The masted Rembrandt van Rijn small sailing ship navigates the calm ocean in the arctic circle near spitsbergen
people hike on the tundra to look at the scenery and snow-capped mountains of spitsbergen
A group of white reindeer walk through ice and water in spitsbergen
Two walruses sit on sea ice in the ocean in spitsbergen
Passengers aboard a zodiac boat take a photo of a polar bear walking on the pack ice in the arctic circle in spitsbergen
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Polar Regions Arctic Cruise

Sailing Spitsbergen

At the end of a long winter, Arctic spring begins to awaken on North Spitsbergen. The climate, however, still clings to the cold, with snow-covered mountains, snow-swept shores and temperatures around 25°F (–4° C). It’s a good time to experience the last of winter scenery and with luck, see Arctic animals like polar bear, walrus and seals.

The 8-day Sailing Spitsbergen small ship cruise begins and ends in Longyearbyen, Norway. Highlights include visiting the Svalbard Museum in Longyearbyen, a former mining town and now administrative capital of Spitsbergen, the largest island of Norway’s Svalbard archipelago. Spot minke whales while sailing Isfjorden and tour historic whaling and hunting stations at Trygghamna. Witness large seabirds decide upon their breeding site along the cliffs of Alkhornet and gawk at the foraging animals like arctic foxes and reindeer grazing below.

Snowshoe around historic Ny London to see the remains of early 20th-century marble mining and Ny Ålesund, the northernmost community in the world. Hike the tundra of Ymerbukta and glaciated Ekmanfjorden, depending on when spring arrives, otherwise view the fascinating geological coastal formations by Zodiac and ship. Delight as walrus haul out to sea at Poolepynten and ringed and bearded seals hunt in the icy water near Gaffelbreen.

This unique Arctic sailing is aboard the 3-masted, 33-guest Rembrandt van Rijn. This schooner is well suited for Arctic adventures while sailing the Svalbard archipelago. Hoisting traditional sails while exploring remote areas in search of Arctic wildlife, geology and history makes this ship an ideal accommodation. This vessel is an AdventureSmith favorite for private charter cruises due to her adventurous nature and intimate size.

In addition to the main 8-day Sailing Spitsbergen Arctic sailing voyage, there is an 11/12-day North Spitsbergen, Arctic Summer itinerary that sails to the north coast of Spitsbergen when the icepack allows. Contact AdventureSmith Explorations to learn your best options for sailing Spitsbergen.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Arctic cruises, Svalbard & Spitsbergen Cruises and Arctic trips.



Itinerary

8-Day North Spitsbergen, Arctic Spring Itinerary

The 8-Day North Spitsbergen, Arctic Spring voyage begins and ends in Longyearbyen, Norway, with a focus on the Western shores of Spitsbergen. Departures are during Arctic spring, when dense pack ice enables polar bears to roam more easily.

Route map of Sailing Spitsbergen Arctic small ship voyage, operating roundtrip from Longyearbyen, Norway with stops along Spitsbergen's western shores including Trygghamna, Alkhornet, Kongsfjorden, Krossfjorden, Prins Karls Forland, Poolepynten, Isfjorden, Ymerbukta, Ekmanfjorden & Gipsvika.
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Day 1
Embark Longyearbyen, Norway

Touch down in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, the largest island of Norway’s Svalbard archipelago. Stroll 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 plants have been recorded in it. Early this evening, sail out of Isfjorden and perhaps spot the first minke whales of the voyage. Then sail for Trygghamna to see the remains of a 17th-century English whaling station and 18th-century Pomor hunting station, both of which are visited the next morning.

Accommodations

Rembrandt van Rijn

Meals

dinner

Read More
Day 2
Trygghamna & Alkhornet

From Trygghamna, walk to Alkhornet, a large seabird cliff where the birds are scouting out breeding places. Below the cliffs is a common place to spot Arctic animals like arctic foxes, seabirds and reindeer grazing on the lush vegetation, if there’s not too much snow.

Accommodations

Rembrandt van Rijn

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 3 - 4
Kongsfjorden & Krossfjorden

Sail north for Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden. The landscape is likely to show signs of winter, the crags and slopes still blanketed with snow. Enjoy rich opportunities for snowshoeing and visiting places of historic interest: Ny London, where there are remains of early 20th-century marble mining, and Ny Ålesund, the northernmost community in the world. There are also research stations and the famous anchor mast of the dirigible Norge, which took the first flight across the North Pole to Nome, Alaska, in 1926. Krossfjorden offers views of colossal glaciers and lofty mountain peaks, but ultimately the extent of fjord ice dictates the itinerary.

Accommodations

Rembrandt van Rijn

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Prins Karls Forland & Poolepynten

Cutting south between the main island of Spitsbergen and Prins Karls Forland, encounter walruses at Poolepynten, a common haul-out site. Take in the views of St. Johnsfjorden near Gaffelbreen. The winter ice may not have loosened its grip on the water here and Arctic animals like ringed seals and bearded seals could be numerous in the area.

Accommodations

Rembrandt van Rijn

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 6 - 7
Isfjorden, Ymerbukta, Ekmanfjorden & Gipsvika

The ship doubles back into Isfjorden and ventures to Ymerbukta, offering a possible walk in this mountainous area. Explore the expansive tundra with its own avifauna, depending on when spring arrives, as well as spectacular geological formations along the coast. Farther northeast, near Ekmanfjorden, have the chance for another hike where numerous glaciers terminate near or into the sea. In Gipsvika, hop on shore near the cliff of Templet, a mountainous location of eroded sedimentary rock from the Upper Carboniferous period—around 290 million years ago.

Accommodations

Rembrandt van Rijn

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 8
Disembark Longyearbyen, Norway

Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. Disembark in Longyearbyen, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Voyage aboard the indicated vessel 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 snow shoes; transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotel and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen; all miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; AECO fees and governmental taxes; comprehensive pre-departure material.

Exclusions

Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre- and post-cruise 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 (strongly recommended); excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges, telecommunication charges and personal gear; the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 20% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 90 days – 100% of deposit
89 to 60 days – 50% of total trip cost
59 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Vaccination Requirement
To join this trip, all eligible guests must provide proof of being fully vaccinated (at least 14 days after your final COVID-19 vaccine shot), including a booster shot for those eligible. There may also be COVID-19 testing or other requirements to participate; your Adventure Specialist will provide details of current policies upon booking.

Arrival & Departure

The main Sailing Spitsbergen voyage begins and ends in Longyearbyen, Norway (LYR). We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan flights to arrive to Longyearbyen by 3:00pm on day 1 of the itinerary. Embarkation time is between 4:00 and 5:00pm on day of departure, with a 6:00pm departure. Transfers in Longyearbyen are provided on specified group flights. Travelers arriving on independently arranged flights should make their own way to the port on day of embarkation and to the airport upon disembarkation. Disembarkation is after breakfast on day 8 of the itinerary. Plan flights to depart Longyearbyen no earlier than 2:30am on day 8.  If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Various optional activities may be available on your North Spitsbergen, Arctic Spring cruise. In 2022, added-cost activity fees are as follows: ski touring $500.

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the ship’s crew can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Depending on itinerary, season and weather conditions, adventure activities may include hiking, snowshoeing, alpine skiing, inflatable boat/skiff excursions, glacier viewing, whale watching and polar animal observation. Every day there will be excursions on land, weather and ice permitting. The landings will take 3 to 6 hours per day over untracked area. According to circumstances (the weather, the ice-situation or the passengers’ wishes) the program can sometimes be adjusted. Ample time will be devoted to wildlife, vegetation, geography and history.

Snowshoeing (with rentals) is an additional included, optional activity, offered on select departures:

2022:
May 15 – May 22, 2022

2023:
May 15 – May 22, 2023
May 22 – May 29, 2023

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at 1.7x the per-person Twin or Superior listed rates. Single travelers wishing to book on a “sharing basis” may do so at no additional cost in Twin, Triple or Quadruple categories upon availability.

Families & Children

Upon request (some voyages may be excluded), children under 16 years old with parents may receive a 40% discount in triple cabins (1 child sharing with 2 parents/adults). Parents are entirely responsible for their children at all times, on land and on board; there is no onboard day care or nursery facility.

Travel Insurance

Emergency medical evacuation insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum recommended coverage of $100,000 per person. Trip cancellation insurance is optional but highly recommended. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice, weather conditionswildlife encountered and the captain’s discretion. Flexibility is the key to the success of any Arctic expedition.

11/12-Day North Spitsbergen Arctic Summer Itinerary

The 11/12-Day North Spitsbergen Arctic Summer voyage begins and ends in Longyearbyen, Norway, and sails to some of the remotest locations of northern Europe. The expedition offers the opportunity to spot historic whaling remains, glaciers, a variety of arctic birds including the little auk, and polar bears.

Route map of North Spitsbergen Arctic Summer small ship cruise, operating round-trip from Longyearbyen, Norway.
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Day 1
Embark Longyearbyen, Norway

Touch down in Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Spitsbergen, the largest island of Norway’s Svalbard archipelago. Stroll 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 plants have been recorded in it. Early this evening, sail out of Isfjorden and perhaps spot the first minke whales of the voyage. Then sail for Trygghamna to see the remains of a 17th-century English whaling station and 18th-century Pomor hunting station, both of which are visited the next morning.

Accommodations

Rembrandt van Rijn

Meals

dinner

Read More
Day 2
Trygghamna & Alkhornet

From Trygghamna, walk to Alkhornet, a large seabird cliff where the birds are scouting out breeding places. Below the cliffs is a common place to spot Arctic animals like arctic foxes, seabirds and reindeer grazing on the lush vegetation, if there’s not too much snow.

Accommodations

Rembrandt van Rijn

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 3
Fuglefjorden & Ytre Norskoya

Sail into Fuglefjorden amid views of Svitjodbreen and Birgerbukta, both breeding areas for great skuas as well as likely spots to see a polar bear. On Birgerbukta, see 17th-century Basque ovens once used for cooking whale blubber. The aim next is to visit Ytre Norskøya, a small island that served for many years as a Dutch whaling lookout. Follow the whalers’ tracks to the summit of the island, passing popular bird cliffs on the way. On shore are the remains of more 17th-century blubber ovens, while Arctic skuas and common eiders breed among the graves of some two hundred Dutch whalers.

Accommodations

Rembrandt van Rijn

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 4
Raudfjorden & Ermaktangen

Raudfjorden, on the north coast of Spitsbergen, is a fine place for gazing over the glaciers. It’s also a favorite hangout for ringed and bearded seals, colonies of seabird, and the occasional polar bear and beluga whale. Ermaktangen, at the fjord coast of Spitsbergen, is a fine place for gazing over the glof, the land.

Accommodations

Rembrandt van Rijn

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Reindyrsflya

If ice conditions permit, land on the northern side of Reindyrsflya, the largest tundra area of Spitsbergen. This vast and rolling plain is a popular grazing area for reindeer, and several species of waders also breed here. Similarly, the lakes afford a good chance of spotting red-throated divers and king eiders.

Accommodations

Rembrandt van Rijn

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6*
Liefdefjorden & Monaco Glacier (*12-day itinerary only)

Depending on the weather, possibly sail into Liefdefjorden and cruise within sight of the 3.1-miles-long 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.

Accommodations

Rembrandt van Rijn

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6/7
Fuglesangen & Magdalenafjorden

In the morning, land at Fuglesangen to observe spirited communities of little auks. Then sail south to Magdalenafjorden, one of the glacier-filled highlights of Spitsbergen. A shore visit reveals the remains of 17th-century English whaling and more large colonies of little auks.

Accommodations

Rembrandt van Rijn

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 7/8
Kongsfjorden

Head north for Kongsfjorden. The landscape is likely to show signs of winter, the crags and slopes still blanketed with snow. Aim to visit places of historic interest: Ny London to see the remains of early 20th-century marble mining and Ny Ålesund, the northernmost community in the world. There are also research stations and the famous anchor mast of the dirigible Norge, which took the first flight across the North Pole to Nome, Alaska in 1926.

Accommodations

Rembrandt van Rijn

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 8/9
14th July Glacier & Krossfjorden

Today sail to 14th July Glacier and along the nearby impressive bird mountain. Enjoy watching the breeding birds from the ship or Zodiac at a close distance. Then in Krossfjorden, sail by a puffin breeding spot and into Lillehook Glacier, the largest glacier front in Spitsbergen and host to foraging kittiwakes. Possibly also land in Signehamna, where the German Kriegsmarine had a weather station during World War II. Ebeltofthamna is another place of historical interest, being the first whaling station on land in this area, with graves of English whalers from the very early 17th century. Ultimately, the extent of fjord ice dictates the itinerary here.

Accommodations

Rembrandt van Rijn

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 9/10
Fuglehuken or Forlandsundet

On today’s journey south, the goal is a landing at Fuglehuken to see remains from the great era of polar bear hunting. There are also large seabird colonies and a haul-out spot for harbour seals. Alternatively, land on the coast of Forlandsundet at Engelskbukta or Sarstangen. Walruses are occasionally seen here, and the tundra is a fine place for a walk.

Accommodations

Rembrandt van Rijn

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 10/11
Bohemanflya & Gipsvika

The next stop is Bohemanflya, an expansive tundra with its own avifauna (depending on when spring arrives) and spectacular geological formations along the coast. In Gipsvika, go on shore near Templet, a mountainous location of eroded sedimentary rock from the Upper Carboniferous period – around 290 million years ago.

Accommodations

Rembrandt van Rijn

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 11/12
Disembark Longyearbyen, Norway

Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. Disembark in Longyearbyen, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

Voyage aboard the indicated vessel 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 snow shoes; transfers and baggage handling between the airport, hotel and ship only for those passengers on the group flights to and from Longyearbyen; all miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; AECO fees and governmental taxes; comprehensive pre-departure material.

Exclusions

Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights; pre- and post-cruise land arrangements; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (strongly recommended); excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges, telecommunication charges and personal gear; the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 20% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 90 days – 100% of deposit
89 to 60 days – 50% of total trip cost
59 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Vaccination Requirement
To join this trip, all eligible guests must provide proof of being fully vaccinated (at least 14 days after your final COVID-19 vaccine shot), including a booster shot for those eligible. There may also be COVID-19 testing or other requirements to participate; your Adventure Specialist will provide details of current policies upon booking.

Arrival & Departure

The 11/12-Day North Spitsbergen, Arctic Summer voyage begins and ends in Longyearbyen, Norway (LYR). We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan flights to arrive to Longyearbyen by 3:00pm on day 1 of the itinerary. Embarkation time is between 4:00 and 5:00pm on day of departure, with a 6:00pm departure. Transfers in Longyearbyen are provided on specified group flights. Travelers arriving on independently arranged flights should make their own way to the port on day of embarkation and to the airport upon disembarkation. Disembarkation is after breakfast on the final day of the itinerary. Plan flights to depart Longyearbyen no earlier than 2:30am on the final day. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Activities

Whether you are looking for light activity options or more challenging outdoor pursuits, the ship’s crew can tailor most excursions to suit your skill level. Depending on itinerary, season and weather conditions, adventure activities may include hiking, snowshoeing, alpine skiing, inflatable boat/skiff excursions, glacier viewing, whale watching and polar animal observation. Every day there will be excursions on land, weather and ice permitting. The landings will take 3 to 6 hours per day over untracked area. According to circumstances (the weather, the ice-situation or the passengers’ wishes) the program can sometimes be adjusted. Ample time will be devoted to wildlife, vegetation, geography and history.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at 1.7x the per-person Twin or Superior listed rates. Single travelers wishing to book on a “sharing basis” may do so at no additional cost in Twin, Triple or Quadruple categories upon availability.

Families & Children

Upon request (some voyages may be excluded), children under 16 years old with parents may receive a 40% discount in triple cabins (1 child sharing with 2 parents/adults). Parents are entirely responsible for their children at all times, on land and on board; there is no onboard day care or nursery facility.

Travel Insurance

Emergency medical evacuation insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum recommended coverage of $100,000 per person. Trip cancellation insurance is optional but highly recommended. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice, weather conditions, wildlife encountered and the captain’s discretion. Flexibility is the key to the success of any Arctic expedition.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

This ship is an AdventureSmith favorite for private charter. Contact us for charter pricing and details.

Jun 05 - Jun 16, 2022
Rembrandt van Rijn • 12 days
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From $4950USD
Per Person
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Jun 16 - Jun 26, 2022
Rembrandt van Rijn • 11 days
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From $4500USD
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Jun 26 - Jul 06, 2022
Rembrandt van Rijn • 11 days
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From $4500USD
Per Person
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Jul 06 - Jul 16, 2022
Rembrandt van Rijn • 11 days
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From $4500USD
Per Person
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Jul 16 - Jul 26, 2022
Rembrandt van Rijn • 11 days
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From $4500USD
Per Person
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May 01 - May 08, 2023
Rembrandt van Rijn • 8 days
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From $3300USD
Per Person
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May 08 - May 15, 2023
Rembrandt van Rijn • 8 days
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From $3300USD
Per Person
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May 15 - May 22, 2023
Rembrandt van Rijn • 8 days
From $3300USD
Per Person
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May 22 - May 29, 2023
Rembrandt van Rijn • 8 days
From $3300USD
Per Person
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Jun 08 - Jun 18, 2023
Rembrandt van Rijn • 11 days
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From $4700USD
Per Person
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Jun 18 - Jun 28, 2023
Rembrandt van Rijn • 11 days
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From $4700USD
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Accommodation

Learn About the Small Ship on Your Itinerary

Motorsailer
Rembrandt van Rijn

The intimate 33-guest three-mast schooner S/V Rembrandt van Rijn is well suited for expedition cruising among the fjords of Greenland, and for a Northern Lights itinerary in the Arctic.

Expert Review

Reviews From Our Experts So You Know What To Expect

Arielle Lightcap • January 7th, 2020
Expert Review: What to Expect on a Polar Bear Cruise

A travel expert lends her Arctic cruise insight on what you can expect aboard a small ship polar bear cruise in the Arctic Svalbard region.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

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