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Polar Bears

Around Spitsbergen and the mysterious Kvitoya Island, In the realm of Polar Bears & Ice

Duration: 9 nights
Ship: m/v Hondius
Embarkation: Longyearbyen
Disembarkation: Longyearbyen
Language: English speaking voyage

This cruise around Spitsbergen gives you a great chance to see whales, foxes, reindeer, seals, and polar bears. The expedition will make a landing on the island of Kvitøya, a site of historical significance, and home of a large walrus population.

Day 1: Largest town, biggest island

You touch down in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Enjoy strolling around this former mining town, whose parish church and Svalbard Museum make for fascinating attractions. Though the countryside appears stark, more than a hundred species of plant have been recorded in it. In the early evening the ship sails out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of your voyage.

Day 2: Cruising Krossfjorden

Heading north along the west coast, you arrive by morning in Krossfjorden. Here you might board the Zodiacs for a cruise near the towering blue-white face of the Fourteenth of July Glacier. On the green slopes near the glacier, colorful flowers bloom while flocks of kittiwakes and Brünnich’s guillemots nest on the cliffs. You have a good chance of spotting an Arctic fox scouting for fallen chicks, or a bearded seal paddling through the fjord.

In the afternoon you sail to Ny Ålesund, the northernmost settlement on Earth. Once a mining village served by the world’s most northerly railway – you can still see its tracks – Ny Ålesund is now a research center. Close to the community is a breeding ground for barnacle geese, pink-footed geese, and Arctic terns. And if you’re interested in the history of Arctic exploration, visit the anchoring mast used by polar explorers Amundsen and Nobile in their airships, Norge (1926) and Italia (1928).

Day 3: Stop at the Seven Islands

The northernmost point of your voyage may be north of Nordaustlandet, in the Seven Islands. Here you reach 80° north, just 870 km (540 miles) from the geographic North Pole. Polar bears and walrus inhabit this stark desolate landscape. Later in the day the ship may roam for several hours among the pack ice in search of wildlife.

Day 4: The great glacier front of Schweigaardbreen

Pushing east to Nordaustlandet, you reach the area where the Italian captain Sora tried to rescue the Nobile Expedition in 1928. The focus here is the great glacier front of Schweigaardbreen, though you may also land at Firkantbukta, getting the chance to gain some altitude and take a few higher-elevation photos. Alternately, you could make a Zodiac cruise near Storøya, where you might encounter walruses.

Day 5: Ice cap at Kvitøya

Today you try to reach the rarely visited Kvitøya, far to the east and close to Russian territory. The enormous ice cap covering this island leaves only a small area bare. You land at the western tip of Andréeneset, where the Swedish explorer S. A. Andrée and his companions perished in 1897. Another objective for the day is Kræmerpynten, where a sizable group of walruses reside.

Day 6: The longest glacier in Spitsbergen

South of Nordaustlandet you may land on Isisøya, formerly a Nunatak area surrounded by glaciers but now an island surrounded by the sea. You then may pass by Bråswellbreen, part of the largest ice cap in Europe and famed for its meltwater waterfalls.

Day 7: Barentsøya’s many bounties

The plan is to make landings in Freemansundet, though polar bears sometimes make this impossible. Potential stops on Barentsøya include Sundneset (for an old trapper’s hut), Kapp Waldburg (for its kittiwake colony), and Rindedalen (for a walk across the tundra). You might also cruise south to Diskobukta, though Kapp Lee is more likely your destination. On Kapp Lee is a walrus haul-out, Pomor ruins, and the chance for hikes along Edgeøya.

Day 8: Land of the pointed mountains

You start the day by cruising the side fjords of the Hornsund area of southern Spitsbergen, taking in the spire-like peaks: Hornsundtind rises 1,431 meters (4,695 feet), and Bautaen is a perfect illustration of why early Dutch explorers named this island Spitsbergen, meaning “pointed mountains.” There are 14 sizable glaciers in this area as well as opportunities for spotting seals, beluga whales, and polar bears.

Day 9: Bell Sund’s flora, fauna, and haunting history

Today you find yourself in Bell Sund, one of the largest fjord systems in Svalbard. The ocean currents make this area slightly warmer than other areas in the archipelago, which shows in the relatively lush vegetation. Here there are excellent opportunities to enjoy both history and wildlife. A possibility is Ahlstrandhalvøya, at the mouth of Van Keulenfjorden, where piles of beluga skeletons can be found. These remains of 19th-century whale slaughter are a haunting reminder of the consequences of rampant exploitation. Fortunately, belugas were not hunted into extinction, and you have a good chance of coming across a pod. Alternately, while cruising the side fjords of Bellsund, you can explore tundra where reindeer like to feed as well as rock slopes where little auks are breeding.

Day 10: There and back again

Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. You disembark in Longyearbyen, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

24 Jun – 3 Jul 2020

5 Jul – 14 Jul 2020

19 Jul – 28 Jul 2020

2 Aug – 11 Aug 2020

15 Aug – 24 Aug 2020

Quadruple Porthole: Euro 4300 per person sharing

2 portholes
2 upper & lower berths
Small sofa
Private shower & toilet
Flatscreen TV
Desk & chair
Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
Hair dryer
Cabinet
Wardrobe
This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin

Triple Porthole: Euro 5300 per person sharing

2 portholes
1 upper berth & 2 lower berths
Small sofa
Private shower & toilet
Flatscreen TV
Desk & chair
Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
Hair dryer
Cabinet
Wardrobe
This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin

Twin Porthole: Euro 6200 per person sharing

2 portholes
2 single beds
Small sofa
Private shower & toilet
Flatscreen TV
Desk & chair
Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
Hair dryer
Cabinet
Wardrobe

Twin Window: Euro 6700 per person sharing

1 window
2 single beds
Small sofa
Private shower & toilet
Flatscreen TV
Desk & chair
Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
Hair dryer
Cabinet
Wardrobe

Twin Deluxe: Euro 7150 per person sharing

2 windows
2 single beds
Sofa
Private shower & toilet
Flatscreen TV
Desk & chair
Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
Refrigerator
Coffee & tea maker
Bathrobe
Hair dryer
Cabinet
Wardrobe

Superior: Euro 16 000 complete Cabin

2 windows
1 double bed
Sofa
Private shower & toilet
Flatscreen TV
Desk & chair
Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
Refrigerator
Coffee & tea maker
Bathrobe
Hair dryer
Cabinet
Wardrobe

Junior Suite: Euro 17 200 complete Cabin

1 double window
1 double bed
Private shower & toilet
Flatscreen TV
Desk & chair
Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
Refrigerator
Coffee & tea maker
Bathrobe
Hair dryer
Cabinet
Wardrobe

Grand Suite with private balcony: Euro 19 800 complete Cabin

1 double window
1 double bed
Sofa
Private balcony
Private shower & toilet
Flatscreen TV
Desk & chair
Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
Refrigerator
Coffee & tea maker
Bathrobe
Hair dryer
Cabinet
Wardrobe

Hondius Suite: Euro 22 800 complete Cabin

4 windows
1 double bed
Private shower & toilet
Desk & chair
Flatscreen TV
Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
Refrigerator
Coffee & tea maker
Bathrobe
Hair dryer
Cabinet
Walk-in closet

Included in this voyage

Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary.
All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
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.
Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen.
All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
AECO fees and governmental taxes.
Comprehensive pre-departure material.

Excluded from this voyage

Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights.
Pre- and post- land arrangements.
Transfers to / from the vessel outside Spitsbergen.
Passport and visa expenses.
Government arrival and departure taxes.
Meals ashore.
Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended).
Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

North Spitsbergen – Polar Bears and Pack Ice

CM Travels: Svarlbard - Wildlife - Map - North Spitsbergen
cm-travels-artic-wildlife-nature-polar-bear-ulitmate-luxury-svarlbard-humpback-whale

North Spitsbergen, In search of Polar Bear & Pack Ice
Duration: 7 nights
Ship: m/v Hondius
Embarkation: Longyearbyen
Disembarkation: Longyearbyen
Language: English speaking voyage

Start your North Spitsbergen cruise with a trek around historic Longyearbyen, then join our expedition to the north of the island to take in the fantastically beautiful landscapes, the thousands of seabirds, and of course the star of the show, the polar bear.

Day 1: Largest town, biggest island

You touch down in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Enjoy strolling around this former mining town, whose parish church and Svalbard Museum make for fascinating attractions. Though the countryside appears stark, more than a hundred species of plant have been recorded in it. In the early evening the ship sails out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of your voyage.

Day 2: Route to Raudfjorden

Sailing to Raudfjorden, on the north coast of Spitsbergen, you take in an expansive fjord spilling with glaciers – and maybe even visited by ringed and bearded seals. The cliffs and shoreline of this fjord also support thriving seabird colonies, rich vegetation, and the possibility of polar bears.

Day 3: The massive Monaco Glacier

Depending on the weather, you could sail into Liefdefjorden and cruise within sight of the 5-kilometer-long (3.1 miles) face of the precipitous Monaco Glacier. The waters in front of this glacier are a favorite feeding spot for thousands of kittiwakes, and the base of the ice is a popular polar bear hunting ground. If ice conditions prevent sailing here early in the season, an alternate route along the west coast of Spitsbergen can be implemented.

Day 4: Highlights of Hinlopen

Today you sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to bearded seals, ringed seals, and polar bears. At the entrance there is even the possibility to spot blue whales. After cruising among the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in the Zodiacs, you can view the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with their thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots. On the east side of Hinlopen Strait, you may attempt a landing on Nordaustlandet. Here reindeer, pink-footed geese, and walruses are likely sights. You can take an alternate route if ice prevents entry into Hinlopen.

Day 5: Stop at the Seven Islands

The northernmost point of your voyage may be north of Nordaustlandet, in the Seven Islands. Here you reach 80° north, just 870 km (540 miles) from the geographic North Pole. Polar bears inhabit this region, so the ship may park for several hours among the pack ice before wheeling around west again.

Day 6: Sailing the continental shelf

While retracing your route west, keep watch for polar bears and elusive Greenland (bowhead) whales. About 40 nautical miles west of Spitsbergen, you sail the edge of the continental shelf. Here fin whales forage during the summer in the upwelling zones (where cold, nutrient-rich water wells up from below the sea’s surface) that run along the Spitsbergen banks. At the mouth of Kongsfjorden, you have a good chance of sighting minke whales.

Day 7: Reindeer, foxes, and so many seabirds

Walruses sometimes haul out in Forlandsundet, your next stop. Alternatively, you might sail into St. Johns Fjord or south to the mouth of Isfjorden, landing at Alkhornet. Seabirds nest on these cliffs, Arctic foxes search below for fallen eggs and chicks, and reindeer graze the sparse vegetation. You arrive in Longyearbyen later at night.

Day 8: There and back again

Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. You disembark in Longyearbyen, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

27 May – 3 June 2020

3 – 10 June 2020

10 – 17 June 2020

17 – 24 June 2020

24 Jun – 1 Jul 2020

Quadruple Porthole: Euro 3450 per person sharing

2 portholes
2 upper & lower berths
Small sofa
Private shower & toilet
Flatscreen TV
Desk & chair
Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
Hair dryer
Cabinet
Wardrobe
This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin

Triple Porthole: Euro 4300 per person sharing

2 portholes
1 upper berth & 2 lower berths
Small sofa
Private shower & toilet
Flatscreen TV
Desk & chair
Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
Hair dryer
Cabinet
Wardrobe
This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin

Twin Porthole: Euro 4800 per person sharing

2 portholes
2 single beds
Small sofa
Private shower & toilet
Flatscreen TV
Desk & chair
Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
Hair dryer
Cabinet
Wardrobe

Twin Window: Euro 5200 per person sharing

1 window
2 single beds
Small sofa
Private shower & toilet
Flatscreen TV
Desk & chair
Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
Hair dryer
Cabinet
Wardrobe

Twin Deluxe: Euro 5500 per person sharing

2 windows
2 single beds
Sofa
Private shower & toilet
Flatscreen TV
Desk & chair
Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
Refrigerator
Coffee & tea maker
Bathrobe
Hair dryer
Cabinet
Wardrobe

Superior: Euro 12 500 Complete Cabin

2 windows
1 double bed
Sofa
Private shower & toilet
Flatscreen TV
Desk & chair
Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
Refrigerator
Coffee & tea maker
Bathrobe
Hair dryer
Cabinet
Wardrobe

Junior Suite: Euro 13 400 Complete Cabin

1 double window
1 double bed
Private shower & toilet
Flatscreen TV
Desk & chair
Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
Refrigerator
Coffee & tea maker
Bathrobe
Hair dryer
Cabinet
Wardrobe

Hondius Suite: Euro 17 900 Complete Cabin

4 windows
1 double bed
Private shower & toilet
Desk & chair
Flatscreen TV
Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
Refrigerator
Coffee & tea maker
Bathrobe
Hair dryer
Cabinet
Walk-in closet

Grand Suite with private balcony: Euro 15 500 Complete Cabin

1 double window
1 double bed
Sofa
Private balcony
Private shower & toilet
Flatscreen TV
Desk & chair
Telephone and WiFi (supplemented)
Refrigerator
Coffee & tea maker
Bathrobe
Hair dryer
Cabinet
Wardrobe

Included in this voyage

Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
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.
Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen.
All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
AECO fees and governmental taxes.
Comprehensive pre-departure material.

Excluded from this voyage

Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
Pre- and post- land arrangements.
Passport and visa expenses.
Government arrival and departure taxes.
Meals ashore.
Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended).
Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

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