Home » Rembrandt Van Rijn: North Spitsbergen – Arctic Spring
Cruise along the pack-ice of North Spitsbergen for a great chance of spotting Polar Bears. You'll sail into beautiful fjords found on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, a fantastically beautiful fjord crested with spectacular glaciers and home to Ringed and Bearded Seals. The shorelines and cliffs support thriving seabird colonies that in turn provide fertilizer that supports a surprisingly rich array of vegetation.
Duration: 8 Days
After arriving in Longyearbyen, 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 evening we sail, setting course for Trygghamna where we will see the remains of a 17th century English whaling station.
From Trygghamna we walk to Alkhornet a large seabird cliff, where the birds are prospecting their breeding places. Below the cliffs is a den of Arctic Fox, and Reindeer graze on the lush vegetation. In Forlandsundet we visit a haul out place of Walrus at Poolepynten if sea conditions allows, or at Sarstangen.
This morning the ship will head north for Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden. The landscape is likely to show signs of winter, the crags and slopes still blanketed with snow. Here there are rich opportunities for snowshoeing – we provide the snowshoes – and visiting 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.
Cutting south between the main island of west Spitsbergen and Prins Karls Forland, you may encounter walruses at Poolepynten, a common haul-out site. You also have views of St. Johnsfjorden, near Gaffelbreen. The winter ice may not have loosened its grip on the water here, and seals (ringed and bearded) could be numerous in the area.
Re-enter Isfjorden today and venture into Ymerbukta, possibly embarking on a walk in this mountainous area. Here you will find an expansive tundra with its own avifauna (depending on when spring arrives) as well as spectacular geological formations along the coast. Further northeast, near Ekmanfjorden, there is a chance for another hike. Common to this area are myriad glaciers that terminate near or in the sea. In Gipsvika , you can go on shore near the cliff of Templet, a mountainous location of eroded sedimentary rock from the Upper Carboniferous period – around 290 million years ago.
The ship will arrive in Longyearbyen this morning where where you will disembark and transfer to the airport for your outbound flight.
One porthole window, one upper/lower berth, one lower berth, private shower and toilet, and ample storage space.
One upper/lower berth, private shower and toilet, and ample storage space.
One porthole window, one upper/lower berth, private shower and toilet, and ample storage space.