Spitsbergen Highlights: Expedition in Brief
Pack in all the excitement of an epic long Arctic cruise into only seven
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Leisurely
In just a week, cruise through the pack ice up to 80°N along the west coast of Spitsbergen like an explorer of long ago, on a constant search for wildlife. Though this rocky island is covered in mountains and glaciers, the towering cliffs and fjords play host to a surprisingly thriving and varied ecosystem. Exploring as much of the area as possible will provide optimal opportunities to spot the most iconic of arctic wildlife, the Polar bear.
* All meals while on the ship
* All accommodation
* All transport and listed activities
* Full complement of qualified Expedition Staff
* Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Arrive in Oslo, Norway
Your Arctic voyage begins in Oslo, Norway’s vibrant capital city. If you arrive early, there are many museums, restaurants and green spaces to keep you busy before retiring at your included airport hotel.
Embarkation Day in Longyearbyen, Svalbard
This morning, the group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen’s largest settlement, where you’ll have some time to explore before embarkation. As the ship sets sail, enjoy great vistas of the mountainous landscape that serves as a backdrop for this historic town.
You’ll sail around the shores of this magical island, constantly searching for Polar bears and other natural wonders. Covering western Spitsbergen, your expedition will afford ample opportunities to view immense glaciers, deep fjords, soaring mountains and unique flora and fauna.Sailing north into Krossfjord, have your camera handy, ready to capture some of the best glacier calving in Spitsbergen. Deep in the fjord, the highly active Lilliehöök Glacier awaits. Listen in awe to the growling as big chunks break off into the icy waters below. A Zodiac excursion to nearby Ny London, an abandoned mining settlement, provides an ideal place for a guided walk. Encounters with wildlife, such as the indigenous Svalbard reindeer, are possible here.After cruising overnight, wake up to the stunning sight of the magnificent Monaco Glacier, another prolific iceberg producer. To make this even more thrilling, help the Expedition Team to scan the shorelines and ice edge for marine mammals. Possible landing sites include Texas Bar, Worsleyneset and the Andoyane Islands (where Polar bears have been known to roam). At 80°N, you’ll reach a walrus sanctuary on the tiny, crescent-shaped Moffen Island. Watching from the water as large groups of these lumbering giants jockey for space is an unforgettable experience, so be ready with your binoculars.At Smeerenburg you can see the remains of an abandoned settlement that was established by Dutch whalers nearly 400 years ago. Here, at one of Europe’s most northerly outposts, you’ll have time to explore ashore and learn about Spitsbergen’s whaling history. Afterwards, cruising to Magdalenafjord rewards you with panoramic vistas of snow-capped mountains and massive glaciers reflected in the crystal-clear waters.During your last full day of your Arctic adventure, you may visit the Russian mining town of Barentsburg, home of the world’s northernmost brewery. We hope to round out the day in Alkehornet, taking in the towering cliffs teeming with nesting seabirds, such as fulmars and Brünnich’s guillemots (Thick-billed murres). Encounters with reindeer might be possible here too. Later, in the evening, swap stories with your shipmates and crew one last time, at the captain’s dinner
Disembark in Longyearbyen and fly to Oslo
The time to say goodbye has come. Your adventure ends as it began, in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your return group charter flight to Oslo.