Tromsø – Bear Island – Around Spitsbergen, 12-day

Ortelius Cruise Ship
Ortelius
116 Passengers

Leaving Tromsø, Norway visit Bear Island before a voyage around Spitsbergen where we also visit Kvitøya. We have chances to see the King of the Arctic, Walrus, Reindeer, various bird species and surprisingly beautiful flora. We hope to get to the rarely visited Kvitøya farthest to the east, close to the Russian territory. The island is dominated by an icecap, which leaves a small area bare of ice and snow.

NOTE: The chances that we can reach Kvitøya and complete a full Svalbard circumnavigation (based on our experiences from 2013 – 2017) are about 70%. In case we cannot complete a full circumnavigation, we may make a circumnavigation of Spitsbergen through Hinlopen Strait.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Embarkation and departure from Tromsø
Day 2 Sea life on the move
Day 3 Bear Island explorations
Day 4 Traveling Tusindøyane
Day 5 Along east Edgeøya
Day 6 The longest glacier in Spitsbergen
Day 7 Views of the Kvitøya ice cap
Days 8 & 9 Stop at the Seven Islands
Day 10 Route to Raudfjorden
Day 11 The splendors of Prins Karls Forland
Day 12 Arrival and disembarkation in Longyearbyen

Day 1 — Embarkation and departure from Tromsø

Your adventure begins in Tromsø, nicknamed the “Paris of the North,” located in an area rich with Norse and Sámi history. Enjoy exploring this sub-Arctic Norwegian town, said to have been inhabited since the last ice age.

Day 2 — Sea life on the move

Crossing the North Sea, you stand an excellent chance of spotting minke whales, white-beaked dolphins, and harbor porpoises. Several other cetaceans, including orcas (killer whales), are also native to these seas.

Day 3 — Bear Island explorations

Bear Island is an isolated island between northern Norway and Svalbard. Some possible landing sites are Sørhamna, which features the remains of a whaling station active between 1905—8, and Tunnheim, where coal mining was attempted between 1916—25 before the settlement was destroyed in WWII. Alternately, you may explore the west coast for a scenic landing opportunity.

Day 4 — Traveling Tusindøyane

At the southern reaches of Edgeøya, you enter the realm of the historic whalers and trappers. Tusindøyane, meaning “the thousand islands,” consists of numerous small islands all under special protection for the summer. You arrive after August 15, when the protection is lifted, so you can enjoy landings that are rare these days. On Ækongen, among rocks covered in fantastic lichen, you find remains of the 17th-century whalers and early 20th-century trappers. Bölscheøya is another option, with walking opportunities on the relatively flat islands. Red-throated divers may be seen on the lakes in this area, with chicks ready to fledge.

Day 5 — Along east Edgeøya

The aim is to next explore the rarely seen glacier fronts of eastern Edgeøya, with a visit to Ryke Yseøyane. This area has terrain not too dissimilar to Tusindøyane and yields a good chance of spotting polar bears.

Day 6 — The longest glacier in Spitsbergen

You then sail by the fully protected islands of Kong Karls Land, reaching the immense front of the Austfonna ice cap. At Bråsvellbreen you’ll be able to see meltwater waterfalls flowing into the sea. In the afternoon, you may attempt a Zodiac cruise at Isisøyane. This will take you near the ice front, with spectacular views and a chance to see polar bears.

Day 7 — Views of the Kvitøya ice cap

Today you attempt to reach the rarely visited Kvitøya, far to the east and close to Russian territory. The enormous ice cap covering this island leaves only a small area bare. You land at the western tip of Andréeneset, where the Swedish explorer S. A. Andrée and his companions perished in 1897. (Your voyage will end far better.) Another objective for the day is Kræmerpynten, where a sizable group of walruses reside.

Days 8 & 9 — Stop at the Seven Islands

The northernmost point of your voyage may be north of Nordaustlandet, in the Seven Islands. Here you reach 80° north, just 540 mi (870 km) from the geographic North Pole. You may also land on one of the Seven Islands, Sjuøyane, in a high Arctic environment where walruses may be encountered.

Day 10 — Route to Raudfjorden

Sailing to Raudfjorden, on the north coast of Spitsbergen, you take in an expansive fjord spilling with glaciers – and maybe even visited by ringed and bearded seals. The cliffs and shoreline of this fjord also support thriving seabird colonies, rich vegetation, and the possibility of polar bears.

Day 11 — The splendors of Prins Karls Forland

Reaching the western coast of Spitsbergen, the search is on for walruses in Forlandsundet. Fuglehuken, on the northern tip of Prins Karls Forland, is home to the northernmost population of harbor seals in the world. The goal is a decent walk to see wildlife, 17th-century whaler graves, and the remains of the trapping era.

Day 12 — Arrival and disembarkation in Longyearbyen

Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. You disembark in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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All rates are quoted per person in US Dollar, based on twin occupancy.

Single travelers can choose between "single occupancy" at a supplement of 1,7 x the Twin or Superior cabin rate , or "sharing basis" in Twin, Triple or Quadruple category at no additional cost.

Upon request (some voyages may be excluded), children under 16 with parents may receive 40% discount in Superior, Triple (sharing with 2 parents / adults) and Quadruple Cabins (sharing with 3 parents / adults).

Kayaking: $410 & must be pre-booked.

Transfer  supplement for  bus  shuttle  between  Akureyri (ship)  and Reykjavik hotel (6 hours): $100 one-way or $180 return & must be pre-booked.

Mandatory Emergency Evacuation insurance is required on all trips.

All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.

DeckPlan_Ortelius

   Superior
2 windows (minimum) • 1 double bed • 1 single (sofa) bed • Private shower & toilet • Desk & chair • Flatscreen TV • Refrigerator • Coffee & tea maker • Hair dryer • Ample storage space
   Twin Deluxe
3 windows • 2 lower berths • Private shower & toilet • Desk & chair • Small sofa • Flatscreen TV • Refrigerator • Coffee & tea maker • Hair dryer • Ample storage space
   Twin Window
2 windows • 2 lower berths • Private shower & toilet • Desk & chair • Small sofa • Hair dryer • Ample storage space
   Twin Porthole
2 portholes • 2 lower berths • Private shower & toilet • Desk & chair • Hair dryer • Ample storage space
   Triple Porthole
2 portholes • 1 upper / lower berth + 1 single lower berth • Private shower & toilet • Desk & chair • Hair dryer • Ample storage space
   Quadruple Porthole
2 portholes • 2 upper / lower berths • Private shower & toilet • Desk & chair • Hair dryer • Ample storage space