Cruise around the
"Land of the Ice Bears: An In-Depth Exploration of the Arctic Svalbard"
July 31 to August 7, 2010

Svalbard Archipelago

Svalbard Archipelago
Svalbard on the Earth


July 31, 2010 (Saturday)

  • Left our hotel (First Hotel Bergen) in Bergen after breakfast for cab ride to airport followed by flight to Oslo. Met by the Lindblad Expedition Staff and bussed with other members of the Svalbard group to our hotel, the Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel, near the Royal Palace in Oslo. Walked through the Slottsparken, the castle park surrounding the Royal Palace. Walked around the city for an hour before taking city tour with Lindblad. Visited the Opera House, Vigeland Sculpture Garden, and the Fram Polar Ship Museum during city tour. Group reception at 7 p.m. (drinks/ light snacks) to discuss Svalbard trip arrangements.

    August 01, 2010 (Sunday)

  • Had an early breakfast (6 a.m.) at our hotel, the Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel, in Oslo, Norway. Boarded bus to go to the airport and flew to Longyearbyen (0930-1130). Longyearbyen is the largest settlement and administrative center of Svalbard and is located on the western coast of Spitsbergen. Lunch at Radison Blu Hotel in Longyearbyen. Bird outside hotel. City tour, visit the Svalbard Museum, and art gallery (Galleri Svalbard). Use Zodiacs to board ship, National Geographic Explorer, 1600. (Ship built in 1982, refurbished in 2008). Buffet dinner 1930.

    August 02, 2010 (Monday)

  • Breakfast at 0730. Heading toward Hornsund along the southwestern coast of Spitsbergen. Birded from top deck and our balcony. First Polar Bear sighting near Påskefjella off the main fjord at the mouth of Samarinbukta. Hornsund-first Zodiac landing and three hour hike at Sør-Spitsbergen Nasjonal Park (Gnålodden) [#1 on Map]. Sail south to Sørkapp at the southern end of Spitsbergen then northeastward to Edgeøya. Captain's reception and dinner.

    August 03, 2010 (Tuesday)

  • Breakfast at 0700. Sail northeastward to Russehamna (Russebukta area) on the island of Edgeøya (in the northern Storfjorden) [#2 on Map]. No landing because of fog. Birded from top deck and our balcony. Sailed to Freemansundet, a large bay between the islands of Edgeøya and Barentsøya for a 1.5 hour Zodiac (second) landing at Isbjornodden [#3 on Map]. Saw several Svalbard Reindeer off in the distance (scope views). Left landing site because of a nearby Polar Bear (two cracker flares fired near bear). Took short Zodiac ride around bay area. After dinner Zodiac cruise in Freemansundet area near Kapp Lee [#4 on Map]. Enjoyed hot chocolate with mint flavored schnapps from the "Hot Chocolate Zodiac".

    August 04, 2010 (Wednesday)

  • Continued sailing northeastward toward Nordauslandet and the massive Nordauslandet Ice Cap (3rd largest in world). Zodiac cruise near Isispynten (Isisøya) [#5 on Map]. Five Polar Bear sightings. Sail to Kvitøya (White Island) [#6 on Map]. No landing because of fog. After dinner (1900-2030) sail through pack ice northwest of Kvitøya. Saw two Polar Bears on the pack ice.

    August 05, 2010 (Thursday)

  • Reached 80° 54’ north just before 6 AM, furthest north point of voyage. Turned southward towards the island of Storøya. Afternoon Zodiac cruise at Storøya [#7 on Map]. Watched Polar Bears patrolling shore looking for a meal (unguarded young Walrus or a vulnerable adult). Cruised along the Storøya shoreline. Surrounded by Walruses in the water. Sailed in a northwesterly direction from Storøya to north of Phippsøya, the largest of the Sjuøyane islands and then south to Lågøya.

    August 06, 2010 (Friday)

  • In the morning made a Zodiac landing (third) at Lågøya [#8 on Map]. Hiked for approximately 2.5 hours. Sailed northwestward where we saw Minke, Fin and Blue Whales. Later that evening after sailing south to Kapp Fanshawe's dolomite cliffs in the Hinlopen Strait near Lomfjorden [#9 on Map], we observed thousands of nesting seabirds that breed on the cliffs, the most numerous being Brunnich's Guillemot or Thick-billed Murre.

    August 07, 2010 (Saturday)

  • Morning Zodiac cruise in the Liefdefjorden area. Visited the Idabreen and Monacobreen Glaciers [#10 on Map]. Second Zodiac cruise (just Brad and I) to revisit Monacobreen Glacier to see Ivory Gull. Cruised northwest Spitsbergen, and down the west coast past Albert I Land, Haakon VII Land, Prins Karls Forland and then back up the Isfjorden to Longyearbyen.

    August 08, 2010 (Sunday)

  • Arrived in Longyearbyen. Early breakfast aboard ship. Disembarked ship at 0900. Boarded bus for more site-seeing around Longyearbyen. Hospitality room at Radison Blu Hotel for a light snack. Flew to Oslo 1500-1700. Spent night at Radison Blu Airport Hotel.