Svalbard Explorer & Wildlife Adventure

A Boutique Voyage in Svalbard

aboard M/S Sjøveien

with Expedition Leader Henrik Løvendahl

  • 11 Days 10 Nights Only 1 Cabin left 25 July – 4 August, 2017
  • 11 Days 10 Nights Selling fast   23 July – 2 August, 2018

Adventure Associates is thrilled to invite you to join us on this unique expedition to the top of the world.  Svalbard is teeming with life for only a few months of the year, during the Arctic summer.  Armed with our “secret weapon” M/S Sjøveien and 24 hours of daylight, just imagine – with a ship like this, we can go to places and see things that bigger ships will never do!  Her compact size, shallow draft and only twelve guests on board, we will have the advantage of great flexibility. The perfect recipe for an adventure.

Millions of migrating birds arrive to feed and breed, walrus haul out on remote beaches to rest between foraging trips and the iconic King of the Arctic, the Polar bear roams the coastline in search of prey.

Henrik Løvendahl will be the Expedition Leader for this voyage. He has been leading trips to the Polar Regions for more than 15 years and his expertise and love of nature will enhance your enjoyment of being in the wild.

Our voyage we will focus on spectacular fjords and the islands of North Spitsbergen, which offer abundant bird life and the chance to encounter walrus, reindeer, ringed and bearded seals and with luck, the mighty Polar bear.  Ice conditions permitting, our aim is to reach the Hinlopen Strait and Nordaustlandet, the second largest island in the group – covered in parts by vast ice sheets. This frozen world has a lure all its own and our exploration has a pioneering feel to it.  Ringed by high mountains and shimmering glaciers, these northern bays and fjords offer outstanding scenery to compliment the wildlife.

It is worth keeping in mind that wildlife sightings are not guaranteed, especially with respect to the elusive Polar bear.  However, we have never had a voyage where we have not seen a bear.

Svalbard has much to offer and many exciting places to visit.  To maximise your experience, your Expedition Leader and Captain will make decisions about where to go, based on current ice and weather conditions.  Flexibility and patience is vital for any expedition.

The itinerary below is a suggestion of what you may encounter:

Day 1

Longyearbyen

Arrive in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of the Svalbard archipelago of which Spitsbergen is the largest island. Please take the opportunity to stroll around this former mining town before embarkation. The Parish Church and Polar Museum are well worth a visit.  In the early evening after boarding we will head out into Isfjorden, escorted by northern fulmar and Atlantic puffins. During the night we sail northwards through Forlandsundet, a narrow body of water between Prins Karls Forland and Spitsbergen.

Days 2 to 9

Northwest Spitsbergen

In the morning we will make our first excursion in the Northwest corner of Spitsbergen.  We will navigate the narrows of Fuglefjorden and explore the labyrinth of tiny islands set amongst towering peaks and glaciers.  Little auks and Atlantic puffins can often be seen flying around as we cruise these tranquil waters.  Later we sail to Raudfjord on the North coast of West Spitsbergen, a beautiful fjord dominated by spectacular glaciers and favoured by ringed and bearded seals.  The cliffs and shoreline of Raudfjord also support thriving seabird colonies and a surprisingly rich vegetation flourishes in some sheltered places.

Woodfjorden – Liefdefjorden

Over night we sail into Woodfjorden and towards the mouth of Liefdefjorden to explore the islands of Andøyane.  Many common eiders, pink-footed and barnacle geese nest here along with the rare King eider.  We hope to sail into Liefdefjorden, cruising along the 5km long face of the impressive Monaco Glacier.  The waters of the glacier front are a favourite feeding spot for thousands of kittiwakes, northern fulmar, ivory gulls, Arctic terns and on previous voyages we have seen Polar bears in this area. This is a wonderful setting for photography.

Alkefjellet – Lomfjord

Today we may be in the Hinlopen Strait, keeping an ever-watchful eye out for whales, seals, walrus and Polar bears. We plan to cruise the towering dolerite bird cliffs of Alkefjellet, home to hundreds of thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots and a place that provides a free meal of eggs to cunning Arctic fox families!  On the western side of Hinlopen Strait, we will attempt a landing in Lomfjorden. This is a good place to stretch the legs and explore the beautiful surroundings. We might see reindeer, Arctic fox and Ptarmigan and walk across an exquisite tundra garden of many floral species, including varieties of saxifrages, Arctic bell-heather, moss campions and hairy lousewort.

Sjuøyane – Phippsøya

In the morning we sail via Lagøya, a known haul-out place for walrus. Encountering a walrus haul-out is a moment you won’t forget! These lumbering giants of the Arctic create a chaotic scene, as each walrus vies for the best spot on the beach.  Later we will reach our northernmost point at Phippsøya, in the Seven Islands (Sjuøyane) north of Nordaustlandet.  Here we will be above 81 degrees north, just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole.  Polar bears inhabit this region, along with the walrus.  We may cruise through the pack-ice for several hours hoping to spot a Polar bear and other wildlife.

Nordaustlandet

Depending on the ice situation, we will try to head south-east to explore one of the deep fjords at the top of Nordaustlandet.  It is the second largest island in the archipelago and is covered by the world’s third largest ice sheet.  This polar desert is an eroded landscape, carved by severe frost and glacial activity over several ice ages.  It is a geologists paradise rich in fossils.

Pack-Ice cruising

Retracing our route westwards, we plan to sail through and along the pack-ice edge, always on the watch for the mighty Polar bear, seals and other wildlife.  Keep an eye out for the rare Greenland (bowhead) whale.

Day 10

West Spitsbergen

We sail into St. Johns Fjord, or head further south to the mouth of Isfjorden and land at Alkhornet.   Here there are seabirds nesting on cliffs with Arctic foxes searching the base for fallen eggs and chicks.  Meanwhile we hope to see Svalbard reindeer grazing on the relatively luxuriant vegetation.

Day 11

Longyearbyen

We arrive in Longyearbyen, disembark, join our flights south to Oslo and thence home.

Polar Bear, SvalbardZodiac cruising at MonacobreenWalrus on ice floe, SvalbardSvalbard Poppy, SvalbardSvalbard MapArctic Fox,SvalbardPolar Bear, SvalbardWho is watching who? SvalbardHamiltonbukta, Svalbard

Dates and Cost

  • 11 Days 10 Nights  ONLY 4 BERTH LEFT 25 July – 4 August 2017
  • 11 Days 10 Nights  23 July – 2 August, 2018

Lower Deck   Twin cabin with portholes and private facilities   USD 9,990 pp
Main Deck  Twin Cabin Plus with windows and private facilities   USD 11,490 pp
Main Deck  Double Cabin Superior with window and private facilities   USD 13,390 pp
Upper Deck   Double Cabin Suite with window and private facilities  USD 13,990 pp

Single Supplement is 1.5 x Twin price only available in the Lower deck cabins. (Group size 12 only)

What’s included

  • Voyage aboard M/S Sjøveien as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage
  • Programmed lectures and leadership by experienced staff
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the voyage
  • 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, 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).

How to Book

To ensure your place on this exciting adventure, please contact us to reserve a place 02 6355 2022 or mail@adventureassociates.com, then complete the Adventure Associates Booking Form and return to us with your USD 1500 per person deposit.

Deposit required per person: US$1500 per person
Balance due: 90 days prior to departure
If booking within 89 days of departure: Full payment must be made.

Reservations are established when you receive written confirmation and acceptance of the deposit and Booking Form. Travel insurance is strongly recommended at the time of booking.

Cancellations

Cancellations must be advised in writing to Adventure Associates. Cancellation charges are subject to regulations of airlines, coach and tour operators, hotels and other principals involved. If it is necessary to cancel your arrangements, the following non-refundable charges will apply.

More than 150 days prior to departure USD 500 per person
Between 149 and 90 days prior to departure Full loss of deposit per person
Between 89 and 76 days prior to departure 75% of tour cost per person
On or within 75 days prior to departure No Refund

If the cancellation charge is more than your advance payment you remain liable for the difference. For these and other reasons mentioned above you are strongly recommended to take out Travel Insurance. Once the Tour has departed there will be no refund for any unused portions of the trip.

 

Suggested Reading List

If you are curious to learn more about Svalbard we have compiled a list of appropriate literature that is available from our friends at Longitude Books or other good bookstores. Click link below.

Svalbard Reading List – Longitude Books

Hamiltonbukta, SvalbardIvory Gull, SvalbardReindeer, SvalbardIMG_6201 © Henrik Løvendahl 011b

Optional Activities

It is well worth spending a day or two in Longyearbyen prior to the voyage and we will be happy to offer some advice and suggestions.

 

M/S Sjøveien

Ice-Class Vessel

M:S SJØVEIEN

The M/S Sjøveien (“The Seaway” in Norwegian) is a classic vessel, built in 1964 for the Norwegian government. She is a former training ship used to train mariners. After being a hotel ship for the last few years, she is now being refurbished into a classic and exclusive passenger ship to sail in Svalbard in the summer of 2017. She is a true beauty with wooden decks and vintage details. There is a lot of deck space on the main deck and there is also an excellent area on top of the bridge, from where you have wonderful views of the magical Svalbard scenery.

The M/S Sjøveien carries a maximum of 12 passengers and is a marvelous piece of maritime history with beautiful brass details and wooden decks. With a party of 12 on board
it is like travelling on a charming private yacht, which is an entirely different experience and perspective to that of a larger, more conventional vessel.
Our voyage is primarily designed to offer passengers a quality exploratory wildlife program, trying to spend as much time ashore as possible. M/S Sjøveien carries 2 Zodiacs, each Zodiac can comfortably carry 6 passengers and 12 passengers on short runs e.g. from ship to shore.

The vessel offers eight comfortable outside cabins, all with private facilities. On the lower deck there are 4 twin cabins with portholes. On the main deck there are 2 larger twin cabins with windows and one large superior cabin with a double bed and windows. The eighth cabin is located on the bridge deck and is a larger suite with a double bed and windows.
In the dining area on the main deck you are served breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here is also a lounge area where you can relax with a cup of tea or coffee and listen to interesting talks by the guides. There is an international crew on board who speaks English and there is an open bridge policy.

Deck Plan

Deck plan

Ship Specifications

Crew: 8
Guests: 12
Length: 40.66 m
Breadth: 8.00 m
Draft: 3.40 m
Ice Class: Ice class “C”
Cruising Speed: 11 Knots
Built: 1964 Bergen, Norway
Registered: Norway

DELUXE03 DOUBLE standard02 messroom03 TWIN main deck02 TWIN below02

Expedition Leader – Henrik Løvendahl

Henrik has worked as an expedition leader and guide in both the Arctic and Antarctic since 1998. He has lead voyages to Northeast Greenland, Svalbard, the Antarctic Peninsula, Papua New Guinea, the Norwegian Coast and Scotland. He has travelled extensively to far and remote corners of the world. He has scaled Andean peaks, trekked in the Himalayas and dived in many exotic locations; but his greatest passion is the Polar regions. More recently Henrik has spent three month living and working on the remote Sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia and ten month as a dog-sled driver on Svalbard during the Arctic winter.

Henrik has managed to combine his passion for nature, travel and diving. He intersperses his working life with protracted periods of outdoor recreational activities, including hiking, kayaking, rock climbing and mountaineering. An accomplished outdoor enthusiast, he is at home in the world’s wild places.

 

 

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