trip
NEW Trip – Kyrgyzstan & the Tian Shan MountainsJoin 19 August 2024 Departure

8 Days$4300USD

Activities
  • 7 days expedition cruising, optional snowshoeing
Accommodation
  • 7 nights aboard Ortelius
Meals
  • 7 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 7 Breakfasts
1
Discovery and Cruising
 
 

Trip highlights


  • Keeps your eyes peeled for Polar Bear onshore and on ice floes
  • Experiencing the history of the old mining industry in the area
  • Cruise cliffs and overhangs viewing a multitude of sea birds
  • Sail through spectacular glaciers and fjords
  • Optional snowshoeing

For those short on time this is the ideal Arctic cruise. North Spitsbergen is a vast wilderness that is home to incredible flora and fauna just 900kms south of the North Pole. The exhilaration of sighting Polar Bear as they roam the ice in search of food, watching the playful activities of Grey Seals or spotting a group of walrus are just some of the attractions found on this trip. Our experienced naturalist guides will ferry us from our ice-strengthened vessel to shore for leisurely walks amongst this wilderness. The island's bird life is prolific, with colonies of Little Auks, Black Guillemots, Brünnich's Guillemots, Puffins and Arctic Skuas accessible to visitors. Dramatic cliffs, fjords, glaciers and an abundance of wildlife make this an unforgettable experience in the land of the midnight sun.

Trip Code: ONS

Arrive in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of the Spitsbergen archipelago of which West Spitsbergen is the largest island. Before embarking there is an opportunity to stroll around this former mining town, whose parish church and Polar Museum are well worth visiting; whilst in the surrounding area of Longyearbyen, more than 100 species of plants have been recorded. In the early evening the ship will sail out of Isfjorden.

Meals:  D

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.

Meals:  B,L,D

Depending on the weather we may now sail to the mouth of Liefdefjorden and go ashore for a walk on the tundra island of Andøya. Many Common Eider and Pink-footed Goose nest here, and the rarer King Eider may also be seen. We hope to sail into Liefdefjorden, cruising near the 5km long face of the impressive Monaco Glacier. The waters of the glacier front are a favourite feeding spot for thousands of Kittiwake. As well, Polar Bear have been seen on the glacier, providing wonderful opportunities for photography.

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we will sail into Hinlopen Strait - home to Bearded Seals, Ringed Seals, Polar Bears, and Ivory Gulls. We will navigate the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in our zodiacs and explore the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with thousands of Brünnich’s Guillemots. On the east side of Hinlopen Strait, we will attempt a landing at Palanderbukta on Nordaustlandet - home to Reindeer, Pink-footed Geese, breeding Ivory Gulls, and Walruses.

Meals:  B,L,D

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.

Meals:  B,L,D

Retracing our route westwards, our route takes us through and along the pack ice, keeping watch for Polar Bear and the elusive Greenland Whale (Bowhead). About 100 nautical miles west of Spitsbergen we sail along the edge of the continental shelf, where Fin Whale forage in summer in the upwellings along the Spitsbergen banks. At the mouth of Kongsfjorden, you have a good chance of sighting minke whales.

Meals:  B,L,D

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.

Meals:  B,L,D

Return to Longyearbyen and disembark for the transfer to the airport. Trip concludes. 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.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners
  • Specialist expedition staff
  • Comfortable cabin accommodation on cruise
  • All activities while on cruise including zodiac excursions, lectures, videos, slide and film shows and guide services
  • Use of all ship facilities and public areas
  • Medical services (there is a resident medical officer and infirmary on board)

  • International flights
  • Bottled water, aerated and alcoholic drinks
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, etc
  • Tips
  • Airport and departure taxes
  • Travel Insurance

Cabins


Departure dates


Notes

1
Kayaking, Hiking and photography workshops are free of chanrge on this voyage. The itinerary is is slightly varied

Priceper person from

$4300USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Twin private with PortholeUSD$5950
  • Twin private with WindowUSD$6450
  • Twin DeluxeUSD$6800
  • SuperiorUSD$7750
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed North Spitsbergen Polar Bear & Pack Ice on Ortelius trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


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Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

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Our vision is to leave the world a better place by following our sustainable active outdoor travel charter. All our adventures are 100% carbon offset and our Regenerative 2030 Project aims to integrate ‘regenerative’ projects into every one of our global operations by 2030.

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