Northeast Spitsbergen, In the realm of Polar Bear & Ice

Discover the outer edges of an Arctic archipelago

Northeast Spitsbergen, In the realm of Polar Bear & Ice
Cruise route
Title: Northeast Spitsbergen, In the realm of Polar Bear & Ice
Dates:
Tripcode: HDS06-21
Duration: 9 nights
Ship: m/v Hondius
Embarkation: Longyearbyen
Disembarkation: Longyearbyen
Language: English speaking voyage
More about: Arctic cruises
Svalbard cruises
 
Itinerary

PLEASE NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions and in order to take advantage of opportunities to see wildlife. The on-board expedition leader determines the final itinerary. Itineraries may mention places that require permission to land, which must be granted by the relevant national authorities. Such permission is not granted prior to the publishing of these itineraries. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. Average cruising speed of m/v Hondius is 10,5 knots.

From fjords to straits to the mighty Monaco Glacier, this scenic and wildlife-centered Arctic voyage explores some of the most dramatic landscapes and animal-viewing hotspots Svalbard has to offer. Between your visits to glaciers, beaches, and berg-strewn bays, you might encounter polar bears, walruses, whales, seals, foxes, and flocks of exotic seabirds.

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: Cruising Krossfjorden

Heading north along the west coast, you arrive by morning in Krossfjorden. Here you might board the Zodiacs for a cruise near the towering blue-white face of the Fourteenth of July Glacier. On the green slopes near the glacier, colorful flowers bloom while flocks of kittiwakes and Brünnich’s guillemots nest on the cliffs. You have a good chance of spotting an Arctic fox scouting for fallen chicks or a bearded seal paddling through the fjord. In the afternoon you sail to Ny Ålesund, the northernmost settlement on Earth. Once a mining village served by the world’s most northerly railway – you can still see its tracks – Ny Ålesund is now a research center. Close to the community is a breeding ground for barnacle geese, pink-footed geese, and Arctic terns. And if you’re interested in the history of Arctic exploration, visit the anchoring mast used by polar explorers Amundsen,  Ellsworth, and Nobile in their airship, Norge (1926).

Day 3: Route to Raudfjorden

In the morning you land at Ytre Norsköya and walk to the top of the island, where 17th-century whalers had an observation post to spot bowhead whales surrounded by puffins. Alternately (on our HDS04 voyage), you may land on Indre Norsköya at Sabine’s Observatory, where Edward Sabine (1823) studied the curvature of the Earth. Sailing to Raudfjorden on the north coast of Spitsbergen, you take in an expansive fjord spilling with glaciers – and maybe even visited by ringed and bearded seals. The cliffs and shoreline of this fjord also support thriving seabird colonies, rich vegetation, and the possibility of polar bears.

Day 4: The massive Monaco Glacier

Depending on the weather, you could sail into Liefdefjorden and cruise within sight of the 5-kilometer-long (3.1 miles) face of the Monaco Glacier. The waters in front of this glacier are a favorite feeding spot for thousands of kittiwakes, and the base of the ice is a popular polar bear hunting ground. If ice conditions prevent sailing here early in the season, an alternate route along the west coast of Spitsbergen may be used.

Day 5: Into Sorgfjorden (Fjord of Sorrows)

Sailing into Sorgfjorden, you land about one km (.6 miles) southwest of Eolusneset, not far from a walruss haul-out area. At nearby Krosshaugen you can see the graves of 17th-century whalers, and this is also a good area to spot ptarmigans. Later in the day, you continue to the opposite side of the fjord to Crozierpynten. Here you can view the remains of the Swedish Arc of Meridian Expedition, 1899 – 1900 and walk some distance across Basissletten to Basisodden, a track scientists once used for long-distance measurements.

Day 6: Highlights of Hinlopen

Today you sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to bearded seals, ringed seals, and polar bears. At the entrance there is even the possibility to spot blue whales. After cruising among the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in the Zodiacs, you can view the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with their thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots. On the east side of Hinlopen Strait, you may even attempt a landing on Nordaustlandet. Here reindeer, pink-footed geese, and walruses are likely sights. You may take an alternate route if ice prevents entry into Hinlopen.

Day 7: Walrus haul-outs and historic remains

Pushing eastward along the north coast of Nordaustlandet, you will likely sail through Beverly Sundet, seeing tokens of historic expeditions along the shores of Chermsideöya. The northernmost point of your voyage may be on Phippsöya, featuring a walrus haul-out and ivory gull colony. An alternative (on our HDS04 trip) is Vesle Tavleöya, another site from the Arc-of-Meridian Expedition. At Rossöya we reach 80° 49’ north, less than 870 km (540 miles) from the geographic North Pole.

Day 8: Sailing the continental shelf

While retracing your route west, keep watch for polar bears and elusive Greenland (bowhead) whales. About 40 nautical miles west of Spitsbergen, you sail the edge of the continental shelf. Here fin whales forage during the summer in the upwelling zones (where cold, nutrient-rich water wells up from below the sea’s surface) that run along the Spitsbergen banks. At the mouth of Kongsfjorden, you have a good chance of seeing minke whales.

Day 9: Reindeer, foxes, and so many seabirds

Walruses sometimes haul out in Forlandsundet, your next stop. As an alternative, you might sail into St. Jonsfjorden or venture south to the mouth of Isfjorden, landing at Alkhornet. Seabirds nest on these renowned cliffs, while Arctic foxes search below for fallen eggs and chicks, and reindeer graze on the sparse vegetation. You arrive in Longyearbyen later at night.

Day 10: There and back again

Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. You disembark in Longyearbyen with 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 >>

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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
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Complete cabin
20600 USD

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Sharing berth
5150 USD

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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
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Complete cabin
18900 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

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Sharing berth
6300 USD

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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
Info Info
Complete cabin
14700 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

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Single cabin
12495 USD

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

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Sharing berth
7350 USD

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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
Info Info
Complete cabin
15900 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

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Single cabin
13515 USD

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

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Sharing berth
7950 USD

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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
Info Info
Complete cabin
17000 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

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Single cabin
14450 USD

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

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Sharing berth
8500 USD

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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
Info Info
Complete cabin
19000 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

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Single cabin
16150 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
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Complete cabin
20400 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

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Single cabin
17340 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
Info Info
Complete cabin
23500 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Info
Single cabin
19975 USD

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