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 optional sea kayaking, this is the perfect expedition for exploring the “Wildlife Capital of the Arctic.”
Activities : Birding, Hiking, Kayaking, Triple/Quad Cabins
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$6,495 to $10,595
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 village.
Explore western Spitsbergen on this fascinating island on a constant search for wildlife. Experience 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 for certain, 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 take to the sea on a kayak excursion (optional) to some of the more isolated pockets of Spitsbergen. In Smeerenburg, you can visit a memorial erected in 1906. This historical site honors 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. The tundra can be surprisingly colorful in summer, with wildflowers bursting for a taste of sunshine. Each day you’ll see something new, whether it is a rare bird species or an abandoned site from centuries ago.
End the adventure as it began, in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. Transfer to the airport for your 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:
Due to the remoteness of the areas in this itinerary, travelers are to carry a minimum of $50,000 of emergency medical coverage. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. All guests are strongly recommended to have comprehensive travel insurance coverage. 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 U.S. residents with travel protection options. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions.
Not included in cruise rate. See rates page for price. Minimum age 16 years. This is a pre-booked option for kayakers with some experience. Places are strictly limited so please advise at time of booking. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for additional details.
If you’re interested in kayaking and would like to try something less in-depth than sea kayaking, you can still enjoy the benefits of adding an on-water experience to your expedition with a paddling excursion. Sign up for a one-time one hour paddle on a sit-on-top kayak, which is stable and unencumbered: perfect for anyone with little to no experience with kayaking. No experience necessary. Max. 10 kayakers for a limit of one excursions. All sit-on-top kayaks are doubles. Pre-booking required. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
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 airport or designated drop-off location; shipboard accommodation; meals on board ship; shore landings per the daily program; Expedition Leader; Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program; photographic journal; waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings; an expedition parka – yours to keep; coffee, tea, cocoa available around the clock; hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin; pre-departure materials; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges; luggage handling aboard ship; emergency evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of $500,000 per person*; use of snowshoes (weather dependent); gratuities (2019); beer and wine with dinner (2019); soft drinks 24/7 (2019). Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; any beverages that are not in the complimentary selection; any meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified; phone and internet charges; the customary gratuity at the end of the voyage for ship’s crew and Expedition Team members; optional kayaking; optional paddling; additional overnight accommodation; fuel surcharge may apply.
*Emergency Evacuation Insurance:
Emergency evacuation coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $500,000 is included in the cost of this expedition. Included coverage is applicable only while traveling with the shipping company between the first and last day of the expedition. Additional days of travel prior to the expedition and/or after the expedition, including pre- and post-packages/hotels/flights, purchased from the shipping company or from suppliers other than the shipping company, 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.