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West Svalbard and Polar Ice Edge

Arctic Svalbard Cruise Information

Summary : Look for polar bears and other quintessential Arctic wildlife as you explore the spectacular fjords, coasts, and islands of Svalbard. Sail as close as safely possible to the polar ice edge, where polar bears stalk the frozen sea in search of food. Search ice floes and fast ice for several species of seal. Scout for grazing reindeer, Arctic fox, walrus, and whales. Hike the tundra and visit Ny Ålesund, one of the world's nothernmost settlements and home to an international community of Arctic researchers. The days are filled with memorable excursions, educational presentations, and enough stunning scenery and wildlife to fill your camera and delight your senses.

Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Triple/Quad Cabins

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Itinerary
Day 1
Longyearbyen, Norway

Welcome to Longyearbyen, the Arctic adventure capital of the Norwegian territory of Svalbard and the starting point of your expedition. Your hotel for the night is included in the price of the voyage.

Day 2
Longyearbyen, Norway / Embark

In the afternoon, embark your ship via group transfer from your hotel. Explore the ship and get comfortable in your home away from home for the extraordinary adventure to come. The long days of summer sunlight illuminate your surroundings as the vessel slips her moorings and sails into a true wilderness where wildlife abounds. The scenery as you sail through Isfjorden on your first evening is spectacular. Keep your eye out for the possibility of marine mammal encounters.

Day 3 – 11
Exploration of West Spitsbergen

This is a real expedition in a true High Arctic wilderness. As such, your route and exploration opportunities are heavily dependent on the weather and sea ice conditions encountered. Your experienced captain and expedition leader decide the itinerary and continually adjust plans as conditions and opportunities warrant. You can be sure that the best possible advantage will be taken of the circumstances presented to you by Nature in this wild and remote corner of the Arctic.

Polar bears and other quintessential Arctic wildlife can be spotted in and around Svalbard. The expedition team will take advantage of every opportunity to experience excellent wildlife viewing, discover incredible scenery, and walk in the footsteps of historic polar expeditions.

You'll explore the spectacular fjords, coasts, and islands of northwestern Svalbard. This area contains the archipelago’s most impressive scenery and some of the Arctic’s best wildlife viewing opportunities. Deep fjords and narrow channels are flanked by jagged snowy mountain peaks. Immense tidewater glaciers calve icebergs into turquoise waters. On ice floes and fast ice several species of seals watch vigilantly for polar bears. Fields of flowering tundra are home to grazing reindeer and playful Arctic fox. Bountiful inshore and offshore waters are home to walrus and a wide variety of whales. The whole area is alive with migratory birds, including numerous rare species, taking advantage of summer’s fecundity in 24-hour daylight.

Over it all presides the polar bear, monarch of the North. This wild corner of Svalbard is one of the best places in the world to observe polar bears hunting in their preferred habitat: the pack ice. The ship will go as close as safely possible to the edge of the polar ice edge, where polar bears stalk the frozen sea in search of seals.

To complete your Arctic experience, you'll explore places rich with history such as the historical remnants of whaling camps, coal mining operations, trappers’ cabins, staging areas for historic attempts to discover the North Pole, and even an abandoned polar research station.

Human habitation in this area can be found only at Ny Ålesund, a former mining town that is now home to an international community of Arctic researchers. This is one of the world’s most northerly settlements, complete with museum, gift shop, and post office.

The days are filled with memorable excursions, sumptuous meals, presentations by knowledgeable guides, and enough stunning scenery and wildlife to fill your camera and delight your senses.

Day 12
Longyearbyen, Norway / Disembark

Disembark the vessel after breakfast. A transfer is included to the airport or the town center.

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.

Bilingual Departure:
English/German

Mandatory Travel Insurance:

All guests are required to carry adequate travel insurance that must contain medical, evacuation and repatriation coverage. Passengers must ensure that their purchased insurance includes cruise travel in the polar regions, and has evacuation and repatriation coverage of no less than $200,000 per person. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions.

Kayaking:
Pre-booking required; space is limited. Weather permitting, experience the thrill and tranquility of sea kayaking in the polar regions as part of a guided paddling group. Participants must be at least 16 years old at the time of their voyage, in good health with appropriate physical fitness, and have previous kayaking experience. Children who are 16 to 18 years of age at the time of their voyage are allowed to participate if they are accompanied and supervised at all times by a parent or guardian.

Photography Program: Included
Learn and practice your photography skills alongside an experienced professional. An expert photographer will be available to answer your questions and give advice, both in the form of onboard lectures and workshops on shore. Explore the key elements of photography in a fun and relaxed setting with plenty of opportunities for questions and feedback. Learn how to see light in a new way and experiment with the techniques of composition and framing.

Included:

One night pre-voyage hotel in Longyearbyen; group transfer airport/hotel on day prior to embarkation; group transfer to ship on embarkation day; group transfer to airport or central location upon disembarkation; shipboard accommodations; welcome and farewell cocktail on ship; scheduled landings/excursions; photography program; digital voyage log; gear to keep (wind- and water-resistant parka); gear on loan (rubber boots); all meals onboard the ship; 24-hour coffee/tea station; port fees. Inclusions subject to change without notice.

Not Included:
Airfare; transfers to/from hotel if arriving prior to Day 1 of the program; visa and passport fees; emergency evacuation insurance to a minimum benefit of $200,000 (required); luggage and trip cancellation insurance (highly recommended); soft drinks and alcoholic beverages other than those mentioned as included; kayaking; personal expenses such as laundry and telecommunications charges (telephone, faxes, and internet); gratuities; fuel surcharge may apply.


PHOTOS: © Poseidon Expeditions

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