(including Trygghamna, Ny-Alesund, Moellerhafen, Magdalenefjord, Liefdefjord, Mushamna, Moffen, cruise through the Hinlopen Strait, Palanderbukta,
cruise through the Freemansund, Kap Lee, Hornsund)
New terrain in the Arctic Ocean
When the Dutch seafarer Willem Barents set out in 1596 to find a north-east passage to Asia, he discovered an ice-covered archipelago. Fascinated by the peaked mountains, climbing up to 1,700 m (5,577 ft) from the waters of the North Atlantic, he named the archipelago after them. More than 400 years later, your expedition will show you the fascination that Spitsbergen inspires to this day. We have allocated generous amounts of time to this exciting circumnavigation with the HANSEATIC. The midnight sun makes this magical, glittering icy world seem even more glorious. Discover the most beautiful fjords and bays in great detail thanks to the captain and crew’s years of Arctic experience – only a ship like the HANSEATIC makes this possible. Small, manoeuvrable, with a shallow draught and the highest ice class for passenger ships: together with the Zodiacs, it guarantees unforgettable moments in nautically demanding waters. Numerous activities and landings are on the agenda. For example, in Trygghamna, a small neighbouring fjord to the Isfjord in the west. The region is dominated by the 400 m (1,312 ft) Alkhornet mountain – the spectacular nesting place of tens of thousands of thick-billed murres and kittiwakes. Visit historic soil and the present territory of researchers in Ny-Alesund, one of the northernmost settlements in the world. In 1926, it was the starting point for the airship “Norge”, in which the polar researcher Roald Amundsen and airship pioneer Umberto Nobile became the first people to reach the North Pole. Today, a few researchers live here and study climate change and its effects on the flora and fauna. Expeditionary spirit past and present live in close harmony when the HANSEATIC reaches Moellerhafen. Here you can visit the northernmost bar in the world, “Lloyd’s Hotel”, a refuge set up for Arctic explorers. Time and again you will feel the power and sensitivity of a raw natural beauty – right through to the bright summer nights. In Magdalenefjord too, the end of numerous glaciers that you will cruise past on the HANSEATIC. In Liefdefjord, observe the breathtaking calving of the majestic blue Monaco Glacier. Will another highlight directly follow on the journey past drifting ice floes? Possibly only if whales appear in the water and seals on the shore. The Zodiacs will take you up close and personal for a unique and intensive experience.
Natural adventure on icy coasts
There is a good chance of spotting polar bears throughout your Spitsbergen expedition. Ursus maritimus prefers to hunt in protected fjords and ice floes. The sudden call of “Polar bear spotted!” will fill the deck or Zodiac with whispers. The experienced crew is able to react spontaneously and bring the ship about to ensure some unforgettable animal observations. Spitsbergen provides food and protection to a number of species. This is underlined in an impressive way in Mushamna, where Arctic terns and eider ducks breed and where Arctic foxes can, with a little luck, be seen. Off the small island of Moffen, marvel at impressive walruses, which often gather on the even coast. The HANSEATIC searches for such one-of-a-kind scenery. To do so, the ship uses its highest ice class and forges its path through the pack ice with certainty – such as the cruise through the Hinlopen Strait with a view of Hinlopenbreen, the largest outlet glacier in Spitsbergen. The excitement will grow as a special adventure approaches: will you join the small group of explorers who have pressed on to Nordaustlandet? This uninhabited island, the second largest in the Spitsbergen archipelago, boasts an atmospheric landscape with its vast expanses of flatness and ice caps. Depending on the ice conditions, you can land in Palanderbukta with the Zodiacs and perhaps spot some reindeer on a walk through the sparse tundra. If the ice conditions allow, you will cruise through the narrow Freeman Sound – accompanied by the fascinating play of colour and light on the landscape. Off Cape Lee, a vivid portrait of the animal kingdom may be provided by walruses that can grow to over 1,000 kg (2,204 lb) and 3.5 m (11.5 ft) in length. These impressions will probably only be surpassed by the appearance of whales – a frequent occurrence in these waters. In Hornsund, the glaciers’ tongues of ice round off your expedition in style. Here you will know whether you have become one of the few people to circumnavigate Spitsbergen. Adventure calls!