Day 1 Longyearbyen
Today we embark in Longyearbyen and sail out 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.
Day 2 Bourbonhamna
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. On our shore excursion, an old hunting cabin and other artifacts are points of interest. We will also hope to catch a glimpse of dozens of reindeer that inhabit the area.
Day 3 Lilliehook Glacier
The Lilliehook Glacier is an incredible sight. The face stretches almost seven kilometers across 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 area is home to numerous bird colonies and a variety of different species. As we cruise the dark waters, we are always on the lookout for bearded and ringed seals, both species known to frequent this fjord.
Day 4 Monaco Glacier and Liefdefjorden
No trip along the north coast of Spitsbergen would be complete without a visit to 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 birds' eggs.
Day 5 Phippsoya
At 81° north latitude, Phippsoya is just 540 nautical miles from the North Pole. The high ice classification of our ship 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 viewing. In recent seasons we have enjoyed excellent encounters with polar bears in this vicinity.
Days 6 - 7 Hinlopen Strait
We enter the main channel separating Svalbard’s two main islands. In Hinlopen Strait, the bird cliffs at Alkefjellet are 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.
Day 8 Smeerenburg
Fuglesangenoya is home to a large dovekie colony. Nearby 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.
Day 9 Prince Charles Island
We visit the walrus colony on Prince Charles Island and hope to see these odd looking animals ashore. It is an incredible sight. Approaching from downwind can often confirm that walrus 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.
Day 10 Longyearbyen
Arriving back into Longyearbyen this morning, our journey comes to an end. A transfer into town is provided for those choosing to stay a few day, or to the airport for those departing.