CENTRAL SPITSBERGEN - ARCTIC AUTUMN

Arctic autumn
The central Spitsbergen cruise offers the chance to explore both the beautiful fjord region as well as the history of the people who have lived and worked here. The expedition is also a wonderful way to enjoy the wildlife in its natural habitat. Leaving Tryghamna early in the morning and set sail to the north side of Bell Sund fjord system with fascinating geology and amazing landscapes. Bell Sund is a fjord system with two major branches (Van Mijenfjord, Van Keulenfjord) and one smaller side bay (Recherchefjord). The geology is fascinating and has created amazing landscapes, such as the long, narrow island of Akseløya that blocks Van Mijenfjord almost completely.

Embark: Longyearbyen
Disembark: Longyearbyen

Itinerary

Day 1 - After arriving in Longyearbyen, the ‘capital’ (actually the administrative centre) of Spitsbergen, you may wish to visit the Svalbard Museum which has an interesting collection on the history of Spitsbergen, the mining industry and polar exploration. In the afternoon we sail, setting course for Alkhornet, a high cliff. Below the cliffs we often see Arctic Fox and reindeer. We continue to Trygghamna to visit the remains of a 17th century English whaling station and an 18th century Russian Pomor station.
 
Day 2 – 5 - We leave Tryghamna early in the morning and sail to the north side of Bell Sund. Bell Sund is a fjord system with two major branches (Van Mijenfjord, Van Keulenfjord) and one smaller side bay (Recherchefjord). The geology is fascinating and has created amazing landscapes, such as the long, narrow island of Akseløya that blocks Van Mijenfjord almost completely. In Fridtjofhamna, the calving glacier Fridtjofbreen is surrounded by picturesque mountains. The rich wildlife of the area has attracted hunters throughout several centuries - we will walk in their footsteps and see remains of their huts - for example, at Ahlstrandhalvøya. Recherchefjord is one of the places in Spitsbergen with the highest concentration of historical sites, dating back to 17th century whalers and the mining period of the early 20th century. The glacier Recherchebreen ends at a lagoon, likely to be frozen in October, with many smaller icebergs. Polar Bear are likely to be present anywhere in the Bellsund area, and we will keep a keen watch to find them. We have also seen Beluga (white whales) in this area.
 
Day 6 - We will pay a visit to Barentsburg, the only inhabited Russian settlement in Spitsbergen, or to Colesbukta, an abandoned Russian coal mining settlement.
 
Day 7 – We sail into the inner reaches of the Isfjord system, where during nights with open sky we will experience temperatures of minus 10 degrees C, and new ice will be forming on the heads of the fjords.
 
Day 8 - Departure by scheduled flight from Longyearbyen to Oslo.

Note:

The autumn Spitsbergen voyages, at the onset of winter, are ideal for observing the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights).

Included in this voyage

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

  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
  • Pre- and post- land arrangements.
  • 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).
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