Svalbard / Spitsbergen
NEW FOR WINTER 2016-17:
Hurtigruten now offers winter Northern Lights itineraries to Spitsbergen. Combine a Norwegian coastal voyage with a 3 day stay in Longyearbyen, to include 2 winter activities. Alternatively, opt for a 4 or 5 night land based package. Check out details in the online Northern Lights brochure below then contact Project Travel on 01 – 210 8391 to book.
Visiting Spitsbergen with Hurtigruten is a trip of a lifetime. With its location right on the edge of the ever frozen Arctic Ocean, 600 miles from northern Norway, where the warmer currents of the Gulf Stream meet the cold air and water from the north, Spitsbergen and the other islands in the Svalbard archipelago are a biological hot spot. Reining over this fragile food web is the top predator – the polar bear.
The island is renowned for its magnificent fjords, calving glaciers and impressive mountains. Vast colonies of birds pocket the rugged cliffs. Seals and walrus haul out on rocky outcrops. Whales spout and breach before your eyes.
Spitsbergen is above the Arctic Circle and therefore benefits from the Midnight Sun during the summer. This means 24 hours of sunlight to experience some of the most dramatic landscape on earth. The landings in Spitsbergen are exciting and safe. They include amazing wildlife and places of historical interest. Hurtigruten’s guides are experienced with in-depth knowledge of the areas sailed. Lectures are conducted on topics such as Biology, History and Geology throughout the trip.
Itineraries are offered throughout June, July and August but due to the limited number of passengers on each voyage they tend to book out up to a year in advance. However, even if booking late it is always worth giving us a call as sometimes there is late availability on the higher priced cabins and suites.
SUMMER 2017: Hurtigruten has 2 cruise ships offering Svalbard / Spitsbergen voyages in Summer 2017. MS Fram (max 256 passengers) was purpose-built in 2007 for Polar explorer voyages. By contrast, MS Nordstjernen (max 130 passengers) is one of the oldest in the fleet but was extensively modernised in 2013. This gives her a classic aura of nostalgia. Check out the full range of itineraries by clicking on the brochure links below. Alternatively, we have selected some of our favourites based on flight access from Ireland. Click on the button beside each to download a flyer giving full details of each itinerary.
Voyage Type: 6 day Expedition Voyage
Ship: MS Nordstjernen
Departures: 30 departure dates (Mondays and Thursdays) between June and September 2017
Voyage from: €1338 pp sharing (voyage only).
Voyage Type: 10 day Expedition Voyage
Ship: MS Fram
Departures: 3, 11 19 & 27 July, 2017
Voyage from: €5532 pp sharing (voyage only).
Voyage Type: 12 day Expedition Voyage
Ship: MS Fram
Departures: 4 & 14 August, 2017
Voyage from: €6328 pp sharing (voyage only).
Please note, prices shown are the introductory voyage only prices for the smallest cabins. We recommend upgrading if possible. Return flights from Ireland must be added (from approx €475 per person) and some itineraries may require the addition of hotel nights before and/or after the voyage. Project Travel is able to advise the best options and create a full package for you. Prices correct at time of print (Sep 2016). Subject to exchange rate and availability. E&OE.
In spite of its proximity to the North Pole, Spitsbergen has a relatively mild climate compared with other areas at the same latitude. The average temperatures in Longyearbyen are June 2ºC, July 6ºC and Aug 5ºC. These are 24-hour temperatures, average daytime temperatures will be higher.
Several Svalbard cruise itineraries also include visits to various ports of call in Iceland, while others focus exclusively on this mystical neighbouring island. Iceland is the land of ice and fire, with glaciers and volcanoes side by side. The unspoiled nature offers stunning landscapes, geysers and impressive waterfalls. You will see a variety of islands, towns and settlements, spectacular views and interesting sites, always accompanied by Hurtigruten’s knowledgeable Expedition Team. Enjoy hikes through lava fields, breathe the fresh Icelandic air, swim in natural hot spas, visit one of the many museums or simply walk around on your own and chat with the locals.
Find out more about life on board and itineraries on offer in Spitsbergen / Svalbard in 2016/17 and 2017/18 by viewing the online brochures below (NB: prices in these brochures are shown in sterling and are for voyage only). Then give Project Travel a call on 01 – 210 8391. We will check for any special offers on or near your travel dates to give you the best value. We will price the entire package for you in Euro to include flights and any hotel nights required before and/or after the voyage. What’s more, we can usually offer better prices than Hurtigruten for travel from Ireland.
Image credits: Geir A Manum, Hurtigruten, Nina Bailey