Spitsbergen Wildlife Adventure
This ten-day voyage sets sail from the port of Longyearbyen, famous for its past as a coal-mining town on Spitsbergen Island in the remote Svalbard Archipelago. On board an expedition ship designed to cope with the sea ice, you’ll travel around sounds, glaciers and tiny islands, with the chance to spot a huge array of wildlife from reindeer to polar bears. You’ll learn more about the region during presentations from your expert expedition staff, such as the science of glaciology and how these magnificent spectacles are formed, and enjoy dinners with the Captain and staff.
- Learn about glaciology and view incredible glaciers up close
- Get up close to an incredible array of wildlife; you may spot polar bears, whales and walrus colonies
- Discover the former whaling base of Smeerenburg and learn more about the industry
- Travel on board a comfortable expedition ship built to safely navigate into the frozen north
- Enjoy comprehensive presentations by experts on Arctic wildlife, history and geography
Day 1 – Set sail from Longyearbyen
Set sail from Longyearbyen on board your vessel, which will be your home for the next nine nights. Your journey will take you out into Isfjorden in the early evening for stunning views from the outer deck – possible thanks to the 24-hour daylight during the high Arctic summer. A briefing with your expedition team and fellow passengers followed by a welcome dinner concludes your day.
Day 2 – Whalewatching in Bourbonhamna
Transiting the narrow sound close to Bourbonhamna affords the chance to spot beluga whales; an estimated population of some five-10 thousand inhabit the waters around Svalbard. A shore excursion gives you the chance to visit an old hunting cabin and view the resident reindeer.
Day 3 – Exploring Lilliehook Glacier
Stretching seven kilometres across and around 80 metres high, Lilliehook Glacier is beautiful on an enormous scale. Take in the spectacle from the ship or a Zodiac boat and view the various species of bird colonies and seals – both bearded and ringed.
Day 4 – Visit Monaco Glacier and Liefdefjorden
Travel along the north coast of Spitsbergen and visit the expansive Monaco Glacier, where you’ll enjoy excellent kayaking and cruising in Zodiacs. Hike on the coastal plain near the mouth of Liefdefjorden; you may spot polar bears, which come ashore to hunt for seals and feed on eggs.
Day 5 – Approaching Phippsoya
Just 540 nautical miles from the North Pole, visiting Phippsoya offers a high chance of encountering polar bears. The specially built high ice classification of the ship means approaching the pack ice can be done in safety and comfort.
Day 6-7 – Navigating Hinlopen Strait
Cruising the Hinlopen Strait takes the ship through the main channel separating the two main islands of Svalbard. Between the two islands you can kayak or cruise by Zodiac, viewing the bird cliffs at Alkefjellet from the water. Alternatively, hike on land for amazing views of the region.
Day 8 – Discovering the old whaling station of Smeerenburg
A shore excursion to Smeerenburg affords the chance to hike along the shore and learn more about the history of whaling in the Svalbard archipelago and how it contributed to the exploration of the region. Translating literally as ‘blubber town’, the former blubber ovens stand as a stark reminder of the industry. Close by, Fuglesangenoya is home to a large colony of dovekies.
Day 9 – Stopping off at Prince Charles Island
Prince Charles Island is home to a large walrus colony; you may get the chance to view these fascinating creatures on shore, although be warned of the strong smell if approaching from downwind! On your final night you’ll enjoy a special dinner attended by the ship’s Captain – the perfect opportunity to reflect on your voyage through this remote and beautiful archipelago.