• Swimming polar bear with Zodiac, Spitsbergen
  • M/V Ortelius
  • Puffins, Greenland
  • Massive glacier in Spitsbergen
  • Polar bear on melting sea ice, Spitsbergen
  • Collapsed Swedish camp of the 1898 surveying expedition, Spitsbergen
  • Exploring Spitsbergen
  • Spitsbergen-cruises 10
  • Spitsbergen-cruises 13
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  • Spitsbergen-cruises 24
  • Spitsbergen-cruises 23
  • Spitsbergen-cruises 6
  • Swimming polar bear with Zodiac, Spitsbergen
  • M/V Ortelius
  • Puffins, Greenland
  • Massive glacier in Spitsbergen
  • Polar bear on melting sea ice, Spitsbergen
  • Collapsed Swedish camp of the 1898 surveying expedition, Spitsbergen
  • Exploring Spitsbergen
  • Spitsbergen-cruises 10
  • Spitsbergen-cruises 13
  • Spitsbergen-cruises 21
  • Spitsbergen-cruises 18
  • Spitsbergen-cruises 16
  • Spitsbergen-cruises 24
  • Spitsbergen-cruises 23
  • Spitsbergen-cruises 6

Around Spitsbergen

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Priced from $4,900   Days: 10

Circumnavigate Spitsbergen, the Arctic archipelago north of Norway also known as Svalbard. This is the largest wilderness area in Europe and home to polar bears, walrus, various seals and whales, including the elusive Narwhal. You will also see an abundant variety of seabirds, including the Northern fulmar.

This voyage is offered aboard two sister ships, M/V Ortelius and M/V Plancius.  Both are comfortable, expedition class ice strengthened ships, perfect for traveling through the Arctic region.

Spitsbergen is also rich in history, as it has been the launching point of many polar expeditions, some successful and some that failed.   You will visit some of the actual bases used by explorers such as Amundsen and Perry. 


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  • Itinerary
  • Date & Rates
  • Vessel
  • Map
Itinerary:

Around Spitsbergen 

Actual itineraries will vary depending on local ice and weather conditions. Historically, we have been able to circumnavigate Spitsbergen better than 50% of the time on late summer departures.  In the event of severe ice, our ship may follow a slightly different itinerary.

Day 1 - Arrive in Longyearbyen, the capital of the Spitsbergen archipelago. Stroll around this former mining town before embarking.  Both the parish church and Polar Museum are well worth visiting. We sail out of Isfjorden in the evening.

Day 2 - Heading north along the west coast, in the morning we arrive in Krossfjorden, where we will cruise in the Zodiacs to see the famous but rapidly retreating 14th of July Glacier, named by French explorers. A variety of flowers bloom on the slopes near the glacier and large numbers of Kittiwakes and Brünnich's Guillemots nest on the nearby cliffs.  We may also see Arctic Foxes and Bearded Seals, who cruise in 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 center. Close to the village is a breeding ground for Barnacle Geese, Pink-footed Geese and Arctic Terns. 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.

Day 3 - Near the mouth of Liefdefjorden, we will go ashore for a walk on the tundra island of Andøya. Many common eiders and pink-footed geese nest here, and we may spot the rare King Eider. Sailing into Liefdefjorden, we will cruise near the face of the impressive Monaco Glacier. The waters of the glacier front are a popular feeding spot for thousands of kittiwakes and occasionally polar bears are seen on the glacier.

Day 4 - Today we will reach our northernmost point 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 bears and ivory gulls inhabit this region. We may sit for several hours in the pack ice, taking in our spectacular surroundings looking for Ross gulls before we turn south again.

Day 5 - We will visit Laagøya today, a low island where a large herd of walrus congregate in the lagoon. Sabine's gulls nest on the island as well. At Sorg Fjord we may find another herd of walrus not far from the graves of 17th century whalers. On a nature walk, we may encounter families of ptarmigans.

Day 6 - Today we will sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to bearded seals, ringed seals, polar bears, and ivory gulls. We'll navigate the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in our zodiacs and explore the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with thousands of Brünnich's guillemots. On the east side of Hinlopenstrait, we'll attempt a landing at Augustabukta on Nordaustlandet, home to reindeer, pink-footed geese, breeding ivory gulls, and walrus. Near Torrelneset, we will explore the polar desert of Nordaustlandet, next to the world's third largest ice cap. We will walk along beautiful coastline covered in smooth rocks, sculpted by the surf over thousands of years and may encounter walrus along the way.

Day 7 - In Freemansundet, we plan to land at Sundneset on the island of Barentsøya to visit an old trapper's hut and taking a brisk walk across the tundra in search of Spitsbergen reindeer and barnacle geese. 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 kitttiwakes, black guillemots and glaucous gulls. During the breeding season, the base of the cliffs is patrolled by Arctic fox and polar bears, especially females with young cubs, searching for young birds and eggs that have fallen from the nesting ledges.

Day 8 - We start the day quietly cruising the side fjords of the spectacular Hornsund area of southern Spitsbergen while 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 bears.

Day 9 - Today we land on Ahlstrandhalvøya at the mouth of Van Keulenfjorden. Here piles of beluga whale skeletons remain from the 19th century slaughter, and yet another reminder of the consequences of thoughtless exploitation. Fortunately, belugas were not hunted to the edge of extinction any longer and may still be seen locally. There is a good chance that we will come across a pod. Cruising into Recherchefjorden during the afternoon, we can explore an area of tundra at the head of the fjord where many reindeer feed.

Day 10 - Return to Longyearbyen and disembark for the transfer to the airport.

Date & Rates:

 Around Spitsbergen

2017 Dates and Rates (USD)

Code*

Embark/

Disembark

Dates Ship N/D

Quad
Non

private

Triple porthole

Twin
Porthole
Twin
Window
Twin Deluxe Superior

OTL12

 

Longyearbyen/

Longyearbyen

Aug. 3 -12, 2017 Ortelius 9/10 $4,900 $6,000 $7,000 $7,450 $7,900 $8,850

OTL13

 

Longyearbyen/

Longyearbyen

Aug. 12 -21, 2017 Ortelius 9/10 $4,900 $6,000 $7,000 $7,450 $7,900 $8,850

OTL14

H K

Longyearbyen/

Longyearbyen

Aug. 21 - 30,  2017 Ortelius  9/10 $4,900 $6,000 $7,000 $7,450 $7,900 $8,850

PLA13

B

Longyearbyen/

Longyearbyen

Aug 11 - 20, 2017 Plancius 9/10 $4,900 $6,000 $7,000 $7,450 $7,900 $8,850

PLA14

B

Longyearbyen/

Longyearbyen

Aug 20 - 29, 2017 Plancius  9/10 $4,900 $6,000 $7,000 $7,450 $7,900 $8,850

Prices include:

  • Voyage aboard the Ortelius or Plancius
  • Port charges and miscelleneous service taxes
  • All meals including snacks, coffee, and tea
  • All shore excursions and activities by Zodiac
  • Lectures by naturalists and expedition staff
  • Use of rubber boots and snow shoes
  • OTL14 kayaking at no additional fee

Not included:

  • Airfare to and from embarkation and disembarkation points. We are happy to help book hotels and air for you.
  • Gratuities
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Items of a personal nature, such as laundry services

*LEGEND

B = Bilingual voyage: English/German/French. English as first language.
K = Kayaking
H = Hiking

Single supplement: 1.7 times share price.

Registration: To confirm your space on these tours, please contact our office. 1.800.808.4492 or 575.524.0084

Deposit: 30% of trip cost

Cancellation Policy:  In the event you must cancel your reservation, refunds will be made according to the following schedule: Deposit is nonrefundable. 90 to 61 days prior to departure, 50% of total is nonrefundable; less than 60 days prior to departure, 100% nonrefundable.

Fuel surcharge: If world fuel prices reach or exceed US Dollar $120 per Barrel Brent 90 days prior to departure then the boat operator reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of $25 USD per night per passenger to be paid prior to travel.

Insurance: Because many advance logistical arrangements have been made prior to the running of this trip, we must adhere to the above policy. In light of this, we strongly recommend trip cancellation insurance. An application form will be sent to you upon request, or you may purchase it on your own. Because of the remote location, emergency medical evacuation insurance is required. Please check your personal insurance coverage and make sure it is applicable in foreign countries. Emergency medical evacuation insurance is a component of the insurance program IWA offers.

 





 

Map:

OTL07_map

 

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