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Spitsbergen Cruise

MS Nordstjernen, Page 7
Continued from page 6

photo

ABOVE: A panoramic view of the Monaco Glacier in the Liefdefjord.

Planning your cruise

2014 update: Hurtigruten now offers several different Spitsbergen cruises, including an itinerary that circumnavigates the island. All voyages are aboard the MS Fram, a 318-passenger ship that was designed for Arctic and Antarctic waters.

Hurtigruten also owns Spitsbergen Travel, which is the leading travel agency and expedition outfitter in Svalbard. This makes it easy to buy a standard or customized package that includes the cruise, air travel from your home city to Svalbard Airport Longyear, hotels in Oslo and Longyearbyen, and optional add-ons.

Tips:

  • If you're coming from any distance, I'd strongly urge you to do more than just the cruise. For example, you could combine the cruise with a vacation on the Norwegian mainland: Fly to Oslo, take the scenic train ride to Bergen, and catch a Hurtigruten cruise ferry to Tromsø, which has frequent air service to Longyearbyen.

  • Bring a good pair of binoculars, which will make it much easier to view whales, seals, polar bears, and other wildlife. (I can't emphasize this point enough--instead of seeing a bear as a spec or a blob, you'll be able to look the animal in the eye.)

Web link:

Hurtigruten.com
This international portal has links to Hurtigruten's national sites in Norway, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Sweden, and the USA.

Related articles with photos at Europe for Visitors:

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