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11 days - Pack ice experience around Northern Spitsbergen
The sailing expeditions in Spitsbergen will be carried out by the three-mast sailing vessel Rembrandt van Rijn. This beautiful vessel will bring you to the remotest places around Spitsbergen. Sailing northwards we visit Magdalenafjord, one of the most beautiful places on Spitsbergen, with many impressive glacier faces. During a shore visit we will view the remains of 17th century English whaling activities. We can also visit some big seabird colonies particularly noteworthy for their Little Auk.
- Day 1
- We will embark our vessel in Longyearbyen, in the late afternoon
- Day 2
- We will go ashore near the majestic bird cliff of Alkhornet
- Day 3
- We will go ashore at Fuglehuken
- Day 4
- Glaciers and Ermaktangen geology
- Day 5
- Wide open tundra
- Day 6
- The massive Monaco Glacier
- Day 7
- On to the little auks
- Day 8
- Earth’s northernmost community
- Day 9
- The past days of polar bear hunting
- Day 10
- Wide tundra, towering mountains
- Day 11
- Our final morning, we will disembark the ship in the morning in Longyearbyen
- Start/End Place
- Longyearbyen, Svalbard tours
- Country Visited
- Svalbard tours
- 11 Days
- Group Size
Aboard S/V Rembrandt Van Rijn.
S/V ‘Rembrandt Van Rijn’ was built as a herring lugger early last century. The vessel was rebuilt as a three-mast passenger sailing schooner in The Netherlands in 1994 and sailed in Spitsbergen (1994 – 1996) and in Galápagos (1998 - 2001). The vessel underwent a complete rebuilding and refurbishment program in 2011. The communication and navigation equipment has been completely revamped according to the latest SOLAS regulations.
The Rembrandt van Rijn measures 56 metres in length (168 ft.), 7 meters in width and has a draft of 2, 5 meters. The maximum engine speed is 9 knots. She has an experienced crew of 10 on board including two tour guides. The ship can accommodate a maximum of 34 passengers in 17 twin cabins (1 Twin Shared cabin with porthole (shared shower and toilet), 6 Twin Private Inside cabins (with shower and toilet, no porthole), 10 Twin Private cabins (with shower and toilet and porthole).
A spacious restaurant on board the vessel allows all passengers to have their meals at the same time. The vessel furthermore consists of a separate bar including a reading table. The ship is well suited for expedition cruising among small islands and offers good open deck viewing areas, even when under sail. The two inflatable rubber crafts (zodiacs) enable landing and wildlife viewing opportunities in otherwise inaccessible areas.
- 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.
- Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen.
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
- AECO fees and governmental taxes.
- Comprehensive pre-departure material.
Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre- and post land arrangements; transfers to / from the vessel outside Spitsbergen; passport and visa expenses; Government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory); excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges; and the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).
Day 1 - We will embark our vessel in Longyearbyen, in the late afternoon
You touch down in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Enjoy strolling around this former mining town, whose parish church and Svalbard Museum make for fascinating attractions. Though the countryside appears stark, more than a hundred species of plant have been recorded in it. In the early evening the ship sails out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of your voyage. In the evening you sail for Trygghamna, where you see the remains of a 17th-century English whaling station and 18th-century Pomor hunting station, both of which you can visit the next morning.
Accommodations/v Rembrandt van Rijn
Day 2 - We will go ashore near the majestic bird cliff of Alkhornet
From Trygghamna you walk to Alkhornet, a large seabird cliff where the birds are scouting out breeding places. Below the cliffs is a common place to spot Arctic foxes, and you may also see reindeer grazing on the lush vegetation if there’s not too much snow.
Day 3 - We will go ashore at Fuglehuken
You sail into Fuglefjorden amid views of Svitjodbreen and Birgerbukta, both breeding areas for great skuas as well as likely spots to see a polar bear. On Birgerbukta you can see 17th-century Basque ovens once used for cooking whale blubber. The aim next is to visit Ytre Norskøya, a small island that served for many years as a Dutch whaling lookout. Here you can still follow the whalers’ tracks to the summit of the island, passing popular bird cliffs on the way. On shore are the remains of more 17th-century blubber ovens, while Arctic skuas and common eiders breed among the graves of some two hundred Dutch whalers.
Day 4 - Glaciers and Ermaktangen geology
Raudfjorden, on the north coast of Spitsbergen, is a fine place for gazing over the glaciers. It’s also a favorite hangout for ringed and bearded seals, colonies of seabird, and the occasional polar bear and beluga whale. Ermaktangen, at the fjordh coast of Spitsbergen, is a fine place for gazing over the glof the land.
Day 5 - Wide open tundra
If ice conditions permit, you may land on the northern side of Reindyrsflya, the largest tundra area of Spitsbergen. This vast and rolling plain is a popular grazing area for reindeer, and several species of waders also breed here. Similarly, the lakes afford you a good chance of spotting red-throated divers and king eiders.
Day 6 - The massive Monaco Glacier
Depending on the weather, you could sail into Liefdefjorden and cruise within sight of the 5-kilometer-long (3.1 miles) face of the precipitous Monaco Glacier. The waters in front of this glacier are a favorite feeding spot for thousands of kittiwakes, and the base of the ice is a popular polar bear hunting ground. If ice conditions prevent sailing here early in the season, an alternate route along the west coast of Spitsbergen can be implemented.
Day 7 - On to the little auks
In the morning you land at Fuglesangen, where you can observe spirited communities of little auks. You then sail south to Magdalenafjorden, one of the glacier-filled highlights of Spitsbergen. A shore visit shows you the remains of 17th-century English whaling, and you can also see more large colonies of little auks.
Day 8 - Earth’s northernmost community
You head north for Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden. The landscape is likely to show signs of winter, the crags and slopes still blanketed with snow. We aim to visit places of historic interest: Ny London, where you can see the remains of early 20th-century marble mining, and Ny Ålesund, the northernmost community in the world. There are also research stations and the famous anchor mast of the dirigible Norge, which took the first flight across the North Pole to Nome, Alaska in 1926. Krossfjorden offers views of colossal glaciers and lofty mountain peaks, but ultimately the extent of fjord ice dictates the itinerary here.
Day 9 - The past days of polar bear hunting
On your journey south, the goal is a landing at Fuglehuken. Here you see remains from the great era of polar bear hunting. There are also large seabird colonies and a haul-out spot for harbour seals. Alternatively you could land on the coast of Forlandsundet, at Engelskbukta or Sarstangen. Walruses are occasionally seen here, and the tundra is a fine place for a walk.
Day 10 - Wide tundra, towering mountains
The next stop is Bohemanflya, an expansive tundra with its own avifauna (depending on when spring arrives) and spectacular geological formations along the coast. In Gipsvika you can go on shore near Templet, a mountainous location of eroded sedimentary rock from the Upper Carboniferous period – around 290 million years ago.
Day 11 - Our final morning, we will disembark the ship in the morning in Longyearbyen
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. You disembark in Longyearbyen, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.
All prices listed are per person.
28 Jun 2020
Upon request (some voyages may be excluded), children under 16 with parents may receive 40% discount in Superior, Triple (sharing with 2 parents / adults) and Quadruple Cabins (sharing with 3 parents / adults).
Interactive Tour Map
Travel insurance is compulsory for all tours with 50 Degrees North. Please ensure that you have this organised as we will need to see proof of this upon issuing your tour documentation. Please contact us for a quote or visit http://www.suresave.net.au/