The transfer to the ship takes place in the afternoon. Once on board there is a get together for introductions to the expedition team, to learn about the ship and its layout, talk about the itinerary for the next 6 days and participate in the obligatory lifeboat drill. Departure from Longyearbyen is normally around 6:00 p.m.
You’ll sail around this magical island, constantly searching for Polar bears and other natural wonders. Covering western Spitsbergen as well as outlying islands to the north, your expedition will afford ample opportunities to view immense glaciers, deep fjords, soaring mountains and unique flora and fauna. Sailing north into Krossfjord, have your camera handy, ready to capture some of the best calving in Spitsbergen. Deep in the fjord, the highly active Lilliehöök Glacier awaits. Listen in awe to the growling as big chunks break off into the icy waters below. A Zodiac excursion to nearby Ny London, an abandoned mining settlement, provides an ideal place for a guided walk. Encounters with wildlife, such as the indigenous Svalbard reindeer, are possible here. After cruising overnight, wake up to the stunning sight of the magnificent Monaco Glacier, another prolific iceberg producer. As if that isn’t thrilling enough, your Expedition Team will also be on the lookout for Belguas and other marine mammals. Possible landing sites include Texas Bar, Worsleyneset and the Andoyane Islands (where Polar bears have been known to roam). At 80°N, you’ll reach a walrus sanctuary on the tiny, crescent-shaped Moffen Island. Watching large groups of these lumbering giants jockeying for space is an unforgettable experience, so be ready with your binoculars. The abandoned settlement of Smeerenburg (which means “blubber town”) was established by Dutch whalers nearly 400 years ago. Here, at one of Europe’s most northerly outposts, you’ll have time to explore ashore and learn about Spitsbergen’s whaling history. Afterwards, cruising to Magdalenafjord rewards you panoramic vistas of snow-capped mountains and massive glaciers reflected in the crystal- clear waters. During your last full day of your Arctic adventure, the options are open. You may visit the Russian mining town of Barentsburg, home of the world’s northernmost brewery, or Trygghamma, where you may have the chance to walk on a glacier. Round out the day in Alkehornet, taking in the towering cliffs teeming with nesting seabirds, such as fulmars, guillemots and Thick-billed murres. Encounters with reindeer might be possible here. Later, in the evening, swap stories with your shipmates and crew one last time, at the captain’s dinner.
The time to say goodbye has come. Your adventure ends as it began, in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your flight home.
* 5 nights on the ship * Expedition cruising in comfortable conditions
All meals while on the ship included. *Typical Meals* The ships galley offers good quality service and cuisine throughout, with excellent chefs preparing international menus including vegetarian dishes, accompanied by a wide variety of drinks from around the world on sale. *Breakfast:* Buffet style – unlimited tea and coffee, a selection of fruit juices, hot options including bacon and eggs or omelettes, a selection of bread and toast and jam/honey/marmalade, fruit and cereal. *Lunch:* Three course set meal or buffet, or the occasional BBQ. *Dinner:* Three or four courses with a starter of soup and/or salad, a choice of mains with at least one vegetarian option and a dessert, with tea and coffee.
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