25% Ponant Bonus
PONANT invites you to an exceptional experience 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.
On this expedition aboard L’Austral, 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.
First of all, you will set sail south to discover Hornsund, one of the Spitsbergen’s most beautiful fjords, which boasts an impressive glacier front, as well as Bellsund, whose lush valleys are sure to delight.
L’Austral will head north to reach the Nordvest-Spitsbergen National Park, following the footsteps of the former whalers who once settled in the sites that are now home to the graves of many sailors and are frequented by various species of cetaceans.
You will then discover the world’s northernmost small town, Ny-Alesund. This international research base and former mining city was the departure point for many expeditions to the North Pole, the first of which, in 1926, was led by Umberto Nobile and Roald Amundsen aboard the Norge airship. Finally, you will reach the sumptuous Kongsfjorden glaciers.
This journey will take you on the trail of walruses, as well as the traces of the polar bear, the lord of the Arctic, which you might be able to admire in its natural environment.
The next destination on your itinerary, Svalbard archipelago are the last islands before the North Pole and here you’ll discover a unique feeling of having reached the top of the world. During this unforgettable expedition, our ship will sail to latitudes of 80° north.
Itinerary is subject to change according to port authorizations and government regulations. 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.
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*Price is per person, based on double occupancy, based on availability, and subject to change at any time. The category of stateroom to which this price applies may no longer be available.
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Important trip details
The evolving COVID-19 health formalities are available in real time by clicking here.
Given the particularly changing international sanitary context, this itinerary as well as the land programmes and shore excursions may have to evolve according to port authorisations and governmental regulations in force at the time of your trip.
Therefore, for even greater peace of mind, we strongly recommend that you book your land programmes before and after your cruise with PONANT.
Health formalities related to COVID-19 will be confirmed to you before your departure.
In this exceptional context, your safety remains our first priority. The effectiveness of our procedures, our cutting-edge medical equipment and the smaller scale of our ships means we can offer maximum safety so that you can relax and enjoy your cruise. The revised passenger circuit and our enhanced hygiene measures can be found on this page: https://us.ponant.com/sail-with-confidence.
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.
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.
Ideal clothes for life on board:
During the days spent on board, you are advised to wear comfortable clothes or casual outfits. The entire ship is air-conditioned, so a light sweater, a light jacket or a shawl may be necessary. When moving about in the public areas of the ship and the decks, light but comfortable shoes are recommended.
In the evening, you are advised to wear smart-casual attire, especially when dining in our restaurants where wearing shorts and tee-shirts is not allowed.
Depending on the itinerary and the program of your cruise, an Officer’s Evening with a white dress code may be organized. Therefore, we encourage you to bring a stylish white outfit for the occasion (otherwise black and white).
During the cruise, two gala evenings will be organised on board. Thus, we recommend that you bring one or two formal outfits.
A small shop is available on board offering a wide range of outfits, jewellery, leather goods and many accessories.
A laundry service (washing/ironing) is available on board, but unfortunately there are no dry cleaning services. For safety reasons, your cabin is not equipped with an iron.
INSULATED BASE LAYER:
WATERPROOF OUTER LAYER:
OUTFITS ON BOARD:
Embarkation 6/13/2023 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Departure 6/13/2023 at 6:00 PM
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.
Nestling between millennial glaciers and carved mountains, and considered to be “the crown of Arctic Norway”, Spitsbergen is a place that never sees the night. Your ship will take you closer to this fascinating archipelago and, more particularly, the Hornsund fjord. Considered to be Svalbard’s southernmost fjord, it is especially reputed to be its most stunning: at the end of its vast bay, 8 great glaciers slowly make their way down to the sea before giving way to the many icebergs elegantly drifting along its cold and mysterious waters.
You will head to the Bellsund fjord to follow in the footsteps of the first explorers who came from the Norwegian coast, or those of the many fur traders seeking game and trophies. Boasting an astonishingly rich wildlife, the arms of the fjord separate to form two lush valleys. Give free rein to your imagination in the heart of this majestic natural environment where time seems to stand still.
Your captain will sail right up to the limit of the ice, to the edge of the ice floe. Weather conditions and state of the ice allowing, you will be able to go out in a zodiac dinghy for a unique experience in the middle of these floating slabs of ice. In addition to this grandiose journey through the middle of these floes with their cut and blue-tinged edges, sometimes over 2 metres thick, it is also often an opportunity to see a particular kind of fauna, totally dependent on the ice floe: birds, seals and polar bears.
Måkeøyane is a small archipelago in the heart of the Woodfjorden, whose names is a reference to the large quantities of driftwood washing up on the beaches. It is located at the intersection between the Bockfjorden and the Liefdefjorden which leads to the Monaco Glacier, one of the most beautiful in Spitsbergen. As you sail around these little islands, you will be able to observe Arctic terns whose eggs sometimes attract polar bears.
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.
Raudfjorden means “red fjord”, from the colour of the sandstone of the surrounding mountains. Along the west coast of this 20 km fjord, dissected by many shallow bays, you will be able to admire some of Spitsbergen’s most spectacular ice formations. At the extremity of the fjord, two offshoots lead to the magnificent glaciers of Chauveaubreen and Raudfjordbreen which is 3 km wide. To the east, Alicehamna Beach in Bruceneset Bay has seen trappers, fishermen and explorers arrive for centuries, as evidenced by the “Raudfjordhytta” - the cabin of a Swedish trapper built in 1927.
Located at the far north-west of the Svalbard archipelago, at the intersection of oceanic and Arctic influences, Smeerenburg is a former Dutch whaling colony on the southern part of Amsterdam Island. In a landscape of hills with steep slopes, plateaux, lakes and lagoons, you will anchor at a sandy beach. Dotted with driftwood and the remains of ovens that were used to melt the whale blubber, this is one of Spitsbergen’s most important archaeological sites. At the height of the whaling activity, 200 men worked here and several are buried here.
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!
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. 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).
Arrival 6/20/2023 early morning
Disembarkation 6/20/2023 at 8:00 AM
For your serenity, PONANT selects flights and organises transfers between the airport and the port (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 h 30
We suggest you to be at the check-in counter 2 hours before departure.
We highly recommend you arrive in Paris the day before this flight.
Meet & greet at the airport by our local English-speaking representative.
Transfer to the pier for embarkation.
- Cruise aboard your ship -
Disembarkation Day - Longyearbyen/Paris
Meet and greet at the port by our local English-speaking representative.
Transfer to the airport in time for check-in of flight Longyearbyen/Paris selected by PONANT.
Flight Longyearbyen/Paris selected by PONANT.
Approximate flight duration: 4 h 30
We highly recommend you stay one night in Paris after this flight.
This programme includes:
This programme does not include:
Realise your dream of adventure in the polar regions ! From your ship’s deck, aboard a Zodiac® inflatable or from land, discover the icy vastness and the fauna of Antarctica (humpback whales, seals, penguins and more) or the Arctic's fjords, glaciers and icebergs in shifting colours, not to mention the polar bears, the variety of wildlife and the special moments shared with the locals. Our team of naturalist guides share their knowledge with you during varied lectures about the fauna, the flora, the history of great explorations, geology and climatology. Thanks to its conscientiousness and to the responsible approach that is its hallmark, PONANT has been a leader and expert in cruises to these destinations for more than 20 years.
No single supplement
FREE SINGLE SUPPLEMENT *
*The supplement for single usage of a double cabin is waived, according to availability and staterooms categories.