Speak to a Cruise Specialist

877-828-4774
Cruises Cruises Hotels and Resorts Hotels &
Resorts
Africa Safaris Africa
Safaris
Home Escorted Tours Independent Vacations River Cruises Expedition Cruises Train Tours Discounts Newsletter My Account
Find a Vacation
FastDeal Lookup
#


Discovery of the King of the Arctic

13 days with Ponant   Rating: Deluxe

Book this Trip Now and Save!

  • Reduced rates! Prices shown reflect discount. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.


Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices
Day 1 – LONGYEARBYEN, SPITSBERGEN
Embarkation from 15H00 to 17H00. Departure at 18H00.
Longyearbyen is the capital of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago, located on Svalbard’s main island, and is the northernmost territorial capital on the planet. With winter temperatures dropping to below 40°C, the landscapes of this mining town are simply breathtaking. The glaciers, the mountains stretching as far as the eye can see and the untouched nature, make you feel like you’re in completely unexplored territory.
 
Day 2 – GNALODDEN, SPITSBERGEN AND HORN GLACIER, SPITSBERGEN
The Gnålodden Cliff culminates at over 700 metres high and is home to over a thousand species of sea birds. Tridactyl gulls, northern fulmars and thick-billed murres are lords and masters in this often deafening commotion, particularly during the nesting season. Polar bears and Arctic foxes also frequent the site, a delight for lovers of the animal kingdom. The “bird cliff”, as it is known, is surrounded at its foot by very rich vegetation, unfurling its carpet of moss across a décor of wild tundra. During your visit, stop at the former hunter’s cabin, which was also used as a satellite station during the 1930s. 
 
Nestling between millennial glaciers and carved mountains, and considered to be “the crown of Arctic Norway”, Spitsbergen is a place that never sees the night. Your ship will take you closer to this fascinating archipelago and, more particularly, the Hornsund fjord. Considered to be Svalbard’s southernmost fjord, it is especially reputed to be its most stunning: at the end of its vast bay, 8 great glaciers slowly make their way down to the sea before giving way to the many icebergs elegantly drifting along its cold and mysterious waters.
 
Day 3 – BAKANBUKTA - GINEVRABOTNEN, SPITSBERGEN AND AGARDHBUKTA, SPITSBERGEN
Located to the east of Spitsbergen, this bay has many surprises in store. At the entrance to the national park on the east coast, it is a region often taken over by the ice until late in the season. This preserved bay offers the opportunity to discover the assets of the High Arctic: the tundra, glaciers and polar bears. Near to the bear den areas of Barentsøya and Edgeøya, this site often provides an occasion for great sightings of the local fauna.
 
Located to the east of Spitsbergen, in Storfjorden, Agardhbukta is a former trapping site where a cabin remains. During your visit here, you will have the opportunity to see the ice floes and explore one of the spots where the polar bears pass by to travel to Bellsund, on the western coast of Spitsbergen. The vast plains of the Agardhdalen area also offer the psossibility of long hikes to disover the High Arctic tundra.
  
Day 4 – BOLTODDEN, SPITSBERGEN AND ISBUKTA, SPITSBERGEN
On the eastern coast of Spitsbergen, in the heart of an exceptional geological site, set off to discover the remnants left by the first to explore the region, the Pomors. These settlers, hunters and trappers from Nothern Russia, were the first to discover the Svalbard Archipelago, in the 14th century. At the time, they believed they had arrived on the coast of Greenland. They named this land “Grumant”. This port of call will certainly fascinate history and geology lovers. 
 
Nestling on the south-east point of the island of Spitsbergen, this small bay Isbukta shelters an immense glacier, the Vasil’evbreen, whose front is more than 20 kilometres long. This is an opportunity for an unforgettable Zodiac® outing. If the conditions allow it, you will be able to land directly at the foot of this majestic, so as to discover the moraine and walk on the first section of the glacier. Depending on the ice conditions, you will also perhaps be lucky enough to approch Stellingfjellet, home to one of the largest guillemot colonies on the archipelago.
  
Day 5 – AHLSTRANDHALVOYA, SPITSBERGEN
Located in the southern part of the Bellsund fjord, the Ahlstrandhalvoya site will take you back in time. The beluga bones lying on the beach are a reminder of the cetacean hunting carried out by the first explorers from the coasts of Norway. In a landscape of driftwood and trappers’ cabins, you will have many encounters: reindeer, barnacle geese and eiders blend into the pink and gold coloured tundra. Here, the beluga whales make the most of the Arctic summer to hunt their prey into the heart of the fjord. A nearby bay called Fleur de Lyshamna is also evidence of the history of former fishermen and whalers. Give free rein to your imagination in the heart of this majestic natural environment, where time seems to stand still.
 
Day 6 – NY-ALESUND AND KONGSFJORDEN (KING BAY), SPITSBERGEN
During your cruise, discover Ny-Ålesund, a former mining town that has been transformed into a scientific base. Founded in 1916, this small town was the departure point for many Arctic expeditions, including those of the famous explorer Roald Amundsen. Don't miss a visit to the museum and its famous post office, considered to be the most northerly in the world!
 
Very close to the former mining town of Ny-Ålesund, set off to discover Kings Bay. Your ship will sail in one of the most beautiful fjords in Svalbard: Kongsfjorden (the fjord of the King), a gateway to grandiose landscapes. Here, the snow-capped mountains are reflected in the water where superb icebergs try to outdo each other in their beauty, a delight for photographers. Bearded seals, reindeer, barnacle geese and black guillemots frequent these places that have a unique atmosphere. Once you arrive at the end of the fjord, admire the Kongsbreen (glacier of the King) and its three characteristic rocky points, which take their names from three Scandinavian countries: Svea (Sweden), Dana (Denmark) and Nora (Norway).
 
Day 7 – SAILING TOWARD THE ICE FLOES
Your captain will sail right up to the limit of the ice, to the edge of the ice floe. Weather conditions and state of the ice allowing, you will be able to go out in a Zodiac® dinghy for a unique experience in the middle of these floating slabs of ice. In addition to this grandiose journey through the middle of these floes with their cut and blue-tinged edges, sometimes over 2 metres thick, it is also often an opportunity to see a particular kind of fauna, totally dependent on the ice floe: birds, seals and polar bears.
  
Day 8 – DAGHOGDA, WIJDEFJORDEN
Sailing into Wildefjorden will guarantee you an unforgettable moment of wonderment. The particularity of this gigantic fjord is that it almost entirely separates the island of Spitsbergen in two, from north to south. Sailing in Wildefjorden will enable you to reach the Daghøgda Valley and go for an exceptional hike along an ancient glacial valley. At the end of your walk, you will reach two lakes surrounded by impressive vertical cliffs. It is an exquisite spectacle, in the heart of the Svalbard Archipelago’s longest fjord.
 
Day 9 – JOTUNKJELDENE, SPITSBERGEN AND MONACO GLACIER, SPITSBERGEN
Discover the thermal springs of Jotunkjeldene. Located in Bockfjorden, to the north-east of Spitsbergen, they offer sumptuous landscapes thanks to their geological and botanical particularities. You will be surprised by the site’s entirely brown and red décor, punctuated by a carpet of algae and moss. Surrounded by majestic glaciers, the fjord rests on the Sverrefjellet volcano, which erupted 100,000 years ago and is now extinct. However, warm springs rise to the surface all year long. During your visit, do make sure that you walk on the surrounding moraine so as to preserve as much as possible the carbonate deposits formed by the springs, which are very fragile and subject to erosion.
  
Located to the North-West of the Svalbard archipelago, the Monaco Glacier is probably one of Spitsbergen’s most beautiful and majestic. Named in honour of Prince Albert I of Monaco, a sailor, it stands as an impenetrable, blue-tinged jagged wall, the last glacier before reaching a latitude of 80° North. Imagine the sound of the ice cracking as it breaks free and crashes into the transparent water. And to make the magical landscape even more perfect, you might be lucky enough to spot bears and whales, as these two animals have a special fondness for this area.  
 
Day 10 – SAILING TOWARD THE ICE FLOES AND YTRE NORSKOYA, SVALBARD
Your captain will sail right up to the limit of the ice, to the edge of the ice floe. Weather conditions and state of the ice allowing, you will be able to go out in a Zodiac® dinghy for a unique experience in the middle of these floating slabs of ice. In addition to this grandiose journey through the middle of these floes with their cut and blue-tinged edges, sometimes over 2 metres thick, it is also often an opportunity to see a particular kind of fauna, totally dependent on the ice floe: birds, seals and polar bears.
 
At first sight, the small island of Ytre Norskøya seems to be sterile and arid land. But once you are ashore, you will be welcomed by a thick carpet of golden moss, dotted with pygmy buttercups, Svalbard poppies and lichen. On the beach are the remains of the ovens that were used to melt whale blubber, precious evidence of the history of the whalers who came and set up in this area as of the 17th century. Another trace of the past: the presence of one of the largest cemeteries in Svalbard, with no fewer than 165 tombs. The Ytre Norskøya cliff is home to many sea birds, including little auks, barnacle geese, Atlantic puffins and thick-billed murres.
 
Day 11 – SIGNEHAMNA, SPITSBERGEN AND 14TH JULY GLACIER, SPITSBERGEN
Located on the western coast of the Lilliehöök fjord, Signehamna bears many traces of its past. Indeed, you will see the remnants of a former German weather station that was used during the Second World War. In the heart of this sheltered bay frequented by many sea birds, abandoned cans, cables and utensils just lie on the floor like historic evidence that visitors are asked not to touch. Around you, admire the mosses and lichens that are characteristic of the tundra as well as the very old plutonic rocks. A short walk will enable you to enjoy a superb panorama with a view over the lake and a chain of snow-topped mountains.
 
At the entrance to Cross Bay, between tundra, plutonic rocks and mountains covered with a surprising endemic flora, set off to discover the 14th July Glacier. It was thus named by Prince Albert I of Monaco, following an expedition that he led there at the beginning of the 20th century. The glacier’s surroundings are frequented by numerous birds (Tridactyl gulls, thick-billed murres, barnacle geese, common eiders, Atlantic puffins…), as well as Arctic foxes and reindeer. As you arrive in front of the glacier, admire the impressive wall of ice and the reflection of the cliffs in the water. It is quite common to see a section of ice come loose, or a bearded seal lounging on an iceberg. 
 
Day 12 – ALKHORNET, SPITSBERGEN AND NORDENSKIÖLD GLACIER, SPITSBERGEN
At the northern entrance of Isfjorden, there is a small paradise for bird lovers: the Alkhornet Cliff. It is home to a very rich avifauna, made up of thousands of birds frolicking in a joyous tumult: gulls, guillemots, pink-footed geese, terns, seagulls, puffins, Arctic skuas… The Alkhornet Cliff, easily recognisable by its rhinoceros-horn shape, is also frequented by reindeer, which are not overly timid. Attracted by the tundra that covers the foot of the mountain, they come to graze in peace in a verdant setting covered with grass and moss. With a little luck, you will perhaps have the opportunity to see some seals and Arctic foxes, who are also regular visitors.
 
Situated deep inside Isfjorden, the Nordenskiöld Glacier is one of the very beautiful discoveries of your cruise. Its front of ice, nearly 5 km wide, is one of the most spectacular in the Svalbard Archipelago. 30 metres high, the glacier, like a gigantic frozen statue whose sections of ice sometimes come spectacularly loose, is impressive. The polar bear, the king of the Arctic, will perhaps make an appearance in these parts, which are also frequented by reindeer and seals. 
 
Day 13 – LONGYEARBYEN, SPITSBERGEN
Disembarkation at 07H00.
Longyearbyen is the capital of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago, located on Svalbard’s main island, and is the northernmost territorial capital on the planet. With winter temperatures dropping to below 40°C, the landscapes of this mining town are simply breathtaking. The glaciers, the mountains stretching as far as the eye can see and the untouched nature, make you feel like you’re in completely unexplored territory.
Map
All This Included
Follow the trail of the polar bear during an Expedition Cruise in the Arctic. PONANT invites you to set sail aboard L’Austral for a memorable 13-day cruise around Spitsbergen, one of the jewels of the northern hemisphere.  
 
The main island of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago, Spitsbergen offers magical landscapes, a blend of ancient glaciers, jagged mountains and spectacular fjords. In summer, the sun shines day and night, to better showcase the vastness of the ice and the animals that inhabit the region – whales, arctic foxes, walruses, but also polar bears, the undisputed kings of the ice.  
 
Setting sail from the cosmopolitan village of Longyearbyen, your journey will begin with an exploration of the wild and unspoiled east coast of Spitsbergen.
 
You will then reach the Bellsund fjord, whose lush green valleys will not fail to delight you.
 
This will be followed by a visit to Ny-Ålesund, the former mining town that is today home to a scientific base, a museum and the most northerly post office in the world.
 
Further to the north you will find the majestic Monaco glacier, an impenetrable wall with blue-tinged highlights. You may even encounter a polar bear – a moving experience that you will never forget – before charting a course south to conclude your journey.
 
  • Port and safety charges
  • Open bar
  • Gratuities
  • Your cruise including all meals from dinner on the day of embarkation to breakfast on the day of disembarkation
  • Welcome aboard and captain’s cocktail parties, gala dinner
  • Mineral water, tea, filter coffee, white, red and rosé wines served with meals
  • 24 hour room service (selected menu)
  • Evening entertainments and events, and/or organised shows
  • Porterage from the quayside to the ship and vice versa
  • English-speaking guest-speaker (when applicable)
Highlights
  • The most complete PONANT cruise to Spitsbergen: 13 days for a fully-comprehensive discovery of the kingdom of the polar bear.
  • Outings and shore visits in Zodiac®inflatables with your naturalist guides.
  • Hiking opportunity.
  • Landscapes: ice floes, jagged mountains, icebergs, plains covered with moss and lichens, lakes and rivers.
  • Wildlife: polar bears, Arctic foxes, Svalbard reindeer, Arctic terns, walruses, whales.
Accommodations
Cruising: Standard cabin onboard L'Austral
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Fares may be subject to a fuel adjustment.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Ponant 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.