Day 1Aberdeen, ScotlandExplore the sites of the Granite City
Day 2Fair IsleBirds, seals and world-famous knits
Days 3 - 4At SeaWatch for minke, fin, orca and blue whales
Day 5Jan MayenMt. Beerenberg, whaling station, glaciers
Days 6 - 8At SeaKeep an eye out for bowhead whales, harp seals, polar bears and seabirds
Day 9SpitsbergenForlandsundet, St Johns Fjord, walrus, seabirds, arctic foxes, reindeer
Day 10LongyearbyenStroll around this former mining town, church, Svalbard Museum
Days 11 - 16North SpitsbergenNatural beauty, pack ice, glaciers, polar bears, seabird colonies, whales
Day 17LongyearbyenDisembark in the early morning

Ship Offering This Itinerary

Hondius Antarctica landscape

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.


The Plancius accommodates up to 108 passengers in 53 passenger cabins all with private ammenities. Built in 1976 as an oceanographic research vessel for the Royal Dutch Navy, she sailed for the Navy until 2004 when she was used as an expedition vessel. Offering a restaurant/lecture room on deck 3, a spacious observation lounge with large windows and a bar on deck 5 and a library on deck 5there is no shortage of places to relax. There are large open deck spaces on the Plancius, especially on Deck 4 with full walk-around possibilities for optimal wildlife spotting and enjoying the scenery. The Plancius carries 10 Mark V zodiacs, with 40 HP 4-stroke outboard engines and 2 gangways on the starboard side, guaranteeing a swift zodiac operation. Whilst the Plancius is comfortable and well equipped, the focus is on spending as much time on shore as possible.

Day 1 Aberdeen, Scotland

Arrive in Aberdeen, the Granite City, frequent winner of the Britain in Bloom competition. Several cetaceans, including orcas (killer whales), are native to these seas. To the south, you see the lighthouse on Girdle Ness that was designed by the grandfather of Robert Louis Stevenson, the famed Scottish writer who gave us such classics as Treasure Island and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Embark the ship.

Day 2 Fair Isle

Plan to stay the day on Fair Isle, an island in the Shetlands whose seventy-odd inhabitants are known for their beautiful knitwear. This is a fantastic location with accessible seabird breeding grounds, and you may even spot grey seals.

Days 3 – 4 At Sea

You sail north to the Norwegian island of Jan Mayen, 300 nautical miles northeast of Iceland. Your two days at sea do not pass idly, however. Keep a close lookout for any spouts of water from the surrounding seas, heralding the arrival of a minke, fin, orca, or blue whale.

Day 5 Jan Mayen

Jan Mayen

Jan Mayen is a stark volcanic island crowned by the snow-capped summit of Mt. Beerenberg. From the slopes of this imposing 2,300-meter-high volcano, broken glaciers grasp out into the frigid sea. With permission from the Norwegian authorities, you can now visit the weather station. You can also walk to the remains of a 17th-century Dutch whaling station amid the thick moss beds of this stark volcanic landscape.

Days 6 – 8 At Sea

Long Finned Pilot Whales

Basking in the midnight sun, you sail north along the edge of the sea ice in search of bowhead whales, harp seals, polar bears, and a variety of seabirds. You then change direction after about 79° north, cutting west to the rocky edges of the continental shelf of west Spitsbergen. Here you have a good chance of seeing fin whales and – near the glacial mouths of the gaping Spitsbergen fjords – surfacing minke whales.

Day 9 Spitsbergen


Forlandsundet, between the main island of Spitsbergen and the narrow Prins Karls Forland, is a place of great beauty and fascinating wildlife. Walruses sometimes haul out here.  Alternatively, you might sail into St. Johns Fjord or head south to the mouth of Isfjorden, landing at Alkhornet. Seabirds nest on these cliffs, Arctic foxes search below for fallen eggs and chicks, and reindeer graze the sparse vegetation.

Day 10 Longyearbyen


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 a minke whale.

Day 11 – 16 North Spitsbergen

Polar Bear in Spitsbergen, Svalbard
Arctic Fox

This voyage will take you into the pack ice and along the remote shorelines of rugged north Spitsbergen. Places we might visit include the following:

Raudfjord: On the north coast of Spitsbergen, you can enjoy this expansive fjord spilling with glaciers – and maybe even visited by ringed and bearded seals. The cliffs and shoreline also support thriving seabird colonies, rich vegetation, and the possibility of polar bears.

Monaco Glacier: You could sail into Liefdefjorden, land at Texas Bar and cruise within sight of the 5-kilometer-long (3.1 miles) face of Monaco Glacier. The waters in front of this precipitous glacier are a favorite feeding spot for thousands of kittiwakes, and the base of the ice is a popular polar bear hunting ground.

Highlights of Hinlopen: Home to bearded seals, ringed seals, and polar bears. At the entrance, there is even the possibility to spot blue whales. After cruising among the ice floes of Lomfjord in the Zodiacs, you can 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 on Nordaustlandet. Here you may see reindeer, pink-footed geese, and walruses.

The Seven Islands: The northernmost point of the voyage may be north of Nordaustlandet at Chermsideøya or Phippsøya, in the Seven Islands. Here, you may 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.

Sailing the continental shelf: While retracing your route west, keep watch for polar bears and elusive Greenland (bowhead) whales. About 40 nautical miles west of Spitsbergen, we sail the edge of the continental shelf. Here fin whales forage during the summer in the upwelling zones (where cold, nutrient-rich water wells up from below the sea’s surface) that run along the Spitsbergen banks. At the mouth of Kongsfjorden, you have a good chance of sighting minke whales.

Forlandsundet, St. Johns Fjord, or Alkhornet: Walruses sometimes haul out in Forlandsundet at Sarstangen or Poolepynten. Alternatively, we might sail into St. Johns Fjord or south to the mouth of Isfjorden, landing at Alkhornet. Seabirds nest on these cliffs, Arctic foxes search below for fallen eggs and chicks, and reindeer graze the sparse vegetation.

Day 17 Longyearbyen


Even great adventures must eventually come to an end. The vessel arrives back in Longyearbyen in the early morning, and bus transportation to the airport will be provided.

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

We will tailor the perfect holiday to suit your needs.