akademik vavilov polar bear cruise

Spitsbergen Encounter

  • Overview

    Spitsbergen and the Svalbard archipelago offer a tremendous wildlife and birdlife experience, as well as a fascinating lesson in glaciology. First used as a whaling base in the 17th and 18th centuries, the islands are now celebrated as a breeding ground for many seabirds, along with marine mammals and the elusive polar bear. Our expedition ships are perfectly suited for remote polar exploration. With their high ice classification we are able to push further to the north, along the edge of the ice pack. It is here we frequently encounter the icon of the Arctic – the polar bear – hunting for seals and other protein sources to sustain them through the Arctic summer. Throughout our journey we enjoy a comprehensive series of presentations by polar experts, providing an excellent background to the expedition.

    Duration: 10 days
    Passengers: 96 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Longyearbyen, Svalbard
    Disembarkation Point: Longyearbyen, Svalbard
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.5x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Longyearbyen

      Today we embark in Longyearbyen and sail out into Isfjorden during the early evening. With almost 24 hours of daylight at this time of the year, we enjoy the views from the outer decks of the ship as we depart. We meet our fellow passengers and the expedition team during an introductory briefing and enjoy a welcome dinner as we set sail.

      Days are busy with shore excursions to places of historic interest, visits to wildlife colonies, viewing the exquisite native flora and soaking up the stunning landscapes. Short or long hikes on shore are a feature along with regular cruising in the Zodiacs. Sea kayaking is another popular option.

    • Day 2 - Bourbonhamna

      Beluga whales are frequently seen as they transit the narrow sound near Bourbonhamna. It is estimated there are approximately five to ten thousand belugas in the Svalbard population. On our shore excursion, an old hunting cabin and other artifacts are points of interest. We will also hope to catch a glimpse of dozens of reindeer that inhabit the area.

    • Day 3 - Lilliehook Glacier

      The Lilliehook Glacier is an incredible sight. The face stretches almost seven kilometers across and has a height of around 80-meters. Viewed from the ship or on a zodiac cruise you come to appreciate the enormous scale of our surroundings. The area is home to numerous bird colonies and a variety of different species. As we cruise the dark waters, we are always on the lookout for bearded and ringed seals, both species known to frequent this fjord.

    • Day 4 - Monaco Glacier and Liefdefjorden

      No trip along the north coast of Spitsbergen would be complete without a visit to Monaco Glacier. A wide glacier face at the head of the fjord makes for spectacular kayaking and zodiac cruising. The coastal plain near the mouth of Liefdefjorden offers superb hiking and is often a great place to spot polar bears that come here to hunt for ringed seals or feed on birds' eggs.

    • Day 5 - Phippsoya

      At 81° north latitude, Phippsoya is just 540 nautical miles from the North Pole. The high ice classification of our ship allows us to approach the edge of the pack ice in safety and comfort. Because of its proximity to the permanent Arctic ice pack, Phippsoya offers the potential for great polar bear viewing. In recent seasons we have enjoyed excellent encounters with polar bears in this vicinity.

    • Day 6/7 - Hinlopen Strait

      We enter the main channel separating Svalbard’s two main islands. In Hinlopen Strait, the bird cliffs at Alkefjellet are Nearby Murchison Fjord is a wonderful place to kayak or zodiac cruise between the islands. There are some excellent hiking routes here, affording us breathtaking views.

    • Day 8 - Smeerenburg

      Fuglesangenoya is home to a large dovekie colony. Nearby is the old whaling station of Smeerenburg, literally translated as ‘Blubber Town’. As we hike the shoreline of the old station, we learn about the importance of whaling in the discovery and exploration of the Svalbard archipelago. The blubber ovens stand as a reminder to this harsh industry in an equally harsh environment.

    • Day 9 - Prince Charles Island

      We visit the walrus colony on Prince Charles Island and hope to see these odd looking animals ashore. It is an incredible sight. Approaching from downwind can often confirm that walrus are ashore - the smell of a walrus haul out is quite 'unique'! Tonight we celebrate our journey with a special dinner attended by the ship’s Captain. It's a great time to reflect on a wonderful voyage in this wild and remote place.

    • Day 10 - Longyearbyen

      Arriving back into Longyearbyen this morning, our journey comes to an end. A transfer into town is provided for those choosing to stay a few day, or to the airport for those departing.

    Please consider that our voyages are expeditionary in nature. This means, that there are no concrete itineraries, your captain and expedition leader will utilise their vast experience to chart the best course for your expedition depending on the climatic and environmental conditions. Mentioned highlights and wildlife cannot be guaranteed.

  • Highlights & Activities

    Kayaking

    As a pre-booked activity, our group of sixteen paddlers and three guides gears you up with the best kit in the industry to experience one of the best paddling destinations in the world. Both single and double kayaks are available.

    USD 695 per person

    The Polar Bear

    To many people, the polar bear is the Arctic. The sight of such an impressive silky white bear wandering the frozen Arctic seas in search of seals symbolizes the cold, isolated nature of the Arctic so well. Polar bears are marine mammals because they spend so much of their lives away from land. In the high Arctic where there is always some sea ice to travel on, polar bears range over ice floes in the pack ice hunting seals all summer. In some areas (e.g. southern Hudson Bay, southern Svalbard) they are simply forced to come ashore. Polar bears rarely venture inland.

  • Inclusions

    Expedition Gear Package

    A complementary expedition package is provided on a loan basis, upon boarding. Your package will include;

    - Windproof / waterproof expedition jacket and bib pants
    - Waterproof backpack
    - Comfortable insulated rubber boots
    - Water resistant binoculars
    - Trekking poles

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Free use of rubber expedition boots/pants & jacket
    - Comprehensive pre-departure material
    - Port taxes
    - All shore excursions and lectures
    - All accommodation and meals on board

    Not included in your Expedition

    - International flights
    - Baggage / cancellation / interruption and medical travel insurance
    - Mandatory expedition gear not provided
    - Luggage handling
    - Optional excursions and activities.
  • Map
    Screen shot 2017 06 28 at 1.56.31 pm
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    AKADEMIK VAVILOV

    Akademik Sergey Vavilov is the near identical sister-ship to Akademik Ioffe. Built in Rauma (Finland) these Baltic Class 1A (Canadian Type B) ice strengthened ships are the leaders in their class. They are the pride of the polar fleet featuring first class amenities catering to the demands of today’s most discerning guests. A separate lounge and bar with panoramic views, as well as a library provide ideal places to sit and relax or catch up on some reading. A selection of movies and documentaries can also be watched in the lounge. The sumptuous meals prepared for you by our culinary team are enjoyed in our dining room, which can host all passengers in a single seating and will keep you feeling healthy and strong for the myriad of activities offered throughout the voyage. Other facilities include the theatre style presentation room, gift-shop, fitness room, massage room, hot water spa, sauna and plunge pool. There’s also a dedicated expedition ‘mud-room’ where you prepare for your off-ship excursions.

    Features & Facilities
    • Superior accommodation
    • 360 degree observation decks
    • Lounge & Bar with panoramic views
    • Theatre style presentation room
    • Wellness Centre; Gym
    • Massage services
    • Hot water spa
    • Sauna
    • Plunge Pool
    • Expedition mud room
    • Digital photography lab
    • Internet/Wifi
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 3
    Guests #: 96
    Crew #: 65
    Ice Class: 1A
    Speed: 14
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built: 1988
    Length: 117m
    Width: 18
    Draft:
    Tonnage: 6230
    Registry: Russia
    Elec Outlets: 220V / 2 Round Pin
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
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akademik vavilov triple cabin

Triple

28 Jun 2019 - 07 Jul 2019
Triple berth cabin with shared facilities and porthole.
USD 5,895pp
USD 4,895pp
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akademik vavilov twin semi private cabin

Twin Semi-Private

28 Jun 2019 - 07 Jul 2019
Twin cabin with semi-private facilities and a porthole.
USD 6,995pp
USD 5,995pp
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akademik vavilov twin private cabin

Twin Private

28 Jun 2019 - 07 Jul 2019
Twin cabin with private facilities and window.
USD 8,495pp
USD 7,495pp
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akademik vavilov superior twin private cabin

Superior Twin

28 Jun 2019 - 07 Jul 2019
Twin cabin with private facilities, window and added benefits.
USD 9,795pp
USD 8,795pp
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akademik vavilov shackleton suite cabin

Shackleton Suite

28 Jun 2019 - 07 Jul 2019
Double cabin with private facilities, window and added benefits. This cabin can also be utilised as a Triple, where the 3rd person pays the triple rate.
USD 10,895pp
USD 9,895pp
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akademik vavilov one ocean suite cabin

One Ocean Suite

28 Jun 2019 - 07 Jul 2019
Suite with double bed, private facilities and a host of luxuries.
USD 12,695pp
USD 11,695pp
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