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 landscape, always on the lookout for wildlife that live in this polar wilderness, not only by ship but also 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
$4,399 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 bird nesting colonies, all from the platform of the ship. Alternatively, hop in a Zodiac to explore more closely, or be brought to land 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 have your eyes peeled for polar bears - they can be found all throughout this region, but finding them can require patience and persistence. Come join in the search!
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 into the 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 ship 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 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.
Kayaking: 7/7/2019, 7/24/2019
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; ship/airport transfer on day of disembarkation; 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; complimentary parka; and gear on loan (insulated, waterproof boots supplied 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)