Spitsbergen - Polar Bears and Arctic Adventure

Cruises, Escorted
Expedition Voyage along the West Coast of Spitsbergen
6 days
May - Sep 2020
Itinerary
General Prices
Gallery

This adventure voyage on MS Nordstjernen is the essential Spitsbergen experience. Spend two nights on land and the rest at sea sailing along the West coast of Spitsbergen on this exploration. Discover the extraordinary Arctic landscape, glaciers, fjords and scan for magnificent Arctic wildlife. If we are lucky, we might just see the King of the Arctic himself; the mighty polar bear.

Expedition Highlights
-Chance of seeing polar bears
-Cross 80°N and come ashore to explore the Arctic wilderness
-Experience the Midnight Sun (until 23. August), giving you 24 hours of daylight to discover Svalbard
-Sail with an expedition team on board the nostalgic MS Nordstjernen

This is an expedition where the elements rule, and the weather, wind and ice conditions will determine our final schedule. Safety is paramount and the captain will decide the sailing itinerary during the voyage. Therefore, this itinerary is just an indication of what you can experience, and why every expedition with Hurtigruten is unique.

OPTION 1:  
2 nights hotel accommodation and 3 nights on board MS Nordstjernen

Day 1 Longyearbyen Arrival
Your adventure starts with an overnight stay in Longyearbyen. This Norwegian settlement is a unique little town. While the arctic environment is dominant, it is also a surprisingly cosmopolitan place, with art galleries, pubs, long wine lists at restaurants, stores and a mini-mall. Longyearbyen is often called an antidote to the stress of modern-day life and is a prime destination for adventure travellers. Reminders of the history and heritage of the island can be seen everywhere. When Coal Mine Number 1 was opened in the 1930’s, the miners survived in flimsy two-story barracks. When World War II ravaged Europe, the area of Svalbard known as Nybyen was set on fire. After the war, the miners moved back and rebuilt the barracks. For your overnight, you may choose to stay in these barracks, which have now been completely renovated to offer our guests a high standard of comfort. The Coal Miners Cabins are situated about 2 kilometres from the town centre, a nice walk in beautiful surroundings. Or, you may choose to stay in the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel, the world’s Northernmost full-service hotel, located in the heart of Longyearbyen.

Day 2 Longyearbyen and Barentsburg
Morning guided sightseeing tour in Longyearbyen that includes a visit to the Svalbard Museum and Gallery Svalbard. Then it’s time to embark on the adventure and MS Nordstjernen. Sail south in Isfjorden to the Russian settlement Barentsburg. This “company coal mining town” has been Russian since 1932, and is still home to about 500 people. Explore the exotic collection of old Russian artefacts and architecture, join a folklore show or soak up the real Russian atmosphere in the local pub.

Day 3 Magdalenefjord - North West corner - Moffen and 80°North
Locally known as the North West Corner, this area, rich with islands, fjords and beaches, has a long history of exploration. In Magdalenefjord, discover cultural heritage: a whaling station from the 16th century, including a graveyard of whalers who died during the first “oil gold rush”. Morning landing come ashore and explore this wonderful Arctic wilderness. In this beautiful fjord, we might see polar bears, minke whales and bearded seals. If conditions allow, sail past 80°North towards Moffen Island in search of walrus.

Day 4 Krossfjord - Kongsfjord and Ny-Alesund
Kongsfjord, also known as King’s Bay, is the largest fjord in the Northwest coast of Spitsbergen. Spend most of the day cruising into a large side fjord, Krossfjord. The landscape varies from large tundra plains to alpine peaks with dramatic glaciers tumbling into the ocean. The inner part of Krossfjord, Lilliehöökfjorden, is strikingly beautiful. Be sure to look for the peak of Mitra – named for a ‘Mitre’ or a catholic bishop’s hat – located on the Northern shore of the entrance to Kongsfjorden. At the end of the fjord you will see the majestic Kongsbreen (King’s Glacier) with the three characteristic nunataks: Nora, Dana and Svea - named after the three Scandinavian countries. Later we dock at Ny-Alesund. Situated at 78º 55’ N, this is one of the world’s Northernmost year-round communities. Previously a coal mining centre, it is now an advanced High Arctic research station. Several countries run their own national research stations here, and the activity is particularly high in the Summer.

Day 5 Isfjorden and Longyearbyen
Located in central Spitsbergen, Isfjorden is the most prominent fjord system on Svalbard. Spend the morning sailing towards Longyearbyen. One of the most noticeable mountains in this area is Alkhornet, where thousands of brünnich’s guillemots nest during the Summer. As we sail into the outer parts of the fjord, the landscape changes. Marvel at the large U-shaped valleys, carved out of the mountains by the giant glaciers that covered the area some ten thousand years ago. After disembarkation in Longyearbyen you have the rest of the day at leisure. Evening farewell dinner at the hotel.

Day 6 Longyearbyen Departure
Transfer to the airport and end of arrangements.

OPTION 2: 
1 nights hotel accommodation and 4 nights on board MS Nordstjernen

Day 1 Longyearbyen Arrival
Same as Day 1 of Itinerary 1

Day 2 Longyearbyen and Barentsburg
Same as Day 2 of Itinerary 1

Day 3 Magdalenefjorden and the North West Corner
Locally known as the North West Corner, this area, rich with islands, fjords and beaches, has a long history of exploration. In Magdalenefjord, discover cultural heritage: a whaling station from the 16th century, including a graveyard of whalers who died during the first “oil gold rush”. Morning landing explore the wonderful Arctic wilderness. In this beautiful fjord, we might see polar bears, minke whales and bearded seals.

Day 4 Woodfjorden, Liefdefjorden, Moffen and 80°North
The North West Spitsbergen National Park is a rich environment, with islands, fjords and beaches, all with a long history of exploration. Deep inside the giant Woodfjord system you will find the enormous and fast-moving Monaco Glacier. In front of this crevassed glacier there is brash ice as well as larger pieces that have “calved off”. Sometimes we also visit the Jotunkjeldane thermal springs, the Northernmost documented thermal springs on Earth. These large fjords offer a strikingly varied landscape – from the largest flat plain on Svalbard; Reinsdyrflya (the reindeer plain), to the red stone of Devonian geology, to remnants of volcanoes. Cruise towards the Monaco glacier, passing several small islets where eider ducks nest during the Summer. If we are lucky, we may spot a polar bear searching for eggs here. Be on the lookout for the arched back of the occasional minke whale and bearded seals sunbathing on ice floes close to the glacier front. If the ice conditions are favourable, we will sail past 80° North and towards Moffen, an island which is often host to walrus.

Day 5 Krossfjord - Kongsfjord and Ny-Alesund
Same as day 4 of Itinerary 1. Evening farewell dinner on board.

Day 6 Longyearbyen Departure
Disembark in Longyearbyen and transfer to the airport. End of arrangements.

Maximum number of passengers: 149

Departures 2020 (Option 1): 18, 25 May; 01, 08, 15, 22, 29 June; 06, 13, 20, 27 July; 03, 10, 17, 24, 31 August

Departures 2020 (Option 2): 21, 28 May; 04, 11, 18, 25 June; 02, 09, 16, 23, 30 July; 06, 13, 20, 27 August; 03 September

Includes (Option 1): 3 night Expedition Cruise in cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis, 2 hotel nights in Longyearbyen including breakfast (Day 1, Day 5); return Longyearbyen airport transfers (Day 1, Day 6); 3 hour Longyearbyen Sightseeing including Museum and Camp Barentz, ending at the pier (Day 2); transfer pier to hotel in Longyearbyen (Day 5); voyage activity program including onshore exploration with the Expedition Team; English-speaking Expedition Team; loan of trekking poles and thermal suits for optional and included activities.

Includes (Option 2): 4 night Expedition Cruise in cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis, 1 hotel night in Longyearbyen including breakfast (Day 1); return Longyearbyen airport transfers (Day 1, Day 6); 3 hour Longyearbyen Sightseeing including Museum and Camp Barentz, ending at the pier (Day 2); voyage activity program including onshore exploration with the Expedition Team; English-speaking Expedition Team; loan of trekking poles and thermal suits for optional and included activities.

Excludes: luggage handling; alcoholic beverages; optional activities; Longyearbyen Classic Break package – please enquire.

About the vessel, MS Nordstjernen
The ship was built in 1956 and extensively modernised in 2000 for exclusive Arctic sailing. Today she takes a maximum of 149 explorers on adventures in the waters around Spitsbergen. Despite modernisation, she still retains the aura of an old Atlantic ship, restored to her former splendour with new brass, classic wooden interiors and all her original art. Inside you’ll find cosy interior and exterior cabins, the majority of which have upper and lower berths, as well as a dining room and bar, a café, a panorama lounge and a library. Out on deck you come extra close to the untouched nature of the Polar Arctic and with roofs over a lot of the deck space.

Please note: all planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions. No gratuities expected.

Nordic Travel is 100% Australian owned and operated

Please note the price for this cruise varies according to your exact dates of travel and choice of cabin. Please contact us for further details. 

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