Spitsbergen Explorer 2021

Resolute Arctic Cruise Ship
Resolute
146 Passengers
NOT TAKING NEW BOOKINGS AT THIS TIME

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 vessel 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 historical 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 historical and scenic interest in the archipelago.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Longyearbyen, Svalbard
Day 2 Bourbonhamna
Day 3 Storfjorden
Day 4 Hornsund
Day 5 Smeerenburgfjorden
Days 6 & 7 Exploration of the Sea Ice
Day 8 Phippsoya
Day 9 Sorgfjorden and Alkefjellet
Day 10 14th July Glacier and Signehamna
Day 11 Alkehornet
Day 12 Longyearbyen Disembarkation

Day 1 — Longyearbyen, Svalbard

We board our expedition ship, RCGS Resolute, in Longyearbyen and sail through Adventfjorden and into Isfjorden, then out into the Greenland Sea. So begins your Arctic cruise, 24 hours of daylight and hopefully some great photographic opportunities and memories.

Day 2 — Bourbonhamna

We arrive at Bourbonhamna, known for the beluga whales that transit the narrow sound and head out in Zodiacs for the first time in search of belugas. Adult belugas are pure white and the younger calves a mottled grey color. 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 - and it has been postulated the lack of dorsal fin is an adaptation to living in waters that are frequently covered by ice. At Bourbonhamna we hike to Ingebrigstenbukta stopping to view the old hunting cabin and other artifacts along with piles of beluga whalebones, a reminder of Svalbard's hunting past. This is also a great place to see reindeer.

Days 3 — Storfjorden

Coming around the most southerly point of Spitsbergen, we push into the broad expanse of Storfjorden. Exploring Dolerittneset near Kapp Lee, the lush vegetation of this region is remarkable given the latitude at 70° North. This area has a large scattering of reindeer antlers, however, it is the plethora of ancient whalebones that makes the excursion so memorable. Some 400 years ago, whales were hunted almost to extinction in the waters surrounding Svalbard. Now nature has turned the decaying old bones into items of beauty. Time and the elements have altered their original shape and sculpted them into works of art, covered in blankets of green moss and grasses, black and orange lichen, and framed with purple saxifrage, yellow cinquefoil and white sandwort flowers. They are fascinating photographic subjects. Now, even after death, the noble whale supports life by robustly protecting the delicate flora from the harsh winds and providing nutrients to ensure their survival.

Day 4 — Hornsund

Returning to the west coast, we explore the glacier-filled bay leading into Hornsund. The entire archipelago of Svalbard is a lesson in glaciology and our on board guides will explain the formation of this fantastic landscape during hikes and Zodiac excursions. Hornsund is home to the Polish Polar Research Station and a good place to see reindeer and Arctic foxes.

Day 5 — Smeerenburgfjorden

Smeerenburgfjorden has a four hundred year history of whaling and is a favorite spot as we round the northwestern tip of Spitsbergen. A wander along the beach looking at the blubber cookers, or an hour behind a tripod shooting landscapes on your camera might be on the schedule, all the while looking for wildlife that can appear anywhere in Svalbard.

Days 6 & 7 — Exploration of the Sea Ice

We continue north and east up into the ice, hoping to cross the 80° north parallel. Approaching the ice-edge the ship slows down and all hands are either on the bridge or out on the outer decks scanning for wildlife. Bearded seals, ringed seals and walruses 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 metamorphosizes into a polar bear as we slowly work our way through the ice toward it. RCGS Resolute is perfectly designed for near silent approach and the captain takes great pride in bringing you in as close as possible to the wildlife, without disturbing it, for some great photographic opportunities.

Day 8 — Phippsoya

At 81° degrees north latitude, Phippsoya - one of the Seven Islands - is only 540 nautical miles from the North Pole. Because of its proximity to the permanent pack ice, Phippsoya offers the potential for great polar bear viewings. Be sure to get up to the bridge and take a picture of the ship's GPS showing this incredibly high polar latitude near the top of the world. Trivia: The archipelago of Seven Islands is the northernmost land in Svalbard. It was named in the 1780s by an English sailing party. The smallest and least significant island named Nelsonøya after the lowly midshipman, who was promoted over the years to the rank and title of Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson.

Day 9 — Sorgfjorden and Alkefjellet

We begin the day in Sorgfjorden, a bay located South West from Phippsoya and at the entrance of the Hinlopenstretet (Hinlopen Strait). Sorgfjord translates to the “Fjord of Grief” named so by the Dutch whalers in 1683 who experienced harsh winters, trapped by unforgiving ice.

We then make our way down the Hinlopenstretet to the Alkefjellet Cliff. The Hinlopenstretet is filled with life during the warmer summer months with the return of the seabirds, just in time for our visit. Their return brings along the seals, and consequently the polar bears. Be sure to have your complimentary binoculars handy.

Alkefjellet makes for a spectacular sight, with jagged cliffs sprouting from the sea. This area is a true bird-watching paradise. It is home to thousands of Brunnich's guillemots, a few colonies of kittiwakes, and glaucous gulls. If you are lucky you may even spot an Arctic fox, patiently waiting for a hatchling’s misstep.

Day 10 — 14th July Glacier and Signehamna

The rocky shores of Krossfjorden are home to numerous bird colonies and a range of species. The ship will anchor in a protected harbor, launch the Zodiacs and cruise along the bird cliffs near the 14th July Glacier. Bearded and ringed seals are known to frequent the waters here and we watch out for them in the dark waters of the fjord. Lilliehook Glacier, at the northwestern head of Krossfjorden, is an incredible sight. The glacier face stretches just over four miles and has a height of around 260 ft (80 m) - viewed from the Zodiac cruise you come to appreciate the enormous scale of your surroundings. Large colonies of birds including kittiwakes and ivory gulls can be seen diving at the front of the glacier when chunks calve off, stirring up the nutrients in the water. Polar bears can often be seen patrolling here because of the number of seals on ice.

Day 11 — Alkehornet

Alkehornet, at the mouth of Isfjord, offers breath-taking views and an incredible tundra walk. Arctic foxes can often be seen here, as well as reindeer. Towering above the site is a horn-shaped mount covered in guillemots and kittiwakes. This evening, we celebrate the 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 12 — Longyearbyen Disembarkation

We arrive back into Longyearbyen this morning and disembark after breakfast. We then transfer back into town with a chance to visit the museums and buy a few last-minute souvenirs before transferring to the airport for your return flights.

Note: Expedition cruising can be unpredictable. Specific sites visited will depend on the multiple factors that come into play when executing the best possible voyage for our guests. The above itinerary should be read as a ‘guide only’ and may change. Due to many variables, we operate our voyages in true ‘expedition style’, which means that last-minute itinerary, destination and excursion changes are possible on all voyages. We will communicate all known changes ahead of your voyage, however please embrace the ‘expedition spirit’ while onboard. The ship’s captain, in conjunction with the expedition leader, continually review the sailing plan and make adjustments to the itinerary along the way to take advantage of optimal weather conditions or to maximize our encounters with wildlife. Decades of experience spent exploring only water accessible regions mean we have a large number of outstanding landing sites and allow our expedition team with the ability to find adventure anywhere in our Zodiacs, even when the weather conditions may not be ideal or varying factors hinder our planned route. A flexible approach is something we encourage you to bring to the ship.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

Only show rates under
$ X
Please note that availability is updated about once a week.
Per Person USD
Rates Arctic 2020
Triple
Twin
Superior
Superior Plus
Shackleton Suite
One Ocean Suite
Charter
Air
Non-golf passengers enjoy a US$750 reduction in voyage price.
$4,595Full$5,595Full$6,495Full$6,695Full$7,895Full$9,495Full 
Kayak
$5,995Full$7,395Full$8,095Full$8,395Full$9,595Full$11,595Full 
Photography, Kayak
Photography Symposium
$6,695Full$9,695Full$11,195Full$11,495Full$12,495Full$14,595Full 
$8,195Full$11,895Full$13,695Full$14,095Full$15,195Full$17,795Full 
Kayak
$4,995Full$6,495Full$7,495Full$7,695Full$8,995Full$10,895Full 
Kayak
Charter Air: Kangerlussuaq/Ottawa
$5,995Full$7,395Full$8,095Full$8,395Full$9,595Full$11,595Full$995 
Kayak
Charter Air: Kangerlussuaq/Ottawa & Cambridge Bay/Edmonton
$13,195Full$16,595Full$17,895Full$18,195Full$19,495Full$21,495Full$1,995 
Kayak
Charter Air: Edmonton/Cambridge Bay & Kangerlussuaq/Ottawa
$13,195Full$16,595Full$17,895Full$18,195Full$19,495Full$21,495Full$1,995 
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 and superior cabins is 1.5 times the twin rate & single supplement for suites is double the suite rate.

In the Canadian Arctic, charter flights are required to get to the start and finish points of the voyage. Ottawa is the gateway for Kangerlussuaq (Greenland). Edmonton is the gateway for Cambridge Bay.

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 (maximum 30 participants). Kayaking is complimentary on 'Canada’s East Coast – Fins and Fiddles' departures.
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 2021
Triple
Twin
Superior
Superior Plus
Shackleton Suite
One Ocean Suite
Charter
Air
Kayak
Non-golf passengers enjoy a $500 reduction in voyage price.
$5,495Full$6,695Full$7,795Full$7,995Full$9,395Full$11,295Full 
Kayak
$6,595Full$7,995Full$8,795Full$9,095Full$10,295Full$12,395Full 
Kayak
$8,495Full$12,295Full$14,195Full$14,595Full$15,795Full$18,495Full 
Photography, Kayak
Photography Symposium
$6,995Full$10,095Full$11,595Full$11,895Full$12,995Full$15,195Full 
Kayak
Non-golf passengers enjoy a $500 reduction in voyage price.
$5,095Full$6,495Full$7,595Full$7,795Full$9,195Full$11,095Full 
Kayak
$5,595Full$6,795Full$7,895Full$8,095Full$9,495Full$11,395Full 
Kayak
Charter Air: Kangerlussuaq/Ottawa
$6,195Full$7,695Full$8,395Full$8,695Full$9,995Full$12,095Full$995 
Kayak
Charter Air: Edmonton/Cambridge Bay & Kangerlussuaq/Ottawa
$13,695Full$17,195Full$18,595Full$18,895Full$20,195Full$22,295Full$1,995 
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.
Rates are per person, based on twin-share. Single Supplement for twin and superior cabins is 1.5 times the twin rate & single supplement for suites is double the suite rate.

In the Canadian Arctic, charter flights are required to get to the start and finish points of the voyage. Ottawa is the gateway for Kangerlussuaq (Greenland). Edmonton is the gateway for Cambridge Bay.

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 (maximum 30 participants). Kayaking is complimentary on 'Canada’s East Coast – Fins and Fiddles' & Golf Expedition departures. Green fees are included on all Golf Expeditions.
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_Resolute

   One Ocean Suites
The One Ocean Suites are situated on Deck 6 and offer an indulgent amount of space. Sleeping quarters feature a queen size bed with upgraded linen/pillows. Included is a comfortable sectional lounge with matching club chairs, a large desk, expansive floor to ceiling cabinetry, and spacious washroom facilities with both a shower and bathtub. A flat screen entertainment system is also included. These suites provide easy access to the ship’s bridge, the bistro and outdoor observation spaces. The panoramic observation lounge and recreation facilities are located nearby on Deck 7. (475 sq.ft./44m²)
   Shackleton Suites
The Shackleton Suites are situated on Deck 6. Suites include the comfort of a sectional lounge, writing desk, substantial floor to ceiling cabinetry, and washroom facilities with shower. A flat screen entertainment system is also included. Sleeping quarters feature the option for either a queen or two single beds with upgraded linen/ pillows. These Suites provide easy access to the ship’s bridge, the bistro and outdoor observation spaces. The forward panoramic observation lounge and recreation facilities are also located nearby on Deck 7. (235 sq.ft./22m²)
   Superior Plus Cabins
Superior Plus cabins are located midships on Deck 5. They are spacious and well appointed with the option for either a queen or two single beds. A comfortable lounge is placed by the large picture window, writing desk and chair, ample floor to ceiling cabinet storage and private washroom facilities with shower. A flat screen entertainment system is also included. Centrally located on the ship, these cabins provide easy access to the aft observation lounge featuring 180 degree views and the ship’s dining areas. (235 sq.ft./22m²)
   Superior Cabins
Located forward on Deck 5 the Superior cabins have the option for either a queen or two single beds. Features include a comfortable lounge adjacent to the large picture window, writing desk and chair, ample storage and private washroom facilities with shower. A flat screen entertainment system is also included. These cabins provide easy access to the forward stairs leading up to the bridge on Deck 6 and the forward observation lounge located on Deck 7. (235 sq.ft./22m²)
   Twin Private Cabins
Spacious and well appointed, these cabins are situated on Deck 4 and have the option for either a queen or two single configured beds. Features include a comfortable lounge adjacent to the large picture window, writing desk and chair, ample storage and private washroom facilities with shower. A flatscreen entertainment system is also included. These cabins provide easy access to the main dining room on the ship as well as the gift shop. (235 sq.ft./22m²)
   Triple Private Cabins
Located on Deck 3 these cabins feature the option for a double or two single beds and a third Pullman berth, which can fold out from the wall if required. A sectional lounge is placed by the portholes with a writing desk and chair, ample storage and private washroom facilities. A flatscreen entertainment system is also included. These cabins provide easy access to the expedition room and gangway. (235 sq.ft./22m²)
Cabin and Voyage Inclusions            
Outside view with panoramic windows (triple private cabins have portholes)
Complimentary use of Expedition Gear Package (jacket, pants, boots)
Complimentary use of binoculars, trekking pole and waterproof backpack
Custom blend natural Canadian-made washroom amenities
Canadian-made linen + ‘Dream-Sleep’ package
100% Cotton bathrobe
Hair Dryer
Digital clock with media connector
In-room tea and coffee station
Flat-screen entertainment system + onboard intranet
Welcome package and stainless-steel water bottle
In-room snack menu
In-room mini-bar replenished daily (non-alcoholic)
Resolute Adventure Concierge service
Deluxe custom blend natural Canadian-made washroom amenities    
Complimentary Resolute voyage notebook    
Resolute Expeditions Wildlife/Field Guide    
In-room mini-bar replenished daily (incl. beer/wine)    
In-room bistro menu    
Deluxe in-room Resolute Adventure Concierge service    
In-room private reference library      
In-room iPad preloaded with reference and fictional content      
Exclusive check-in service on day of embarkation        
Deluxe welcome package (as above plus wine, fruit basket + snacks)        
Single brew coffee machine (Nespresso)        
Mini stereo        
Private in-room Resolute Adventure Concierge service        
In-room dining menu        
Early morning in-room café service        
Evening après dinner drink service        
Premium in-room mini-bar replenished daily (incl. spirits)        
Complimentary 1-hour massage/spa experience