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Short description

An unforgettable cruise through the spectacular Svalbard archipelago, including a private twin cabin, with One Ocean Expeditions

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In Brief

  • 1 Night Oslo
  • 1 Night Longyearbyen
  • 9 Nights One Ocean Expeditions cruise


Recommended for:
Activity adventure | Expedition cruise | Winter

Zodiacs are used to reach the shore and an adventure concierge is on hand during the voyage to advise on excursions and activities. A highly experienced crew, a maximum of 96 passengers and top class facilities that include a wellness centre, library, observatory and presentation room contribute to making this the most stylish and exclusive cruise in the Arctic for 2016.

Day by day itinerary

Day 1

Fly to Oslo and check in to the charming boutique Hotel Saga for one night.

Stay: Saga Hotel Oslo (Superior)

Day 2

Fly north to Longyearbyen today, the largest settlement in Spitsbergen, where you'll check into the Radisson Blu Polar hotel for one night.

Stay: Radisson Blu Polar, Longyearbyen (Superior)

Meals: B

Day 3

Board the expedition ship, the Akademik Sergey Vavilov in Longyearbyen. The ship will sail out of Adventfjorden and into Isfjorden during the early evening. With almost 24 hours of daylight at this time of the year, enjoy the views from the outer decks of the ship as we depart. Meet the expedition team during an introductory briefing and then enjoy a welcome dinner. 

Stay: The Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Meals: D

Day 4

Beluga whales are frequently seen as they transit the narrow sound near Bourbonhamna. Adults are pure white and the younger calves a mottled grey colour. It is estimated there are approximately five to ten thousand belugas in the Svalbard population. The beluga has no dorsal fin, a diagnostic feature of whale species that live in the high Arctic such as the narwhal and bowhead. Since a dorsal fin could be damaged when the animal surfaces in areas with ice, it has been postulated the lack of dorsal fin is an adaptation to living in waters that are frequently covered by ice. We search for belugas from the ship and when zodiac cruising.

On the shore excursion, an old hunting cabin and other artefacts are points of interest during the scenic hike to Ingebrigstenbukta. However, it is the massive piles of beluga whalebones that catch everybody’s attention. The bones and all artefacts are protected by the Svalbard Government and cannot be removed. While wandering amongst these relics, you keep a look out for the dozens of reindeer inhabiting the area.

Stay: The Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Meals: B L D

Day 5

The shores of Krossfjorden are home to numerous bird colonies and a variety of different species. Cruising the dark waters, try and spot bearded and ringed seals, both species known to frequent this fjord.

Stay: The Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Meals: B L D

Day 6
Liefdefjorden and Monacobreen

No trip along the north coast of Spitsbergen would be complete without a visit to Monacobreen (Monaco Glacier). A wide glacier face at the head of the fjord makes for spectacular kayaking and zodiac cruising. The coastal plain near the mouth of Liefdefjorden offers superb hiking and is often a great place to spot polar bears that come here to hunt for ringed seals or feed on nutrient rich bird's eggs.

Stay: The Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Meals: B L D

Day 7
Phippsoya – Northernmost Point

At 81° north latitude, Phippsoya is just 540 nautical miles from the North Pole. The ice-strengthened expedition ship allows it to approach the edge of the pack ice in safety and comfort. Because of its proximity to the permanent Arctic ice pack, Phippsoya offers the potential for great polar bear viewing. In recent seasons, there has been excellent encounters with polar bear in this area. Be sure to get up to the ship’s bridge and take a picture of the GPS showing your latitude or, better yet, take your own handheld GPS with you and mark in the waypoint as you get so close to the North Pole!

Stay: The Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Meals: B L D

Days 8-9
Hinlopen Strait Strait and Nordaustlandet

From the ice edge we turn south into the main strait separating Svalbard’s two main islands: Spitsbergen and Nordaustlandet. In Hinlopen Strait the bird cliffs at Alkefjellet are home to more than a hundred thousand breeding Brunnich’s guillemots, as well as thousands of kittiwakes and black guillemots. It is a spectacular site and a challenging one for our zodiacs as the tidal currents roar through Hinlopen Strait. Nearby Murchison Fjord is a wonderful place to kayak or cruise as we navigate the waterways between the islands. There are some excellent hiking routes here which take us up to high points affording staggering views and further opportunities to encounter Arctic wildlife.

Stay: The Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Meals: B L D

Day 10
Fuglesangen and Smeerenburg

As you approach the shore of Fuglesangenoya, it becomes apparent there are thousands of birds nesting on this island. Home to a large dovekie colony, the formation of the island allows for excellent viewing without impacting upon the perimeter of the colony. Just a few miles from Fuglesangen is the old whaling station of Smeerenburg, literally translated as Blubber Town. As you hike the shoreline of this former whaling station, you'll learn about the importance of whaling in the discovery and exploration of the Svalbard archipelago. The blubber ovens stand as a reminder to this harsh industry in an equally harsh environment.

Stay: The Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Meals: B L D

Day 11
Poole Pynten, Prins Karls Forland

The sight and sound of a walrus haul out spells Arctic like nothing else can. You will visit this well-known walrus colony on Prince Charles Island and hope to see plenty of them resting ashore. Approaching from downwind can often confirm that walrus are around, as the smell of a walrus haul out is quite unique. Celebrate the journey with a special dinner attended by the ship’s captain.

Stay: The Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Meals: B L D

Day 12

Arriving back into Longyearbyen this morning, disembark after breakfast. Explore the town, before transferring to the airport for your onward flight to Tromsø or Oslo.

Meals: B


Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.

Accommodation rating: Superior

12-day cruise from £6,835 pp

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