The perfect expedition for discovering the secrets of Spitsbergen, which aims to circumnavigate this captivating island.  Zodiac cruise past giant sapphire-blue glaciers spotting whales, polar bears and seal, hike through rich flora amongst reindeer and Arctic fox, and marvel at the thousands of Brünnich Guillemots nesting in the towering cliffs of Alkefjellet.   

Highlights

  • Witness the birth of an iceberg from one of the many enormous glaciers
  • Potential to reach 80° north, deep in the pack ice spotting polar bear
  • Discover the marine-rich waters of Svalbard; keeping watch for seals, walrus and possibly minke, beluga and blue whales
  • See the spectacular bird cliffs at Alkefjellet, where thousands of Brünnich Guillemots nest at dizzying heights
  • Visit 17th Century ancient whaling sites and old trapper’s huts

Quick Itinerary:

Day 1: Longyearbyen
Day 2: Krossfjorden
Day 3: The Monacobreen Glacier
Days 4-5: North Nordaustlander / Seven Islands
Day 6:  Hinlopen Strait
Day 7: Barentsøya
Day 8: Southern Spitsbergen
Day 9:  Bellsund
Day 10 Longyearbyen

Day 1: Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen
Welcome to Longyearbyen, considered to be the world’s northernmost town and the capital of the Svalbard archipelago.   Before embarkation, you can enjoy free time to explore this vibrant old mining town, perhaps visiting the Svalbard Museum, strolling around the colourful buildings or sitting in one of the numerous café windows, meeting the locals and watching the fascinating Arctic world roll by.  Residents of Longyearbyen live a fascinating lifestyle, where snowmobiles are the preferred mode of transport, pet cats are banned, and the streets have no names!   In the afternoon, you will be greeted with the warmest of welcomes from the expedition crew, board the ship and enjoy majestic views as the vessel sails out of Isfjorden.

Day 2: Krossfjorden
The ship heads north, following the coast of Spitsbergen arriving into Krossfjorden.  Here you may Zodiac cruise to the gigantic 14e Julibreen (14th of July) glacier, to witness its awesome power as it calves enormous chunks of ice into the glassy Arctic waters, forming new icebergs.    On the surrounding shores, a rich natural landscape greets the eye - Arctic flowers are blooming, kittiwakes soar overheard, seals lazily bask in the sun and Arctic fox hunt for prey.

Later in the day, you head to Ny Ålesund.  This is the most northerly settlement on earth, with historic roots in the mining industry and now host to 16 permanent scientific research stations.   Keep watch for many species of birds, including Arctic terns, pink-footed and barnacle geese.  You can also visit the historic airship anchoring mast, used by Amundsen and Nobile during their great polar explorations in the early 1900’s.

Day 3: The Monacobreen Glacier
Ice and weather conditions allowing, the crew aim to guide you to the massive Monacobreen Glacier.  You may spot polar bear hunting seal here, with the nutrient-rich waters and surrounding ice floes creating the idyllic habits for marine wildlife to thrive.  In true exploratory style, if ice conditions prevent passage to this area, the Captain and Expedition Leader will arrange an equally spectacular adventure around Spitsbergen’s west coast.

Days 4-5: North Nordaustlandet / Seven Islands
In search of polar bear, you may reach as far as 80° north, deep into the pack ice.  There maybe opportunity for a second day exploring the seas of the Seven Islands located at the far north of the Svalbard archipelago, usually in August, or alternatively the ship may head to Sorgfjord (‘Worry fjord’).  Sorgjord has a fascinating whaling history which may give clues to the origins of its name and is also known as the location of the world’s northernmost sea battle, which occurred here back in the 17th Century.  The fjord provides plenty of opportunity for activities, including walks through the Arctic tundra to spot the exceptionally well camouflaged rock ptarmigans.  

Day 6: Hinlopen Strait
One of the wildlife hot-spots of Svalbard, ice-conditions allowing, you will sail into the beautiful Hinlopen Strait, which divides Spitsbergen with Nordaustlandet.  Keep watch for polar bear, ringed and bearded seals, and even potential to spot blue whales.  Aboard Zodiacs, you may visit the world-renowned majestic cliffs of Alkefjellet, famous for the many thousands of Brünnich Guillemots nesting at dizzying heights.  On the eastern side of the strait, you may land in a region frequented by walrus, reindeer and many seabirds, including pink-footed geese.  Further exploration may include a visit to the polar desert of Nordaustlandet, containing one of the world’s largest ice-caps.

Day 7: Barentsøya
You may visit an old trapper’s hut at Sundneset, discover a vast kittiwake colony at Kapp Waldburg or possibly land at Freemansundet (this is sometimes not possible due to polar bears).  There maybe potential to hike through Arctic tundra at Rindedalen, encounter walrus at Kapp Lee or discover 18th century ruins at Russian Pomor Station.

Day 8: Southern Spitsbergen
You will enjoy sailing through the spectacular Hornsund area of southern Spitsbergen, witnessing the spiralling jagged mountainous peaks rising out of the fjord.  There is plenty of possibility for exploration in this region, with more than a dozen considerable glaciers to be witnessed and chance to spot beluga whale, polar bear and seals.

Day 9: Bellsund
Today you will explore of the major fjords in Svalbard at Bellsund.  The fjord is a captivating destination, with plenty of opportunities for wildlife enthusiasts and historians to relish alike.  The influence of the gulf stream makes for the northern area of the fjord to be very rich in flora and forna, providing the perfect habitat to spot reindeer and many seabirds.  Historically, the fjord was one of the first to be visited by whalers in the 17th century, and the remains of these ancient stations (together with eerie beluga whale skeletons) can still be found today.  Thankfully by the end of the 18th century the whaling had ended, and so today you may witness thriving pods of beluga whales as you explore this enchanting region.  

Day 10: Longyearbyen
Your journey sadly comes to end in Longyearbyen.  As you say farewell to your fellow explorers, newfound friends and the expedition team, you disembark the ship leaving with memories to cherish for a lifetime.  

Plancius

Rating
4
Standard
Simple
Capacity
116

The historic MV Plancius was built in 1976 as an oceanographic research vessel and in 2009 was completely rebuilt as a 116-passenger polar explorer ship. The ship boasts large open deck spaces, a fleet of Mark V zodiacs and a team of expert expedition staff to accompany each voyage.

Hondius

Rating
3
Standard
Comfort
Capacity
176

The M/V Hondius is due to undertake its first polar voyages in 2019. When finished the ship will accommodate a total of 176 passengers, the vessel has been custom built for Polar Cruising. Like its sister ships the m/v Plancius and the m/v Ortelius it is named after a celebrated Dutch/Flemish Cartographer, in this case, Jodocus Hondius.

Plancius from 3rd July 2019 to 12th July 2019

Quadruple: £3,869.00
Triple: £4,799.00
Twin Porthole: £5,599.00
Twin Window: £6,039.00
Twin Deluxe: £6,459.00
Superior: £7,259.00

Hondius from 5th July 2019 to 14th July 2019

Quadruple Porthole: £3,859.00
Triple Porthole: £4,809.00
Twin Porthole: £5,609.00
Twin Window: £6,039.00
Twin Deluxe: £6,459.00
Superior: £7,259.00

Hondius from 14th July 2019 to 23rd July 2019

Quadruple Porthole: £3,859.00
Triple Porthole: £4,809.00
Twin Porthole: £5,609.00
Twin Window: £6,039.00
Twin Deluxe: £6,459.00
Superior: £7,259.00

Hondius from 23rd July 2019 to 1st August 2019

Quadruple Porthole: £3,859.00
Triple Porthole: £4,809.00
Twin Porthole: £5,609.00
Twin Window: £6,039.00
Twin Deluxe: £6,459.00
Superior: £7,259.00

Hondius from 1st August 2019 to 10th August 2019

Quadruple Porthole: £3,859.00
Triple Porthole: £4,809.00
Twin Porthole: £5,609.00
Twin Window: £6,039.00
Twin Deluxe: £6,459.00
Superior: £7,259.00

Enquire About Around Spitsbergen by Oceanwide
About Us
  • We can compare a huge selection of expedition ships, cruises and operators to find your perfect cruise.

  • Never pay more! Our prices are amongst the best in the business, with full package protection as standard.

  • We are the expedition cruise specialists and know the destinations, ships and operators inside out

  • As supporters of the Marine Conservation Society, booking with us helps support the protection of our oceans.

  • Our holidays are protected by ATOL and ABTOT, for your complete peace of mind.

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Why book with Polar Routes?

CHOICE
  • We can compare a huge selection of expedition ships, cruises and operators.
  • From former Russian research vessels to larger and luxurious ships - there is an expedition cruise to suit you. 
  • Our Travel Specialists will help you choose the perfect expedition cruise for your requirements.
SPECIALISTS
  • We are the expedition cruise specialists and know all the polar destinations inside out.
  • Our expert team of Travel Specialists have extensive knowledge of all the expedition ships & operators.
  • All of our Travel Specialists have first-hand experience of expedition cruising to the polar regions.
VALUE
  • Never pay more! Our prices are the amongst the best in the business, with full package protection as standard.
  • Our holidays are protected by ATOL and ABTOT, for your complete peace of mind.
  • As supporters of the Marine Conservation Society, booking with us helps support the protection of our oceans.