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About the Spitsbergen Circumnavigation Itinerary
Spitsbergen is the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago, and on this voyage we’ll attempt a circumnavigation of the island. Lying entirely within the Arctic Circle, Spitsbergen is rugged, wild, unspoiled—utterly unforgettable. When it comes to viewing arctic wildlife, Spitsbergen is known as one of the most prolific destinations. The island and surrounding area offers one of the best opportunities to view polar bears, and with luck you’ll be able to see the world’s largest carnivores in their natural habitat. Walrus populations love Spitsbergen as well, feeding in the food-rich icy waters around the island. Whales and seabirds will also entertain you during the sailing portions of the expedition, and you may catch a sighting of reindeer or fox when taking Zodiac excursions to shore.
Day 1: Embarkation in Longyearbyen
We arrive in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of the Svalbard archipelago of which Spitsbergen is the largest island. Before embarking there is an opportunity to stroll around this former mining town, whose parish church and Svalbard 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 Whale.
Days 2 - 9: Exploring Spitsbergen
Depending on weather and ice, the Expedition Leader and Captain will decide on the best itinerary.
Day 10: Disembarkation
We disembark in Longyearbyen, the administrative centre of Spitsbergen, for the flights south to Oslo and onward home.
Welcome Aboard the Ortelius
The ice-strengthened vessel Ortelius is an excellent vessel for Polar expedition cruises in the Arctic and Antarctica, capable of visiting remote locations such as the Ross Sea and Franz Josef Land in the Arctic. Ortelius was built in Poland in 1989 and worked as a special purpose vessel for the Russian Academy of Science.
The vessel has the highest ice-class notation (UL1 equivalent to 1A) and is therefore very suitable to navigate in solid one-year sea ice and loose multi-year pack ice. Ortelius is a great expedition vessel for 100 passengers with lots of open-deck spaces and a very large bridge which is accessible to the passengers. Ortelius offers a comfortable hotel standard, with two restaurants, a bar, lecture room and a sauna.
Though our voyages are primarily meant to offer our passengers an exploratory wildlife program with as much time ashore as possible, Ortelius offers all the comforts of a standard hotel ― along with a bar and lecture room. Flexibility assures maximum wildlife opportunities. As such, Ortelius carries 10 Zodiacs with 60hp Yamaha engines.
- Passengers: 116
- Staff & Crew: 47
- Length: 91.25 meters
- Breadth: 17.61 meters
- Draft: 5.8 meters
- Ice class: UL1 (equivalent to 1A)
- Displacement: 4575 tonnes
- Engines: 6 ZL 40/48 SULZER
- Speed: 12 knots (14.3 knots max)
Ortelius can accommodate up to 116-123 passengers and has an abundance of open-deck spaces. It is manned by 22 highly experienced nautical crew members, 19 hotel staff, eight expedition specialists (one expedition leader, one assistant, and six lecturer-guides), and one doctor.
Cabins & Amenities
- Two restaurants with open seating
- Bar / observation lounge
- 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
- 10 zodiacs onboard
- Rates are per person, based on twin share. Single Supplement for twin cabins is 1.7 times the twin rate.
- Mandatory Emergency Evacuation insurance is required on all trips.
- Camping – USD$190 per night, max 30 people
- Kayaking – USD$465 per trip, max 14 people
- Snowshoe – no charge but sign up required
- Adventure Activities for the “Base Camp” voyages are free of charge
- There is always a possibility of an added fuel surcharge if marine oil prices raise significantly.
SHIP CAPACITY UPDATE: Starting with 2020 Arctic & 2020-2021 Antarctica Season, the ship capacity will be reduced to 108 passengers & no triple cabins will be available. We can accommodate three passengers traveling together in a Superior Cabin + a sofa bed.