Print this page | Visit Peregrine

Spitsbergen In Depth 2014

Trip Length

Trip Code

13 days PPSD14

Maximum Passengers

114 people

Countries Visited

Svalbard (Spitsbergen)

Start City

End City

Longyearbyen Longyearbyen
Spitsbergen In Depth 2014

 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.

Spitsbergen In Depth 2014


Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1: Longyearbyen - Embarkation Day

Meals included: 1 dinner

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.

Day 2 - 12: Circumnavigating Spitsbergen

Meals included: 11 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 11 dinners

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.

Day 13: Longyearbyen

Meals included: 1 breakfast

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.


Your Trip

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.

What's Included

• Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
• All breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks on board throughout your voyage
• All shore landings per the daily program
• Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader
• A daily program of lectures by noted naturalists
• All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
• Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and Special Guests as scheduled
• Photographic Journal on DVD, documenting the voyage
• A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
• A waterproof expedition parka to keep
• Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
• A selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
• Hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin
• Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Arctic Reader
• All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
• All luggage handling aboard ship

Summary of accommodation, transport & meals

Transport

Accommodation

Meals

Not Included

• Passport and any applicable visa expenses.
• Government arrival and departure taxes.
• Any meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the host hotel before embarkation, when applicable.
• Baggage, cancellation, interruption, and medical travel insurance.
• Excess baggage charges.
• Laundry and other personal charges.
• Telecommunications charges.
• The voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew.
• Optional kayaking activites.


What to know

Vaccinations

Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Please talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region.  We're travel experts, not doctors and defer to the medicos when it comes to inoculations.

Visas and Permits

Please ensure that you have all required visas for your trip – this is your responsibility. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.

Insurance

You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.

Responsible Travel

Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.

Customs and Culture

Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in. Your leader will also help steer you though the complexities of local cultural norms.

Pre Departure Information
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.

Further Reading

Svalbard (Spitsbergen)


Important Information

These Trip Notes should be read in conjunction with Peregrine’s Arctic pre-departure information that is provided to you shortly after booking. A second information manual dealing with Arctic history, geology, geography, marine and bird life will also be provided.

1. Itinerary:
Please note that due to the exploratory nature of this expedition, weather, ice, wildlife or other conditions may require changes be made to the itinerary and/or cancellation of certain shore excursions. Every effort will be made to adhere to the itinerary, within the limits of safety and time constraints. We shall fit in as many stops as is practical along the way allowing you to experience as much as possible of this wonderful area. The locations mentioned in this itinerary are just some of the highlights of our fascinating expedition of discovery and exploration and we shall attempt further landings wherever and whenever time and local conditions permit.

2. Budgeting:
In addition to funds for onboard expenses, it is possible to purchase souvenirs in some locations such as books, t-shirts, stamps, postcards, caps and some really good knitwear on many of the shore excursions, which include visits to towns or villages. In addition some museums and sites charge entry fees and in some locations you may wish to buy some food and drink (although the meals on the ship are very good and plentiful!). Visa and MasterCard are accepted on board our ship, but elsewhere they are of limited use. Please remember that all on-board services are charged in US dollars and your on board account (bar, gift shop, medical, gratuities) can be paid for by either US dollars cash, US dollars travellers cheques and the following credit cards - Visa and MasterCard. Norwegian kroners are accepted in Svalbard.

3. Clothes:
Please read our Arctic pre-departure information carefully. Although you don’t need to make expensive, specialist-clothing purchases for this trip, you will need clothes that adequately protect against cold and wet conditions. (Sea spray is common on board Zodiacs). It is recommended that you have warm, waterproof clothing available for use upon arrival in Longyearbyen, to protect yourself against the inclement weather. A Zodiac transfer from the pier to the ship is likely to take place on Day 1, so please be prepared with appropriate clothing.

4. Motion sickness:
Although our vessels are among the most stable ships in their class, we will still inevitably encounter motion. Unless you are certain you are impervious to the problem, you should take precautions against seasickness. Your doctor can advise you as to the best methods for avoiding this uncomfortable condition.

5. Gratuities:
We suggest you allow the equivalent of US$11-13 a day for gratuities for the crew and expedition staff. This is usually collected just prior to the end of the cruise. If you wish, the amount can be paid by Visa or MasterCard.

6. Sea kayaking:
There are separate Trip Notes for the sea kayaking option. Please note that this option must be booked prior to your departure from home and it cannot be booked on the ship. Some prior experience is required.

Peregrine Voyage Documentation
Once you have booked your voyage to the Polar regions with Peregrine, you will be required to complete a series of online forms. You will be sent a link via email (my polar forms) which will take you to an enrolment form, cruise contract, medical form, arrival/departure information form and expedition parka size order form. These forms must be completed.

About this Information

The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version.  If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!

Last Updated

8 July 2013


General Contact Details

Peregrine AdventuresPhone: 1-800-663-5132
E-mail: sales@peregrineadventures.com
Web: Visit Peregrine