Tromsø, Bear Island and Spitsbergen: Fjords and Bears

Ocean Nova
Ocean Nova
68 Passengers
Adventure Options

Venture from Tromsø deeper into the Arctic Circle past iconic fjords towards the usually ice-bound Svalbard Archipelago. We’ll discover the rarely-visited Bear Island, an important bird area. We’ll explore the wildlife haven of Spitsbergen, a rugged land of deep fjords, mountains and ice sheets. And we’ll spend our time here searching for walrus, seals, reindeer, arctic fox and the illusive polar bear. You’ll also marvel at the colorfully-carpeted tundra which we’ll be able to see first-hand on some of our hikes.

Expedition in Brief
- Unique Arctic wildlife: polar bears, walrus, reindeer
- Polar desert exploration
- Continuous daylight
- Hiking and Zodiac cruising
- Snowshoeing on selected expeditions
- Optional kayak adventure on selected expeditions
- Combine this voyage with Scotland to Norway: Crossing the Arctic Circle

Brief Itinerary

Day 1Tromso, Norway
Day 2Hammerfest
Day 3Porsangerfjorden and Nordkapp
Day 4Bear Island
Days 5 to 11Exploring Spitsbergen
Day 12Disembarkation Day in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway

Day 1 — Tromso, Norway

You may plan to arrive early to see all that Tromso has to offer before boarding the Ocean Nova in the afternoon.

Day 2 — Hammerfest

Hammerfest is known as the center of Sami culture, the northernmost indigenous people of Europe. It’s also the oldest town in Norway, though it was almost completely destroyed in WWII. You’ll also be invited here to join the Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society, which is neither royal nor ancient (founded in 1963) but membership does include a hat and a pin.

Day 3 — Porsangerfjorden and Nordkapp

Porsangerfjorden is Norway’s fourth longest fjord at 76mi (123km) and an amazing example of the legendary Norwegian fjords. We’ll visit one of the small settlements for a taste of small-town Norway. As we head out to sea, we’ll pass by Nordkapp, with its 1,000ft (307m) high cliff face.

Day 4 — Bear Island

Today we will have a full lecture schedule in advance of our landing at Bear Island, the southernmost island in the Svalbard Archipelago. It is poorly named as we rarely find polar bears here, but we will encounter hundreds of thousands of sea birds. It has been identified as an “Important Bird Area” by Bird Life International on account of the great numbers of northern fulmars, black-legged kittiwakes, little auks and thick-billed guillemots. We will also find the remnants of a whaling station in Walrus Bay and a coal mining station in the north. Due to the cold and dry climate, you’ll find the ruins to be remarkably-well preserved.

Days 5 to 11 — Exploring Spitsbergen

We’ll sail around this magical island on a constant search for wildlife. Your expedition will cover western Spitsbergen as well as some stunning fjords and outlying islands to the north. From polar flora to immense glaciers, the natural landscape here is just as varied as the wildlife.

Each expedition presents new opportunities and different weather and ice, so there is no fixed itinerary, however we do have some favorite destinations, including the 14th of July Glacier, Smeerenburg, Monaco Galacier and Gashamna. The destinations visited on your voyage will be selected for optimum wildlife viewing and appreciation of the history and geology of Spitsbergen. Polar bear viewing is almost guaranteed, with Hornsund being one of their preferred hunting areas.

Poolepynton is great for walrus viewing and photography. Coming across a walrus haul-out is a moment you won’t forget. These lumbering giants of the Arctic create quite a noisy scene, as each walrus vies for a choice spot of coastline.

If you’re itching for a more personal and intimate view of the Arctic scenery, consider booking the optional kayaking excursions which will give you several occasions to paddle during your voyage to some of the more isolated pockets of Spitsbergen. Smeerenburg is a great place for a snowshoeing excursion, if conditions permit. You can visit a memorial erected in 1906. This historical site remembers the whalers who lost their lives in the 17th and 18th centuries while working in extreme Arctic conditions.

There is no shortage of natural beauty in Spitsbergen. The tundra can be surprisingly colorful in summer, with wildflowers bursting for a taste of sunshine. Each day you’ll see something new, whether it is a rare bird species, a polar bear on the hunt, or a century-old abandoned hut.

Day 12 — Disembarkation Day in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway

Your adventure ends in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here we’ll transfer you directly to the airport for your flight home.

Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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Discount: Standard Cabins- $1,000
(Prices in Red) Expires Mar 1st 2015

Discount: Standard Cabins- $1,000
(Prices in Red) Expires Mar 1st 2015

Discount: Standard Cabins- $1,000
(Prices in Red) Expires Mar 1st 2015

Discount: Standard Cabins- $1,000
(Prices in Red) Expires Mar 1st 2015
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Cruise Price does not include international airfare. Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

Single cabin prices are 1.7 times the cost of the appropriate twin-share prices listed above except for superior and above which are 2x the price listed above. If you are a solo traveler requesting to share a cabin note that Superior and above can not be shared.

Adventure Options: Kayaking - $595. Adventure options must be pre-booked and paid for prior to start of the trip. Space is subject to availability. Kayaking is limited to 10. Some activities require experience.

All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.

Ocean Nova Deck Plan