Trip Type : Small Ship Cruise
Polar bear-Antarctica_3667155_1920_P

Around Spitsbergen

Oceanwide Expeditions
4.7 . Excellent
97%
Travel Style: A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
15 days
From: $ 6,250 $ 417 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Visit the Svalbard Museum
  • Visit a large colony of Kittiwake which nest in a canyon
  • Seeing Bearded Seal and Polar Bear. 
  • Visit to Barentsburg, the only inhabited Russian settlement in Spitsbergen, or to Colesbukta, an abandoned Russian coal mining settlement.

Short Description

Sail around Spitsbergen taking in the wildlife, whaling history, and stunning landscapes. Visit historic whaling stations and search for walruses and reindeer. Head to Hornsund to explore the glaciers and the hunting grounds of the Polar Bear.

Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Trip Type Small Ship Cruise
Off the beaten track trips will stretch your comfort zone. They don't always feature tourist highlights, but dive deeper into local life and culture.
Itinerary Focus Off the Beaten Path
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Longyearbyen
End City Longyearbyen

Destinations

Antarctica

Cities & Attractions

Spitsbergen

N/A
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Trip Includes

  • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
  • AECO fees and governmental taxes.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.

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Itinerary

Day 1: We will embark our vessel in Longyearbyen, in the late afternoon
After arriving in Longyearbyen, the ‘capital’ (actually the administrative centre) of Spitsbergen, you may wish to visit the Svalbard Museum which has an interesting collection on the history of Spitsbergen, the mining industry and polar exploration. In the evening we sail, setting course for Trygghamna where we will see the remains of a 17th century English whaling station and an 18th century Pomor hunting station, which we will visit the next morning

Day 2: We make a nice walk from Tryghamna to a large seabird cliff, Alkhornet
From Trygghamna we walk to Alkhornet a large seabird cliff. Below the cliff is a den of Arctic Fox which scavenge off fallen eggs and chicks. Reindeer graze on the lush vegetation. In Forlandsundet we visit a haul out the place of Walrus.

Day 3: We visit a 17th-century whaling settlement on Smeerenburg
Today we visit the remains of Smeerenburg, the largest 17th-century whaling settlement on Spitsbergen. We also land on Ytre Norskøya where there are many graves dating from whaling days.

Day 4 - 15: We see Walrus, take excursions and see whale skeletons
Today we start by sailing either to Sorgfjord or to Murchison Bay, on the north side of which there is an extensive dry tundra, home to many reindeer. There is also is a Swedish research station here. The next days we continue through Hinlopen Strait were we are surrounded by icecaps. We will land in Lomfjord, a beautiful fjord surrounded by high mountains. Augustabukta is a lovely open bay close to a glacier which is crevasse-free, allowing us to walk without difficulties. On a nearby cliff the rare and beautiful Ivory Gull nests, together with Black Guillemot. Reindeer, Polar Bear and Walrus are usually seen in this area.

We next sail towards the impressive Bråsvell glacier. We may take an excursion on Svartknausflya, a desolate polar desert almost devoid of vegetation, or visit Wilhelmøya, which has raised beaches littered with sub-fossilised whale skeletons, and where encounters with Polar Bear are likely. Sailing through the narrow Heleysundet between Spitsbergen and Barentsøya can only be done against the current, a very spectacular journey.

As an alternative, if conditions do not favour us, we will sail through Freemansundet. At Kapp Lee, we walk in beautiful Rosenbergdalen to see reindeer. In Diskobukta we visit a large colony of Kittiwake which nest in a canyon. Arctic Fox and Polar Bear with young, often roam through the canyon, scavenging on young, flightless birds which fall from the ledges. On the raised beaches there are many sub fossilised whale skeletons.

Continuing our exploration of southern Spitsbergen, we sail into the labyrinth of side fjords in Hornsund. At Brepollen, a large glacial deposit at the head of the fjord, we will sail along a beautiful glacier front with good chances of seeing Bearded Seal and Polar Bear. The geological formations in this area are very spectacular and colourful. We will also pay a visit to the Polish research station at Isbjørnhamna, where the friendly crew will discuss their scientific programs.

On our way to Longyearbyen, we sail into Bell Sund to reach Ahlstrandhalvøya, with its interesting geological formations and the remains of the 20th century Beluga hunting. It is still a good area for observing Beluga. If time allows we will pay a visit to Barentsburg, the only inhabited Russian settlement in Spitsbergen, or to Colesbukta, an abandoned Russian coal mining settlement.

Day 16: Our final morning, we will disembark the ship in the morning in Longyearbyen
Departure by scheduled flight from Longyearbyen to Oslo.

Availability

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Price From $ 6,250
Price Per Day: $ 417 per day
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Stride Featured in

Stride Feature In

31 Oceanwide Expeditions Travel Reviews & Ratings

97%
4.7 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 25
Great 5
Average 0
Disappointing 0
Terrible 1
Value
4.7
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.7
Lodging
4.7
Transportation
4.7
Meals
4.7

Around Spitsbergen

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Company Reviews

Our trip to Greenland was a disaster.

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
Not one day of the itinerary was achieved and definitely no Bowheads or large icebergs where seen. We were rerouted to Sisimiut with no warning to meet up with the boat that had failed to make it to Aasiaat, our planned destination. We understand that once on the planned trip nothing is guaranteed, but we didn’t even make it to the start point.

We therefore spent a week on board a boat that travelled no more than a few miles around various local fiords to spot Canada geese and Mallard ducks! We did see a few distant Humpbacks and a sole Minke whale, but nothing that we were expecting. Most of our fellow guests were seasoned travellers and in a number of cases, like ourselves, to the polar regions. The majority were desperately upset to have wasted their money on a totally different trip than promised in a location miles away from where we wanted to be.

Our main issue is that Oceanwide must have known about the ice situation at least a week before and made no attempt to inform us. An alternative plan should have been devised. The service and reaction of the crew didn't in anyway compensate for the disappointment of the trip!
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Wonderful and very special

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
What a great trip! Warm people, fantastic ship, beautiful animals, great weather, wonderful nature, very friendly crew/staff.... This was a very special experience. Plenty of time to do whatever you want, take marvellous pictures, well experienced staff and vegan menus on demand.

I loved the zodiac trips, landings, guides and there was a wedding as well! I enjoyed it very much from beginning to end and if the opportunity arises I will definitely join the MV Plancius again! Thanks to all!
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Amazing experience - never to be forgotten

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
A dream nurtured for 13 years finally came true and I visited Antarctica. T
he crew of the Plancius ensured that out expedition surpassed all expectations - from the briefings, information, help and totally commitment to ensure that we walked away smiling.

Being a vegetarian, I was a little anxious however I was pleasantly surprised to see that so were many passengers as well as Sonja - one of the expedition team. We also had vegan passengers. All were catered for. The food was excellent: for all 10 days and no two meals were ever the same. Variety and flavours were amazing.

The zodiac landings were always handled professionally and assistance provided at every stage for those who needed it. I was impressed with their patience in dealing with passengers of varying needs. We saw Antarctica and its wildlife and some of its history. The parties near the end of the expedition were fab and it was good to see the expedition team having fun and interacting with the passengers. My first cruise/expedition and I am sold on the experience.

Loved every moment. Thank you to all the team and oh I loved the log.
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Antarctic Peninsula

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Great Experience, unforgettble expeditions. Excellent Crew, very good meals.
Thanks to outstanding crew: marine, hotel, expeditions...
Greetings Evelyn and Henning Austria

Details

Ship Name

s/v Noorderlicht

Ship Stats

Passengers: 20 in 10 cabins
Staff & crew: 5
Length: 46 meters (153 feet)
Breadth: 6,5 meters (22 feet)
Draft: 3,2 meters (11 feet)
Ice class: Strengthened bow
Displacement: 300 tonnes
Propulsion: 360 hp diesel
Speed: 7 knots maximum

Ship Description

The ‘Noorderlicht’ was originally built in 1910 in Flensburg, Germany as a three-masted schooner. For most of her existence she served as a light-vessel on the Baltic. In 1991 the present owners purchased the hull and re-rigged and refitted her thoroughly, under the rules of “Register Holland”.

The ‘Noorderlicht’ now has a well-balanced two-masted schooner rig and is capable of sailing the seven seas • The qualified captains have a great experience of the oceans. Together with the rest of the crew, they will do everything possible to ensure that you have a wonderful and unforgettable journey • Ice class: The Noorderlicht has no ice class. She was anchored year around near Flensburg (Germany). Due to heavy ice conditions in the winter time, the bow of the Noorderlicht was strengthened. The vessel is not an ice breaker but has a strengthened bow • The ‘Noorderlicht’ provides accommodation for 20 travelers in comfortable twin shared inside cabins • All cabins have upper and lower berths, a cupboard and wash basin with hot and cold water. Shared shower (4) and toilet (5) facilities are conveniently located. All cabins have a small hatch in the ceiling which vary in size, except cabin 6 which has a small, locked porthole in the ceiling but ventilation slots in the door. On occasion and depending on weather situation those hatches will be opened by the crew to allow fresh air ventilation of the complete lower deck (including cabin 6) while passengers go ashore.

All Deck & Cabin Plans Trip Photos

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Standard Group

Trip ID#:

AroSpiOceExp

Trip Excludes

  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
  • Pre- and post- land arrangements.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Meals ashore.
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

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