North Spitsbergen, Arctic Spring | Rembrandt van Rijn | IExpedition

North Spitsbergen, Arctic Spring

  • Overview

    The North Spitsbergen cruise sails to some of the remotest locations of northern Europe. The expedition gives you the opportunity to spot historic whaling remains, glaciers, a variety of Arctic birds including the Little Auk, and polar bears.

    Duration: 11 days
    Passengers: 30 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Longyearbyen
    Disembarkation Point: Longyearbyen
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: Unavailable
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Largest town, biggest island

      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.

      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.

    • Day 2 - Foxes, seabirds, and grazing reindeer

      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.

    • Day 3 - Remains of the whalers

      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. Here you can still follow the whalers’ tracks to the summit of the island, passing popular bird cliffs on the way. On shore are the remains of more 17th-century blubber ovens, while Arctic skuas and common eiders breed among the graves of some two hundred Dutch whalers.

    • Day 4 - Glaciers and Ermaktangen geology

      Raudfjorden, on the north coast of Spitsbergen, is a fine place for gazing over the glaciers. It’s also a favorite hangout for ringed and bearded seals, colonies of seabird, and the occasional polar bear and beluga whale. Ermaktangen, at the fjordh coast of Spitsbergen, is a fine place for gazing over the glof the land.

    • Day 5 - Wide open tundra

      If ice conditions permit, you may land on the northern side of Reindyrsflya, the largest tundra area of Spitsbergen. This vast and rolling plain is a popular grazing area for reindeer, and several species of waders also breed here. Similarly, the lakes afford you a good chance of spotting red-throated divers and king eiders.

    • Day 6 - The massive Monaco Glacier

      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.

    • Day 7 - On to the little auks

      In the morning you land at Fuglesangen, where you can observe spirited communities of little auks. You then sail south to Magdalenafjorden, one of the glacier-filled highlights of Spitsbergen. A shore visit shows you the remains of 17th-century English whaling, and you can also see more large colonies of little auks.

    • Day 8 - Earth’s northernmost community

      You head north for Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden. The landscape is likely to show signs of winter, the crags and slopes still blanketed with snow. Here there are rich opportunities for snowshoeing – we provide the snowshoes – and visiting places of historic interest: Ny London, where you can see the remains of early 20th-century marble mining, and Ny Ålesund, the northernmost community in the world. There are also research stations and the famous anchor mast of the dirigible Norge, which took the first flight across the North Pole to Nome, Alaska in 1926. Krossfjorden offers views of colossal glaciers and lofty mountain peaks, but ultimately the extent of fjord ice dictates the itinerary here.

    • Day 9 - The past days of polar bear hunting

      On your journey south, the goal is a landing at Fuglehuken. Here you see remains from the great era of polar bear hunting. There are also large seabird colonies and a haul-out spot for harbour seals. Alternatively you could land on the coast of Forlandsundet, at Engelskbukta or Sarstangen. Walruses are occasionally seen here, and the tundra is a fine place for a walk.

    • Day 10 - Wide tundra, towering mountains

      The next stop is Bohemanflya, an expansive tundra with its own avifauna (depending on when spring arrives) and spectacular geological formations along the coast. In Gipsvika you can go on shore near Templet, a mountainous location of eroded sedimentary rock from the Upper Carboniferous period – around 290 million years ago.

    • Day 11 - There and back again

      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.

  • Adventure Activities
  • Inclusions
    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Comprehensive pre-departure material
    - 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
    - All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme
    - AECO fees and governmental taxes
    - Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen
    - Free use of snowshoes

    Not included in your Expedition

    - The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided)
    - Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges
    - Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended)
    - Pre- and post- land arrangements
    - Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
    - Government arrival and departure taxes
    - Meals ashore
    - Passport and Visa expenses
  • Map
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    S/V Rembrandt Van Rijn was originally built as a herring lugger. The vessel was rebuilt as a three-masted passenger sailing schooner in The Netherlands in 1994 and sailed in Spitsbergen and in Galápagos. The vessel underwent a complete rebuilding and refurbishment program
    in 2011. 
    The ship is well suited for expedition cruising among small islands and offers excellent open deck viewing areas, even when under sail. 

    Features & Facilities
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating:
    Guests #: 33
    Crew #: 12
    Ice Class: Enforced bow
    Speed: 6
    Refurbished: 2011
    Technical Specs
    Year built:
    Length: 50m
    Width: 7
    Draft: 3
    Tonnage: 435
    Registry: Vanuatu
    Elec Outlets:
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  • Pay your 25% deposit 5 day later.
  • Final payment due 120 days prior to departure.
triple private porthole oceanwide

Triple Private Porthole

28 Jun 2025 - 08 Jul 2025
- 1 porthole - 1 upper/lower berth + 1 lower berth - Private shower and toilet - Ample storage space
USD$ 5,350pp
USD$ 5,350pp
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Twin Private Inside

28 Jun 2025 - 08 Jul 2025
- 1 upper / lower berth - Private shower and toilet - Ample storage space
USD$ 5,700pp
USD$ 5,700pp
twin private porthole oceanwide

Twin Private Porthole

28 Jun 2025 - 08 Jul 2025
- 1 porthole - 1 upper / lower berth - Private shower and toilet - Ample storage space
USD$ 6,650pp
USD$ 6,650pp