Summary : Experience the highlights of Spitsbergen while exploring the western edge of the island; home to polar bears, reindeers and walrus. The remarkable islands of the Svalbard archipelago are part of Norway, lying far to the north of the Norwegian mainland and high above the Arctic Circle. This remarkable island hosts an astonishing array of Arctic wildlife, protected within six national parks. The island itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll come across colonies of seabirds numbering into the thousands and watch for whales in the water. Packed with frequent shore landings and Zodiac cruises, as well as options for snowshoeing and sea kayaking, this is the perfect expedition for exploring the “wildlife capital of the Arctic.”
Activities : Birding, Hiking, Kayaking
$999,999,999 to $0
Board the expedition ship in Longyearbyen, the island's largest settlement. As you embark, you’ll get great views of the mountainous landscape that serves as a backdrop to this seaside settlement.
This itinerary focuses on a constant search for wildlife. Expeditions will be highlighted by encounters with colonies of rare seabirds, hauled-out walrus and hunting polar bears. Explore a large part of Western Spitsbergen, which is also home to huge glaciers and impressive fjords.
Weather and ice conditions are highly changeable and thus dictate the daily itinerary of each expedition. Destinations may include14th of July Glacier, Smeerenburg and Alkhornet.
Destinations visited will be selected for optimum wildlife viewing and appreciation of the history and geology of Spitsbergen. Polar bear viewing is almost guaranteed.
Coming across a walrus haul-out is a moment you won’t forget! These boisterous beasts can eat as much as 110 pounds (50 kilos) of shellfish every day. Svalbard reindeer, unique to these islands, is another amazing animal living amid the vast wilderness and are often seen grazing near the rugged Alkhornet coastline.
Hike amongst the colorful wildflowers found at the 14th of July Glacier or, perhaps, stand in the presence of the giant Monaco Glacier to help put the scale of the Arctic into perspective.
At Smeerenburg, visit a historical site built more than 100 years ago to commemorate the whalers who lost their lives in the 17th and 18th centuries while working in extreme Arctic conditions. There is no shortage of natural beauty in Spitsbergen. Each day there is something new to discover!
End the adventure as it began, in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here transfer to the airport for the return flight home.
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:
All guests are required to have comprehensive travel insurance coverage. Due to the remoteness of the areas in this itinerary, travelers must have a minimum $50,000 of emergency medical coverage. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. The shipping company will not be held responsible for delays due to force majeure. Any additional costs accrued will be the responsibility of the traveler. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends that the travel insurance policy covers trip cancellation insurance, trip delay (interruption or after departure coverage), baggage and repatriation. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.
Sea Kayaking Option: Available all departures
Pre-booked option; minimum age 16 years. For experienced kayakers; please advise at time of booking; places strictly limited.
Snowshoeing: Available all departures
Included in cruise rate. Anyone can take part, no previous experience necessary. Receive a full introduction and choose to join excursions of varying degrees of difficulty. Equipment and lessons are provided.
Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping; all meals on board throughout your voyage (Please inform of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.); all shore landings per the daily program; leadership throughout the voyage by experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities; all Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program; formal and informal presentations by Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled; photographic journal on DVD, documenting the voyage; 10MB communications access card; a pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings; an expedition parka – yours to keep; coffee, tea, cocoa available around the clock; complimentary selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages; hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin; comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Arctic Reader; all miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; all luggage handling aboard ship; emergency evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of $100,000 per person*; arrival transfer from Longyearbyen airport to your hotel if you arrive one day prior to embarkation; on embarkation day transfer from hotel or Longyearbyen airport to the ship; on the day of disembarkation, group transfer from the ship to your hotel or to the airport.
Any airfare; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; any beverages that are not in the complimentary selection; any meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the host hotel before embarkation, if applicable; baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; laundry and other personal charges; telecommunications charges; the customary gratuity at the end of the voyage for ship’s crew and Expedition Team members; optional kayaking ($595 per person); fuel surcharge may apply.
*Emergency Evacuation Insurance:
Emergency evacuation coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $100,000 is included in the cost of this expedition. Included coverage is applicable only to travel between the first and last day of the expedition purchased. Additional days of travel prior to the expedition and/or after the expedition are not covered by the included emergency evacuation insurance. We strongly advise all passengers to purchase medical, cancellation and baggage insurance, and additional emergency evacuation coverage.