Aboard the SV Rembrandt Van Rijn, get to know some of the most northerly reaches of Europe on an arctic journey around the north coast of West Spitsbergen. Slip past stark pack-ice, venture into beautiful fjords whose cliffs are lined with thriving seabird colonies and skirt around spectacular glaciers home to seals. This tour offers a great chance for spotting polar bears in the wild.
Please note that itinerary, landings and all other activities during the cruise depend strongly on ice and weather conditions and are subject to the decisions of the Expedition Leader and the Captain of the vessel. Encounters with any mentioned wildlife cannot be guaranteed.
Arrive in Longyearbyen, the largest settlement and the administrative centre of the Svalbard archipelago. Before boarding the S/V Rembrandt Van Rijn stroll around this former mining town and perhaps visit its parish church and Svalbard Museum. In the early evening, sail out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of your voyage, and head towards Trygghamna bay. (D)
Today visit the remains of a 17th-century English whaling station and the 18th-century Pomor hunting station. Walk to Alkhonet cliff and see thousands of seabirds nesting on the cliff. On your way back to the S/V Rembrandt Van Rijn you might also spot Arctic foxes and grazing reindeer. (B,L,D)
Head north to Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden and enjoy majestic views of glaciers and mountain peaks. Unearth research stations and the famous anchor mast of the dirigible Norge, which took the first flight across the North Pole to Alaska in 1926. See Ny London, the remains of an early 20th-century marble mining, and Ny Ålesund, the northernmost permanently inhabited village in the world and a centre for polar research. (B,L,D)
Continue exploring West Spitsbergen. (B,L,D)
Sail south through the Forlandsundet strait between the main island of Spitsbergen and Prins Karls Forland. Spot walruses and seals at Poolepynten, a headland at the eastern coast of the Prins Karls Forland. (B,L,D)
Reach Isfjorden and stop at Ymerbukta bay where you may embark on a walk in this mountainous area. Explore some of the extensive tundra before sailing to Ekmanfjorden. Continue to Gipsvika and step ashore to venture close to the impressive bird cliff of Templet. (B,L,D)
Continue sailing through Isfjorden. (B,L,D)
*Icelandair fly from London Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Belfast. Other carriers fly from Luton, Stansted, Bristol and Edinburgh
2019 from prices per person:
The Rembrandt van Rijn measures 49,50 meters in length, 7 meters in width and has a draft of 2,8 meters. The average cruising speed on engines is 6,5 knots. It has an experienced crew of 12 persons on board including 2 tour guides. The ship can accommodate a maximum of 33 passengers in 16 cabins: 1 Triple Private cabin (with shower and toilet and porthole), 6 Twin Private Inside cabins (with shower and toilet, no porthole), 9 Twin Private cabins (with shower and toilet and porthole).