Spitsbergen and polar bears - an Arctic adventure
This adventure on the nostalgic MS Nordstjernen is the essential Spitsbergen experience.
This is an expedition where the elements rule, and the weather, wind and ice conditions will determine our schedule. Safety is paramount and the captain will decide the final sailing itinerary during the voyage. Hence, this itinerary is just an indication of what you can experience and why every expedition with Hurtigruten is unique.
On arrival you will be taken to Spitsbergen Hotel or Coal Miners Cabins, where you will stay for the night.
Enjoy a sightseeing trip in Longyearbyen, ending at the pier where you will join the MS Nordstjernen. Our first stop is the Russian settlement Barentsburg, where there will be opportunities to visit the Pomor Museum (optional) and enjoy a lively folklore show. In the afternoon we continue out the Isfjord and head north along the Prins Karls Forland.
Itinerary 1: Woodfjorden, Liefdefjorden, Moffen and 80° North. The day will be spent cruising towards the Monaco Glacier, passing a number of small islets where eider ducks nest during the summer. If we are lucky, we may spot a polar bear searching for eggs. If the ice conditions are favourable we will sail past 80° North and towards Moffen, an island often host to walrus.
Itinerary 2: Magdalenefjord and the North West Corner. We arrive in Magdalenefjord in the morning, and will make our first Polarcirkel boat landing. This area has a long history of exploration. Experience a very important cultural heritage; the remains of four blubber ovens or furnaces found on Gravneset, as well as a graveyard containing about 130 graves dating from the 17th to the late 18th century.
Itinerary 1: Kongsfjorden and Ny-Ålesund. This is the largest fjord on the North West coast. We might also visit a large adjacent fjord called Krossfjorden. The landscape varies from large tundra plains to alpine peaks with dramatic glaciers tumbling into the ocean. At the end of the fjord you’ll see the majestic Kongsbreen. Later we call on Ny-Ålesund. Previously a coal-mining community, it now houses an advanced High Arctic research station.
Itinerary 2: Woodfjorden, Liefdefjorden, Moffen and 80° North. As we cruise towards the Monaco Glacier, we will pass a number of small islets where eider ducks nest during the summer. This is a great place for spotting polar bears hunting for eggs. If we are lucky, the ice conditions make it possible to sail past 80° North and towards Moffen, a known haul-out for walrus.
Itinerary 1: Isfjorden and Longyearbyen. Located in central Spitsbergen, the Isfjord is the most prominent fjord system on Svalbard. We will spend the morning sailing towards Longyearbyen. As we sail into the outer parts of the Isfjord, the landscape changes. Marvel at the large U-shaped valleys, carved out of the mountains by the giant glaciers that covered the area some ten thousand years ago. On arrival in Longyearbyen you have the rest of the day at your disposal. A farewell dinner will be served at the hotel.
Itinerary 2: Kongsfjorden and Ny-Ålesund. We sail into Kongsfjorden, a 26 km long inlet. From here you can see the two glaciers Kronebreen and Kongsvegen. On its southern shore you find one of only four permanent settlements on Svalbard: the old coal-mining town of Ny-Ålesund - now the northernmost settlement in the world with facilities for permanent research institutes from ten countries.
The Spitsbergen adventure is over. After transfer to the airport it's time for the flight back home.
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