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National Geographic and PONANT announce new partnership

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Polynesian Paradise with Aranui 5

ARANUI 5 MAg

"As seen in Choice Magazine - July 2018 - this article offers an in depth review of the stunning Aranui 5- part cargo ship part cruise ship!"

CRUISE AWARDS 2018

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Life in the Slow Lane with the Gota Canal Steamship Company

quirkycruise sweden gota canal

Read The Telegraph's feature on cruising in Croatia

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Luxury yacht cruises in 2019 & 2020

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Danube, Rhine, Rhône and Saône 2019 Cruises

Amadeus 2017 cruises
We have a range of cruises on the Danube, Rhine, Rhône and Saône in 2019, aboard the state-of-the-art fleet owned by Amadeus. Cruise through Lyon, Amsterdam, and other scenic routes in true comfort and style. Click here for more info!

Croatian Cruises in 2019 & 2020

Croatian Cruise

We have a wide variety of special interest cruises in Croatian next year. Call us or click here for more info.

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Hondius

North Spitsbergen Polar Bear and Pack Ice Special

Hondius is the first-registered Polar Class 6 vessel in the world, optimized for the most innovative exploratory voyages throughout the Arctic and Antarctica. The main focus of the ship's design revolves around discovery, taking advantage of wildlife opportunities and the related shore activities. A swift zodiac embarkation is guaranteed with two separate gangways and in addition a zodiac embarkation indoor-platform which can also be used for special outdoor activities such as kayaking. The vessel can carry up to 174 passengers accommodated in contemporary designed cabins and suites. Its distinctive informal cozy public areas include a dining room, and a large observation lounge and bar area. The adjoining lecture room will be reserved for a wide variety of interactive workshops and exhibitions.

 

Info

 

Embark

Embark the ship in Longyearbyen.

Day 1: Longyearbyen

Arrive in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of the Spitsbergen archipelago. Before embarking take the opportunity to stroll around this former mining town, whose parish church and Polar Museum are well worth visiting. In the early evening the ship will sail out of Isfjorden.

Day 2: Route to Raudfjorden

Today the ship sails to Raudfjord on the north coast of West Spitsbergen, a beautiful fjord dominated by spectacular glaciers and favoured by ringed and bearded seals. The cliffs and shoreline of the fjord also support flourishing seabird colonies and a surprisingly rich vegetation, which thrives in the more sheltered spots. Polar bear are often seen here too.

Day 3: Monaco Glacier

Depending on the weather, the ship could sail into Liefdefjorden and cruise within sight of the 5-kilometer-long 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: Hinlopen

Today the ship sails into Hinlopen Strait, 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 Lomfjordshalvøya 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 reindeer, pink-footed geese, and walruses are likely sights. You can take an alternate route if ice prevents entry into Hinlopen.

Day 5: 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.

Day 6: 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, you 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.

Day 7: Forlandsundet

Walruses sometimes haul out in Forlandsundet, your next stop. Alternatively, you 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. You arrive in Longyearbyen later at night.

Day 8: Longyearbyen

Your journey ends back in Longyearbyen where you will disembark the ship.

Disembark

Disembark the ship in Longyearbyen.

Includes

  • 7 nights' accommodation on board the Hondius
  • All meals on board
  • Snacks, coffee and tea
  • All shore excursions and activities by Zodiac
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes
  • Programme of lectures by naturalists and experienced expedition staff
  • Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen - please request details when you make your reservation
  • Fuel surcharges, where applicable, are shown separately on the website and will be charged at the time of reservation
  • AECO fees and governmental taxes

Excludes

  • International flights and transfers
  • Drinks on board, other than those mentioned above
  • Tips and personal expenses
  • Personal Insurance
  • Passport and visa expenses
  • Optional activities
 

Sailing dates