Summary : Embark on a voyage with an expedition spirit, as each day is planned to take advantage of the best that Svalbard has to offer. Scour the ice and tundra in search of the elusive polar bear. Search for lounging seals, grazing reindeer, and colonies of birds under the midnight sun. From close-up encounters with icebergs and glaciers to unique Arctic wildlife, this is a voyage of non-stop highlights. Birders will delight in sights of Ivory gulls and spectacular bird cliffs. Cruise aboard Zodiacs near the ice edge to view seals or walruses. Along the journey, the spectacular sights of wildlife in this stunning landscape will truly be experiences to remember.
Activities : Birding, Hiking, Kayaking, Triple/Quad Cabins
Just-Released Offer Complimentary International Airfare
$5,999 to $11,299
Get a first glimpse of the midnight sun in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen's capital. Transfer from the meeting point to the Expedition for a late afternoon embarkation.
Each day is planned to take advantage of local ice and weather conditions. Svalbard is one of the few places on the planet that offers such a plethora of natural and historical extravaganzas. Spend the next nine days exploring remote polar regions. Visit ice-sculpted fjords with breathtaking mountain scenery and glaciers crashing into the sea. Explore pack ice edges in search of polar bears hunting seals. At one or more of the stops, it's possible to encounter Svalbard's Arctic fox and the region's unique reindeer.
The goal is to give travelers the best possible opportunity to see wildlife in and around the Svalbard archipelago. Ice conditions sometimes allow for sailing through the Hinlopenstretet (Hinlopen Strait) towards the east coast of Spitsbergen, then through Freemansundet (Freeman Sound) towards the south.
Some departures will explore alternative routes to maximize time in this remote destination. Early season voyages often provide the greatest opportunity to see large ice floes in the Arctic pack ice, which usually means excellent wildlife viewing. Later in the season, the group will cover more territory, which may allow the chance to explore the entire archipelago. This can lead into the less explored regions of Nordaustlandet and Kvitøya, or the continental edges where large whales are attracted by nutrient rich upwellings.
On departure day, transfers to the Longyearbyen airport will be offered to all passengers with scheduled flights.
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 the expedition, all passengers must purchase medical and emergency evacuation insurance with a minimum medical coverage of $200,000 and this insurance must cover personal injury, medical expenses, repatriation expenses, and evacuation expenses. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. Clients must be able to provide proof of insurance purchase and adequate coverage as per the required amounts above. We also strongly recommend that all passengers purchase comprehensive travel insurance which would include coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
German Language Program Departure: 8/1/2018, 8/11/2018
Select departures will include 2 German-speaking Expedition Staff (in addition to English-speaking staff) to provide educational content in German.
Venture out to sheltered bays and areas known for calmer waters on small group kayaking excursions led by expert kayaking guides. The number of participants is restricted to a maximum of 10 passengers and 1 guide per outing in the Arctic. Passengers who participate in the sea kayak program should have a working knowledge of sea kayaking strokes, entries, exits, including a “wet exit.” Normal duration of an outing is approximately 2-4 hours, and is guided and supervised by professional kayak guides with experience in cold-water regions paddling near ice and marine mammals. The sea kayaking guide will also be certified in advanced wilderness first aid and is responsible for accompanying and supervising all kayak operations. All deployment of kayaks and paddlers will be done with Zodiacs, operated by expedition staff. Booking in advance is highly recommended. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Arrival transfer from the meeting point to the ship; shipboard accommodations; meals aboard the ship; coffee, tea, and water; shore excursions and Zodiac cruises; services of Expedition staff and naturalists; lecture and educational programs; parka; gear on loan (insulated, waterproof boots for US sizes 6-16). Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; travel insurance (required); passport and visa fees; gratuities are at your discretion; items of a personal nature including laundry, Wi-Fi, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (except coffee, tea and water); optional excursions; kayaking; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photo: © Leo Tamburri (Sea Kayaking)