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Polar bears – Spitsbergen

iceberg

Overview

A unique opportunity to photograph Polar Bears in continuous daylight whilst enjoying Spitsbergen's varied Arctic landscapes - Tundra in the West, polar desert in the East and peaks along the coast.

With embarkation and disembarkation in Longyearbyen and visiting areas only possible by boat you will see a range of Arctic wildlife and get within 600 miles of the North Pole.

Departure Dates include 23rd June. 27th June and 20th July

11 nights
Longyearbyen
Prices from Per Person
From £6,495
Call our Arctic holiday specialists today on +44(0)‭1793 939035‬ or enquire online

Package Details

  • Flights
  • Transfers
  • 1 night in Longyearbyen
  • Group transfer to the ship on day of embarkation;
  • Group transfer to airport or central location upon disembarkation;
  • Shipboard accommodations;
  • All scheduled landings/excursions (other than optional in cities);
  • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader & Expedition Team;
  • All meals on board throughout the voyage;
  • Tea and coffee station 24 hours daily;
  • Expedition parka
  • A pair of rubber boots on loan for shore landings;
  • Welcome and Farewell cocktails;
  • All port fees;
  • Pre-departure materials;
  • Digital Voyage Log;
  • Emergency Evacuation Insurance to a maximum benefit of USD 100,000 per person.

Day 1. Longyearbyen.

Flights to Longyearbyen

Night in Longyearbyen

Day 2. Longyearbyen.

Longyearbyen is the main settlement of the Norwegian Spitsbergen archipelago. This Arctic town located at 78° north, is one of the world’s northernmost communities and boast of being even the worlds northernmost town. It has approximately 2000 inhabitants and is a modern place with a wide range of facilities such as a supermarket, outdoor shops, several pubs and hotels.Before embarking there is an opportunity to stroll around this former mining town, whose parish church and Polar Museum are well worth visiting. In the early evening the ship will sail out of Isfjorden.

Day 3. 14th of July glacier – Ny Alesund.

Heading north along the west coast, we arrive 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. The mountains around are covered by snow and the scenery present rather a black and white picture. Once a mining village – served by the world’s most northerly railway, which can still be seen – Ny Ålesund is now a research centre, a small community of scientists from all over the world who conduct a variety of research in the fields of atmospheric studies, glaciology, biology and related subjects. A short walk takes us into the centre of this historic village. Another highlight is the visit to the local souvenir shop and the northernmost post office. Close to the village is a breeding ground for Barnacle Goose, Pink-footed Goose, Arctic Tern and Ivory gulls. 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 4. Smeerenburg-Virgohamna – Hamiltonbukta.

Today we visit the remains of Smeerenburg (“Blubber town”), the largest 17th century whaling settlement on Spitsbergen. Blubber ovens and whalers’ graves can still be seen in many places. In Virgohamna we will see the remains of, and learn more about the amazing expeditions that started from here. Andrées attempted to reach the North Pole in an air balloon from here!
In Hamiltonbukta we cruise on our Zodiacs along the ice edge of the bay and cliffs with bird colonies.

Day 5. Lagoya / Phippsoya.

Today morning we plan to visit Lagoya, a flat island covered with glacial moraine, rocks of every size and type. Lagoya also serves as a summer resort for walruses. Sometimes they look like a field of rocks. Lagoya (Low Island) is an island off the northwestern coast of Nordaustland in Svalbard. Lagoya is uninhabited island, perfect for walrus to haul out and rest at its shore. We also plan landing at Phippsoya, in the Seven Islands north of Nordaustlandet. Here we will be at 81 degrees north, just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole. The island is named after the English explorer Constantine John Phipps, who commanded two bomb vessels on an expedition to Svalbard in 1773. 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.

Day 6. Cruise to ice edge.

Continue to the edge of the ice field.

Day 7. Murchisonfjord – Faksevagen – Alkefjellet.

Murchison Fjord is a wonderful place to cruise as we navigate the waterways between the islands. Short hikes will take us on to high points with great views, while keeping our eyes open for Arctic wildlife.
Alkefjellet is home to nesting brunich guillemots.

Day 8. Palanderbukta – Torellneset – Brasvellbreen.

On the east side of Hinlopenstrait, we’ll attempt a landing at Palanderbukta on Nordaustlandet, home to reindeer, pink-footed geese, breeding ivory gulls, and walruses.
Torellneset is a great place for walrus photography. Coming across a walrus haul-out is a moment you won’t forget either. The ice cliff of Brasvellbreen is about 180 km long. This makes it the longest glacier front of the northern hemisphere.

Day 9. Kap Waldburg / Kapp Lee.

Kapp Lee near the northwest corner of Edgeoya has been a focal point for hunting and scientific expeditions for centuries. There are traces of the ice age in this area consisting of ancient whalebones and driftwood from several thousand years ago.

Day 10. Hornsund.

We start the day quietly cruising the side fjords of the spectacular Hornsund area of southern Spitsbergen. Majestic peaks and dramatic fjords make a visit to Hornsund special. The highest summits are often shrouded in mist, but if you are lucky you might get a glimpse of Hornsundtind, peaking at 1431 m. Hornsund is the southernmost fjord in Svalbard located in Sør-Spitsbergen National Park. Traces of human activity spanning 400 years can be found almost anywhere where there are possible landing sites. There are also 14 magnificent glaciers in the area and very good chances of encounters with seals and Polar Bear.

Day 11. Pulepinten / Alkhornet.

Weather permitting we will go ashore at Pulepinten. Nearby we may be able to visit a haul-out of walrus.

Day 12. Longyearbyen.

Our adventure ends in the port of Longyearbyen. We disembark after breakfast and go to the airport for flight home.

The Sea Spirit is an all suite ship with an ice strengthened hull and a fleet of inflatables for shore visits.

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