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[Hero] Spitsbergen Circumnavigation: A Rite of Passage
Arctic
Spitsbergen Circumnavigation A Rite of Passage

Spitsbergen Circumnavigation A Rite of Passage

Starting From:
$12,007 USD
Duration:
14 days

This 14-day journey offers the most extensive exploration of Spitsbergen in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, including the opportunity to witness iconic Arctic wildlife like walrus, reindeer and polar bears, a glimpse into 16th-century maritime culture at secluded landing sites, and the rare chance to appreciate breathtaking views at the birdwatching utopias 14th of July Glacier and Alkefjellet. If conditions allow, we will also attempt a full circumnavigation of the archipelago, which is considered a rite of passage for many Arctic enthusiastists.

The wildlife-viewing opportunities on this trip will leave you with plenty of memories and photos: the walrus with its long tusks and distinctive whiskers; Arctic birds in all their varied majesty; small herds of reindeer loping across the tundra; and that most iconic of Arctic creatures, the polar bear, as it roams the edges of the pack ice. Shore excursions by Zodiac will enable you to explore places where few humans have ever set foot. This voyage truly is the big adventure you’ve been waiting for.

Spitsbergen Circumnavigation: A Rite of Passage
Expedition in Brief

Encounter iconic Arctic wildlife, such as polar bears, walrus and reindeer

View numerous Arctic bird species, like puffins, Arctic terns and purple sandpipers

Anticipate a full circumnavigation of Spitsbergen

Explore glaciers, fjords, icebergs and more with included Zodiac cruising

Immerse yourself in the icy realm of the Arctic with optional kayaking adventures

Hike the tundra and polar desert 

Make Your Polar Dream a Reality

All we need is a little bit of information about your travel preferences and one of our Polar Travel Advisors will be in touch.

Your Ships

When it comes to polar expeditions, you’re only as good as where your ships can take you. And our diverse fleet of small polar vessels, which includes icebreakers and expedition ships, can take you to places larger ships can’t navigate. View All of Our Ships

Ice Class

1A+

PC6

Cruising Speed

16 knots

in open water

Guests

199

Staff and Crew

140

Ultramarine - Deck 2
Deck 2

Ultramarine's off-ship adventures start here on Deck 2. This is where you’ll find the efficiently-designed Ready Rooms A and B next to the Zodiac hangar, where you'll embark on your off-ship adventure options. Ultramarine’s two ready rooms include an individual locker for each guest to safely store and dry personal items and expedition gear between outings. They're  also equipped with benches that are handy when changing attire before or after off-ship excursions. Zodiac embarkation is at water-level which makes for quick deployment.

Ultramarine - Deck 3
Deck 3

Deck 3 is where you’ll find Reception, where a crew member is available (during posted hours) to assist you. It’s also where you’ll purchase internet or email access cards and phone cards, arrange for a wake-up call, or settle your accounts at the end of the voyage. Also on Deck 3 is the Polar Boutique, which is stocked with expedition gear and a selection of polar souvenirs. The Clinic is located on Deck 3, as are the Explorer Triples and the Explorer Suites (two of which offer modified layouts and bathrooms for wheelchair accessibility).

  • Explorer Suite
  • Explorer Triple
Ultramarine - Deck 4
Deck 4

Deck 4 offers guests two categories of suites. The Balcony Suites feature one double or two single beds, and a 52 sq. ft. (4.8 sq. m) balcony, a refrigerator, safe, TV, and a bathroom with shower and heated floors. (Some Balcony Suites offer interconnecting rooms.) The larger Deluxe Balcony Suites feature one double or two single beds, a 70 sq. ft. (6.5 sq. m) balcony, refrigerator, safe, TV, and a bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors.

  • Deluxe Balcony Suite
  • Balcony Suite
Ultramarine - Deck 5
Deck 5

Deck 5 is home to Balena restaurant, featuring tables that accommodate 2 to 10 guests. Every seat in Ultramarine’s main restaurant offers views of the wraparound deck. At the opposite end of Deck 5 is the state-of-the-art Ambassador Theatre, where guests enjoy daily presentations and films on the high-definition LED wall screen. This space is large enough to accommodate all guests.

Ultramarine - Deck 6
Deck 6

During your voyage you may be granted access to the Bridge to observe how the Captain and officers sail and navigate the ship. This is an excellent opportunity to learn how your vessel operates. Strict etiquette applies during Bridge visits which can be facilitated through the Expedition Leader. Also on Deck 6 is a selection of Deluxe Balcony Suites, Ultra Suite, Solo Panorama, Owner’s Suite and Terrace Suites.

  • Ultra Suite
  • Owner's Suite
  • Terrace Suite
  • Deluxe Balcony Suite
  • Solo Panorama
  • Balcony Suite
Ultramarine - Deck 7
Deck 7

Guests can go to Deck 7 to visit Bistro 487, an alternative dining option to the larger Balena restaurant. Here, they'll enjoy selections from the main menu, healthy eating options and light snacks, as well as an early riser’s breakfast, afternoon tea and late night snacks. Also on Deck 7 are the Sauna (with floor-to-ceiling windows), the Library, Tundra Spa, a gym with the latest fitness equipment, and studio space for informal yoga.

  • Penthouse Suite
Ultramarine - Deck 8
Deck 8

Ultramarine’s two twin-engine H145 helicopters enable guests to enjoy the largest selection of off-ship adventures, all of which start at the two helidecks. It’s here on Deck 8 that guests will safely board the two helicopters to experience more unique aerial perspectives and heli-supported activities than are possible on any other ship in the industry.

Included Activities

Passengers Hiking in Svalbard
Hiking

Hiking

Hiking in the polar regions differs from your typical trail experience. Here, in a tree-less terrain, you are the tallest figure on the landscape as you walk over spongy tundra, crusty snow or sandy beaches in remotes parts of the... Read more
Passenger getting ready for a polar plunge in the Arctic

Polar Plunge

The Polar Plunge is scheduled once during each voyage. Throughout the journey, the Expedition Leader and Captain constantly monitor conditions in order to choose the optimal time and location. The Polar Plunge sometimes takes plac... Read more
Zodiac cruising in the Arctic
Zodiac

Zodiac Cruising

Zodiacs are used for transferring you ashore, transporting your luggage when necessary and for taking you ocean-level cruising among icebergs, whales and seabirds. During the expedition, you will visit remote and isolated sites th... Read more

Adventure Options

Paddling excursion in the Arctic
Paddling

Paddling Excursion

Every sweep of the paddle as your craft glides through the pristine polar waters creates an incredible soundtrack: the jostle of glacial ice, the lapping of waves against the rocky shore, the perpetual drip from your paddle, the c... Read more
Passengers kayaking in Arctic Landscape

Sea Kayaking

Positioning yourself in the seat of a kayak is one of the most intimate ways travelers can connect with the polar regions—at water level, up close, where you can touch and feel every polar sensation imaginable. The Sea Kayak Progr... Read more

Possible Excursions

When traveling in extremely remote regions, your Expedition Team must consider the sea, ice and weather to guide the route and itinerary details. The following sites are a sample of what you may experience on your expedition, whether by ship, Zodiac cruise, helicopter, or shore landing.

Hornsund

The most southerly fjord in Svalbard offers some of the most spectacular scenery, with dramatic calving glaciers, drifting pack ice and majestic peaks (the highest of which are often shrouded in mist). A Polish research station has operated on the northern shore of Hornsund since 1957. Part of Sør-Spitsbergen National Park, this pristine area is rich in wildlife— reindeer, Arctic fox and polar bears can be spotted hunting for food, while seals bask on floating ice.

Alkefjellet

This cliff is a seabird colony, where Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres) raise their young. An estimated 100,000 breeding pairs reside on the basalt cliffs. The birds do not build nests; rather, they lay eggs on the bare ledges of the cliff. Witness the spectacle of thousands of birds flying to and from their cliff edge, speckling the sky and water, like a beehive on a much grander scale.

Diskobukta

This bay on the west shore of Edgeøya affords a landing site with a box canyon where black-legged kittiwakes raise their young. Arctic foxes have been seen combing the canyon floor to feed on scraps that have fallen from the nests above. Watch for the bones of ancient bowhead whales—evidence that the land is rebounding since the last major glaciation.

Isbukta

On the eastern shore of the southern tip of Svalbard is Isbukta, which means ‘Ice Bay.’ Sabine’s gulls, skuas and bearded seals inhabit the bay. Polar bears are known to patrol the area as well.
 

Kvitøya

The western part of this island is only 39 miles (62 km) from Victoria Island in Franz Josef Land, which is part of the Russian Arctic. This remote outpost is actually closer to the Russian Arctic than it is to Nordaustlandet (50 miles/81 km).

Moffen Island

This island is designated as a protected sanctuary for walrus, which are best viewed from the water—have your cameras ready!

Nordaustlandet Island

This is the second-largest island in the entire Svalbard archipelago, and home to the polar desert. Featured here is Bråsvellbreen, an ice cap connected to the larger Austfonna, which together form a 112-mile- (180 km) long ice cliff. Bråsvellbreen’s glacier face makes for an impressive sight during a Zodiac cruise, stretching all the way to the horizon.

Phippsøya and Martensøya, Seven Islands

This small archipelago is the northernmost land in Svalbard. Englishmen left their mark during a survey of the islands in the 1780s. The party named the islands after themselves, with the smallest and least significant island being named Nelsonøya, after the lowly midshipman who was promoted over the years to the rank and title of Vice Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson! Featuring austere polar desert landscapes, and often shrouded in pack ice, these islands are closer to the North Pole than anywhere else in Svalbard.

Lilliehöök Glacier

In 2005, nearly 100 years after his great- great-grandfather conducted scientific investigations here, Prince Albert II of Monaco returned to Lilliehöök Glacier to further our understanding of the Arctic clam, a species that lives for more than a century. Here, you can take a Zodiac cruise amid labyrinths of sparkling icebergs, and witness breathtaking panoramas of ice. You may even spot bearded seals hauled out on the floes.

Longyearbyen

Home to 2,400 people, the administrative capital of Svalbard is situated on the southern side of Adventfjord.The settlement was founded in 1905 by John Munroe Longyear, the majority owner of the Arctic Coal Company of Boston. Today as much as ever, this is a true frontier town.

Monaco Glacier

Prince Albert I of Monaco, a pioneer of oceanography, led an expedition to Svalbard in 1906. His team used sophisticated photographic techniques to understand the shape and position of several glacier fronts. Monaco Glacier honors the expedition, the prince and the principality over which he reigned. While touring the glacier front by Zodiac cruise, listen to the crackle and pop of the brash ice, search for seals and have a chance to admire a natural sculpture gallery.

Departure Dates and Cabins

Showing 1 - 1 of 1 Departures
Make Your Polar Dream a Reality

All we need is a little bit of information about your travel preferences and one of our Polar Travel Advisors will be in touch.

Extend Your Trip

Getting to the Arctic can be just as much fun as being there. Quark Expeditions offers multiple travel packages that enable you to see more of the world before and after your Arctic adventure. Contact Us
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Helsinki, Finland

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