Quest for the Arctic
The Arctic summer arrives in late June. The midnight sun reigns supreme, the bird colonies are teeming with life and the purple saxifrage decorates the slopes. Whales are more frequently seen in the waters and more and more snow-free areas become accessible for longer walks. The autumn arrives in late August and offers beautiful colours, a warm light and spectacular sunsets. Beyond words. Just imagine!
Intimate experience of Svalbard on the 12 passenger MS Sjoveien
Witness fascinating wildlife such as polar bears, bearded seals, walruses
Navigate the channels which big vessels are not able to
DAY 1: ARRIVE LONGYEARBYEN / EMBARKATION
We arrive into Longyearbyen where we then embark onto our expedition ship in the afternoon and sail out through the spectacular Isfjorden.
Overnight: MS Sjoveien
Meals: Lunch & Dinner
DAY 2 to DAY 10: SVALBARD
We are now in a part of the world where we are totally dependent on the ice and weather conditions. Our exact itinerary depends on these factors and on the wildlife we encounter and the landings or cruises everyday with the zodiacs.
HIGHLIGHTS & DESTINATIONS:
The scientific village of Ny-Alesund is situated in Kongsfjorden. It was from here that Amundsen and Nobile started their heroic expeditions to the North Pole. Two other courageous attempts to reach the North Pole started on the island of Danskoya. Swedish balloonist Andree made an attempt with a hydrogen balloon and American journalist Wellman started with an airship. There are still interesting remnants from these expeditions left on this site.
Svalbard offers the visitor countless spectacular fjords. During our journey, we will explore some of them such as the Liefdefjorden, meaning "The fjord of love", is lined with snow-covered mountain peaks and here we hope to cruise along the face of the spectacular Monaco Glacier. Many common eiders and pinkfooted geese nest in the area. In Krossfjorden, we revel in the beautifully-sculptured front of the 14th of July Glacier to the raucous greeting of the large number of kittiwakes and Brunnich's guillemots nesting on the nearby cliffs. Raudfjorden is an area of immense natural beauty - dominated by beautiful glaciers. It is also a favourite spot for seals and the bird cliffs are bursting with activity.
Hinlopen Strait & Alkefjellet
If the ice allows, we enter the Hinlopen Strait. Here is Alkefjellet, an impressive basaltic cliff, which is home to an estimated 200,000 Brunnich's guillemots. We may also continue into the beautiful bay, Palanderbukta on Nordaustlandet.
The island of Nordaustlandet is covered by an enormous ice cap and fascinates naturalists as well as historians. There are huge glacier fronts here, intersected by hundreds of waterfalls. Barentsoya and Edgesoya offer magnificent landscapes and vast tundra. Chances to encounter walruses, Arctic fox and Svalbard reindeer are good here.
The grand fjords of Hornsund offer spectacular glaciers and a breathtaking landscape of towering mountain peaks, often reaching above the clouds. On a clear day, we can see the summit of the highest mountain Hornsundtind, measuring 1,431m. Hornsund is a favourite haunt for some of Svalbard's polar bears and bearded seals are often seen resting on the fjord ice.
Overnight: MS Sjoveien
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
DAY 11: DISEMBARK LONGYEARBYEN / DEPARTURE
After an inspiring journey, we bid farewell to newfound friends and the expedition team where we disembark in Longyearbyen for your transfer to the airport for your onward journey home or continue your adventures in Norway.
MS Sjoveien (meaning the Seaway) was built in Bergen in 1964 for the Norwegian government and was then used as a training ship for mariners from 1979 to 1995 before it became a private ship since 1995. Refurbished and transformed now into a luxurious 12 passenger-only expedition ship, and recently started the navigation of Svalbard in 2017 offering an intimate experience with magnificent attention to details.