Spitsbergen – Polar Bears and Arctic Adventure (Thursday - Tuesday)
Duration: 6 days
Ship: MS Nordstjernen
May - September 2019
Price from: 1499 € per personCheck prices and availability
- Chance of seeing polar bears
- Cross 80° N and come ashore to explore the Arctic wilderness
- Experience the Midnight Sun (until 23. August), giving you 24 hours of daylight to discover Svalbard
- Sail with an expedition team on board the nostalgic MS Nordstjernen
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 travellers.
Reminders of the history and heritage of early coal miners can be seen everywhere. When Coal Mine number 1 was opened in the 1930’ s, the miners moved into flimsy two-story barracks. When World War II ravaged Europe, Svalbard was also impacted when Nybyen was set on fire in 1943. After the war, the miners moved back and into the newly built barracks. These “barracks” have been completely renovated to offer our guests a high standard of comfort.
Spitsbergen Hotel was originally built as an accommodation and dining area for employees of Store Norske Spitsbergen Coal Company. It was also the company’ s official representational building. Its interior and architecture made it Longyearbyen’ s grandest construction. The hotel is preserved and decorated using its history. It's well worth walking through the corridors and public areas to look at the historical photographs and pictures, old maps and newspaper stories. Situated on "The Hill", it gives you great views of Longyearbyen, the Lars- and Longyear glacier. The hotel was constructed in 1947, but has been extensively refurbished over the years. You spend the night in one of these hotels.
After breakfast, you are invited to a guided sightseeing tour in Longyearbyen that includes visits to the Svalbard Museum and Gallery Svalbard. This fantastic museum is really worth a visit, as it will provide you with a great deal of background information on all that you will come to experience on your expedition.
Then its time to embark on the adventure and MS Nordstjernen. 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.
Locally known as the North West Corner, this area, rich with islands, fjords and beaches, 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 even see polar bears, minke whales and bearded seals.
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.
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.
The Spitsbergen Adventure Voyage is over and it's time to say goodbye. An early morning transfer bus will take you to the airport for your flight. If you are leaving on a later flight, the latest disembarking time from the ship is at 08:00 AM.
The dream has become reality, and you will have fantastic memories to take with you.
MS Nordstjernen arrives in Longyearbyen early in the morning. Please pay attention to announcements of the Expedition Team for the day of disembarkation
Included in your voyage
- Hurtigruten Expedition in cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis
- Transfer airport to hotel in Longyearbyen
- One hotel night in Longyearbyen before the voyage including breakfast and lunch:
- 3 hours sightseeing including Camp Barentz and Museum ending at the pier for embarking
- Transfer ship to airport in Longyearbyen
- Landings with small boats and activities on board and ashore
- Professional English-speaking Expedition team that gives lectures on shore as well as accompanies landings and activities
- Free tea and coffee
Not included in your voyage
- International flights
- Travel insurance
- Luggage handling
- Optional Gratuities
|Shipyard||Blohm & Voss|
MS Nordstjernen is named after the North Star or Stella Polaris, famous for helping seafarers find their way back home and the Vikings to navigate the north.
Everything you need to know about a cruise with Hurtigruten
- Practical Information: Expedition Cruises with MS Nordstjernen
- What to pack for Expedition Cruises to Antarctica and beyond
- Frequently Asked Questions: Hurtigruten Cruises