EN SE
Find Expedition
  • Spectacular Spitsbergen
    Spectacular Spitsbergen
  • Polar bears are excellent swimmers
    Polar bears are excellent swimmers
  • Arctic Tern, Svalbard
    Arctic Tern, Svalbard
  • Polar bears roam the ice
    Polar bears roam the ice
  • Svalbard Reindeer
    Svalbard Reindeer
  • Dramatic Svalbard
    Dramatic Svalbard
  • Guillemots, Svalbard
    Guillemots, Svalbard
  • Walrus hauled out on the Arctic shore
    Walrus hauled out on the Arctic shore
  • Zodiacs can explore among the pack ice floes
    Zodiacs can explore among the pack ice floes

Around Spitsbergen M/V Plancius

Spitsbergen, the land of the Polar Bear is an Arctic archipelago only 1000 kilometres south of the North Pole. It is by far the largest wilderness area of Europe. Visitors can witness enormous colonies of seabirds thronging the cliffs and shores, and enjoy the thrilling antics of whales at sea, and seals and walruses hauled out on ice-floes. The proximity of the pack-ice offers spectacular ice cruising. You may even encounter the very symbol of the Arctic - the Polar Bear! Its rugged mountains and rolling tundra offer plenty of opportunities for hikers, climbers and skiers.
  • Look out for Arctic wildlife such as whales, seals, walrus and polar bears
  • Reach 81 degrees north, just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole
  • Myriad of birdlife and spectacular seabird cliff colonies
  • Sailing with m/v Plancius, a most comfortable expedition vessel
  • Admire the glaciers and mountains of Svalbard

Day 1 - Departure from Longyearbyen 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 and Polar Museum are well worth visiting. In the early evening the ship will sail out of Isfjorden. Day 2 - Krossfjorden & Ny Ålesund Heading north along the west coast, we arrive by morning in Krossfjorden, where we board the Zodiacs for a cruise along the sculpted front of the 14th of July Glacier. On the green slopes near the glacier, a colourful variety of flowers bloom, while large numbers of Kittiwake and Brünnich’s Guillemot nest on the nearby cliffs. There is also a good chance of spotting Arctic Fox, who patrol the base of the cliffs in case a chick falls from its nest, and Bearded Seal, who cruise this fjord. In the afternoon we sail to Ny Ålesund, the world’s most northerly settlement. Once a mining village - served by the world’s most northerly railway, which can still be seen - Ny Ålesund is now a research centre. Close to the village is a breeding ground for Barnacle Goose, Pink-footed Goose and Arctic Tern. Visitors interested in the history of Arctic exploration will want to walk to the anchoring mast used by Amundsen and Nobile, in the airship Norge in 1926 and Nobile in the airship Italia in 1928, before their flights to the North Pole. Day 3 - Liefdefjorden Near the mouth of Liefdefjorden, we will go ashore for a walk on the tundra island of Andøya. Many common eider and Pink-footed Goose nest here, and the more rare King Eider may also be seen. Sailing into Liefdefjorden, we will cruise near the face of the impressive Monaco Glacier. The waters of the glacier front are a favourite feeding spot for thousands of Kittiwakes and occasionally Polar Bear are seen on the glacier. Day 4 - Seven Islands Today we will reach the northernmost islands of Svalbard: the Seven Islands north of Nordaustlandet. We will attempt to land on Phippsøya which often have walrus hauled out on land. We will then try to find the pack ice to take in the spectacular surroundings and search for wildlife such as Polar bear and perhaps even the illusive Ross gull. We will reach the area of 81 degrees north – just 540 nautical miles from the geographic North Pole. DAY 5 - 6 - Hinlopen Strait At Sorg Fjord we may find another herd of walrus not far from the graves of 17th century whalers. On a nature walk, we may encounter families of Ptarmigans. The afternoon may take us across Hinlopen Straight to Kinnvika on the island of Nordaustlandet to explore the polar dessert landscape. On day 6 - We will sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to Bearded Seal, Ringed Seal, Polar Bear, and Ivory Gull. We’ll navigate the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in our zodiacs and explore the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with thousands of Brünnich’s Guillemot. On the east side of Hinlopenstrait, we’ll attempt a landing at Augustabukta on Nordaustlandet, home to reindeer, Pink-footed Goose, breeding Ivory Gull, and Walrus. Near Torellneset we will walk along beautiful coastline covered in smooth rocks, sculpted by the surf over thousands of years. We may encounter Walrus along the way. Day 7 - Barentsøya In Freemansundet we plan to land at Sundneset on the island of Barentsøya to visit an old trapper's hut and then take a brisk walk across the tundra in search of Spitsbergen Reindeer and Barnacle Goose. Later we cruise south to Diskobukta on the west side of Edgeøya. After a Zodiac cruise through the shallow bay, we land on a beach littered with whale bones and tree trunks, which have drifted here from Siberia. We can also climb to the rim of a narrow gully which is inhabited by thousands of Kitttiwake, together with Black Guillemot and piratical Glaucous Gull. During the breeding season, the base of the cliffs is patrolled by Arctic Fox and Polar Bear, especially females with young cubs, searching for young birds that have fallen from the nesting ledges. Day 8 - Cruising the side fjords of the spectacular Hornsund area We start the day quietly cruising the side fjords of the spectacular Hornsund area of southern Spitsbergen, enjoying the scenery of towering mountain peaks. Hornsundtind rises to 1,431m, while Bautaen shows why early Dutch explorers gave the name ‘Spitsbergen’ - pointed mountains - to the island. There are also 14 magnificent glaciers in the area and very good chances of encounters with seals and Polar Bear. Day 9 - Ahlstrandhalvøya Today we land on Ahlstrandhalvøya at the mouth of Van Keulenfjorden. Here piles of Beluga skeletons (the Beluga is a small white whale), the remains of 19th century slaughter, are yet another reminder of the consequences of thoughtless exploitation. Fortunately, Beluga were not hunted to the edge of extinction and may still be seen locally. Indeed, there is a good chance that we will come across a pod. Cruising into Recherchefjorden during the afternoon we can explore an area of tundra at the head of the fjord where many reindeer feed. Day 10 - Arrival in Longyearbyen Return to Longyearbyen and disembark for the transfer to the airport and the flight to Oslo and home. PLEASE NOTE: The chances it is possible to complete a full Spitsbergen Circumnavigation (based on 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 we cannot complete a full circumnavigation the vessel will mostly resort to a program in Northeast or Southeast Spitsbergen.

Expedition Vessel: M/V Plancius

M/V "Plancius" was built in 1976 as an oceanographic research vessel for the Royal Dutch Navy and was named "Hr. Ms. Tydeman". The ship sailed for the Dutch Navy until June 2004 and was completely rebuilt as a 114-passenger vessel in 2009. M/V "Plancius" complies with the latest SOLAS-regulations (Safety Of Life At Sea), is classed by Lloyd's Register in London and flies the Dutch flag.  M/V "Plancius" accommodates 114 passengers in 53 passenger cabins with private toilet and shower in 4 quadruple porthole cabins, 2 triple porthole cabins, 9 twin porthole cabins, 26 twin cabins with window and 2 twin deluxe cabins, all (ca. 15 square metres) and 10 twin superior cabins (ca. 21 square metres).

For full information about this vessel click here:

deckplans for ship

Dates, Costs & Booking

Choose Date

Choose Number of Berths & Category

Date Selected: 20th Aug 2017


Adult (1) US$4900
Sub total US$4900

Essential Information

Rates, Share and Sole Use policy All rates are quoted per person, based on shared twin, triple or quad occupancy. If you are travelling alone and wish to share, you will be matched with another person of the same gender at the shared rate. Twin and Superior cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the share rate. Children Upon request (some voyages may be excluded), children under 16 with parents may receive 40 % discount in Superior, Triple (sharing with 2 parents / adults) and Quadruple Cabins (sharing with 3 parents / adults). Deposits Reservations require a deposit of 20% at the time you receive a booking confirmation from Expeditions Online. A payment link will be sent to you and this may be paid by major credit card. Bookings within 60 days of departure require full payment. Final Payments Balances are due 60 days prior to departure. Cancellations All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. Cancellations received 90 days or more prior to departure, are refunded less a fee of 20 % of the total price. If cancellation is received between 89 days and 60 days prior to departure, are refunded less a fee of 50 % of the total price. If cancellation occurs less than 59 days up to and including the day of departure: 100 % of the total price. If full payment has not yet been received, the full penalty will still apply and any unpaid balance is due immediately. We strongly recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance. Booking Terms Please read carefully the General Booking Conditions for Expeditions Online. This voyage is operated by Oceanwide Expeditions and you additionally travel under their terms and conditions as the operator as well as of the Shipping Company/transport carrier. Details will be forwarded to you at the time of booking.

Included

  • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary.
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snow shoes on Plancius and Ortelius
  • 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.

Excluded

  • 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).
  • Possible fuel surcharges; It is agreed that if world fuel prices will reach or exceed US Dollar 120 per Barrel Brent, 90 days prior to departure Oceanwide Expeditions reserves the right to levy a fuel surcharge of US $ 25 per passenger per night for bookings outside Europe and EURO 18 per passenger per night for bookings within Europe, to be paid by the contracting party of Oceanwide Expeditions.