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FOCNSS - Central Spitsbergen - Aurora Borealis

Enjoy the peaceful and at times, exhilarating experience of sailing a 46 metre sailing vessel through the High Arctic. 50 Degrees North offers unique, small-group expedition voyages to the Arctic that allow you to enjoy the natural wildlife and scenery of some of the world's most spectacular and pristine shorelines.

It might look cold but, remember, to see the Northern Lights in all its glory, you need cold and clear nights - just what this voyage is designed for. Cozy cabins inside and excellent service on board this boat makes for a comfortable and thrilling adventure.

Highlights

  • Visit the Bellsund area - Polar bears are commonly sighted all over Bellsund, so keep your eyes open for them and for the belugas that frequent this area
  • Sail for Trygghamna, where you see the remains of a 17th-century English whaling station and 18th-century Pomor hunting station and visit on a zodiac tour
  • Only 20 other independent-minded travellers from around the world. Shared travellers are characterised by a strong interest in exploring remote regions. The camarader and spirit that develops aboard is an important part of the expedition experience. Many departures have several nationalities on board.

Inclusions

All internal ground transport
  • 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.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.
Tour Provider 50 Degrees North
Number of Days
8
Price From
AUD $4,311
Start Location
Longyearbyen, Svalbard
End Location
Longyearbyen, Svalbard
Age Range
Avg. 55+
Group Size
20
Tour Style
Comfort
Tour Themes
Polar, Small Marine/Cruise
Physical Rating
Easy
Incudes Flights
Yes
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
20 Sep 201927 Sep 2019AvailableAUD $4,311
ItineraryExpand
Day 1 - Start in Longyearbyen, set sail for Alkhornet

After arriving in Longyearbyen, the 'capital' (actually the administrative centre) of Spitsbergen, you may wish to visit the Svalbard Museum which has an interesting collection on the history of Spitsbergen, the mining industry and polar exploration. In the afternoon we sail, setting course for Alkhornet, a seabird cliff with a large colony of Kittiwakes. Below the cliffs is a den with Arctic Foxes which scavenge off fallen eggs and chicks. We continue to Trygghamna to visit the remains of a 17th century English whaling station and an 18th century Russian Pomor station.

Days 2 - 5 - Sail to the Northside of Bell Sund

We leave Tryghamna early in the morning and sail to the north side of Bell Sund. Bell Sund is a fjord system with two major branches (Van Mijenfjord, Van Keulenfjord) and one smaller side bay (Recherchefjord). The geology is fascinating and has created amazing landscapes, such as the long, narrow island of Akseloya that blocks Van Mijenfjord almost completely. In Fridtjofhamna, the calving glacier Fridtjofbreen is surrounded by picturesque mountains. The rich wildlife of the area has attracted hunters throughout several centuries. We will walk in their footsteps and see remains of their huts, for example at Ahlstrandhalvoya. Recherchefjord is one of the places in Spitsbergen with the highest concentration of historical sites, dating back to 17th century whalers and the mining period of the early 20th century. The glacier Recherchebreen ends at a lagoon, likely to be frozen in October, with many smaller icebergs. Polar bears are likely to be present anywhere in the Bellsund area, and we will keep our eyes open to find them. We have also seen Belugas (White whales) in this area.

Day 6 - Visit Barentsburg

We will pay a visit to Barentsburg, the only inhabited Russian settlement in Spitsbergen, or to Colesbukta, an abandoned Russian coal mining settlement.

Day 7 - Sail into the inner reaches of the Isfjord system

We sail into the inner reaches of the Isfjord system, where during nights with open sky we will experience temperatures of minus 10 degrees C, and new ice will be forming on the heads of the fjords.

Day 8 - Finish Longyearbyen

Departure by scheduled flight from Longyearbyen to Oslo.