Limited OfferSave up to £5,800 per booking in 2018
An Arctic expeditionary cruise offering an excellent introduction to the impressive wildlife, history and geography of Spitsbergen.
While Antarctica takes days to reach, Spitsbergen is a mere 7 hours flight away and gives it's southern polar counterpart a good run for its money. Synonymous with polar exploration, teeming with charismatic wildlife and with jaw-droppingly beautiful glaciers seemingly around every corner the archipelago of Svalbard is a favourite with historians, wildlife lovers and photographers alike. For most the lure of seeing the polar bear in its natural habitat is enough to draw travellers to Spitsbergen but also be prepared to see artic foxes, walrus, whales and a variety of birdlife. With departures primarily operating in June and July, voyage northwards up the western side of the island of Spitsbergen, the most ice free coast earlier in the season, exploring the secluded waterways and fjords by zodiac and stepping ashore to trek across vast tundras and glaciers. A memorable polar expedition into this little visited corner of the world.
15 - 23 June 201720 - 28 June 201718 - 26 July 2017
04 - 12 June 201814 - 22 June 201822 - 30 June 2018
For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.
what is included
what is excluded
PLEASE NOTE THE ABOVE FLIGHT COST IS A SUGGESTED FROM PRICE. FLIGHT COSTS WILL BE CONFIRMED AT TIME OF BOOKING. ALL FLIGHTS ARE ATOL PROTECTED.
Fly London to Longyearbyen
You will be staying at Basecamp Hotel, Bed & Breakfast
Longyearbyen embarkationTransfer to the ship for embarkation. Sail out of Adventfjorden and into Isfjorden during the early evening. After an introductory briefing, sit down for the first meal on board.The former mining town of Longyearbyen offers the Svalbard Museum and the North Pole Expedition Museum, both located close to The University Centre. The nearby Svalbard Gallery houses an interesting collection of artwork, maps, books and notes. Keen birders can make their way to the bay, a wonderful place to look for waders. A short stroll away is the infamous polar bear warning sign, while the tiny Svalbard Church is located on the far side of the valley.
You will be staying at Akademik Sergey Vavilov, Full board
Krossfjorden and Ny AlesundThe shores of Krossfjorden are home to numerous bird colonies. Anchor off a small harbour and cruise by Zodiac along the bird cliffs that lie near the 14th of July Glacier. Hope to catch a glimpse of bearded and ringed seals, which frequent the fjord.During the afternoon, cross Kongsfjord to Ny Alesund, a former mining village and currently the world's most northern community. Founded in 1916, Ny Alesund operated as a coal mine sporadically until 1962. Since then, it has become the site of numerous international polar science institutes. Ny Alesund earned its place in aviation history as a launch pad for North Pole aviation exploration. Notable pioneer aviators, such as Zeppelin, Amundsen, Ellsworth, Byrd and Nobile all passed through Ny Alesund.
RaudfjordenContinue onto Ruadfjord, which is tucked into the north-western tip of Spitsbergen. This secluded fjord is an excellent place to hike, take Zodiac trips and explore by kayak. Whilst here, have the chance to search for reindeer on land or ringed and bearded seals in the water. Alternatively, explore the tundra vegetation at select points along the shoreline, looking out for wildflowers.
Hinlopenstretet and AlkefjelletHead into the Hinlopen Strait, which separates Spitsbergen and Nordaustlandet. The water that flushes through the strait is rich in phytoplankton and zooplankton. Thriving off this food source, thick-billed murres make the impressive bird cliffs at Alkefjellet their home. Each summer, these spectacular cliffs house more than 120,000 pairs of murres. The water moving through Hinlopen Strait also brings sea ice with it, and access into the area is dictated by the ice conditions that day. However, exploring this sea ice can bring the ship into close contact with polar bears. The captain will work in tandem with the expedition team in order to maximise viewing potential.
Phippsoya – northernmost pointAt 81 degrees north, pass Phippsoya, one of the Seven Islands. Only 540 nautical miles from the North Pole, Phippsoya offers the potential for great polar bear viewing, due to its proximity to the pack ice.
Liefdefjorden and MonacobreenSail into Leifdefjorden, and towards Monaco Glacier. This spectacular glacier provides a fabulous backdrop for cruising by Zodiac or exploring by kayak. Miles of ice are broken up by the occasional ice cave or tumbling serac, whilst thousands of black-legged kittiwakes feed on the upwelling of nutrients found near the sub-glacial outflow. The coastal plain near the mouth of Liefdefjorden offers superb hiking and is often a great place to spot polar bears.
Fuglesangen and SmeergenburgContinue onto the island of Fuglesangenoya, and approach by Zodiac. Home to a large dovekie colony, the island is shaped in such a way that viewing opportunities are maximised, whilst minimising disturbance to the colony.Just a few miles from Fuglesangen is the former whaling station of Smeerenburg, which translates as 'Blubber Town'. Hike along the shoreline and learn about the importance of whaling in the discovery and exploration of the Svalbard archipelago. The blubber ovens are all that is left of this controversial industry.
Poole Pynten, Prins Karls ForlandVisit Prince Charles Island and head to a well-known spot for seeing walruses ashore. Hope to catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures, whose presence can often be confirmed by approaching from downwind and waiting for their pungent odour to fill the air.
Longyearbyen DisembarkationAfter a final hearty breakfast, disembark and transfer to the town.
Fly Longyearbyen to London
Phone: +44(0) 1285 885 333
+44(0) 1285 885 333
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