Around Spitsbergen Voyages

Around Spitsbergen Voyages provide the longest and most complete exploration of this polar archipelago, with its mountains, fjords, glaciers and fascinating High Arctic wildlife. These extended cruises allow greater time for in-depth exploration both onboard and onshore supported by 24 hours daylight. The plan is to circumnavigate the archipelago and although not always possible due to prevailing ice conditions, this still provides more days in which to explore.

High on the list are opportunities to observe polar bears, walrus, reindeer, whales and several species of seal as well as the 183 species of resident and migratory birds that breed here.

Polar Bears on Whale Carcass - Pippa Zintilis

With planned twice daily landings, expert natural history experts invite you to enjoy walks to suit your fitness and interests and take you onboard zodiacs to experience the ice floes and bird cliffs such as Alkefjellet, a nesting haven for thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots.

On the West coast, where the waters and vegetation are influenced by the warm Gulf Stream, we tend to find some of the most prolific birdlife and greatest diversity of plantlife. To the North, an Around Spitsbergen voyage in the right conditions may visit Phippsoya,  just 540 miles from the North pole and the permanent ice cap of North East land. The Hindlopen Strait is narrow and can often be blocked by mid season ice denying access, a reminder that this is an expedition in the truest sense and one must expect change and find opportunity as it arises.

Braswellbreen (Austfonna) - Bjoern Koth

Diversity in Eastern Spitsbergen is considerably lower than the west coast, and the influence of the East Spitsbergen Current brings contrasting conditions of Arctic ice flows and sub zero conditions, even in midsummer.

As a fully ATOL bonded travel company, Aqua-Firma Worldwide have the expertise to arrange international flights, hotels, extended stays in Oslo and additional day trips in Spitsbergen before or after your voyage. These include sea kayaking, trekking, learning to dog sled on wheels and fossil hunting.


Arctic Wildlife & Adventure Voyages

Adventure options of sea kayaking, snow-shoeing, extended trekking, photography workshops, skiing and diving exist on several of our Spitsbergen Voyages. We can also arrange dog sledding, trekking and sea kayaking before or after your voyage.

For further information, please Contact Us to speak to one of our polar experts.

 

Itinerary

10 Day Sample Itinerary

These Around Spitsbergen voyages aim to circumnavigate Spitsbergen, which is the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago.

NB: The chances that the ship can complete a full Spitsbergen Circumnavigation (based on our experiences from 1992 until 2012) are about, 30% in the first half of July, 60% in the second half of July, 90% in the first half of August, 95% in the second half of August. In case you cannot complete a full circumnavigation, your Captain and Expedition Team will mostly resort to a program in Northeast or Southeast Spitsbergen.

Day 1: Embarkation in Longyearbyen

Please note that our polar itineraries are written to provide a flavour of each voyage.  The actual route will be decided by the captain and expedition team in accordance with prevailing ice, weather and sea conditions and opportunities to see wildlife and wilderness scenery.

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 is well worth visiting. We also suggest that you may like to use the opportunity to visit the Svalbard Museum, which harbours an interesting collection on the history of Spitsbergen, the mining industry and polar exploration. 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.

Day 2: Krossfjorden & Ny Ă…lesund

Heading north along the west coast, you arrive by morning in Krossfjorden, where you may  get on the Zodiacs for an exhilarating cruise along the sculpted front of the 14th of July Glacier. 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 world's most northerly settlement.

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: Liefdefjorden & Monaco Glacier

Depending on the weather, you could sail into Liefdefjorden and cruise within sight of the 5-kilometer-long (3.1 miles) face of the precipitous Monaco Glacier. The waters in front of this glacier are a favorite feeding spot for thousands of kittiwakes, and the base of the ice is a popular polar bear hunting ground. If ice conditions prevent sailing here early in the season, an alternate route along the west coast of Spitsbergen can be implemented.

Days 4 & 5: 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 inhabit this region, so the ship may park for several hours among the pack ice before wheeling around west again.

When the edge of this sea ice is tens of miles north of the Seven Islands (mostly in August), you can spend a second day in this area. Alternatively (mostly in July) you may turn to Sorgfjord, where you have the chance to find a herd of walruses not far from the graves of 17th-century whalers. A nature walk here can bring you close to families of ptarmigans, and the opposite side of the fjord is also a beautiful area for an excursion.

Day 6: Hinlopen Strait & Alkefjellet

Today you sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to bearded and ringed seals as well as polar bears. At the entrance there is even the possibility to spot blue whales. As with Liefdefjorden, you can take an alternate west Spitsbergen route if ice prevents entry into Hinlopen. After cruising among the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in the Zodiacs, you then view the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with their thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots. On the east side of Hinlopen Strait, you may attempt a landing where reindeer, pink-footed geese, and walruses are likely sights. Near Torrelneset you can also visit the polar desert of Nordaustlandet, next to the world’s third-largest ice cap. Here you may encounter walruses during a coastline hike over the area’s raised beaches.

Day 7: Freemansundet

The plan today 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: Hornsund

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: Bellsund

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: Disembark in Longyearbyen

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

Dates

Enquire / Book 22 Jun - 01 Jul 2023 - from US$ 6,150

Oslo - Longyearbyen - Oslo (10 Days)
Modern x-bow expedition ship: 193 passengers
Included Activities: Photography Workshops
Includes: return charter flights Oslo - Longyearbyen

Enquire / Book 28 Jun - 07 Jul 2023 - from € 4,560

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (10 Days)
Modern expedition ship: 170 passengers

Enquire / Book 29 Jun - 09 Jul 2023 - from US$ 10,590

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (11 Days)
Smallest expedition ship: 12 passengers

Enquire / Book 30 Jun - 10 Jul 2023 - from US$ 8,090

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (11 Days)
Small expedition ship: 53 passengers

Enquire / Book 01 - 10 Jul 2023 - from US$ 6,350

Oslo - Longyearbyen - Oslo (10 Days)
Modern x-bow expedition ship: 193 passengers
Included Activities: Photography Workshops
Includes: return charter flights Oslo - Longyearbyen

Enquire / Book 02 - 11 Jul 2023 - from € 4,560

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (10 Days)
Modern expedition ship: 170 passengers

Enquire / Book 04 - 13 Jul 2023 - from € 4,560

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (10 Days)
Lloyds 1A Ice Class Expedition Ship: 108 passengers

Enquire / Book 06 - 15 Jul 2023 - from € 4,560

Longyearbyen-Longyearbyen (10 days)
Comfortable expedition ship: 108 passengers
Optional Activities: Kayaking

Enquire / Book 06 - 17 Jul 2023 - from £ 6,495

Longyearbyen - Oslo (12 Days)
Elegant expedition ship: 114 passengers
Optional Activities: Kayaking
Included Activities: Photography Workshops
Includes: 1 pre-voyage hotel night, one way flight LYR-OSL & free Expedition Parka 

Enquire / Book 07 - 20 Jul 2023 - from £ 8,795

Helsinki - Longyearbyen - Helsinki (14 Days)
Comfortable expedition ship: 128 passengers
Optional Activities: Kayaking
Includes: free Expedition Parka
Transfer Package (not included): 1 pre-voyage hotel night in Helsinki and return charter flights Helsinki-Longyearbyen
Bilingual Voyage: English & German

Enquire / Book 10 - 20 Jul 2023 - from US$ 8,090

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (11 Days)
Small expedition ship: 53 passengers

Enquire / Book 11 - 20 Jul 2023 - from € 4,560

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (10 Days)
Expedition Ship: 170 passengers

Enquire / Book 13 - 22 Jul 2023 - from € 4,560

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (10 Days)
Lloyds 1A Ice Class Expedition Ship: 108 passengers

Enquire / Book 15 - 24 Jul 2023 - from € 4,560

Longyearbyen-Longyearbyen (10 days)
Comfortable expedition ship: 108 passengers

Enquire / Book 15 - 25 Jul 2023 - from US$ 11,790

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (11 Days)
Smallest expedition ship: 12 passengers

Enquire / Book 20 - 29 Jul 2023 - from € 4,560

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (10 Days)
Modern expedition ship: 170 passengers
Included Activities: Science Basecamp

Enquire / Book 20 - 30 Jul 2023 - from US$ 8,090

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (11 Days)
Small expedition ship: 53 passengers

Enquire / Book 22 - 31 Jul 2023 - from € 4,560

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (10 Days)
Lloyds 1A Ice Class Expedition Ship: 108 passengers

Enquire / Book 23 Jul - 01 Aug 2023 - from € 4,560

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (10 Days)
Modern expedition ship: 170 passengers
Optional Activities: Scuba Diving

Enquire / Book 24 Jul - 02 Aug 2023 - from € 4,560

Longyearbyen-Longyearbyen (10 days)
Comfortable expedition ship: 108 passengers

Enquire / Book 25 Jul - 04 Aug 2023 - from US$ 11,790

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (11 Days)
Smallest expedition ship: 12 passengers

Enquire / Book 29 Jul - 07 Aug 2023 - from € 4,560

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (10 Days)
Modern expedition ship: 170 passengers

Enquire / Book 29 Jul - 08 Aug 2023 - from US$ 11,590

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (11 Days)
Smallest expedition ship: 12 passengers

Enquire / Book 31 Jul - 09 Aug 2023 - from € 4,560

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (10 Days)
Lloyds 1A Ice Class Expedition Ship: 108 passengers

Enquire / Book 02 - 11 Aug 2023 - from € 4,560

Longyearbyen-Longyearbyen (10 days)
Comfortable expedition ship: 108 passengers

Enquire / Book 02 - 12 Aug 2023 - from US$ 8,090

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (11 Days)
Small expedition ship: 53 passengers
German language departure

Enquire / Book 04 - 14 Aug 2023 - from US$ 11,790

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (11 Days)
Smallest expedition ship: 12 passengers

Enquire / Book 07 - 16 Aug 2023 - from € 4,560

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (10 Days)
Modern expedition ship: 170 passengers
Itinerary includes Kvitøya

Enquire / Book 08 - 18 Aug 2023 - from US$ 11,590

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (11 Days)
Smallest expedition ship: 12 passengers

Enquire / Book 09 - 18 Aug 2023 - from € 4,560

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (10 Days)
Lloyds 1A Ice Class Expedition Ship: 108 passengers

Enquire / Book 11 - 20 Aug 2023 - from € 4,560

Longyearbyen-Longyearbyen (10 days)
Comfortable expedition ship: 108 passengers
Itinerary includes Kvitøya

Enquire / Book 12 - 22 Aug 2023 - from US$ 8,090

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (11 Days)
Small expedition ship: 53 passengers

Enquire / Book 14 - 24 Aug 2023 - from US$ 11,790

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (11 Days)
Smallest expedition ship: 12 passengers

Enquire / Book 18 - 27 Aug 2023 - from € 4,560

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (10 Days)
Lloyds 1A Ice Class Expedition Ship: 108 passengers
Itinerary includes Kvitøya

Enquire / Book 18 - 28 Aug 2023 - from US$ 11,590

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (11 Days)
Smallest expedition ship: 12 passengers

Enquire / Book 22 Aug - 01 Sep 2023 - from US$ 8,090

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (11 Days)
Small expedition ship: 53 passengers

Enquire / Book 24 Aug - 03 Sep 2023 - from US$ 11,790

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (11 Days)
Smallest expedition ship: 12 passengers

Enquire / Book 28 Aug - 07 Sep 2023 - from US$ 11,590

Longyearbyen - Longyearbyen (11 Days)
Smallest expedition ship: 12 passengers

Notes:

Our prices include:
Voyage as indicated in draft itinerary
Group airport transfers to & from the vessel (when arriving/departing on recommended group flight)
All meals, snacks, coffee and tea
All shore excursions and zodiac activities
Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff
All miscellaneous services taxes and port charges throughout the programme
Comprehensive pre-departure material

Prices exclude:
Airfares
Optional activities (e.g. kayaking, diving) unless stated
Pre and post land arrangements
Transfers to and from the vessel (except when arriving/departing on recommended group flight)
Cancellation and personal insurance
Passports and visas
Arrival and departure tax
Meals ashore
Baggage
Items of a personal nature (alcohol, laundry etc)
Tips.

Single supplement:
There is no single supplement to pay if you are willing to share your cabin with someone of the same gender.
For a cabin to yourself the supplement is from 1.8x  the per person rate.

Fuel surcharge:
A fuel surcharge may apply on certain departures should the price of Brent crude rise above US$120 barrel 90 days before the voyage.

Activity Level: Low to Medium

  • Arctic Fox in Spitsbergen - Bjoern Koth
  • Walrus at Aroneset - Jen Squire
  • Austfonna (Braswellbreen) - Doug & Annie Howes
  • Brunnichs Guillemots - Ralph Pannell
  • Alkefjellet Bird Cliffs, Spitsbergen - Kelvin Murray
  • Successful Polar Bear Hunt - Bjoern Koth
  • Expedition Ship at Austfonna (Braswellbreen) - Bjoern Koth
  • Red Phalarope - Doug & Annie Howes
  • Svalbard Reindeer - Bjoern Koth

Trip Reviews: Around Spitsbergen Voyages

  • Iceberg in Spitsbergen - Bjoern Koth
  • Purple Sandpiper at Aroneset - Jen Squire
  • Svalbard Reindeer at Alkhornet - Jen Squire
  • Blue Whale - Jen Squire
  • Walrus in Spitsbergen - Bjoern Koth
  • Kongsbreen, Spitsbergen - Jen Squire
  • Spitsbergen in Summer - Doug & Annie Howes
Array
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