Spitsbergen Encounter

Vavilov Cruise Ship
Vavilov
92 Passengers
Adventure Options

The Norwegian territory of Svalbard and the islands that make up the archipelago offer a tremendous wildlife and birdlife experience, as well as a fascinating lesson in glaciology. The islands were first used as a whaling base in the 17th and 18th centuries and are now celebrated as a breeding ground for many seabirds, along with marine mammals and the elusive polar bear.

Our expedition ship is perfectly suited for remote polar exploration. With her high ice classification, we are able to push further to the north along the edge of the ice pack. It is here we frequently encounter the icon of the Arctic – the polar bear – hunting for seals and other protein sources to sustain them through the Arctic summer.

Throughout our journey we enjoy a comprehensive series of presentations by polar experts, providing an excellent background to the expedition. Days are busy with shore excursions to places of historic interest, visits to wildlife colonies, viewing the exquisite native flora and soaking up the stunning landscapes. Short or long hikes on shore are another feature along with regular cruising in the Zodiacs. Sea kayaking is another popular option. Our voyage focuses on the western and northern coast of Spitsbergen, and as far north as the permanent pack ice. This area has the highest concentration of wildlife and places of historic and scenic interest in the archipelago.

Onboard Photographic Symposium
A highlight of the June 19th 2018 departure will be a custom program designed for photographic enthusiasts. This program runs parallel to our daily off ship excursions and activities. The photography team, led by Nikon master and award-winning photographer, Daisy Gilardini, provides practical guidance and deep insight. Special excursions will include early mornings and late evenings chasing the gorgeous Arctic light. We make regular use of our ship-board multi-media studio for breakout sessions and to review and critique our images throughout the voyage. The program is open to photographers of all abilities and is included as part of the voyage. Please register your interest at the time of booking.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Longyearbyen, Svalbard
Day 2 Bourbonhamna
Day 3 Lillihook Glacier and Krossfjorden
Day 4 Liefdefjorden and Monacobreen
Day 5 Phippsoya – Northernmost Point
Days 6 & 7 Hinlopen Strait and Nordaustlandet
Day 8 Fuglesangen and Smeerenburg
Day 9 Poole Pynten, Prins Karls Forland
Day 10 Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Day 1 - Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Today we embark our expedition ship, the Akademik Sergey Vavilov in Longyearbyen and as we throw the lines, we sail out of Adventfjorden and 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. The beluga has no dorsal fin; a diagnostic feature of whale species that live in the high Arctic such as the narwhal and bowhead. It has been postulated that the Beluga’s lack of dorsal fin is an adaptation to living in waters that are frequently covered by ice. On our shore excursion, an old hunting cabin and other artifacts are points of interest during our scenic hike to Ingebrigstenbukta. However, it is the massive piles of beluga whalebones that catch everybody’s attention. The bones and all artifacts are protected by the Svalbard Government. While wandering on shore we hope to catch a glimpse of dozens of reindeer that inhabit the area.

Day 3 – Lilliehook Glacier and Krossfjorden

Lilliehook Glacier, at the head of the northwestern arm of Krossfjorden is an incredible sight. The glacier face stretches almost four miles (7 km) and has a height of around 260 feet (80 m). Viewed from the ship or on a Zodiac cruise you come to appreciate the enormous scale of our surroundings. The shores of Krossfjorden are home to numerous bird colonies and a variety of different species. We anchor off one small harbor and cruise in the Zodiacs along the bird cliffs near the 14th of July Glacier. 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 – Liefdefjorden and Monacobreen

No trip along the north coast of Spitsbergen would be complete without a visit to Monacobreen (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 bird's eggs.

Day 5 – Phippsoya – Northernmost Point

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 viewings. In recent seasons we have enjoyed excellent encounters with polar bears in this vicinity. Be sure to get up to the ship’s bridge and take a picture of the GPS showing your latitude or, better yet, take your own handheld GPS with you and mark in the waypoint as we are so close to the North Pole!

Days 6 & 7 – Hinlopen Strait and Nordaustlandet

From the ice edge we enter the main channel separating Svalbard’s two main islands. In Hinlopen Strait the bird cliffs at Alkefjellet are home to more than a hundred thousand breeding Brunnich’s guillemots, as well as thousands of kittiwakes and black guillemots. It is a spectacular site and a challenging one for our Zodiacs as the tidal currents roar through Hinlopen Strait. 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 – Fuglesangen and Smeerenburg

As your Zodiac approaches the shore of Fuglesangenoya, it becomes apparent there are thousands of birds nesting on this island. Home to a large dovekie colony, the formation of the island allows for excellent viewing without impacting upon the perimeter of the colony. Just a few miles from Fuglesangen 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 – Poole Pynten, Prins Karls Forland

The sight and sound of a walrus haul-out spells Arctic like nothing else can. We visit the walrus colony on Prince Charles Island and hope to see these odd looking animals ashore. 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, Svalbard

Arriving back into Longyearbyen this morning, we disembark after breakfast and say farewell to our expedition team and fellow passengers. A transfer into town is provided for those choosing to stay a few days. If you are departing today, we have a few hours this morning to explore the town, before transferring to the airport for your onward flight to Tromso or Oslo.

Note: Polar exploration can be unpredictable. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a ‘guide only’ and may change. The ship’s captain in conjunction with the expedition leader continually review the sailing plan throughout the voyage, making adjustments to the itinerary along the way to take advantage of optimal weather and ice conditions or to maximize our encounters with wildlife. Decades of experience spent exploring these waterways mean we have a large number of outstanding landing sites and Zodiac cruising locations to consider, even when the weather conditions may not be ideal. A flexible approach is something we encourage you to bring to the ship.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

Only show rates under
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Please note that availability is updated about once a week.
Per Person USD
Rates Arctic 2017
Triple Shared
Twin Semi-Private
Twin Private
Superior
Shackleton Suite
One Ocean Suite
Charter
Air
Photography, Kayak
Kayaking Free on this Voyage

Complimentary pre-voyage Hotel plus $100 shipboard Credit ($250 Value)
Expires May 31st 2017

Note: An additional 5% Canadian GST will be assessed on all associated trip costs.
$3,195Limited$4,195Full$5,195Full$6,195Full$7,495Full$8,995Full 
Photography, Kayak
Charter Air: Iqaluit/Ottawa

Save $500 off Charter Air
(Prices in Red) Expires May 31st 2017

Note: An additional 5% Canadian GST will be assessed on all associated trip costs.
$5,195Full$6,445Full$7,790Full$9,390Full$11,290Full$13,490Full$995$495
Photography, Kayak
Charter Air: Iqaluit/Ottawa

Save $500 off Charter Air
(Prices in Red) Expires May 31st 2017

Note: An additional 5% Canadian GST will be assessed on all associated trip costs.
$3,495Full$4,495Full$5,995Full$6,495Full$7,995Full$9,495Full$995$495
Photography, Kayak
Charter Air: Ottawa/Iqaluit & Resolute/Edmonton

Save $500 off Charter Air
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Note: An additional 5% Canadian GST will be assessed on all associated trip costs.
$6,995Limited$7,995Full$9,495Full$9,995Full$11,495Full$12,995Full$1,995$1,495
Photography, Kayak
Charter Air: Edmonton/Resolute/Edmonton

Save $500 off Charter Air
(Prices in Red) Expires May 31st 2017

Note: An additional 5% Canadian GST will be assessed on all associated trip costs.
$6,495Full$7,495Full$8,995Full$9,695Full$10,995Full$12,495Full$1,995$1,495
Photography, Kayak
Charter Air: Edmonton/Resolute/Edmonton

Save $500 off Charter Air
(Prices in Red) Expires May 31st 2017

Note: An additional 5% Canadian GST will be assessed on all associated trip costs.
$6,495Full$7,495Full$8,995Full$9,695Full$10,995Full$12,495Full$1,995$1,495
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Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

Special pricing available for families & young people traveling with parents:
Children under 18 receive a 25% discount, and young people ages 18-21 & in full-time education receive a 20% discount.

A 5% GST tax applies to all travel on the domestic Canadian voyages and will be calculated on the full voyage cost including charter flights, hotel, and kayaking.

Rates are per person, based on twin-share. Single Supplement for twin cabins is 1.5 times the twin rate & single supplement for suites is double the suite rate.

All cabins are smoke-free. Smoking is only permitted in designated areas.
Trip cost does not include Mandatory Charter Flights listed in pricing chart.
Airfare to/from destination is not included.

Kayaking option available for $695 per person.
Adventure options must be pre-booked and paid for prior to start of the trip. Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.

All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.
Mandatory Emergency Evacuation insurance is required on all trips.

Only show rates under
$ X
Please note that availability is updated about once a week.
Per Person USD
Rates Arctic 2018
Triple Shared
Twin Semi-Private
Twin Private
Superior
Shackleton Suite
One Ocean Suite
Charter
Air
Photography, Kayak
Special Photography Symposium

$1,000 Discount (Prices in Red)
Expires May 31st 2017
$5,695$4,695$7,195$6,195$8,195$7,195$9,395$8,395$10,295$9,295$11,395$10,395 
Photography, Kayak
$1,000 Discount (Prices in Red)
Expires May 31st 2017
$5,695$4,695$7,195$6,195$8,195$7,195$9,395$8,395$10,295$9,295$11,395$10,395 
Photography, Kayak
Charter Air: Ottawa/Kangerlussuaq & Cambridge Bay/Edmonton

50% discount on charter air!
Expires May 31 2017
$9,595 $11,395 $13,695 $14,695Limited$16,095 $17,095Full$1,995$998
Photography, Kayak
Charter Air: Edmonton/Cambridge Bay & Kangerlussuaq/Ottawa

50% discount on charter air!
Expires May 31 2017
$9,595 $11,395 $13,695Limited$14,695Full$16,095Full$17,095Full$1,995$998
No trips meet your criteria. Please increase the budget above to view more results.
Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

A 5% GST tax applies to all travel on the domestic Canadian voyages and will be calculated on the full voyage cost including charter flights, hotel, and kayaking. 

Rates are per person, based on twin-share. Single Supplement for twin cabins is 1.5 times the twin rate & single supplement for suites is double the suite rate.

All cabins are smoke-free. Smoking is only permitted in designated areas.
Trip cost does not include Mandatory Charter Flights listed in pricing chart.
Airfare to/from destination is not included.

Kayaking option available for $695 per person.
Adventure options must be pre-booked and paid for prior to start of the trip. Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.

All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.
Mandatory Emergency Evacuation insurance is required on all trips.

DeckPlan_Vavilov_c

   One Ocean Suite
Located on deck 5 this cabin is separated into two very spacious rooms. A spacious lounge area is perfect for relaxation and features a sofa (convertible to bed), large table, writing desk, ample storage, plus large picture windows overlooking the bow (forward facing) that can be opened.
The separate bedroom features a double bed with upgraded linen/ pillows, night light, and window over the port side of the ship. The bathroom has a bathtub and shower. There is also a region specific iPad, mini stereo, capsule coffee maker, fully stocked mini bar, iPod alarm clock with audio line and several arms chairs.
   Shackleton Suites
Located on decks 4 and 5 these cabins are separated into two spacious rooms, one that is ideal for relaxation with a sofa (convertible to bed), large table, writing desk, chair, ample storage and a large window that can be opened. A separate private bedroom has a double berth with upgraded linen/ pillows, night light, private facilities, a region specific iPad, mini stereo, capsule coffee maker, fully stocked mini bar, iPod alarm clock with audio line.
   Superior Cabins
There are three superior cabins, all located on Deck 3. These spacious and well-appointed cabins feature two lower berths, a writing desk and chair and plenty of storage space. Washroom facilities are private and all cabins have a porthole, which opens. These cabins provide great access to the outer decks, the dining room and gangway.
   Twin Private Cabins
Located on decks 3, 4 and 5 these spacious, well-appointed cabins feature two lower berths, with private washroom facilities (sink, shower, toilet and bathroom cabinet). There are tall wardrobes with internal shelving for storage, a writing desk, chair, bookshelf, and a window that can be opened. Twin Private cabins on deck 3 feature portholes instead of windows.
   Twin Semi Private Cabins
Located on deck 4 these cabins have two lower berths, one of which can be converted to a sofa during the day. These cabins have tall wardrobes with internal shelving for storage, a writing desk, chair, bookshelf, and a window that can be opened. Facilities are semi-private – meaning you share the washroom with the adjacent cabin.
   Main Deck Triple Cabins
Located on deck 3 these cabins feature two lower berths and one upper berth. One lower berth can be converted to a comfortable sofa during the day. Washroom facilities are shared. There is a washbasin in the cabin, a writing desk and chair and ample storage for all cabin occupants. These cabins are efficient and well-appointed with two portholes with the option to open one.

 

Cabin and Voyage Inclusions            
Outside View With Opening Porthole/Window
Complimentary use of Wet Weather Gear
Complimentary use of Wellington Boots
Complimentary use of Waterproof Backpack and Binoculars
Innovative Dream Sleep Package
100% Cotton Bathrobes
Custom Blend Natural Canadian Made Essential Oil Amenities
Custom Color Coordinated Canadian Made Linen Package
Black Out Curtains
Clock Radio with Media Connector
Desk with Chair
Complimentary Water Bottle
In-Room Coffee & Tea Station
In-Room Private Field Guide    
In-Room Private Reference Library      
In-Room Mini Bar        
In-Room iPad Preloaded With Reference And Fictional Content        
In-Room Single Brew Coffee System        
In-Room Mini Stereo        
Complimentary Welcome Package (Wine, Fruit Basket, Natural Snacks)        
Complimentary Field Guide to the High Arctic        
Early Morning Adventure Concierge Coffee Service