Spitsbergen and polar bears - an Arctic adventure From 1375 €
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Spitsbergen and polar bears - an Arctic adventure

This adventure on the nostalgic MS Nordstjernen is the essential Spitsbergen experience

The Spitsbergen Experience

Focussing on the Northwest Spitsbergen National Park we will experience the extraordinary Arctic landscape, glaciers and bird cliffs. We will attempt to reach as far north as the 80th parallel – this is the only place on earth it is possible in open water.



We encourage our guests to enjoy the crisp, clean air out on deck – watch the Northern Fulmars sailing in the slipstream of the ship or join interesting landings in small boats with our expert guides who will provide an insight into the areas we visit and share some amazing local stories.


Glacier sighting with MS Nordstjernen

Here above the Arctic Circle we will experience the midnight sun, with long days and light nights. If we are really lucky we might just see the King of the Arctic; the Polar Bear.

Travel route and itinerary

MS Nordstjernen has departures every Thursday and Monday from early June to mid-September. Four days are spent aboard MS Nordstjernen sailing along the north west coastline of Spitsbergen. Two days are spent in Longyearbyen. Both departures have the same travel route, but there are some differences in arrival time and when the different excursions take place. Please note that due to the demanding weather conditions in the Arctic the program may change.



Accommodation in Longyearbyen will be at Spitsbergen Hotel or Coal Miners' Cabins. Monday departures include one night accommodation before and after the trip. Thursday departures include one accommodation in Longyearbyen before the trip and fire nights onboard MS Nordstjernen.

PROGRAM THURSDAY DEPARTURES



DAY 1 – THURSDAY - 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 – FRIDAY – 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 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 – SATURDAY – MAGDALENE FJORD AND THE NORTH-WEST CORNER


Locally known as the North West Corner, this area, rich with islands, fjords and beaches, has a long history of exploration. In Magdalenefjord you’ll discover cultural heritage: a whaling station from the 16th century, including a graveyard of whalers who died during the first “oil gold rush”. We arrive in the morning, and will make our first landing to come ashore and explore this wonderful Arctic wilderness. In this beautiful fjord we might even see polar bears, minke whales and bearded seals.



DAY 4 – SUNDAY – WOODFJORDEN AND LIEFDEFJORDEN


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 terrain 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 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 5 – MONDAY – 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 a very good chance that we will also 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 in the summer.



DAY 6 – TUESDAY – LONGYEARBYEN


The Spitsbergen Adventure Voyage is over and it is time to say goodbye. An early morning transfer bus will take you to the airport for your flight.



PROGRAM MONDAY DEPARTURES



DAY 1 – MONDAY - 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 – TUESDAY – 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 – WEDNESDAY – WOODFJORDEN AND LIEFDEFJORDEN


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 – THURSDAY – 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 in the summer.



DAY 5 – FRIDAY – ISFJORD & 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 – SATURDAY - LONGYEARBYEN


Your Spitsbergen adventure is over. After transfer to the airport it's time for the flight back home.



Transferguide


One of our guides will meet you on arrival at Longyearbyen airport. Our guide will accompany and assist you during your stay in Longyearbyen. During the stay in Longyearbyen you will learn about polar history and everyday life in the small local community who make their living from coal mining, research and tourism.



Daily landings


Onboard the MS Nordstjernen you will go through a constantly changing landscape. The places you sail past heading north, during the night, can be seen durin daytime coming south. If you want to see absolutely everything, you have to sit on the deck around the clock! We normally do one landing per day. In Barentsburg and Ny-Ålesund, we dock and you can walk around the town. The places we disembark all have a special story and a unique natural history.



Heading north


Our sailing route goes out Isfjorden, past Barentsburg and the north west coast along Prins Karls Forland. We pass Kings Bay before we reach the northwest corner of Spitsbergen. This area has some of the most beautiful fjords and islands of Svalbard, among them the famous Magdalene fjord, Smeerenburg fjord, Danskøya, Amsterdamøya and Raudfjorden.



80 degrees north


If the weather permits it, we will sail past 80 degrees north. Weather conditions north of the archipelago is usually good and stable. The exact route and landing places will be decided on the weather and ice conditions.

How demanding is the cruise?

A cruise with MS Nordstjernen does not require any above average levels of physical fitness, but most of the landings will be made by means of a dinghy. The terrain on shore at Svalbard is rugged, so participants should be steady on their feet. A sense of adventure is always an advantage.

Price information

Limited numbers of single, triple and quadruple cabins are also available. Please contact us for more information.

The price includes:

Accommodation, meals, transfers and sightseeing in Longyearbyen as described in program. Cabin in chosen category, all meals, expedition team, landings in open boats and visits to Barentsburg and Ny-Ålesund, as well as search and rescue insurance during the voyage.

On board:
Berth in reserved cabin category. Breakfast, lunch and three course dinner on board. 
The expedition guides will provide information and lead the landings during the trip. All landings are included on Svalbard and we will generally go into land one or two times a day with Polarcirkel boats. In Barentsburg and Ny-Ålesund the ship will dock at the harbour.

The price does not include:

Flights, personal clothing and equipment, beer, wine and soft drinks (sold onboard) or personal travel insurance.

See what you will experience

Additional nights in Longyearbyen

There are a lot of exciting excursions and activities you can take part in from Longyearbyen before or after your voyage. You can book additional nights at one of our places of accomodation in connection with your cruise.

Contact us on info@hurtigrutensvalbard.com for a quote, and remember to mention that it is in connection with a Nordstjernen voyage.

Weather conditions during the cruise season, June to September

  • Average temperature 5ºC
  • Sea temperature around 2-4°C
  • Daylight 24 hours per day
  • Cold wind is common
  • Even tough there is very little rain, the tundra is often damp and boggy due to the melting snow
  • Early in this period there are still snow-covered areas in Northern Spitsbergen

Equipment list - Spitsbergen Voyage

Required equipment:

  • Suitcase, bag or backpack for personal equipment and clothing 
  • Small backpack for personal items, to take on landings (to carry camera, water bottle etc.)
  • 1 pair of hiking boots or equivalent (must be sturdy and water repellent, as the terrain is uneven and can be wet)
  • 1 pair of light shoes or sandals to use on board and at the hotel (ensure shoes have good soles that are not slippery and provide grip on all types of flooring)
  • Hiking jacket (waterproof and windproof)
  • Hiking pants ((waterproof and windproof))
  • Warm beanie/cap or headband
  • Scarf or buff (fleece/wool neck warmer)
  • 1 pair mittens or gloves
  • 1-2 sets of thermal underwear (long johns and shirt, wool is recommend)
  • Warm woollen jumper or fleece jumper/jacket
  • 2 pairs of warm socks (wool is recommend)
  • Some sets of indoor clothing (casual and comfortable)
  • Sun glasses
  • Bathroom articles


The dress code indoors and at the hotel is relaxed and casual. We have a limited number of warm thermal suits available on board, in various sizes. These may be borrowed by passengers who wish to spend most of  their time on deck.

In addition we recommend:

  • Binoculars (we often see wildlife in the distance)
  • Camera, extra memory card and battery charger
  • Down jacket or similar (to keep you warm on colder days)
  • Sea sickness tablets
  • A small seat pad to use on deck and during landings (try a small, foldable cushion which is easy to carry)


NB! Remember to bring your passport (Valid 6 months after you return)

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Call +47 7902 6100 or book your trip
Price: From 1375 €
Facts
Price
From 1375 €
Included

Shuttle service to and from the airport

1 or 2 nights in Longyearbyen

Guided tour of Longyearbyen

Full board and all scheduled excursions

Four day sailing with MS Nordstjernen

Flight is not included

Departures 2018

17th of May– 10th of September

34 departures every Monday and Thursday

Duration

6 days and 5 nights.

MS Nordstjernen
Booking

Book your trip here or contact us for more information:

Phone numer: +47 79 02 61 00 

E-mail: info@hurtigrutensvalbard.com

Book

call us +47 79 02 61 00
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HURTIGRUTEN SVALBARD AS, P.O. Box 548, N-9171 Longyearbyen
Telephone.: +47 79 02 61 00 | Org.nr 951 251 579
Mail: info@hurtigrutensvalbard.com