Spitsbergen in Depth. Big Island, Big Adventure

On this extended 13-day trip, we venture to circumnavigate Spitsbergen, experiencing all the island has to offer

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This is one of the best regions to see polar bears, along with walrus and reindeer. The 14th of July Glacier and Alkefjellet cliff are both bird-watching utopias. Get a glimpse of 16th-century whaling culture at secluded landing sites. If conditions allow, this route may include encircling the northernmost Svalbard island of Nordaustlandet.


Day 1 | Embarkation day in Longyearbyen, Norway

Your Spitsbergen arctic voyage begins when you board your ship in Longyearbyen, the island’s largest settlement. Enjoy your first view of the island’s rugged, glacier-topped mountains rising majestically from icy waters.

Days 2 to 12 | Circumnavigating Spitsbergen

Expect a new adventure every day as we begin our circumnavigation by heading north and around the island of Spitsbergen, exploring smaller, outlying islands. The variety of incredible wildlife and geological formations found here is astounding. We plan to circumnavigate Spitsbergen, but if conditions are favorable, we will also attempt a circumnavigation of the whole Svalbard
archipelago. Every expedition will be different, depending on the weather and ice, but we do hope to visit a few of our favorite landing sites, including the 14th of July Glacier, Ny London, Phippsøya, Alkefjellet and the seldom-visited Kvitøya.
These names may seem strange to you, but each site has its own unique appeal, as there is no shortage of natural beauty in Spitsbergen, where colorful tundra meadows are complemented by glaciers. For birders, the 14th of July Glacier is home to puffins, purple sandpipers, common eiders, barnacle geese and arctic terns, while Alkefjellet’s cliffs are teeming with nesting Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres).
If you’re looking for confirmation that reindeer are real, then you’ll want to have your camera ready for visits to sites like Ny London, Sundneset and Alkhornet. As for the largest land carnivore in the world, searching for polar bears is a constant activity for your Expedition Team. Phippsøya and Isbukta are two of the bears’ preferred places for hunting, which translates into great potential for you to capture them in action.
A big part of appreciating Spitsbergen comes from understanding the culture— not just how people live today, but also how this land was first explored. Whaling was a key industry, and you will see remains of old blubber ovens from the 16th century, plus other evidence of whaling at landing sites such as Smeerenburg. If we’re lucky, we may have the chance to spot beluga whales, which frequent the now-protected waters around the island.

Day 13 | Depart Longyearbyen

Your adventure ends in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your flight home.

•Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
•All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board
•Beer and wine during dinner
•All shore landings per the daily program
•Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader
•All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
•Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and special guests as scheduled
•Photographic journal documenting the expedition
•Waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
•Official Expedition parka to keep
•Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
•Hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin
•Comprehensive onboard materials, including a map and an informative Arctic Reader
•All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
•All luggage handling aboard the ship
•All gratuities
•Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$500,000per person
•Arrival transfer from Longyearbyen airport to your hotel if you arrive one day prior to embarkation
•Transfer from your hotel or Longyearbyen airport to the ship on embarkation day
•Group transfer from the ship to Longyearbyen airport or a designated drop-off location downtown on disembarkation day

•International airfare
•Passport and visa expenses
•Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above
•Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
•Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended
•Excess-baggage fees on international flights
•Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
•Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified
•Phone and Internet charges
•Additional overnight accommodation•Optional kayaking activities

* 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.


© The Polar Travel Company
© The Polar Travel Company
© The Polar Travel Company

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