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Expedition Kvitøya - towards Svalbard's most remote outpost

Join us on an exciting discovery journey through Svalbard's untamed wilderness, where we hope to reach the legendary Kvitøya (White Island)!

In mid-August, it is late summer in Svalbard. With the comfortable 50-passenger ship M/S Quest and our sturdy Zodicas, we explore the spectacular nature and keep a look out for the iconic Arctic wildlife. The midnight sun shine over the sparkling glaciers, the larger whales have arrived, and the tundra invites to scenic hikes. At this time of year, the ice has usually released its grip around the islands, giving us good opportunities to reach further east.

During this expedition, we will attempt to reach Kvitøya, the place where Salomon August Andrée, Knut Frænkel and Nils Strindberg were found 33 years after their fateful North Pole expedition with the hydrogen balloon Örnen (The Eagle). We're proud to have polar historian Håkan Jorikson as a special lecturer, who will enrich our journey with stories of the daring of the Andrée expedition and the brave polar explorers' quest for the unknown.

  • 10 nights on board M/S Quest
  • Small ship - great moments
  • 5-star nature experiences
  • Opportunity to reach the legendary White Island
  • Good chance to see whales
  • Perfect time for hiking
  • Polar historian Håkan Jorikson as Special Lecturer
  • 5 knowledgeable guides
Accommodation: Cabin on board M/S Quest, hotel. Transport: Expedition ship, Zodiac. Ship: M/S Quest. Passengers: 50 passengers. Languages: English & Swedish. Length: 12 days, 10 nights on ship. Price: From USD 8 390. Departure: 8 August 2024

Itinerary

Day 1: Longyearbyen, Svalbard

We arrive in Longyearbyen and transfer to our hotel.

Day 2 - 11: Expedition cruising

We start our great adventure in Svalbard by exploring Longyearbyen. In the afternoon we embark the expedition ship and sail out through the spectacular Isfjorden - the Arctic expedition has started! We are now in a part of the world where we are totally dependent on the ice and weather conditions. Our exact itinerary depends on these factors and on the wildlife we encounter. Our ambition is to head out on Zodiac cruises every day and when the opportunity arises also go ashore. Here are some examples of places we may visit:

Northwest Spitsbergen

The scientific village of Ny-Ålesund is situated in Kongsfjorden. It was from here that Amundsen and Nobile started their heroic expeditions to the North Pole. Two other courageous attempts to reach the North Pole started on the island of Danskøya. Swedish explorer Andrée made an attempt with a hydrogen balloon and American journalist Wellman started with an airship. There are still interesting remnants from these expeditions left on this site.

Magnificent fjords

Svalbard offers the visitor countless spectacular fjords. During our journey we will explore a few of them such as: Liefdefjorden, meaning “The fjord of love”, is lined with snow-covered mountain peaks and here we hope to cruise along the face of the spectacular Monaco Glacier. Many common eiders and pinkfooted geese nest in the area. In Krossfjorden we revel in the beautifully sculptured front of the 14th of July Glacier to the raucous greeting of the large number of kittiwakes and Brünnich’s guillemots nesting on the nearby cliffs. Raudfjorden is an area of immense natural beauty – dominated by beautiful glaciers. It is also a favourite spot for seals and the bird cliffs are bursting with activity.

Hinlopen Strait and Alkefjellet

If the ice allows we enter Hinlopen Strait. Here is Alkefjellet, an impressive, basaltic cliff, which is the home to an estimated 200 000 Brünnich’s guillemots. We may also continue into the beautiful bay Palanderbukta on Nordaustlandet.

Eastern Svalbard

The island of Nordaustlandet is covered by an enormous ice cap and fascinates naturalists as well as historians. There are huge glacier fronts here, intersected by hundreds of waterfalls. Barentsøya and Edgeøya offer magnificent landscapes and vast tundra. Chances to encounter walruses, Arctic fox and Svalbard reindeer are good here.

 

Kvitøya

A number of heroic expeditions, with their sights set on the North Pole, have used Svalbard as a base. One of the most talked-about places in Svalbard is the last camp of Salomon August Andrée and his expedition members Knut Frænkel and Nils Strindberg. After their balloon, Örnen (The Eagle), cut its anchor ropes 11 July, 1897, they crash-landed three days later on the ice north of Nordaustlandet. After a three-month-long trek, the group finally reached land and set up camp on the southwestern coast of Kvitøya, a bit east of Nordaustlandet. They all died at this place during the autumn. Not until 33 years later were their remains found by the crew of the Norwegian vessel Bratvaag, along with items marked “Andrée Expedition”. Even today, the tragic fate of the expedition remains a mystery. If the ice permits and luck is on our side, we will reach this place, where only a few people have set foot. We hope to have the opportunity to experience the flutter of history from our rubber boats and to land to catch a glimpse of the memorial erected in 1931. Please also read the text in the blue box below. 

Read more about the Andrée Expedition here.

Southwest Spitsbergen

The grand fjords of Hornsund offer spectacular glaciers and a breathtaking landscape of towering mountain peaks, often reaching above the clouds. On a clear day we can see the summit of the highest mountain Hornsundtind, measuring 1431 meters. Hornsund is a favourite haunt for some of Svalbard’s polar bears and bearded seals are often seen resting on the fjord ice.

Day 12: Longyearbyen

Early morning we disembark our expedition ship and begin our journey back home.

All itineraries are for guidance only. Our exact route will depend on ice, weather conditions, wildlife and government regulations. The places mentioned are just examples of some of the many sites Svalbard has to offer. We always strive to maximise your experience. Please remember that flexibility is the key to a successful expedition!

Flights
We offer group flights from Oslo to Longyearbyen with return (limited availability). Contact us for more information!

About Håkan Jorikson

 

We are proud to present the knowledgeable polar historian Håkan Jorikson as an inspirer and lecturer on this journey. On board, he will teach us more about Andrée's ill-fated North Pole expedition and the legendary Kvitøya. Håkan is a historian and ethnologist and has been the museum director for the Grenna Museum – Andréexpedition Polar Centre for many years. In this role, he has participated in several trips to Svalbard, and also Antarctica, as a guide or otherwise expert. He has initiated the publication of a number of polar historical diaries and written biographies of polar explorers.

 

 

IMPORTANT! During the trip, we will make an attempt to reach the mythical Kvitøya. However, we would like to point out that although the conditions to reach Kvitøya are generally good at this time of the year, we cannot predict the weather or what the ice situation will be like this particular year. We also cannot guarantee that it will be possible to make a landing as the island is a popular haunt for polar bears. Due to new regulations in Svalbard, Kvitøya will no longer be accessible to visitors from January 1, 2025. This presents a unique and last chance to visit this historic site! 

You do not need to be interested in history to join the trip, as this is an added value and the main focus will be to experience the magnificent nature and wildlife of Svalbard.

 

 

The ship M/S Quest

  • Helbild.se
  • PolarQuest
  • Jett Britnell
  • Dining room
    Jonas Sundquist
  • PolarQuest
  • Åsa Lindgren
  • Owner's Cabin
    Eirik Grønningsæter
  • Double Cabin Superior
    Eirik Grønningsæter
  • Double Cabin Superior
    Eirik Grønningsæter
  • Double Cabin
    Eirik Grønningsæter
  • Double Cabin
    Eirik Grønningsæter
  • Twin Cabin
    Eirik Grønningsæter
  • Triple Cabin
    Eirik Grønningsæter

A COMFORTABLE EXPEDITION SHIP WITH A WONDERFUL CREW

The ship was built in Denmark in 1992 to serve as a ferry along the west coast of Greenland. In 2004-2005, it was completely refurbished into a comfortable expedition ship, and in 2018, the passenger areas underwent further renovation. M/S Quest can accommodate 50 passengers, with all 24 cabins being outside cabins equipped with private facilities. The triple cabins feature upper and lower berths, while all other cabins have either two lower berths or a double bed. Each cabin includes a desk with a chair and a cupboard for storage. The superior cabins are spacious, featuring armchairs and a TV. The owner’s cabin offers a double bed, two large picture windows, a separate seating area, and a TV.

In the dining room, you enjoy delicious meals between landings, while the panorama lounge offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. This lounge serves as the venue for entertaining talks about the area's flora, fauna, and history. It also features a bar and a small library. The ship boasts spacious observation decks for you to enjoy the stunning vistas. The bridge welcomes you around the clock, and there is always something to see or search for. You are welcomed by an international crew, and the atmosphere on board is relaxed and very friendly. There are five Zodiacs and five guides on M/S Quest.

It is always possible to share a cabin on board M/S Quest. All cabins have windows and private facilities.

Cabins & prices

Cabin category Price per person
Triple cabin upper/lower beds USD 8 390
Twin cabin 2 twin beds USD 10 190
Twin cabin Plus 2 twin beds USD 10 790
Double cabin double bed USD 10 790
Double cabin Superior large double bed* USD 11 690
Owner’s cabin large double bed USD 12 690
Twin cabin for single use USD 16 490

Please note: It is always possible to share a cabin on board M/S Quest. All cabins have windows and private facilities.

*The double bed in the Superior cabins is separable.

Price includes

  • 10 nights on board M/S Quest
  • 1 night in a hotel in Longyearbyen
  • Lunch day 2
  • All meals on board
  • Coffee and tea
  • An experienced Expedition Leader and knowledgeable guides
  • Guiding ashore and talks on board
  • All excursions and activities

Not included

  • Flight to/from Longyearbyen
  • Travel and cancellation insurance
  • Gratuity to the ship’s crew
  • Personal expenses such as bar and shop charges

Departures & booking

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or wish to make a reservation.

Booking request
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Departure Return
8 August 2024 19 August 2024

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