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Hondius - 170 Guests

North Spitsbergen, Polar Bears And Bowhead Whales In Pack-ice

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen

Search for whales, polar bears, birds and other exotic wildlife among the Arctic sea ice while enjoying the 24-hour daylight of the midnight sun, which provides excellent conditions for outdoor photography and activities


 

 

DATES / RATES

Rates are listed per person
Start DateEnd DateFrom EURFrom USD
Jun 10, 2024Jun 17, 20243,700 3,936
Rates are listed per person
Start DateEnd DateFrom EURFrom USD
Jun 10, 2024Jun 17, 20243,700 3,936


ITINERARY

PLEASE NOTE:
All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. Landings are subject to site availabilities, permissions, and environmental concerns per AECO regulations. Official sailing plans and landing slots are scheduled with AECO prior to the start of the season, but the expedition leader determines the final plan. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. The average cruising speed of our vessel is 10.5 knots.

Day 1: Largest town, biggest island
You touch down in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Enjoy strolling around this former mining town, whose parish church and Svalbard Museum make for fascinating attractions. Though the countryside appears stark, more than a hundred species of plant have been recorded in it. In the early evening the ship sails out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of your voyage.

Day 2: Walrusses, seals & sea birds
After an exciting sailing through straits and fjord we arrive late morning at Smeerenburg, where a large group of Walrusses often lays at its haul-out place. It is also a rare opportunity to see Harbour Seals on rocky islets. Smeerenburg was an important whaling station in the 17th century. Later on the day we land at Fuglesangen, where we have a great opportunity to sit among hundreds of nearby Little Auks. In the evening we make a short landing in Birgerbukta, where the Basq whalers had their station, and continue into the splendid Raudfjord.

Day 3: Route to Raudfjorden
Raudfjord, with glacier fronts, is a good area for meeting Polar Bears and Bearded Seals on fjord ice, which is still unbroken. In Hamiltonbukta is an impressive colony of Brünnichs’s Guiillemots. Later we visit Ytre Norskøya, a small island which was used for many years as a lookout point for Dutch whalers. There we can still follow their tracks to the summit of the island. On shore the remains of 17th century blubber ovens can be found near about 200 graves. The north side of the island offers the rare opportunity to see Puffins near their breeding places. There is also a small colony of Kittiwakes. From there we sail northwest to the edge of the pack-ice.

Day 4 - 6: Along the ice edge in search of Bowhead Whales, Seals & Polar Bears
At sea sailing from 80 N to 76 N along and in the outer fringes of the ice edge looking for Bowhead Whales, Harp Seals, Hooded Seals, Polar Bears and migrating seabirds like Little Auks, Brünnich’s Guillemots, and Kittiwakes. On previous voyages in this area we have sometimes seen up to hundred Bowhead Whales. On the last day, at open sea we have good chances for Northern Bottlenose Whales and the first Fin Whales of the season.

Day 7: Bell Sund’s flora, fauna, and haunting history
Bellsund is a fjord system with two major branches (Van Mijenfjord, Van Keulenfjord) and a side bay (Recherchefjord). The geology is fascinating and has created amazing landscapes, such as the long, narrow island of Akseløya that blocks Van Mijenfjord almost completely. The rich wildlife of the area has attracted hunters throughout several centuries, including English whalers, who also wintered there. - we will walk in their footsteps and see remains of their huts. We see often Polar Bears and we have also seen Beluga (white whales) in this area. Much is depending on the fjord –ice how far we can sail into these fjords.

Day 8: There and back again
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. You disembark in Longyearbyen, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

Hondius (Expedition, 170-guests)

MV Hondius offers luxury accommodation for up to 180 passengers. The ship has a luxury standard while Oceanwide's signature cozy and informal atmosphere. Hondius the strongest ice-strengthened vessel will be in the polar regions and will be equipped with stabilizers, and great trips for advanced, innovative exploratory quality in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

(Click image to view Ship details)

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Included in this voyage
  • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
  • AECO fees and governmental taxes.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.
Excluded from this voyage
  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
  • Pre- and post- land arrangements.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Meals ashore.
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

 

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DISCLAIMER: Rates are per person, subject to availability and can change at any time