hondius polar bear cruise

Around Spitsbergen - Kvitøya

  • 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: 12 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 - 14th of July Glacier

      Heading north along the west coast, we arrive by morning in Krossfjorden, where we board the Zodiacs for a cruise along the sculpted front of the 14th of July Glacier. On the green slopes near the glacier, a colourful variety of flowers bloom, while large numbers of Kittiwake and Brünnich’s Guillemot nest on the nearby cliffs. There is also a good chance of spotting Arctic Fox, who patrol the base of the cliffs in case a chick falls from its nest, and Bearded Seal, who cruise this fjord. In the afternoon we sail to Ny Ålesund, the world’s most northerly settlement.

      Once a mining village - served by the world’s most northerly railway, which can still be seen - Ny Ålesund is now a research centre. Close to the village is a breeding ground for Barnacle Goose, Pink-footed Goose and Arctic Tern. Visitors interested in the history of Arctic exploration will want to walk to the anchoring mast used by Amundsen and Nobile, in the airship Norge in 1926 and Nobile in
      the airship Italia in 1928, before their flights to the North Pole.

    • Day 3 - Phippsøya

      We sail through Beverleysundet named by Parry in 1827 and also sailed by the Swedish-Russian Arc-of-Meridian Expedition in 1898. Today we will 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 Walrus and Ivory Gull.

    • Day 4 - Nordaustlandet

      We push east to reach the area of Nordaustlandet, where the Nobile expedition drifted around in 1928 and where the Italian Sora tried to come to the rescue. There we hope to get to Alpinøya, reached by Sora in 1928, and then to the mouth of Finn Malmgrenfjord, and Albertinibukta and to climb Soraberget (205 m) from where we have a fantastic view on the icecap of Nordaustlandet. Alternatively we will land at Storøya, where again we may meet a group of Walrus.

    • Day 5 - Andréneset, Kvitøya

      Today 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 Kræmerpynten in the east, where an enormous group of Walrus resides.

    • Day 6 - Brasvell Glacier

      South of Nordaustlandet we will try to land on Isisøya formerly a Nunatak area surrounded by glaciers. Now it is an island surrounded by the sea. Later we sail along the front of the Brasvell Glacier, the longest glacier front in Spitsbergen. In Olga Strait we have chances to spot the elusive Greenland Whale.

    • Day 7 - Diskobukta, Edgeøya

      In Freemansundet we plan to land at Sundneset on the island of Barentsøya to visit an old trapper's hut and then take a brisk walk across the tundra in search of Spitsbergen Reindeer and Barnacle Goose. Later we cruise south to Diskobukta on the west side of Edgeøya. After a Zodiac cruise through the shallow bay, we land on a beach littered with whale bones and tree trunks, which have drifted here from Siberia. We can also climb to the rim of a narrow gully which is inhabited by thousands of Kittiwake, together with Black Guillemot and piratical Glaucous Gull. During the breeding season, the base of the cliffs is patrolled by Arctic Fox and Polar Bear, searching for young birds that have fallen from the nesting ledges.

    • Day 8 - Hornsund area

      We start the day quietly cruising the side fjords of the spectacular Hornsund area of southern Spitsbergen, enjoying the scenery of towering mountain peaks. Hornsundtind rises to 1,431m, while Bautaen shows why early Dutch explorers gave the name ‘Spitsbergen’ - pointed mountains - to the island. There are also 14 magnificent glaciers in the area and very good chances of encounters with seals and Polar Bear. We may visit the Polish research station where the friendly staff will give us an insight into their research projects. Behind the station the mountains are home to thousands of pairs of nesting Little Auk.

    • Day 9 - Ahlstrandhalvøya

      Today we land on Ahlstrandhalvøya at the mouth of Van Keulenfjorden. Here piles of Beluga skeletons (the Beluga is a small white whale), the remains of 19th century slaughter, are yet another reminder of the consequences of thoughtless exploitation. Fortunately, Beluga were not hunted to the edge of extinction and may still be seen locally. Indeed, there is a good chance that we will come across a pod. Cruising into Recherchefjorden during the afternoon we can explore an area of tundra at the head of the fjord where many reindeer feed.

    • Day 10 - 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

    - 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
    Oceanwide exp spitsbergen kvitoya
  • 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
All available dates
hondius quad cabin

Quad Cabin

10 Aug 2019 - 21 Aug 2019
Cabin features 2 x Upper and 2 x Lower bunks and private facilities.
USD 7,450pp
USD 5,960pp
hondius quad cabin

Triple Porthole

10 Aug 2019 - 21 Aug 2019
Cabin features 2 x Lower and 1 x Upper bunk, private facilities and a porthole.
USD 9,350pp
USD 7,480pp
hondius twin porthole

Twin Porthole

10 Aug 2019 - 21 Aug 2019
Cabin features twin beds, private facilities and a porthole.
USD 10,900pp
USD 8,720pp
hondius twin window cabin

Twin Window

10 Aug 2019 - 21 Aug 2019
Twin beds, with large window, desk and private bathroom.
USD 11,650pp
USD 9,320pp
hondius twin deluxe cabin

Twin Deluxe

10 Aug 2019 - 21 Aug 2019
Cabin features twin beds, private facilities, and a large window.
USD 12,450pp
USD 9,960pp
hondius superior cabin

Superior

10 Aug 2019 - 21 Aug 2019
Cabin features double beds, private facilities, and a large window.
USD 14,050pp
USD 11,240pp
hondius grand balcony suite

Grand Suite - Balcony

10 Aug 2019 - 21 Aug 2019
Large private cabin with balcony.
USD 17,300pp
USD 13,840pp
hondius suite

Hondius Suite

10 Aug 2019 - 21 Aug 2019
Expansive private suite with double bed, private facilities and large windows.
USD 19,900pp
USD 15,920pp