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Svalbard – Spitsbergen Polar Bear Expedition

Polar Bear Safari Information

Summary : This voyage provides the opportunity to get a taste of everything the Arctic has to offer, from polar bears and walrus to spectacular scenery. You’ll be treated to daily presentations by your Expedition Team on board the ship, and daily wildlife sightings on land. Hike, explore and enjoy the beauty of the Arctic on your visit to Spitsbergen.

PLEASE NOTE: 2017 Voyages will be aboard the 132 passenger Ocean Atlantic

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

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Itinerary
Day 1
Longyearbyen, Norway

Your Spitsbergen adventure begins when you board your ship in Longyearbyen, the island’s largest settlement. As you embark, you’ll enjoy great views of the mountainous landscape that serves as a backdrop for this seaside village.

Day 2 – 8
Exploring Spitsbergen

You’ll cruise around this magical island on a constant search for wildlife. Your expedition will cover western Spitsbergen as well as stunning fjords and outlying islands to the north. From polar flora to immense glaciers, the natural landscape here is just as varied as the wildlife.

Each expedition presents new opportunities and different weather and ice, so there is no fixed itinerary; some favorite destinations, include the 14th of July Glacier, Smeerenburg, Alkefjellet and the Hinlopen Strait. The destinations visited will be selected for optimum wildlife viewing and appreciation of the history and geology of Spitsbergen. Polar bear viewing is almost guaranteed, with Hornsund 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.

Poolepynton is great for walrus viewing and photography. Coming across a walrus haul-out is a moment you won’t forget. These lumbering giants of the Arctic create quite a noisy scene as each walrus vies for a choice spot of coastline.

If you’re itching for a more personal and intimate view of the arctic scenery, then taking an optional kayaking excursion to some of the more isolated pockets of Spitsbergen is highly recommended. Smeerenburg is a great place for an optional snowshoeing excursion, if conditions permit. 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, a polar bear on the hunt, or a century-old abandoned hut.

Day 9
Longyearbyen, Norway

The time to say goodbye has come. Your adventure ends as it began, in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here you'll transfer to the airport for your flight home.

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 Departures: 2018 departures are in English/French.

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.

Kayaking Option:
Not included in cruise rate. 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.

Included:
Arrival transfer from Longyearbyen airport to your hotel if you arrive one day prior to embarkation; transfer from your hotel or Longyearbyen airport to the ship on embarkation day; group transfer from the ship to Longyearbyen airport or a designated drop-off location downtown on disembarkation day; shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping; meals on board throughout your voyage; shore landings per the daily program; Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program; photographic journal documenting the voyage; a pair of 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; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges; luggage handling aboard ship; emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of $500,000 per person*. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:
Airfare; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising; laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges; phone and internet charges; the customary gratuity at the end of the voyage for ship’s crew and staff; additional overnight accommodation; optional kayaking; 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.

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