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Northern Svalbard Explorer

Arctic autumn conditions offer you the opportunity to explore rarely visited northern isles of Svalbard. Pack ice opens up to allow us to attempt landings in some of the farthest reaches of the archipelago, including the outer islands of Nordaustlandet, Storøya and Kvitøya. As we sail past spectacular ice caps and dramatic calving glaciers, we’ll keep watch for walrus haul-outs, flocks of ivory gulls and polar bears hunting on pack ice. We’ll step ashore to explore the orange-coloured tundra and venture even deeper into the Arctic!

All of our expeditions and itineraries offer fantastic photography experiences, however on selected expeditions we offer specialised photography workshops with our expert photography guides - 30 August 2019.
30 August, 2019 to 09 September, 2019 Make a booking request for Northern Svalbard Explorer, departing on 30 August, 2019

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Triple £ 4104 GBP pp
Cabin Numbers: 300, 301 Deck: Deck 3 Cabin Features: Two lower bunk beds and one upper bunk bed Outside porthole Wash basin Lounge and desk Cupboard with hanging space Air-conditioning control Shared bathroom facilities on same deck Outside deck accessed via Deck 4 Cabin Size: 10.2 m2
view cabin photo
Twin Public £ 4902 GBP pp
Cabin Numbers: 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 307, 308, 309, 310, 311, 312, 313 Deck: Deck 3 Cabin Features: Two lower bunk beds Outside porthole Wash basin Lounge and desk Cupboard with hanging space Air-conditioning control Shared bathroom facilities on same deck Outside decks accessible via Deck 3 and 4 Cabin Size: 9.8 m2
view cabin photo
Twin Economy Private £ 5757 GBP pp
Cabin Numbers: 402, 403 Deck: Deck 4 Cabin Features Private en-suite Upper and lower bunk and a couch Side-facing window Desk and chair Cupboard with hanging space Air-conditioning control Outside deck access to main deck Cabin Size: 12 m2 Bathroom Size: 1.9 m2
view cabin photo
Twin Private £ 5928 GBP pp
Cabin Numbers: 400, 401, 402, 403, 404, 405, 407, 408, 504, 505, 506, 507 Deck: Deck 4 & Deck 5 Cabin Features Private en-suite Two lower bunk beds (Note: #402 and #403 have an upper and lower bunk and a couch) Side-facing window Desk and chair Cupboard with hanging space Air-conditioning control Outside deck access to main deck (Deck 4 cabins only) Outside deck access to upper deck (Deck 5 cabins only) Cabin Size: 12 m2 Bathroom Size: 1.9 m2
view cabin photo
Mini Suite £ 6555 GBP pp
Cabin Numbers: 502, 503 Deck: Deck 5 Cabin Features Private en suite Double bed in separate room Side-facing windows Separate lounge area Desk and chair Cupboard with hanging space TV, DVD player and mini fridge Air-conditioning control Outside deck access from Deck 5 Cabin Size: 16.8 m2 Bathroom Size: 1.92 m2
view cabin photo
Captain's Suite £ 7467 GBP pp
Cabin Number: 501 Deck: Deck 5 Cabin Features Private en-suite Double bed in separate room Forward- and side-facing windows Separate lounge area Desk and table area TV, DVD player and mini fridge Air-conditioning control Outside deck access from Deck 5 Cabin Size: 22.5 m2 Bathroom Size: 1.92 m2
view cabin photo

Northern Svalbard Explorer itinerary:

show reverse itinerary
Day 1 – Longyearbyen
Enjoy a guided tour of Spitsbergen’s colourful capital of Longyearbyen. Embark Polar Pioneer late in the afternoon, and enjoy a warm welcome from our expert expedition team.
Day 2 – Spitsbergen's northwest coast
Awaken in the Nordvest-Spitsbergen National Park - the rugged north-west corner of Svalbard’s largest island, Spitsbergen. Alpine peaks and glacier valleys dominate the landscape which is home to reindeer, walrus and Arctic fox. We’ll cruise past spectacular sea-cliffs, watching as the last of the season’s seabirds take flight, and explore the region’s calving glaciers such as Smeerenburg on Amsterdam Island and discover the remains of ancient whaling stations at Ytre Norskøya.
Days 3-4 – Nordaustlandet north coast
Our captain steers Polar Pioneer northeast to reach the coast of Svalbard’s second largest island, Nordaustlandet - a polar desert rich in geological wonders. We’ll traverse the northern coastline, landing ashore for tundra walks amongst the autumn-hues in search of wildlife like reindeer and walruses. If weather and ice permits, we hope to attempt landings or cruises at Sjuøyane (The Seven Isles), the most northerly point of the Svalbard archipelago (and Norway) and home to a large colony of walruses and frequented by roaming polar bears. We also hope to explore the magnificent 40 kilometre fjord at Rijpfjord.
Days 5-6 – East of Nordaustlandet
We continue across the top of Nordauslandet towards Svalbard’s most easterly islands, Kvitøya and Storøya (also the most easternmost part of Norway), and aim to take a spectacular Zodiac cruise around Karl XII Island – Norway’s second-most northern point – on route . Over the next two days weather and ice will dictate our journey as we head further north into the thickening pack ice in search for polar bears and walrus as they hunt and haul-out on the ice and keep watch for the elusive and elegant ivory gull.
Days 7-8 – South of Nordaustlandet
Completing our circumnavigation of Nordaustlandet, we’ll head north through the Hinlopen Strait. Along the way we may take a Zodiac cruise around Austfonna, an impressively large ice cap with one of the longest glacier fronts in the northern hemisphere. We'll also Zodiac cruise under the impressive sheer cliffs of Alkfjellet, the summer nesting ground of thousands of birdlife as well as explore Isisøya by Zodiac, and make a landing at Murchisonfjorden, both of which are steeped in rich history and amazing scenery.
Days 9-10 – Spitsbergen north & west coast
Returning along the stunning north-western Spitsbergen coast, we keep an eye on ice and weather conditions and make as many landings as possible. Possible landing spots include Woodfjord, Liefdefjord, Krossfjord and Kongsfjord.
Day 11 – Longyearbyen
We cruise down Isfjorden and return to Longyearbyen, where we disembark from our journey.
Please Note:
Please note that all of our itineraries are at the mercy of weather conditions and not all landings are guaranteed. Our itineraries are flexible and will change voyage to voyage, allowing the best chance to make the most of surprising wildlife displays and unexpected opportunities.

Northern Svalbard Explorer reverse itinerary:

show main itinerary
Please Note: *
Please note that all of our itineraries are at the mercy of weather conditions and not all landings are guaranteed. Our itineraries are flexible and will change voyage to voyage, allowing the best chance to make the most of surprising wildlife displays and unexpected opportunities.
Day 11 – Longyearbyen *
We cruise down Isfjorden and return to Longyearbyen, where we disembark from our journey.
Days 9-10 – Spitsbergen north & west coast *
Returning along the stunning north-western Spitsbergen coast, we keep an eye on ice and weather conditions and make as many landings as possible. Possible landing spots include Woodfjord, Liefdefjord, Krossfjord and Kongsfjord.
Days 7-8 – South of Nordaustlandet *
Completing our circumnavigation of Nordaustlandet, we’ll head north through the Hinlopen Strait. Along the way we may take a Zodiac cruise around Austfonna, an impressively large ice cap with one of the longest glacier fronts in the northern hemisphere. We'll also Zodiac cruise under the impressive sheer cliffs of Alkfjellet, the summer nesting ground of thousands of birdlife as well as explore Isisøya by Zodiac, and make a landing at Murchisonfjorden, both of which are steeped in rich history and amazing scenery.
Days 5-6 – East of Nordaustlandet *
We continue across the top of Nordauslandet towards Svalbard’s most easterly islands, Kvitøya and Storøya (also the most easternmost part of Norway), and aim to take a spectacular Zodiac cruise around Karl XII Island – Norway’s second-most northern point – on route . Over the next two days weather and ice will dictate our journey as we head further north into the thickening pack ice in search for polar bears and walrus as they hunt and haul-out on the ice and keep watch for the elusive and elegant ivory gull.
Days 3-4 – Nordaustlandet north coast *
Our captain steers Polar Pioneer northeast to reach the coast of Svalbard’s second largest island, Nordaustlandet - a polar desert rich in geological wonders. We’ll traverse the northern coastline, landing ashore for tundra walks amongst the autumn-hues in search of wildlife like reindeer and walruses. If weather and ice permits, we hope to attempt landings or cruises at Sjuøyane (The Seven Isles), the most northerly point of the Svalbard archipelago (and Norway) and home to a large colony of walruses and frequented by roaming polar bears. We also hope to explore the magnificent 40 kilometre fjord at Rijpfjord.
Day 2 – Spitsbergen's northwest coast *
Awaken in the Nordvest-Spitsbergen National Park - the rugged north-west corner of Svalbard’s largest island, Spitsbergen. Alpine peaks and glacier valleys dominate the landscape which is home to reindeer, walrus and Arctic fox. We’ll cruise past spectacular sea-cliffs, watching as the last of the season’s seabirds take flight, and explore the region’s calving glaciers such as Smeerenburg on Amsterdam Island and discover the remains of ancient whaling stations at Ytre Norskøya.
Day 1 – Longyearbyen *
Enjoy a guided tour of Spitsbergen’s colourful capital of Longyearbyen. Embark Polar Pioneer late in the afternoon, and enjoy a warm welcome from our expert expedition team.
* = Indicative
Map for Northern Svalbard Explorer
Polar Pioneer, the ship servicing Northern Svalbard Explorer

Polar Pioneer

Vessel Type: Expedition

Length: 71 metres

Passenger Capacity: 50

Built / refurbished: 1985 / 2000

Polar Pioneer was built in Finland in 1985 as an ice-strengthened research ship, and for many years she plied the treacherous waters of the USSR's northern coast. In 2000 she was refurbished in St Petersburg to provide comfortable accommodation for 54 passengers.

A combined bar/lounge/library area (stocked with a good collection of polar books) was also created by simple internal restructuring.

This class of vessel has a fine reputation for polar expedition cruising, due to its strength, manoeuvrability and small number of cabins. All cabins have outside portholes plus ample storage space. The Russian captain and crew are among the most experienced ice-navigators in the world and their enthusiasm is legendary.

The spacious bridge is always open to us and the decks are ideal for viewing. The chefs are European, and the dining room is attended by Russian stewardesses.

Polar Pioneer is not a luxury vessel as such, but this is a popular ship for travel to the Polar regions. The accommodation is simple yet comfortable, and the meals are wholesome and uncomplicated. A small fleet of inflatable Zodiacs with outboard motors enable us to travel from ship to shore.

Ice-strengthened hull

Triple, twin & suite cabins

Spacious viewing platforms and decks

Fleet of inflatable Zodiacs

Lounge bar & two dining rooms

Dedicated presentation room

Sauna

Basic medical clinic

English-speaking doctor

Daily cabin cleaning service

Satellite phone & email access

Gumboots provided for landings

Laundry service available

Mini SuiteTwin Public

Cabin layout for Polar Pioneer
• Reach Svalbard’s most easterly islands of Kvitøya and Storøya thanks to late season ice conditions

• Cross 80°north into pack ice to spot the Arctic’s most majestic predator, the polar bear

• Follow in the footsteps of Arctic explorers like Amundsen and Nobile

• Photograph walrus and seals as they haul-out on the pack ice

• Zodiac cruise past the impressive Austfonna ice cap and its glacial front, one of the longest in the northern hemisphere!
Enquire now about Northern Svalbard Explorer

Travel on the Polar Pioneer

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