Venture from Tromso deeper into the Arctic Circle past iconic fjords towards the usually ice-bound Svalbard Archipelago. Discover the rarely-visited Bear Island, an important bird area. Explore the wildlife haven of Spitsbergen, a rugged land of deep fjords, mountains, and ice sheets. Spend your time searching for walrus, seals, reindeer, arctic fox, and the elusive polar bear. Marvel at the colorfully-carpeted tundra which you can see first-hand on some of your hikes.
Day 1 : Embark in Tromso, Norway Day 2 : Hammerfest, Norway Day 3 : Porsangerfjorden and Nordkapp Day 4 : Bear Island Days 5-11 : Exploring Spitsbergen Day 12 : Disembark in Longyearbyen
Hammerfest is known as the center of Sami culture, the northernmost indigenous people of Europe. It’s also the oldest town in Norway, though it was almost completely destroyed in WWII. You are invited here to join the Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society, which is neither royal nor ancient (founded in 1963) but membership does include a hat and a pin.
Porsangerfjorden is Norway’s fourth longest fjord at 76mi (123km) and an amazing example of the legendary Norwegian fjords. Visit one of the small settlements for a taste of small-town Norway. As we head out to sea, pass by Nordkapp, with its 1,000ft (307m) high cliff face.
Today you have a full lecture schedule in advance of our landing at Bear Island, the southernmost island in the Svalbard Archipelago. It is poorly named as you rarely find polar bears here, but rather hundreds of thousands of sea birds. It has been identified as an "Important Bird Area" by Bird Life International on account of the great numbers of northern fulmars, black-legged kittiwakes, little auks and thick-billed guillemots. Find, too, the remnants of a whaling station in Walrus Bay and a coal mining station in the north. Due to the cold and dry climate, the ruins are remarkably-well preserved.
Sail around this magical island on a constant search for wildlife. Your expedition covers western Spitsbergen as well as some 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, however we do have some favorite destinations, including the 14th of July Glacier, Smeerenburg, Monaco Galacier and Gashamna. The destinations visited on your voyage are 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.
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, consider booking the optional kayaking excursions which gives you several occasions to paddle during your voyage to some of the more isolated pockets of Spitsbergen. Smeerenburg is a great place for a snowshoeing excursion, if conditions permit. You can visit a memorial erected in 1906. This historical site remembers 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 see something new, whether it is a rare bird species, a polar bear on the hunt, or a century-old abandoned hut.
Day 12 Disembark in Longyearbyen
Your adventure ends in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here transfer directly to the airport for your flight home.
Apologies for the inconvenience. Prices for not yet published.
Below per person rate based on previous season.
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Equipped with 4 twin beds, private facilities, and exterior views.
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Averaging 150 sq ft. Equipped with 3 twin beds. Located on Upper Deck with private facilities and exterior views.
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Bridge Deck Twin Cabin
Averaging 88 sq ft. Equipped with one twin bed. Located on Upper Deck with private facilities and exterior views.
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Upper Deck Twin Cabin
Averaging 105 sq ft. Equipped with 2 twin beds. Located on Bridge Deck with private facilities and exterior views.
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Upper (Lower Berth) Deck Twin
Averaging 115 sq ft. Equipped with 2 twin beds. Located on Upper Deck with private facilities and exterior views.
-Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double or triple occupancy. Request the Twin or Triple Share Program where we match you with a cabin mate of the same gender. Even if we are unable to find a cabin mate for you, no single supplement will be charged.
-Emergency medical evacuation coverage for a minimum of US$100,000 per person required. Contact us for details on arranging travel insurance.
Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. There are no guarantees that we can achieve everything we set out to accomplish. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a voyage. There are nearly 200 recognized sites in the Antarctic Peninsula and South Shetlands and the places mentioned above may be changed to others equally as interesting.
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!