Svalbard, Norway: Polar Bears & Midnight Sun

Arctic Cruise

  • Le Boreal (charter)
  • Luxury Expedition Ship
  • 264 Capacity
  • 12 Days
  • 2014 View Departure>
    • 2014
    • Jul 29 Tue
  • Price from
  • $9,995

Summary : Voyage aboard the all-balcony luxury expedition ship, Le Boreal, on this exclusive trip of a lifetime. Travel in the company of a world-class, seasoned expedition team creating a more memorable journey. Enjoy a comprehensive seven-day circumnavigation voyage of Spitsbergen Island, the largest island in Svalbard Archipelago. Visit the coastal city of Tromso, with stops at the Tromso Museum and the scenic Arctic Cathedral. Go ashore at remote Bjørnøya (Bear Island), the southernmost island of Svalbard Archipelago. Land on Nordaustlandet, the northernmost land in Svalbard noted for high populations of polar bears and walruses.

Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking

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Prices from
$9,995 to $21,995

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Itinerary
Day 1
Oslo, Norway

Arrive independently in Oslo, where you are met and assisted with baggage to your hotel located in the heart of Oslo’s city center. This afternoon, enjoy a leisurely guided walking tour of historic Oslo and then this evening, meet some of your A&K expedition team and fellow explorers for a welcome cocktail reception.

Day 2
Oslo / Tromso, Norway

This morning, transfer to the airport for your charter flight to the northern coastal city of Tromso, located 217 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Tromso was developed in the late 18th century when its harbor, noted for being ice-free year round due to the Gulf Stream, was a major center for fishing and trade. The town is situated on an island linked to the mainland by the striking Tromso Bridge. Take a city tour that includes Domkirke Cathedral, the statue of polar explorer Roald Amundsen and Tromso Museum with its fascinating displays of both ancient and modern Norwegian life. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and then visit the striking Arctic Cathedral. This afternoon, board the ship to begin your Arctic adventure.

Day 3
Barents Sea / Bear Island

Head north through the Barents Sea. Spend time on deck with your expedition naturalists as you keep an eye out for whales and the many seabirds common in these waters. Reach Bjørnøya (Bear Island) in the afternoon, the southernmost island in the Svalbard Archipelago. Board a Zodiac to cruise along the southern tip of the island taking in its massive bird cliffs, home to kittiwakes, guillemots and the occasional puffin. Later, land at the island’s northern tip to view puffin colonies and visit the meteorological station.

Day 4 – 10
Svalbard Islands

Enjoy seven full days of expedition cruising around Spitsbergen Island. The captain and expedition team are on the lookout for the day’s best expeditionary options, and visits may include:

Hornsund is a stunning fjord on the southwest corner of Spitsbergen, with rugged rock walls surmounting blue-hued glaciers crisscrossed by crevasses and birds perching in the high cliffs. The “glacier coast” to the south provides magnificent views of slow-moving glaciers that travel toward the sea. Here Beluga whales as well as ringed seals are often seen feeding at the front of the glacier.

Halvmåneøya (Half Moon Island) was used as a hunting ground for over-wintering Russians and Norwegians in the late 17th century. Polar bears and arctic foxes were hunted for their meat and fur, and walruses for their blubber. Today, the island is a haven for birds including eider ducks, arctic terns, snow buntings and grey phalaropes. Also visit Bjorneborg (Bear Castle), an old hut used by hunters and trappers.

The islands of Barentsøya and Edgeøya off the southern tip of Spitsbergen provide excellent opportunities for tundra hikes that reveal the scenic beauty of Svalbard. The colors of the tundra are alive with blooming flowers, various birds and grazing reindeer.

Torrelnesset is located on the far southwestern coast of the island of Nordaustlandet, which is the highest arctic landmass in the Svalbard archipelago and predominantly ice-covered. Go ashore to view the walrus colonies that congregate on the barren coast.

Hinlopen Strait is a passageway between the main island of Spitsbergen and the island of Nordaustlandet. Here we will visit the alkefejellet or “auk cliffs,” which are sheer and stunning cliffs that drop directly into the sea and are home to colonies of auks.

Woodfjorden and Leifdefjorden are known for their unique and intriguing geological features. Jagged peaks and dormant volcanoes surround red sandstone hills and bubbling geothermal springs. These features create an ideal habitat for birds and other wildlife, including polar bears, foxes and reindeer.

Located on Spitsbergen’s northwest corner, Magdalenefjorden is one of the most scenic and iconic fjords in all of Svalbard.

Ny Alesund has a history stretching back to the early Arctic explorers. Today, a polar research station occupies the site where a Norwegian coal mind once operated. Here scientists study meteorology, seismology, atmospheric sciences and marine biology. Conditions permitting, go ashore to visit the small community, including the northernmost post office in the world and the small museum and art gallery.

Throughout your days of cruising in Spitsbergen, the Expedition Team is on the lookout for ice floes, which provide the optimal chance of observing polar bears in their natural habitat. Each landing is supervised by our bear guardians, ensuring that each and every encounter proceeds safely for both humans and bears.

Day 11
Longyearbyen, Norway

This morning, bid farewell to your expedition team and crew as you disembark in Longyearbyen. Enjoy an orientation driving tour of Longyearbyen before transferring to the airport to board your return charter flight to Oslo. The remainder of the day is yours to relax and reflect on your high Arctic adventure from the comforts of your included hotel.

Day 12
Oslo, Norway

This morning after breakfast, depart for the airport for your flight home from Oslo.

Notes

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice and weather conditions - and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition.

Mandatory Travel Insurance:
As a requirement of participation on this expedition, all passengers must purchase emergency evacuation/repatriation insurance at a minimum coverage of US$50,000. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $100,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for trips which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.

Included:
One night pre-cruise accommodation in Oslo, Norway and one night post-cruise accommodation in Longyearbyen; meals in Longyearbyen; accommodation and meals on the ship; arrival transfer to the starting hotel regardless of day of arrival; transfer to the hotel on the day of debarkation; fully guided sightseeing as noted in the itinerary including park and entrance fees; local bottled water during sightseeing; complimentary standard bar drinks, beer, house wine, soft drinks, coffee drinks, juices and bottled water (excluding premium wines and Champagnes) while on board; handling of two pieces of baggage per person for international flights (other conditions/restrictions may apply for internal routes); hotel taxes; cabin categories 6-8 include butler service; parka; and gratuities throughout.

Not Included:
International airfare; charter flights from Oslo to Tromso and from Longyearbyen to Oslo ($645 per person, subject to change); passport or visa expenses; laundry; meals, beverages or sightseeing not included in itinerary; premium wines, liquors and champagnes; communication charges and optional activities; all items of a personal nature; travel insurance; excess baggage charges; airport departure tax; fuel surcharge may apply.