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North Spitsbergen - Polar Bear Special 8 Day Cruise

The ice-strengthened 'Ortelius' vessel has been cleverly refurbished to provide Polar expedition cruises in the Artic and Antarctica. Travellers have the opportunity to explore remote locations including Franz Josef Land and the Ross Sea, and observe an abundance of wildlife. The vessel can accommodate up to 100 passengers offering comfortable cabins, two restaurants, a bar/lecture room and sauna. Voyages on the Ortelius provide quality exploratory wildlife programs, spending as much time as possible ashore.





Embark in Longyearbyen.

Day 1: Longyearbyen

Arrive in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of the Spitsbergen archipelago. Before embarking take the 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: Raudfjord

Today the ship sails to Raudfjord on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, a beautiful fjord dominated by spectacular glaciers and favoured by ringed and bearded seals. The cliffs and shoreline of the fjord also support flourishing seabird colonies and a surprisingly rich vegetation, which thrives in the more sheltered spots. Polar bear are often seen here too.

Day 3: Liefdefjorden, Andøya

Near the mouth of Liefdefjorden, you will have the opportunity to go ashore for a walk on the tundra island of Andøya. Many common eiders and pink-footed geese nest here, and the more rare king eider may also be seen. Sailing into Liefdefjorden, you 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 you might even see some polar bears here too.

Day 4: Hinlopen Strait

Today you will sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to bearded seals, ringed seals, polar bears and ivory gulls. Navigate the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in your zodiacs and explore the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with thousands of brünnich’s guillemots. On the east side of Hinlopenstrait, you will attempt a landing at Palanderbukta on Nordaustlandet, home to reindeer, pink-footed geese, breeding ivory gulls and walruses.

Day 5: Phippsøya

Today you will reach your northernmost point at Phippsøya, in the Seven Islands, north of Nordaustlandet. Here you will be at 81 degrees north, just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole. Polar bears inhabit this region, along with ivory gulls. Spend some time enjoying your surroundings, before turning west again.

Day 6: Retracing your route westwards

Today the ship will retrace the route westwards which will take you through pack ice where you may sight Polar Bear and elusive Greenland Whale. About 40 nautical miles west of Spitsbergen the ship cruises along the edge of the continental shelf, where Fin Whale forage in summer in the upwellings along the Spitsbergen banks. At the mouth of the Kongsfjord you will also have a good chance to see Minke Whale.

Day 7: Prins Karls Forland

Land at the northern tip of Prins Karls Forland near Fuglehuken. Seabirds nest on the cliffs and along the coast you may spot harbour seals, the only population found in Spitsbergen today. Further along you will observe the remains of the polar bear hunting era, with demolished set guns and bear traps. At the opposite side of Forlandsundet, at Sarstangen, is a haul out place for walruses. Alternatively you will sail into St. Johns Fjord, or further south, to the mouth of Isfjorden, and land at Alkhornet. Seabirds nest on its cliffs and Arctic Fox search the cliff base for fallen eggs and chicks, while Spitsbergen Reindeer graze the relatively luxuriant vegetation. At nighttime the ship arrives in Longyearbyen.

Day 8: Longyearbyen

Arrive in Longyearbyen and disembark after enjoying your final breakfast on board.


Disembark in Longyearbyen.


  • 7 nights' accommodation on board the Ortelius
  • All meals on board
  • Snacks, coffee and tea
  • All shore excursions and activities by Zodiac
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes
  • Programme of lectures by naturalists and experienced expedition staff
  • Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen - please request details when you make your reservation
  • Fuel surcharges, where applicable, are shown separately on the website and will be charged at the time of reservation.


  • Flights
  • Drinks on board, other than those mentioned above
  • Tips and personal expenses
  • Personal Insurance
  • Passport and visa expenses
  • Optional activities

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