W4. Tromsø- Bear Island- Spitsbergen (Longyearbyen)
June 4 – 15 2020
An Expedition from Norway to Bear Island, and then to Spitsbergen!
For this special trip, we start in the cozy town of Tromsø. If you happen to have extra time, it is certainly worth arriving a few days before boarding to visit: the town is fun, the museums are impressive, and the surroundings are beautiful!
We set sail to the northern fjords, and once at the Fuglefjord we begin our crossing of the Barents Sea towards Bear Island. After about 2 ½ days of sailing (day and night …, although it is hardly night/dark!) we reach extraordinary Bear Island.
Apart from a Norwegian weather station (staffed with approx. 15 people in the summer season), no one else lives here. Thousands of birds come to the island to breed and we still can see the remnants of walruses that once visited. Polar bears have rarely been seen on Bear Island.
Weather permitting, we will look for a nice anchorage and take a walk on the island. (The people at the weather station are quite helpful: it is possible to qualify for the “Nude swimming in Arctic water” certificate!)
After this stop we continue on, sailing to Spitsbergen, and there’s a good chance of seeing whales here!
In clear weather, we can see the mountains looming about 40 miles away!
The first Sund we visit is the Hornsund. This beautiful, deep fjord is one of the most impressive in Spitsbergen. Of course we are dependent on the weather and possible ice conditions as to how far we can sail in.
With a bit of luck, we’ll see our 1st polar bear (tracks?), reindeer, arctic foxes, belugas (??), as we have spotted them here on previous trips. Wildlife is marvelously unpredictable though.
After the Hornsund we continue to the Recherchefjord, where a beautiful landing awaits the Anne-Margaretha. We have found fossils and a group of grazing reindeer in this area.
We then continue further north and depending on the time, the wind, the ice, we will look for a number of beautiful anchor spots.
We arrive on the evening of June 14, or in the morning of June 15 in Longyearbyen, the final destination of this trip. Longyearbyen is really worth a few days’ stay. The hotels/hostels are rather pricey, but a nice alternative is: rent a tent at the local campsite at the foot of the airport (not very busy), and there is a view over the Isfjord! Including mattress and sleeping bag it costs about € 50 per night! (Internet: Longyearbyen Camping)
Several planes depart daily from Longyearbyen. Do not book too late, because the planes fill up quickly.
Dates: June 4 – June 15 2020
Price: € 1495 / € 1595 * p.p.
Miles: approx. 600
On board: Thursday, June 4 at 12.00 pm in Tromsø
Off board: Monday, June 15 before 12.00 pm in Longyearbyen
* The highest price is per person is for a spot in one of the two middle cabins with private shower and toilet. The four 2-person front cabins share 2 toilets and 2 showers.
Recommended book Spitsbergen/Svalbard + Bear Island:
Spitsbergen/Svalbard “ A complete guide around the artic archipelago”
Auteur: Rolf Stange