Svalbard - Last stop before the North Pole

Arctic Premium Expedition Cruise Ship
Ocean Albatros
189 Passengers
Starting 2023 Season

Enjoy the immense beauty of Svalbard on this Arctic adventure cruise among whales, walruses, polar bears and millions of sea birds.

One of the goals of this expedition is to sail as close as possible to the pack ice north of Svalbard, the polar bear´s favorite summer residence. How far north we reach and the exact route up there will depend on the ice conditions. Additionally, we will visit several of the amazing locations along the west coast of Svalbard, all kept navigable by the warm Gulf Stream.

During the short summer, wildlife such as reindeer and polar fox are busy amassing energy for the icy polar winter. The cliffs shimmer with life as every surface is populated with countless birds, and in a few months a new generation of arctic sea birds is ready to leave their nests. Arctic guillemots, black guillemots and razorbills can be observed fishing in the wake of our ship. On several shores, the huge walruses enjoy the short Arctic summer as well as many whales and seals foraging along the edge of the pack ice and the coasts.

With a fleet of sturdy Zodiac boats, we are able to view wildlife at close proximity. The Zodiacs allow us to have frequent shore landings and embark on exploratory mini cruises in the fjords and glacial landscapes.

Includes flights Oslo-Longyearbyen-Oslo.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen. Embarkation.
Day 2 Regnardneset and Lilliehöök glacier
Day 3 Former whaling station at Smeerenburg and Ytre Norskøya
Day 4 Amazing birdlife at Alkefjellet, polar desert landscape at Torrelnesset
Day 5 Cruising towards the pack Ice and Sjuøyane, polar bear country at 80 degrees around eastern Svalbard
Day 6 Liefde Fjord with Monaco Glacier and Texas Bar
Day 7 Ny Ålesund and Ny London
Day 8 Longyearbyen, Disembark

Day 1 — Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen. Embarkation.

Arrival to Longyearbyen, Capital of Svalbard – possibly the northernmost ‘real’ town in the world.

Our vessel is docked close to the town center. After boarding and a welcome drink, the expedition leader will provide information about the voyage, the ship's daily routines and the various security and safety procedures. The captain then takes the ship out of Advent Fjord and our Arctic adventure commences.

Day 2 — Regnardneset and Lilliehöök glacier

During the ‘night’ (what is night, when the sun never sets?), we have passed Prins Karls Forland and have arrived in the magnificent Krossfjord. Our visit to Svalbard is in the middle of the arctic summer and at this time of year the migrating birds are very active. The months of June and July offers the best chances of spotting exotic and fantastic birds. We plan on making a landing during the morning at Möllerhamna or in another suitable location. The majestic landscape around Regnardneset in the innermost area of Krossfjorden gives us our first taste of what has enticed the early explorers of these lands in the far north.

In the afternoon, we continue further north into the fjord system, and depending on the ice situation, we may do a Zodiac cruise along the Lilliehöök Glacier front or enjoy a lecture.

With some arctic luck we will be able to navigate past the magnificent scenery in the bay of Fjortende Juli, where the glacier Fjortende Juli-breen calves into the fjord. A fitting end to a day full of scenic views and arctic wildlife.

Day 3 — Former whaling station at Smeerenburg and Ytre Norskøya

We have now entered North West Svalbard, which was declared a national park in 1973. The day could begin with a cruise in Danskergattet, looking for seals in Virgohamna, before crossing from Danskøya to Amsterdamøya to make a landing at Smeerenburg, the legendary whaling town of 17th century. 200-plus men were living – and quite often dying – here in the heyday of blubber production.

There are several interesting places to visit in this northwestern corner of Spitsbergen. If conditions allow we’ll make a landing on Ytre Norskøya, where whalers would have their lookout posts.

Day 4 — Amazing birdlife at Alkefjellet, polar desert landscape at Torrelnesset

In the morning we arrive and cruise slowly by the famous Alkefjellet. If the weather is on “our side” we will have a good view of the steep cliffs. The whole area is home to a dense congregation of Brünichs guillemots. There are so many of the birds, that hardly an inch is free. During the summer the breeding pairs offer a wild view of frantic activity, both along the cliffs and in the sea.

More wildlife awaits us as we land at the polar desert landscapes of Torrelnesset. The beach here is home to a host of walruses that lay amongst each other. They feed on the clams and any other mollusks that they can find in the shallows of Svalbard’s waters.

Day 5 — Cruising towards the pack Ice and Sjuøyane, polar bear country at 80 degrees around eastern Svalbard

During the night the ship will steer far north towards the edge of the polar pack ice. How far north only time and weather will tell, but the main target for us is just the ‘edge’, possibly at 80 degrees north! This is the kingdom of the polar bear! As the pack ice retreats during summer, polar bears ride the floes north, as this is where their prey - the seals - resides. Bears who for unfortunate reasons do not ‘catch’ the ice moving north, are stranded on Svalbard all summer, and will have to sustain on berries, eggs and whatever whale cadavers they can find. A hard life indeed!

During the day, lectures on polar mammals, environment and/or culture can be enjoyed on board in the Viking Theater. Should we get into the pack ice where the sea usually is calm, our captain will cruise slowly between the floes and look for wildlife.

A goal of the day is to reach the island Nordaustlandet and hopefully its 7 (or 9, depending on how you count) smaller islands Sjuøyane in the far north of Svalbard. The almost vegetation-free, rocky islands are located around 620 mi (1,000 km) more northernly than mainland Norway’s famous Nordkapp.

Weather permitting, we will land and walk these most northern landmasses. The high Arctic islands are quite barren, only with moss and lichens covering the stones. The birdlife is rich in this area and some of the rarer gulls frequent these islands.

At the end of the day, we will start cruising towards the Liefdefjord and its landscapes which we will see tomorrow.

Day 6 — Liefde Fjord with Monaco Glacier and Texas Bar

During the night we head to Wood Fjord and its branch, the Liefde Fjord.  Our plan is to slow cruise along the broad glacier front of Monacobreen. This gives a unique insight of the glacial forces and the unlimited forms of icebergs. The ice front is named after Albert I of Monaco, who was a major sponsor of Svalbard research.

Many trappers historically hunted and trapped in these areas. Some of them stayed over the winter and built cabins. The cabin known as Texas Bar is said to be named after the US state of Texas. This cabin was built in 1927. We plan to visit the area around the cabin and enjoy the scenery that surrounds us.

Day 7 — Ny Ålesund and Ny London

Today we enter the beautiful Kongs Fjord known for the former mining settlement and simply being one of the most amazing fjord areas in all of Svalbard. Our first landing will be at Ny Ålesund. This settlement is in fact further north than Longyearbyen, making it THE northernmost town. But, is a group of scientific stations, a post office and a single shop open for a few hours a real town? You will have to judge for yourself. The setting is nice, the scientific projects are very interesting, and so is the town history. The captain will try to get alongside, so we can enjoy an easy walk through the area.

On the opposite side of the fjord we find the abandoned marble mining settlement Ny London. Its history is short but hectic, as the marble deposits allowed for an almost Klondike like rush to mine the resources. Wars and failing financial viability ended the adventure only 9 years after it started. We take a walk amongst the ruins of workshops, locomotives and cranes, testament to the great but failed investments.

After the visit, we are southbound towards the entrance to the Isfjord. On our way towards Longyearbyen, we hope to get our last glimpses of wildlife as well as the truly unique landscapes of Svalbard.

Day 8 — Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen. Disembarkation.

Early in the morning the ship has returned to our starting point in Longyearbyen. After breakfast and farewell greetings to the expedition team and crew, disembarkation will take place. Transfer is arranged to the airport.

Please note that all the outings and landings rely on weather, sea and ice conditions being favorable both for the ship to access the areas, as for the Zodiacs and kayaks to maneuver under adequate conditions, ensuring the safety of all our passengers and staff.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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Rates Arctic 2023
Cat G
Single
Porthole
Cat F
Triple
Porthole
French
Balcony
Suite
Cat D
Albatros
Stateroom
Cat C
Balcony
Stateroom
Cat B2
Balcony
Suite
Cat B1
Balcony
Suite
Cat A
Junior
Suite
Premium
Two-Room
Suite
Save $1,000 on Suites - Cat B and higher (Prices in Red) Expires Sep 30th 2021
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$6,590 $4,290 $5,790 $5,490 $6,290 $6,990$5,990$8,290$7,290$9,690$8,690$11,290$10,290
Kayak
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Save $1,000 on Suites - Cat B and higher (Prices in Red) Expires Sep 30th 2021
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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.

Rates based on shared occupancy.

Dedicated Triple in Category F. Possible triple rooms in Categories C, B2 & A.; third person in the same room is at 50% off (except Cat F)

Shared accommodations are only available in Category F and Category C

10% off on second room for family booking; only for two rooms with connecting doors (Category B and C only)

Single supplement 75%

VIP service included for Categories B1, B2, A and Premium Suites: unlimited access to the specialty restaurant, Julius Meinl coffee machine, upgraded hair and lotion products, stocked minibar, wine and fruit in-room at commencement of cruise, free laundry.

Kayaking: $250. Snowshoeing: $150.

DeckPlan_OceanAlbatros_profileDeckPlan_OceanAlbatros

   Premium Two-Room Suite
The largest of all the cabins on board, this 2-bedroom suite features a double bed (or twin beds), a sofa bed, table and chair, a private observation deck and spacious bathroom. Located on deck. 4.
Approximately 485 sq ft/45 m²
   Category A - Junior Suite
These suites have a great view from their location high up on the ship on deck 7. The suites feature a double bed or twin beds, sofa bed, seating area, a spacious bathroom and private observation deck. The cabin can accommodate up to 3 people.
Approximately 450 sq ft/42 m²
   Balcony Suite B1
These two suites on deck 4 feature double or twin beds and a seating area, bathroom and an extra-large private observation deck.
Approximately 375 sq ft/35 m²
  Balcony Suite B2
These four suites on decks 4 & 6 feature double or twin beds and a seating area, bathroom and an extra-large private observation deck.
Approximately 300 sq ft/28 m²
   Category C - Balcony Stateroom
The most abundant type of cabin, the Balcony Staterooms are located in decks 4 & 6. They have a private observation deck, a double bed or two single beds, a bathroom and a sofa that can be used as a bed for a child if traveling as a family. Connecting staterooms are available in this category.
Approximately 260 sq ft/24 m²
   Category D - Albatros Stateroom
These staterooms are close to the Mudroom and have quick access to the Zodiac platforms for disembarkation during landings. This is very convenient if you have more limited mobility and would like a short distance to the Zodiacs. The cabins are perfect for those who wish a comfortable base during their stay. All have 2 single beds and a bathroom. One of the cabins is located on deck 4, and the rest on deck 3.
Approximately 240 sq ft/22 m²
   Category E French Balcony Suite
These standard cabins feature a french balcony, a double bed, floor-to-ceiling windows and a bathroom. All are located on Deck 7.
Approximately 175 sq ft/16 m²
  Category F - Triple Porthole
These cabins feature portholes with private en-suites. Located on Deck 3, they’re close to the mudroom and loading platforms.
Approximately 240 sq ft/22 m²
  Category G - Single Porthole
These deck 3 cabins are conveniently located close to the Mudroom which facilitates access to the Zodiacs for off-ship excursions. Perfect for solo travelers.
Approximately 195 sq ft/18 m²