Polar Bear Encounters tour

Polar Bear Encounters tour

Tour Experience

Cruise in the Arctic and enjoy the landscape and wildlife and possibly spot polar bears

Available

Set departures from June to August

Location

Longyearbyern & Svalbard Island

This 8-day tour takes you on a cruise around the north of Spitsbergen Island, largest of the Svalbard Archipelago. We'll enjoy beautiful polar landscapes whilst sailing through iceberg filled fjords. The specially converted expedition vessel allows us to get close up and personal to the abundance of interesting and colourful flora & fauna of the Arctic.

This Arctic expedition starts in Longyearbyen on the remote Norwegian island of Spitsbergen with a short tour of this interesting mining town. Boarding either the m/v Plancius or the m/v Ortelius we cruise north along the west coast of the island stopping first at Raudfjord a beautiful fjord dominated by spectacular glaciers and favoured by ringed and bearded seals. Continuing north into the mouth of Liefdefjorden, there is the possibility to get close to the 5km long Monaco glacier and hopefully catch a glimpse of polar bear. Heading north again we cruise into the Hinlopen Strait, home to Bearded Seals, Ringed Seals, Polar Bears, and Ivory Gulls. Still sailing north we'll reach Phippsøya, our northernmost point at 81 degrees north, just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole. Retracing our route we head back along the west coast of Spitsbergen. We sail into St. Johns Fjord or south to the mouth of Isfjorden and land at Alkhornet. Finally we cruise back into Longyearbyen where the cruise ends.

VIEW THE PHOTOS

INCLUDED

  • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea
  • All transport in private vehicles
  • 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
  • AECO fees and governmental taxes
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material

EXCLUDED

  • International flights (can be arranged on request)
  • Arrival/departure airport transfers
  • Hotel accommodation in Longyearben if required
  • Travel insurance (compulsory)
  • Optional activities
  • Departure taxes
  • Meals, drinks & snacks not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Any other items not mentioned in the itinerary

PACKAGE DETAILS

Itinerary

DAY 1, Longyearbyen, evening set sail

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, while in the surrounds of Longyearbyen, more than 100 species of plant have been recorded. In the early evening the ship will sail out of Isfjorden.
| OVERNIGHT
Expedition vessel
| MEALS
Dinner
| EXTRAS
Cabin upgrade

DAY 2, Sail to Raudfjord

We visit Raudfjord on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, beautiful fjords dominated by spectacular glaciers and favoured by Ringed and Bearded Seal and where we often sea Polar Bear. The cliffs and shoreline of the fjord also support thriving seabird colonies and a surprisingly rich vegetation, which flourishes in sheltered spots.
| OVERNIGHT
Expedition vessel
| MEALS
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3, Sail into Liefdefjord, Monaco Glacier

Depending on the weather we may sail into Liefdefjord to marvel at the massive, 5km long, face of the Monaco Glacier. This precipitous wall of ice is a favourite feeding place for thousands of kittiwakes, and polar bears can sometimes be seen.
| OVERNIGHT
Expedition vessel
| MEALS
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4, Sail into Hinlopen Strait

We push east towards the Hinlopen Strait, which is home to polar bears, ringed & bearded seals, and ivory gulls. You may even spot blue whales here if you’re lucky. We’ll take to the Zodiacs to cruise amongst the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvoya and explore the cliffs at Alkerfjellet, where thousands of Brunnich’s guillemots reside. We may attempt a landing on the east side of the Hinlopen Strait where it is possible to see reindeer, walrus, pink-footed geese and ivory gulls.
| OVERNIGHT
Expedition vessel
| MEALS
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5, Sail to Phippsoya in the Seven Islands

Today we will reach our northernmost point at Phippsoya, in the Seven Islands north of Nordaustlandet, if weather permits. 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.
| OVERNIGHT
Expedition vessel
| MEALS
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6, Sail along the edge of the continental shelf

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.
| OVERNIGHT
Expedition vessel
| MEALS
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7, Sail into St. Johns Fjord or the mouth of Isfjorden

In Forlandsundet at Sarstangen, our next stop, there 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.
| OVERNIGHT
Expedition vessel
| MEALS
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8, Arrive Longyearbyen, cruise ends

Return to Longyearbyen and disembark ready for flights to Oslo and home.
| OVERNIGHT
N/A
| MEALS
Breakfast

DURATION

8 days

Price

A$5363

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