Experience the high Arctic summer solstice with an expedition that visits some of the top sites of eastern Spitsbergen. Our goal is to take you to amazing glaciers, fascinating historical sites, bountiful seabird colonies, and sprawling fjord systems in which there is a good chance of spotting whales, seals, and possibly even polar bears.

Day 1Longyearbyen - SpitsbergenLongyearbyen Museum, Embarkation early evening, you might spot a minke whale
Day 2HornsundHornsundtind, expansive fjords, towering mountain peaks, glaciers, cliffs of Sofiakammen, kittiwakes and little auks, possibilty of harp seals on ice floes at Sørkapp
Day 3DiskobuktaWalk to Rosenbergdalen, grazing reindeer, black guillemots, walruses, remains of a 19th-century Pomor house
Day 4FreemansundetLand at Sundneset, on the island of Barentsøya, visit an old German scientific hut, search for Spitsbergen reindeer and barnacle geese and zodiac cruise
Day 5 AgardhfjelletWalk to breeding places for ivory gulls, fossils of belemnites and ammonites
Day 6South SpitsbergenAim to land at the mountain of Stellingfjellet and the bay of Isbukta
Day 7Bell Sund’sFlora, fauna, and haunting history
Day 8LongyearbyenBid your fellow travellers farewell as you disembark in Longyearbyen



The Hondius (176 guests) launched in June 2019. She has an Ice class rating of 6, the most advanced to date. The Hondius offers deluxe accommodations for a total 176 guests. One deck has been entirely reserved for lectures and presentations in one large observation lounge. The ship’s main focus remains discovery, taking advantage of wildlife opportunities and the related shore activities. Efficient zodiac embarkation is guaranteed with two separate gangways and in addition a zodiac embarkation indoor-platform which can also be used for special activities such as kayaking.

Day 1 Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen

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 Hornsund

Quietly cruising the side fjords of the spectacular Hornsund area in southern Spitsbergen and scenery of towering mountain peaks. The mountain of Hornsundtind rises to 1,431 meters, while the peak of Bautaen testifies to why early Dutch explorers gave this island the name Spitsbergen, meaning “pointed mountains.”

With 14 magnificent glaciers in the area we have a fair chance of encountering seals and polar bears. Nearby cliffs of Sofiakammen are home to thousands of pairs of nesting kittiwakes and little auks. Evening time perhaps see thousands of harp seals rutting on ice floes at Sørkapp.

Day 3 Diskobukta


After navigating the drift ice of Storfjorden, where we sometimes see harp seals, we land in northwest Edgeøya at the northern bank of Rosenberdalriver. Here on the raised beach, we have the opportunity of walking to Rosenbergdalen, which is teeming with grazing reindeer.

Afterward we plan to walk by a cliff with nesting black guillemots on our way to Stretehamna, where we often find a herd of walruses on the beach near an octagonal trapper’s cabin built in 1905.

We can also see the remains of a 19th-century Pomor house as well as the bones of walruses hunted in previous centuries.

Day 4 Freemansundet

Sailing into the waterway of Freemansundet, we plan to land at the tundra lowland of Sundneset, on the island of Barentsøya.

Here we will visit the hut of a German scientific expedition (Würzbugerhütte) from sixty years ago, then take a brisk walk across the tundra in search of Spitsbergen reindeer and barnacle geese. After that, we plan to go on a Zodiac cruise near Freeman Glacier and visit a kittiwake colony in a canyon close by.

In case of heavy ice in Freemandundet, however, we will instead sail to Negribreen, one of the most extensive glacier fronts on the east side of Spitsbergen. Here we can take a Zodiac cruise and land on Walrus Island, which became ice-free at the end of last century.

Day 5 Agardhfjellet

Today we sail to the east side of west Spitsbergen (west side of Storfjorden).

Here we plan to walk to breeding places for ivory gulls in Agardhfjellet, which stands about 300 meters (980 feet) high.

The valley leading to the outcrops that house the nests is littered with fossils of belemnites and ammonites.

Day 6 South Spitsbergen

Today we aim to land at the mountain of Stellingfjellet, near the largest colony of Brünnich’s guillemots in Spitsbergen. Later in the day, we will make landings at the rarely visited coast of south Spitsbergen, at the bay of Isbukta.

Day 7 Bell Sund’s

Walrus Spitsbergen Svalbard

We continue our voyage 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, we can explore tundra where reindeer like to feed as well as rock slopes where little auks are breeding.

Day 8 Disembark Longyearbyen

Longyearbyen Spitsbergen Svalbard

Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. Disembark in the morning in Longyearbyen, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

To book this cruise contact us on 1300 784 794 or email: contact@arctictravelcentre.com.au

We will tailor the perfect holiday to suit your needs.