Begin with your arrival to capital of Svalbard. Enjoy an overnight
Your adventure starts with an overnight stay in Longyearbyen. This Norwegian settlement is a unique little town. While the arctic environment is dominant, it is also a surprisingly cosmopolitan place, with art galleries, pubs, long wine lists at restaurants, stores and a mini-mall. Longyearbyen is often called an antidote to the stress of modern day life and is a prime destination for adventure travelers.
Reminders of the history and heritage of the island can be seen everywhere. When Coal Mine Number 1 was opened in the 1930’s, the miners survived in flimsy two-story barracks. When World War II ravaged Europe, the area of Svalbard known as Nybyen was set on fire. After the war, the miners moved back and rebuilt the barracks. For your overnight, you may choose to stay in these barracks, which have now been completely renovated to offer our guests a high standard of comfort. The Coal Miners Cabins are situated about 2 kilometres from the town centre, a nice walk in beautiful surroundings.
Or, you may choose to stay in the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel, the world’s northernmost full-service hotel, located in the heart of Longyearbyen. From your table at Restaurant Nansen here, you can gaze out on the panoramic view towards the majestic peak of Hiorthfjellet and enjoy an excellent Arctic menu. The choice of living experience is yours. We pair a default stay in one of these hotels with the cabin type you choose for sailing, but if you prefer a different combination, we can always help you do so.
Longyearbyen and Barentsburg
Enjoy a tour of this wild arctic town, and embark the ship in afternoon to begin sea expedition
After breakfast, you are invited to a guided sightseeing tour in Longyearbyen that includes visits to the Svalbard Museum, Gallery Svalbard and Camp Barrentz. This fantastic museum is really worth a visit, as it will provide you with a great deal of background information on all that you are about to experience on your expedition.
Then its time to embark on the adventure aboard MS Nordstjernen, our ship for the sea expedition. We sail south in Isfjorden until we reach the Russian settlement Barentsburg. This “company coal mining town” has been Russian since 1932, and is still home to about 500 people. Here you can explore the exotic collection of old Russian artefacts and architecture, join a folklore show or soak up the real Russian atmosphere in the local pub.
Magdalenefjord, North West corner, Moffen and 80°North
Explore the Northwest corner, known for scenery of islands, fjords, beaches and the many polar bears
Today will be the ultimate chance to spot the polar bears, as we explore the North West Corner, known for its rich scenery of islands, fjords and beaches and has a long history of exploration. In Magdalenefjord, you’ll discover cultural heritage: a whaling station from the 16th century, including a graveyard of whalers who died during the first “oil gold rush”. We arrive in the morning, and will make our first landing to come ashore and explore this wonderful Arctic wilderness. In this beautiful fjord, we might see polar bears, minke whales and bearded seals.
Kongsfjorden & Ny-Ålesund / Northwest Spitsbergen National Park
Cruise along the Krossfjord or visit Northwest Spitsbergen National Park
FOR THE EXPEDITIONS BEGINNING ON A MONDAY -
Kongsfjord is the largest fjord in the Northwest coast of Spitsbergen. It is also known as King’s Bay. We will spend most of the day cruising into a large side fjord called Krossfjord. The landscape varies from large tundra plains to alpine peaks with dramatic glaciers tumbling into the ocean. The inner part of Krossfjord, Lilliehöökfjorden, is strikingly beautiful. Be sure to sight for the peak of Mitra – named for a ‘Mitre’ or a catholic bishop’s hat – located on the northern shore of the entrance to Kongsfjorden.
At the end of the fjord you will see the majestic Kongsbreen (King’s Glacier) with the three characteristic nunataks: Nora, Dana and Svea – named after the three Scandinavian countries. Later we dock at Ny-Ålesund. Situated at 78o 55’ N, this is one of the world’s northernmost year-round communities. Previously a coal mining centre, it is now an advanced High Arctic research station. A number of countries run their own national research stations here, and the activity is particularly high in the summer.
FOR THE EXPEDITIONS BEGINNING ON A THURSDAY-
Location: Woodfjorden, Liefdefjorden, Moffen and 80°North
The North West Spitsbergen National Park is a rich environment, with islands, fjords and beaches, all with a long history of exploration. When Willhelm Barentz first sighted Svalbard in 1596, this was the land he first saw. The name he gave to this new terrain was ‘Spitzbergen’, reflecting the sharp and steep mountains in the area. Look forward to exploring some of the most spectacular fjords of Northern Spitsbergen.
Deep inside the giant Woodfjord system you will find the enormous and fast-moving Monaco Glacier. In front of this crevassed glacier there is always brash ice as well as larger pieces that have “calved off ”. Sometimes we also visit the Jotunkjeldane thermal springs, the northernmost documented thermal springs on Earth. These large fjords offer a strikingly varied landscape – from the largest flat plain on Svalbard; Reinsdyrflya (the reindeer plain), to the red stone of Devonian geology, to remnants of volcanoes.
The day will be spent cruising towards the Monaco glacier, passing a number of small islets where eider ducks nest during the summer. If we are lucky, we may spot a polar bear searching for eggs here. Be on the lookout for the arched back of the occasional minke whale and bearded seals sunbathing on ice floes close to the glacier front. If the ice conditions are favourable, we will sail past 80° North and towards Moffen, an island which is often host to walrus.
Isfjorden and Longyearbyen / Kongsfjorden & Ny-Ålesund
Visit the Isfjorden or cruise along the Krossfjord
FOR THE EXPEDITIONS BEGINNING ON A MONDAY-
Located in central Spitsbergen, Isfjorden is the most prominent fjord system on Svalbard. We will spend the morning sailing towards Longyearbyen. One of the most noticeable mountains in this area is Alkhornet, where thousands of brünnich’s guillemots nest during the summer season. As we sail into the outer parts of the fjord, the landscape changes. Marvel at the large U-shaped valleys, carved out of the mountains by the giant glaciers that covered the area some ten thousand years ago. Our sailing expedition comes to an end once we reach back Longyearbyen. After disembarkation you have the rest of the day at your disposal to explore on your own. Then there will be a farewell dinner in the hotel in the evening, where you have an overnight stay.
FOR THE EXPEDITIONS BEGINNING ON A THURSDAY:
Location : Kongsfjorden and Ny-Ålesund
Kongsfjorden is the largest fjord in the Northwest coast of Spitsbergen. It is also known as King’s Bay. There is a very good chance that we will also cruise into the outer part of a large side fjord called Krossfjord. The landscape here varies from large tundra plains to alpine peaks with dramatic glaciers tumbling into the ocean. Be sure to sight for the mountain Mitra – named for a ‘Mitre’ or a catholic bishop’s hat – located on the northern shore of the entrance to Kongsfjord.
At the end of the fjord you will see the majestic Kongsbreen (King’s Glacier) with the three characteristic nunataks: Nora, Dana and Svea – named after the three Scandinavian countries. Later we dock at Ny-Ålesund. Situated at 78o 55’ N, this is one of the world’s northernmost year-round communities. Previously a coal mining centre, it is now an advanced High Arctic research station. A number of countries run their own national research stations here, and the activity is particularly high in the summer. We continue sailing for the rest of the evening
We reach back to Longyearbyen, and disembark, marking end of adventure
Your Spitsbergen adventure is now over. We hope this short but memorable adventure inspires you to explore it further once again. We will transfer you to the airport, for your flight back home, or extend your stay to live amidst Arctic wilderness for a little longer