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Polar bear in the Arctic

Spitsbergen Photography: In Search of Polar Bears

Example 13 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Adventurer (Sea Adventurer)
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Travel to the destination of your dreams, the Arctic, and immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the land of the midnight sun. Cruise along the coast, ice edge and inner fiords of Spitsbergen, one of most prolific destinations for viewing arctic wildlife, and be rewarded with the opportunity to photograph the iconic polar bear in its natural habitat. Glacier-topped mountains, massive glacier fronts, and deep-walled fjords soar majestically out of the icy sea, providing breathtaking backdrops for vast swaths of untouched tundra.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Longyearbyen, Norway | Embark
Days 2-12 : Exploring Spitsbergen
Day 13 : Longyearbyen, Norway | Disembark

Highlights

  • View iconic arctic wildlife, like polar bears, walrus and arctic fox
  • Enjoy continuous daylight, perfect for photography buffs
  • Cruise in a Zodiac to get up close to glaciers, fjords, icebergs and more
  • Sail in a constant search for polar bears in its natural habitat

Ship

Ocean Adventurer (Sea Adventurer)

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Polar bear in the Arctic A sunny day over Illulisat Walking through vast arctic landscapes.

Day 1 Longyearbyen, Norway | Embark

Your arctic adventure starts in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen’s largest settlement and one of the northernmost communities on the planet. Have your camera handy as you embark on your journey—picturesque peaks surround this town in the bay of Svalbard’s second-longest fjord.

Day 2-12 Exploring Spitsbergen

  • Ship
  • 11 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 11 Dinners
Spitsbergen has an unspoiled beauty that’s just begging to be discovered. On this one-of-a-kind cruise, sail along the west coast of this magical island, exploring the coastal fjords and smaller, outlying islands. Each day has a surprise, treating you to spectacular new sightings and experiences.

Every expedition is unique, depending on the weather and ice conditions, but the expedition intention is to visit a few of Spitsbergen's favorite landing sites, to be chosen as much for their optimal wildlife-viewing opportunities as for their stunning scenery, historical significance and hiking activities. With no itinerary (unusual amongst polar cruises), this journey main goal is to sail in a constant search for polar bears on the prowl. This means the ship may not move every day as it does in regular voyages, if there is abundant wildlife in one place. Like true explorers, let the wildlife and pack ice—not a set schedule—guide your route! Viewing the ice bears is almost guaranteed in a region where they outnumber the people. Your small expedition ship allows to navigate shallower waters and tighter spaces, so you can expect to explore the more hard-toreach areas the bears may favor.

Presentations by on-board experts prepare you for the adventures that await, and with continuous daylight during this time of year, photo ops abound. Have ample time to linger and photograph any bears you find hunting on the ice edge, but they’re not the only wildlife you can encounter. The food-rich waters attract walrus, whales and seabirds, so keep your binoculars nearby while cruising. Arctic fox and the indigenous Svalbard reindeer may also be spotted on Zodiac excursions to shore.

A haven for present-day explorers, Spitsbergen and the surrounding area offer unforgettable polar experiences that keep you and your camera active all expedition long. Although 60 percent of the landscape is covered in glaciers and much of the terrain is mountainous, Spitsbergen (which means “pointed mountains”) surprises with stretches of colorful tundra, bursting with wildflowers in summer. Optional hiking activities get you up close and personal with the abundant wildlife. At day’s end, share your prized photographs and exciting stories with your shipmates.

Day 13 Longyearbyen, Norway | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
As you return to where your adventure began, Longyearbyen, have time to bid a fond farewell to your newfound friends before disembarking. From here, transfer to the airport for your flight home

Ocean Adventurer (Sea Adventurer)

Per person starting at
$7,895
The Sea Adventurer's Triple Cabin.
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Triple
Averaging 128 sq. ft. (12 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths and one upper berth. Located on the Main Deck, it has private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views.
Lower Deck Twin Cabin.
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Lower Deck Twin
Averaging 133 sq. ft. (12 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Lower Deck, it has private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views.
Main Deck Twin Cabin.
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Main Deck Twin with Porthole
Averaging 118 sq. ft. (11 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Main Deck, it has private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views.
Main Deck Twin with Window Cabin.
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Main Deck Twin with Window
Averaging 139 sq. ft. (13 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Main Deck, it has private facilities, and two windows with exterior views.
The Sea Adventurer's Superior Cabins.
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Superior
Averaging 142 sq. ft. (13 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Upper Deck, it has private facilities, and windows with exterior views.
The Sea Adventurer's Deluxe Cabin.
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Deluxe
Averaging 160 sq. ft. (15 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Upper and Captain’s Decks, it has private facilities, and windows with exterior views.
The Sea Adventurer's Owner's Suite.
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Suite
Averaging 215 sq. ft. (20 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Captain’s Deck, it has windows with exterior views and private facilities. Cabin 403 has a bathtub; other Suites have shower stalls.
Owner's Suite cabin aboard the Ocean Adventurer
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Owner's Suite
Averaging 290 sq. ft. (27 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Bridge Deck, it has private facilities, and windows with exterior views.

Notes

- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy. Request the Twin Share Program where you are matched with a cabin mate of the same gender. Even if a cabin mate is not found for you, no single supplement will be charged.

- Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the double occupancy rate. The supplement for a suite is 2 times the shared rate.

- For bookings as of December 7, 2016 – April 30, 2017 for departures Jun 2018 to September 2018, a second 20% deposit is required at 180 days prior to departure date, full payment at 130 days.

Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. When travelling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. The above is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.

Included in your cruise fare:
  • 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
  • All breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks on board
  • All shore landings per the daily program
  • Leadership throughout the expedition by your experienced Expedition Leader
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • Formal and informal presentations by your expedition team and special guests as scheduled
  • Photographic journal documenting the expedition
  • Waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
  • An Expedition parka to keep
  • Life jackets and immersion suits
  • Coffee, tea, and cocoa available around the clock
  • Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
  • Comprehensive pre-departure materials including a map and an informative Arctic Reader
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • All luggage handling aboard ship
  • Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$100,000 per person

Rates do not include:
  • International airfare
  • Passport and visa expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above
  • Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
  • Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended
  • Excess-baggage fees on international flights
  • Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
  • Laundry, bar, beverage, and other personal charges unless specified
  • Phone and internet charges
  • Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
  • Additional overnight accommodation

Included

  • 12 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 12 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Liz B

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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