Realm of the Polar Bear in Depth
Expeditions aboard M.S. Expedition
#15% Earlybird savings on all 2013 sailings in catagories 3-5
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- 11 days Aug 2012
- 11 days #Jul - Aug 2013
From close-up encounters with huge icebergs and glaciers, to the variety of unique wildlife, this is a voyage of non-stop highlights. Roaming polar bears, lounging seals, grazing reindeer and colonies of birds all co-exist in this harsh land we dare only to explore under the midnight sun.
Get your first glimpses of the midnight sun in Spitsbergen's capital Longyearbyen. Embark the M/S Expedition in the afternoon and depart Longyearbyen in the evening.
Svalbard Archipelago - Spitsbergen
Below is a list of possible locations our voyage may visit. We will sail where conditions allow, however we will not visit all the locations below:
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 Geese, Pink-footed Geese and Arctic Terns. 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.
Near the mouth of Liefdefjorden, is the tundra island of Andøya. Many common eiders and pink-footed geese nest here, and the morerare king eider may also be seen.
Liefdefjorden, is the face of the impressive Monaco Glacier. The waters of the glacier front are a favourite feeding spot for thousands of kittiwakes and occasionally polar bears are seen on the glacier.
Northernmost point at Phippsøya, in the Seven Islands north of Nordaustlandet. Here at 81 degrees north, just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole. Polar bears inhabit this region, along withivory gulls.
Laagøya , a low island with a big lagoon where a big herd of Walrus tends to congregate. Sabine's Gulls nest on the island as well.
Sorg Fjord are another herd of walruses not far from the graves of 17th century whalers. On a nature walk, we may encounter families of ptarmigans.
Hinlopen Strait, home to Bearded Seals, Ringed Seals, Polar Bears, and Ivory Gulls. Navigate the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in zodiacs and explore the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with thousands of Brünnich's guillemots.
On the east side of Hinlopenstrait, is a potential a landing at Augustabukta on Nordaustlandet, home to Reindeer, Pink-footed Geese, breeding Ivory Gulls, and Walruses.
Near Torrelneset, the polar desert of Nordaustlandet, next to the world's third largest ice cap, which meets the sea nearby. We may walk along beautiful coastline covered in smooth rocks, sculpted by the surf over thousands of years. We may encounter walruses along the way.
In Freemansundet we can potentially land at Sundneset on the island of Barentsøya to visit an old trapper's hut and then take a brisk walk across the tundra in search of Spitsbergen Reindeer and Barnacle Geese.
Diskobukta on the west side of Edgeøya is a rim of a narrow gully which is inhabited by thousands of Kitttiwakes, together with Black Guillemots and piratical Glaucous Gulls. During the breeding season, the base of the cliffs is patrolled by Arctic Foxes and Polar Bears, especiallyfemales with young cubs, searching for young birds that have fallen from the nesting ledges.
Hornsund area of southern Spitsbergen, enjoying the scenery of towering mountain peaks. Hornsundtind rises to 1,431m while Bautaen shows why early Dutch explorers gave the name 'Spitsbergen' - pointed mountains - to the island. There are also 14 magnificent glaciers in the area and very good chances of encounters with seals and Polar Bears.
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, Belugas were not hunted to the edge of extinction and may still be seen locally.
Recherchefjorden we can explore an area of tundra at the head of the fjord where many Reindeer feed.
We arrive in Longyearbyen in the morning for disembarkation.