Summary : From close-up encounters with icebergs and glaciers to the region’s plentiful wildlife, this is a voyage of non-stop highlights. You’ll explore this Arctic landscape by ship, on foot, and via Zodiac. Roaming polar bears, lounging seals, grazing reindeer, and colonies of birds all co-exist in this harsh land that humans dare to explore only a few months out of the year.
Activities : Birding, Hiking, Kayaking, Triple/Quad Cabins
$4,299 to $9,299
Transfer from Longyearbyen to the Expedition for a late afternoon embarkation.
This voyage is spent traveling the realm in which the polar bear survives. Wildlife viewing opportunities are enhanced by exploring as many remote areas as possible. Spotting wildlife like the Arctic fox, Svalbard reindeer, and land or sea birds can be difficult, but well worth the effort. Ice and weather conditions permitting, you will explore near sea ice, through fjords that lead to glaciers and icebergs, and discover nesting bird colonies, all from the platform of the ship. Alternatively, hop in a Zodiac to explore more closely, or venture ashore to visit historical sites and experience the tundra.
You'll always be on the lookout for wildlife, ranging from endangered and rare polar species to sea mammals and birds. And, of course, you'll keep your eyes peeled for polar bears - they can be found throughout this region but finding them can require patience and persistence.
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 can cover more territory which may allow the chance to explore more of the archipelago. This can lead to less-explored regions or the continental edges where large whales are attracted by nutrient-rich upwellings.
Each day will be planned to take advantage of local ice and weather conditions. Distances are relatively short in the archipelago. Because there are no ocean crossings, the seas are normally calm. During these six days, visit ice covered seas, fjords with breathtaking mountain scenery, and glaciers flowing into the sea.
The evening of your last full day of adventure will find the Expedition anchored off Longyearbyen.
On departure day, there will be transfers available to the Longyearbyen airport for all passengers with flights scheduled.
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. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
As a requirement of participation with this shipping company, all passengers must purchase travel insurance with a minimum medical, evacuation, and repatriation coverage of $200,000 and this insurance must cover personal injury and emergency medical expenses. Passengers must be able to provide proof of insurance purchase and adequate coverage as per the required amounts above. Passengers are responsible for advising their insurer of the type of travel, destination(s), and activities included in their booking so that the insurer may provide appropriate coverage. It is the passenger's responsibility to ensure that they have sufficient coverage and comply with the terms of the applicable insurance plans. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends that all passengers also purchase comprehensive travel protection that includes cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Kayaking: (July departures only)
Booking in advance is highly recommended as the number of participants is restricted to a maximum of 10 passengers and 1 guide per outing in the Arctic. Venture out to sheltered bays and calmer waters on small group kayaking excursions led by expert guides. Participants should have a working knowledge of sea kayaking strokes, entries and exits, including a “wet exit.” Outings last approximately 2-4 hours and are conducted by professional kayak guides with experience in cold-water regions, paddling near ice and marine mammals, and certification in advanced wilderness first aid. All deployment of kayaks and paddlers is done with Zodiacs operated by expedition staff. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.
Arrival transfer from the meeting point to the ship; ship/airport transfer on day of disembarkation; shipboard accommodations; shore excursions and Zodiac cruises; services of Expedition staff and naturalists; lecture and educational programs; gear to keep (expedition parka); and gear on loan (insulated, waterproof boots supplied for US sizes 4-16); meals aboard the ship; coffee, tea, and water. 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.
PHOTOS: © Ash Christopher (Zodiac); © Renato Granieri (Auk); © Nellie Hunag (Polar Bear, Walrus Pod); © Leo Tamburri (Sea Kayaking); © Corinna Volk (Black-Legged Kittiwakes); © G Adventures