13 days

Spitsbergen In Depth 2014

Spitsbergen In Depth 2014

On board to a strange new world at Longyearbyen

Polar bears

Walk or kayak around Blubber Town: Smeerenburg

The Walrus of Moffen Island

Send a letter from the northernmost postbox in Ny Alesund

The groans of 14th of July Glacier

Trip rating
  •  Spitsbergen is the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago, which we will attempt to circumnavigate on this voyage. Lying entirely within the Arctic Circle, it is rugged, wild, unspoiled—utterly unforgettable. When it comes to viewing Arctic wildlife Spitsbergen is known as one of the most prolific destinations.

    Offering one of the world’s best opportunity to view polar bears, you’ll be able to see the world’s largest carnivores in their natural habitat. Walrus populations love Spitsbergen as well, feeding in the food-rich icy waters around the island. Whales and seabirds will entertain you during the sailing portions of the expedition, while you may catch a sighting of reindeer or Arctic fox when taking Zodiac excursions to land.

     

    Sea Kayaking:

    Imagine gliding along the surface of a bay in the presence of icebergs and glaciers! Our sea-kayaking adventures are the best way to feel at one with the sea.  Taken in small groups of 10-16 people, multiple times per voyage, sea-kayaking adventures are only done during calm weather conditions. We require you to have some prior sea-kayaking experience, including the capability to do a wet exit.

    More information about kayaking, including physical requirements and cost of each option is available by contacting Peregrine. This activity must be secured upon booking.

     

    Snowshoeing:

    Snowshoeing is a novel way to experience the beauty of the Polar landscape,and discover remote alcoves and hidden valleys. The rewardsof walking atop the snow are well worth the effort, as we’llbe able to visit new places that are inaccessible on foot.This traditional means of transport across the deep snowcomes from the indigenous people of North America.While you can appreciate a connection with the past,the snowshoes we use today are much lighter and moreforgiving than the old wood-weave snowshoes used duringthe days of the North American fur trade.

    Snowshoeing is included in the voyage cost.

    Note: Weather, ice and other mitigating factors may result in changes to our itinerary and alteration to certain shore excursions.

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Longyearbyen - Embarkation Day

    Spitsbergen is the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago, which we will attempt to circumnavigate on this voyage. Lying entirely within the Arctic Circle, it is rugged, wild, unspoiled—utterly unforgettable. When it comes to viewing Arctic wildlife Spitsbergen is known as one of the most prolific destinations.

    Offering one of the world’s best opportunity to view polar bears, you’ll be able to see the world’s largest carnivores in their natural habitat. Walrus populations love Spitsbergen as well, feeding in the food-rich icy waters around the island. Whales and seabirds will entertain you during the sailing portions of the expedition, while you may catch a sighting of reindeer or Arctic fox when taking Zodiac excursions to land.


    Arrival Transfers:
    A representative will meet all flights arriving into Longyearbyen starting from the day prior to embarkation. If you arrive before this and would like transfers, please ask Peregrine or your agent for details and costs.

    Accommodation:
    No pre voyage hotel accommodation is included in the voyage price. If you arrive prior to embarkation day and need accommodation please ask Peregrine or your agent for details and costs.
    Dinner

    Day 2 - 12 - Circumnavigating Spitsbergen

    Expect a new adventure every day, as you journey around the island of Spitsbergen and explore smaller, outlying islands. The variety of incredible wildlife and geological formations found here is astounding! Every expedition will be unique, but a few of our favorite landing sites include the 14th of July Glacier, Ny London, Phippsoya, Aklefjellet and the seldom visited Kvttøya.

    The names may seem strange to you, but they each have their own unique appeal. For birders, the 14th of July Glacier is home to purple sandpipers, common eiders, barnacle geese and Arctic terns; while Alkefjellet is home to nesting brünich guillermots (thick-billed murres).

    If you want to prove that reindeer are real, then you’ll want to have your camera ready for visits to sites like Ny London, Sundneset and Alkhornet.

    As for the largest land carnivore in the world – searching for polar bears  is a constant activity, with Phippsoya and Isbukta being two of their preferred places for hunting – meaning great potential for you to capture them in action.

    A big part of appreciating Spitsbergen comes from understanding the culture, not just how people live today, but how this land was first explored. Whaling was a key industry here and you will see blubber ovens and other whaling evidence at landing sites such as Smeerenburg. Colorful tundra meadow displays are complimented by glaciers and the potential exists for spotting beluga whales.

    POSSIBLE LANDINGS AND WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS

    ALKEFJELLET

    This cliff is a seabird center, where brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres) raise their young. An estimated 100,000 breeding pairs raise their young here in the basalt cliffs. The birds do not build nests, rather they lay an egg on the bare ledge.

    DISKOBUKTA

    This bay on the west shore of Edgeøya affords a landing site with a box canyon where black-legged kittiwakes

    raise their young. Arctic foxes have been seen combing the canyon floor to feed on scraps that have fallen from the nests above. Watch for bones of ancient bowhead whales on the canyon floor, evidence that the shoreline has changed over millennia.

    ISBUKTA

    On the eastern shore of the southern tip of Svalbard is Ice Bay. Sabine gulls, skuas and bearded seals inhabit the bay. polar bears are known to patrol the area as well.

    ISISPYNTEN

    Is an island! Both nautical charts and topographical maps define Isispynten as a point of land, but we’ve proved them wrong. Receding glaciers have turned this point of land into an island.

    KAPP LEE

    This is a well-known walrus haul out. The pink color to a walrus’ hide as it lies in the sun is caused by blood pumped to the skin’s surface to aid cooling, similar to that of a hippopotamus in Africa.

    KVITØYA

    The western part of this island is only 98 km from Victoria Island in Franz Josef Land, which is part of the Russian Arctic. This remote outpost is actually closer to the Russian Arctic than it is to Nordaustlandet (117 km) and is actually located on the same longitude as Cairo, Egypt!

    LILLIEHÖÖK GLACIER

    In 1906, His Serene Highness Prince Albert I of Monaco visited Lilliehöök Glacier to conduct scientific investigations. His great-great-grandson visited the glacier 100 years later. He, too, was part of a scientific investigation, this time to further our understanding of the Arctic clam, a species that lives for more than a century. The growth rings of a single clam’s shell contain evidence of the chemicals encountered by the clam. Scientists can determine the variations of the water’s temperature and pollutant content by studying the shell.

    LONGYEARBYEN

    Eighteen hundred people inhabit the administrative capital of Svalbard, which is situated on the shore of Isfjorden. The settlement was founded in 1905 by John Munroe Longyear, the majority owner of the Arctic Coal Company of Boston.

    MOFFEN ISLAND

    This island is designated as a protected sanctuary for walrus.

    MONACO GLACIER

    HSH Prince Albert I of Monaco, a pioneer of oceanography, led an expedition to Svalbard in 1906. His team used sophisticated photographic techniques to understand the shape and position of several glacier fronts. Monaco Glacier honours the expedition, the prince and the principality over which he reigned.

    PHIPPSØYA

    This small archipelago is the northernmost land in Svalbard. Englishmen left their mark during a survey of the islands in the 1780s. The party named the islands after themselves, with the smallest and least significant island being named Nelsonøya, after the lowly midshipman.

    ROSENBERGDALEN

    This is an excellent location to stretch the legs and explore the Arctic on foot. We often head out hiking here in search of reindeer.

    SAMARINVÅGIN

    The Samarin Glacier dominates the landscape that surrounds the bay, where icebergs, kittiwakes and brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres) may be seen.

    VIBEBUKTA

    This polar desert may seem barren, but traces of life can be found here, including fossils and whalebones that are 9,500 years old. The bones provide nutrients for microenvironments that leach from the ancient bones.

    VON OTTERØYA

    Otter Island is an excellent location for Zodiac cruising to search for and photograph polar bears and walrus.

    WORSLEYNESET

    This is a beautiful and colourful tundra-covered island with moss campion (a small wildflower), saxifrage and Arctic mouse-eared chickweed. Fun names on an island that is a pleasure to explore.

    IMPORTANT REMINDER Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. When travelling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. The above is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 13 - Longyearbyen

    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. Accommodation: No post voyage hotel accommodation is included in the voyage price. If you need accommodation please ask Peregrine or your agent for details and costs.
    Breakfast
  • What to Know

    Safety Information

    Safety is paramount on a Peregrine voyage. Due to new International Security Regulations, you will not be able to approach the ship on your own. You will have to arrive with the rest of the group, accompanied by a Peregrine representative. Full details of embarkation/disembarkation procedures will be supplied with your final documentation. On board you will be asked to participate in the obligatory lifeboat drill. We will also conduct important briefings on landing procedures, Zodiac operations, polar bear management and firearm safety (there is a good chance that we will see some of these magnificent animals during this trip, but extreme care must be taken if we ever encounter them whilst we are ashore!).

  • Map Itinerary

  • Our Ships

    Sea Spirit

    Sea Spirit

    Sail aboard the luxurious Sea Spirit and you'll experience Antarctica in grand style. Built in 1991 and refurbished to a very high standard in 2010 she carries a maximum of 112 passengers; this outstanding vessel is equipped with rubber inflatable boats (Zodiacs) for shore transfers and cruising. You have a choice of one king size bed or two twin beds, in the most spacious cabins on the Sea Spirit. All cabins have facilities en suite and exterior views. Deluxe cabins, suites and the Owner's Suite have private balconies for viewing the extraordinary Antarctic icescape.

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PPSD14
Start City: Longyearbyen
End City: Longyearbyen
Style: Polar

What to know

Flights should be booked into and out of Longyearbyen.

Note: Weather or other conditions may require changes to our itinerary and shore excursions.

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