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8-Day Spitsbergen: Polar Bears and More!

8-Day Spitsbergen: Polar Bears and More!

8 days

8-Day Spitsbergen: Polar Bears and More!
from $3895 USD

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Begin your epic North Spitsbergen cruise with a lovely stroll around historic Longyearben, Norway, and then hop aboard your comfortable expedition vessel and head north. We will venture to places that will make a nature photographer jump for joy: beautiful mountain landscapes, surreal icebergs and massive glaciers, countless seabirds, and rare Arctic wildlife including the star of the show, the polar bear. View wildlife and scenery from the vessel, zodiacs, and on land. 

Special: Book your Spitsbergen expedition through AWR and we'll help with a complimentary, pre-cruise 4-star hotel night in Oslo. 

2019 EXPEDITION DATES: Please contact us for summer 2019 departure dates and prices. The season runs from approximately May through September with departures occuring back-back through the Arctic spring, summer, and fall.

Note: The itinerary is a typical itinerary to North Spitsbergen, however, expedition itineraries are for guidance only. Your trip may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions, the availability of landing sites, and the best opportunities to see wildlife. The final itinerary will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board. Flexibility is essential for a successful wildlife expedition.


Day 1: Arrive Longyerbyen, Norway and begin the expedition

You should plan to arrive this morning (or the day before) in Longyearbyen, the economic and political capital of Norway’s Spitsbergen archipelago of which West Spitsbergen is the largest island. Before embarking, enjoy the opportunity to stroll around this former mining town, whose classic parish church and Polar Museum are highlights. Early this evening, the ship will sail out of Isfjorden, where in the mouth of the fjord, we may get our first glimpse at sleek Minke whales. Enjoy the soft lingering hours of daylight well into the Arctic “night.”

Meals included: Dinner

Day 2: Cruise to Raudfjord on the north coast of West Spitsbergen

We will sail to Raudfjord on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, a beautiful fjord dominated by remarkable glaciers and a popular haunt for both Ringed and Bearded seals. The steep cliffs and rocky shoreline of the fjord also support thriving populations of nesting seabirds and a surprisingly green landscape, which particularly flourishes in sheltered spots, away from wind. The entire ship will be on a sharp lookout, as polar bears are often seen here.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Explore the imposing Monaco Glacier

Weather permitting, we will sail into Liefdefjorden, cruising near the stunning 5-kilometer long face of the Monaco Glacier. The waters of the glacier front are a favorite feeding spot for thousands of Kittiwakes. Polar bears can sometimes also be seen on the glacier and the area's icebergs, allowing for some phenomenal photography.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Sail into Hinlopen Strait, zodiac cruising for bearded seals, and much more

Today, the vessel will sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to bearded seals, ringed seals, polar bears, and ivory gulls. At the entrance, the possibility exists to see the rare blue whale. We will navigate the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in our zodiacs and explore the thrilling bird cliffs of Alkefjellet, with its thousands of active 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, nesting ivory gulls, and walruses.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Head north of Nordaustlandet, only 540 miles removed from the North Pole

Enjoy an exciting day today, as we will try to reach the northernmost point at Phippsøya, in the Seven Islands area, north of Nordaustlandet. Here, you will be at 81 degrees north, and 540 miles from the geographic North Pole. Polar bears inhabit this thrilling region, along with ivory gulls. The ship may sit for several hours in the pack ice, allowing you the chance to take this sublime icy realm all in, before turning west and resuming our progress.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Cruise west, with attentive eyes out for resident polar bears

Retracing our route westwards, we will sail through the pack ice, keeping careful watch for polar bears and the elusive Greenland whale (also known as bowheads). About 40 nautical miles west of Spitsbergen, we will traverse the continental shelf, where huge fin whales forage in summer in the sea’s upwelling along the Spitsbergen banks. At the mouth of the Kongsfjorden, we will also have nice chances to see Minke whales.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: View walruses, cruise into Johns Fjord or south to the mouth of Isfjorden

Forlandsundet, at Sarstangen, is a haul-out spot for enormous walruses.  Here we will take the time to enjoy this as conditions permits.  Otherwise, we will sail into St. Johns Fjord or south to the mouth of Isfjorden and land at Alkhornet. Seabirds nest on its cliffs and cute Arctic foxes scurry the cliff base for fallen eggs and chicks, while Spitsbergen reindeer graze amidst the grass. By nighttime, we arrive back in Longyearbyen.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Disembark in Longyearbyen

Today, after breakfast, disembark in Longyearbyen, in time for flights south to Oslo and/or onward to home.

Meals included: Breakfast


8-Day Spitsbergen: Polar Bears and More!
from $3895 USD
*** Contact Us for other itinerary and lodging options! ***

NOTE: Prices are per person in U.S. dollars based on double/triple occupancy. All quotations are based on the current rates of park fees, VAT, other government taxes, and current exchange rates. Should any of these be increased or a new tax introduced, these increases will be added on even if your trip has already been paid for.

  • All accommodations per itinerary
  • All meals per itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All tours and entrance fees per itinerary (unless listed as excluded)
  • All transportation and transfers per itinerary
  • A thorough program of informative Arctic-specific lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff
  • Free use of rubber boots for landings and snowshoes on request
  • 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 program
  • AECO fees and governmental taxes
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information to prepare you for your voyage
  • International and domestic flights
  • Meals not listed
  • Beverages and alcohol
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel staff
  • Optional tours
  • Single room supplement
  • Personal expenses (visas, airport taxes, Internet, etc.)
  • Pre-and post-cruise land arrangements
  • Tipping for guides

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