hondius polar bear cruise

Around Spitsbergen - Kvitoya, In the realm of Polar Bear & Ice

  • Overview

    Voyage around Spitsbergen where we also visit Kvitøya onboard the brand new Polar expedition vessel the Hondius. We have chances to see the King of the Arctic, Walruss, Reindeer, various bird species and surprisingly beautiful flora. We hope to get to the rarely visited Kvitøya farthest to the east, close to the Russian territory. The island is dominated by an icecap, which leaves a small area bare of ice and snow. We will land at the western tip at Andréneset, where the Swedish explorer André and his companions perished in 1898. We will also try to get to Kraemerpynten in the east, where an enormous group of Walrus resides.

    Duration: 10 days
    Passengers: 176 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Longyearbyen
    Disembarkation Point: Longyearbyen
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.6x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - 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.

    • Day 2 - Sailing around Svalbard

      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.



      In the afternoon you sail to Ny Ålesund, the northernmost settlement on Earth. Once a mining village served by the world’s most northerly railway – you can still see its tracks – Ny Ålesund is now a research center. Close to the community is a breeding ground for barnacle geese, pink-footed geese, and Arctic terns. And if you’re interested in the history of Arctic exploration, visit the anchoring mast used by polar explorers Amundsen and Nobile in their airships, Norge (1926) and Italia (1928).

    • Day 3 - Sailing around Svalbard

      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 and walrus inhabit this stark desolate landscape. Later in the day the ship may roam for several hours among the pack ice in search of wildlife.

    • Day 4 - Sailing around Svalbard

      Pushing east to Nordaustlandet, you reach the area where the Italian captain Sora tried to rescue the Nobile Expedition in 1928. The focus here is the great glacier front of Schweigaardbreen, though you may also land at Firkantbukta, getting the chance to gain some altitude and take a few higher-elevation photos. Alternately, you could make a Zodiac cruise near Storøya, where you might encounter walruses.

    • Day 5 - Sailing around Svalbard

      Today you try to reach the rarely visited Kvitøya, far to the east and close to Russian territory. The enormous ice cap covering this island leaves only a small area bare. You land at the western tip of Andréeneset, where the Swedish explorer S. A. Andrée and his companions perished in 1897. Another objective for the day is Kræmerpynten, where a sizable group of walruses reside.

    • Day 6 - Sailing around Svalbard

      South of Nordaustlandet you may land on Isisøya, formerly a Nunatak area surrounded by glaciers but now an island surrounded by the sea. You then may pass by Bråswellbreen, part of the largest ice cap in Europe and famed for its meltwater waterfalls.

    • Day 7 - Sailing around Svalbard

      The plan is to make landings in Freemansundet, though polar bears sometimes make this impossible. Potential stops on Barentsøya include Sundneset (for an old trapper’s hut), Kapp Waldburg (for its kittiwake colony), and Rindedalen (for a walk across the tundra). You might also cruise south to Diskobukta, though Kapp Lee is more likely your destination. On Kapp Lee is a walrus haul-out, Pomor ruins, and the chance for hikes along Edgeøya.

    • Day 8 - Sailing around Svalbard

      You start the day by cruising the side fjords of the Hornsund area of southern Spitsbergen, taking in the spire-like peaks: Hornsundtind rises 1,431 meters (4,695 feet), and Bautaen is a perfect illustration of why early Dutch explorers named this island Spitsbergen, meaning “pointed mountains.” There are 14 sizable glaciers in this area as well as opportunities for spotting seals, beluga whales, and polar bears. 

    • Day 9 - Sailing around Svalbard

      Today you find yourself 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. A 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 have a good chance of coming across a pod. Alternately, while cruising the side fjords of Bellsund, you can explore tundra where reindeer like to feed as well as rock slopes where little auks are breeding. 

    • Day 10 - Longyearbyen

      Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. You disembark in Longyearbyen, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

    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

    - Items of a personal nature such as; Beverages / Laundry / Medical expenses / Gratuities / Internet & Wifi
    - Travel insurance (mandatory)
    - Mandatory waterproof gear not provided
    - Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned
    - Passport and Visa expenses
    - International and internal flights that are not specified
  • Map
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  • 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
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Ready to book your expedition?

We understand that the trip of a lifetime takes planning, so we make the financial commitments easy to manage.

  • Confirm your booking today with just USD$ 1,000 per passenger.
  • Pay your 25% deposit 5 day later.
  • Final payment due 120 days prior to departure.

Quadruple Porthole

10 Aug 2023 - 19 Aug 2023
An excellent cabin choice for single travellers or families of 4
USD$ 5,400pp
USD$ 5,400pp
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hondius quad cabin

Triple Porthole

10 Aug 2023 - 19 Aug 2023
Cabin features 2 x Lower and 1 x Upper bunk, private facilities and a porthole.
USD$ 6,550pp
USD$ 6,550pp

Twin Porthole

10 Aug 2023 - 19 Aug 2023
Twin porthole cabin with private facilities
USD$ 7,700pp
USD$ 7,700pp
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ortelius twin window cabin

Twin Window

10 Aug 2023 - 19 Aug 2023
Twin private cabin with window.
USD$ 8,300pp
USD$ 8,300pp
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ortelius twin deluxe cabin

Twin Deluxe

10 Aug 2023 - 19 Aug 2023
Private corner cabin with private facilities.
USD$ 9,000pp
USD$ 9,000pp
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plancius superior cabin

Superior

10 Aug 2023 - 19 Aug 2023
Suite cabins with mid-ship locations on deck 5 & 6.
USD$ 10,000pp
USD$ 10,000pp
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Junior Suite

10 Aug 2023 - 19 Aug 2023
Double bed, private bathroom and large picture window
USD$ 10,650pp
USD$ 10,650pp
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hondius grand balcony suite

Grand Suite with private balcony

10 Aug 2023 - 19 Aug 2023
Large private cabin with balcony.
USD$ 12,300pp
USD$ 12,300pp
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