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- Early Birds 2020/2021
6 days - An arctic adventure to the Norwegian High Arctic.
This summer come on board the MS Nordstjernen to the Arctic. Focusing on the Northwest Spitsbergen National Park, you will experience some extraordinary Arctic landscape, glaciers and bird cliffs.
This voyage on MS Nordstjernen is the essential Spitsbergen adventure. Spend two nights on land and the rest at sea exploring Spitsbergen´s extraordinary Arctic landscape of glaciers and fjords. Scan for magnificent wildlife and we just might see the King of the Arctic; the mighty polar bear.
We encourage our guests to enjoy the crisp, clean air out on deck - watch the Northern Fulmars sailing in the slipstream of the ship or join the interesting landings in small boats with our expert guides who will provide an insight into the areas we visit and share some amazing local stories.
Here, above the Arctic Circle, we will experience the Midnight Sun, with long days and light nights. If we are really lucky, we might just see the King of the Arctic - the Polar Bear.
- Chance of seeing polar bears
- Cross 80° N and come ashore to explore the Arctic wilderness
- Experience the Midnight Sun (until 23. August), giving you 24 hours of daylight to discover Svalbard
- Sail with an expedition team on board the nostalgic MS Nordstjernen
- Weekly departures between 20 May - 09 September 2019 and 18 May - 07 September 2020
- Day 1
- Coal mining history and Arctic nature
- Day 2
- Embark MS Nordstjernen and sail south in Isfjorden to Barentsburg
- Day 3
- Chances of seeing polar bears
- Day 4
- Kongsfjorden and Ny-Ålesund - Fjords, glaciers and research
- Day 5
- Cruising into Isfjorden
- Day 6
- Flying home from the Arctic
- Start/End Place
- Longyearbyen, Svalbard
- Country Visited
- 6 Days
- Group Size
- 60 - 260
Information about MS Nordstjernen:
Constructed in 1956
Operated by Vestland Classic (since 2012)
Length: 80.77 m / Width: 12.6 m / Draft: 6.15 m
Speed: 15 knots
Facilities: dining room, bar, coffee bar, panoramic salon & library
Find out more about the Hurtigruten ships.
- Hurtigruten Expedition in cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis
- Transfer airport to hotel in Longyearbyen
- One hotel night in Longyearbyen before the voyage including breakfast:
- Radisson Blu Polar Hotel when booking A, I, J or N grade cabins
- Coal Miner's Cabin when booking D or E grade cabins
- 3 hours Sightseeing in Longyearbyen incl. Museum and Camp Barentz, ending at the pier
- Transfer ship to hotel in Longyearbyen
- One hotel night in Longyearbyen after the voyage incl. light lunch, dinner and early morning snack
- Transfer hotel to airport in Longyearbyen
- Landings with small boats and activities on board and ashore. All included
- Professional English-speaking Expedition team that gives lectures on shore as well as accompanies landings and activities
- Free coffee and tea
- International flights
- Travel insurance
- Luggage handling
- Optional excursions and gratuities
Day 1 - Coal mining history and Arctic nature
Your adventure starts with an overnight stay in Longyearbyen. This Norwegian settlement is a unique little town. While the arctic environment is dominant, it is also a surprisingly cosmopolitan place, with art galleries, pubs, long wine lists at restaurants, stores and a mini-mall. Longyearbyen is often called an antidote to the stress of modern day life and is a prime destination for adventure travellers.
Reminders of the history and heritage of the island can be seen everywhere. When Coal Mine Number 1 was opened in the 1930’s, the miners survived in flimsy two-story barracks. When World War II ravaged Europe, the area of Svalbard known as Nybyen was set on fire. After the war, the miners moved back and rebuilt the barracks.
For your overnight, you may choose to stay in these barracks, which have now been completely renovated to offer our guests a high standard of comfort. The Coal Miners Cabins are situated about 2 kilometres from the town centre, a nice walk in beautiful surroundings.
Or, you may choose to stay in the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel, the world’s northernmost full-service hotel, located in the heart of Longyearbyen. From your table at Restaurant Nansen you can gaze out on the panoramic view towards the majestic peak of Hiorthfjellet and enjoy an excellent Arctic menu with a good selection of wines. The hotel was completed in March 1995.
Day 2 - Embark MS Nordstjernen and sail south in Isfjorden to Barentsburg
After breakfast, you are invited to a guided sightseeing tour in Longyearbyen that includes visits to the Svalbard Museum and Gallery Svalbard. This fantastic museum is really worth a visit, as it will provide you with a great deal of background information on all that you will come to experience on your expedition. Then its time to embark on the adventure and MS Nordstjernen. We sail south in Isfjorden until we reach the Russian settlement Barentsburg. This “company coal mining town” has been Russian since 1932, and is still home to about 500 people. Here you can explore the exotic collection of old Russian artefacts and architecture, join a folklore show or soak up the real Russian atmosphere in the local pub.
Day 3 - Chances of seeing polar bears
Locally known as the North West Corner, this area, rich with islands, fjords and beaches, has a long history of exploration. In Magdalenefjord, you’ll discover cultural heritage: a whaling station from the 16th century, including a graveyard of whalers who died during the first “oil gold rush”. We arrive in the morning, and will make our first landing to come ashore and explore this wonderful Arctic wilderness. In this beautiful fjord, we might see polar bears, minke whales and bearded seals.
Day 4 - Kongsfjorden and Ny-Ålesund - Fjords, glaciers and research
Kongsfjord is the largest fjord in the Northwest coast of Spitsbergen. It is also known as King’s Bay. We will spend most of the day cruising into a large side fjord called Krossfjord. The landscape varies from large tundra plains to alpine peaks with dramatic glaciers tumbling into the ocean. The inner part of Krossfjord, Lilliehöökfjorden, is strikingly beautiful. Be sure to sight for the peak of Mitra – named for a ‘Mitre’ or a catholic bishop’s hat – located on the northern shore of the entrance to Kongsfjorden.
At the end of the fjord you will see the majestic Kongsbreen (King’s Glacier) with the three characteristic nunataks: Nora, Dana and Svea – named after the three Scandinavian countries. Later we dock at Ny-Ålesund. Situated at 78º 55’ N, this is one of the world’s northernmost year-round communities. Previously a coal mining centre, it is now an advanced High Arctic research station. A number of countries run their own national research stations here, and the activity is particularly high in the summer.
Day 5 - Cruising into Isfjorden
Located in central Spitsbergen, Isfjorden is the most prominent fjord system on Svalbard. We will spend the morning sailing towards Longyearbyen. One of the most noticeable mountains in this area is Alkhornet, where thousands of brünnich’s guillemots nest during the summer season. As we sail into the outer parts of the fjord, the landscape changes. Marvel at the large U-shaped valleys, carved out of the mountains by the giant glaciers that covered the area some ten thousand years ago. After disembarkation in Longyearbyen you have the rest of the day at your disposal. Then there will be a farewell dinner in the hotel in the evening.
Day 6 - Flying home from the Arctic
Your Spitsbergen adventure is over. After transfer to the airport it's time for the flight back home.
Please note the below prices are indicative only, and are per person when sharing a cabin. Hurtigruten prices may fluctuate daily, so please contact us for any specials, early booking rates and/or specific prices for your preferred date of travel. Monday departures listed for 2019 and 2020 - please ask us for details regarding the Thursday departures.
A 5% discount is granted to members of the 1893 Ambassador Program (open to guests who have travelled on the Hurtigruten before).
Please ask us about children's prices.
9 Sep 2019
9 Sep 2019
7 Sep 2020
7 Sep 2020
There are two departures from Longyearbyen - Monday and Thursday, the itinerary changes slightly between the two. The itinerary listed is the Monday version.
- Planned landings will depend on weather and ice conditions.
- We reserve the right to change the scheduled program and itinerary.
- The rental of rubber boots is available on board.
Interactive Tour Map
Practical Information before your Hurtigruten Voyage
Hurtigruten ships are working vessels operating a regular service to a set timetable, as shown in the Hurtigruten brochure and the above detailed itinerary, carrying goods, vehicles and foot passengers between ports, by night and day, as an integral part of Norwegian daily life (some noise may be experienced during docking and loading/unloading). It may very occasionally be necessary to omit or curtail stops due to weather or other conditions. Some stops may be very short and some are at night. As Christmas approaches itineraries may change in order for ships to host dinners and celebrations for local communities. Please ensure you are back onboard by sailing time, especially if the ship has arrived late, as it may leave as scheduled to make up time.
The departure time is advertised at the gangway and vessels are NOT able to wait for passengers who are late. If you miss the ship it is your responsibility to make arrangements to rejoin the voyage at the next possible stop or return home.
This is generally available 24 hours a day serving beverages, sandwiches and a small selection of hot and cold dishes. On some departures the catering service at night will be managed by the reception staff.
If you are travelling by car further information on vehicles and parking at ports is available from Hurtigruten. Access to the vehicle deck is only permitted when the ship is moored.
We accept VISA, American Express, Eurocard, Diners Club and JBC International, plus most currencies. On board MS Lofoten and MS Nordstjernen currently only VISA and Mastercard are accepted.
We recommend that passengers acquire a cruise card to make payments on board. This may be obtained from reception onboard and used to make payments throughout the ship. They accept credit cards or cash as a deposit. You need to get the bill sorted on the last night to be sure it is finalised.
Special diets, such as vegetarian must be ordered well before departure.
All ships, except MS Lofoten have lifts and cabins for disabled guests. People with severe disabilities or who are unable to take care of themselves must be accompanied by a carer.
The ships are licensed to sell drinks onboard, however please note the price of alcohol in Norway due to heavy taxes. The water package can be included into your voyage at a small extra cost
220 V AC 2 pin, and a continental adaptor is required.
Available on all ships except MS Vesterålen and MS Lofoten.
Be sure to bring some swimming attire for the jacuzzi!
All ships, except MS Lofoten, offer internet access via satellite. In most harbours, mobile/cellular networks (3G) are available if bringing your own PC and a mobile access subscription. The wireless coverage varies from ship to ship and will be improved yearly. The passengers have to contact the reception on board for information on how to get access to the internet (free of charge). No internet access in the cabins (except in some suites). Internet cafe (if present), with minimum 2 PCs.
Hurtigruten ships are working vessels operating a regular service to a set schedule, carrying vehicles, cargo and foot passengers by day and night (some noise may be noticed during docking or loading). Some stops are short and/or are during the night. It may occasionally be necessary to omit or curtail visits due to weather/local conditions, and you will be notified of this.
Most ships have laundry facilities with washing machines and tumble dryers, except MS Lofoten. Tokens may be purchased from reception.
A daily baggage service is available in Bergen from the airport and selected city-centre hotels to the Hurtigruten terminal. For groups, luggage handling must be agreed with Hurtigruten prior to travel. This in not included in the price of your voyage.
Meals are served at set times in the restaurant. In high season, times may vary if there are several sittings. A breakfast buffet (open seating) with a wide selection is served 07.30hrs -10.00hrs. A buffet lunch (open seating) with hot and cold dishes and desserts is usually served 12hrs-14.30hrs and a three course set dinner 18.30hrs-21.00hrs. In Bergen a buffet is usually served 18.30hrs-21.30hrs. Exact times are given on board. Tea and coffee facilities are only provided in cabins above U Class. Tea and coffee are available free of charge after lunch and dinner but can be purchased around the clock. Please read our news articles about dining on board Hurtigruten.
It is recommended that pets are not brought on long journeys and special rules apply to the transport of animals; contact us for further information. We do however welcome guide dogs on board.
As there are only short distances between ports there is neither a doctor nor a pharmacy on board.
Most ships have a playroom except MS Lofoten, MS Midnatsol and MS Trollfjord.
Do not forget to bring your binoculars, camera and/or a video camera. Take practical, warm and windproof clothing for going out on deck. Smart, but casual clothes are recommended on board. Good comfortable footwear is vital for excursions.
Souvenirs, knitwear, postcards, DVDs of the journey, stamps and a small supply of toiletries are sold on board.
Smoking is not permitted in cabins or public areas. It is allowed up on the open deck but prohibited at all times when the ships are in port.
For reasons of safety it may sometimes be necessary to keep cabin ventilators/port-holes obscured.
On all ships except MS Vesterålen, MS Nordstjernen and MS Lofoten.
All ships have payphones and a fax machine. There is generally good coverage for mobile phones.
There is a tour leader on board all year round. On some departures this service is managed by reception. External tour leaders (groups) are requested to contact the reception for information on practical details.
We can offer transfers in Bergen, Trondheim and Kirkenes.
There is a safe in reception. Hurtigruten accept no responsibility for valuables and money kept in cabins.
When arriving at night disembarking passengers are woken between half an hour and one hour before arrival.
Temperatures usually vary between 2°C and -10°C in winter. Summer temperatures in northern Norway vary between 10°C and 30°C depending on latitude.
On your final morning of your voyage, be sure to take everything with you when you go for breakfast. The ship gets prepared for the next voyage and your rooms will be cleaned promptly. You may be charged for re-entry.
You can pre-book your optional excursions with us. However, you can also wait until you are onboard and do it then - however, there is a maximum number and they can book out. It is not possible to pre-book within 2 weeks prior to departure. Excursions and their contents are subject to maximum/minimum numbers and weather/local conditions. During quieter months, some excursions may not get the numbers required so please ask us when booking about the minimum numbers needed for each excursion.