10 Days Around Spitsbergen Arctic Diving tour

Start Point

Embarkation: from Longyearbyen

End Point

Disembarkation: from Longyearbyen


10 days & 9 nights

Price Per Person

USD 0.00 Twin/USD 0.00 Single

Tour Description

Arctic and Antartica are amazing experiences for a life time, check with us for the latest confirmed sailing dates and available cabines.

The ice-strengthened vessel Plancius is an excellent vessel for polar expedition cruises in the Arctic and Antarctica diving and adventure cruises and tours.

 Cruise route

Tripcode: PLA09-18
Duration: 9 nights
Ship: m/v Plancius
Embarkation: Longyearbyen
Disembarkation: Longyearbyen
Language: German speaking voyage, English speaking voyage
Important: This is an English and German-speaking voyage

PLEASE NOTE: N.B. The chances that we can complete a full Spitsbergen circumnavigation (based on our experiences from 1992 – 2016) are about 30% in the first half of July, 60% in the second half, 90% in the first half of August, and 95% in the second half. In case we cannot complete a full circumnavigation, we may resort to a program in the northeast or southeast Spitsbergen. All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. The onboard expedition leader determines the final itinerary. The average cruising speed for m/v Plancius is 10,5 knots.

Included in this voyage

  • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • Transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotels and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme.
  • AECO fees and governmental taxes.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.

Excluded from this voyage

  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
  • Pre- and post- land arrangements.
  • Transfers to / from the vessel outside Spitsbergen.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Meals ashore.
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

For more information please contact our concierge@above-5.com or reservation@above-5.com

Day 1: Largest Town on the Largest Island

Place visiting
The Polar diving tour start here from Longyearbyen

You touch down in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago. Enjoy strolling around this former mining town, whose parish church and Svalbard Museum make for fascinating attractions. Though the countryside appears stark, more than a hundred species of plant have been recorded in it. In the early evening the ship sails out of Isfjorden, where you might spot the first minke whale of your voyage.

Day 2: Cruising Krossfjorden

Place visiting
Krossfjorden , Glacier , Various wildlife ,

Heading north along the west coast, you arrive by morning in Krossfjorden. Here you might board the Zodiacs for a cruise near the towering blue-white face of the Fourteenth of July Glacier. On the green slopes near the glacier, colorful flowers bloom while flocks of kittiwakes and Brünnich’s guillemots nest on the cliffs. You have a good chance of spotting an Arctic fox scouting for fallen chicks, or a bearded seal paddling through the fjord. In the afternoon you sail to Ny Ålesund, the northernmost settlement on Earth. Once a mining village served by the world’s most northerly railway – you can still see its tracks – Ny Ålesund is now a research center. Close to the community is a breeding ground for barnacle geese, pink-footed geese, and Arctic terns. And if you’re interested in the history of Arctic exploration, visit the anchoring mast used by polar explorers Amundsen and Nobile in their airships, Norge (1926) and Italia (1928).

Day 3: The Massive Monaco Glacier

Place visiting
Liefdefjorden , Monaco Glacier , Various wildlife

Near the mouth of Liefdefjorden, you step ashore for a walk across the tundra of Reindyrsflya. You may also sail into the fjord and cruise within sight of the 5-kilometer-long (3.1 miles) face of the precipitous Monaco Glacier. The waters in front of this glacier are a favorite feeding spot for thousands of kittiwakes, and the base of the ice is a popular polar bear hunting ground. If ice conditions prevent sailing here early in the season, an alternate route along the west coast of Spitsbergen can be implemented.

Day 4 and Day 5: Stop at the Seven Islands

Place visiting
North of Nordaustlandet , Seven Islands , Polar bears , Ice , Various Wildlife

The northernmost point of your voyage may be north of Nordaustlandet, in the Seven Islands. Here you reach 80° north, just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole. Polar bears inhabit this region, so the ship may park for several hours among the pack ice to watch for them. When the edge of this sea ice is tens of miles north of the Seven Islands (mostly in August), you can spend a second day in this area. Alternatively (mostly in July) you may turn to Sorgfjord, where you have the chance to find a herd of walruses not far from the graves of 17th century whalers. A nature walk here can bring you close to families of ptarmigans, and the opposite side of the fjord is also a beautiful area for an excursion.

Day 6: Hinlopen Highlights

Place visiting
Hinlopen Strait , Lomfjordshalvøya , Various wildlife and blue whales , walruses.

Today you sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to bearded and ringed seals as well as polar bears. At the entrance there is even the possibility to spot blue whales. As with Liefdefjorden, you can take an alternate west Spitsbergen route if ice prevents entry into Hinlopen. After cruising among the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in the Zodiacs, you then view the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with their thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots. On the east side of Hinlopen Strait, you may attempt a landing where reindeer, pink-footed geese, and walruses are likely sights. Near Torrelneset you can also visit the polar desert of Nordaustlandet, next to the world’s third-largest ice cap. Here you may encounter walruses during a coastline hike over the area’s raised beaches.

Day 7: The Bounties of Barentsøya

Place visiting
Freemansundet , polar bears , Kapp Waldburg , Wildlife.

The plan is to make landings in Freemansundet, though polar bears sometimes make this impossible. Potential stops on Barentsøya include Sundneset (for an old trapper’s hut), Kapp Waldburg (for its kittiwake colony), and Rindedalen (for a walk across the tundra). You might also cruise south to Diskobukta, though Kapp Lee is more likely your destination. On Kapp Lee is a walrus haul-out, Pomor ruins, and the chance for hikes along Edgeøya.

Day 8: Land of the Pointed Mountains

Place visiting
fjords of the Hornsund , Hornsundtind , Wildlife , whales and Polar bears

You start the day by cruising the side fjords of the Hornsund area of southern Spitsbergen, taking in the spire-like peaks: Hornsundtind rises 1,431 meters (4,695 feet), and Bautaen is a perfect illustration of why early Dutch explorers named this island Spitsbergen, meaning “pointed mountains.” There are 14 sizable glaciers in this area as well as opportunities for spotting seals, beluga whales, and polar bears.

Day 9: Beluga Beach

Place visiting
Ahlstrandhalvøya , Bellsund , Tundra , Wildlife

Today you land on Ahlstrandhalvøya, at the mouth of Van Keulenfjorden. Here piles of beluga skeletons, the remains of 19th century whale slaughter, are a haunting reminder of the consequences of rampant exploitation. Fortunately belugas were not hunted into extinction, and you have a good chance of coming across a pod. Cruising into Bellsund during the afternoon, you can then explore tundra at the head of the fjord, where reindeer like to feed.

Day 10: Journey’s End in Longyearbyen

Place visiting
You disembark in Longyearbyen for your flight home or extention stay

Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. You disembark in Longyearbyen for your flight home, but with memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.


Place visiting

Windows Info Info

  • 1 porthole
  • 2 lower berths
  • Private shower & toilet
  • Desk & chair
  • Flatscreen TV
  • Telephone and Internet connection
  • Hair dryer
  • Ample storage space

History of Plancius

​M/v “Plancius” was built in 1976 as an oceanographic research vessel for the Royal Dutch Navy and was named “Hr. Ms. Tydeman”. The ship sailed for the Dutch Navy until June 2004 and was eventually purchased by Oceanwide Expeditions. The vessel was completely rebuilt as a 116-passenger vessel in 2009 and complies with the latest SOLAS-regulations (Safety Of Life At Sea). M/v “Plancius” is classed by Lloyd’s Register and flies the Dutch flag.

Passengers: 116 in 53 cabins
Staff & crew: 47
Length: 89 meters (293 feet)
Breadth: 14,5 meters (47 feet)
Draft: 5 meters (16 feet)
Ice class: 1D (Plancius has a Lloyds class notation 100A1 Passenger ship, Ice Class 1D at a draught of 5 meters)
Displacement: 3211 tonnes
Propulsion: 3x Diesel-Electric
Speed: 10.5 knots average cruising speed

Perfect for any expedition

M/v “Plancius” accommodates 116 passengers in 53 passenger cabins with private toilet and shower in 4 quadruple porthole cabins, 2 triple porthole cabins, 9 twin porthole cabins, 26 twin cabins with window and 2 twin deluxe cabins, all (ca. 12,5 square meters) and 10 twin superior cabins (ca. 21 square meters). All cabins offer lower berths (one queen-size bed in the superior cabins and two single beds in the twin cabins), except for the 4 quadruple cabins (for 4 persons in 2x upper and lower beds), and 2 triple cabins (1 bunk bed plus 1 lower bed).

Plancius: a vessel with comfort and character

The vessel offers a restaurant/lecture room on deck 3 and a spacious observation lounge (with bar) on deck 5 with large windows, offering full panorama view. M/v “Plancius” has large open deck spaces (with full walk-around possibilities on deck 4), giving excellent opportunities to enjoy the scenery and wildlife. She is furthermore equipped with 10 Mark V zodiacs, including 40 HP 4-stroke outboard engines and 2 gangways on the starboard side, guaranteeing a swift zodiac operation. M/v “Plancius” is comfortable and nicely decorated, but is not a luxury vessel. Our voyages in the Arctic and Antarctic regions are primarily defined by an exploratory educational travel programme, spending as much time ashore as possible. Plancius fully meets our demands to achieve this. The vessel is equipped with a diesel-electric propulsion system which reduces the noise and vibration of the vessel considerably. The 3 diesel engines generate 1.230 horse-power each, giving the vessel a speed of 10 - 12 knots. The vessel is ice-strengthened and was specially built for oceanographic voyages. M/v “Plancius” is manned by an international crew of 37 (18 nautical crew and 19 hotel crew), 8 expedition staff (1 expedition leader, 1 assistant expedition leader and 6 guides/lecturers), and 1 doctor.

Age and Nationality

Passengers on a typical voyage range from their 30s to their 80s - with a majority usually from 45 - 65. Our expeditions attract independent-minded travellers from around the world. They are characterised by a strong interest in exploring remote regions. The camaraderie and spirit that develops aboard is an important part of the expedition experience. Many departures have several nationalities on board.

Dress code

In keeping with our expeditions atmosphere, dress on board is informal. Bring casual and comfortable clothing for all activities. Keep in mind that much of the spectacular scenery can be appreciated from deck, which can be slippery. Bring sturdy shoes with no-slip soles and make sure the parka is never far away in case of the call "Whales!" comes over the loudspeaker and you have to dash outside. Wear layers since it is comfortably warm aboard the ship - and often cold on deck.

Currency & payment

Refreshments from the bar and souvenirs will be charged to your cabin. The day before departure you can settle your bill with the Hotel Manager and pay by credit card (Visa or MasterCard) or cash (Euro or Dollar). We do not accept cheques of any kind. The prices and standard currency on board our vessels is the Euro. Other currencies may be accepted at the discretion of the hotel manager at prevailing rates.

Electric current

The electrical supply aboard the ship is 220v, 60Hz. Electrical outlets are standard European with two thick round pins. You may need a 220v/110v converter.


The customary gratuity to the ship's service personnel is made as a blanket contribution at the end of the voyage which is divided among the crew. Tipping is a very personal matter and the amount you wish to give is at your discretion. As a generally accepted guideline, we suggest US$8 to US$10 per person per day. It is better for the crew, if you can give them cash US Dollar.

Non-smoking policy

On board our vessels we have a non-smoking policy. It is prohibited to smoke inside the ship. You can smoke in the designated smoking areas. Please respect the wishes of non-smokers.

Your physical condition

You must be in good general health and you should be able to walk several hours per day. The expedition is ship-based and physically not very demanding. Although we spend as much time as possible ashore, you are welcome to remain aboard the ship if you like. To join most excursions, you must be able to get up and down the steep gangway from the ship to the water level to board the Zodiacs. Staff will assist you in and out of the boats. This will become progressively easier with practice. Ashore it can be slippery and rocky. You are travelling in remote areas without access to sophisticated medical facilities, so you must not join this expedition if you have a life-threatening condition, or need daily medical treatment.

For more information please contact our concierge@above-5.com or concierge@above5stars.com or chat with us via our website chat !!!

Polar Diving adventional experience

Place visiting
POLAR DIVING USD 500 , but note only 5 places left ...!!!
Today's Highlights

As if visiting the Arctic or Antarctic weren’t otherworldly enough, there’s a whole other world for you to explore under the surface of the sea.



Polar diving: scuba diving trips in Antarctica and the Arctic

As if visiting the Arctic or Antarctic were not otherworldly enough, there is a whole other world for you to explore under the surface of the seas.

What will I see while on a diving cruise?

Aiming for 1 or 2 dives per day (depending on weather and ice conditions) you will dive under shallow ice, down along walls, from the beach, or from a Zodiac. You’ll reach a maximum depth of 20 metres (60 feet). Diving under Polar waters is like no other dive – the combination of water, sunlight, and ice formations creates an ever-shifting spectacle of colours.

Our divers are often surprised by the diversity of wildlife they encounter underwater:

  • a variety of starfish species
  • sea squirts
  • squat lobsters
  • different species of crab
  • soft corals
  • anemones
  • peacock worms
  • dogfish
  • kelp walls
  • sea-snails
  • sea butterflies
  • multiple species of fish
  • shrubby horse-tails
  • jellyfish
  • sea-hedgehogs (urchins)

You might even have the opportunity to dive with Fur Seals, Leopard Seals or Penguins. (We do not dive with walruses in the area because they can get aggressive – though you may be able to observe them from the Zodiac with your snorkel and mask.)

Diving in the Arctic

The Arctic diving expeditions take place around Spitsbergen. You’ll be able to dive from our Zodiacs, the beaches, and even get in some wreck dives. Spitsbergen has been a very successful spot for us to dive with seals.

Diving in Antarctica

The Antarctic waters are rich with krill, meaning that quite a lot of marine life is attracted to the area. In addition to seals you’ll also have a good chance to make friends with some the penguin population on your dives.

Do I need to have experience to dive?

Yes. These are not training dives and are not meant for beginners.

Before your cruise departs you’ll be asked to present your internationally accepted diver certificate, your diver’s logbook (you’ll be asked to provide copies when completing your diver personal information form), and a statement from your doctor (not older than two years) that states you are in a good state of physical health allowing you to scuba dive.

We also ask that you have experience with cold-water diving and dry-suit dives (at least 30).

How dangerous are the dives?

Experienced divers know the risks inherent in all dives (e.g. currents, possibility of equipment failure). Diving during an Arctic or Antarctic cruise has a couple of additional precautions that must be taken.

First, there is no decompression chamber available in either Polar Region. We do have doctors on board our vessels but they are only able to render first aid assistance. As there is little to no infrastructure in the areas we cruise full medical assistance can be hours, or even days, away.

Polar diving

For these reasons we ask that divers refrain from stunt dives like extra deep dives. Our dive team leaders and guides may decide to exclude divers from a dive if they feel the diver is not experienced enough. This is not only for that particular diver’s safety, but also for the safety of the rest of the divers and the master and the guides.

Ice is obviously a concern that dives in other parts of the world do not face. The ice is constantly shifting, closing off entry and exit points and opening them elsewhere. Extra precaution must be taken for divers to stay oriented to their safe exits.

Along those lines, marine life moves along with the ice following access to sunlight and krill. This means we cannot guarantee that you’ll get to see particular forms of marine life, and disappointments due to shifting conditions cannot be grounds for claims or reimbursements.

Your dive team leader and guides

Our dive team leaders are highly experienced in Polar dives and are trained instructors. They are assisted by an additional one or two dive guides. Dives expeditions are conducted in English unless otherwise stated.

We send out eight divers per guide, with a maximum of 24 divers per excursion. We usually have 6 or seven divers per Zodiac, which is a comfortable amount to allow for equipment. Most Zodiacs have reinforced “diving floors,” allowing for more equipment per Zodiac.

We work on the dive-buddy system as opposed to dive guides (the guides stay on the surface as spotters and to check divers in and out). The diver buddies are expected to look after each other, and they should all be experienced enough to read their compasses and depth gauges.

The cruises start with a check dive to allow divers to acclimate to the cold waters and to try out their equipment, as well as figure out how many weight s they will need for the dives. Before each dive there is a briefing to inform you about the location where you’ll be diving, the weather, the ice conditions, and the dive procedure.


You won’t have to store dive gear in your cabins – when you first embark we’ll show you where you can stow your equipment.

We are happy to provide you with:

  • Compressors - On board we have a Bauer compressor (200 litres), 35 steel bottles of 12 litres each, 200 bar, with DIN and Yoke adaptable connections and two separate outlets. This will allow for the attachment of a primary and a secondary backup regulator, which allows for either regulator to be independently isolated if there is a malfunction or a free flow.
  • Weights - You will be provided with hard led weights and a belt. There are no ankle weights available.

You’ll want to bring:

  • Dry suit with hood
  • Thick and warm underwater garment (2 sets), dry gloves or adequate thick wet gloves (make sure they will keep your hands warm in sub-zero waters)
  • 2 separate freeze-protected regulators, because we dive with special bottles with two separate outlets. The tanks we are using are 12L steel tanks. They are fitted with a “Y” or “H” valve configuration, with DIN or Yoke (INT) adaptable connections.
  • Pressure gauge
  • Stabilizing jacket or some kind of BC with quick release – divers without BCD trusting only their dry suit for buoyancy control will not be allowed to dive
  • Depth gauge, watch or computer
  • Compass
  • Knife
  • Torch (light)
  • Mask, fins and snorkel
  • Weight belt (weights available on board)

You’ll be asked to prepare your own equipment well in advance of each dive. You should bring spare parts for your regulators and dry suit in case of leakage or damage. You’ll have to carry your own equipment in and out of the Zodiac and up and down the gangway.

Scuba gear tips


  • Normal regulators will not function in sub-freezing water as both the first and second stage will freeze.
  • You are required to bring two sets of regulators (1st & 2nd stage), suitable for cold-water/ice diving. Some regulators can be fitted with an environmental seal kit; others come environmentally sealed from the manufacturer.
  • To avoid regulator malfunction, regulators must be cared for properly before, during and after diving. Regulators should be kept dry and warm before the dive; store them in your cabin.
  • Avoid breathing from the regulator before submersion, except to briefly ensure it is functioning. Exhale after removing the regulator from your mouth so as to avoid freezing the second stage with moisture from the exhaled breath.
  • If during the dive your primary regulator freezes up and causes a free flow, you should switch to you back-up regulator, and turn off the valve to the primary regulator to stop the free flow.

Tips for keeping water out of your regulator

  • Always open the cylinder valve briefly before mounting the regulator, to blow out any moisture from the orifice.
  • When purging the regulator for removal, hold the second stage lower than the first stage so that water cannot drip back to the first stage after pressure has dropped.
  • Remove the regulator carefully, so as not to allow ice or water to fall into the filter of the regulator.
  • Dry the dust cap thoroughly before attaching it to the regulator.
  • The dust cap must fit snugly before rinsing the regulator.
  • Do not press the purge button while rinsing the regulator.
  • Shake excess water from the second stage before hanging the regulator to dry.

Face Mask

  • The type of mask you are using is not critical, we recommend using a standard mask and regulator.
  • You may use a full-face mask if you prefer, but keep an extra facemask handy in case your regulator free flows.
  • It is best to avoid spitting into the mask for defogging, as this can freeze onto the inside of the mask. Commercial defogging agents work well for ice diving.
  • Straps can also become brittle in cold weather, and it is highly recommended that you bring a spare strap and a spare mask.

Instruments, Gauges and Computers

You must have one tank pressure indicator for each regulator set-up. Some electronic instruments will not function well in sub-freezing temperatures. Liquid crystal displays may be slow to display and batteries will also run low sooner.

Dry Suit

  • Dry suits are the only adequate protection from thermal exposure in the Arctic and Antarctica where the water will be as cold as – 1ºC/30ºF is a dry suit.
  • The type of dry suit you use is not important so long as it fits you, is waterproof and you are comfortable using it. Neoprene dry suits have the benefit of having good stretch and extra insulation.
  • Shell suits provide no extra insulation but are lighter and dry more quickly. Shell suits serve only to keep the diver dry and require extra layers of garments to be worn under the suit. If appropriate, bring a small dry suit repair kit.

Insulating Undergarments

The function of the undergarments is to trap air against your body to be warmed. The colder the water, the more (or thicker) layers of undergarments are required. It is recommended that you wear two or three layers, depending on your suit.

  • As the first layer you should wear a set of polypropylene liners. This type of material helps wick any moisture away from the body.
  • As the second layer you should wear thick insulating material, such as fleece, synthetic pile, thinsulate or similar.
  • As the final and outer layer you may wish to wear a windproof shell. The one piece jump suit style is the most common and comfortable configuration of dive-wear and is available in a variety of thicknesses depending on your dry suit and the water temperature.

Dry Suit Accessories

  • If a hood is not attached to your dry suit you will need to bring one. A 7 mm neoprene hood with face and neck seal is recommended.
  • Regular 7 mm neoprene semidry gloves or mitts may be used with any dry suit and are relatively easy to use. Three finger mitts are warmer than five-finger gloves.
  • Special dry gloves that seal against rings on the arm of the dry suit are available in the market. To prevent glove squeeze, and to promote warmth, short pieces of surgical tubing, or straws can be inserted under the wrist seals to provide a conduit for air to exchange from the suit to the gloves. This type of glove requires additional practice to use, as they can come off your hand if not used correctly.

Post-dive Wear

It is important to bring a warm hat and some warm wind and waterproof gloves to wear before and especially after the dive. You may also wish to bring a wind and waterproof jacket and pants to keep the cold wind off your wet dry suit.

Setting Up Your Gear

For redundancy in case of free flow caused by the cold water two sets of regulators are needed - one standard sport diving regulator including 1 first stage (freeze protected) and 2 second stages, 1 pressure gauge, 1 inflator hose and 1 dry suit hose. You also need an extra freeze protected first stage.

1st set:

  • Freeze protected First stage
  • Second stage (including hose)
  • Hose for BC
  • Pressure gauge / computer

2nd set:

  • Freeze protected First stage
  • Second stage (including hose)
  • Hose for Dry suit

Important final notes

  • Diving is an equipment-intensive activity.
  • Ice diving requires an extensive amount of additional equipment because of the cold weather and water, and the remote location involved. Diving is not fun if you are cold.
  • Divers in cold water may have a higher air consumption rate, expend more energy, and can become more fatigued. Cold water also decreases a diver’s ability to perform complex tasks that require manual dexterity.
  • The snorkel is a vital part of the safety equipment and will often be used when snorkelling with seals and such.
  • Please don’t bring any new equipment on this expedition that you have not already tested in the water and are very familiar with. The Polar Regions are not the place to test out new equipment.
  • Please make sure that you have done at least 4 or 5 dives with your new equipment.
  • It is required that you complete a few dives with all the equipment you will be using before coming on the trip. This will also allow you to fine-tune your buoyancy and trim characteristics, and make a note of how much weight you will need when diving with all your equipment.
  • Please contact your airline about their luggage restrictions and request a special allowance for your dive equipment prior to departure. All excess baggage is at your own expense.
  • Get travel insurance! Participation on an expedition cruise is at 100% your own risk.

In our travel documentation (specifically our personal information form for scuba diving) all of our passengers need to sign a liability statement in which participants agree that Oceanwide Expeditions and the dive staff are exempt from responsibility for personal injury and property damage including the loss of items. Oceanwide cannot accept any claims.

For more information please contact our concierge@above-5.com or concierge@above5stars.com or chat with us via our website chat !!!