North Spitsbergen – Summer Solstice - In Search of Polar Bear & Pack Ice

The best opportunity to spot the King of the Arctic

North Spitsbergen – Summer Solstice - In Search of Polar Bear & Pack Ice
Cruise route
Title: North Spitsbergen – Summer Solstice - In Search of Polar Bear & Pack Ice
Dates:
Tripcode: PLA06-20
Duration: 7 nights
Ship: m/v Plancius
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 for m/v Plancius is 10,5 knots.

Start your North Spitsbergen cruise with a trek around historic Longyearben, then join our expedition to the north of the island to take in the fantastically beautiful landscapes, the thousands of seabirds, and of course the star of the show, the polar bear.

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: Route to Raudfjorden

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 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: 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 attempt a landing on Nordaustlandet. Here reindeer, pink-footed geese, and walruses are likely sights. You can take an alternate route if ice prevents entry into Hinlopen.

Day 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.

Day 6: 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 sighting minke whales.

Day 7: Reindeer, foxes, and so many seabirds

Walruses sometimes haul out in Forlandsundet, your next stop. Alternatively, you 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. You arrive in Longyearbyen later at night.

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.

“Solstice”: -

The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon that occurs in the summer months. The sun is visible for the full duration of 24 hours, given fair weather. June Solstice (Summer Solstice) is on Saturday, 20 June 2020, 23:43 in Longyearbyen. “Solstice” (Latin: “solstitium”) means sun-stopping.

The point on the horizon where the sun appears to rise and set, stops and reverses direction after this day. On the solstice, the sun does not rise precisely in the east, but rises to the north of east and sets to the north of west, meaning it's visible in the sky for a longer period of time. It won´t be before late August that the sun will go down for a few minutes.

Experience Summer Solstice during voyages HDS05-20PLA06-20OTL06-20 when the the midnight sun has its highest position above the Northern horizon in Spitsbergen.

m/v Plancius

The ice-strengthened vessel Plancius is an ideal vessel for polar expedition cruises in the Arctic and Antarctic. Full ship info >>

Cabins & Prices

Quadruple Porthole

Windows Info Info
  • 1 porthole
  • 2 upper & lower berths
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Desk & chair
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Telephone & WiFi (supplemented)
  • Hair dryer
  • Ample storage space
  • 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
Complete cabin
16400 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

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Sharing berth
4100 USD

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Triple Porthole

Windows Info Info
  • 1 porthole
  • 1 upper berth & 2 lower berths
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Desk & chair
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Telephone & WiFi (supplemented)
  • Hair dryer
  • Ample storage space
  • This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin
Info Info Info
Complete cabin
17100 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Info Info Info
Sharing berth
5700 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price

Twin Porthole

Windows Info Info
  • 1 porthole
  • 2 lower berths
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Desk & chair
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Telephone & WiFi (supplemented)
  • Hair dryer
  • Ample storage space
Info Info
Complete cabin
11400 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Info
Single cabin
9690 USD

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

Info Info
Sharing berth
5700 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price

Twin Window

Windows Info Info
  • 1 window
  • 2 lower berths
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Desk & chair
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Telephone & WiFi (supplemented)
  • Hair dryer
  • Ample storage space
Info Info
Complete cabin
12400 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Info
Single cabin
10540 USD

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

Info Info
Sharing berth
6200 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price

Twin Deluxe

Windows Windows Info Info
  • 2 windows
  • 2 lower berths
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Desk & chair
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Telephone & WiFi (supplemented)
  • Hair dryer
  • Ample storage space
  • These cabins are corner cabins and are slightly more spacious than the normal twin porthole/window cabins
Info Info
Complete cabin
13200 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Info
Single cabin
11220 USD

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

Info Info
Sharing berth
6600 USD

Share your cabin with others for the best price

Superior

Windows Windows Info
  • 2 windows
  • 1 double bed
  • 1 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
14900 USD

Price for the complete cabin, fully occupied.

Info
Single cabin
12665 USD

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