Central Spitsbergen in the Arctic Autumn.
The central Spitsbergen cruise offers the chance to explore both the beautiful fjord region as well as the history of the people who have lived and worked here. The expedition is also a wonderful way to enjoy the wildlife in its natural habitat and one of the great attractions in the Arctic: The Northern Lights.
Duration: 7 nights
Language: English speaking voyage
PLEASE NOTE: The autumn Spitsbergen voyages, just at the onset of winter, are ideal for observing the northern lights. All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. Willingness to compromise on comfort is a basic requirement on board a historic sailing vessel. Important information about the sailing program: The boat is equipped with sails to be used in good conditions (based on open sea, water depth, wind, and time). This is not guaranteed. The captain decides whether to use the sails or the engine. There is no claim to one or the other propulsion method. If sails are used, the crew operates them. Guests must follow the safety instructions of the team. The average cruising speed for s/v Noorderlicht is 6 knots.
Day 1: Largest town, biggest island
You touch down in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Enjoy strolling around this former mining town, whose parish church and Svalbard Museum make for fascinating attractions. Though the countryside appears stark, more than a hundred species of plant have been recorded in it. In the early evening the ship sails out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of your voyage. In the evening you sail for Trygghamna, where you see the remains of a 17th-century English whaling station and 18th-century Pomor hunting station, both of which you can visit the next morning.
Day 2: Glacial fjords, historic finds
Leaving Trygghamna early in the morning, you sail to the north side of Bellsund. Here you find a fjord system with two major branches: Van Mijenfjord, Van Keulenfjord, and one smaller side bay, Recherchefjord. The geology has created particularly unique landscapes here, such as the long and narrow island of Akseløya former mining town, whose parish church and Svalbard Fridtjovhamna, the calving glacier Fridtjovbreen is surrounded by picturesque mountains.
The rich wildlife of this area has attracted hunters throughout the centuries. At Ahlstrandhalvøya here, such as the their footsteps, examining the remains of the hunting huts. Recherchefjord has one of the highest concentration of historic sites in all of Spitsbergen, ranging from 17th-century whaling culture to the mining period of the early 20th century. The Recherchebreen Glacier ends at a lagoon, likely to be frozen in October, and several smaller icebergs. Polar bears are commonly sighted all over Bellsund, so keep your eyes open for them and for the belugas that frequent this area.
Day 6: Russian waypoints
You next pay a visit to Barentsburg, the only inhabited Russian settlement in Spitsbergen. An alternative is Colesbukta, an abandoned Russian coal mining settlement.
Day 7: Chasing the Arctic chill
Sailing into the inner reaches of the Isfjord system, you can see the new ice that is forming on the heads of the fjords. You may also experience temperatures as low as -10° C (14° F), depending on how clear the sky is.
Day 8: There and back again
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. You disembark in Longyearbyen, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.
Included in this voyage
-Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
-All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
-All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
-Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
-Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen.
-All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
-AECO fees and governmental taxes.
-Comprehensive pre-departure material.
Excluded from this voyage
-Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
-Pre- and post- land arrangements.
-Passport and visa expenses.
-Government arrival and departure taxes.
-Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory).
-Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
-The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).
* The prices are per person expressed in US Dollars.
NOTE: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy—and excitement—of expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.
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