Arctic > Ortelius > North Spitsbergen | Polar Bear Special

North Spitsbergen | Polar Bear Special

Sailing along the pack-ice of North Spitsbergen, will give us the best opportunities to spot the King of the Arctic. We sail to Raudfjord on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, a beautiful fjord dominated by spectacular glaciers and favoured by Ringed and Bearded Seal. The cliffs and shoreline of the fjord also support thriving seabird colonies and a surprisingly rich vegetation, which flourishes in sheltered spots. Polar bear are often seen here.

Day 1: Embarkation and Departure from Longyearbyen - Arrive in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of the Spitsbergen archipelago of which West Spitsbergen is the largest island. Before embarking there is an opportunity to stroll around this former mining town, whose parish church and Polar Museum are well worth visiting. In the surrounding area of Longyearbyen, more than 100 species of plants have been recorded. In the early evening the ship will sail out of Isfjorden, where in the mouth of the fjord we may see our first Minke Whale.

Day 2: Raudfjord - We sail to Raudfjord on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, a beautiful fjord dominated by spectacular glaciers and favoured by Ringed and Bearded Seal. The cliffs and shoreline of the fjord also support thriving seabird colonies and a surprisingly rich vegetation, which flourishes in sheltered spots. Polar bear are often seen here.

Day 3: Liefdefjorden - Depending on the weather we may now sail to the mouth of Liefdefjorden and go ashore for a walk on the tundra island of Andøya. Many Common Eider and Pink-footed Goose nest here, and the rarer King Eider may also be seen. We hope to sail into Liefdefjorden, cruising near the 5km long face of the impressive Monaco Glacier. The waters of the glacier front are a favourite feeding spot for thousands of Kittiwake. As well, Polar Bear have been seen on the glacier, providing wonderful opportunities for photography.

Day 4: Hinlopen Strait - Today we will sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to Bearded Seal, Ringed Seal, Polar Bear, and Ivory Gull. At the entrance there is the possibility to see Blue Whale. We’ll navigate the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in our zodiacs and explore the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with thousands of Brünnich’s Guillemot. On the east side of Hinlopenstrait, we’ll attempt a landing at Palanderbukta on Nordaustlandet, home to reindeer, Pink-footed Goose, breeding Ivory Gull, and Walrus.

Day 5: Phippsøya - We will try reach our northernmost point at Phippsøya, in the Seven Islands north of Nordaustlandet. Here we will be at 81 degrees north, just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole. Polar Bear inhabit this region, along with Ivory Gull. The ship may sit for several hours in the pack ice, before turning west again.

Day 6: Retracing our route Westwards - Retracing our route westwards, our route takes us through and along the pack ice, keeping watch for Polar Bear and the elusive Greenland Whale (Bowhead). About 40 nautical miles west of Spitsbergen we sail along the edge of the continental shelf, where Fin Whale forage in summer in the upwellings along the Spitsbergen banks. At the mouth of the Kongsfjord we have also good chances to see Minke Whale.

Day 7: Prins Karls Forland - We land at the northern tip of Prins Karls Forland near Fuglehuken. Seabirds nest on the cliffs, and along the coast we see Harbour Seal, the only population found in Spitsbergen. Here we also will observe the remains of the Polar Bear hunting era, with demolished set guns and bear traps. At the opposite site of Forlandsundet at Sarstangen is a haul out place for Walrus. Alternatively we sail into St. Johns Fjord or south to the mouth of Isfjorden and land at Alkhornet. Seabirds nest on its cliffs and Arctic Fox search the cliff base for fallen eggs and chicks, while Spitsbergen Reindeer graze the relatively luxuriant vegetation. At nighttime we arrive in Longyearbyen.

Day 8: The last day of our voyage. We disembark the vessel in Longyearbyen - We disembark in Longyearbyen, the administrative centre of Spitsbergen, for the flights south to Oslo and onward home.

Itinerary details

Voyage:
North Spitsbergen | Polar Bear Special
Duration:
7 nights / 8 days
Embarkation:
Longyearbyen
Disembarkation:
Longyearbyen
Language:
English, German
Vessel:
m/v Ortelius

Season 2017

Dates & Rates Cabins (all Prices in US$ Dollar)
Code Date Quadruple
Porthole
Triple
Porthole
Twin
Porthole
Twin
Window
Twin
Deluxe
Superior
OTL04-17 Start May 31, 2015
End Jun 07, 2015
3,900 4,700 5,540 5,800 6,150 6,850
OTL05-17 Start Jun 07, 2017
End Jun 14, 2017
3,900 4,700 5,540 5,800 6,150 6,850
OTL06-17 Start Jun 14, 2017
End Jun 21, 2017
3,900 4,700 5,540 5,800 6,150 6,850
OTL07-17 Start Jun 21, 2017
End Jun 28, 2017
3,900 4,700 5,540 5,800 6,150 6,850

Fares include:

  • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
  • AECO fees and governmental taxes.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.

Not included:

  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
  • Pre- and post- land arrangements.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Meals ashore.
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).