Spitsbergen - Polar Bears and Arctic Adventure

Cruises, Escorted
Short expedition Voyage on 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 time in the rugged capital Longyearbyen then sail along the west coast of Spitsbergen on this amazing exploration. Discover the extraordinary Arctic landscape, glaciers, fjords and scan for magnificent Arctic wildlife. If you are lucky, you might just see the King of the Arctic himself, the mighty polar bear.

Choose from 2 itineraries: Option 1 has 2 nights hotel accommodation in Longyearbyen and 3 nights onboard whilst Option 2 has 1 night hotel accommodation in Longyearbyen and 4 nights onboard.

Option 1 Itinerary 2 nights hotel accommodation in Longyearbyen and 3 nights on board MS Nordstjernen 

Option 1    Day 1 Longyearbyen Arrival and Day at Leisure
On arrival in Longyearbyen transfer from the airport to your accommodation. Choose between staying in former coal miner's barracks, now comfortably renovated,  located about 2 kilometres from the town centre, or at the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel, in the town centre. Time to explore this unique, frontier town - perhaps visit the North Pole Expedition Museum and the Svalbard Kirke, or browse the shops for a local souvenir. Overnight in Longyearbyen. 

Option 1   Day 2 Longyearbyen: Embarkation and Barentsburg Visit
This morning enjoy a guided sightseeing tour in Longyearbyen that includes a visit to the Svalbard Museum and Gallery Svalbard. Then it’s time to embark on your adventure aboard MS Nordstjernen. Sail south in Isfjorden to the Russian settlement of Barentsburg; this coal mining town has been a Russian settlement since 1932, and is still home to about 500 people. Explore the exotic collection of old Russian artefacts and architecture, or soak up the real Russian atmosphere in the local pub. 1st overnight onboard. 

Option 1    Day 3 Magdalenefjord - North West corner - Moffen and 80°North
Locally known as the North West Corner, this area is rich with islands, fjords and beaches, and has a long history of exploration. In Magdalenefjord, discover cultural heritage including a whaling station from the 16th century, including a graveyard of whalers who died during the first “oil gold rush”. On the morning landing you may see polar bears, minke whales and bearded seals. If conditions allow, we sail past 80°North towards Moffen Island in search of walrus. 2nd overnight onboard.

Option 1    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 where several countries run their own national research stations, and was also a place of great importance in 19th and 20th century Arctic exploration. 3rd overnight onboard.

Option 1   Day 5 Isfjorden and Longyearbyen Disembarkation
Located in central Spitsbergen, Isfjorden is the most prominent fjord system on Svalbard. Today we spend the morning sailing along the fjord 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. Tonight enjoy a farewell dinner and overnight at your hotel.

Option 1   Day 6 Longyearbyen Departure
Transfer to the airport and end of arrangements.

2020 Departures Option 1: 18, 25 May; 01, 08, 15, 22, 29 June; 06, 13, 20, 27 July; 03, 10, 17, 24, 31 August; 07 September 2020

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 and Day 5); return Longyearbyen airport transfers Day 1 and 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 programme including onshore exploration with the Expedition Team; English-speaking Expedition Team; use of trekking poles and thermal suits for optional and included activities.

Excludes: luggage handling; beverages; optional activities

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

Option 2    Day 1 Longyearbyen Arrival and Day at Leisure
On arrival in Longyearbyen airport transfer to your accommodation. Choose between staying in former coal miner's barracks now comfortably renovated and located about 2 kilometres from the town centre, or at the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel, in the town centre. Time to explore this unique, frontier town town - perhaps visit the North Pole Expedition Museum and the Svalbard Kirke, or browse the shops for a local souvenir. Overnight in Longyearbyen. 


Option 2   Day 2 Longyearbyen and Barentsburg
This morning enjoy a guided sightseeing tour in Longyearbyen that includes a visit to the Svalbard Museum and Gallery Svalbard. Then it’s time to embark on your adventure aboard MS Nordstjernen. Sail south in Isfjorden to the Russian settlement of Barentsburg; this coal mining town has been a Russian settlement since 1932, and is still home to about 500 people. Explore the exotic collection of old Russian artefacts and architecture, or soak up the real Russian atmosphere in the local pub. 1st overnight onboard. 


Option 2   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. 2nd overnight onboard.


Option 2   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. 3rd
 overnight onboard.

Option 2   Day 5 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 where several countries run their own national research stations, and was also a place of great importance in 19th and 20th century Arctic exploration. Evening farewell dinner and 4th overnight onboard.

Option 2   Day 6 Longyearbyen Departure
Disembark in Longyearbyen, transfer to the airport and end of arrangements.


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 2020


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 and 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; use of trekking poles and thermal suits for optional and included activities.

Excludes: luggage handling; beverages; optional activities

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This is an expedition where the elements rule, and the weather, wind and ice conditions will determine the final schedule. Safety is paramount and the captain will decide the exact sailing itinerary during the voyage. Therefore, this itinerary is just an indication of what you may experience, and why every expedition is unique. All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions. 

*About the vessel, MS Nordstjernen
The ship was built in 1956 and modernised in 2000, retaining the brass and wooden classic interiors and original art. Accommodation is in basic, small interior or exterior cabins, all with upper and lower berths. Some cabins have a small bathroom with shower and toilet whilst other cabins have only a hand basin. There is a  dining room and bar, a café, a panorama lounge and a library, and deck space some of which is covered. Maximum of 149 explorers.

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. 

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 and Day 5); return Longyearbyen airport transfers Day 1 and 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 programme including onshore exploration with the Expedition Team; English-speaking Expedition Team; use 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 and 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; use of trekking poles and thermal suits for optional and included activities.

 

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