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Spitsbergen and Polar Bears - An Arctic Adventure (A)

6 days with Hurtigruten   Rating: First Class

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Itinerary
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DAY 1 Coal Mining History And Arctic Nature
Location : Longyearbyen
 
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.
 
DAY 2 Discover Two Very Different Settlements
Location : Longyearbyen And Barentsburg
 
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.
 
DAY 3 Chances Of Seeing Polar Bears
Location : Woodfjorden, Liefdefjorden, Moffen And 80°North
 
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 land 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 front 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.
 
DAY 4 Fjords, glaciers and research
Location : Kongsfjorden And Ny-Ålesund
 
Kongsfjorden is the largest fjord in the Northwest coast of Spitsbergen. It is also known as King’ s Bay. There is also a very good chance that we will cruise into a large side fjord called Krossfjorden. The landscape 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 Kongsfjorden. 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 inthe summer.
 
DAY 5 Cruising Into Isfjorden
Location : Isfjorden And Longyearbyen
 
Located in central Spitsbergen, Isfjorden is the most prominent fjord system on Svalbard. We will spend the morning sailing towards Longyearbyen. One of the most noticeable mountains in this area is Alkhornet, where thousands of brünnich’ s guillemots nest during the summer season. As we sail into the outer parts of the fjord, the landscape changes. Marvel at the large U-shaped valleys, carved out of the mountains by the giant glaciers that covered the area some ten thousand years ago. After disembarkation in Longyearbyen you have the rest of the day at your disposal. Then there will be a farewell dinner in the hotel in the evening.
 
DAY 6 Flying Home From The Arctic
Location : Longyearbyen
 
Your Spitsbergen adventure is over. After transfer to the airport it's time for the flight back home.
Map
All This Included
This adventure voyage on MS Nordstjernen is the essential Spitsbergen experience. You spend one night on land and the rest at sea sailing along the west coast of Spitsbergen. Explore the extraordinary Arctic landscape, glaciers, fjords and magnificent Arctic Wildlife. If we are really lucky we might just see the King of the Arctic; the polar bear.
  • Hurtigruten expedition in cabin grade of your choice on a full-board basis
  • Transfer from airport to hotel in Longyearbyen
  • One hotel night before the voyage, including breakfast
  • 3-hour sightseeing tour, including Camp Barentz and Museum ending at the pier for embarking
  • Landings with small boats and activities on board and ashore
  • Professional English-speaking expedition team that gives lectures and accompanies landings and activities
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Transfer from ship to hotel after the voyage
  •  One hotel night in Longyearbyen after the voyage, including light lunch, dinner, and early morning snack 
  • Transfer hotel to airport in Longyearbyen
Highlights
  • 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
  • Expedition on board the nostalgic MS Nordstjernen
Accommodations
Cruising: Category E cabin onboard ms Nordstjernen
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Not Included: International flights, travel Insurance, luggage handling, optional excursions and gratuities.
  • All planned landings are subject to weather conditions.
  • All itineraries are subject to change.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Hurtigruten terms and conditions, please click here.

* 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.