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Spitsbergen is the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago, and on this voyage we’ll attempt a complete circumnavigation. When it comes to viewing arctic wildlife, Spitsbergen has the reputation as the most prolific destination.
The island and surrounding area offer some of the best opportunities to view polar bears, and with luck you’ll be able to see them in their wonderful natural habitat. Walrus populations love Spitsbergen as well, feeding in the food-rich icy waters around the island. Whales and seabirds will also entertain you during the sailing portions of the expedition, and you may catch a sighting of reindeer or fox when taking Zodiac excursions to shore.
What not to miss
Daily zodiac excursions
Geology and wildlife lectures
Wildlife sightings: polar bears, walrus + reindeer
Hike the tundra
View numerous arctic bird species
Passionate expedition leaders
Guided walking and hiking
Expedition parka for you to keep
Boots (on loan)
Chef prepared meals
Daily housekeeping service
On board doctor
Bathrobes (on loan)
Day 1 | Embarkation Day in Longyearbyen, Norway
Your Spitsbergen arctic voyage begins when you board your ship in Longyearbyen, the island’s largest settlement. Enjoy your first view of the island’s rugged, glacier-topped mountains, rising majestically from icy waters.
Days 2 to 12 | Circumnavigating Spitsbergen
Expect a new adventure every day as we begin our circumnavigation by heading north and around the island of Spitsbergen, exploring smaller, outlying islands. The variety of incredible wildlife and geological formations found here is astounding. We plan to circumnavigate the island of Spitsbergen, but if conditions are favourable, we will also attempt a circumnavigation of the whole Svalbard archipelago. Every expedition will be different, depending on the weather and ice, but we do hope to visit a few of our favourite landing sites, including the 14th of July Glacier, Ny London, Phippsøya, Alkefjellet and the seldom-visited Kvitøya.
The names may seem strange to you, but each has its own unique appeal. For birders, the 14th of July Glacier is home to purple sandpipers, common eiders, barnacle geese and arctic terns, while Alkefjellet is home to nesting Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres).
If you’re looking for confirmation that reindeer are real, then you’ll want to have your camera ready for visits to sites like Ny London, Sundneset and Alkhornet. As for the largest land carnivore in the world, searching for polar bears is front of mind for our Expedition Team. Phippsøya and Isbukta are two of the bears’ preferred locations for hunting, so there will be great potential for you to capture them in action.
A big part of appreciating Spitsbergen comes from understanding the culture—not just how people live today, but also how this land was first explored. Whaling was a key industry, and you will see old blubber ovens from the 16th century, plus other evidence of whaling at landing sites such as Smeerenburg. Colourful tundra meadows are complemented by glaciers, and sometimes there is a rare chance to spot beluga whales.
Day 13 | Depart Longyearbyen
Your adventure ends in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your flight home.
Expedition Cruises | Important Reminder
Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy—and excitement—of expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.
This tour is operated by our preferred local partner.
The new and improved Ocean Adventurer is designed to carry 132 travellers in comfort to the most remote corners of the world. Originally launched in 1976, this nimble, ice-strengthened ship has become a passenger favourite over the years and underwent refurbishments in 1999 and 2002 with the most significant being in 2017. It is a recipient of the 2017 Travel Weekly Magellan Award for Overall Small Cruise Ship (500 passengers or under).
With the latest rounds of refurbishments guests will enjoy:
A refreshed, contemporary new look and feel throughout the ship
All cabins have new soft furnishings and brand new bathrooms.
Main common areas such as the Lounge and Dining Room have been completely re-styled.
Major technical enhancements – include two new Rolls Royce engines, which significantly increase fuel efficiency and minimize the carbon footprint.
Staff and Crew: 87
Length: 101 metres
Breadth: 16 metres
Draft: 4.5 metres
Propulsion: Diesel Twin Engines - 5,400 horsepower
Ice Class: 1A
Cruising Speed: 12 knots, in open water
Lifeboats: 4, partially-enclosed
Bar staffed by a professional bartender
Library with a large collection of polar books
Multi-purpose lounge and presentation room
Medical Clinic with licensed doctor
A Lower Deck Twin cabin has two lower berths, private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views.
A Main Deck Twin Porthole cabin has two lower berths, private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views. Window cabin has 2 windows with exterior views.
A Superior cabin has two lower berths, private facilities, and windows with exterior views.
A Suite has a double bed, windows with exterior views, private facilities. Cabin 403 has a bathtub; other Suites have showers.
An Owner's Suite has a double bed and private sitting room. One features a large panoramic window facing aft, and the other two suites face port and starboard.
Cruise Only Prices 2019 (Transfers & Flights not included)
|Dates||Ship||Nights||Twin Cabin Price|
|17 June - 29 June||Ocean Adventurer||12||£6300|
|29 June - 11 July||Ocean Adventurer||12||£6300|
|23 July - 04 August||Ocean Adventurer||12||£6300|
Cruise Only Prices 2020 (Transfers & Flights not included)
2020 departures include a free transfer package from Oslo to Longyearbyen
SAVE!!: 10% Early Booking Full Payment Bonus
|Dates||Ship||Nights||Twin Cabin Price|
|24 June - 07 July||Ocean Adventurer||11||£6642|
|27 June - 10 July||World Explorer||13||£8829|
|30 July - 12 August||World Explorer||13||£8829|
Tour prices are accurate at time of publication. All cabins are subject to availability.
Prices are per person, based on a twin cabin – please contact us for details of other cabin types.
Deposit requirements are 20% at the time of booking and full payment is due 120 days prior to departure.
Flights + Extra Accommodation
Our BSpoke team can organise your international flights for you. We can also arrange pre/post expedition accommodation. Please contact your Expedition Cruise Expert for more information.
Aboard this expedition cruise we do not require you to pay a surcharge for travelling alone. We will arrange for you to share the cabin with another traveller of the same gender or you can opt to have a single cabin, if available. If you would like a single supplement in a non-single cabin please ask us for prices.
Contact a BSpoke Expedition Cruise Expert to learn more about adventure options, including physical requirements.
Paddling excursion - £170pp (limited availability – all departures)
Sea kayaking - £530pp (limited availability – all departures)
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