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Southern Spitsbergen

North & East Spitsbergen - Summer Solstice

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

Length

15 Days

Ship category

Classic

Ship type

Small Ship

Capacity

108 Passengers

North & East Spitsbergen - Summer Solstice

10 Reviews

Trip highlights

Witness iconic Arctic wildlife during summer Solstice

Observe breathtaking icebergs and glaciers

Explore Spitsbergen like few travelers do

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

We’ve linked two of our most exploratory Spitsbergen trips, one of which cruises the island’s northern shores for pack ice and polar bears, and the other that ventures into the scenic eastern shorelines during the summer solstice. The result is this Arctic extravaganza of wildlife and immersive outdoor excursions.

Your ship: Plancius

Plancius deck plan

M/v “Plancius” was built in 1976 as an oceanographic research vessel for the Royal Dutch Navy and was named “Hr. Ms. Tydeman”. The ship sailed for the Dutch Navy until June 2004 and was eventually purchased by Oceanwide Expeditions. The vessel was completely rebuilt as a passenger vessel in 2009 and complies with the latest SOLAS regulations (Safety Of Life At Sea). M/v “Plancius” is classed by Lloyd’s Register and flies the Dutch flag.

M/v “Plancius” accommodates 108 passengers with private toilet and shower in 4 quadruple porthole cabins, 2 triple porthole cabins, 9 twin porthole cabins, 25 … Read more about Plancius

Cabins

Twin Deluxe Cabin

Type:

Twins

Max. occupancy:

2

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Twin Porthole Cabin

Type:

Twins

Max. occupancy:

2

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Superior Cabin

Type:

Matrimonial

Max. occupancy:

2

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Triple Porthole Cabin

Type:

Triple

Max. occupancy:

3

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Twin Window Cabin

Type:

Twins

Max. occupancy:

2

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Quadruple Porthole Cabin

Type:

Quadrupel

Max. occupancy:

4

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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

In the early evening the ship sails out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of your voyage. In the evening you sail for Trygghamna, where you see the remains of a 17th-century English whaling station and 18th-century Pomor hunting station, both of which you can visit the next morning.

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Svalbard – Store norske leksikon

Alkhornet and Trygghamna

From Trygghamna you walk to Alkhornet, a large seabird cliff where the birds are scouting out breeding places. Below the cliffs is a common place to spot Arctic foxes, and you may also see reindeer grazing on the lush vegetation if there’s not too much snow.

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Svalbard – Store norske leksikon

You sail into Fuglefjorden amid views of Svitjodbreen and Birgerbukta, both breeding areas for great skuas as well as likely spots to see a polar bear. On Birgerbukta you can see 17th-century Basque ovens once used for cooking whale blubber. The aim next is to visit Ytre Norskøya, a small island that served for many years as a Dutch whaling lookout.

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Northern Spitsbergen

Raudfjorden

Magdalenefjorden

Smeerenburgfjorden

Woodfjorden

Kongsvegen and Kongsbreen

Krossfjorden

Fjortende Julibukta

Ny London

Ny Alesund

Fuglesongen

Over the following days, you may visit the following sites:

Lomfjord – This is a beautiful fjord fringed by towering mountains offering a great opportunities for a hike.

Wilhelmøya – A tundra landscape in which polar bears can possibly be seen, Wilhelmøya is also a good area for shoreline, inland, and altitude-gaining hikes.

Svartknausflya – You may take an excursion to this stark polar desert, which is almost devoid of vegetation but rich with invertebrate fossils and whale skeletons along its raised beaches.

Heleysundet – A narrow but picturesque waterway between Spitsbergen and Barents withthis route can only be made against the current.

Freemansundet – Depending on conditions, you may also sail through this waterway. A walk at Kapp Lee may introduce you to a few new reindeer and walruses, and you might also visit a large colony of kittiwakes nesting in a canyon in Diskobukta. Arctic foxes and polar bears with their young often roam this canyon, scavenging for birds that fall from the ledges. Sub-fossilized whale bones are scattered across the raised beaches.

Hornsund – You continue your Spitsbergen voyage by sailing into the labyrinth of side fjords around Hornsund. At Brepollen rests a large glacial deposit at the head of the fjord. Sailing along the glacier front will afford you good chances of spotting bearded seals and polar bears. The geological formations in this area are vibrant and mesmerizing.

Bellsund – En route to Longyearbyen, you may reach Ahlstrandhalvøya. More fascinating geological formations can be seen here, as well as the remains of 20th-century beluga hunting. (This is still a good area to see beluga.)

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Northern Spitsbergen

Kongsvegen and Kongsbreen

Ny London

Ny Alesund

A trip along the northwestern coast of Svalbard is always worth with the wildlife, the scenery, and the history. As far back as the 1600s his part of Svalbard was a huge center for whaling, including "Blubber Town" - with the main target being the oil-rich bowhead whale, the Arctic's only full-time resident baleen whale species.

The "town" of New Ålesund is on the shore of King's Bay ("Kongsfjorden") and well worth a visit. With a summer population of 120 and a hardy winter population of about 35, this is the most northerly permanent civilian settlement in the world. Originally the coal mining town of King's Bay, it played a key role in the history of arctic exploitation and exploration, especially flight.

Today it is at the center of Arctic and atmospheric research, and is one of the most northerly communities in the World. Don't miss the chance to send a postcard from the world's most northerly Post Office.

Svalbard
Before and After Svalbard
Svalbard – Store norske leksikon

Disembark in Longyearbyen

You disembark in Longyearbyen, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies .

Info

Single Cabin Supplement

When booking online, you can choose the option to "Upgrade to single occupancy". This will guarantee you the whole cabin to yourself, for an additional fee. If you don't select this option, then another traveler of the same sex might be placed into the same cabin with you.

What's included

Voyage aboard the indicated vessel 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 by Zodiac.

Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.

Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen.

All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.

AECO fees and governmental taxes.

Comprehensive pre-departure material.

What's not included

Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights

Pre- and post- land arrangements.

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.

The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

Reviews

Meghal Lotia

Plancius Antarctic and Arctic Cruises

Classic

To talk about the cruise, it was an amazing experience! The services by Oceanwide were managed very efficiently despite the covid outbreak during the tour. I am a vegetarian so I was surprised that they had plenty of meal options for me and the kitchen staff made great efforts. The tour guides were very knowledgeable and friendly. We would often sit down in the evening after our dinner and chat about our personal lives and passions. It felt more like being friends with them than the conventional tourist-guide relation. I am glad that I made it to this trip. It has been a very memorable experience with the activities that we did and friends I made. I would rate Oceanwide very highly for all their efforts! I would love to go on another trip with Oceanwide, maybe to the Arctic this time.

Meghal Lotia

Plancius Antarctic and Arctic Cruises

Classic

Um über die Kreuzfahrt zu sprechen, es war eine erstaunliche Erfahrung! Die Dienstleistungen von Oceanwide wurden trotz des Covid-Ausbruchs während der Tour sehr effizient gehandhabt. Da ich Vegetarierin bin, war ich überrascht, dass es eine große Auswahl an Mahlzeiten für mich gab, und das Küchenpersonal hat sich sehr bemüht. Die Reiseleiter waren sehr sachkundig und freundlich. Wir haben uns abends nach dem Essen oft zusammengesetzt und über unser persönliches Leben und unsere Leidenschaften geplaudert. Ich hatte eher das Gefühl, mit ihnen befreundet zu sein, als das übliche Verhältnis zwischen Touristen und Reiseleitern. Ich bin froh, dass ich an dieser Reise teilgenommen habe. Die Aktivitäten, die wir unternommen haben, und die Freundschaften, die ich geschlossen habe, waren eine sehr denkwürdige Erfahrung. Ich würde Oceanwide für all ihre Bemühungen sehr hoch bewerten! Ich würde gerne eine weitere Reise mit Oceanwide machen, vielleicht diesmal in die Arktis.

Meghal Lotia

Plancius Antarctic and Arctic Cruises

Classic

Pour ce qui est de la croisière, ce fut une expérience extraordinaire ! Les services d'Oceanwide ont été gérés de manière très efficace malgré l'épidémie de covidés pendant la visite. Je suis végétarienne et j'ai donc été surprise de constater qu'il y avait de nombreuses options de repas pour moi et que le personnel de cuisine a fait de gros efforts. Les guides étaient très compétents et sympathiques. Nous nous asseyions souvent le soir après le dîner pour discuter de nos vies personnelles et de nos passions. J'ai eu l'impression d'être plus proche d'eux que de la relation conventionnelle entre un guide et un touriste. Je suis heureux d'avoir participé à ce voyage. Les activités que nous avons faites et les amis que je me suis faits ont été une expérience très mémorable. Je donnerais une très bonne note à Oceanwide pour tous leurs efforts ! J'aimerais beaucoup faire un autre voyage avec Oceanwide, peut-être dans l'Arctique cette fois-ci.

FAQ

When it comes to traveling to Antarctica, one of the first questions that often arises is, "Can I fly to Antarctica?". The answer is: Yes, you can. Most trips start in Patagonia (Ushuaia and Punta Arenas) and cross the Drake Passage by ship, but there are also trips that use planes to cross that infamous sea passage. Here are the Pros and Cons for each method:

Flying to Antarctica:

  • Pros: Flying to Antarctica is the quickest way to reach the continent. It offers convenience and is often the choice for those with very limited time.

  • Cons: There are limited commercial flights to Antarctica, and these are primarily reserved for research and expedition purposes. Tourist accessibility is limited, and it can be costly. Also, as not many trips include flights, you'll be limiting your choice a lot if you decide to only look for such trips.

Crossing the Drake Passage by ship:

  • Pros: If you choose to cross the Drake Passage by ship, you embark on an incredible adventure. This journey is not just a means of transportation; it's an expedition in itself. The crossing takes 1.5 - 2 days, which are filled with scientific lectures that prepare you for the experience. You'll witness diverse wildlife, including penguins and whales, as your anticipation starts building up. To us, the crossing is a quintessential experience of a true Antarctic explorer.

  • Cons: Crossing the Drake Passage takes some time, and the seas can be rough. It's not the quickest way to reach the continent, and you need to allocate more time for your expedition.

In conclusion, when it comes to traveling to Antarctica, you have these two choices. Flying offers efficiency and direct access, perfect for specific purposes. Crossing the Drake Passage by ship provides an unmatched adventure and connection with Antarctica's unique environment. Consider what truly matters to you, and you'll find the Antarctic transportation choice that suits your goals and spirit of exploration.

All cruises in the polar regions operate to itineraries that are more-or-less fixed. We say "more or less", because wildlife (breeding, seasonality) and weather always play an important role in routing. Most cruises will offer a range of land-based and water-based activities that you will enjoy at various points in your cruise, including:

  • Land excursions (including hiking trails, visitor centers, time relaxing on beaches, observing animals, etc.)
  • Bird Watching
  • Snorkeling (from ship or beaches)
  • Dinghy rides
  • Kayaking
  • Diving (on ships with diving itineraries)
  • Naturalist presentations. These usually take place every evening - on board the bigger ships also with help of projectors, microscopes etc.

All boats carry English speaking, scientifically trained guides. They will lead you on your excursions, allowing you to learn as much as possible about the unique wildlife and habitats of the Polar Regions.

Choosing the right ship for a cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic seems difficult, but it doesn't have to be. Our fleet is over 30 vessels, we are sure that there is the perfect one for you. Please, follow these simple steps, and you will be able to find your ideal ship:

  • Determine your budget and desired level of comfort: Are you looking for luxury or more budget-friendly options? On our website you can set the price range.
  • Consider ship size: Large ships offer more amenities and facilities, but they can also feel crowded and impersonal. Smaller ships offer a more personal experience, but may not have as many amenities.
  • Look at the cabins: Although you probably won’t spend much time in your cabin, look at the photos and read the descriptions to make sure you're happy with the one you choose.
  • Consider the activities on board: Are you interested in kayaking, camping, diving or a photography workshop? Or maybe you want to take part in a Citizen Science Program? These activities can enhance your overall experience. See what our ships have to offer.
  • Read customer reviews: Learn about other travelers' experiences by reading reviews.
  • Ask your Polar Specialist: Feel free to contact your Polar Specialist. They are happy to share their knowledge and are always ready to help.

In addition: We work with responsible partners who provide a great experience for their passengers. All of our providers are committed to sustainability and to preserving the beauty of the polar regions. You don’t need to worry about the impact of your cruise, because we’ve already taken care of it.

We love to help people find their dream vacation to the Arctic and Antarctic. Whether you give us a call, contact us via email, or use our website inquiry form, one of our Polar travel experts will be more than happy to answer any questions, recommend ships and itineraries, and walk you through the whole process!

Step 1: Find your perfect trip. If you have already started looking for Polar Cruises, you will have quickly noticed that the sheer amount of options can be quite overwhelming. To help you navigate the countless departures and itineraries that our fleet offers, we have put together a great filter page for Antarctic and Arctic Expedition Cruises. Use this page to filter all trips by price, date, ship category, and even destinations you wish to visit. We update all dates, prices, and availabilities daily, and are proud to host what is doubtlessly the world's most complete collection of information.

Step 2: Found something you love? We'll hold your spaces, free of charge! If you find a cruise you like, you can either inquire directly with us or make an unbinding booking online. We will then reach out to the shipowners to put a hold on your spaces for a limited time, free of charge. Once we have confirmed your block with the ship, we will send you a written confirmation of your reservation and include full payment details in an invoice. Typically, we are able to hold unpaid reservations for up to 1 week*. This gives us time to clarify all your remaining questions, and also ensures that no other passengers can book your spaces, while we continue our conversation.

Step 3: Confirm your booking. In order to confirm your booking, we ask for a deposit payment. You can pay via bank transfer or credit card. Keep in mind, that we can only hold your spaces for a limited amount of time. If we don't receive your payment after this time, we can no longer guarantee that the places will be available or that the price won't increase. To prevent disappointment, we will automatically cancel your reservation if we don't receive your deposit by the due date stated on your booking reservation.

Step 4: Booking confirmation & Payment. As soon as we have received your deposit and a completed passenger information form, we will be pleased to send your booking confirmation and updated invoice, along with your trip itinerary, important information, and other great tips for your cruise.

Step 5: Final payment. In your initial invoice, we will define a final payment date by when you need to pay us the remaining amount of your trip. Once we have received your final payment we'll send you your cruise documents and voucher. As your trip approaches, we make sure to pass along all necessary information, so you feel super prepared and stress-free.

*For last-minute bookings, we might not be able to hold your spaces for so long. We will also require the full payment of your cruise upon booking.

An expedition cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic is a big deal! Most people plan for this type of trip at least 8 months in advance. This means the earlier you book, the better chance you'll have to reserve your prefered cabins. Early bird discounts are also popular and a great way to get 10-30% off your cruise.

Most expedition cruises offer optional activities like camping and kayaking, but the spaces are limited. A cruise with 120 passengers can have only 10-15 spaces for kayaking. These are reserved on a first come first served basis. The earlier you book, the higher your chance of grabbing a spot.

Even though last minute deals do occur, keep in mind that the airline prices will be much higher if you purchase them last minute. You may save a few hundred on your cruise, but you may end up paying the most for airfare.

If you are prone to motion sickness then here are a few hints to help you.

Firstly, book a cabin in the middle of the ship. The middle of the ship will move less, both in roll and in pitch. Secondly, chose a larger ship. Bigger vessels typically are more stable, and some of them are even equipped with "stabilizers", fins under water that remove the rolling in the swells. Thirdly, take medical advice on anti-seasickness medication. Some traditional remedies are said to be very effective, such as taking ginger or using commercially-available acupressure wristbands.

Watch this informative video about life onboard an expedition ship and seasickness from our expert guide and Polartours Brand Ambassador, Kevin.

Life Onboard & Seasickness
North & East Spitsbergen - Summer Solstice

5.0

(10)

Classic

Price

Upon Request



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