Spitsbergen – Off the Beaten Track

Vavilov Cruise Ship
92 Passengers
Adventure Options

Spitsbergen and the Svalbard archipelago offer a tremendous wildlife and birdlife experience, as well as a fascinating lesson in glaciology. First used as a whaling base in the 17th and 18th centuries, they are now celebrated as a breeding ground for many seabirds, along with marine mammals and the elusive polar bear. Our expedition ship is the renowned Akademik Sergey Vavilov, perfectly suited for remote exploration. Throughout our journey we enjoy a comprehensive series of presentations which provide an excellent background to our expedition.

A further dimension to this wonderful voyage is our 'Off the Beaten Track' program offering an expanded choice of off-ship activities which we pioneered on our Antarctic voyages. Such activities include extended hiking opportunities ashore, snow shoeing, and full day photography excursions with our resident professional photographer. For those signed up for sea-kayaking, we offer paddling excursions which may last all day.

Our voyage commences in Longyearbyen, the principal community of this frosty Norwegian territory. On our 9-night voyage we sail out of Isfjorden and turn south before heading up west and around to the north-west coast of Spitsbergen. We will explore a beluga whale graveyard, search for Beluga whales near Bourbonhamna and photograph industrial exploration history near Recherche Fjord. Sailing north along the west coast of Spitsbergen, we reach Krossfjorden, home to numerous bird colonies as well as bearded and ringed seals. Nearby is the town of Ny Ålesund, the world’s most northerly community. Our voyage continues to Phippsoya, where, at 81° North, we have our best chance to see polar bear. Heading south, we stop at Monaco Glacier and Liefdefjorden – another great spot for bears – and at Prins Karls Forland we hope to see a walrus haul before arriving back at Longyearbyen.

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, enjoy the views from the outer decks of the ship as we depart. We meet our expedition team during an introductory briefing and then enjoy a welcome dinner in the ships comfortable dining room.

Day 2 — Hornsund

Glacier-filled bays surround us as we sail the ship into Hornsund.  With good ice conditions, we are able to navigate close to the glaciers that are a feature of the area.  The entire archipelago of Svalbard is a giant lesson in glacieology and our onboard guides will use our hikes and zodiac cruises to explain the formation of this fantastic landscape.

Days 3 & 4 — Bellsund

Heading south overnight, we arrive at Bellsund, a fjord system extending 40 nautical miles inland.  With extensive and varied terrain, we will plan to spend at least a day in this area paddling, running our photography program and hiking.  

Excursion highlights of this region include the beluga whale bone yard at Bamsebu, the marvelous raised beach patterns at Fleur de Lys Harbor, the abandoned coal carts at Rechergefjorden and exceptional mountain views all around.

Sea kayaking is spectacular near the mouth of Van Keulenfjord and into Recherchefjord where glaciers tumble down into the sea or have receded back from the shoreline leaving fabulous terminal and lateral moraines to paddle along.

It is often said that polar bears fall from the sky in Svalbard and while we have never actually witnessed this, they can appear in the most unlikely places and at the most interesting of times.  Our guides will find the bears with you and keep you and the bears safe while you view them.

Day 5 — Krossfjorden and Lilliehookbreen (Glacier)

The shores of Krossfjorden are home to numerous bird colonies and a variety of different species. We anchor the ship in a small harbor, launch the zodiacs and cruise beneath the towering bird cliffs near the 14th of July Glacier. Cruising the dark waters we are always on the lookout for bearded and ringed seals, as both species are known to frequent this fjord.

Day 6 — Fuglesangen and Smeerenburg

As your zodiac approaches the shore of Fuglesangenoya, it becomes apparent there are thousands of birds nesting on the 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 near the old whaling station, we learn about the importance of the whaling industry in the discovery and exploration of the Svalbard archipelago. The rusting blubber posts stand as harsh testament to a tough industry in an equally harsh environment.

Day 7 — Polar Pack Ice

We continue north and east up into the ice, hoping to cross the 80° north parallel. As we approach the ice edge the ship slows down and all hands are either on the bridge or out on the outer decks as we start scanning for wildlife. Bearded seals, ringed seals and walrus may be found hauled out on the edges of the ice. Harp seals swim in herds of 10 to 20 through the open water channels in the ice. A buttery colored lump miles away on the ice metamorphoses into a polar bear as we slowly work our way through the ice toward it. Our ship is perfectly designed for near silent approach and our Captain takes great pride in bringing us in close enough to experience the wildlife without disturbing it. Be sure to get up to the bridge and take a picture of the ships GPS showing this incredibly high polar latitude, as we’re near the top of the world.

Day 8 — 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 who come here to hunt for ringed seals or feed on nutrient rich bird's eggs.

Day 9 — Alkehornet

Alkehornet, at the mouth of Isfjord, offers breathtaking views and an incredible tundra walk as we near the end of our adventure in Svalbard. Arctic fox can often be seen here, as well as reindeer. Towering above the landing site is a horn-shaped mount covered in guillemots and kittiwakes. Only as we approach and stop to listen will we hear the chorus of thousands of birds, all singing at the same time. This evening 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

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.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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Per Person USD
Rates Arctic 2018
Triple Shared
Twin Semi-Private
Twin Private
Shackleton Suite
One Ocean Suite
Photography, Kayak
Special Photography Symposium

$1,000 Discount (Prices in Red)
Expires Dec 31st 2017
Photography, Kayak
$1,000 Discount (Prices in Red)
Expires Dec 31st 2017
Photography, Kayak
Charter Air: Ottawa/Kangerlussuaq & Cambridge Bay/Edmonton

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

50% discount on charter air!
(Prices in Red) Expires Dec 31st 2017
$9,595 $11,395Limited$13,695Limited$14,695Limited$16,095Full$17,095Full$1,995$998
Photography, Kayak
Charter Air: Ottawa/Kangerlussuaq &

50% discount on charter air!
(Prices in Red) Expires Dec 31st 2017
$6,695 $7,595 $8,995Limited$9,495 $10,895Limited$12,295Full$1,995$998
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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.


   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