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North Spitsbergen 'Basecamp'- Summer Solstice - free kayaking, snowshoe/hiking, photo workshop

The best activity voyage in the Actic

North Spitsbergen 'Basecamp'- Summer Solstice - free kayaking, snowshoe/hiking, photo workshop
Cruise route
Title: North Spitsbergen 'Basecamp'- Summer Solstice - free kayaking, snowshoe/hiking, photo workshop
Dates:
Tripcode: OTL04-21
Duration: 7 nights
Ship: m/v Ortelius
Embarkation: Longyearbyen
Disembarkation: Longyearbyen
Language: English speaking voyage
Important: Diving is an optional activity. Experience with cold-water diving and dry-suit dives (at least 30) is a must!
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 for m/v Ortelius is 10,5 knots.

The North Spitsbergen Basecamp cruise offers you a myriad of ways to explore and enjoy this Arctic Region. This expedition allows you to hike, snowshoe, kayak, and learn to take perfect pictures of the polar flora and fauna.

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: Kongsfjorden and Blomstrandhalvøya

On the first day of our activity program, we will slowly ease into things. Blomstrandhalvøya is located on the northern side of the fjord, which will offer shelter and room to change plan in case the weather changes. In the afternoon, you visit Ny Ålesund, one of the northernmost settlements 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).

In the evening, we head north along the west coast and spend the night in the sheltered surroundings of Krossfjorden.

Day 3: Exploring the North West

Next to our activities, we will next head toward Amsterdamoya, where you have the chance to hike past the remains of a 17th-century whaling station. You can also enjoy the beautiful panorama of Smeerenburgsleta. In the afternoon, we make for the islands around Fair Haven.

Ytre Norskoya is home to a small rookery of puffins, Brünnich’s guillemots, and other wildlife. Nearby Fuglesangen may also offer the chance to see litte auks flying overead as they return to their nests among the rocks, and all around the island are opportunities for amazing kayaking. 

Day 4: Rugged Raudfjorden

At Raudfjorden, on the north coast of Spitsbergen, you can 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. Here we will find the right balance between safe activities and wildlilfe watching. 

Day 5: The stunning sights of Liefdefjorden

Depending on the weather, you 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 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, we may use an alternate route along the west coast of Spitsbergen. Near the area of Texas Bar and Hornbaekpollen, there are also some great hikes. (On this trip only (OTL04-21), we may instead visit Worsley Neset, where we can enjoy activities among the beauty of Woodfjorden).

Day 6: North Spitsbergen splendors

This is our reserve day for activities around North Spitsbergen. Weather and wildlife permitting, we will choose the right location for another day of splendid outdoor adventures.

Day 7: Forlandsundet or St. Johns Fjord

Forlandsundet, between the main island of Spitsbergen and the narrow Prins Karls Forland, is a place of great beauty and fascinating wildlife. Walruses sometimes haul out here, and seabirds can be found around Fuglehuken.

You may also see walrus populations around Sarstangen and Poolepynten. 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. We will arrive in Longyearbyen later that night.

Day 8: There and back again

Even the greatest journeys eventually come to an end. Today you disembark in Longyearbyen, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

“Solstice”: -

The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon that occurs during the summer months, when the sun is visible for 24 hours in fair weather. This coming solstice occurs on Monday, 21 June, 2021 at 05:32 in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen.

The term “solstice” (Latin: solstitium) means “sun-stopping.” This is the point on the horizon at which the sun appears to rise and set before stopping and reversing direction afterward. On the day of the solstice, the sun does not rise precisely in the east but slightly to the north of east. It then sets slightly to the north of west, meaning it is visible in the sky for a longer period of time. It will not be until late August that the sun goes down, and then only for a few minutes.

Join us in experiencing the summer solstice during this adventurous Arctic voyage, when the midnight sun reaches its highest position above the ruggedly scenic wilderness of Svalbard (Spitsbergen).

Background on Basecamp cruises: -

Our Basecamp voyages focus on land and near-shore activities with minimal disturbance to local wildlife. If time and conditions permit, the expedition team will also look for wildlife opportunities whenever possible.

By definition, a basecamp is a temporary camp from which expeditions or other outdoor activities can be carried out. During our designated Basecamp cruises, the ship navigates to carefully chosen areas around North Spitsbergen, staying in fewer locations than during our regular trips so that it can serve as a comfortable hub for multiple outdoor activities.

Hikers (H) can embark on vigorous walks in the backcountry, photographers (P) can capture the dramatic surroundings in pictures, and kayakers (K) can explore waterways through which the ship cannot always sail. Passengers who do not wish to engage in these activities can enjoy Zodiac excursions and easy-to-moderate shoreline walks that focus on wildlife.

All activities are free of charge. Polar scuba diving is the only supplemented activity on these trips. See our section on polar diving in the introduction.

m/v Ortelius

Fortified for both poles of the planet, the ice-strengthened Ortelius is thoroughly outfitted to provide you an up-close experience of the Arctic and Antarctic. Full ship info >>

ACTIVITIES YOU CAN PARTICIPATE IN

Diving

on request
Diving

Hiking

FREE
Hiking

Kayaking

FREE
Kayaking

Photo Workshop

FREE
Photo Workshop

Snowshoeing

FREE
Snowshoeing

Cabins & Prices

Quadruple Porthole

Windows Windows Info Info
  • 2 portholes
  • 2 upper / lower berths
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Desk & chair
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Telephone & WiFi (supplemented)
  • Hair dryer
  • Ample storage space
Info Info Info Info
Complete cabin
15800 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Info Info Info Info
Sharing berth
3950 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price

Twin Porthole

Windows Windows Info Info
  • 2 portholes
  • 2 lower berths
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Desk & chair
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Telephone & WiFi (supplemented)
  • Hair dryer
  • Ample storage space
Info Info
Complete cabin
11000 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Info
Single cabin
9350 USD

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

Info Info
Sharing berth
5500 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price

Triple Porthole

Windows Windows Info Info
  • 2 portholes
  • 1 upper / lower berth + 1 single lower berth
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Desk & chair
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Telephone & WiFi (supplemented)
  • Hair dryer
  • Ample storage space
Info Info Info
Complete cabin
16500 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Info Info Info
Sharing berth
5500 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price

Twin Window

Windows Windows Info Info
  • 2 windows
  • 2 lower berths
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Desk & chair
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Telephone & WiFi (supplemented)
  • Hair dryer
  • Ample storage space
Info Info
Complete cabin
11900 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Info
Single cabin
10115 USD

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

Info Info
Sharing berth
5950 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price

Twin Deluxe

Windows Windows Windows Info Info
  • 3 windows
  • 2 lower berths
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Desk & chair
  • Small sofa
  • Refrigerator
  • Coffee & tea maker
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Telephone & WiFi (supplemented)
  • Hair dryer
  • Ample storage space
Info Info
Complete cabin
12600 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Info
Single cabin
10710 USD

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

Info Info
Sharing berth
6300 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price

Superior

Windows Windows Info
  • 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
  • Ample storage space
Info Info
Complete cabin
14300 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Info
Single cabin
12155 USD

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