Spitsbergen, a remote and spectacular archipelago of immense glaciers, narrow fjords, sheer mountain cliffs and abundant wildlife, has lured many explorers into its enticing web. On this expedition, explore the eastern and least visited areas of this beautiful and dramatic region. Spitsbergen has twice as many polar bears as people, so you may encounter a good number of them. You will also visit beaches covered by massive walrus, and seabirds will be your constant companions throughout the trip.
Day 1: Oslo / Longyearbyen
You land in Longyearbyen in the afternoon and embark the M/S Stockholm.
Days 2-10: Exploring Spitsbergen
Your route depends on weather, ice conditions and the wildlife you encounter. Each day you make several landings with the rigid Zodiac craft and these are a few of the places you may visit: Barentsburg Not far from Norwegian Longyearbyen is the Russian enclave Barentsburg, a fascinating coal mining settlement founded in 1932. Ny Ã…lesund In this scientific village the animals completely ignore the humans. Arctic terns nest by the main street and outside the post office, northernmost in the world, visitors often see wild reindeer grazing. It was from here that Amundsen and Nobile started their heroic expeditions to the North Pole. Danes' Island This was the starting point for AndrÃ©e`s hydrogen balloon, the Eagle, which left Danes` Island on July 11, 1897. Three days later the balloon crashed on the pack ice north of Spitsbergen. Northwest Spitsbergen On Danes' Island and Amsterdam Island you see remnants of 17th century whaling stations. North Spitsbergen In beautiful Mossel Bay you visit Polhem, the world's northernmost house, where Adolf Erik NordenskiÃ¶ld over-wintered in 1872-73. Hinlopen Strait If the ice allows you may visit Hinlopen Strait. Here is Auk Mountain, a vertical basaltic cliff, which makes out the home for some 200,000 Brunnich`s guillemots. The waters here are especially nutritious, which explains the large quantities of sea birds. East Spitsbergen Heading east you may meet the massive pack ice border. Enjoy the silence and grandeur of this icy landscape. The chances of meeting polar bears increase the further you travel into the ice. Nordaustlandet This island, covered by an enormous ice cap, fascinates naturalists as well as historians. Here you find a huge glacier front intersected by hundreds of melt-waterfalls, an abandoned German weather station from WWII and the well kept scientific station at Kinnvika. White Island If ice conditions allow, you land on White Island, where few people have ever set foot. Here AndrÃ©e and his men were found 33 years after their unsuccessful attempt to reach the North Pole with balloon. Visit the monument commemorating these brave men, and admire the huge ice cap, which covers the island. BarentsÃ¶ya and EdgeÃ¶ya On BarentsÃ¶ya there are remnants of old Pomor fishing camps, some 400 years old. The Pomors were brave pioneers sailing here in small open boats from the Arctic shores of Russia to fish and hunt. EdgeÃ¶ya treats its visitors to magnificent landscapes and tundra plains where chances are good of seeing reindeer, Arctic fox and walrus. Hornsund A grandiose fjord on Spitsbergen`s Southwest coast where enormous glaciers tumble down to the sea between alpine mountains. This is a favourite area for the islands' many polar bears.
Day 11: Longyearbyen
Today you reach Longyearbyen, leave the ship and transfer to the airport.