Spitsbergen

Spitsbergen is a Norwegian group of islands located halfway between North Cape in Norway and the North Pole at 74 to 81 degrees north, far beyond the Arctic Circle in other words. The land surface is just as big as Ireland, but here only approximately 2000 people lives scattered in a few villages.

The largest is Longyearbyen with 1600 inhabitants and here you find the authority of Svalbard, the Sysselman. He monitors and governs all activities in the islands. The rest of Svalbard is true wilderness without any signs of human activities, here not even trails exists and this is where the adventure really begins…

The wilderness

In the Svalbard waters we sail in wilderness where we are alone with the sky, the ice and the mountains. We make shore excursions with safe rubber dinghies. Even on land we follow firm safety rules and every landing is led by highly experienced guides, who always are armed against polar bears.

Here the nature and animals are indeed for real. Our guides have extensive knowledge about the Arctic and the laws of nature and happily share their knowledge about the flora, fauna and history. At close range we experience the Arctic wilderness with seals, walruses and polar bears in their right elements.

Since M/S Stockholm is made for ice we can get to inaccessible spots where almost no one comes. We experience the Arctic on its own terms. Every trip is unique and exciting, one can never know beforehand exactly where we sail, since it’s the weather and ice conditions, which determine our rout. The only thing we can promise for sure is a wildlife experience of a lifetime.

Program

In the Arctic we follow the laws of nature and weather and ice conditions determine the exact itinerary. M/S Stockhom’s captain has over 15 years experience in navigating the Svalbard waters and together with the guides he makes sure You always get the best Svalbard can offer.

See the following only as an example:

Day 1: Oslo - Longyearbyen
We land in Longyearbyen in the afternoon and embark the M/S Stockholm.

Longyearbyen

Day 2 - 10: Spitsbergen
Our route depends on weather, ice conditions and the wildlife we encounter. Each day we make several landings with our rigid Zodiac craft and these are a few of the places we hope to visit:

Ny Ålesund
Here Amundsen, Byrd and Nobile started their courageous attempts to reach the North Pole.



The Ingeborg mountain

Danes` Island
This was the starting point for Andrée`s hydrogen balloon, the Eagle, which left Danes` Island on July 11, 1897. Three days later the balloon crashed on the pack ice north of Spitsbergen.

Virgohamna

Northwest Spitsbergen
On Danes` Island, Amsterdam Island and Ytre Norsköya we see remnants of 17th century whaling stations.

North Spitsbergen
In beautiful Mossel Bay we visit Polhem, the world`s northernmost house, where Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld over-wintered in 1872-73.

East Spitsbergen
Heading east we may meet the massive pack ice border. We enjoy the silence and grandeur of this icy landscape. The chances of meeting polar bears increase the further we travel into the ice.

Nordaustlandet
This island, covered by an enormous ice cap, fascinates naturalists as well as historians. Here you find a huge glacier front intersected by hundreds of melt-waterfalls, an abandoned German weather station from WW II and the well kept scientific station at Kinnvika.

The great glacier Austfonna

Storöya
This island, situated east of Nordaustlandet, is reachable in favourable ice conditions. Because of its large walrus colonies, this is one of our favourite places. We also hope to see some of the many polar bears that thrive here.

Alkefjellet

White Island
If ice conditions allow, we land on White Island, where few people have ever set foot. Here Andrée and his men were found 33 years after their unsuccessful attempt to reach the North Pole with balloon. We visit the monument commemorating these brave men, and admire the huge ice cap, which covers the island.

Barentsöya
We visit remnants of old Pomor fishing camps. These hardy people sailed here in small open boats from the Arctic shores of Russia over 400 years ago.

Edgeöya
On Edgeöya we are in the realm of the polar bear. In wintertime female polar bears go ashore here to over-winter in snow caves. They give birth to their tiny young in early spring.

Halvmåneöya
On Halvmåneöya (Half Moon Island) we visit the trapping station of the Norwegian polar bear king Henri Rudi. The island was also the scene of one of the most dramatic survival stories in polar history. Four Russian Pomors had to spend six winters on the island before their countrymen rescued them.

Tusenöyane
On Aekongen in the Tusenöyane island group (Thousand Islands) we study an almost intact whale skeleton on the beach. We also pay a visit to some of the many walrus that haul out here.

Horn Sound

Hornsund
A grandiose fjord on Spitsbergen`s Southwest coast where enormous glaciers tumble down to the sea between alpine mountains. This is a favourite area for the islands` many polar bears.

Day 11: Longyearbyen - Oslo
We sail into Longyearbyen and fly back to Oslo in the afternoon.

Please, read this itinerary as a guide only; our exact route and program will vary depending on ice and weather conditions - and the wildlife we encounter. Flexibility is the key to a succesful expedition.