Spitsbergen Explorer

Wildlife Capital of the Arctic

aboard Ocean Nova

  • 11 Days  12 June – 22 June, 2016
  • 11 Days  5 August – 15 August, 2016

If there is such a thing as a “classic Arctic” expedition cruise, this is it. You’ll get all the best of Spitsbergen, by exploring the western edge of the island and venturing to some northern outlying areas home to polar bears and Walrus. You’ll come across colonies of seabirds numbering into the thousands and watch for whales in the water. Packed with options for snowshoeing and sea-kayaking, this is the perfect expedition for exploring the “wildlife capital of the Arctic”.

Day 1

Embarkation Day in Longyearbyen

Your Spitsbergen adventure begins when you board your ship in Longyearbyen, the island’s largest settlement. As you embark, you’ll get great views of the mountainous landscape that serves as a backdrop to this seaside settlement.

Days 2 to 10

Exploring Spitsbergen

We sail around this magical island, on a constant search for wildlife. Your expedition will cover western Spitsbergen as well as some stunning fjords and outlying islands to the north. From polar deserts to immense glaciers, the natural landscape here is just as varied as the wildlife.

Each expedition presents new opportunities, so we have no fixed itinerary, however we do have some favorite destinations, including 14th of July Glacier, Smeerenburg, Phippsoya, Alkhornet and the Hinlopen Straight.

The destinations visited on your voyage will be selected for optimum wildlife viewing and appreciation of the history and geology of Spitsbergen. Polar bear viewing is almost guaranteed, with Phippsoya being one of their preferred hunting areas and the towering cliffs of Alkefjellet providing many free bird egg meals for both them and the Arctic fox. Torellneset and Phippsoya are great places for walrus photography. Coming across a walrus haul-out is a moment you won’t forget either. These lumbering giants of the Arctic create quite a noisy scene, as each walrus vies for a choice spot of coastline.

If you’re itching to get a little closer to the action, then taking a sea-kayaking excursion to some of the more isolated pockets of Spitsbergen is highly recommended. Smeerenburg is a great place for an optional snowshoeing excursion (on selected voyages), as you can visit a memorial erected in 1906. This historical site remembers the whalers who lost their lives in the 17th and 18th centuries while working in extreme Arctic conditions.

There is no shortage of natural beauty in Spitsbergen. The tundra can be surprisingly colorful in summer, with wildflowers bursting for a taste of sunshine. Each day you’ll see something new, whether it is a rare bird species or an abandoned hut from centuries ago.

Day 11

Disembarkation Day in Longyearbyen

The time to say goodbye has come. 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.

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.


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Dates and Cost

  • 11 Days  12 June – 22 June, 2016
  • 11 Days  5 August – 15  August, 2016

Quad Triple Twin (upper/lower) Twin Upper deck Twin Bridge deck
AUD 8,800 AUD 9,900 AUD 11,200 AUD 11,800 AUD 12,600

Adventure Option:

Kayaking 2016 AUD $805 per person

Kayaking in the Arctic is probably one of the most intimate and inspiring ways you can explore the rugged coastlines and calm bays of the regions we visit.

Kayaking in the Polar Regions is highly weather-dependent, however we guarantee at least one outing throughout your voyage, but your kayak guides will take you out as many times as possible throughout your voyage.

Offered on most Arctic voyages, spaces are limited and require some kayaking experience. All equipment, guides and instructions are provided by Quark.

What’s included

  • 10 nights on board the Ocean Nova
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac
  • Programme of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced and knowledgeable Expedition Leader and Staff
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme, and comprehensive pre-departure material.

What’s not included

  • Any airfares, whether on scheduled or charter flights
  • Pre-and post land arrangements
  • Transfers to/from the vessel in Longyearbyen, passport and visa expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended)
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges
  • Customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).
  • Rubber boots (you will need to bring your own).

How to book

To initiate your reservation, please contact us as soon as possible to place an option on the voyage and cabin grade of your choice. The Booking Form is to be signed, completed and returned to Adventure Associates along with your deposit. Reservations are established only when you receive written confirmation and acceptance of the deposit payment and Booking Form.

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Ocean Nova

Adventure Ship

Built in 1992 at the Orskov Shipyard in Frederikshavn, Denmark. The Ocean Nova was upgraded in 2000 and again in 2006 to include a glass-enclosed forward observation lounge on the top deck. Carrying up to 78 passengers and classified to operate in ice-filled waters, the 73-metre vessel is guided by highly qualified officers with deep experience in polar navigation. She is the perfect expedition ship for discovering Arctic waters.

Deck Plans


Triple 2 lower/1 upper berth, private facilities, desk/chair, 2 wardrobes
Twin Lower Berths 2 lower berths, private facilities, desk/chair, 1 wardrobe

Cabins and amenities

  • 42 outside cabins, all featuring private facilities.
  • Spacious dining room with unreserved seating: buffet-style breakfast with table service; table-service lunch and dinner with main course choices from a changing daily menu; cakes served in mid-afternoon.
  • Glass-enclosed observation lounge and presentation room.
  • Lounge and bar, open late morning, afternoon and evening with a wide selection of wines and spirits; coffee, tea available all day.
  • Library with collection of polar-themed books.
  • Ship-to-shore communications via Fleet 77 and e-mail.
  • Clinic with licensed doctor.
  • Exercise room.
  • Please note: there is no passenger elevator between decks.

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Ship Specifications

Crew: 30
Guests: 78
Length: 73.0 m
Breadth: 11.0 m
Draft: 3.7 m
Propulsion: Diesel engines – 2,000-horsepower
Ice Class: 1B, EO (Hull Ice 1A)
Cruising Speed: 12 knots in open water
Registered: Bahamas