Spitsbergen In Depth: Big Islands, Big Adventure

This 14-day journey offers the most extensive exploration of Spitsbergen in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, including the opportunity to witness iconic Arctic wildlife like walrus, reindeer and polar bears, a glimpse into 16th-century maritime culture at secluded landing sites, and the rare chance to appreciate breathtaking views at the birdwatching utopias 14th of July Glacier and Alkefjellet. If conditions allow, we will also attempt a full circumnavigation of the archipelago during this memorable voyage, including a visit to the remote, uninhabited Arctic desert of Nordaustlandet. The wildlife-viewing opportunities on this trip will leave you with plenty of memories and photos: the walrus with its long tusks and distinctive whiskers; Arctic birds in all their varied majesty; small herds of reindeer loping across the tundra; and that most iconic of Arctic creatures, the polar bear, as it roams the edges of the pack ice. Shore excursions by Zodiac will enable you to set foot in places few humans have. This voyage truly is the big adventure you’ve been waiting for.

Itineraries

Arrive in Helsinki, Finland

Day 1

Your Arctic adventure begins in Helsinki, renowned for its extraordinary architecture and intriguing mix of eastern and western influences. If you arrive early, explore the many museums, galleries and restaurants, relax at a Finnish sauna or wander the vibrant Design District before retiring at your included hotel.

Fly to Longyearbyen, Svalbard and Embark

Day 2

This morning, the group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen’s largest settlement, where you’ll have some time to explore before embarkation. As your ship sets sail, enjoy your first view of the island’s rugged, glacier-topped mountains rising majestically from frigid waters.

Exploring Spitsbergen

Days 3 to 13

Expect a new adventure every day as we begin our journey by heading north and around the island of Spitsbergen, exploring smaller, outlying islands. We plan to circumnavigate Spitsbergen, but if conditions are favorable, we will also attempt a larger circumnavigation of the archipelago, including many of the outer islands in the Svalbard archipelago. Every expedition will be different, depending on the weather and ice, but some of the places we may visit include the 14th of July Glacier, Ny-London, Phippsøya, Alkefjellet and the seldom-visited Kvitøya. These names may seem strange to you, but each site has its own unique appeal. There is no shortage of natural beauty in Spitsbergen, where colorful tundra meadows are complemented by immense glaciers. For birders, 14th of July Bay is home to puffins, purple sandpipers, black-legged kittiwakes, pink-footed geese, and barnacle geese, while Alkefjellet’s cliffs are teeming with nesting Brünnich’s guillemots (thickbilled murres). Always on the lookout for wildlife, be sure to have your camera ready to capture reindeer when we visit sites like Ny-London, Sundneset and Alkhornet. Searching for the iconic polar bear is a constant activity for your Expedition Team. Phippsøya and Isbukta are often home to sea ice, the bears’ preferred habitat for hunting, which translates into great potential for you to view and capture them in action. A big part of appreciating Spitsbergen comes from understanding the history— not just how people live today, but also how this land was first explored. Whaling was a key industry, and you will see remains of outposts from the 16th century, plus other evidence of whaling at landing sites such as Smeerenburg.

Disembark in Longyearbyen and Fly to Helsinki

Day 14

Your adventure ends in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your return group charter flight to Helsinki, included in the transfer package.

Route Map

Trip Sailings

Ship Name Departs on Cabin Name Cabin Description Price Per Person Promo Price Per Person Mandatory Transfer Price