Summary : When the mercury rise and flowers blossom on the European mainland, the High Arctic is still under its white blanket. The Arctic spring is very different at lower latitudes – it has a more wintery feel than the deepest winter in most of Europe. Sea Ice is dominant in the fjords and you’ll have the pleasure of leaving footprints in snow and ice. En route, learn more about the fascinating history of explorers and whalers, experience the wildlife of the high Arctic and discover Norway’s inspiring fjords while keeping an eye out for whales, walrus, reindeer, foxes and polar bear!
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking
NEW - Members of AAA receive shipboard credit in the amount of 600 NOK per person (maximum 2 people per cabin). Expires 3/1/2017.
$999,999,999 to $0
Tromsø is an Arctic gateway and a natural starting point for an expedition. Embark the vessel and meet your Expedition Team and fellow passengers.
This isolated island is the southernmost island of the Svalbard Archipelago and has one of the largest concentration of sea birds in the Northern Hemisphere. Around the southern tip, the overhanging cliffs with stacks off shore represents an extremely important breeding habitat for seabirds. This is the northern limit for some auk species and a hot-spot as that cold waters from the Arctic Ocean meet warm Gulf Stream currents. In the convergence, there are often optimal feeding grounds for sea birds.
Leaving northbound from Bjørnøya, take advantage of the conditions at hand. The Captain and Expedition Leader monitor conditions at hand and choose the best locations accordingly.
Attempt to enter fjords where you can expect to see ice. The ice serves as a platform on which the ringed seals give birth to their offspring. This is also the perfect hunting ground for polar bears.
Longyearbyen is the Norwegian administrative center of Svalbard. This is a small community of only 2,000 inhabitants with an atmosphere that resembles it being a part of a larger city. You will find cafés, a hospital, several excellent restaurants and hotels. There is also a university and many sports equipment outfitters.
Svalbard is Norwegian Sovereign territory, however, the Svalbard Treaty of 1925 allows other signatory nations to have activity here. Barentsburg is a living example of this being a Russian mining town with its architecture and town planning. You will certainly notice how different this town is from Longyearbyen. Here everything revolves around the entrance of a coal mine and there is very little commercial activity available to visitors. You are invited to participate in a culture show, and visit the museum.
Later, head further north towards Kongsfjorden, a large fjord system. Apart from hosting the northernmost research village in the world, this fjord system has tributary arms and glaciers that are very scenic. Land and enjoy scenery that is beyond imagination.
You may visit North West Spitsbergen National Park, Krossfjorden, Mitrahalvøya, Ny Ålesund, or even traverse a glacier with the Expedition Team.
Arriving North Cape from the north is something very few people will experience. As you sail by this “End of the Earth”, think back to mythical times when whatever was hidden beyond the horizon could be the abyss – the land of borealis and white bears. Pay a visit to Gjessværstappan, a bird cliff teeming with spring breeding arctic species in a cacophony of sound.
Arrive in Tromsø and disembark the ship.
The above itinerary is a guide only, as the exact program depends on weather and ice conditions and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Although travel insurance is not mandatory to participate in this voyage, 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.
Depending on weather conditions, there may be an opportunity to sign up for kayaking during the voyage. Duration is 2-4 hours. Basic kayak experience required. Includes kayaking gear.
Onboard cabin accommodations; lectures, shore landings and guides; coffee and tea; Suite-M and Grand Suite-MG include select complimentary beverages for lunch and dinner: beer and a selection of wines by the glass - no spirits; wind/water-resistant jacket. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; transfers; travel insurance; luggage handling; passport and visa expenses; optional excursions and gratuities; alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks except as mentioned; items of a personal nature such as laundry; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos © Dominic Barrington