Around Spitsbergen

Full Spitsbergen Circumnavigation

Around Spitsbergen
Cruise route
Title: Around Spitsbergen
Dates:
Tripcode: HDS07-19
Duration: 9 nights
Ship: m/v Hondius
Embarkation: Longyearbyen
Disembarkation: Longyearbyen
Language: English speaking voyage
More about: Arctic cruises
Svalbard cruises
 
Itinerary

PLEASE NOTE: N.B. The chances that we can complete a full Spitsbergen circumnavigation (based on our experiences from 1992 – 2017) are about 30% in the first half of July, 70% in the second half, 90% in the first half of August, and 95% in the second half. In case we cannot complete a full circumnavigation, we may devise a program in northeast or southeast Spitsbergen. All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. The onboard expedition leader determines the final itinerary. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. The average cruising speed for m/v Hondius is 10.5 knots.

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 and Nobile in their airships, Norge (1926) and Italia (1928).

Day 3: 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 precipitous 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 can be implemented.

Day 4 – 5: Stop at the Seven Islands

The northernmost point of your voyage may be north of Nordaustlandet, in the Seven Islands. Here you reach 80° north, just 870 km (540 miles) from the geographic North Pole. Polar bears inhabit this region, so the ship may park for several hours among the pack ice before wheeling around west again.

When the edge of this sea ice is tens of miles north of the Seven Islands (mostly in August), you can spend a second day in this area. Alternatively (mostly in July) you may turn to Sorgfjord, where you have the chance to find a herd of walruses not far from the graves of 17th-century whalers. A nature walk here can bring you close to families of ptarmigans, and the opposite side of the fjord is also a beautiful area for an excursion.

Day 6: Highlights of Hinlopen

Today you sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to bearded and ringed seals as well as polar bears. At the entrance there is even the possibility to spot blue whales. As with Liefdefjorden, you can take an alternate west Spitsbergen route if ice prevents entry into Hinlopen. After cruising among the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in the Zodiacs, you then view the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with their thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots. On the east side of Hinlopen Strait, you may attempt a landing where reindeer, pink-footed geese, and walruses are likely sights. Near Torrelneset you can also visit the polar desert of Nordaustlandet, next to the world’s third-largest ice cap. Here you may encounter walruses during a coastline hike over the area’s raised beaches. 

Day 7: Barentsøya’s many bounties

The plan is to make landings in Freemansundet, though polar bears sometimes make this impossible. Potential stops on Barentsøya include Sundneset (for an old trapper’s hut), Kapp Waldburg (for its kittiwake colony), and Rindedalen (for a walk across the tundra). You might also cruise south to Diskobukta, though Kapp Lee is more likely your destination. On Kapp Lee is a walrus haul-out, Pomor ruins, and the chance for hikes along Edgeøya.

Day 8: Land of the Pointed Mountains

You start the day by cruising the side fjords of the Hornsund area of southern Spitsbergen, taking in the spire-like peaks: Hornsundtind rises 1,431 meters (4,695 feet), and Bautaen is a perfect illustration of why early Dutch explorers named this island Spitsbergen, meaning “pointed mountains.” There are 14 sizable glaciers in this area as well as opportunities for spotting seals, beluga whales, and polar bears.

Day 9: Bell Sund’s flora, fauna, and haunting history

Today you find yourself 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, you can explore tundra where reindeer like to feed as well as rock slopes where little auks are breeding.

Day 10: 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)
  • Coffee & tea maker
  • Hair dryer
  • Cabinet
  • Wardrobe
  • Safe
  • This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin
Info Info Info Info
Sharing berth
5000 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price

Info Info Info Info
Complete cabin
20000 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

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)
  • Coffee & tea maker
  • Hair dryer
  • Cabinet
  • Wardrobe
  • Safe
  • This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin
Info Info Info
Sharing berth
6250 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price

Info Info Info
Complete cabin
18750 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Twin Porthole

Windows Windows Info Info
  • 2 portholes
  • 2 single beds
  • Small sofa
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Desk & chair
  • Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
  • Coffee & tea maker
  • Hair dryer
  • Cabinet
  • Wardrobe
  • Safe
Info Info
Sharing berth
7300 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price

Info
Single cabin
12410 USD

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

Info Info
Complete cabin
14600 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Twin Window

Windows Info Info
  • 1 window
  • 2 single beds
  • Small sofa
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Desk & chair
  • Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
  • Coffee & tea maker
  • Hair dryer
  • Cabinet
  • Wardrobe
  • Safe
Info Info
Sharing berth
7800 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price

Info
Single cabin
13260 USD

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

Info Info
Complete cabin
15600 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

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
  • Hair dryer
  • Cabinet
  • Wardrobe
  • Safe
Info Info
Sharing berth
8350 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price

Info
Single cabin
14195 USD

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

Info Info
Complete cabin
16700 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

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
  • Hair dryer
  • Cabinet
  • Wardrobe
  • Safe
Info
Single cabin
15980 USD

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

Info Info
Complete cabin
18800 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

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
  • Hair dryer
  • Cabinet
  • Wardrobe
  • Safe
Info
Single cabin
17170 USD

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

Info Info
Complete cabin
20200 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

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
  • Hair dryer
  • Cabinet
  • Wardrobe
  • Safe
Info
Single cabin
19720 USD

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

Info Info
Complete cabin
23200 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Hondius Suite

Windows Windows Windows Windows Info
  • 4 windows
  • 1 double bed
  • Sofa
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Desk & chair
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
  • Refrigerator
  • Coffee & tea maker
  • Hair dryer
  • Cabinet
  • Walk-in closet
  • Safe
Info
Single cabin
22695 USD

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

Info Info
Complete cabin
26700 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.