1. Aug 28 2020 Departure has been modified to accomodate the efforts for cleaing the shores with 20% discount. (See below for details)
2. Aug 24 2020 Departure now comes with free kayaking
Day 1: Largest Town on the Largest Island
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 you might spot the first minke whale of your voyage.
Day 2: Route to Raudfjorden
Sailing to Raudfjorden, on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, you take in an expansive fjord spilling with glaciers – and maybe even visited by ringed and bearded seals. The cliffs and shoreline of this fjord also support thriving seabird colonies, rich vegetation, and the possibility of polar bears.
Day 3: The Massive Monaco Glacier
Depending on the weather, you could sail into Liefdefjorden and cruise within sight of the 5-kilometer-long (3.1 miles) face of the precipitous Monaco Glacier. The waters in front of this glacier are a favorite feeding spot for thousands of kittiwakes, and the base of the ice is a popular polar bear hunting ground. If ice conditions prevent sailing here early in the season, an alternate route along the west coast of Spitsbergen can be implemented.
Day 4: Hinlopen Highlights
Today you sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to bearded and ringed seals as well as polar bears. At the entrance there is even the possibility to spot blue whales. After cruising among the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in the Zodiacs, you then view the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with their thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots. On the east side of Hinlopen Strait, you may attempt a landing on Nordaustlandet. Here reindeer, pink-footed geese, and walruses are likely sights. As with Liefdefjorden, you can take an alternate west Spitsbergen route if ice prevents entry into Hinlopen.
Day 5: Stop at the Seven Islands
The northernmost point of your voyage may be north of Nordaustlandet, in the Seven Islands. Here you reach 80° north, just 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.
Day 6: Sailing the Shelf
While retracing your route west, keep watch for polar bears and elusive Greenland (bowhead) whales. About 40 nautical miles west of Spitsbergen, you sail the edge of the continental shelf. Here fin whales forage during the summer in the upwelling zones – this is where cold, nutrient-rich water wells up from below the sea’s surface – that run along the Spitsbergen banks. At the mouth of Kongsfjorden, you have a good chance of sighting minke whales.
Day 7: Reindeer, Foxes, and Seabirds
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 that night.
Day 8: Journey’s End in Longyearbyen
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. You disembark in Longyearbyen for your flight home, but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.
Cleaning the shores: Ever wanted to do something good for the enviroment ?
We will allow passenger to participate in cleaning shores of remote beaches in the North of Spitsbergen.
Garbage from the ocean like old fishing gear and plastic litter is piling up on the shores of Spitsbergen. This litter is hazardous for the animals, who get entangled in fish nets and when they feed on it they suffocate and die.
Supported by AECO and with contribution of the Governor of Spitsbergen we will clean the shores in North Spitsbergen with the help of our passengers, who will get equipment (collecting bags ) and supervision by our guides. On allocated landing days of the journey about 50 passengers clean in the morning , while the other 50 have their excursion in another area. In the afternoon, the groups will switch roles. Often we will not be able to clean a certain area, because of roaming bears, and have to find an alternative area.
On a similar theme voyage to the remote northern part of Spitsbergen in 2015 we picked up an estimated 13 m3 of garbage which has been removed from three beaches in the area of Raudfjorden, the remote Rijpfjorden, and Mushamna in Woodfjorden. Each beach cleaned yielded 4-5 m3 of garbage consisting mainly of plastic of various origins, fishing rope, nets, and floats. The garbage was sorted onboard and with the assistance of Sysselmannen and the Svalbard Environmental Fund it has been disposed of in a proper manner.