Around Svalbard Expedition 11 DaysAboard: M/S Sjøveien M/S Quest
Join this fantastic voyage to discover the breathtaking landscapes and bountiful wildlife of the Svalbard archipelago. This extended journey aboard a small expedition vessel that can reach areas that are inaccessible to larger vessels, will give you the opportunity to discover some of the most remote and seldom explored areas of this remarkable part of the world. Travelling in the Arctic summer with the midnight sun as your backdrop, the ice will have started to loosen its grip and your ship will attempt to circumnavigate around almost the entirety of the archipelago. Experiencing incredible scenery at every turn and searching for an abundance of wildlife including polar bears, walrus, reindeers and myriad birds, this is an expedition not to be missed.
- Circumnavigate Spitsbergen
- Spectacular scenery where fjords & glaciers abound
- Polar bears, whales and other wildlife
- Historical sites
- Abundant birdlife
- Exciting explorations by Zodiac and on foot
- Full board accommodation on board ship
- Programme of lectures by expert guides
- Shore and Zodiac excursions
- Illustrated post-expedition log
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Having arrived independently to Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of Svalbard, you will make your way to the port to board your expedition vessel and begin your adventure of a lifetime. After settling in to your comfortable cabin, meeting your expedition crew and familiarising yourself with your new surroundings, we recommend making your way to deck to watch as your ship sails through the spectacular Isfjorden and deep into the Arctic.
By the morning of day 2 we will be in the heart of Spitsbergen’s enchanting west coast, ready to begin our Svalbard exploration. As with all polar expedition cruises, flexibility throughout our voyage will be key, and as we travel through this untamed wilderness your experienced crew and captain will determine the best course for unparalleled scenic and wildlife experiences based on ice and weather conditions and likelihoods of wildlife encounters. Your crew are there to ensure you experience the very best of what Spitsbergen has to offer. Exploring by ship, Zodiac and on foot we will hope to discover the whole way around Spitsbergen’s dramatic coastline, with each day bringing a new experience and adventure. This could mean a wakeup call in the middle of the night as we sail by a polar bear on the ice, or spending more time in one destination than others due to the high concentration of wildlife. Whatever happens, this is sure to be the adventure of a lifetime!
Our route is likely to vary but there are some particular areas that we expect to visit during our time here. Our first stop is likely to be the narrow strip of Prins Karls Forland to see its beautiful landscape of snow-covered mountains and search for seals in the surrounding waters, before sailing north to Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden to explore around the scientific village of Ny-Ålesund and discover the beautifully sculpted front of the 14th of July glacier. We also hope to visit Liefdefjorden to discover its snow-covered mountain peaks and take a Zodiac cruise along the face of the spectacular Monaco Glacier.
Sailing further north we plan to reach Raudfjorden, an area of immense natural beauty that is dominated by beautiful glaciers and is a favourite spot for seals and abundant birdlife, before reaching Danskøya. It is here where two of the most courageous attempts to reach the North Pole started and there are still interesting remnants from these expeditions left on this site.
Pushing east along the northern Spitsbergen coast, if ice conditions allow we will sail into the spectacular Hinlopen Strait to discover the island of Nordaustlandet which is covered by a huge icecap that has fascinated historians and naturalists alike for countless years. Scenic photo opportunities here are immense, with huge glacier fronts intersected by hundreds of waterfalls. While we are in this area we also hope to visit Alkefjellet, an impressive basaltic cliff that is home to an estimated 200,000 Brünnich’s guillemots.
Sailing further south along Svalbard’s east coast we will visit Barentsøya and Edgeøya to enjoy some walks along the impressive tundra in search of sightings of Arctic fox, reindeers and walruses, before sailing along the south coast and north towards the majestic Hornsund. This is likely to be the last stop on our voyage, but will certainly not disappoint. Here we will see magnificent fjords and enormous glaciers that dominate the landscape, and we will have our best chances of observing the Kings of the Arctic…the iconic Polar bears!
Arrival back in to the port at Longyearbyen sadly signals the end of our voyage. After breakfast you will disembark, bid a fond farewell to your expedition crew and begin your journey home filled with enchanting memories of your Arctic adventure.
Please note: Various land and flight packages are available for getting to and from Longyearbyen, and also for extensions to your tour. Please enquire for further details.
A view from Above
M/S Sjøveien (meaning the Seaway) was built in Bergen in 1964 for the Norwegian Government and she worked for them in various capacities. From 1979 until 1995 she was used as a training ship for mariners. Since 1995 she has been in private ownership and during the many years since, worked for the Norwegian coast guard. After being a hotel ship for the past few years, she is now being refurbished into a classic and exclusive passenger ship and will set sail towards Svalbard in the early 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.
To accommodate a maximum of 12 passengers there are eight outside cabins, all with private facilities. On the lower deck there are four twin cabins with portholes. On the main deck there are two larger twin cabins with windows and one large superior cabin with a double bed and windows. The eighth cabin is located on the upper deck and is a large superior cabin with windows. The dining area on the main deck is where 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 speak English and the bridge is open for visitors.
Formerly named Sea Endurance, the M/S Quest was built in Denmark in 1992 to serve as a ferry on Greenland’s west coast. In 2004/2005 she was completely refurbished and now has a career as a small and comfortable expedition ship. The M/S Quest takes 53 passengers and all 26 cabins are outside cabins with private facilities. The triple cabins have upper and lower berths. All other cabins have two lower berths or a double bed. In your cabin you find a desk with a chair and a cupboard for storage. The superior cabins are spacious and have armchairs and TV/ DVD. The Owner’s cabin has a double bed, two large picture windows, a separate seating area and TV/DVD.
In the dining room you are treated to delicious meals in between landings and in the panorama lounge you can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Here you can listen to entertaining talks on the area’s flora, fauna and history. In the lounge you also find a bar and a small library. The ship has spacious observation decks, where you can enjoy the beautiful vistas. Passengers are welcome on the bridge around the clock and there is always something to see or search for. There is an international crew on board the M/S Quest and the atmosphere is relaxed and very friendly.
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