Close to the Pole, 2021, 2022

Science Trip „The North Of Spitsbergen“

In search of polar bears and whales, and with plenty of time for detailed exploration, this 9-day nature cruise with the „Cape Race“ takes you along the west coast of Spitsbergen to the Seven Islands, at the far north of the archipelago. On the journey northwards the beautiful Liefdefjord – with the mighty Monaco glacier – is a possible destination. The famous bird rock Alkefjellet, where thousands of thick-billed guillemot nest amid spectacular surroundings, lies on the shore of the Hinlopen Strait. The polar desert of Nordaustlandet is other-worldly landscape. Phippsøya is located at 81° North, just 540 miles from the North Pole. Chances of sighting polar bears here in their natural environment are good. Spectacular glaciers also await you in Raudfjord, and on the island of Prins Karls Forland there are numerous remains attesting to bear hunting and trapping in earlier times.

SCIENCE PROVIDES EXPERIENCE: With this premise in mind, you will also accompany us on our „science voyages“ into the fascinating world of marine ecology – guided by our expedition leader, we will, for example, look and listen into the ice depths of the Arctic with the help of a professional ROV camera and an underwater microphone, admire plankton samples under the microscope, determine relevant environmental factors such as salinity, temperature or nutrients or take depth samples with a water sampler. In this way, you can also gather knowledge about the exciting polar ecosystem in just a few hours.

Day 1: Arrival in Oslo
Flight from Germany, Switzerland or Austria to Oslo. Overnight stay at Hotel Radisson SAS Airport Oslo.

Day 2: Flight to Spitsbergen and embarkation
Continuing flight to Longyearbyen, the starting port of our nature cruise and the administrative centre of Spitsbergen, where you have time to explore the small settlement and the Svalbard Museum before embarking. In the early evening it’s time to cast off and the „Cape Race“ sets sail for the Isfjords.

Day 3 – 9: Along the Northwest Coast to the Seven Islands Archipelago
A selection of possible destinations for this trip:
Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden: Planned destinations are the two large fjords Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden, which meet to flow into the Arctic Ocean together. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks, the extensive fjord landscape offers numerous possibilities for hiking. In Ny-Ålesund we find ourselves in the world’s northernmost permanently inhabited city. There are numerous research stations here as well as the famous anchor mast of the semi-rigid airship „Norge“, in which Amundsen, Nobile and Ellsworth successfully completed the first flight over the North Pole to Nome (Alaska) in 1926. In the Krossfjorden we can expect beautiful landscapes with spectacular glaciers and mountain peaks.

Liefdefjorden / Monaco Glacier: At the mouth of the Liefdefjorden we plan a hike on the island of Andøya. Eider ducks and short beaked geese nest here, and the rare king eider duck can be sighted here occasionally. With a little luck we will travel into the fjord and at its end see the 5 km long front of the Monaco glacier. During our travels over the past years we have encountered polar bears here.

Hinlopen Strait / Alkefjellet: In the Hinlopen Strait, which separates West Spitsbergen from Nordaustlandet, there is the likelihood of encountering bearded and ringed seals, polar bears and ivory gulls. From here we reach the bird rock of Alkefjellet, where thousands of thick-billed guillemot nest amid spectacular surroundings.

Nordaustlandet: On the east side of the Hinlopen Strait, Augustabukta on Nordaustlandet, awaits us. Reindeer, short-billed geese, ivory gulls and walruses live here. We hope for favourable weather conditions here to experience Nordaustlandet’s polar desert. With luck we’ll encounter walruses along the way.

Phippsøya (Seven Islands Archipelago): Phippsøya, the largest of the Seven Islands, is where we hope to reach the northernmost point of our trip: 81° North and only 540 miles from the North Pole! Polar bears and ivory gulls populate this remote region. With good weather and appropriate ice conditions we will spend some unforgettable hours at the pack ice.

Raudfjord / Ytre Norskøya: On the offshore island of Ytre Norskøya we will visit a former whaling station, where the large cemetery is a reminder of the whaling days of former times. Numerous bird colonies can be found here: little auks, long- billed and thick-billed auks, puffins and large skuas. Further east we reach the impressive Raudfjord, which offers spectacular glacier formations and is a popular spot for bearded and ringed seals.

Prins Karls Forlandet / Isfjords: We plan to land at the northern tip of Prins Karls Forland near Fuglehuken, where Willem Barents probably landed for the first time on Spitsbergen. The only population of seals in Svalbard lives at these coasts. Historical remains, such as self-shooting devices and traps, remind us of the era of bear hunting. On the opposite bank of Forlandsundet, near Sarstangen, there is a resting place for walruses. As an alternative to this programme we could also sail deeper into the St. Johns Fjord or even further south to the entrance of the Isfjord and visit the bird colony at Alkhornet. Numerous seabirds and arctic fox nest on the cliffs, looking for fallen chicks and eggs at the foot of the cliffs.

Day 10: Desambarkation in Longyearbyen
The nature cruise concludes upon arrival in Longyearbyen today. Transfer to the airport and flight to Oslo. Overnight stay at the Hotel Radisson SAS Airport in Oslo.

 

Dates 2021 PRICE PER PERSON IN EURO
  Triple cabin
shower/WC
Double cabin
shower/WC
Singe cabin shower/WC
2.7. – 14.7.21
(MARE 07-21)
€ 8.450,- € 8.700,- booked up
please request waiting list
12.7. – 24.7.21
(MARE 08-21)
booked up
please request waiting list
€ 8.700,- booked up
please request waiting list
12.9.21 – 21.9.21
(MARE 09-21)
€ 7.950,- € 8.300,- € 9.500,-
       
Dates 2022 PRICE PER PERSON IN EURO
Triple cabin
shower/WC
Double cabin
shower/WC
Singe cabin shower/WC
10.6. – 22.6.22
(MARE 08-22)
€ 8.595,- € 8.975,- € 10.295,-
20.6. – 2.7.22
(MARE 09-22)
€ 8.595,- € 8.975,- € 10.295,-
3.9. – 15.9.22
(MARE 15-22)
€ 8.595,- € 8.975,- € 10.295,-
13.9. – 25.9.22
(MARE 16-22)
€ 8.595,- € 8.975,- € 10.295,-

Services included in the travel price

  • Nature cruise program on board the „Cape Race“, as described
  • Scheduled flights with Lufthansa / Scandinavian Airways from / to Germany, Switzerland or Austria in economy class via Oslo and Tromsö to Longyearbyen and back
  • Overnight stay (including breakfast) in Oslo at Hotel Radisson SAS Airport Oslo on outward and return journey
  • Full board on board incl. soft drinks
  • Shore excursions with rubber dinghies, German speaking tour guide
  • Travel guide, airport taxes

Not included in the travel price

  • Alcoholic drinks, meals (except breakfast) and drinks on arrival and departure
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips and personal expenses
Find out more
  • Nature cruise with the motor ship „Cape Race“
  • Max. number of participants: 12
  • Tavel time on board: 10, 9 or 8 nights
  • Travel months: June - September
  • Arrival and departure via Oslo (one overnight stay)
  • Onboard language: German
  • Shore excursions
  • Travel guide