Svalbard Odyssey Cruise Overview

Revel in the diversity of the Svalbard Island and sail into the kingdom of the polar bear. Explore the coastline, with no open sea crossings, against a backdrop of spectacular glacier covered peaks. We discover deep fjords in the west; mysterious, fossil-rich desert plains in the east; and best of all, seals and whales in the Arctic pack ice. This voyage offers the best chance for seeing reindeers and polar bears, and features wildflower walks across sweeping tundra, trapper camps and historic sites. On foot and by Zodiac, Visit abandoned whaling settlements, search for walrus, Arctic fox and reindeer and observe in millions of migratory birds, including little auks, guillemots and puffin.

  • Svalbard Odyssey
  • Aurora Expeditions
  • Greg Mortimer
  • Arctic
  • 21 June 2020
  • 11 nights
  • Spitsbergen
  • CDT40009
  • Cruise and Stay

      Included in this Package

    • Group arrival transfer from airport to the Greg Mortimer
    • Group sightseeing tour of Longyearbyen on arrival pre-voyage
    • Group transfer from ship to airport in Longyearbyen
    • On-board accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service
    • All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage
    • Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner
    • All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises
    • Educational lectures and guiding services from expedition team
    • A 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket
    • Complimentary use of muck boots during the voyage
    • A printed photo book produced with photos from your voyage
    • Port surcharges, permits and landing fees

1 London / London

Fly from London to Oslo. Overnight in a Airport hotel.

2 Oslo Gardermoen Airport / Oslo

Fly from Oslo to Longyearbyen, where you will be met by a representative of Aurora Expeditions and taken on a sightseeing tour to explore the remote outskirts and ‘Capital’ of Spitsbergen, including a stop at the local museum. After the tour you will be transferred to the port in the late afternoon to embark the Greg Mortimer. You’ll have time to settle into your cabin prior to the important pre-departure briefings. Your voyage commences, cruising out of the beautiful Isfjorden, escorted by gliding fulmars and perhaps the occasional puffin. Find a spot on one of the observation areas watching for seabirds, including graceful ivory gulls, kittiwakes and guillemots. They rise and fall skilfully, using the air currents created by the ship to gain momentum. NOTE: Sometimes our ship is unable to dock in Longyearbyen port due to space and capacity. In these instances, we reach the ship by Zodiac. Please ensure that you keep your wet-weather gear in your hand luggage to use in the Zodiacs if the situation arises. Our crew will transport your luggage separately to your cabin. Please ensure all your luggage has your cabin tag/number attached.

3 Spitsbergen

Cruise northwards along the west coast of Spitsbergen, stopping at intriguing places like Kongsfjorden or Magdalenefjorden. Kongsfjorden (Kings Bay) is incredibly scenic, the fjord is headed by two giant glaciers. There’s ample time ashore for hiking on the lush tundra amongst the summer flowers and observing the remarkable bird cliffs near the 14th July Glacier, where even a few puffins nest between the cracks in the cliffs. We keep watch for polar bears and Arctic fox and feel a sense of history at the 350-year-old remains of a Dutch whaling settlement, Smeerenberg on Amsterdamøya. The name Smeerenberg literally means blubber town in Dutch. It is a place of extraordinary legends, of thousands of men living there during the 1630s, a town complete with shops, gambling dens and the like. In reality, only 400 men and fifteen ships visited Smeerenberg during its peak in the 1630s for whaling purposes.

4 Spitsbergen

Please see Day 3 for more info.

5 Northern Flanks of Spitsbergen

As we work our way along the north coast we explore rarely-visited places such as Woodfjorden and Leifdefjorden in search of the mighty polar bear. From Zodiacs we enjoy magnificent views of sweeping glaciers winding their way into the sea. We may walk on smooth raised beach terraces to a superb viewpoint or hike in the mountains on the tundra where pretty coloured wildflowers and lichen grow and where reindeer graze. We may visit trapper huts of yesteryear where Russians and Pomors would hunt and survive the cold harsh winters, all while remaining alert for wandering polar bears and their cubs. We might come face-to-face with the formidable pack ice of the Arctic Ocean, keeping our eyes peeled for walrus feeding on clams or hauled out on the beach in wallows. We will listen to the cacophony of sea birds and see them feeding. If conditions allow, we may push north into the pack ice in hopes of finding polar bears ranging over the frozen landscape on the hunt for seals.

6 Northern Flanks of Spitsbergen

Please see Day 5 for more info.

7 East Coast of Spitsbergen

Along the northeast coast of Spitsbergen we enter a different world - a polar desert. If ice conditions allow we will pass south through the narrow Hinlopen Strait. The strait is flanked by creamy coloured slabs of rock that are rich in fossils, as we will discover for ourselves when we go ashore. We may visit Alkefjellet in the Strait, where a series of one-hundred-metre-high dolerite towers are home to nearly a million nesting Brünnich’s guillemots 'the penguins of the north' that occupy every available nook and cranny. Elsewhere we seek out eider ducks and geese, and hope to spot Arctic fox and the beautiful ivory gulls. As the Greg Mortimer passes between Spitsbergen and the smaller islands of Barentsøya and Edgeøya, we cross a major polar bear migration route and the beautiful fertile plains of Sundeneset. The spongy ground is richly covered with bright green mosses, a variety of delicate and colourful flowers, particularly the yellow marsh (bog) saxifrage, various mushrooms, fungi, clear bubbling streams and small tarns. Tiny (micro) flowers such as Mouse Ears grow in Spitsbergen creating faerie like mossy rock gardens. We explore this beautiful terrain on foot, marvelling at the contrast between the colourful soft ground and the barren, rocky terrain from further north. Reindeer antlers lie scattered along the ground. We round South Cape, Spitsbergen's most southerly point, before continuing northwards along the west coast of Spitsbergen.

8 East Coast of Spitsbergen

Please see Day 7 for more info.

9 Edgeoya

Along the northeast coast of Spitsbergen we enter a different world - a polar desert. If ice conditions allow we will pass south through the narrow Hinlopen Strait. The strait is flanked by creamy coloured slabs of rock that are rich in fossils, as we will discover for ourselves when we go ashore. We may visit Alkefjellet in the Strait, where a series of one-hundred-metre-high dolerite towers are home to nearly a million nesting Brünnich’s guillemots 'the penguins of the north' that occupy every available nook and cranny. Elsewhere we seek out eider ducks and geese, and hope to spot Arctic fox and the beautiful ivory gulls. As the Greg Mortimer passes between Spitsbergen and the smaller islands of Barentsøya and Edgeøya, we cross a major polar bear migration route and the beautiful fertile plains of Sundeneset. The spongy ground is richly covered with bright green mosses, a variety of delicate and colourful flowers, particularly the yellow marsh (bog) saxifrage, various mushrooms, fungi, clear bubbling streams and small tarns. Tiny (micro) flowers such as Mouse Ears grow in Spitsbergen creating faerie like mossy rock gardens. We explore this beautiful terrain on foot, marvelling at the contrast between the colourful soft ground and the barren, rocky terrain from further north. Reindeer antlers lie scattered along the ground. We round South Cape, Spitsbergen's most southerly point, before continuing northwards along the west coast of Spitsbergen.

10 Spitsbergen’s Southwest Fjords

We enter the spectacular Hornsund Fjord where we may take an early morning Zodiac cruise to admire the beautiful ice walls of the Samarin Glacier or take a stroll beneath the towering seabird cliffs at Sofiebogen. In Bellsund Fjord we are always on the lookout for beluga, or white whales. Bellsund Fjord is a fjord that splits into two branches. It was named Bellsund after a nearby bell-shaped mountain by William Barentsz in 1596. We may visit the remnants of a Norwegian beluga whaling station from the 1930s. Across the fjord at Vårsolbukta is a lush and stunning landscape, where reindeer roam, Arctic flowers bloom in abundance and Arctic fox may be seen patrolling the little auk colony, where several thousand birds nest amongst the boulders, coming and going in huge flocks.

11 Spitsbergen’s Southwest Fjords

Please see Day 10 for more info.

* Prices are per person based on two adults sharing. Prices may change at any time without notice.

What's Included



* Prices are per person based on two adults sharing. Prices may change at any time without notice.
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