Day 1: Longyearbyen / Barentsburg / EmbarkThe voyage starts in the Norwegian settlement often referred to as the capital of Svalbard. The history of Longyearbyen is very much the history of coal mining and reminders of the first mining can be seen everywhere. Visit the Russian settlement of Barentsburg, constructed around the entrance to the coal mine. Here you will find an exotic collection of Russian artifacts and architecture.
Day 2: Kongsfjorden / Northwest Spitsbergen National ParkKings Bay is the largest fjord on the North West coast of Spitsbergen. The landscape varies from large tundra plains to alpine peaks with dramatic glaciers calving into the ocean. At 78º 55’ N, Ny Ålesund is the world’s northernmost permanently inhabited community, where a number of countries run their own national research stations. Activity here is particularly high in the summer. Magdalenefjorden is home to a very important piece of cultural heritage; a whaling station from the 16th century, including a graveyard of whalers who died during the first “oil adventure."
Day 3: Northeast Spitsbergen Nature ReserveThis is a true expedition day where you explore some of the most remote parts of the Svalbard Archipelago. Attempt to reach Sjuøyane, a cluster of islands at almost 81º N. These islands are closer to the Geographical North Pole than any other landmass in Europe. Polar bears and seabirds are the only inhabitants.
Day 4: Northeast Spitsbergen Nature ReserveContinue exploring the Northeast Spitsbergen Nature Reserve. See the spectacular bird cliff of Alkefjellet that is sometimes referred to as the Piccadilly Circus of seabirds; its spires rise directly from the sea and create perfect nesting conditions.
Day 5: Southwest Svalbard Nature ReserveEdgøya is the third largest island in Svalbard. Here you will find cultural heritage from all eras of human exploration of Svalbard. Storfjorden will give spectacular views of the east coast. In the distance, see hundreds of glaciers and mountains, and if you are lucky, meet some of the marine mammals of Svalbard.
Day 6: South Spitsbergen National Park / HornsundThe landscape of Hornsund is alpine with some very special mountains like Bautaen, or in English, the Obelisk, which, seen from the right angle looks like a giant Viking sword. Let your imagination run wild while spending the day in these extraordinary surroundings.
Day 7: IsfjordenIsfjorden is the largest fjord system in Svalbard. One of the most prominent mountains is Alkhornet where thousands of Brünnich guillemots nest during the summer season.
Day 8: LongyearbyenSadly, every voyage has to come to an end. Hopefully you will be recalling the memory of that polar bear, the calving glacier front or the buzzing birdlife – or simply enjoying the subtle, odd feeling of having spent time on top of the globe, just a few hundred kilometers from the Geographical North Pole.
2013 Itinerary: Please note the 2013 departures include a pre-cruise night in Longyearbyen, making the program 9 days. In addition, in 2013, explore the Woodfjord system on day 4.
Cabin accommodations; coffee and tea; suites include a range of additional complimentary amenities such as drinks with meals; wind and water-resistant jacket; CD log; city tour of Longyearbyen (2013 only); 1 hotel night in Longyearbyen before the voyage including breakfast and lunch (2013 only).
International and local flights; travel insurance; luggage handling; passport and visa expenses; optional excursions and gratuities; fuel surcharge may apply.