Home » M/V Ortelius: Norwegien Sea, Bear Island & Spitsbergen
You board the vessel at midday in Vlissingen, headed north. Far north. Please note passengers departing 14 August 2019 will begin in Vlissingen and experience the complete 17 day voyage. Passengers departing 19 August 2019 will begin their journey in Tromso on Day 6.
Crossing the North Sea, you stand an excellent chance of spotting
minke whales, white-beaked dolphins, and harbour porpoises. Several
other cetaceans, including orcas (killer whales), are also native to
At the southern reaches of Edgeøya, you enter the realm of the
historic whalers and trappers. Tusindøyane, meaning “the thousand
islands,” consists of numerous small islands all under special
protection for the summer. You arrive after August 15, when the
protection is lifted, so you can enjoy landings that are rare these
days. On Ækongen, among rocks covered in fantastic lichen, you find
remains of the 17th-century whalers and early 20th-century trappers.
Bölscheøya is another option, with walking opportunities on the
relatively flat islands. Red-throated divers may be seen on the lakes in
this area, with chicks ready to fledge.
The aim is to next explore the rarely seen glacier fronts of eastern
Edgeøya, with a visit to Ryke Yseøyane. This area has terrain not too
dissimilar to Tusindøyane and yields a good chance of spotting polar
You then sail by the fully protected islands of Kong Karls Land,
reaching the immense front of the Austfonna ice cap. At Bråsvellbreen
you’ll be able to see meltwater waterfalls flowing into the sea. In the
afternoon, you may attempt a Zodiac cruise at Isisøyane. This will take
you near the ice front, with spectacular views and a chance to see polar
Today you attempt to reach the rarely visited Kvitøya, far to the
east and close to Russian territory. The enormous ice cap covering this
island leaves only a small area bare. You land at the western tip of
Andréeneset, where the Swedish explorer S. A. Andrée and his companions
perished in 1897. (Your voyage will end far better.) Another objective
for the day is Kræmerpynten, where a sizable group of walruses reside.
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. You may also land on one of the Seven
Islands, Sjuøyane, in a high Arctic environment where walruses may be
Sailing to Raudfjorden, on the north coast of Spitsbergen, you take
in an expansive fjord spilling with glaciers – and maybe even visited by
ringed and bearded seals. The cliffs and shoreline of this fjord also
support thriving seabird colonies, rich vegetation, and the possibility
of polar bears.
Reaching the western coast of Spitsbergen, the search is on for
walruses in Forlandsundet. Fuglehuken, on the northern tip of Prins
Karls Forland, is home to the northernmost population of harbor seals in
the world. The goal is a decent walk to see wildlife, 17th-century
whaler graves, and the remains of the trapping era.
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end.
You disembark in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of
Spitsbergen, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your
next adventure lies.