Svalbard Discovery – Sea Spirit, June 2021
Svalbard Discovery – Sea Spirit, June 2021
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About the 8-day Spitsbergen Classic Itinerary
About the 8-day Spitsbergen Classic Itinerary
Day 1- LONGYEARBYEN, BOARDING OCEAN ATLANTIC
Arrival to Longyearbyen, Capital of Svalbard – possibly the northernmost ‘real’ town in the world.
Our vessel, Ocean Atlantic, is docked close to the town center. After boarding and a welcome drink, the Expedition Leader will provide information about the voyage, the ship’s daily routines and the various security and safety procedures. Before sailing, there will be a mandatory safety drill. The Captain then takes the ship out of Advent Fjord and our Arctic adventure commences.
Day 2- KONGSFJORDEN, NY ÅLESUND AND NY LONDON
During the ‘night’ (what is night, when the sun never sets?), we have passed Prins Karls Forland and have arrived in the magnificent Kongsfjord. Our visit to Svalbard is in the early summer and this is both the challenge and gift of this special voyage. Winter ice will possibly block the inner waters of many fjords, but this will give us the best opportunities to observe the omnipresent – but still elusive – polar bear, hunting for seals in its prime habitat. At this time of year the migrating birds have just arrived. They are all eager to settle and feed to get the best start for the coming hectic summer months.
Our first landing will be at Ny Ålesund. This settlement is in fact further north than Longyearbyen, making it THE northernmost town. But… is a group of scientific stations, a post office and a single shop open for a few hours a real town? You will have to judge for yourself. The setting is nice, the scientific projects are very interesting, and so is the town history. The Captain will try to get alongside, so we can enjoy an easy walk through the area.
Day 3- SMEERINGBURG, FUGLESONGEN
We have now entered North West Svalbard, which was declared a national park in 1973. The day could begin with a Zodiac cruise in Danskergattet, looking for seals in Virgohamna, before crossing from Danskøya to Amsterdamøya to make a landing at Smeerenburg, the legendary whaling town of 17th century. 200-plus men were living – and quite often dying – here in the heyday of blubber production.
There are several interesting places to visit in this northwestern corner of Spitsbergen. If conditions allow we’ll make a landing on Fuglesongen, the largest colony of little auks in Svalbard. The arctic fox has noticed this as well and can often be seen roaming the base of the bird cliffs.
Day 4- DAY 4 INTO THE PACK ICE, NORTH OF 80 DEG
During the night the ship will have steered far north towards the edge of the polar pack ice. How far north only time and weather will tell, but the main target for us is just the ‘edge’, possibly at 80 degrees north! This is the kingdom of the polar bear! As the pack ice retreats during summer, polar bears ride the floes north, as this is where their prey – the seals – resides. Bears who for unfortunate reasons do not ‘catch’ the ice moving north, are stranded on Svalbard all summer, and will have to sustain on berries, eggs and whatever whale cadavers they can find. A hard life indeed!
During the day, lectures on polar mammals, environment and/or culture can be enjoyed on board in the Viking Theater. Should we get into the pack ice where the sea usually is calm, a Zodiac cruise will be arranged.
Day 5 - ANDØYANE OG MONACO GLACIER
Most likely the northeastern coast of Spitsbergen Island and Hinlopen Strait are still locked in by coastal ice. We will try our luck and sail as far east as possible. Should this fail, Wood Fjord and Liefde Fjord could be excellent alternatives for the day. In this case, we will circumvent the bird rich Andøya in Zodiacs, and make a landing on Reindyrflya. Other interesting landings in this fantastic fjord system could be Mushamna and the oddly named ‘Texas Bar’. In the afternoon, a Zodiac cruise along the broad glacier front of Monacobreen gives a unique insight of the glacial forces and the unlimited forms of icebergs.
Day 6 - BLOMSTRAND PENINSULA, MORNING HIKE AND LILIEHÖÖK GLACIER
In the morning we will have reached the west coast of Spitsbergen and Kongsfjorden. Ocean Atlantic will anchor behind Blomstrand Peninsula. As we will immediately see, the name is a bit misleading. Blomstrand is now an island – the Blomstrand Glacier has receded, revealing a shallow water strait. We will cruise through this on our Zodiacs and make a landing on the island. Strong hikers might want to scale Irgensfjellet, 385 m for a nice view of ‘The Three Sisters’, nunatak mountains far into the Kongs Glacier, as well as enjoy a view down to Ny Ålesund.
After lunch, we continue further north into the fjord system, and depending on the ice situation, we may do a Zodiac cruise along the Lilliehöök Glacier front… or enjoy a lecture.
Day 7 - BELLSUND, VÅRSOLBUKTA AND CALYPSOBYEN
The west coast enjoys the warmer water coming up through the Atlantic, so winter ice should now have melted. This allows us to enter the southern fjord of Bellsund on this last full day of exploration.
Bellsund has some of the richest coal layers in Svalbard, and Svea Mine, far into the fjord, was formerly one of the biggest communities on the island. But prices went down, and the coal mine is currently being dismantled.
We will stay in the fjord entrance and make landings at the Vårsol Bay. The biggest attraction here is the little auk cliff. Tundra is richly fertilized by hundreds of thousands of little auks, which the Svalbard reindeer love to graze. We will go for a nice walk along the beach – and spot remains from early industrial eras.
During lunch, we’ll cross the fjord along the 4 km long (but quite narrow) island of Akseloya. We will make a Zodiac landing at Calypsobyen in Recherche Fjord. Coal was extracted here in the early 1900s, but the enterprise never attained full production. Today, Calypsobyen offers an exciting landing that gives visitors a glimpse of the era of Neo-Industrialism, when all opportunities for profit were tried out. A pleasant walk can be made on the tundra behind the buildings.
Day 8 - Longyearbyen
Early in the morning the ship has returned to our starting point in Longyearbyen. After breakfast and farewell greetings to the expedition team and crew, disembarkation will take place. Transfer is arranged to the airport.
Please note that all the outings and landings rely on weather, sea and ice conditions being favorable both for the ship to access the areas, as for the zodiacs and kayaks to maneuver under adequate conditions, ensuring the safety of all our passengers and staff.
For this reason, during moments of harsh weather and throughout the entire trip, Ocean Atlantic has excellent public areas, such as wellness/sauna, restaurant, bar and a library for our passengers to spend their spare time. Our ship is staffed by experts in the field who will also share great lectures along the way, ranging from exploration history to biology, geology, ice and wildlife.
Welcome Aboard the Sea Spirit
Carrying a maximum of 112 passengers, this outstanding vessel combines luxury with expedition cruising. All cabins have facilities en suite, king-size beds and exterior views. She boasts all the amenities of a fine hotel, including an open bar, balconies in the suites and a hot tub on level 5. The Sea Spirit is a luxurious expedition vessel that seamlessly dispatches zodiacs and kayaks for excursions and exploration.
- Guests: 112
- Staff & Crew: 94
- Length: 90.6 m
- Breadth: 15.3 m
- Draft: 4.16 m
- Propulsion: Diesel – 4,720 horsepower
- Ice Class: 1D
- Cruising Speed: 14.5 knots in open water
Cabins & Amenities
- Library/Game Room
- Internet access
- Private facilities – sink, toilet shower, hairdryer and bathrobes in every cabin
- Multi-purpose presentation room with state-of-the-art equipment
- Stabilizers for smooth sailing
- Every cabin has an exterior view, individual temperature controls, a lounge area, refrigerator and in-room safe
- Resident Photographer to assist travelers
- Open Bar
- Cruise Price does not include international airfare. Port charges are included.
- All cabins are outside, with two lower beds and private shower and toilet. Rates are per person based on double occupancy.
- Single occupancy of a twin cabin is available at: 1.7 times the twin rate in Main Deck, Classic and Superior Suites; and 2.0 times the twin rate in Deluxe, Premium and Owner Suites.
- Cabin share is available only in the following categories: Triple Classic, Main Deck, Classic and Superior Suites.
- Adventure options: Kayaking Antarctic Peninsula voyages – $795 (double kayaks only), Kayaking South Georgia and Falkland Island voyages – $895, Camping – $285. Kayaking is limited to 16 participants and camping 30. Adventure Options paid for at time of deposit.
- Emergency Medical/Evacuation Insurance to a minimum benefit of USD 200,000 is required and is not included in the trip cost.
- A fuel surcharge may be applied for all bookings if there is a substantial increase in fuel costs.
- 1 pre-voyage hotel night in Ushuaia;
- Group transfer to the ship on day of embarkation;
- Group transfer to airport or central location upon disembarkation in Ushuaia;
- Shipboard accommodations;
- All scheduled landings/excursions;
- All lectures and briefings onboard;
- All meals served aboard;
- Coffee/tea/cocoa/espresso 24 hours daily;
- Welcome drink and farewell dinner onboard;
- A pair of rubber boots on loan for shore landings;
- Expedition parka;
- All port fees;
- Pre-departure materials;
- Digital Voyage Log