Spitsbergen In Depth: Big Island, Big Adventure

Ocean Adventurer Arctic Cruise Ship
Ocean Adventurer
132 Passengers
Adventure Options

On this extended 13-day trip, we venture to circumnavigate Spitsbergen, experiencing all the island has to offer. This is one of the best regions to see polar bears, along with walrus and reindeer. The 14th of July Glacier and Alkefjellet cliff are both bird-watching utopias. Get a glimpse of 16th-century whaling culture at secluded landing sites. If conditions allow, this route may include encircling the northernmost Svalbard island of Nordaustlandet.

Expedition in Brief
• Encounter arctic wildlife: polar bears, walrus, reindeer
• View numerous arctic bird species
• Take advantage of continuous daylight
• Hike the tundra and explore the polar desert
• Cruise in a Zodiac
• Enjoy optional kayak adventure opportunities

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Embarkation Day in Longyearbyen, Norway
Days 2 to 12 Circumnavigating Spitsbergen
Day 13 Depart Longyearbyen

Day 1 — Embarkation Day in Longyearbyen, Norway

Your Spitsbergen arctic voyage begins when you board your ship in Longyearbyen, the island’s largest settlement. Enjoy your first view of the island’s rugged, glacier-topped mountains rising majestically from icy waters.

Days 2 to 12 — Circumnavigating Spitsbergen

Expect a new adventure every day as we begin our circumnavigation by heading north and around the island of Spitsbergen, exploring smaller, outlying islands. The variety of incredible wildlife and geological formations found here is astounding. We plan to circumnavigate Spitsbergen, but if conditions are favorable, we will also attempt a circumnavigation of the whole Svalbard archipelago. Every expedition will be different, depending on the weather and ice, but we do hope to visit a few of our favorite landing sites, including the 14th of July Glacier, Ny London, Phippsøya, Alkefjellet and the seldom-visited Kvitøya.

These names may seem strange to you, but each site has its own unique appeal, as there is no shortage of natural beauty in Spitsbergen, where colorful tundra meadows are complemented by glaciers. For birders, the 14th of July Glacier is home to puffins, purple sandpipers, common eiders, barnacle geese and arctic terns, while Alkefjellet’s cliffs are teeming with nesting Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres).

If you’re looking for confirmation that reindeer are real, then you’ll want to have your camera ready for visits to sites like Ny London, Sundneset and Alkhornet. As for the largest land carnivore in the world, searching for polar bears is a constant activity for your expedition team. Phippsøya and Isbukta are two of the bears’ preferred places for hunting, which translates into great potential for you to capture them in action.

A big part of appreciating Spitsbergen comes from understanding the culture—not just how people live today, but also how this land was first explored. Whaling was a key industry, and you will see remains of old blubber ovens from the 16th century, plus other evidence of whaling at landing sites such as Smeerenburg. If we’re lucky, we may have the chance to spot beluga whales, which frequent the now-protected  waters around the island.

Possible Landings

ALKEFJELLET
This cliff is a seabird center, where Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres) raise their young. An estimated 100,000 breeding pairs reside in the basalt cliffs. The birds do not build nests; rather, they lay eggs on the bare ledge.

DISKOBUKTA
This bay on the west shore of Edgeøya affords a landing site with a box canyon where black-legged kittiwakes raise their young. Arctic foxes have been seen combing the canyon floor to feed on scraps that have fallen from the nests above. Watch for the bones of ancient bowhead whales on the canyon floor—evidence that the shoreline has changed over millennia.

ISBUKTA
On the eastern shore of the southern tip of Svalbard is Ice Bay. Sabine’s gulls, skuas and bearded seals inhabit the bay. Polar bears are known to patrol the area as well.

ISISPYNTEN
It’s an island! Both nautical charts and topographical maps define Isispynten as a point of land, but we’ve proved them wrong. Receding glaciers have turned this point of land into an island.

KAPP LEE, EDGEØYA
This is a well-known walrus haul-out. The pink color of a walrus’s hide as it is exposed to the sun is caused by blood pumped to the skin’s surface to aid cooling, similar to that of a hippopotamus in Africa.

KVITØYA
The western part of this island is only 61 miles (98 km) from Victoria Island in Franz Josef Land, which is part of the Russian Arctic. This remote outpost is actually closer to the Russian Arctic than it is to Nordaustlandet (73 miles/117 km) and is located on the same longitude as Cairo, Egypt.

LILLIEHÖÖK GLACIER
In 1906, Prince Albert I of Monaco visited Lilliehöök Glacier to conduct scientific investigations. His great-great-grandson, Albert II, visited the glacier a hundred years later as part of a scientific investigation, this time to further our understanding of the arctic clam, a species that lives for more than a century. The growth rings of a single clam’s shell contain evidence of the chemicals encountered by the clam. Scientists can determine the variations of the water’s temperature and pollutant content by studying the shell.

LONGYEARBYEN
Eighteen hundred people inhabit the administrative capital of Svalbard, which is situated on the southern side of Adventfjord. The settlement was founded in 1905 by John Munroe Longyear, the majority owner of the Arctic Coal Company of Boston.

MOFFEN ISLAND
This island is designated as a protected sanctuary for walrus.

MONACO GLACIER
Prince Albert I of Monaco, a pioneer of oceanography, led an expedition to Svalbard in 1906. His team used sophisticated photographic techniques to understand the shape and position of several glacier fronts. Monaco Glacier honors the expedition, the prince and the principality over which he reigned.

PHIPPSØYA AND MARTENSØYA, SEVEN ISLANDS
This small archipelago is the northernmost land in Svalbard. Englishmen left their mark during a survey of the islands in the 1780s. The party named the islands after themselves, with the smallest and least significant island being named Nelsonøya, after the lowly midshipman who was promoted over the years to the rank and title of Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson!

Day 13 — Depart Longyearbyen

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

IMPORTANT REMINDER Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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$2,995Full$3,995$3,596Full$4,495$4,046Limited$4,995$4,496Full$5,495$4,671Full$5,995$5,096Full$6,495$5,521Full$6,995$5,946Limited 
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NOTE: FOR THIS DEPARTURE, TRIPLE CABINS ARE SOLD AS TWINS.

A limited number Lower & Main Deck Twins are available as Singles with no supplement.
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Charter Air: Ottawa/Kangerlussuaq & Resolute/Ottawa
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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 - $695, Snowshoe-Included, Hiking - Included. 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 individuals. Some activities require experience.

All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.

Only show rates under
$ X
Please note that availability is updated about once a week.
Per Person USD
Rates Arctic 2019
Triple
Lower Deck Twin
Main Deck Porthole
Main Deck Window
Superior
Deluxe
Suite
Owner's Suite
Charter
Air
Kayak
Save 20% (Premium) & 15% (Std Cabins)
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$5,795 $7,295$6,201Limited$7,995$6,796$8,895$7,561$9,795$7,836$10,895$8,716$11,995$9,596$13,295$10,636 
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$7,895 $9,795$8,326$10,795$9,176$11,895$10,111$12,995$10,396$14,295$11,436$15,795$12,636Limited$17,395$13,916 
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Kayak
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Expires Jun 15th 2018
$9,695 $12,595$11,336$13,895$12,506$15,295$13,766$16,795$14,276$18,495$15,721$20,295$17,251$22,295$18,951Limited$2,695 
Kayak
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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.

Gratuities & wine/beer with dinner included onboard.

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 - $695pp (for those who want to kayak during entire voyage & have previous experience) OR kayaking - $225pp (for those w/o experience who want to kayak one time during the voyage). Kayaking options are limited to 10 participants and must be pre-booked & paid, subject to availability at the time requested.

Snowshoeing & Hiking – Included and no pre-booking required.

All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.

DeckPlan_OceanAdventurer

   Owner's Suite
Located on the Bridge Deck. Two lower berths, private facilities, and windows with exterior views.
Averaging 290 sq. ft. (27 sq. m)
   Suite
Located on the Captain’s Deck. Two lower berths, private facilities and windows with exterior views. Cabin 403 has a bathtub/other Suites have shower stalls.
Averaging 215 sq. ft. (20 sq. m)
   Deluxe
Located on the Captain’s Deck. Two lower berths, private facilities, and windows with exterior views.
Averaging 160 sq. ft. (15 sq. m)
   Superior
Located on the Upper and Captain’s Decks. Two lower berths, private facilities, and windows with exterior views.
Averaging 142 sq. ft. (13 sq. m)
   Main Deck Window
Located on the Main Deck. Two lower berths, private facilities, and two windows with exterior views.
Averaging 139 sq. ft. (13 sq. m)
   Main Deck Porthole
Located on the Main Deck. Two lower berths, private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views.
Averaging 118 sq. ft. (11 sq. m)
   Lower Deck Twin
Located on the Lower Deck. Two lower berths, private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views.
Averaging 133 sq. ft. (12 sq. m)
   Triple
Located on the Main Deck. Two lower berths and one upper berth, private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views.
Averaging 128 sq. ft. (12 sq. m)