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Rembrandt van Rijn _ North Norway

Extended East and Around Spitsbergen

Sail to some of the most remote locations in Northern Europe aboard the Ortelius

Length

20 Days

Ship category

Classic

Ship type

Small Ship

Capacity

108 Passengers

Extended East and Around Spitsbergen

3 Reviews

Trip highlights

Witness iconic Arctic wildlife during summer Solstice

Observe breathtaking icebergs and glaciers

Combine two trips to stay even longer

Spot seals and whales in their natural habitats

The Polartours experience

Best price guaranteed

Observe a polar bear!

Your booking contributes to our Conservation Project

Venture to one of the most remote locations of northern Europe

Why take just one polar voyage when you can combine two into an activity-filled, wildlife-focused adventure? We’ve joined our East Spitsbergen cruise (emphasizing polar bears and pack ice) with our Around Spitsbergen cruise (circumnavigating every spot of the island) to make one epic tour of an incredible Arctic island.

Sail around Spitsbergen taking in the wildlife, whaling history, and stunning landscapes. Visit historic whaling stations and search for walruses and reindeer. Head to Hornsund to explore the glaciers and the hunting grounds of the Polar Bear.

Your ship: Ortelius

Ortelius deck plan

Ortelius has a fascinating history of polar exploration. Originally launched as the “Marina Tsvetaeva” in 1989, she served as a special purpose vessel for the Russian Academy of Science. Later re-flagged and renamed, *Ortelius” is now classed by Lloyd’s Register in London and flies the Dutch flag.

Ortelius is first and foremost a true Antarctic exploration vessel. She has the highest Ice-Class specification (UL1, equivalent to 1A) and is certified to navigate through solid annual sea ice as well as loose multi-year pack ice. In this ship, you can discover the true Antarctic, reaching plac … Read more about Ortelius

Cabins

Twin Window Cabin

Type:

Twins

Max. occupancy:

2

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Twin Deluxe Cabin

Type:

Twins

Max. occupancy:

2

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Triple Porthole Cabin

Type:

Triple

Max. occupancy:

3

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Superior Cabin

Type:

Matrimonial

Max. occupancy:

2

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Quadruple Porthole Cabin

Type:

Quadrupel

Max. occupancy:

4

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Twin Porthole Cabin

Type:

Twins

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Map

Itinerary

Keep in mind this is an expedition cruise, so your itinerary will depend greatly on the weather, amount of ice and wildlife breeding behavior.

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Svalbard – Store norske leksikon

Arrival at Longyearbyen

You touch down in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Enjoy strolling around this former mining town, whose parish church and Svalbard Museum make for fascinating attractions. Though the countryside appears stark, more than a hundred species of plant have been recorded in it. In the early evening the ship sails out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of your voyage.

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Southern Spitsbergen

Gåshamna

Gnålodden

Vårsolbukta

Bjørnøya (Bear Island)

Akseløya

Whale Watching

Isbjørnhamna

Hornsund

Ahlstrandodden and Bamsebu

We start the day by quietly cruising the side fjords of the spectacular Hornsund area in southern Spitsbergen, enjoying the scenery of towering mountain peaks. The mountain of Hornsundtind rises to 1,431 meters (4,695 feet), while the peak of Bautaen testifies to why early Dutch explorers gave this island the name Spitsbergen, meaning “pointed mountains.” There are 14 magnificent glaciers in the area, and we have a fair chance of encountering seals and polar bears. The nearby cliffs of Sofiakammen are also home to thousands of pairs of nesting kittiwakes and little auks, and in the evening, we might see thousands of harp seals rutting on ice floes at Sørkapp.

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Southern Spitsbergen

Gåshamna

Gnålodden

Vårsolbukta

Bjørnøya (Bear Island)

Akseløya

Whale Watching

Isbjørnhamna

Hornsund

Ahlstrandodden and Bamsebu

We arrive at the southeastern end of Bear Island, a great place for viewing large seabird colonies. The nearby nesting cliffs are part of an extensive nature reserve where large ships are not allowed to bring passengers on shore. Afterward we’ll sail northeast into Sorhamna, where we can get closer to the seabird cliffs. Chiefly Brünnichs guillemots, kittiwakes, and fulmars nest here. Just north of this, in Kvalrossbukta, we will land and see the remains of a whaling station from early in the previous century. We might also make a landing in a shallow valley, such as Rendalen, and look for (at a safe distance) great skuas, large seabirds known to be fiercely territorial. As we continue north along the east side of Bear Island, we may still encounter dazzling shoals of drift ice.

Spitsbergen
Rembrandt van Rijn _ North Spitsbergen, Arctic Summer
QuarkExpeditions_ Spitsbergen Photography: In Search of Polar Bears

Kapp Lee

Haleysundet

Negribreen

Diskobukta

Freemansundet

Russebukta

Storfjorden

On the way to Hopen, we may encounter sea ice with rutting harp seals. We land at the southern end of Hopen Island, at Koefoetodden, where you can see the remains of 17th-century whaling sites. Through nearby Bekkeskaret is an easy route to Kvasstoppen (190 meters, 620 feet) and the remains of a plane from World War II. Hopen Radio station is the most remote manned weather station in all of Svalbard.

Spitsbergen
Rembrandt van Rijn _ North Spitsbergen, Arctic Summer
QuarkExpeditions_ Spitsbergen Photography: In Search of Polar Bears

Kapp Lee

Haleysundet

Negribreen

Diskobukta

Freemansundet

Russebukta

Storfjorden

Sailing along the western side of the Tusenöyane (where we’re not allowed to land in summer), you may see polar bears and walruses as we approach Risetreppen. This beautiful canyon features an accessible kittiwake colony. During our walk, we may encounter reindeer on the lush tundra.

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Southern Spitsbergen

Gåshamna

Gnålodden

Vårsolbukta

Bjørnøya (Bear Island)

Akseløya

Whale Watching

Isbjørnhamna

Hornsund

Ahlstrandodden and Bamsebu

At Ardalstangen, we go on shore in an area with lakes and different species of waterfowl. Nearby in Habenichtbukta, we can look from some distance to a wintering site of 18th-century Pomor trappers, who often stayed for years in the same place. Later in the afternoon, we land at the south side of Russebukta, near a tundra with reindeer and great walking opportunities.

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Southern Spitsbergen

Gåshamna

Gnålodden

Vårsolbukta

Bjørnøya (Bear Island)

Akseløya

Whale Watching

Isbjørnhamna

Hornsund

Ahlstrandodden and Bamsebu

Today we aim to land at the mountain of Stellingfjellet, near the largest colony of Brünnich’s guillemots in Spitsbergen. Later in the day, we will make landings at the rarely visited coast of south Spitsbergen, at the bay of Isbukta.

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Southern Spitsbergen

Gåshamna

Gnålodden

Vårsolbukta

Bjørnøya (Bear Island)

Akseløya

Whale Watching

Isbjørnhamna

Hornsund

Ahlstrandodden and Bamsebu

We continue our voyage in Bell Sund, one of the largest fjord systems in Svalbard. The ocean currents make this area slightly warmer than other areas in the archipelago, which shows in the relatively lush vegetation. Here there are excellent opportunities to enjoy both history and wildlife. One possibility is Ahlstrandhalvøya, at the mouth of Van Keulenfjorden, where piles of beluga skeletons can be found. These remains of 19th-century whale slaughter are a haunting reminder of the consequences of rampant exploitation. Fortunately, belugas were not hunted into extinction, and you might even see one here. Alternately, we may land at Millarodden at north side of Bell Sund. Here we can see a walrus haul-out site and possibly make an excursion on the tundra of Ingeborgfjellet, with its thousands of little auks.

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Southern Spitsbergen

Gåshamna

Gnålodden

Vårsolbukta

Bjørnøya (Bear Island)

Akseløya

Whale Watching

Isbjørnhamna

Hornsund

Ahlstrandodden and Bamsebu

Our adventure comes to an end exactly where it started. Today you disembark in Longyearbyen, taking away memories that will accompany you wherever your next journey lies.

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Svalbard – Store norske leksikon

Arrival at Longyearbyen

You touch down in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Enjoy strolling around this former mining town, whose parish church and Svalbard Museum make for fascinating attractions. Though the countryside appears stark, more than a hundred species of plant have been recorded in it. In the early evening the ship sails out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of your voyage.

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Northern Spitsbergen

Raudfjorden

Magdalenefjorden

Smeerenburgfjorden

Woodfjorden

Kongsvegen and Kongsbreen

Krossfjorden

Fjortende Julibukta

Ny London

Ny Alesund

Fuglesongen

Heading north along the west coast, you arrive by morning in Krossfjorden. Here you might board the Zodiacs for a cruise near the towering blue-white face of the Fourteenth of July Glacier. On the green slopes near the glacier, colorful flowers bloom while flocks of kittiwakes and Brünnich’s guillemots nest on the cliffs. You have a good chance of spotting an Arctic fox scouting for fallen chicks, or a bearded seal paddling through the fjord.

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Northern Spitsbergen

Raudfjorden

Magdalenefjorden

Smeerenburgfjorden

Woodfjorden

Kongsvegen and Kongsbreen

Krossfjorden

Fjortende Julibukta

Ny London

Ny Alesund

Fuglesongen

Depending on the weather, you could sail into Liefdefjorden and cruise within sight of the 5-kilometer-long (3.1 miles) face of the precipitous Monaco Glacier. The waters in front of this glacier are a favorite feeding spot for thousands of kittiwakes, and the base of the ice is a popular polar bear hunting ground. If ice conditions prevent sailing here early in the season, an alternate route along the west coast of Spitsbergen can be implemented.

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Svalbard – Store norske leksikon

Exploring the pack ice

Lågøya

North coast - Nordaustlandet

Kvitøya

Storøya

Sjuøyane

The northernmost point of your voyage may be north of Nordaustlandet, in the Seven Islands. Here you reach 80° north, just 870 km (540 miles) from the geographic North Pole. Polar bears inhabit this region, so the ship may park for several hours among the pack ice before wheeling around west again. When the edge of this sea ice is tens of miles north of the Seven Islands (mostly in August), you can spend a second day in this area. Alternatively (mostly in July) you may turn to Sorgfjord, where you have the chance to find a herd of walruses not far from the graves of 17th-century whalers. A nature walk here can bring you close to families of ptarmigans, and the opposite side of the fjord is also a beautiful area for an excursion.

English: The bizarre basalt rocks at the western coast of Hinlopen strait host approximately 120,000 Brünnich's guillemot (Uria lomvia) who come here in summer for breeding. Very often the rocks are covered in fog providing an eery atmosphere. The air is filled with a large flock of birds. The birds noise and the smell are overwhelming
Hinlopen Strait, Polartours
Hinlopen Strait, Polartours

Hinlopenstretet

Torrelneset

Austfonna and Bråsvellbreen

Alkefjellet

Today you sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to bearded and ringed seals as well as polar bears. At the entrance there is even the possibility to spot blue whales. As with Liefdefjorden, you can take an alternate west Spitsbergen route if ice prevents entry into Hinlopen. After cruising among the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in the Zodiacs, you then view the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with their thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots. On the east side of Hinlopen Strait, you may attempt a landing where reindeer, pink-footed geese, and walruses are likely sights. Near Torrelneset you can also visit the polar desert of Nordaustlandet, next to the world’s third-largest ice cap. Here you may encounter walruses during a coastline hike over the area’s raised beaches.