Adventure Associates is thrilled to be chartering the charming 12 passenger vessel M/S Sjøveien. We invite you to join us on one of these unique expeditions to the jewel of the Arctic.
Svalbard is teeming with life for only a few months of the year, during the Arctic summer. Armed with our “secret weapon” M/S Sjøveien and 24 hours of daylight, just imagine – with a ship like this, we can go to places and see things that bigger ships will never do! Her compact size, shallow draft and only twelve guests on board, we will have the advantage of great flexibility, the perfect recipe for an amazing adventure.
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Longyearbyen – Spitsbergen (Svalbard)|
8 July 2023 – 19 July 2023 Fully Booked
18 July 2023 – 29 July 2023 places still available
Special for Solo Traveller’s, own cabin at the Twin Share rate on 18 July 2023 departure!
12 days/11 nights
|PRICES per person||
Prices for 2023
US$10,490 Twin share lower deck
|GROUP SIZE||12 Guests only|
On arrival in Longyearbyen, you will be met and transferred to Basecamp Hotel for 1 night’s accommodation with breakfast. A MODERN TRAPPER´S HOTEL In the centre of Longyearbyen lies the home of the modern-day arctic trappers. The hotel is decorated in authentic trappers style down to the very last detail.
Day in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of the Svalbard archipelago of which Spitsbergen is the largest island. Please take the opportunity to stroll around this former mining town before embarkation. The Parish Church and Polar Museum are well worth a visit. In the early evening after boarding we will head out into Isfjorden, escorted by northern fulmar and Atlantic puffins. During the night we sail northwards through Forlandsundet, a narrow body of water between Prins Karls Forland and Spitsbergen. B,D
In the morning we will make our first excursion in the Northwest corner of Spitsbergen. We will navigate the narrows of Fuglefjorden and explore the labyrinth of tiny islands set amongst towering peaks and glaciers. Little auks and Atlantic puffins can often be seen flying around as we cruise these tranquil waters. Later we sail 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 Raudfjord also support thriving seabird colonies and a surprisingly rich vegetation flourishes in some sheltered places. B,L,D
Woodfjorden – Liefdefjorden
Over night we sail into Woodfjorden and towards the mouth of Liefdefjorden to explore the islands of Andøyane. Many common eiders, pink-footed and barnacle geese nest here along with the rare King eider. We hope to sail into Liefdefjorden, cruising along the 5km long face of the impressive Monaco Glacier. The waters of the glacier front are a favourite feeding spot for thousands of kittiwakes, northern fulmar, ivory gulls, Arctic terns and on previous voyages we have seen Polar bears in this area. This is a wonderful setting for photography.
Alkefjellet – Lomfjord
Today we may be in the Hinlopen Strait, keeping an ever-watchful eye out for whales, seals, walrus and Polar bears. We plan to cruise the towering dolerite bird cliffs of Alkefjellet, home to hundreds of thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots and a place that provides a free meal of eggs to cunning Arctic fox families! On the western side of Hinlopen Strait, we will attempt a landing in Lomfjorden. This is a good place to stretch the legs and explore the beautiful surroundings. We might see reindeer, Arctic fox and Ptarmigan and walk across an exquisite tundra garden of many floral species, including varieties of saxifrages, Arctic bell-heather, moss campions and hairy lousewort.
Sjuøyane – Phippsøya
In the morning we sail via Lagøya, a known haul-out place for walrus. Encountering a walrus haul-out is a moment you won’t forget! These lumbering giants of the Arctic create a chaotic scene, as each walrus vies for the best spot on the beach. Later we will reach our northernmost point at Phippsøya, in the Seven Islands (Sjuøyane) north of Nordaustlandet. Here we will be above 81 degrees north, just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole. Polar bears inhabit this region, along with the walrus. We may cruise through the pack-ice for several hours hoping to spot a Polar bear and other wildlife.
Depending on the ice situation, we will try to head south-east to explore one of the deep fjords at the top of Nordaustlandet. It is the second largest island in the archipelago and is covered by the world’s third largest ice sheet. This polar desert is an eroded landscape, carved by severe frost and glacial activity over several ice ages. It is a geologists paradise rich in fossils.
Retracing our route westwards, we plan to sail through and along the pack-ice edge, always on the watch for the mighty Polar bear, seals and other wildlife. Keep an eye out for the rare Greenland (bowhead) whale.
We sail into St. Johns Fjord, or head further south to the mouth of Isfjorden and land at Alkhornet. Here there are seabirds nesting on cliffs with Arctic foxes searching the base for fallen eggs and chicks. Meanwhile we hope to see Svalbard reindeer grazing on the relatively luxuriant vegetation. B,L,D
We arrive in Longyearbyen, disembark, join our flights south to Oslo and thence home. B
Expedition Leader & Naturalist
Gary’s love of the polar regions began over 45 years ago when he first travelled to the Arctic to study polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba for his MA in Zoology. He also studied bowhead whales and grey whales in Alaska and Mexico and then desert bighorn sheep in Arizona for a PhD in Ecology. His life moved south when in 1986 he began research on Antarctic penguins and skuas. Starting with 6 summers of research on Ross Island, he’s visited Antarctica in 33 of the past 37 years–including 10 summers and a winter at research stations studying South Polar Skuas and Adelie, Gentoo, Chinstrap, Royal, King and Emperor Penguins. For the past 30 years Gary has split his time between research and ship-based tours where he enjoys sharing his knowledge, enthusiasm and experience with passengers from all over the world.
Returning to the Arctic in the early 1990s, Gary has led tours to polar bear watching in Canada and 20 seasons in Svalbard and East Greenland exploring the high arctic. His love of the wildlife, the landscape and the environment are apparent in his enthusiasm for and knowledge of the Arctic. Gary is one of the most experienced Expedition Leaders/naturalist/guides working in the Arctic today.
Naturalist & Guide
Sue graduated as a veterinary nurse before embarking on a more adventurous life as a professional outdoor guide mainly specialising in the Polar regions. Sue first ventured to the Arctic in 1997 on the Kapitan Klebnikov, completing the Northwest passage, High Canadian Arctic and was part of the first-ever circumnavigation of Baffin Island. Since then Sue has returned to the high Arctic latitudes every year and has spent a winter working in Svalbard as a dog handler and dog sled guide. Sue has a great passion for the Polar regions with a keen interest in the flora and fauna of the High Arctic. Sue will introduce you to some of the best places the Arctic has to offer. In January, 2015, Sue purchased Adventure Associates and continues to plan even more exciting journeys to remote destinations.
M/S Sjøveien (meaning the Seaway) was built in Bergen in 1964 for the Norwegian Government and she worked for them in various capacities. From 1979 until 1995 she was used as a training ship for mariners. Since 1995 she has been in private ownership and during the many years since, worked for the Norwegian coast guard. After being a hotel ship for the past few years, she has now been refurbished into a classic and exclusive passenger ship and started her career in Svalbard the summer of 2017.
She is a true beauty with wooden decks and vintage details. There is a lot of deck space on the main deck and there is also an excellent area on top of the bridge, from where you have wonderful views of the magical Svalbard scenery.
To accommodate a maximum of 12 passengers there are eight outside cabins, all with private facilities. On the lower deck there are four twin cabins with portholes. On the main deck there are two larger twin cabins with windows and one large superior cabin with a double bed and windows. The eighth cabin is located on the upper deck and is a large superior cabin with windows. The dining area on the main deck is where you are served breakfast, lunch and dinner. Here is also a lounge area where you can relax with a cup of tea or coffee and listen to interesting talks by the guides. There is an international crew on board who speak English and the bridge is open for visitors.
|2||10.5 M² (113FT²)||PORTHOLES|
|Averaging 10.5 square metres/113 square feet, these Twin cabins are located on the Lower Deck and have two cosy twin beds, a desk and chair plus wardrobe and private ensuite facilities|
|2||11.6 M² (148 FT²)||WINDOWS|
|Averaging 11.6 square metres/148 square feet, these Twin Plus cabins are located on the Main Deck and have two twin beds, a desk and chair plus wardrobe and private ensuite facilities.|
|2||16.4 M² (179 FT²)||FORWARD WINDOW|
|Averaging 16.4 square metres/179 square feet, this cabin is located on the Main Deck. It features a Queen Size bed with private ensuite facilities, forward & side windows, two wardrobes, desk and chairs..|
|2||15 M² (162 FT²)||WINDOWS|
|Averaging 15 square metres/162 square feet, this cabin is located on the Upper Deck. It features a Queen Size bed with private ensuite|
How to Book
To ensure your place on this exciting adventure, please contact us to reserve a place 02 6355 2022 or , then complete the Adventure Associates Booking Form and return to us with your USD 2500 per person deposit.
|Deposit required per person:||US$2500 per person|
|Balance due:||90 days prior to departure|
|If booking within 89 days of departure:||Full payment must be made.|
Reservations are established when you receive written confirmation and acceptance of the deposit and Booking Form. Travel insurance is strongly recommended at the time of booking.
Cancellations must be advised in writing to Adventure Associates. Cancellation charges are subject to regulations of airlines, coach and tour operators, hotels and other principals involved. If it is necessary to cancel your arrangements, the following non-refundable charges will apply.
|More than 150 days prior to departure||US$1000 per person|
|Between 149 and 90 days prior to departure||Full loss of deposit per person|
|Between 89 and 76 days prior to departure||75% of tour cost per person|
|On or within 75 days prior to departure||No Refund|
If the cancellation charge is more than your advance payment you remain liable for the difference. For these and other reasons mentioned above you are strongly recommended to take out Travel Insurance. Once the tour has departed there will be no refund for any unused portions of the trip.
Thanks again to Sue and Henrik and the M/S Sjoveien (our home for 10 days as Sue says) the Captain and all the crew and you who made our trip together so memorable and enjoyable … (and the 5 arctic fox puppies on the last day!!).
Hi Sue – hope you have settled back at home and all is well. I have just sent a letter to Traveller at The Sydney Morning Herald (below) – hard to get published but I want them to know what a brilliant trip you organised and how much enjoyed it but also to you and Henrik for being such wonderful hosts – I felt looked after from start to finish and it was such a joy to be part of the group. It is hard to get my head back into being home as so man things seem irrelevant having been away in the Arctic environment. But I especially want to thank you for looking after me – it can’t be easy trying to manage everybody’s needs but you did it so capably and with such good humour. It was lovely having Margaret there too – now the task is to sort through all the photos which will take me some time but nice to have that record especially from John. Anyway I just wanted to add my special thanks to you both. It was brilliant. Love, Vicky
It was the combination of breath-taking scenery, cold and wilderness outside and the warmth and intimacy of life on ship that made this trip so special.
We felt looked after at all times ,without being “managed”; there was always help available with physical challenges, and we were kept involved and informed with daily briefings on routes, destinations, weather patterns, history and wildlife. A disparate group of voyagers were gently brought together into a unified group all looking out for each other.
We never had the feeling that the expedition leaders “knew it all” while we were just the passengers. Sue and Henrik shared our excitement at each polar bear sighting or each spectacular calving from a glacier, as for them too there were new experiences in this ever changing wilderness. Perhaps the best times were drifting close to cliffs teeming with nesting birds, nudging gently at small blue icebergs, and hearing only the sound of birdcalls and the gentle popping of bubbles in the ice and cracks and rumbles from constantly moving glaciers. A time of deep calm and wonder.
Meals were taken together around a long table, with Thomas the chef ritually poking his head out of the servery to describe his special menu of the day. Food was fresh plentiful and imaginative and served with simple charm.
The crew were very much part of our experience, from the captain who welcomed us to the bridge whenever we liked, the young women who kept us fed and comfortable, the sturdy seamen who managed the Zodiacs and helped us on and off for our landings. Even when the sea was tossing we could be sure of a firm safe hand.
The variety of landscape and wildlife was astonishing. One day we would walk on grassy boggy tundra with tiny vibrant arctic flowers, reindeer and Arctic foxes. Another landing would be on a rocky promontory where a large group of walruses lay on each other grunting and snorting, occasionally lumbering into the sea. If we waited quietly they would get inquisitive and swim right up close.
We had too a variety of experiences: apart from gazing at the stark beauty of glaciers and sea ice, we visited whalers’ huts, sites of expeditions and abandoned mines, learning about the history of this archipelago where men have been lured by wilderness for centuries and striven to make their fortunes.
I cannot recommend a Svalbard adventure with Henrik and Sue too highly. Age is no object – we ranged from 20s to 80s. The ship is extremely comfortable. The destination a wondrous gift.
Svalbard. Stunningly beautiful, stark, treeless landscapes, glaciers, ice sheets, all making for spectacular scenery. And then there’s the wildlife. Some scenes straight out of a David Attenborough documentary, bird cliffs with populations in excess of 100,000 individuals, mobs of walrus, Arctic foxes, seals, reindeer and, of course, polar bears. Who could ask for more?
Travelling on Sjøveien was the perfect way to see Svalbard, comfortable, friendly and with all the benefits of a small ship and a small group. Capable of getting to places the large cruise ship owners could only dream about, and with highly competent and friendly crew, we were very privileged. Did I mention the food? Great meals every time, thank you Thomas.
Tour guides Henrik and Sue were outstanding, extremely knowledgeable and communicative, friendly and helpful when it was needed, without being overbearing and always willing to share their knowledge.
There was another positive. Once away from the main population centres we had the place almost to ourselves, rarely seeing another ship or person, wonderful! The remote Arctic as it should be. My only regret was that with 24 hours of daylight there were times when I had to sleep and couldn’t be outside!
Many thanks Henrik, Sue and Sjøveien Crew, I will never forget my time in Svalbard. Definitely highly recommended.
Having worked and travelled on countless ships doing voyages to remote places on earth. I would rate this voyage as one of the best! It was absolutely marvellous to have the opportunity to enjoy the Arctic on board such a small vessel with only 12 passengers. We all got on like a house on fire, embarking and disembarking for a landing was a breeze, but the best part was we had only 6 people in each huge Zodiac. The crew did an excellent job, the chef kept us extremely happy and the experience and knowledge of our Leaders, Henrik Løvendahl and Sue Werner was the icing on the cake.
I can’t recommend this voyage highly enough. If you want to visit Svalbard then book a voyage with Adventure Associates on board M/S Sjøveien.
I have been very fortunate in having many travel opportunities and not least of all the Svalbard Archipelago with Adventure Associates. This amazing adventure was truly packed with all you would wish for; from spectacular scenery, fascinating wildlife and the coziness of a small ship which also enabled one to navigate where larger vessels couldn’t venture. I can still hear the walrus frolicking and talking to each other under the water – so many wonderful memories. Many many thanks to the Tour Guides Henrik & Sue and the Sjøveien Crew. If it wasn’t for my thirst to see somewhere not yet ventured I would love to experience this trip again – perhaps next year!
From beginning to end, an amazing and wonderful trip. It’s rare to meet a company and guides who are so dedicated to giving their clients the best experience possible. Sue and Henrik are passionate about the Arctic and it shows. They are also extremely knowledgeable and experienced – and an absolute joy to spend 11 days with. I have not one single complaint. MS Sjøveien was a very comfortable, lovely boat to travel on. I believe that Thomas’ cooking is legendary at this point – for good reason – and the staff was kind, thoughtful and good humored throughout. I have only great things to say about this cruise and company! Would I recommend this trip? I already have! And will continue to do so because it stands out from all the others.
Our most amazing and spectacular travel experience ever! It’s been an unconditional pleasure participating in the Svalbard adventure. It was not a single or a few specific events that made the trip; not the climbing polar bear right in front of us; not the majestic glaciers, rumbling and calving, in front of which we spent hours in the zodiacs – freezing, yet not wanting to leave; not the spectacular whale sightings; it was not waking up in the morning to another breathtakingly beautiful view of the extraordinary landscape; not in particular sharing Sue’s delight in spotting the lovely, tiny, amazing flowers of these rough islands; it was not even the four polar bears feeding on a whale carcass that we met on day 1. It was the sum of it all, facilitated by our inspiring and competent guides, Sue and Henrik, who took care of the guest and everything else in their kind and encouraging manner.
We can highly recommend this trip to any nature and wildlife lover – and to anyone who’d appreciate an experientially and mentally enriching excursion.
We have always considered Sue’s trip to Madagascar as the most exotic and adventurous we have ever done. Our trip to Svalbard equaled that fantastic holiday.
Sue and Henrik complemented each other as knowledgeable guides and worked tirelessly to maximize opportunities to spot wildlife. The Sjøveien crew were all friendly and helpful, the chef coming up with a constant string of surprises at every meal. The small ship was surprisingly comfortable and well appointed. It was able to get us closer to the action than the larger ships. Of course we were there for the wildlife and scenery. Both were absolutely fantastic with up close encounters the norm. The beauty of so many birds and animals that have no fear of us allowed for many wonderful encounters.
A tour to Svalbard and a cruise on the beautiful ship”Sjoveien” is not just an ordinary cruise, it’s a cruise of a lifetime especially when led by such competent guides like Henrik and Sue. They took us to an area of magical and intense beauty, a desert of Glaciers, Ice and Water. Henrik’s and Sue’s determination to fulfil our hopes of seeing as much wild life as possible was very special. The camaraderie of their eleven guests who had never met and were from three different countries was amazing. We shall cherished
memories of this wonderful trip forever.
Thanks again for the wonderful trip!
When I said it ranked equal to our Commonwealth Bay trip I was a bit biased by the penguins. On reflection I now rank it as our best trip, no equals and Maud agrees. The ship and guiding are the stand outs.
Also how did you manage to get such a compatible group of people together? Or did you create the compatibility?
The amazing thing is that neither of us put on much weight despite Thomas’s superb meals.
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