The Best of Spitsbergen

8 days / 7 nights
    Expedition
    Roundtrip flight included
    The Best of Spitsbergen
    Flight Paris / Longyearbyen + transfers + flight Longyearbyen / Paris

    Cruise The Arctic

    from 4 June 2020 to 11 June 2020
    8 days / 7 nights

    Departure Port : Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen
    Arrival Port : Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen

    Ship : L'AUSTRAL

    • Ref : LL4045 - A040620

    Other departure dates

    PONANT invites you to experience something exceptional by discovering the Far North and the immense open spaces of the polar Arctic and its ice floes that extend to the North Pole.  

    You will board the ship at Longyearbyen in Norway for an 8-day expedition cruise to the heart of Spitsbergen, the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago.  

    Over these expedition at sea aboard your ship, in the company of our specialist teams, you will discover the exceptional flora and fauna that lives in these extreme conditions, where temperatures reach -30°C in winter.

    This journey will take you on the trail of walruses, which can be admired near the 14th July Glacier, as well as the traces of the polar bear, the lord of the Arctic, which you will be able to admire in its natural environment.

    Then you will sail to the Svalbard archipelago, and the last islands before the North Pole, where you will discover that unique feeling of having reached the top of the world. During this unforgettable expedition, our ship will sail to latitudes of 80° north.

    We are privileged guests in these remote lands where we are at the mercy of weather, ice, tidal and current conditions. Landings on certain sites and the observation of certain wildlife cannot be guaranteed. They vary from day to day, making each PONANT cruise a unique experience. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will make every effort to ensure that your experience is as rich as possible, while complying with the safety rules and instructions imposed by the AECO. 

    • Free parka Free parka
    • Naturalists Naturalists
    • Free boot rental Free boot rental
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    Highlights

    • Outings and shore visits in Zodiac® inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides.
    • Hiking opportunity.
    • Sailing in Spitsbergen’s fjords and towards the ice floe.
    • Landscapes: ice floes, jagged mountains, icebergs, ice caps, steep-sided valleys, sheer cliffs, huge glaciers.
    • Wildlife: polar bears, Arctic foxes, Svalbard reindeer, Arctic terns, walruses, whales, puffins.

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    Staterooms & Suites

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    Choose your fare basis* :

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    Prestige Deck 4

    • Area : 18 m²
    • Capacity : up to 2 guests per stateroom
    • Private balcony
    •  Individually-controlled air-conditioning
    • King-size bed or twin beds
    • Shower
    • Minibar
    • Flat screen
    • Satellite TV
    • Desk with stationery
    • Ipod™ players
    • Video on demand
    • Safe
    • Hairdryer
    • Bath robes
    • Satellite direct line telephone
    • 110/220 volts outlet
    • French bath products
    • 24hr room service
    • Internet acces wifi.
    Price Ponant Bonus
    Book now and get the guaranteed best price. 10%off the public rates, per person,  based on  double occupancy.   
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    Prestige Deck 5

    • Area : 18 m²
    • Capacity : up to 2 guests per stateroom
    • Private balcony
    •  Individually-controlled air-conditioning
    • King-size bed or twin beds
    • Shower
    • Minibar
    • Flat screen
    • Satellite TV
    • Desk with stationery
    • Ipod™ players
    • Video on demand
    • Safe
    • Hairdryer
    • Bath robes
    • Satellite direct line telephone
    • 110/220 volts outlet
    • French bath products
    • 24hr room service
    • Internet acces wifi.
    Price Ponant Bonus
    Book now and get the guaranteed best price. 10%off the public rates, per person,  based on  double occupancy.   
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    Prestige Deck 6

    • Area : 18 m²
    • Capacity : up to 2 guests per stateroom
    • Private balcony
    • Individually-controlled air-conditioning
    • King-size bed
    • or twin beds Shower
    • Minibar
    • Flat screen
    • satellite TV
    • Desk with stationery
    • Ipod™ players
    • Video on demand
    • safe
    • Hairdryer
    • Bath robes
    • Satellite direct line telephone
    • 110/220 volts outlet
    • French bath products
    • 24hr room service
    • Internet acces wifi
    •  Butler service.
    Price Ponant Bonus
    Book now and get the guaranteed best price. 10%off the public rates, per person,  based on  double occupancy.   
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    Deluxe Suite

    • Area : 27 m²
    • Capacity : up to 2 guests per stateroom
    • Private balcony. Individually-controlled air-conditioning
    • King-size bed or twin beds
    • Shower
    • Minibar
    • Flat screen
    • Satellite TV
    • Desk with stationery
    • Ipod™ players
    • Video on demand
    • Safe
    • Hairdryer
    • Bath robes
    • Satellite direct line telephone
    • 110/220 volts outlet
    • French bath products
    • 24hr room service
    • Internet acces wifi.

    Price Ponant Bonus
    Book now and get the guaranteed best price. 10%off the public rates, per person,  based on  double occupancy.   
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    Prestige Deck 6 Suite

    • Area : 36 m²
    • Capacity : up to 4 guests per stateroom
    • 8m² private balcony
    • Individually-controlled air-conditioning
    • king-size bed or twin beds
    • Shower
    • Minibar
    • Flat screen
    • Satellite TV
    • Desk with stationery
    • Ipod™ players
    • Video on demand
    • Safe
    • Hairdryer
    • Bath robes
    • Satellite direct line telephone
    • 110/220 volts outlet
    • French bath products
    • 24hr room service
    • Internet access wifi
    •  Butler service.
    Price Ponant Bonus
    Book now and get the guaranteed best price. 10%off the public rates, per person,  based on  double occupancy.   

    L'AUSTRAL

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    • L'AUSTRAL
    • L'AUSTRAL
    • L'AUSTRAL
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    • L'AUSTRAL
    • L'AUSTRAL
    • L'AUSTRAL
    • L'AUSTRAL
    • L'AUSTRAL
    • L'AUSTRAL
    • L'AUSTRAL
    • L'AUSTRAL

    L'AUSTRAL

    In May 2011, l'Austral joined PONANT's fleet. This superb mega-yacht with 132 staterooms is the result of the expertise of the Italian Fincantieri shipyard and French sophistication, as interpreted by designer Jean-Philippe Nuel. L'Austral remains faithful to our philosophy - to create a unique atmosphere, a subtle blend of luxury, intimacy and well-being.
     
    A sleek silhouette softened by elegantly smooth contours and large, arched windows opening up to the sea and the light: so many features come together to give L’Austral her distinctive shape. Precious materials, discreet elegance and a perfect balance between chic and casual, combine to make you feel as if you are on your own private yacht. A design blending tradition and innovation, where a nautical mood has been subtly recreated. A welcoming atmosphere of relaxed sophistication revolves around shades of grey, taupe, white and ivory enlivened by touches of cinnamon, caramel and tan.. So many personal touches create the spirit of a “private yacht.”
     
    You will encounter unique itineraries, calls inaccessible to large ships, chic and elegant yacht-like ambiance, refined and personalized service as well as gastronomic cuisine.

    Port of call & excursions

    4 June 2020 – Lilliehöök Glacier

    Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen

    Embarkation 04/06/2020 from 16H00 to 17H00 . Departure 04/06/2020 at 18H00 .

    Longyearbyen is the capital of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago, located on Svalbard’s main island, and is the northernmost territorial capital on the planet. With winter temperatures dropping to below 40°C, the landscapes of this mining town are simply breathtaking. The glaciers, the mountains stretching as far as the eye can see and the untouched nature, make you feel like you’re in completely unexplored territory.

    5 June 2020 – Lilliehöök Glacier

    5 June 2020 – Lilliehöök Glacier

    Arrival 05/06/2020. Departure 05/06/2020.

    Welcome to Cross Bay’s décor of plutonic rocks and tundra. Admire the immense expanses of flowers that cover the mountain slopes, amidst 14 Alpine glaciers plunging majestically into the sea. In this setting of wild beauty, which endemic wildlife has chosen to call home, set off to discover the sublime Lilliehöök Glacier. Located in the fjord of the same name, it forms a kind of circle and its front is 7 km wide. As you approach it, you will fall under the spell of the icebergs floating around it, like jewels bedecking the magical waters of the Arctic. Walruses, sea birds, seals and Svalbard reindeer will perhaps accompany as you explore these unique places. 

    5 June 2020 – 14th July Glacier, Spitsbergen

    5 June 2020 – 14th July Glacier, Spitsbergen

    Arrival 05/06/2020. Departure 05/06/2020.

    At the entrance to Cross Bay, between tundra, plutonic rocks and mountains covered with a surprising endemic flora, set off to discover the 14th July Glacier. It was thus named by Prince Albert I of Monaco, following an expedition that he led there at the beginning of the 20th century. The glacier’s surroundings are frequented by numerous birds (Tridactyl gulls, thick-billed murres, barnacle geese, common eiders, Atlantic puffins…), as well as Arctic foxes and reindeer. As you arrive in front of the glacier, admire the impressive wall of ice and the reflection of the cliffs in the water. It is quite common to see a section of ice come loose, or a bearded seal lounging on an iceberg. 

    6 June 2020 – Magdalenefjorden (Magdalena Bay), Spitsbergen

    6 June 2020 – Magdalenefjorden (Magdalena Bay), Spitsbergen

    Arrival 06/06/2020. Departure 06/06/2020.

    Nestling in north western Spitsbergen, Magdalena Bay is one of Svalbard’s unmissable sites. In a spectacular landscape of snow-topped Alpine mountains, deep fjords, beaches and majestic glaciers, it offers multiple opportunities for wonderment. We will not be surprised to observe whales, walruses, seals, common eiders, terns, polar bears and Arctic foxes there. The site of Gravneset, located in Magdalenafjorden, is home to the remnants of a former whaling station used during the 17th century, as well as the graves of many sailors buried here up until the end of the 18th century. Not far from here, the Gully Glacier offers a magnificent view, a delight for photographers.

    6 June 2020 – Virgohamna, Spitsbergen

    6 June 2020 – Virgohamna, Spitsbergen

    Arrival 06/06/2020. Departure 06/06/2020.

    Welcome to a land of rich history! Virgohamna, or Virgo Bay, to the north west of Spitsbergen, was home to a whaling station in the 17th century. Above all, though, it is known as the staging area for many attempts to reach the North Pole by balloon. In 1896, Swedish balloonist Andrée set up camp here and lifted off a year later with two team members on a trip that would cost them their lives. A few years later, the American explorer Wellmann also attempted this crazy adventure, without success. During your visit, you will be able to see a pile of planks, rusty cans, pipes, debris from earthenware and all kinds of waste on the ground. Visitors are asked to respect these historic remnants, in homage to the conquerors of the poles. 

    7 June 2020 – Sailing among icebergs

    7 June 2020 – Sailing among icebergs

    Arrival 07/06/2020. Departure 07/06/2020.

    Your ship carefully weaves in and out of the icebergs. These ice giants, which at times are more than 60 metres high, come from the glaciers and the ice cap. Whether grounded or floating, pure white blocks or in eroded form, sparkling or blue-tinged, this is always a magical moment to experience on board the ship or on a Zodiac® dinghy. Each iceberg, sculpted by the waves, takes on diverse colours and shapes that have fuelled the imagination of the peoples of the Arctic.

    8 June 2020 – Texas Bar, Liefdefjorden

    8 June 2020 – Texas Bar, Liefdefjorden

    Arrival 08/06/2020. Departure 08/06/2020.

    Despite the name given to the place, we are neither in Texas nor in a bar; it is actually an unusual place in the High Arctic. Texas Bar is a former trapper’s hut that was used by Arctic fox and polar bear hunters in the past. The hut, still in place, has a rudimentary interior with bunkbeds and kitchen utensils. Located at the entrance to Liefdefjorden (the “fjord of love”), it stands peacefully in a landscape of hills covered with moss, lichen and flowers. The cliffs with their changing colours, very frequented by birds, complete the beauty of the panorama. Take a little hike up the slopes and admire the superb view over the Monaco Glacier, which is further south.

    8 June 2020 – Monaco Glacier, Spitsbergen

    8 June 2020 – Monaco Glacier, Spitsbergen

    Arrival 08/06/2020. Departure 08/06/2020.

    Located to the North-West of the Svalbard archipelago, the Monaco Glacier is probably one of Spitsbergen’s most beautiful and majestic. Named in honour of Prince Albert I of Monaco, a sailor, it stands as an impenetrable, blue-tinged jagged wall, the last glacier before reaching a latitude of 80° North. Imagine the sound of the ice cracking as it breaks free and crashes into the transparent water. And to make the magical landscape even more perfect, you might be lucky enough to spot bears and whales, as these two animals have a special fondness for this area.  

    9 June 2020 – Ny-Alesund, Spitsbergen

    9 June 2020 – Ny-Alesund, Spitsbergen

    Arrival 09/06/2020. Departure 09/06/2020.

    During your cruise, discover Ny-Ålesund, a former mining town that has been transformed into a scientific base. Founded in 1916, this small town was the departure point for many Arctic expeditions, including those of the famous explorer Roald Amundsen. Don't miss a visit to the museum and its famous post office, considered to be the most northerly in the world!

    9 June 2020 – Kongsfjorden (King Bay), Spitsbergen

    9 June 2020 – Kongsfjorden (King Bay), Spitsbergen

    Arrival 09/06/2020. Departure 09/06/2020.

    Very close to the former mining town of Ny-Ålesund, set off to discover Kings Bay. Your ship will sail in one of the most beautiful fjords in Svalbard: Kongsfjorden (the fjord of the King), a gateway to grandiose landscapes. Here, the snow-capped mountains are reflected in the water where superb icebergs try to outdo each other in their beauty, a delight for photographers. Bearded seals, reindeer, barnacle geese and black guillemots frequent these places that have a unique atmosphere. Once you arrive at the end of the fjord, admire the Kongsbreen (glacier of the King) and its three characteristic rocky points, which take their names from three Scandinavian countries: Svea (Sweden), Dana (Denmark) and Nora (Norway).

    10 June 2020 – Alkhornet, Spitsbergen

    10 June 2020 – Alkhornet, Spitsbergen

    Arrival 10/06/2020. Departure 10/06/2020.

    At the northern entrance of Isfjorden, there is a small paradise for bird lovers: the Alkhornet Cliff. It is home to a very rich avifauna, made up of thousands of birds frolicking in a joyous tumult: gulls, guillemots, pink-footed geese, terns, seagulls, puffins, Arctic skuas… The Alkhornet Cliff, easily recognisable by its rhinoceros-horn shape, is also frequented by reindeer, which are not overly timid. Attracted by the tundra that covers the foot of the mountain, they come to graze in peace in a verdant setting covered with grass and moss. With a little luck, you will perhaps have the opportunity to see some seals and Arctic foxes, who are also regular visitors.

    10 June 2020 – Pyramiden, Spitsbergen

    10 June 2020 – Pyramiden, Spitsbergen

    Arrival 10/06/2020. Departure 10/06/2020.

    This port of call will definitely make an impression on history enthusiasts. A real ghost town, Pyramiden was founded by Sweden at the beginning of the 20th century before being sold a few years later to the Soviet Union. Constructed at the foot of a mountain in the form of a pyramid, this former mining town, abandoned in 1998, has conserved all the buildings from its glory days, when it lived off coal mining. During your visit, you will be able to walk past a swimming pool, swings, a football pitch and a cinema. Even more unusual: reindeer like to wander the deserted streets of this dead town, the only companions for the handful of men who still live there in summer.

    10 June 2020 – Nordenskiöld Fjord, Spitsbergen

    10 June 2020 – Nordenskiöld Fjord, Spitsbergen

    Arrival 10/06/2020. Departure 10/06/2020.

    11 June 2020▸10 June 2020 – Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen

    Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen

    Disembarkation 11/06/2020 at 08H00 .

    Longyearbyen is the capital of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago, located on Svalbard’s main island, and is the northernmost territorial capital on the planet. With winter temperatures dropping to below 40°C, the landscapes of this mining town are simply breathtaking. The glaciers, the mountains stretching as far as the eye can see and the untouched nature, make you feel like you’re in completely unexplored territory.

    Formalities

    • The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.

    • Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, Ponant will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.

    • Warning about the use of drones: the use of drones aboard PONANT ships, whether they are sailing at sea, at a port of call or anchored, is strictly forbidden. The use of drones on land in the Arctic and Antarctic regions is also strictly forbidden by international polar regulations. In other regions, it may be possible to use drones on land if permission has been obtained from the relevant authorities of each country and each region travelled through, as well as a pilot’s licence that should be obtained from your home country. Passengers are responsible for obtaining these permits; they should be able to present them at all times. Passengers who do not obtain these authorisations expose themselves to the risk of legal proceedings.

    Theme

    POLAR EXPEDITION

    POLAR EXPEDITION

    Discover the unique concept of PONANT polar expedition cruises: explore the world’s extreme regions while enjoying luxurious comfort and service.

    A luxury expedition voyage

    Choosing a PONANT expedition cruise means choosing a state of mind: the alliance of elegance and authenticity, of exploration and comfort, of adventure and refinement… The comfort of your ship and your stateroom, personalised and attentive service, refined gastronomy: a very special atmosphere that we take great care to maintain. In the heart of the ice floes of the Arctic and the Antarctic, our luxurious services will ensure that your expedition cruise is an unforgettable experience.

    PONANT, polar specialists

    With almost 20 years of experience in the extreme regions, PONANT, the world’s number 1 polar cruise company, is a real polar specialist. PONANT will take you to the most remote regions in total safety: our Captains and crew are professionals, specially trained to sail in icy waters. Our latest-generation fleet has the most modern technology to guarantee both your safety and respect for the regions visited. The size of our ships means we can get as close as possible to areas that are difficult to reach, offering a privileged access to preserved sites. Our flexibility enables us to adapt to the surprises inherent to these expedition itineraries.

    Professional expedition teams, varied activities

    After scouting missions in the field, our Expedition Leaders and their teams of naturalist guides design exceptional itineraries in the polar regions. During the cruise, they organise daily outings and shore visits in Zodiac® dinghies and hikes on land so as to get as close as possible to nature and wild fauna. In the Arctic and in Alaska, the close relationships that our teams have been able to build with the local communities will enable you to understand the life of these peoples of the Far North, and to share it for a few hours. On board, the naturalist guides will share their knowledge during various conferences on fauna, the history of the great explorations, geology and climatology…

    Flight Paris / Longyearbyen + transfers + flight Longyearbyen / Paris

    For your serenity, PONANT selects flights and organizes the transfers between the port and the airport (and vice versa). This package is included in your cruise fare.

     

    Embarkation Day - Paris/Longyearbyen

    Flight Paris/Longyearbyen selected by PONANT.

    Approximate flight duration: 4 hours, 30 min.

    Meet and greet at airport.

    Transfer to the pier for embarkation.

     

    – Cruise on board your ship –

     

    Disembarkation Day -Longyearbyen/Paris

    Disembarkation.

    Meet and great at the port.

    Transfer to the airport in time for flight check in.

    Flight Longyearbyen/Paris selected by PONANT.

    Approximate flight duration: 4 hours, 30 min.

     

    Your programme includes:

    • Flight Paris/Longyearbyen and Longyearbyen/Paris selected by PONANT in economy class.
    • Transfers as per programme.
    • Assistance from our local representative.

    Your programme does not include:

    • Tips for the local guide.
    • Personal expenses.
    • Other services not mentioned in the programme.

    Please note:

    Tourist infrastructures are very limited in Longyearbyen. We kindly ask you for your flexibility and understanding:

    • Due to limited local transportation resources, waiting might be generated.
    • Due to local transportation conditions, comfort is basic and carry on could be limited on board the buses used for passengers transfer to the airport (if too large the carry on could be transferred with the main luggage). The use of a back pack is suggested.
    • For passengers in transit in Paris, it is recommended to stay one night in Paris before and after your connecting flight.
    • Programme and flight schedule are subject to change.

     

     

    To know your PONANT flight schedule, please contact your travel agent; it is also indicated on your electronic ticket included in your travel documents. Passengers must check in at least two hours before flight departure time.

     

    Important information

    Expedition programmes include activities such as Zodiac® outings and landings (sometimes with "wet landing"), moderate walks to more active hikes, all accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides.

    Ports of call, visited sites, outings and landings will depend on weather conditions, position of ice, winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time. The Captain and the Expedition Leader may at any time cancel or stop any activity, or even modify the itinerary. The final itinerary will be confirmed by the Captain, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. His decision will be based on advice from experts and authorities.

    Travelling to polar/isolated regions is an exhilarating experience in remote areas: please remember that you are far from modern hospitals with full medical facilities, thus evacuation is extremely expensive. Without adequate medical coverage, all expenses will have to be immediately paid with your personal funds. We urge you to subscribe to full coverage insurance, choose your insurance company very carefully, be extremely vigilant and ensure your insurance is fully comprehensive, especially if you are insured by your credit card. PONANT offers an insurance contract with extensive guarantees, please contact us for more information.

    Clothing tips:

    • A PONANT polar water-resistant parka is offered on board for all departures with the logo “Free Parka” (no children sizes, in case of consecutive cruises, only one complimentary parka).
    • Half calf rubber boots with non-slip soles, which will allow you to go ashore in 20 cm of cold water, keeping your feet dry for walks and visits on steep paths. Boot rental will be offered onboard (for adults only) on Expedition cruises where the logo “Free Boot Rental” appears. Book your boots up to 7 days prior to departure, on our dedicated website https://boutique.ponant.com/, boots section. You will find them on board after embarkation. For more information, please contact us.
    • Comfortable trousers: classic Winter trousers, warm cotton tracksuit, wool leggings
    • Waterproof and windproof over-trousers – MANDATORY
    • Winter trousers with waterproof over trousers are the ideal combination: water-resistance and comfort of trousers are essential
    • Pullover, sweat-shirt or fleece jacket
    • Woollen or thermolactyl Thermal underwear
    • A warm hat, woollen ear muffs or fleece ear muffs, fleece or woollen neck warmer (avoid scarves that do not stay in place)- MANDATORY
    • Wool or silk glove liners, water-resistant and supple gloves
    • Thick warm socks (ideally woollen)

    Accessories:

    • Small waterproof backpack (to protect your camera from water).
    • Binoculars (strongly recommended for wildlife viewing).
    • Highly protective sunglasses.
    • Walking poles (highly recommended).

    Do not hesitate to visit the online PONANT store which offers a selection of equipment and accessories adapted to our destinations, at the following address: https://boutique.ponant.com

    Benefits of the PONANT store:

    • Advice on equipment from our experts to help you prepare for your polar expedition
    • A wide range of technical equipment for polar expeditions, approved by our experts
    • Two delivery options: delivery to your home or directly to your cabin on board the ship
    • Duty Free shopping for cabin delivered items

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