greg mortimer spitsbergen polar bear cruise

Spitsbergen Odyssey

  • Overview
    Enjoy the best of Svalbard, a world of endless daylight, where polar bear sightings quicken your pulse, guillemot cries echo from sea cliffs and beluga whales rise from the sea. Explore tundra adorned with wildflowers and historic camps of explorers and hunters. Push through pack ice to find walrus and bearded seals. Our schedule is flexible and we make the most of spontaneous opportunities. Highlights: - Photograph polar bears hunting seals near ship - Kayak through brash ice near calving glaciers* - Approach walrus haulouts on foot or by Zodiac - Discover historic whaling settlements and explorer camps - Walk across tundra speckled with exquisite wildflowers - Enjoy Longyearbyen on a guided town tour (included). *surcharge applies
    Duration: 11 days
    Passengers: 120 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen
    Disembarkation Point: Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.25x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen; Embarkation Day

      Enjoy a guided tour of colourful Spitsbergen’ capital Longyearbyen. Late afternoon sees us warmly welcomed on board Polar Pioneer.

    • Day 2/3 - Magdalenefjorden

      Wake up to spectacular alpine peaks and glacier valleys of Spitsbergen’s rugged west coast. In Magdalenefjorden we Zodiac cruise a safe distance from the aqua-blue ice cliffs of 14th July Glacier or Waggonway Glacier, and take long walks among summer flowers, alert for reindeer and Arctic fox. Thanks to the nutrient-rich Gulf Stream and relatively mild temperatures, Atlantic puffins and guillemots fill the cliffs. We look for bearded seals, with their precious curling whiskers. We may visit the remains of a 350-year old Dutch whaling settlement on Amsterdam Island and learn of an ill-fated ballooning attempt over the North Pole.

    • Day 4/6 - Moffen Island & Woodfjorden

      Rounding Spitsbergen’s northwest coast, we enter the Arctic Ocean and the world of pack ice. Ghostly beluga whales rise up in open leads and polar bears stalk ringed, bearded and harp seals. Offshore, walruses feed on clams or haul out on beaches, especially on Moffen Island, a walrus sanctuary. We visit trapper huts and stay alert for reindeer and Arctic fox. Delightful walks reveal delicious berries and some of the tundra’s 164 exquisite flowering plants including purple saxifrage, yellow spider plants and Svalbard poppies. If ice conditions allow, we attempt to cross latitude 80° north before turning south to Woodfjorden.

    • Day 7/8 - Hinlopen Strait, Barentsoya & Edgroya Islands

      We attempt to pass through narrow Hinlopen Strait, a channel flanked by austere, cream-coloured slopes rich in fossils between Spitsbergen and ice-capped Nordaustlandet. This polar desert is a landscape eroded by severe frost. Even in summer, pack ice could bar our way, but there is much to strive for. We Zodiac cruise beneath Alkefjellet, sheer basalt cliffs rising at more than 250 metres – literally buzzing with some 200,000 nests of Brunnich’s guillemots. During shore excursions, we seek eider ducks, Arctic foxes and the elusive Svalbard ptarmigan. As we pass Barentsøya and Edgeøya islands, we cross polar bear migration routes.

    • Day 9/10 - Hornsund & Bellsund Fjords

      This is true expedition cruising. If ice conditions allow, we round South Cape and sail north toward Hornsund and Bellsund, deep fjords home to stunning glaciers and wildlife. If ice bars our way, we simply adjust our itinerary, backtrack and delve deeper into the wonders of Spitsbergen’s north and west coasts.

    • Day 11 - Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen; Disembarkation

      A midnight cruise of glorious Isfjorden returns us to Longyearbyen and the end of our voyage.

    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

    Sea Kayaking

    One of the most exhilarating ways to experience Antarctica and the Arctic.

    The experience of sea kayaking in the humbling wilderness of Antarctica or the European Arctic is guaranteed to stir your soul. Paddle between brash ice and icebergs of all shapes and sizes, skim past penguin rookeries or under soaring bird cliffs, or drift quietly as you watch wildlife unobtrusively, absorbing the majestic scenery.

    Led by experienced guides, paddling in small groups allows us the opportunity to paddle between ice floes, brash ice and icebergs of all shapes and sizes as well as allowing easy and intimate access to beautiful coastlines.

    ‘Getting out amongst it’ is our philosophy, and that's exactly what we do. Once we reach our destination, we aim to kayak at least once a day, weather depending. If the opportunity arises we may go out twice, as the 24-hour daylight allows for some beautiful evening paddles under the midnight sun.

    AUD 1,280 per person

    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.

    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

    Complimentary custom-designed polar expedition jacket and use of gumboots during voyage

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Professional produced voyage log
    - Comprehensive pre-departure information
    - Group sightseeing tour in Longyearbyen on arrival
    - Group transfer to/from airport to Polar Pioneer in Longyearbyen
    - Port taxes & entry fees
    - Medical services on board
    - All shore excursions and lectures during the voyage
    - All meals and accommodation during the voyage

    Not included in your Expedition

    - International and internal flights that are not specified
    - Travel insurance (mandatory)
    - Items of a personal nature such as; Beverages / Laundry / Medical expenses / Gratuities / Internet & Wifi
    - Optional excursion and activities not included in the voyage itinerary
    - Mandatory expedition gear not provided
  • Map
    Aurora ex spitsbergen odyssey
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    GREG MORTIMER

    The Greg Mortimer, named after the Australian adventurer and Polar tourism pioneer (Greg Mortimer OAM), this unique vessel utilises some of the latest advancements in naval design & technology to revolutionise the small ship expedition cruising experience. The X-BOW makes sailing smoother and faster while protecting the vulnerable environments visited using a virtual anchoring system. Shore excursions are made easier, with four sea-level Zodiac loading decks & a specially-crafted activity platform, designed in close consultation with our world-renowned expedition & activity leaders. Unlike many new ships, the Greg Mortimer is not striving for absolute luxury. It will of course, be brand new, modern and comfortable in every way, but will stay true to a relaxed, comfortable and homely style of travel, purely focused on the expedition and destination. Ship Features: - Highly qualified and experienced expedition team and international crew - X-BOW® hull, designed to offer faster and more comfortable travel enabling the ship to pierce through waves and maintain speed of travel, lower fuel consumption and reduced air pollution emissions - All cabins feature twin or king bedding configuration and private bathroom. 80% of cabins include a private balcony. 60% of cabins can accommodate a third person - Purpose-built activities preparation areas including four Zodiac launching platforms for fast and safe transition off the ship as you embark on multiple daily excursions - Observation lounge and viewing platforms offer spectacular panoramic views of scenery and wildlife. - State-of-the-art lecture theatre, two hot tubs/plunge pools, art room, library, gym, wellness centre and more!

    Features & Facilities
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 4
    Guests #: 120
    Crew #: 62
    Ice Class: 1A
    Speed: 12
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built: 2019
    Length: 104m
    Width: 18
    Draft: 5
    Tonnage: 7400
    Registry: Bahamas
    Elec Outlets: 220V 2 Round plug
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
greg mortimer stateroom cabin

Stateroom

12 Jun 2020 - 22 Jun 2020
​Greg Mortimer features 15 porthole rooms, all with private en-suites. Located on Deck 3, they're close to the mudroom and loading platforms, perfect for adventurers who are looking for a comfortable base that's close to the action.
AUD 8,200pp
AUD 8,200pp
greg mortimer balcony stateroom cabin

Balcony Stateroom

12 Jun 2020 - 22 Jun 2020
With 58 rooms available, the Greg Mortimer's Balcony Staterooms are the most abundant cabin category on board. All include en-suite bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows and balconies and a select number are also connecting rooms, perfect for families or groups.
AUD 9,300pp
AUD 9,300pp
greg mortimer balcony suite cabin

Balcony Suite

12 Jun 2020 - 22 Jun 2020
With a bit more room to stretch the legs, the Greg Mortimer's two Balcony Suites are perfect for polar adventurers who travel with plenty of gear. Featuring private balconies, en-suite bathrooms and a comfortable desk area, these will sell out quickly!
AUD 11,400pp
AUD 11,400pp
greg mortimer junior suite cabin

Junior Suite

12 Jun 2020 - 22 Jun 2020
The Greg Mortimer's four Junior Suites take in some impressive scenery from their vantage points on Deck 7. When you aren't enjoying a landing, you can relax in the suites' separate lounge area, or just watch the world float by from the private balcony.
AUD 13,500pp
AUD 13,500pp
greg mortimer Captain's suite cabin

Captain's Suite

12 Jun 2020 - 22 Jun 2020
The largest of all our rooms, the Greg Mortimer's singular Captain's Suite will take you to the polar regions in ultimate style and comfort. Complete with large lounge area, balcony, walk-in wardrobe and en-suite, you'll need to get in early to secure this suite.
AUD 15,500pp
AUD 15,500pp