Home » M/V Plancius: Around Spitsbergen incl. Kvitoya
Join us on this adventure as we attempt to circumnavigate stunning Spitsbergen aboard the excellent modern MV Plancius, one of the best vessels available for Polar explorations.This cruise around Spitsbergen gives you a great chance to see whales, foxes, reindeer, seals, and polar bears. We will make a landing on the island of Kvitøya, a site of historical significance, and home of a large walrus population.
Duration: 10 Days
Arrive in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of the Spitsbergen archipelago of which West Spitsbergen is the largest island. Before embarking there is an 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.
Heading north along the west coast, we arrive by morning in Krossfjorden, where we board the Zodiacs for a cruise along the sculpted front of the 14th of July Glacier. On the green slopes near the glacier, a colourful variety of flowers bloom, while large numbers of Kittiwake and Brünnich’s Guillemot nest on the nearby cliffs. There is also a good chance of spotting Arctic Fox, who patrol the base of the cliffs in case a chick falls from its nest, and Bearded Seal, who cruise this fjord. In the afternoon we sail to Ny Ålesund, the world’s most northerly settlement.
Once a mining village - served by the world’s most northerly railway, which can still be seen - Ny Ålesund is now a research centre. Close to the village is a breeding ground for Barnacle Goose, Pink-footed Goose and Arctic Tern. Visitors interested in the history of Arctic exploration will want to walk to the anchoring mast used by Amundsen and Nobile, in the airship Norge in 1926 and Nobile in the airship Italia in 1928, before their flights to the North Pole.
The ship will sail through Beverleysundet, formerly navigated by the Swedish-Russian Arc-of-Meridian Expedition in 1898. The northernmost point of your voyage may be north of Nordaustlandet, in the Seven Islands. Here you reach 80° north, just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole. Polar bears inhabit this region, so the ship may park for several hours among the pack ice to watch for them.
We push east to reach the area of Nordaustlandet, where the Nobile expedition drifted around in 1928 and where the Italian Sora tried to come to the rescue. There we hope to get to Alpinøya, reached by Sora in 1928, and then to the mouth of Finn Malmgrenfjord, and Albertinibukta and to climb Soraberget (205 m) from where we have a fantastic view on the icecap of Nordaustlandet. Alternatively we will land at Storøya, where again we may meet a group of Walruses.
Today we hope to get to the rarely visited Kvitøya farthest to the east, close to the Russian territory. The island is dominated by an icecap, which leaves a small area bare of ice and snow. We will land at the western tip at Andréneset, where the Swedish explorer André and his companions perished in 1898. We will also try to get to Kræmerpynten in the east, where an enormous group of Walruses resides.
South of Nordaustlandet you may land on Isisøya, formerly a Nunatak area surrounded by glaciers – now an island surrounded by the sea. You then may pass by Bråswellbreen, part of the largest ice cap in Europe and famed for its meltwater waterfalls.
The plan is to make landings in Freemansundet, though polar bears sometimes make this impossible. Potential stops on Barentsøya include Sundneset (for an old trapper’s hut), Kapp Waldburg (for its kittiwake colony), and Rindedalen (for a walk across the tundra). You might also cruise south to Diskobukta, though Kapp Lee is more likely your destination. On Kapp Lee is a walrus haul-out, Pomor ruins, and the chance for hikes along Edgeøya.
Start the day by cruising the side fjords of the Hornsund area of southern Spitsbergen, taking in the spire-like peaks: Hornsundtind rises 1,431 meters (4,695 feet), and Bautaen is a perfect illustration of why early Dutch explorers named this island Spitsbergen, meaning “pointed mountains.” There are 14 sizable glaciers in this area as well as opportunities for spotting seals, beluga whales, and polar bears.
Today we land on Ahlstrandhalvøya at the mouth of Van Keulenfjorden. Here piles of Beluga skeletons (the Beluga is a small white whale), the remains of 19th century slaughter, are yet another reminder of the consequences of thoughtless exploitation. Fortunately, Beluga were not hunted to the edge of extinction and may still be seen locally. Indeed, there is a good chance that we will come across a pod. Cruising into Recherchefjorden during the afternoon we can explore an area of tundra at the head of the fjord where many reindeer feed.
Return to Longyearbyen and disembark for the transfer to the airport and the flight to Oslo and home.
|15 Aug 2020 - 24 Aug 2020||$7769 AUD pp|
|Quadruple Porthole Cabin||$7769 AUD pp||Contact us|
|Twin Porthole Cabin||$11385 AUD pp||Contact us|
|Twin Window Cabin||$12154 AUD pp||Contact us|
|Twin Deluxe Cabin||$13000 AUD pp||Contact us|
|Superior Cabin||$14615 AUD pp||Contact us|
Two upper and two lower berths, one porthole, private shower and toilet, desk and chair, flatscreen TV, telephone and WiFi (supplemented), hair-dryer and ample storage space.
One upper and two lower berths, one porthole, private shower and toilet, desk and chair, flatscreen TV, telephone and WiFi (supplemented), hair-dryer and ample storage space.
Two lower berths, one porthole, private shower and toilet, desk and chair, flatscreen TV, telephone and WiFi (supplemented), hair-dryer and ample storage space.
Two lower berths, one window, private shower and toilet, desk and chair, flatscreen TV, telephone and WiFi (supplemented), hair-dryer and ample storage space.
Two lower berths, two windows, private shower and toilet, desk and chair, flatscreen TV, telephone and WiFi (supplemented), hair-dryer and ample storage space.
*corner cabins which are slightly more spacious than the normal twin porthole/window cabins
One double bed, one sofa bed, two windows, private shower and toilet, desk and chair, flatscreen TV, telephone and Wifi (supplemented), refrigerator, coffee and tea maker, hair-dryer and ample storage space.
*On Spitsbergen voyages: Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship are included only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen.
**Diving available on 15th August 2020 departure only. Please contact us for more details about this.