Summary : Discover Spitsbergen's highlights by exploring the western edge of the island and venturing to northern outlying areas home to polar bears 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. Experience colonies of seabirds numbering into the thousands while watching for whales. 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. Enjoy great views of the mountainous landscape that serves as a backdrop to this seaside settlement.
Sail around this magical island on a constant search for wildlife. Explore western Spitsbergen, as well as some stunning fjords and outlying islands to the north. From polar deserts to immense glaciers, the natural landscape here is just as varied as the wildlife. Each expedition presents new opportunities, so there will not be a fixed itinerary, however some favorite destinations include 14th of July Glacier, Smeerenburg, Phippsoya, Alkhornet, and the Hinlopen Straight.
Destinations visited are selected for optimum wildlife viewing and appreciation of the history and geology of Spitsbergen. Experience the natural beauty of Spitsbergen and the tundra’s surprising summer colors coming alive with blooming wildflowers. Each day enjoy something new, whether it is a rare bird species or an abandoned hut from centuries ago.
Polar Bear viewing is almost guaranteed, with Phippsoya being one of their preferred hunting areas and the towering cliffs of Alkefjellet providing many free bird egg meals for both them and the Arctic fox. Torellneset and Phippsoya are excellent places for walrus photography. Coming across a walrus haul-out is a memory to last a lifetime. These lumbering giants of the Arctic create quite a noisy scene, as each walrus vies for a choice spot of coastline.
Itching to get a little closer to the action? Then taking a sea kayaking excursion to some of the more isolated pockets of Spitsbergen is highly recommended. Smeerenburg is a great place for an optional snowshoeing excursion (on selected voyages), as you can visit a memorial erected in 1906.
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
$595 per person
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 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 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.