North Spitsbergen Svalbard Cruise


North Spitsbergen Cruise Aboard the M/V Plancius

Polar Bear Special

8 Days / 3 locations in Svalbard, Norway

The Arctic coastlines offer some of the finest scenery and wildlife experiences in the world. From the Scottish Isles to the High Arctic, visitors to the region can witness enormous colonies of seabirds thronging the cliffs and shores, and enjoy the thrilling antics of whales and dolphins at sea and seals and Walrus hauled out on the rocks and ice floes.

The lucky may even encounter the very symbol of the Arctic - the Polar Bear. Though remote and sparsely populated today, many of the places we explore have been inhabited in the last 5000 years, and thousands of unique prehistoric and historic sites are a testimony to the thriving cultures of the past.

The Norwegian name for this archipelago including Bear Island and Jan Mayen is Svalbard. However it is usually known as Spitsbergen. Covering an area almost as big as the Republic of Ireland, Spitsbergen with its population of 3,500 in five settlements is still today virtually unspoilt wilderness.

With its rugged mountains, sweeping tundra, ice caps and glaciers, it is a true High Arctic archipelago, and only 600 miles from the North Pole.

Its abundant wildlife was once a huge draw for whalers and trappers but now discerning visitors are discovering the attractions of huge Arctic seabird colonies and the chance to enjoy and photograph species like Walrus, Reindeer, Arctic Fox and of course, Polar Bear.

The departure will offer optional kayaking and snowshoeing/hiking options. Additional fees may apply.

Kayaking - In general we plan to offer 4 kayak days at least. Basic kayak experience is required and physical fitness essential. Parallel to all other activities we are aiming at kayak excursions during morning and / or afternoon landings. The final decision on those excursions will be met by the Expedition Leader. Oceanwide will provide kayaks and neoprene wet suits. Kayakers will bring their personal gear. Kayaking is subject to weather and prevailing ice conditions.

Snowshoeing/hiking - Especially on early departures at the beginning of the season there are still snow covered hills and mountains further afield. On North Spitsbergen voyages we are aiming at offering hiking excursions with snowshoes, which are easy to use and which don’t require any technical skills. With the use of snowshoes it is easy and safer to walk on snow surfaces. Snowshoes will be provided for everybody on board which fit all boot sizes and can be used in combination with rubber boots


Day 1     Longyearbyen - Spitsbergen
On Board the M/V Plancius
Meals: Dinner

We arrive in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of the Spitsbergen archipelago of which West Spitsbergen is the largest island. Before embarking there is an opportunity to stroll around this former mining town, whose parish church and Polar Museum are well worth visiting. In the surrounding area of Longyearbyen, more than 100 species of plants have been recorded. In the early evening the ship will sail out of Isfjorden, where in the mouth of the fjord we may see our first Minke Whale.

Day 2     Spitsbergen
On Board the M/V Plancius
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

We sail to Raudfjord on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, a beautiful fjord dominated by spectacular glaciers and favoured by Ringed and Bearded Seal. The cliffs and shoreline of the fjord also support thriving seabird colonies and a surprisingly rich vegetation, which flourishes in sheltered spots. Polar bear are often seen here.

Day 3     Monaco Glacier
On Board the M/V Plancius
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Cruising near the 5km long face of the impressive Monaco Glacier

Depending on the weather we may now sail into Liefdefjorden, crui¬sing near the 5km long face of the impressive Monaco Glacier. The waters of the glacier front are a favorite feeding spot for thousands of Kittiwake. As well, Polar Bear have been seen on the glacier, providing wonderful opportunities for photography.

Day 4     Spitsbergen
On Board the M/V Plancius
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

We will sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to Bearded Seal

Today we will sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to Bearded Seal, Ringed Seal, Polar Bear, and Ivory Gull. At the entrance there is the possibility to see Blue Whale. We’ll navigate the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in our zodiacs and explore the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with thousands of Brünnich’s Guillemot. On the east side of Hinlopen Strait, we’ll attempt a landing at Palanderbukta on Nordaustlandet, home to reindeer, Pink-footed Goose, breeding Ivory Gull, and Walrus.

Day 5     Spitsbergen
On Board the M/V Plancius
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

At Seven Islands north of Nordaustlandet we will just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole.

We will try reach our northernmost point at Phippsøya, in the Seven Islands north of Nordaustlandet. Here we will be at 81 degrees north, just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole. Polar Bear inhabit this region, along with Ivory Gull. The ship may sit for several hours in the pack ice, before turning west again.

Day 6     Spitsbergen
On Board the M/V Plancius
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

We will retrace our route westwards to keep watch for the Polar Bear

Retracing our route westwards, our route takes us through and along the pack ice, keeping watch for Polar Bear and the elusive Greenland Whale (Bowhead). About 40 nautical miles west of Spitsbergen we sail along the edge of the continental shelf, where Fin Whale forage in summer in the upwelling’s along the Spitsbergen banks. At the mouth of the Kongsfjorden we have also good chances to see Minke Whale.

Day 7     Spitsbergen
On Board the M/V Plancius
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Sail into St. Johns Fjord or south to the mouth of Isfjorden

In Forlandsundet at Sarstangen is a haul out place for Walrus. Alternatively we sail into St. Johns Fjord or south to the mouth of Isfjorden and land at Alkhornet. Seabirds nest on its cliffs and Arctic Fox search thecliff base for fallen eggs and chicks, while Spitsbergen Reindeer graze the relatively luxuriant vegetation. At nighttime we arrive in Longyearbyen.

Day 8     Longyearbyen
Meals: Breakfast

Return to Longyearbyen and disembark for the transfer to the airport and the flight to Oslo and home.



All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions and in order to take advantage of opportunities to see wildlife.

Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.

Diving Is An Optional Activity
Price Includes
Conferences and Shipboard Entertainment
Shore Excursions
Accommodations in Select Cabin Category
Meals Daily Shipboard
Port Charges & Tax
Tour Escort
Services of Expedition Guides
Price Does Not Include
 Mandatory Insurance