Day 2 At Sea
- 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Meet some of your fellow explorers as you become acquainted with the luxurious amenities found on board Silver Explorer. Gather in The Theatre to hear fascinating tales of adventure or to learn about the region’s endemic wildlife and remarkable nature. Your knowledgeable Lecture Staff members are experts in a variety of scientific fields. Other on-board diversions include spa treatments, a workout in the Fitness Center, and, of course, exquisite dining experiences.
Day 3 Bear Island, Norway
- 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Approaching Bear Island (Bjørnøya), head out on deck to watch for whales that are known to frequent the area. As you near this arctic island, now a nature reserve, you will see thousands of seabirds diving into and out of the island’s steep cliffs. With your Zodiacs you will explore the rugged coastline and if weather conditions are favorable, make a landing. The Expedition Team will provide insights into the environment, the terrain, and the wildlife that exist in these extreme conditions.
Day 4-10 Cruise & Explore Svalbard
- 7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners
Journey along an expansive archipelago of the Arctic Ocean woven between the North Pole and Norway. Svalbard is one of the last major European wilderness areas with pristine mountains, fauna, deep fjords, picturesque icebergs, and massive ice sheets. The goal on this voyage is to explore the eastern and least-visited sections of Svalbard’s breathtaking and dramatic Spitsbergen. Once there, you will locate wildlife and spend the maximum amount of time possible hiking on the tundra. Svalbard is home to approximately 2,500 Polar Bears and we hope to encounter a good number of them during your voyage. You will travel along the same routes as famous polar explorers such as Andrée, Nordenskiöld, Amundsen and Nobile. We will trek along beaches blanketed with walruses; hope to see reindeer, and maybe even spot the Arctic fox or Bearded Seal. Seabirds, such as Ivory Gulls, auks and puffins, will be your constant companions as you admire their playfulness and grace. You might even encounter a few whales. A variety of known species frequent the area, in particular the Minke and Beluga. The flexible itinerary allows us to take advantage of favorable ice and weather conditions. You will search for walruses, seals, reindeer, Arctic Foxes and Polar Bears. Shore walks and Zodiac landings will bring us up close to the mystical settings and passing icebergs. Each day your Expedition Leader and Captain will determine the best course, depending on changing weather, ice conditions and the wildlife you encounter. In the true spirit of adventure cruising, your Expedition Leader will provide daily updates. Here is a list of places you may visit and things you may want to do: Ice Cruising — With the strengthened hull of Silver Explorer, you have the perfect platform to search for walrus and Polar Bears as we devote at least one day to exploring the pack ice north of Spitsbergen. Conditions permitting, our Expedition Leader may choose to take you out in the Zodiacs for an even closer look. Bellsund — Pushing about 50 miles (80 kilometres) into Spitsbergen is the more than 12-mile wide Bellsund. At the entrance of the fjord you are likely to encounter some Common Eiders, Arctic Terns, and Arctic Skuas. Snow Bunting and Purple Sandpipers are also common in the area. The plan is to explore the seldom-visited Van Keulenfjord, where you witness awe-inspiring landscapes as you trek along the tundra. Prins Karls Forland — Off the west coast of Spitsbergen, encounter the island of Prins Karl Forland with cragged mountains, massive glaciers and remarkable wildlife. The entire island and the surrounding seas make up Forlandet National Park. Members of our Expedition Team take us ashore at Poolepynten, a well-known walrus haul out, where the marine biologist explains the habits and habitat of these amazing creatures. Edgeøya — Enter the realm of the Polar Bear on the third-largest island in the Svalbard archipelago. Conditions permitting, go ashore at the hard-to-get-to Diskobukta, where you will discover interesting fauna and flora and take a walk amongst thousands of kittiwakes and a few Arctic Foxes. The coastal waters often provide fantastic opportunities to see walrus and Polar Bear on ice floes. Barentsøya — Just north of Edgeøya lies the fourth-largest island in Svalbard. Here you are immersed in a wide tundra landscape, perfect for long hikes and short walks. You may encounter Polar Bears and discover the ruins of 15th-century Russian Pomors. Hornsund — The southernmost fjord on the rugged west coast of Spitsbergen Island. Jagged mountain peaks tower above glacier-filled bays. Listen for the crash of white thunder as huge chunks of ice fall into the fjord. Amidst floating iceberg jewels, watch for Bearded Seals, the rare Beluga Whale and the king of the Arctic — the Polar Bear. Sightings are fairly common as the Polar Bear’s favorite food, the Ringed Seal, breeds in the fjord. The surrounding bird cliffs are home to thousands of pairs of nesting Little Auks. We may visit the Polish research station or the remains of whaling stations and trappers’ huts.