Adventures from the golden age of exploration: dare to circumnavigate Spitsbergen for breathtaking landscapes and fascinating wildlife.
The surcharge for single travellers on this cruise (Categories 1 – 8) is only 25 %.
Charter flight from Hanover* to Longyearbyen
Longyearbyen/Spitsbergen/Norway, departure 19.00 hrs
The compass needle points to adventure. Splitting and cracking, the ice tells of brave men who forged their way through impassable polar territory in times gone by. Welcome to Spitsbergen – raw island beauty and home to a fascinating animal world! The archipelago was discovered in 1596 by Willem Barents. He was so impressed by the peaked mountains, climbing up to 1,700 m (5,600 ft) from the icy waters of the North Atlantic, that he named the archipelago after them. Over 400 years later, the HANSEATIC spirit is setting aside lots of time to explore Spitsbergen with one clear objective: circumnavigation! On board is a small group of explorers wanting to fulfil this lifelong dream. Every route is determined by nature, weather and ice. And every day is packed with experiences which bring together the pioneering spirit of the past and the thirst for exploration of the present.
Adventure in Spitsbergen: highlights and circumnavigation depending on the conditions (including Ny-Alesund, 14th July Glacier, Magdalenefjord, Liefdefjord, cruising through the Hinlopen Strait, Alkefjellet, Palanderbukta, Torellneset, cruising through Freeman Sound, Cape Lee, Hornsund)
Every expedition is accompanied by experienced experts who will prepare you for your experiences in Spitsbergen and provide in-depth knowledge of the things you see – in personal chats and fascinating presentations. The on-board multimedia Ocean Academy opens up new horizons as you pursue your own studies. Brimming with background knowledge, you will view places like Ny-Alesund through new eyes. In 1926, this was the starting point for the airship Norge, in which the polar researcher Roald Amundsen and airship designer Umberto Nobile became the first people to reach the North Pole. The settlement is the most northerly in the world and home to researchers focusing on climate change. When your expedition ship reaches the 14th July Glacier, experience the spectacular scenery of the shifting icebergs that have broken off its front. Surrounded by Arctic flowers, discover thick-billed murres and puffins nesting in the cliffs. The Magdalenefjord is equally spectacular. There are some 130 historic whalers’ graves to be found on the southern shore of the glacier fields. Cruising here, the HANSEATIC spirit will open up fantastic perspectives. Too beautiful to be true? Rediscover the fascination of nature each day around the archipelago with Zodiac rides and landings.
There is a good chance of spotting polar bears throughout your Spitsbergen expedition. Protected fjords and ice floes off the islands are the preferred habitats and hunting grounds for Ursus maritimus. When a shout goes up of “Polar bear spotted!”, the experienced crew will step in and bring the ship about to enable you to see this unforgettable sight from the deck. In Liefdefjord, you might hear the calving of the majestic, shimmering blue Monacobreen, which seems to glow in the light summer nights. An unforgettable experience when you travel through drifting ice floes to approach the edge of the glacier, which reaches up to 40 m (131 ft) high. The steel-reinforced hull of the new expedition class comes into its own as the ships confidently forge their way through the Hinlopen Strait. Your reward is the spectacular views of Hinlopenbreen, the largest outlet glacier in Spitsbergen. The captain and officers will constantly look for impressive scenes such as the cliffs of Alkefjellet, the “bird mountain”, inhabited by thousands of birds from numerous species, including thick-billed murres, kittiwakes, glaucous gulls, Arctic terns and eider ducks.
Small, manoeuvrable and with the highest ice class for passenger ships: this is why the HANSEATIC spirit can circumnavigate Spitsbergen. Every day is an adventure in these nautically demanding waters. Between the drifting ice floes, the crew members can bring their years of polar experience to bear to give you the best possible experience. Depending on the ice conditions, you will land with the Zodiacs in Palanderbukta on the island of Nordaustlandet, which is largely covered in ice caps. With a little luck, you might spot reindeer and Arctic foxes on a walk through the sparse tundra. Walrus herds like to lie on the flat ledges of rock in Torellneset. Weather and ice permitting, you will pass through the narrow Freeman Sound between Barents Island and Edgeoya. With a little luck, you can enjoy particularly weighty observations from the Zodiac off Cape Lee, the original territory of the walrus. The mighty male walruses can weigh over 1,000 kg (2,205 lb) and grow to 3.5 m (11.5 ft) in length. However, the sight of surfacing whales beats all of this. These giants of the oceans seek out protected biotopes off Spitsbergen and will happily follow ships that are passing the archipelago from time to time. Spitsbergen’s island world also attracts glaciologists. The glacial masses in the Svalbard archipelago melt and grow in cycles often taking just a few years, creating a fascinating spectacle. The same happens in Hornsund, where powerful glaciers shape the panorama. Samarinbreen will forge lasting memories framed by imposing mountains on an impressive Zodiac ride with a view of the glacial cliff. Accompanied by the breathtaking play of colour and light on the landscape, you can look back on an expedition that very few people get to experience: the circumnavigation of Spitsbergen.
Relaxation at sea
Tromso/Norway, arrival 5.00 hrs
Charter flight from Tromso to Hamburg*
The itinerary depends on official approval, weather and ice conditions. The natural experiences and wildlife sightings described are possibilities on this expedition and are not guaranteed.
* Depending on the flight time, an extra night (at extra cost) in an airport hotel may be required for your arrival and/or departure.
---- The ice conditions determine the course here (see map).