1-800-240-3648

Book Incredible Cruises to Antarctica and the Arctic

Feb 01, 2024 - 
Feb 20, 2024
All (sub-)Antarctic highlights in one voyage, with spectacular landing sites on the Falkland Islands and encounters with black-browed albatrosses and rockhopper pinguins. You’ll have the chance to meet at least six different penguin species. You’ll explore the transition fro...
Feb 02, 2024 - 
Feb 21, 2024
All (sub-)Antarctic highlights in one voyage, with spectacular landing sites on the Falkland Islands and encounters with black-browed albatrosses and rockhopper pinguins. You’ll have the chance to meet at least six different penguin species. You’ll explore the transition fro...
Feb 03, 2024 - 
Feb 13, 2024
This Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetland Islands cruise delivers you into a landscape of dark rugged rock, pure white snow, and a fantastic variety of wildlife. Come say hello to whales, seals, and thousands of penguins....
Feb 13, 2024 - 
Feb 25, 2024
“Base camp” is by definition a temporary storing and starting place, from which an activity starts. We offer “activity modules” which go beyond our normal shore program. The vessel will stay for two or three days at specific locations to serve our active passenge...
Feb 20, 2024 - 
Mar 13, 2024
All (sub-)Antarctic highlights in one voyage, with spectacular landing sites on the Falkland Islands and encounters with black-browed albatrosses and rockhopper pinguins. You’ll have the chance to meet at least six different penguin species. You’ll explore the transition fro...
Feb 25, 2024 - 
Mar 07, 2024
This voyage will take you further south of Antarctica, crossing the Polar Circle. This cruise passes through waters travelled by Humpback, Minke and Fin whales. Anchoring in various spots around the region, the expedition offers the chance to hike, kayak, and dive in the iceberg-heavy w...
Mar 04, 2024 - 
Mar 16, 2024
“Base camp” is by definition a temporary storing and starting place, from which an activity starts. We offer “activity modules” which go beyond our normal shore program. The vessel will stay for two or three days at specific locations to serve our active passenge...
Mar 07, 2024 - 
Mar 21, 2024
This expansive expedition takes you into the Antarctic Circle, combining the rich animal life of the Weddell Sea with the surreal shores and islands of the Antarctic Peninsula. Such key landing sites as the legendary Elephant Island and Crystal Sound make this voyage truly exceptional....
Mar 13, 2024 - 
Mar 28, 2024
This voyage explores a number of historically significant Antarctic areas, such as the very rarely visited Bellingshausen Sea, Marguerite Bay, and Alexander Island. We focus on places discovered by Adrien De Gerlache on his Belgian Antarctic Expedition (1897 – 1899) and Jean-Bapti...
Mar 16, 2024 - 
Mar 29, 2024
This Polar Circle and Antarctic Peninsula cruise will take you further south of Antarctica, crossing the Polar Circe. This expedition cruise passes through waters travelled by Humpback, Minke and Fin whales. Anchoring in various spots around the region, the expedition offers the chance ...
Mar 21, 2024 - 
Apr 01, 2024
This voyage will take you further south of Antarctica, crossing the Polar Circle. This cruise passes through waters travelled by Humpback, Minke and Fin whales. Anchoring in various spots around the region, the expedition offers the chance to  dive in the iceberg-heavy waters....
Mar 28, 2024 - 
Apr 20, 2024
The Atlantic Odyssey cruise visits some of the remotest islands in the world, crossing the migratory paths of Arctic Terns, Long-tailed Skuas, other birds, and a variety of whales as they make their annual expeditions north for the breeding season....

South Spitsbergen Explorer – Bear Island – Hopen

The east shores of Spitsbergen are a fantastic place to view gorgeously rugged landscapes and exotic Arctic wildlife, including minke whales, Arctic foxes, and polar bears. And speaking of bears, this exploratory cruise also visits Bear Island – a bird lover’s dream, where large colonies of Brünnich’s guillemots, kittiwakes, and fulmars breed on shoreline cliffs over spans of dazzling drift ice.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

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 we might spot the first minke whale of the voyage.

Day 2

We start the day by quietly cruising the side fjords of the spectacular Hornsund area in southern Spitsbergen, enjoying the scenery of towering mountain peaks. The mountain of Hornsundtind rises to 1,431 meters (4,695 feet), while the peak of Bautaen testifies to why early Dutch explorers gave this island the name Spitsbergen, meaning “pointed mountains.” There are 14 magnificent glaciers in the area, and we have a fair chance of encountering seals and polar bears. The nearby cliffs of Sofiakammen are also home to thousands of pairs of nesting kittiwakes and little auks, and in the evening, we might see thousands of harp seals rutting on ice floes at Sørkapp.

Day 3

We arrive at the southeastern end of Bear Island, a great place for viewing large seabird colonies. The nearby nesting cliffs are part of an extensive nature reserve where large ships are not allowed to bring passengers on shore. Afterward we’ll sail northeast into Sorhamna, where we can get closer to the seabird cliffs. Chiefly Brünnichs guillemots, kittiwakes, and fulmars nest here.

Just north of this, in Kvalrossbukta, we will land and see the remains of a whaling station from early in the previous century. We might also make a landing in a shallow valley, such as Rendalen, and look for (at a safe distance) great skuas, large seabirds known to be fiercely territorial. As we continue north along the east side of Bear Island, we may still encounter dazzling shoals of drift ice.

Day 4

On the way to Hopen, we may encounter sea ice with rutting harp seals. We land at the southern end of Hopen Island, at Koefoetodden, where you can see the remains of 17th-century whaling sites. Through nearby Bekkeskaret is an easy route to Kvasstoppen (190 meters, 620 feet) and the remains of a plane from World War II. Hopen Radio station is the most remote manned weather station in all of Svalbard.

Day 5

We may still encounter heavy sea ice in the Barentsz Current, where we have a good chance of spotting polar bears as well as various species of seal and seabird.

Day 6

Sailing along the western side of the Tusenöyane (where we’re not allowed to land in summer), we may see polar bears and walruses as we approach Risetreppen. This beautiful canyon features an accessible kittiwake colony, and during our walk we may encounter reindeer on the lush tundra.

Day 7

Today we go to shore at Ardalstangen, a ruggedly scenic area with lakes and different species of waterfowl. Later in nearby Habenichtbukta, we can look from some distance to a wintering site of 18th-century Pomor trappers, who often stayed for years in the same place. Later in the afternoon, we aim to land at the south side of Russebukta, near a tundra with reindeer and great walking opportunities.

Day 8

Our goal for the first part of the day is a landing at the mountain of Stellingfjellet, near the largest colony of Brünnich’s guillemots in Spitsbergen. Later on we will make landings at the rarely visited coast of south Spitsbergen, at the bay of Isbukta.

Day 9

We continue our voyage in Bell Sund, one of the largest fjord systems in Svalbard. The ocean currents make this area slightly warmer than other areas in Spitsbergen.

Day 10

Even the greatest journeys must eventually come to an end. We disembark today in Longyearbyen, taking home memories that will accompany us wherever the 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.

Cabin Information

Ship name Cabin Name Price Sale Price Departs on Returns on
m/v Ortelius Quadruple Porthole $5,650 NA Jul 3rd, 2025 Jul 12th, 2025
m/v Ortelius Triple Porthole $7,000 NA Jul 3rd, 2025 Jul 12th, 2025
m/v Ortelius Twin Porthole $8,200 NA Jul 3rd, 2025 Jul 12th, 2025
m/v Ortelius Twin Window $8,850 NA Jul 3rd, 2025 Jul 12th, 2025
m/v Ortelius Twin Deluxe $9,500 NA Jul 3rd, 2025 Jul 12th, 2025
m/v Ortelius Superior $10,650 NA Jul 3rd, 2025 Jul 12th, 2025

Inquire about this trip