North Spitsbergen Explorer - Versatile landscapes, sea ice & wildlife - Birding, Summer Solstice

The best opportunity to get active while spotting exotic Arctic wildlife!

Title

North Spitsbergen Explorer - Versatile landscapes, sea ice & wildlife - Birding, Summer Solstice

Start – End

Tripcode

OTL03-24

Language

English speaking voyage

Embarkation / Disembarkation

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen

Nights / Days

7 nights

Group request For reservations with more than 15 guests you can contact us directly
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.

Short description

This expedition focuses on the versatility of north Spitsbergen’s visually stunning landscapes, vast spans of sea ice, and many opportunities to spot whales, polar bears, seabirds, walruses, and other such wildlife. Enjoy the fantastically beautiful landscapes, adventurous landings, and shoreline hikes. For additional activities, check the tour description.

Solstice: -

The midnight sun is a phenomenon that occurs during the Arctic summer, when the sun is visible for a full 24 hours in fair weather. The 2024 summer solstice in Longyearbyen falls on June 20th. The term solstice (Latin solstitium) means “sun-stopping” and describes the point on the horizon at which the sun appears to rise and set, stopping and reversing directions after this day. On the solstice, the sun does not rise precisely in the east but rather north of east, then later sets to the north of west, making the sun visible for a longer period of time. It will not be until late August that the sun fully goes down again, and then only for a few minutes. Join us in experiencing this fascinating phenomenon during our voyage through the Arctic wilderness of Svalbard.

We will have at least one expedition guide in our team who will share their expert knowledge about birds, helping you identify, photograph, and learn more about the species we see. In addition to outdoor sessions, our birding guide will provide related information on birds in onboard lectures. Participation is free of charge, but please sign up in advance.

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.

This voyage will take you into the pack ice and along the remote shorelines of rugged north Spitsbergen. Places we might visit include the following:

Raudfjord

On the north coast of Spitsbergen, you can enjoy this expansive fjord spilling with glaciers – and maybe even visited by ringed and bearded seals. The cliffs and shoreline also support thriving seabird colonies, rich vegetation, and the possibility of polar bears.

Monaco Glacier

Depending on the weather and sea ice, we could sail into Liefdefjorden and cruise within sight of the 5-kilometer-long (3.1 miles) face of Monaco Glacier. The waters in front of this precipitous 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 us from sailing here early in the season, we may sail along the west coast of Spitsbergen.

Highlights of Hinlopen

We aim to 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, we may attempt a landing on Nordaustlandet. Here we may see reindeer, pink-footed geese, and walruses. We can take an alternate route if ice prevents entry into Hinlopen.

The Seven Islands

The northernmost point of the voyage may be north of Nordaustlandet, in the Seven Islands. Here we may 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.

Sailing the continental shelf

While retracing our route west, keep watch for polar bears and elusive Greenland (bowhead) whales. About 40 nautical miles west of Spitsbergen, we 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 sighting minke whales.

Forlandsundet, St. Johns Fjord, or Alkhornet

Walruses sometimes haul out in Forlandsundet. Alternatively, we might sail into St. Johns Fjord or south to the mouth of Isfjorden, landing at Alkhornet. Seabirds nest on these cliffs, Arctic foxes search below for fallen eggs and chicks, and reindeer graze the sparse vegetation.

Even great adventures must eventually come to an end. The vessel arrives back in Longyearbyen in the early morning, and bus transportation to the airport will be provided.

m/v Ortelius

The ice-strengthened Ortelius is thoroughly outfitted for polar exploration and, when necessary, helicopter flights.

Full ship info »

Activities you can participate in

Birding

Birding

FREE

We will have at least one dedicated expedition guide in our team who will share their expert knowledge about bird species and who will be available to help you identify, photograph and learn more about the birds that we see.

Learn more

Cabins & Prices

Quadruple Porthole

  • Cabin size between 12,4 m² and 14,1 m²
  • 2 portholes
  • 2 upper / lower berths
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Desk & chair
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Telephone & WiFi (supplemented)
  • Hair dryer
  • Safe deposit box
  • Ample storage space

Complete cabin

16000 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Sorry, cabin is not available

Sharing berth

4000 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price.

Sorry, berth is not available

Triple Porthole

  • 2 portholes
  • 1 upper / lower berth + 1 single lower berth
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Desk & chair
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Telephone & WiFi (supplemented)
  • Hair dryer
  • Safe deposit box
  • Ample storage space

Complete cabin

15000 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Sorry, cabin is not available

Sharing berth

5000 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price.

Sorry, berth is not available

Twin Porthole

  • Cabin size between 11,4 m² and 15,1 m²
  • 2 portholes
  • 2 lower berths
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Desk & chair
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Telephone & WiFi (supplemented)
  • Hair dryer
  • Safe deposit box
  • Ample storage space

Complete cabin

11200 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Sorry, cabin is not available

Single cabin

9520 USD

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

Sorry, cabin is not available

Sharing berth

5600 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price.

Sorry, berth is not available

Twin Window

  • Cabin size between 17,5 m² and 17,7 m²
  • 2 windows
  • 2 lower berths
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Desk & chair
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Telephone & WiFi (supplemented)
  • Hair dryer
  • Safe deposit box
  • Ample storage space

Complete cabin

12100 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Sorry, cabin is not available

Single cabin

10285 USD

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

Sorry, cabin is not available

Sharing berth

6050 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price.

Sorry, berth is not available

Twin Deluxe

  • Cabin size 17,7 m²
  • 3 windows
  • 2 lower berths
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Desk & chair
  • Small sofa
  • Refrigerator
  • Coffee & tea maker
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Telephone & WiFi (supplemented)
  • Hair dryer
  • Safe deposit box
  • Ample storage space

Complete cabin

12800 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Sorry, cabin is not available

Single cabin

10880 USD

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

Sorry, cabin is not available

Sharing berth

6400 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price.

Sorry, berth is not available

Superior

  • Cabin size between 18,4 m² en 20,4 m²
  • 2 windows (minimum)
  • 1 double bed
  • 1 single (sofa) bed
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Desk & chair
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Telephone & WiFi (supplemented)
  • Refrigerator
  • Coffee & tea maker
  • Hair dryer
  • Safe deposit box
  • Ample storage space

Complete cabin

14600 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Sorry, cabin is not available

Single cabin

12410 USD

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

Sorry, cabin is not available
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