East Spitsbergen, Seals and Polar Bears in Sea Ice

Discover the highest peaks, largest seabird colonies, and best places to spot polar bears along the eastern shores of Spitsbergen

Cruise route
Title: East Spitsbergen, Seals and Polar Bears in Sea Ice
Dates:
Tripcode: HDS05-22
Duration: 7 nights
Ship: m/v Hondius
Embarkation: Longyearbyen
Disembarkation: Longyearbyen
Language: English speaking voyage
Important: 25% discount when you combine HDS05-22 and HDS06-22. Please contact our reservation department to book these consecutive voyages.
More about: Arctic cruises
Svalbard cruises
 
Itinerary

PLEASE NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. Landings are subject to site availabilities, permissions, and environmental concerns per AECO regulations. Official sailing plans and landing slots are scheduled with AECO prior to the start of the season, but the expedition leader determines the final plan. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. The average cruising speed of our vessel is 10.5 knots.

Experience the high Arctic summer with an expedition that visits some of the top sites of eastern Spitsbergen. Our goal is to take you to amazing glaciers, fascinating historical sites, bountiful seabird colonies, and sprawling fjord systems in which there is a good chance of spotting whales, seals, and possibly even polar bears.

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.

Day 2: Spectacular Hornsund

We start the day by quietly cruising the side fjords of the spectacular Hornsund area in southern Spitsbergen, enjoying the scenery of towering mountain peaks. The mountain of Hornsundtind rises to 1,431 meters (4,695 feet), while the peak of Bautaen testifies to why early Dutch explorers gave this island the name Spitsbergen, meaning “pointed mountains.”

There are 14 magnificent glaciers in the area, and we have a fair chance of encountering seals and polar bears.

The nearby cliffs of Sofiakammen are also home to thousands of pairs of nesting kittiwakes and little auks, and in the evening, we might see thousands of harp seals rutting on ice floes at Sørkapp.

Day 3: Long excursion at Diskobukta

After navigating the drift ice of Storfjorden, where we sometimes see harp seals, we land in northwest Edgeøya at the northern bank of Rosenberdalriver. Here on the raised beach, we have the opportunity of walking to Rosenbergdalen, which is teeming with grazing reindeer.

Afterward we plan to walk by a cliff with nesting black guillemots on our way to Stretehamna, where we often find a herd of walruses on the beach near an octagonal trapper’s cabin built in 1905.

We can also see the remains of a 19th-century Pomor house as well as the bones of walruses hunted in previous centuries.

Day 4: Trapper´s history in Freemansundet

Sailing into the waterway of Freemansundet, we plan to land at the tundra lowland of Sundneset, on the island of Barentsøya.

Here we will visit the hut of a German scientific expedition (Würzbugerhütte) from sixty years ago, then take a brisk walk across the tundra in search of Spitsbergen reindeer and barnacle geese. After that, we plan to go on a Zodiac cruise near Freeman Glacier and visit a kittiwake colony in a canyon close by.

In case of heavy ice in Freemandundet, however, we will instead sail to Negribreen, one of the most extensive glacier fronts on the east side of Spitsbergen. Here we can take a Zodiac cruise and land on Walrus Island, which became ice-free at the end of last century.

Day 5: Ivory gulls in Agardhfjellet

Today we sail to the east side of west Spitsbergen (west side of Storfjorden).

Here we plan to walk to breeding places for ivory gulls in Agardhfjellet, which stands about 300 meters (980 feet) high.

The valley leading to the outcrops that house the nests is littered with fossils of belemnites and ammonites.

Day 6: South Spitsbergen

Today we aim to land at the mountain of Stellingfjellet, near the largest colony of Brünnich’s guillemots in Spitsbergen. Later in the day, we will make landings at the rarely visited coast of south Spitsbergen, at the bay of Isbukta.

Day 7: Bell Sund’s flora, fauna, and haunting history

We continue our voyage in Bell Sund, one of the largest fjord systems in Svalbard. The ocean currents make this area slightly warmer than other areas in the archipelago, which shows in the relatively lush vegetation.

Here there are excellent opportunities to enjoy both history and wildlife.

A possibility is Ahlstrandhalvøya, at the mouth of Van Keulenfjorden, where piles of beluga skeletons can be found. These remains of 19th-century whale slaughter are a haunting reminder of the consequences of rampant exploitation. Fortunately, belugas were not hunted into extinction, and you have a good chance of coming across a pod.

Alternately, while cruising the side fjords of Bellsund, we can explore tundra where reindeer like to feed as well as rock slopes where little auks are breeding.

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.

m/v Hondius

Hondius is the first-registered Polar Class 6 vessel in the world, optimized for the most innovative exploratory voyages throughout the Arctic and Antarctica. Full ship info »

Cabins & Prices

Quadruple Porthole

Windows Windows Info Info
  • 2 portholes
  • 2 upper & lower berths
  • Small sofa
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Desk & chair
  • Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
  • Hair dryer
  • Cabinet
  • Wardrobe
  • This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin
Complete cabin
15400 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Sharing berth
3850 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price

Triple Porthole

Windows Windows Info Info
  • 2 portholes
  • 1 upper berth & 2 lower berths
  • Small sofa
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Desk & chair
  • Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
  • Hair dryer
  • Cabinet
  • Wardrobe
  • This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin
Complete cabin
14250 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Sharing berth
4750 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price

Twin Porthole

Windows Windows Info Info
  • 2 portholes
  • 2 single beds
  • Small sofa
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Desk & chair
  • Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
  • Hair dryer
  • Cabinet
  • Wardrobe
Complete cabin
10600 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Single cabin
9010 USD

Price for the complete cabin occupied by 1 person (1.7x the shared rate).

Sharing berth
5300 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price

Twin Window

Windows Info Info
  • 1 window
  • 2 single beds
  • Small sofa
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Desk & chair
  • Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
  • Hair dryer
  • Cabinet
  • Wardrobe
  • Please be aware that the view from some windows might be partially obstructed due to the design requirements of the ship
Complete cabin
11500 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Single cabin
9775 USD

Price for the complete cabin occupied by 1 person (1.7x the shared rate).

Sharing berth
5750 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price

Twin Deluxe

Windows Windows Info Info
  • 2 windows
  • 2 single beds
  • Sofa
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Desk & chair
  • Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
  • Refrigerator
  • Coffee & tea maker
  • Bathrobe
  • Hair dryer
  • Cabinet
  • Wardrobe
Complete cabin
12200 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Single cabin
10370 USD

Price for the complete cabin occupied by 1 person (1.7x the shared rate).

Sharing berth
6100 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price

Superior

Windows Windows Info
  • 2 windows
  • 1 double bed
  • Sofa
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Desk & chair
  • Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
  • Refrigerator
  • Coffee & tea maker
  • Bathrobe
  • Hair dryer
  • Cabinet
  • Wardrobe
Complete cabin
13800 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Single cabin
11730 USD

Price for the complete cabin occupied by 1 person (1.7x the shared rate).

Junior Suite

Windows Windows Info
  • 1 double window
  • 1 double bed
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Desk & chair
  • Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
  • Refrigerator
  • Coffee & tea maker
  • Bathrobe
  • Hair dryer
  • Cabinet
  • Wardrobe
Complete cabin
14800 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Single cabin
12580 USD

Price for the complete cabin occupied by 1 person (1.7x the shared rate).

Grand Suite with private balcony

Windows Windows Info
  • 1 double window
  • 1 double bed
  • Sofa
  • Private balcony
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Desk & chair
  • Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
  • Refrigerator
  • Coffee & tea maker
  • Bathrobe
  • Hair dryer
  • Cabinet
  • Wardrobe
Complete cabin
17100 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Single cabin
14535 USD

Price for the complete cabin occupied by 1 person (1.7x the shared rate).

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