Sailing along the pack-ice of North Spitsbergen, will give us the best opportunities to spot the King of the Arctic. We sail to Raudfjord on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, a beautiful fjord dominated by spectacular glaciers and favoured by Ringed and Bearded Seal. The cliffs and shoreline of the fjord also support thriving seabird colonies and a surprisingly rich vegetation, which flourishes in sheltered spots. Polar bear are often seen here.
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.
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. In the evening you sail by the island of Moffen, where you can find a large herd of walruses.
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.
You next sail through Beverleysundet, formerly navigated by the Swedish-Russian Arc-of-Meridian Expedition in 1898. From here you push east along Scoresby Island into Rijpfjord, where the German Wehrmacht operated the weather station Haudegen (now off-limits) until September 1945. The aim in Zorgdragerfjord is to have one group walk the eastern shore while another walks the north side of Arkvatnet, through Havsuldalen to the entrance of Duvefjorden.
Day 5 – 6
Reaching Phippsøya, in the Seven Islands north of Nordaustlandet, you’re now at 80° north and just 870 km (540 miles) from the geographic North Pole. Polar bears and walruses inhabit this region. In the afternoon you venture to your northernmost point, near the 82nd parallel. 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.
Walruses sometimes haul out in Forlandsundet, your next stop – though this late in the season, they may have already departed. Alternately, 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 that night.
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.
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.
|Ship name||Cabin Name||Price||Sale Price||Departs on||Returns on|
|m/v Hondius||Quadruple Porthole||$3,850||NA||Aug 23rd, 2022||Aug 30th, 2022|
|m/v Hondius||Triple Porthole||$4,750||NA||Aug 23rd, 2022||Aug 30th, 2022|
|m/v Hondius||Twin Porthole||$5,300||NA||Aug 23rd, 2022||Aug 30th, 2022|
|m/v Hondius||Twin Window||$5,750||NA||Aug 23rd, 2022||Aug 30th, 2022|
|m/v Hondius||Twin Deluxe||$6,100||NA||Aug 23rd, 2022||Aug 30th, 2022|
|m/v Hondius||Superior||$6,900||NA||Aug 23rd, 2022||Aug 30th, 2022|
|m/v Hondius||Junior Suite||$7,400||NA||Aug 23rd, 2022||Aug 30th, 2022|
|m/v Hondius||Grand Suite with private balcony||$8,550||NA||Aug 23rd, 2022||Aug 30th, 2022|