Spitsbergen Highlights: Expedition in Brief
6 days with Quark Expeditions Rating:
Day 1 — Embarkation Day in Longyearbyen, Norway
Your Spitsbergen adventure begins when you board your ship in Longyearbyen, the island’s largest settlement. As you embark, you’ll enjoy great views of the mountainous landscape that serves as a backdrop for this seaside village.
Days 2 to 5 — Exploring Spitsbergen
You’ll sail around this magical island, constantly searching for polar bears and other natural wonders. Covering western Spitsbergen as well as outlying islands to the north, your expedition will afford ample opportunities to view immense glaciers, deep fjords, soaring mountains and unique flora and fauna.
Sailing north into Krossfjord, have your camera handy, ready to capture some of the best calving in Spitsbergen. Deep in the fjord, the highly active Lillieho¨o¨k Glacier awaits. Listen in awe to the growling as big chunks break off into the icy waters below. A Zodiac excursion to nearby Ny London, an abandoned mining settlement, provides an ideal place for a guided walk. Encounters with wildlife, such as the indigenous Svalbard reindeer, are possible here.
After cruising overnight, wake up to the stunning sight of the magnificent Monaco Glacier, another prolific iceberg producer. As if that isn’t thrilling enough, your Expedition Team will also be on the lookout for belguas and other marine mammals. Possible landing sites include Texas Bar, Worsleyneset and the Andoyane Islands (where polar bears have been known to roam). At 80°N, you’ll reach a walrus sanctuary on the tiny, crescent-shaped Moffen Island. Watching large groups of these lumbering giants jockeying for space is an unforgettable experience, so be ready with your binoculars.
The abandoned settlement of Smeerenburg (which means “blubber town”) was established by Dutch whalers nearly 400 years ago. Here, at one of Europe’s most northerly outposts, you’ll have time to explore ashore and learn about Spitsbergen’s whaling history. Afterwards, cruising to Magdalenafjord rewards you panoramic vistas of snow-capped mountains and massive glaciers reflected in the crystal- clear waters.
uring your last full day of your arctic adventure, the options are open. You may visit the Russian mining town of Barentsburg, home of the world’s northernmost brewery, or Trygghamma, where you may have the chance to walk on a glacier. Round out the day in Alkehornet, taking in the towering cliffs teeming with nesting seabirds, such as fulmars, guillemots and thick-billed murres. Encounters with reindeer might be possible here. Later, in the evening, swap stories with your shipmates and crew one last time, at the captain’s dinner.
Day 6 — Depart Longyearbyen
The time to say goodbye has come. Your adventure ends as it began, in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your flight home.
All This Included
Pack in all the excitement of an epically long arctic cruise into only six days. Yes, in less than a week, you’ll cruise through the pack ice up to 80°N along the west coast of Spitsbergen like an explorer of long ago, on a constant search for wildlife. Though this rocky island is covered in mountains and glaciers, the towering cliffs and fjords play host to a surprisingly thriving and varied ecosystem. Exploring as much of the area as possible will provide optimal opportunities to spot the most iconic of iconic arctic wildlife, the polar bear.
Cruising: Cabin onboard Ocean Adventurer (Sea Adventurer)
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.