Around Spitsbergen - Kvitoya, In the Realm of Polar Bear & Ice
10 Days - M/V Hondius
Step aboard the M/V Hondius as you explore Spitsbergen on this comprehensive 10-day journey, providing ample opportunities to see whales, foxes, reindeer, seals and of course, polar bears. What sets this expedition apart from others is that you will make a landing on the island of Kvitoya, a site of historical significance and home to a large population of walrus.
from USD $5400pp
Home » 10 Day M/V Hondius: Around Spitsbergen – Kvitoya, In the Realm of Polar Bear & Ice
- Cruise out from Longyearbyen, the administrative centre of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago
- Jump aboard a zodiac to cruise near the towering blue-white face of the Fourteenth of July Glacier
- Sail to Ny Alesund, the northernmost settlement of Earth which was once a mining village
- Reach 80-degrees north when you visit Nordaustlandet, 870kms from the geographic North Polar
- Keep an eye out for wildlife along the way including polar bears, bearded seals, guillemots, kittiwake and walrus plus much more
Itinerary in Brief
- Day 1: Longyearbyen & Isfjorden embarkation
- Day 2: Cruising Krossfjorden
- Day 3: Stop at the Seven Islands
- Day 4: The great glacier front of Schweigaardbreen
- Day 5: Ice cap at Kvitoya
- Day 6: The longest glacier in Spitsbergen
- Day 7: Barentsoya's many bounties
- Day 8: Land of the pointed mountains
- Day 9: Bell Sund's flora, fauna, and haunting history
- Day 10: Return to Longyearbyen and disembark
Day 1: Longyearbyen & Isfjorden embarkation
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: Cruising Krossfjorden
Heading north along the west coast, you arrive by morning in Krossfjorden. Here you might board the Zodiacs for a cruise near the towering blue-white face of the Fourteenth of July Glacier. On the green slopes near the glacier, colorful flowers bloom while flocks of kittiwakes and Brünnich’s guillemots nest on the cliffs. You have a good chance of spotting an Arctic fox scouting for fallen chicks, or a bearded seal paddling through the fjord.
In the afternoon you sail to Ny Ålesund, the northernmost settlement on Earth. Once a mining village served by the world’s most northerly railway – you can still see its tracks – Ny Ålesund is now a research center. Close to the community is a breeding ground for barnacle geese, pink-footed geese, and Arctic terns. And if you’re interested in the history of Arctic exploration, visit the anchoring mast used by polar explorers Amundsen and Nobile in their airships, Norge (1926) and Italia (1928).
Day 3: Stop at the Seven Islands
The northernmost point of your voyage may be north of Nordaustlandet, in the Seven Islands. Here you reach 80° north, just 870 km (540 miles) from the geographic North Pole. Polar bears and walrus inhabit this stark desolate landscape. Later in the day the ship may roam for several hours among the pack ice in search of wildlife.
Day 4: The great glacier front of Schweigaardbreen
Pushing east to Nordaustlandet, you reach the area where the Italian captain Sora tried to rescue the Nobile Expedition in 1928. The focus here is the great glacier front of Schweigaardbreen, though you may also land at Firkantbukta, getting the chance to gain some altitude and take a few higher-elevation photos. Alternately, you could make a Zodiac cruise near Storøya, where you might encounter walruses.
Day 5: Ice cap at Kvitoya
Today you try to reach the rarely visited Kvitøya, far to the east and close to Russian territory. The enormous ice cap covering this island leaves only a small area bare. You land at the western tip of Andréeneset, where the Swedish explorer S. A. Andrée and his companions perished in 1897. Another objective for the day is Kræmerpynten, where a sizable group of walruses reside.
Day 6: The longest glacier in Spitsbergen
South of Nordaustlandet you may land on Isisøya, formerly a Nunatak area surrounded by glaciers but now an island surrounded by the sea. You then may pass by Bråswellbreen, part of the largest ice cap in Europe and famed for its meltwater waterfalls.
Day 7: Barentsoya's many bounties
The plan is to make landings in Freemansundet, though polar bears sometimes make this impossible. Potential stops on Barentsøya include Sundneset (for an old trapper’s hut), Kapp Waldburg (for its kittiwake colony), and Rindedalen (for a walk across the tundra). You might also cruise south to Diskobukta, though Kapp Lee is more likely your destination. On Kapp Lee is a walrus haul-out, Pomor ruins, and the chance for hikes along Edgeøya.
Day 8: Land of the pointed mountains
You start the day by cruising the side fjords of the Hornsund area of southern Spitsbergen, taking in the spire-like peaks: Hornsundtind rises 1,431 meters (4,695 feet), and Bautaen is a perfect illustration of why early Dutch explorers named this island Spitsbergen, meaning “pointed mountains.” There are 14 sizable glaciers in this area as well as opportunities for spotting seals, beluga whales, and polar bears.
Day 9: Bell Sund's flora, fauna, and haunting history
Today you find yourself in Bell Sund, one of the largest fjord systems in Svalbard. The ocean currents make this area slightly warmer than other areas in the archipelago, which shows in the relatively lush vegetation. Here there are excellent opportunities to enjoy both history and wildlife. A possibility is Ahlstrandhalvøya, at the mouth of Van Keulenfjorden, where piles of beluga skeletons can be found. These remains of 19th-century whale slaughter are a haunting reminder of the consequences of rampant exploitation. Fortunately, belugas were not hunted into extinction, and you have a good chance of coming across a pod. Alternately, while cruising the side fjords of Bellsund, you can explore tundra where reindeer like to feed as well as rock slopes where little auks are breeding.
Day 10: Return to Longyearbyen
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.
|08 Aug 2024 - 17 Aug 2024||USD $5400pp|
|Quad Porthole Cabin||USD $5400pp||Contact us|
|Triple Porthole Cabin||USD $6950pp||Contact us|
|Twin Porthole Cabin||USD $7700pp||Contact us|
|Twin Window Cabin||USD $8300pp||Contact us|
|Twin Deluxe Cabin||USD $9000pp||Contact us|
|Superior Cabin||USD $10000pp||Contact us|
|Junior Suite||USD $10650pp||Contact us|
|Grand Suite with private balcony||USD $12300pp||Contact us|
**Prices are per person based on twin / shared accommodation.
**Single supplements may apply
Quad Porthole Cabin
2 portholes, 2 upper & 2 lower berths, small sofa, private shower & toilet, flatscreen TV, desk & chair, telephone and wifi, coffee & tea maker, hair dryer, safe.
Triple Porthole Cabin
2 portholes, 2 lower berths & 1 upper berth, private shower & toilet, flatscreen TV, desk & chair, telephone and wifi, coffee & tea maker, hair dryer, safe.
Twin Porthole Cabin
2 portholes, 2 lower berths, small sofa, private shower & toilet, flatscreen TV, desk & chair, telephone and wifi, coffee & tea maker, hair dryer, safe.
Twin Window Cabin
1 window, 2 lower berths, small sofa, private shower & toilet, flatscreen TV, desk & chair, telephone and wifi, coffee & tea maker, hair dryer, safe.
Twin Deluxe Cabin
2 windows, 2 lower berths, small sofa, private shower & toilet, flatscreen TV, desk & chair, telephone and wifi, coffee & tea maker, hair dryer, safe, minibar
2 windows, 1 double bed, small sofa, private shower & toilet, flatscreen TV, desk & chair, telephone and wifi, coffee & tea maker, hair dryer, safe, minibar
1 double window, 1 double bed, private shower & toilet, flatscreen TV, desk & chair, telephone and wifi, coffee & tea maker, hair dryer, safe, minibar
Grand Suite with private balcony
1 double window, 1 double bed, private balcony, private shower & toilet, flatscreen TV, desk & chair, telephone and wifi, coffee & tea maker, hair dryer, safe, minibar
M/V Hondius Deckplan
- Passengers: 174 in 82 cabins
- Staff & crew: 72
- Length: 107.6 meters
- Breadth: 17.6 meters
- Draft: 5.30 meters
- Ice class: Polar Class 6 (equivalent 1A-Super)
- Displacement: 5,590 tonnes
- Propulsion: 2 x ABC main engines; total 4,200 kW
- Speed: 15 knots
- Voyage aboard the M/V Hondius.
- 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.
What’s not included?
- Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
- Pre- and post- land arrangements.
- Transfers to / from the vessel outside Spitsbergen.
- Passport and visa expenses.
- Government arrival and departure taxes.
- Meals ashore.
- Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory).
- 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).