Around Spitsbergen, In the Realm of Polar Bear & Ice (Hondius)

Around Spitsbergen, In the Realm of Polar Bear & Ice (Hondius)

From USD $5,050


Take a cruise around Spitsbergen and explore the icy waters of the North Atlantic. This special expedition offers you the chance to catch site of whales, reindeer, Arctic foxes, walruses, seals, and the star attraction, the polar bear.

Trip Name
Around Spitsbergen, In the Realm of Polar Bear & Ice (Hondius)
Vessel Type: Polar Class Expedition Ship Length: 107.6 metres Passenger Capacity: 170 Built: 2019 Hondius is the first-registered Polar Class 6 vessel in the world, meeting the latest and highest Lloyd’s Register demands for ice-strengthened cruise vessels. Hondius also exceeds the requirements of the Polar Code as adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), allowing you to enjoy the polar regions as much as possible while impacting them as little as possible. Upon completion, Hondius will be the most flexible, advanced, innovative ice-strengthened vessel in the polar regions. It is optimized for exploratory voyages that provide you the utmost first-hand contact with the Arctic and Antarctica. Hondius offers high-quality accommodation for 170 passengers in six grand suites with balconies (27 square meters, 291 square feet), eight junior suites (19 to 20 square meters, 205 to 215 square feet), eight superior cabins (20 to 21 square meters, 215 to 226 square feet), 11 twin deluxe cabins, (19 to 21 square meters, 205 to 226 square feet), 14 twin window cabins (12 to 14 square meters, 129 to 151 square feet) as well as 28 twin porthole cabins, two triple porthole cabins, and four quadruple porthole cabins that vary in size from 12 to 18 square meters, or 129 to 194 square feet. The passenger capacity certificate for Hondius is 196 persons. One deck consists of a large observation lounge and separate lecture room, which are reserved for a wide variety of interactive workshops, exhibitions, and performances particular to Hondius. Though elegantly designed in stylish mid-century modern décor, this vessel holds true to Oceanwide’s distinctive cozy and informal atmosphere.  It is our philosophy to keep sea time short so that we can focus instead on fast, effective access to shore and near-shore activities. To give you the maximum contact with the nature and wildlife you traveled so far to see, we employ a tough fleet of rigid-hull inflatable Zodiac boats that guarantee swift and safe landing operations for the passengers. Hondius has two separate gangways and a sheltered indoor Zodiac embarkation platform that can also be used for special outdoor activities, such as kayaking.   Our top priority is taking advantage of every wildlife and terrain opportunity as it occurs. To keep our itineraries flexible itineraries and our response time rapid, Hondius is equipped with advanced stabilizers and two main engines capable of powering the vessel up to 15 knots. But Hondius sacrifices no warmth to achieve its keen polar edge: You will have 72 crew and staff members (including expedition and hotel staff) at your service while on board, ensuring that what little time you do spend on the ship you will spend comfortably entertained.


Day 1 - Day 1: Largest town, biggest island
You touch down in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Enjoy strolling around this former mining town, whose parish church and Svalbard Museum make for fascinating attractions. Though the countryside appears stark, more than a hundred species of plant have been recorded in it. In the early evening the ship sails out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of your voyage.
Day 2 - Day 2: Cruising Krossfjorden
Heading north along the west coast, you arrive by morning in Krossfjorden. Here you might board the Zodiacs for a cruise near the towering blue-white face of the Fourteenth of July Glacier. On the green slopes near the glacier, colorful flowers bloom while flocks of kittiwakes and Brünnich’s guillemots nest on the cliffs. You have a good chance of spotting an Arctic fox scouting for fallen chicks, or a bearded seal paddling through the fjord.In the afternoon you sail to Ny Ålesund, the northernmost settlement on Earth. Once a mining village served by the world’s most northerly railway – you can still see its tracks – Ny Ålesund is now a research center. Close to the community is a breeding ground for barnacle geese, pink-footed geese, and Arctic terns. And if you’re interested in the history of Arctic exploration, visit the anchoring mast used by polar explorers Amundsen and Nobile in their airships, Norge (1926) and Italia (1928).
Day 3 - Day 3: The massive Monaco Glacier
Depending on the weather, you could sail into Liefdefjorden and cruise within sight of the 5-kilometer-long (3.1 miles) face of the precipitous Monaco Glacier. The waters in front of this glacier are a favorite feeding spot for thousands of kittiwakes, and the base of the ice is a popular polar bear hunting ground. If ice conditions prevent sailing here early in the season, an alternate route along the west coast of Spitsbergen can be implemented.
Day 4 - Day 4 – 5: Stop at the Seven Islands
The northernmost point of your voyage may be north of Nordaustlandet, in the Seven Islands. Here you reach 80° north, just 870 km (540 miles) from the geographic North Pole. Polar bears inhabit this region, so the ship may park for several hours among the pack ice before wheeling around west again.When the edge of this sea ice is tens of miles north of the Seven Islands (mostly in August), you can spend a second day in this area. Alternatively (mostly in July) you may turn to Sorgfjord, where you have the chance to find a herd of walruses not far from the graves of 17th-century whalers. A nature walk here can bring you close to families of ptarmigans, and the opposite side of the fjord is also a beautiful area for an excursion.
Day 5 - Day 6: Highlights of Hinlopen
Today you sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to bearded and ringed seals as well as polar bears. At the entrance there is even the possibility to spot blue whales. As with Liefdefjorden, you can take an alternate west Spitsbergen route if ice prevents entry into Hinlopen. After cruising among the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in the Zodiacs, you then view the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with their thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots. On the east side of Hinlopen Strait, you may attempt a landing where reindeer, pink-footed geese, and walruses are likely sights. Near Torrelneset you can also visit the polar desert of Nordaustlandet, next to the world’s third-largest ice cap. Here you may encounter walruses during a coastline hike over the area’s raised beaches.
Day 6 - Day 7: Barentsøya’s many bounties
The plan is to make landings in Freemansundet, though polar bears sometimes make this impossible. Potential stops on Barentsøya include Sundneset (for an old trapper’s hut), Kapp Waldburg (for its kittiwake colony), and Rindedalen (for a walk across the tundra). You might also cruise south to Diskobukta, though Kapp Lee is more likely your destination. On Kapp Lee is a walrus haul-out, Pomor ruins, and the chance for hikes along Edgeøya.
Day 7 - Day 8: Land of the Pointed Mountains
You start the day by cruising the side fjords of the Hornsund area of southern Spitsbergen, taking in the spire-like peaks: Hornsundtind rises 1,431 meters (4,695 feet), and Bautaen is a perfect illustration of why early Dutch explorers named this island Spitsbergen, meaning “pointed mountains.” There are 14 sizable glaciers in this area as well as opportunities for spotting seals, beluga whales, and polar bears.
Day 8 - Day 9: Bell Sund’s flora, fauna, and haunting history
Today you find yourself in Bell Sund, one of the largest fjord systems in Svalbard. The ocean currents make this area slightly warmer than other areas in the archipelago, which shows in the relatively lush vegetation. Here there are excellent opportunities to enjoy both history and wildlife. A possibility is Ahlstrandhalvøya, at the mouth of Van Keulenfjorden, where piles of beluga skeletons can be found. These remains of 19th-century whale slaughter are a haunting reminder of the consequences of rampant exploitation. Fortunately, belugas were not hunted into extinction, and you have a good chance of coming across a pod. Alternately, while cruising the side fjords of Bellsund, you can explore tundra where reindeer like to feed as well as rock slopes where little auks are breeding.
Day 9 - Day 10: There and back again
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. You disembark in Longyearbyen, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.
Day 10 - Please Note:
The chances that we can complete a full Spitsbergen circumnavigation (based on our experiences from 1992 – 2018) are about 30% in the first half of July, 70% in the second half, 90% in the first half of August, and 95% in the second half. In case we cannot complete a full circumnavigation, we may devise a program in northeast or southeast Spitsbergen. All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions and in order to take advantage of opportunities to see wildlife. The on-board expedition leader determines the final itinerary. Itineraries may mention places that require permission to land, which must be granted by the relevant national authorities. Such permission is not granted prior to the publishing of these itineraries. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. The average cruising speed for m/v Hondius is 10.5 knots.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
24-06-202003-07-2020USD $5,050Quadruple Porthole
24-06-202003-07-2020USD $6,350Triple Porthole
24-06-202003-07-2020USD $7,400Twin Porthole
24-06-202003-07-2020USD $7,900Twin Window
24-06-202003-07-2020USD $8,450Twin Deluxe
24-06-202003-07-2020USD $9,500Superior
24-06-202003-07-2020USD $10,200Junior Suite
24-06-202003-07-2020USD $11,700Grand Suite With Private Balcony
24-06-202003-07-2020USD $13,500Hondius Suite
07-07-202116-07-2021USD $6,300Triple Porthole
07-07-202116-07-2021USD $7,350Twin Porthole
07-07-202116-07-2021USD $7,950Twin Window
07-07-202116-07-2021USD $8,500Twin Deluxe
07-07-202116-07-2021USD $9,500Superior
07-07-202116-07-2021USD $10,200Junior Suite
07-07-202116-07-2021USD $11,750Grand Suite With Private Balcony
07-07-202116-07-2021USD $5,150Quadruple Porthole
16-07-202125-07-2021USD $5,150Quadruple Porthole
16-07-202125-07-2021USD $6,300Triple Porthole
16-07-202125-07-2021USD $7,350Twin Porthole
16-07-202125-07-2021USD $7,950Twin Window
16-07-202125-07-2021USD $8,500Twin Deluxe
16-07-202125-07-2021USD $9,500Superior
16-07-202125-07-2021USD $10,200Junior Suite
16-07-202125-07-2021USD $11,750Grand Suite With Private Balcony
25-07-202103-08-2021USD $5,150Quadruple Porthole
25-07-202103-08-2021USD $6,300Triple Porthole
25-07-202103-08-2021USD $7,350Twin Porthole
25-07-202103-08-2021USD $7,950Twin Window
25-07-202103-08-2021USD $8,500Twin Deluxe
25-07-202103-08-2021USD $9,500Superior
25-07-202103-08-2021USD $10,200Junior Suite
25-07-202103-08-2021USD $11,750Grand Suite With Private Balcony
03-08-202112-08-2021USD $5,150Quadruple Porthole
03-08-202112-08-2021USD $6,300Triple Porthole
03-08-202112-08-2021USD $7,350Twin Porthole
03-08-202112-08-2021USD $7,950Twin Window
03-08-202112-08-2021USD $8,500Twin Deluxe
03-08-202112-08-2021USD $9,500Superior
03-08-202112-08-2021USD $10,200Junior Suite
03-08-202112-08-2021USD $11,750Grand Suite With Private Balcony


    • Brünnich's Guillemot
    • Diskobukta
    • Hornsund
    • Kittiwake
    • Monacobreen
    • Polar Bear
    • Sjuøyane
    • Snowshoeing
    • The Bird Cliffs of Alkefjellet
    • Walrus
    • Zodiac Cruising & Shore program