SPITSBERGEN ENCOUNTER
SPITSBERGEN ENCOUNTER
10 Day Cruise from USD$4,895
SPITSBERGEN - SVALBARD, NORWAY
EARLYBIRD 2019 28 JUNE 2019

A CLASSIC EXPLORATION OF SPITSBERGEN AND SVALBARD

The Norwegian territory of Svalbard and the islands that make up the archipelago offer a tremendous wildlife and birdlife experience, as well as a fascinating lesson in glaciology. The islands were first used as a whaling base in the 17th and 18th centuries and are now celebrated as a breeding ground for many seabirds, along with marine mammals and the elusive polar bear.

Our expedition vessel is perfectly suited for remote polar exploration. With her high ice classification, we are able to push further to the north along the edge of the ice pack. It is here we frequently encounter the icon of the Arctic – the polar bear – hunting for seals and other protein sources to sustain them through the Arctic summer.

Throughout our journey we enjoy a comprehensive series of presentations by polar experts, providing an excellent background to the expedition. Days are busy with shore excursions to places of historic interest, visits to wildlife colonies, viewing the exquisite native flora and soaking up the stunning landscapes. Short or long hikes on shore are another feature along with regular cruising in the zodiacs.

Sea kayaking is another popular option. Our voyage focuses on the western and northern coast of Spitsbergen, and as far north as the permanent pack ice. This area has the highest concentration of wildlife and places of historic and scenic interest in the archipelago.

Tour Highlights
  • Fascinating historic locations of early industry and exploration
  • Sublime Arctic scenery and endless photographic opportunities
  • Exciting ice navigation along the polar pack ice edge searching for wildlife
  • Experience the land of the midnight sun

Tour Information
  • Where
    :

    SPITSBERGEN – SVALBARD, NORWAY

  • When
    :

    28 JUNE 2019

ON THIS TRIP
  • Zodiac excursions
  • Onshore hiking options
  • Wildlife observation
  • Photographer-in-Residence
  • Sea kayaking available
  • Whale watching
  • Educational presentations
  • Active Cruising & Wellness
Itinerary

(FRIDAY, 28 JUNE 2019)

Today we embark our expedition ship, the Akademik Serge Vavilov in Longyearbyen and as we throw the lines, we sail out of Adventfjorden and into Isfjorden during the early evening.

With almost 24 hours of daylight at this time of the year, we enjoy the views from the outer decks of the ship as we depart. We meet our fellow passengers and the expedition team during an introductory briefing and enjoy a welcome dinner as we set sail.

Beluga whales are frequently seen as they transit the narrow sound near Bourbonhamna. It is estimated there are approximately five to ten thousand belugas in the Svalbard population. The beluga has no dorsal fin; a diagnostic feature of whale species that live in the high Arctic such as the narwhal and bowhead. It has been postulated that the beluga’s lack of dorsal fin is an adaptation to living in waters that are frequently covered by ice.

On our shore excursion, an old hunting cabin and other artefacts are points of interest during our scenic hike to Ingebrigstenbukta. However, it is the huge piles of beluga whalebones that catch everyone’s attention. The bones and all artefacts are protected by the Svalbard Government. While wandering on shore we hope to catch a glimpse of the dozens of reindeer that inhabit the area.

Lilliehook Glacier, at the head of the northwestern arm of Krossfjorden is an incredible sight. The glacier face stretches almost seven kilometres and has a height of around 80-meters.

Viewed from the ship or on a zodiac cruise, you come to appreciate the enormous scale of our surroundings. The shores of Krossfjorden are home to numerous bird colonies and a variety of different species. We anchor off one small harbour and cruise in the zodiacs along the bird cliffs near the 14th July Glacier.

As we cruise the dark waters, we are always on the lookout for bearded and ringed seals, both species known to frequent this fjord.

No trip along the north coast of Spitsbergen would be complete without a visit to Monacobreen (Monaco Glacier). A wide glacier face at the head of the fjord makes for spectacular kayaking and zodiac cruising.

The coastal plain near the mouth of Liefdefjorden offers superb hiking and is often a great place to spot polar bears that come here to hunt for ringed seals or feed on bird eggs.

At 81° north latitude, Phippsoya is just 540 nautical miles from the North Pole. The high ice classification of our ship (Class 1A) allows us to approach the edge of the pack ice in safety and comfort. Because of its proximity to the permanent Arctic ice pack, Phippsoya offers the potential for great polar bear viewings.

In recent seasons we have enjoyed excellent encounters with polar bears in this vicinity. Be sure to get up to the ship’s bridge and take a picture of the GPS showing your latitude or, better yet, take your own handheld GPS with you and mark in the waypoint as we are so close to the North Pole!

From the ice edge we enter the main channel separating Svalbard’s two main islands. In Hinlopen Strait the bird cliffs at Alkefjellet are home to more than a hundred thousand breeding Brunnich’s guillemots, as well as thousands of kittiwakes and black guillemots. It is a spectacular site and a challenging one for our zodiacs as the tidal currents roar through Hinlopen Strait.

Nearby Murchison Fjord is a wonderful place to kayak or zodiac cruise between the islands. There are some excellent hiking routes here, affording us breathtaking views.

This trip starts in Longyearbyen, the principal town in the Svalbard archipelago. Longyearbyen is easily accessed with several daily flights from Norway’s stylish capital city – Oslo. Flights are also available from Tromso in northern Norway.

We recommend you arrive in Longyearbyen at least one day prior to the scheduled voyage departure date. This gives you a buffer in the event of any unexpected travel delays between home and trip departure time. An airport transfer shuttle to your hotel is provided upon arrival. At the conclusion of the trip a transfer to the airport for your onward flight is included, or to your local hotel if staying in Longyearbyen.

Full joining instructions are provided in your final travel documentation. If you have questions before this time, please ask us.

As your zodiac approaches the shore of Fuglesangenoya, it becomes apparent there are thousands of birds nesting on this island. Home to a large dovekie colony, the formation of the island allows for excellent viewing without impacting upon the perimeter of the colony. Just a few miles from Fuglesangen is the old whaling station of Smeerenburg, literally translated as ‘Blubber Town’.

As we hike the shoreline of the old station, we learn about the importance of whaling in the discovery and exploration of the Svalbard archipelago. The blubber ovens stand as a reminder to this harsh industry in an equally harsh environment.

The sight and sound of a walrus haul-out spells Arctic like nothing else can. We visit the walrus colony on Prince Charles Island and hope to see these odd-looking animals ashore. Approaching from downwind can often confirm that walruses are ashore – the smell of a walrus haul-out is quite ‘unique’!

Tonight we celebrate our journey with a special dinner attended by the ship’s Captain. It’s a great time to reflect on a wonderful voyage in this wild and remote place.

(SUNDAY, 07 JULY 2019)

Arriving back into Longyearbyen this morning, we disembark after breakfast and say farewell to our expedition team and fellow passengers. A transfer into town is provided for those choosing to stay a few days.

If you are departing today, we have a few hours this morning to explore the town, before transferring to the airport for your onward flight to Tromso or Oslo.

Pricing and Inclusions
Pricing and inclusions

     

    << EARLYBIRD PRICES >> BUY BY 30 JUNE 2018

    CABIN TYPEPER PERSON*ONE CLUB MEMBER**
    Triple ShareUSD $4,895
    Twin Semi PrivateUSD $6,395USD $4,406
    Twin PrivateUSD $7,495USD $5,756
    SuperiorUSD $8,795USD $6,746
    Shackleton SuiteUSD $9,895USD $7,916
    One OceanUSD $11,695USD $8,906
    Charter FlightNO INCLUDEDNO INCLUDED

    * USD$1,000 discount included in the price.

    ** ONE CLUB MEMBERS 10% discount + USD$1,000 included in price. UPGRADE included in price.

    Single travellers can choose to share with another traveller (matched based on gender and age) and pay the above prices.
    Sole use of a cabin has a 50% surcharge, and 100% for Suites.

     

    INCLUSIONS

    • Comprehensive pre-voyage information package including details to help you prepare for your trip in the Canadian Arctic
    • Transfers to the ship on embarkation day and from the ship to the airport or local hotel on disembarkation
    • Shipboard accommodation in your selected cabin category with daily housekeeping. Cabins feature outside views with windows or portholes that open on each deck
    • High quality, eco friendly, Canadian made natural amenities in every cabin
    • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage with daily afternoon tea
    • 24-hour tea, coffee, hot chocolate in bar lounge plus in-cabin tea, coffee, hot chocolate replenished daily
    • Experienced Expedition Leader and professional expedition team of marine bioligists, naturalists, historians, adventure guides and photographers
    • Daily off-ship excursions by zodiac boat breaking into small groups for shore landings
    • Guided hikes and walks on shore of various durations for guests of all abilities
    • Visits to wildlife colonies, historic sites, places of outstanding natural beauty and community visits
    • Educational presentations and talks by polar experts in their field (i.e. marine biologists, naturalists, historians etc). Onboard or on shore
    • Resident photography guide available to assist all guests
    • Access to computers in the multimedia lab for image downloads, file back up and management
    • An emergency trained medical physician onboard every voyage
    • Dedicated hospitality team including Hotel Manager, four chefs, professional bar staff and Adventure Concierge staff
    • Onboard sauna, plunge pool, jacuzzi and fitness centre including personal trainer and massage options (charge applies for massage and spa treatments)
    • Sea Kayaking programme available (additional charge of $695pp) – must be reserved at the time of booking your voyage and you must have some prior paddling experience
    • Access to well stocked library full of polar reference books
    • End of voyage video, photos and take home USB
    • Port fees and all permits to access visited areas

     

    NOT INCLUDED

    • Any international or local airfare unless otherwise specified in the voyage itinerary
    • Visa and passport expenses
    • Pre or post-cruise hotel accommodation unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
    • Pre or post-cruise transfers unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
    • Personal expenses on board such as alcoholic beverages, bar charges or laundry expenses
    • Telecommunication charges (ie. email, satellite phone)
    • Baggage, cancellation or medical travel insurance related expenses (travel insurance is mandatory on all voyages)
    • A voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for expedition staff and ship crew (suggested amount – US$12-15 per day)
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