Day 1 — Embarkation Day in Longyearbyen
Your Spitsbergen expedition itinerary begins when you board your ship in Longyearbyen, the island’s largest settlement. Enjoy your first view of the island’s rugged, glacier-topped mountains, rising majestically from icy Arctic waters.
Days 2 to 12 — Circumnavigating Spitsbergen
Expect a new adventure every day as we begin our circumnavigation by heading north and around the island of Spitsbergen, exploring smaller, outlying islands. The variety of incredible wildlife and geological formations found here is astounding. We plan to circumnavigate the island of Spitsbergen, but if conditions are favorable, we will also attempt a circumnavigation of the whole Svalbard archipelago. Every expedition will be different, depending on the weather and ice, but we do hope to visit a few of our favorite landing sites, including the 14th of July Glacier, Ny London, Phippsøya, Alkefjellet and the seldom-visited Kvitøya.
The names may seem strange to you, but they each have their own unique appeal. For birders, the 14th of July Glacier is home to purple sandpipers, common eiders, barnacle geese and Arctic terns; while Alkefjellet is home to nesting brunich guillemots (thick-billed murres).
If you want to prove that reindeer are real, then you’ll want to have your camera ready for visits to sites like Ny London, Sundneset and Alkhornet. As for the largest land carnivore in the world – searching for polar bears is a constant activity, with Phippsoya and Isbukta being two of their preferred places for hunting – meaning great potential for you to capture them in action.
A big part of appreciating Spitsbergen comes from understanding the culture, not just how people live today, but how this land was first explored. Whaling was a key industry here and you will see blubber ovens and other whaling evidence at landing sites such as Smeerenburg. Colorful tundra meadow displays are complimented by glaciers and the potential exists for spotting beluga whales.
Day 13 — Disembarkation Day in Longyearbyen
Your adventure ends as it began, in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here we’ll transfer you to the airport for your flight home.
Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. When travelling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. The above is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.