually is calm, a Zodiac cruise will be arranged.

The part goal of the day is to reach the island Nordaustlandet and hopefully its 7 (or 9, depending on how you count) smaller islands Sjuøyane in the far north of Svalbard. The almost vegetation-free, rocky islands are located around 1000 km more northernly than mainland Norway’s famous Nordkapp.

Weather permitting we will land and walk these most northern landmasses. These high Arctic islands are quite barren, with moss and lichens covering the stones. The birdlife is rich in this area and some of the rarer gulls frequent these islands, so bring your binoculars.

Sjuyoane, Western Svalbard

In the morning we arrive and cruise slowly by the famous Alkefjellet. If the weather is on “our side” we will have a good view of the steep cliffs. The whole area is home to a dense congregation of Brünichs guillemots. There is so many of the birds, that hardly an inch is free. During the summer the breeding pairs offer a wild view of frantic activity, both along the cliffs and in the sea in front.

More wildlife awaits us as we land at the polar desert landscapes of Torrelnesset. The beach here is home to a host of walruses that lay amongst each other. They feed on the clams and any other molluscs that they can find in the shallows of Svalbard’s waters.

Alkefjellet and Torrenlnesset

The main issue that can halt a circumnavigation of Spitsbergen is the ice situation along Hinlopen Strait. If the ice is passable we can make it through the southern edge of the Strait and cruise through Freemansundet that separates Barentsoya and Edgeoya. We enjoy the views of the massive Kapp Lee on our way and pass through into Storfjorden.

We plan to make a Zodiac landing along Edgeoya’s coast. Edgeoya is the third largest island in Svalbard with an area of more than 5000 square kilometers.

During the night we will cross the southernmost part of Svalbard, called Sorkapp. From here we will continue our way up the western coast.

Hinlopen Strait, Edgeoya

Now that we have passed the southern edge of Spitsbergen we arrive at the entrance to Hornsund. We will be able to see buildings around Isbjørnhamna on the northern shore. This is a polish research station, that has been here since 1957. Here research subjects are: geophysics, seismics, meteorology and the ionosphere. The work relationship between the polish researchers and the Norwegian polar institute is very good, which secures the future of the station (as long as funding continues).

The fjord is almost 30 kilometers long and many call it the most beautiful, with many glaciers that calve into the waters as well as towering mountains along the shores. The mountaintops are most often covered by dense clouds and East-Spitsbergen current often leads pack ice into the fjords mouth. In other words, we are guests in a very impressive show that unfolds before us.

Hornsund, Isbjornehamna

The west coast enjoys the warmer water coming up through the Atlantic, so winter ice should now have melted. This allows us to enter the southern fjord of Bellsund on this last full day of exploration.

Bellsund has some of the richest coal layers in Svalbard, and Svea Mine, far into the fjord, was formerly one of the biggest communities on the island. But prices went down, and the coal mine is currently being dismantled.

We will stay in the fjord entrance and make landings at the Varsol Bay. The biggest attraction here is the little auk cliff. Tundra is richly fertilized by hundreds of thousands of little auks, which the Svalbard reindeer love to graze. We will go for a nice walk along the beach – and spot remains from early industrial eras.

During lunch, we’ll cross the fjord along the 4 km long (but quite narrow) island of Akseloya. We will make a Zodiac landing at Calypsobyen in Recherche Fjord. Coal was extracted here in the early 1900s, but the enterprise never attained full production. Today, Calypsobyen offers an exciting landing that gives visitors a glimpse of the era of Neo-Industrialism, when all opportunities for profit were tried out. A pleasant walk can be made on the tundra behind the buildings.

Bellsund, Varsolbukta and Calypsobyen

During the night we have entered Forlandssundet, that separates Prince Karls Forland from Spitsbergen. Our destination is Poolepynten (Poole Point), a small headland named after the British whaler Jonas Poole. Today the area is inhabited by herds of walruses who can be seen (and smelled!) from a distance. The large mammals flaunt their tusks and whiskers, as well as their considerable bulk.

After the visit, we are southbound towards the entrance to the Isfjorden. On our way towards Longyearbyen, we hope to get our last glimpses of wildlife as well as the truly unique landscapes of Svalbard.

Prince Karls Forland, Isfjorden

Early in the morning the ship has returned to our starting point in Longyearbyen. After breakfast and farewell greetings to the expedition team and crew, disembarkation will take place. Transfer is arranged to the airport.

Please note that all the outings and landings rely on weather, sea and ice conditions being favorable both for the ship to access the areas, as for the zodiacs and kayaks to maneuver under adequate conditions, ensuring the safety of all our passengers and staff. For this reason, during moments of harsh weather and throughout the entire trip, Ocean Atlantic has excellent public areas, such as wellness/sauna, restaurant, bar and a library for our passengers to spend their spare time. Our ship is staffed by experts in the field who will also share great lectures along the way, ranging from exploration history to biology, geology, ice and wildlife.

Disembarkation in Longyearbyen
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Pricing & date

Svalbard Circumnavigation from USD 6,490
Departing Ending Duration
13 Jul 2022 23 Jul 2022 11

Important Information

  • Cabin accommodation on board vessel
    All meals whilst on board
    Charter flight Oslo-Longyearbyen-Oslo
    Guiding and lectures by experienced expedition crew
    All scheduled landings and excursions by zodiac
    Landing fees
    Pre and post cruise and ferry transfers

    EXCLUSIONS

    International Flights
    All items of a personal nature
    Customary gratuities for staff/crew
    Any pre or post cruise travel extensions
    Travel insurance

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available on request. Please contact us for more information

  • Please note this itinerary may be subject to change depending on weather and sea conditions.

  • Departure date, seasonality and availability.

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Sustainability

Being environmentally accountable is a crucial part of our organisation. Chimu is currently striving towards using less paper, taking several initiatives to do so and tracking our progress along the way. Our goal: A paperless organisation. For this reason, all information given to you will be sent electronically. We encourage those who choose to travel with us to support our aspirations and actions and ask that you reconsider printing out documentation. To view these documents, you can download them to your iPad or portable computer before and during your trip.

Chimu is passionate and dedicated to sustainability measures and understands the crucial part sustainability plays within the tourism industry.

We use local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprint. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting. Our guides are all highly qualified (most with university degrees) or equip with many years of experience and are paid above the standard wage. Whether it be our knowledgeable local guides, locally produced meals or the transport on tour, we do not use imported goods when local products are available. We aim to minimise our impact on the environment and give as much back as possible to the communities we work in.

While visiting the many national parks, heritage sites, museums and landmarks our travellers are encouraged to explore whilst remaining culturally aware and sensitive. We further encourage you to buy appropriate souvenirs and discourage the buying of anything wrongfully made or taken from the environment i.e. shells and endangered species products. Information on how you can be environmentally conscious, and travel responsibly will be made available in our Travellers Guides and provided during your travels by guides and staff.

For more information on our sustainability policies, including how we are striving towards being a paperless organisation, click HERE

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