hondius polar bear cruise

North Spitsbergen; Polar Bear Special

  • Overview

    North Spitsbergen, In search of Polar Bear & Pack Ice

    The best opportunity to spot the King of the Arctic


    Sailing along the pack-ice of North Spitsbergen, will give us the best opportunities to spot the King of the Arctic. We sail to Raudfjord on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, a beautiful fjord dominated by spectacular glaciers and favoured by Ringed and Bearded Seal. The cliffs and shoreline of the fjord also support thriving seabird colonies and a surprisingly rich vegetation, which flourishes in sheltered spots. Polar bear are often seen here.

    Duration: 38 days
    Passengers: 176 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen
    Disembarkation Point: Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.7x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Longyearbyen, Svalbard; Embarkation Day

      We arrive in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of the Spitsbergen archipelago of which West Spitsbergen is the largest island. Before embarking there is an opportunity to stroll around this former mining town, whose parish church and Polar Museum are well worth visiting. In the surrounding area of Longyearbyen, more than 100 species of plants have been recorded. In the early evening the ship will sail out of Isfjorden, where in the mouth of the fjord we may see our first Minke Whale.

    • Day 2 - Raudfjord, West Spitsbergen

      We sail to Raudfjord on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, a beautiful fjord dominated by spectacular glaciers and favoured by Ringed and Bearded Seal. The cliffs and shoreline of the fjord also support thriving seabird colonies and a surprisingly rich vegetation, which flourishes in sheltered spots. Polar bear are often seen here.

    • Day 3 - Monaco Glacier

      Depending on the weather we may now sail into Liefdefjorden, crui¬sing near the 5km long face of the impressive Monaco Glacier. The waters of the glacier front are a favorite feeding spot for thousands of Kittiwake. As well, Polar Bear have been seen on the glacier, providing wonderful opportunities for photography.

    • Day 4 - Hinlopen Strait

      Today we will sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to Bearded Seal, Ringed Seal, Polar Bear, and Ivory Gull. At the entrance there is the possibility to see Blue Whale. We’ll navigate the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in our zodiacs and explore the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with thousands of Brünnich’s Guillemot. On the east side of Hinlopen Strait, we’ll attempt a landing at Palanderbukta on Nordaustlandet, home to reindeer, Pink-footed Goose, breeding Ivory Gull, and Walrus.

    • Day 5 - Seven Islands north of Nordaustlandet

      We will try reach our northernmost point at Phippsøya, in the Seven Islands north of Nordaustlandet. Here we will be at 81 degrees north, just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole. Polar Bear inhabit this region, along with Ivory Gull. The ship may sit for several hours in the pack ice, before turning west again.

    • Day 6 - Retracing our route westwards to keep watch for the Polar Bear

      Retracing our route westwards, our route takes us through and along the pack ice, keeping watch for Polar Bear and the elusive Greenland Whale (Bowhead). About 40 nautical miles west of Spitsbergen we sail along the edge of the continental shelf, where Fin Whale forage in summer in the upwelling’s along the Spitsbergen banks. At the mouth of the Kongsfjorden we have also good chances to see Minke Whale.

    • Day 7 - St. Johns Fjord & Isfjorden

      In Forlandsundet at Sarstangen is a haul out place for Walrus. Alternatively we sail into St. Johns Fjord or south to the mouth of Isfjorden and land at Alkhornet. Seabirds nest on its cliffs and Arctic Fox search the cliff base for fallen eggs and chicks, while Spitsbergen Reindeer graze the relatively luxuriant vegetation. At nighttime we arrive in Longyearbyen.

    • Day 8 - Longyearbyen, Svalbard; Disembarkation

      We disembark in Longyearbyen, the administrative centre of Spitsbergen, for flights south to Oslo and onward home.

    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

    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.

    Endless Arctic nights

    Svalbard is the Arctic North as you always dreamed it existed. This wondrous archipelago is a land of dramatic snow-drowned peaks and glaciers, of vast icefields and forbidding icebergs, an elemental place where the seemingly endless Arctic night and the perpetual sunlight of summer carry a deeper kind of magic. One of Europe's last great wildernesses, this is also the domain of more polar bears than people, a terrain rich in epic legends of polar exploration.

  • Inclusions

    All meals on board

    Onboard your expedition all meals are included and prepared by our chefs. Meals are prepared to a restaurant standard and to cater for most diet requirements.

    All Zodiac excursions

    During the course of your expedition, you will have direct access to our onboard expedition team. Our expedition team members are a wealth of information, they have backgrounds in exploration or science based backgrounds. Our teams will usually comprise of naturalists, historians, geologists and ornithologists.

    Your expedition team members will expertly guide you off the ship and provide you with firsthand knowledge about the geology and wildlife of the region. Back onboard the vessel, team members hold lectures about their studies or the wildlife that was seen during the course of the day.

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Free use of rubber expedition boots
    - Comprehensive pre-departure material
    - AECO and government fees
    - Port taxes
    - All shore excursions and lectures
    - All accommodation and meals on board

    Not included in your Expedition

  • Map
    Oceanwide exp north spits
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    HONDIUS

    Hondius will be the first vessel to be built to class “LR PC6”, meeting the latest and highest demands of Lloyd’s Register for “Polar Class 6” vessels, the highest Polar Class notation for ice-strengthened vessels. The vessel will also fully comply with the mandatory requirements of the Polar code, adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), for safe ship operation and the protection of the Polar environment. Hondius will be the strongest ice-strengthened vessel in the Polar Regions and will be equipped with stabilizers, and very suitable for advanced, innovative exploratory quality voyages in the Arctic and Antarctic Regions.

    Features & Facilities
    • Brand new vessel (2019)
    • Deluxe comfort level
    • Lecture and Presentation rooms
    • Large observation decks
    • Open bridge
    • Internet/Wifi
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 4
    Guests #: 176
    Crew #: 75
    Ice Class: 1A Super
    Speed: 15
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built: 2019
    Length: 107m
    Width: 18
    Draft: 5
    Tonnage: 5590
    Registry: The Netherlands
    Elec Outlets: 220V / 2 Round Pin
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
hondius quad cabin

Quad Cabin

17 Jun 2020 - 24 Jul 2020
Cabin features 2 x Upper and 2 x Lower bunks and private facilities.
USD 4,100pp
USD 4,100pp
hondius quad cabin

Triple Porthole

17 Jun 2020 - 24 Jul 2020
Cabin features 2 x Lower and 1 x Upper bunk, private facilities and a porthole.
USD 5,050pp
USD 5,050pp
hondius twin porthole

Twin Porthole

17 Jun 2020 - 24 Jul 2020
Cabin features twin beds, private facilities and a porthole.
USD 5,700pp
USD 5,700pp
hondius twin porthole

Twin Window

17 Jun 2020 - 24 Jul 2020
Cabin feature twin beds, private facilities and a window.
USD 6,200pp
USD 6,200pp
hondius twin deluxe

Twin Deluxe

17 Jun 2020 - 24 Jul 2020
Cabin features twin beds, private facilities, and a large window.
USD 6,600pp
USD 6,600pp
hondius superior cabin

Superior

17 Jun 2020 - 24 Jul 2020
Cabin features double beds, private facilities, and a large window.
USD 7,450pp
USD 7,450pp
hondius junior suite

Junior Suite

17 Jun 2020 - 24 Jul 2020
Cabin features double beds, private facilities, and a large window.
USD 7,990pp
USD 7,990pp
hondius grand balcony suite

Grand Suite - Balcony

17 Jun 2020 - 24 Jul 2020
Large private cabin with balcony.
USD 9,200pp
USD 9,200pp
hondius suite

Hondius Suite

17 Jun 2020 - 24 Jul 2020
Expansive private suite with double bed, private facilities and large windows.
USD 10,600pp
USD 10,600pp