Waterproof Cruises

Exploring Spitsbergen

The land of pointed mountains, Polar bears and Walrus

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Exploring Spitsbergen

Spitsbergen is known for its pointed mountains and wide scenery of lush tundra. Jagged peaks on the west coast, formidable pack ice in the north and a polar desert in the east, Spitsbergen offers a variety of landscapes and abundant wildlife including the polar bear.

On an exploration of Norway's Svalbard archipelago, you will sail along sculpted glacier fronts, through breathtakingly scenic fjords and amongst sparkling ice caps lit by the midnight sun. The wildlife watching around Spitsbergen is excellent with Arctic foxes, bearded seals, walrus, beluga whales and the ultimate wildlife encounter – the mighty polar bear.

The further north and east that you sail, the more ice you will meet. The ice will gradually build up until you see large ice floes with seals resting on them.
You will discover hunters' shelters and other evidence of the fierce conditions endured by the early polar pioneers. We plan to go ashore one or two times every day by Zodiac.

Note:


This is a sample itinerary. Each vessel might have slightly different itineraries and each offers unique experiences. The final itinerary always depends on weather and ice conditions and wildlife behaviour. Bring a portion of flexible attitude for expedition cruising and you will have the best adventure ever ! Ports of embarkation and disembarkation may differ by vessel and departure dates.

  • First Day

    Today you will be met at the airport or hotel in Longyearbyen and taken on a sightseeing tour to explore the remote outskirts and village of Longyearbyen, ‘capital’ of Spitsbergen. After a tour you will be transferred to the port in the late afternoon and board our ship. Our voyage starts with cruising out of the beautiful Isfjorden, escorted by gliding fulmars and perhaps the occasional puffin.

  • Places you may visit during the expedition

    We cruise northwards along the west coast of Spitsbergen stopping at intriguing places like Kongsfjorden or Magdalenefjorden.

    Our program will vary to take best advantage of local conditions, spontaneous opportunities and wildlife viewing. We spend time ashore walking on the lush tundra amongst the summer flowers and observing the remarkable bird cliffs near the 14th July Glacier. We will Zodiac cruise around these pristine areas, where puffins and guillemots nest between the cracks in the cliffs and bearded seals can often be seen resting on ice floes.

    We feel a sense of history at the 350-year-old remains of Dutch whaling settlements at Smeerenberg (blubber town) on Amsterdamoya and the 100-year-old relics of the famous Swedish explorer Andree, who set out from Danskoya in an unsuccessful attempt to fly a balloon to the North Pole.

  • As we work our way along the north coast, we explore places such as Woodfjorden and Leifdefjorden in search of the remarkable polar bear. Spitsbergen supports one of the world’s densest populations of these magnificent animals. From Zodiacs we enjoy magnificent views of sweeping glaciers winding their way into the sea. We may walk on smooth, raised beach terraces to a magnificent viewpoint, or hike in the mountains on the flowering tundra where reindeer graze.

    The Svalbard reindeer, an endemic subspecies, are generally not shy of humans and we hope to have some close encounters during our shore excursions. Due to the warming influence of the Gulf Stream, there is an amazing variety of flora. We visit trappers’ huts of yesteryear – all the while remaining alert for wandering polar bears. We come face-to-face with the formidable pack ice of the Arctic Ocean and keep our eyes peeled for bobbing walrus feeding on clams or hauled out on the beach in wallows.

  • Along the east coast of Spitsbergen we enter a different world – a polar desert. This coast is influenced by a cold sea current from Siberia and the resulting lower temperatures mean that even in summer, frequent pack ice can make access difficult. If ice conditions allow we will pass south through the narrow Hinlopen Strait. On our walks we will be on the lookout for some of the specialist birds that live on the tundra including snow bunting and the elusive Svalbard ptarmigan. We may hike to visit nesting guillemots or cruise past active glacial fronts.

  • You may visit Alkefjellet where a series of one hundred metre high dolerite towers are home to millions of Brunnich’s guillemots, the penguins of the north, that occupy every available nook and cranny. Elsewhere we seek out Eider ducks and geese, and hope to spot Arctic fox and beautiful ivory gulls.

    As our ship passes between Spitsbergen and the smaller Barentsoya and Edgeoya we cross the main polar bear migration routes and the beautiful fertile plain of Sundeneset. The ground is richly covered with bright green mosses, a variety of delicate and colourful flowers, particularly the yellow marsh (bog) saxifrage, various mushrooms, clear bubbling streams and small tarns. We explore this beautiful terrain on foot.

    We round South Cape, Spitsbergen’s most southerly point, before continuing our journey northwards. If conditions allow, we visit the Polish research station at Isbjornhamna in Hornsund fjord where we are shown around by the base leader and walk to a spectacular colony of little auks. Several hundred thousand birds nest here, coming and going in huge swarms as they head out to sea to feed on their specialised diet of zooplankton.

  • Last day

    During the early morning we cruise back into Isfjorden before docking in Longyearbyen. After bidding farewell to newfound friends, you are transferred into the village of Longyearbyen, there’s time to explore and shop before you are transferred to the airport in the afternoon for your flight to Oslo and onward to your final destination.

*NOTE: Snorkeling & Diving activity on designated trips need a minimum of 6 participants.


Dates and Rates

  • Polar Pioneer Exploring Spitsbergen

    Dates
    • 7th Jul - 17th Jul 2018
    • Embark: Longyearbyen
    • Disembark: Longyearbyen
    Prices from
    Captain's Suite
    EUR 7,300
    Superior Cabin
    EUR 6,600
    Twin Private Cabin
    EUR 6,230
    Twin Public Cabin
    EUR 5,300
    Triple Cabin
    EUR 4,275
    Full Charter
    POA
  • Polar Pioneer Exploring Spitsbergen

    Dates
    • 17th Jul - 27th Jul 2018
    • Embark: Longyearbyen
    • Disembark: Longyearbyen
    Prices from
    Captain's Suite
    EUR 7,300
    Superior Cabin
    EUR 6,600
    Twin Private Cabin
    EUR 6,230
    Twin Public Cabin
    EUR 5,300
    Triple Cabin
    EUR 4,275
    Full Charter
    POA
  • Polar Pioneer Exploring Spitsbergen

    Dates
    • 27th Jul - 6th Aug 2018
    • Embark: Longyearbyen
    • Disembark: Longyearbyen
    Prices from
    Captain's Suite
    EUR 7,300
    Superior Cabin
    EUR 6,600
    Twin Private Cabin
    EUR 6,230
    Twin Public Cabin
    EUR 5,300
    Triple Cabin
    EUR 4,275
    Full Charter
    POA