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Zodiac cruising in Svalbard

Spitsbergen Photography: In Search of Polar Bears

Example 14 Day Cruise aboard Ultramarine
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Cruising along the coast, ice edge and inner fjords of Spitsbergen, you’ll be immersed in the natural wonders of the land of the midnight sun as you pursue your quest to photograph arctic wildlife: the polar bear as it prowls the edges of the pack ice on its perpetual hunt for food; the walrus with its long tusks and distinctive whiskers; cliff-dwelling Arctic birds in the thousands; and small herds of reindeer loping across the colorful tundra. Plus, there will be snow-topped mountains, massive glacier fronts, deep-walled fjords, and vast swaths of untouched tundra waiting to be photographed. Exploring this awe-inspiring region never ceases to impress visitors with its raw beauty.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive in Oslo, Norway
Day 2 : Embarkation Day | Longyearbyen, Svalbard
Days 3-13 : Exploring Spitsbergen
Day 14 : Disembark in Longyearbyen | Fly to Oslo

Highlights

  • View iconic arctic wildlife, like polar bears, walrus and arctic fox
  • Enjoy continuous daylight, perfect for photography buffs
  • Cruise in a Zodiac for closer views of glaciers, fjords, icebergs and more
  • Learn techniques and tips from onboard photographers

Ship

Ultramarine

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Easy Active

Trip Snapshots

Zodiac cruising in Svalbard Polar Bears in Spitsbergen Arctic Reindeer Spitsbergen sightseeing aboard the ship Arctic birds in Svalbard Spitsbergen
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Day 1 Arrive in Oslo, Norway

Your Arctic voyage begins in Oslo, Norway’s vibrant capital city. If you arrive early, there are many museums, restaurants and green spaces to keep you busy before retiring at your included airport hotel.

Day 2 Embarkation Day | Longyearbyen, Svalbard

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
This morning, the group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen’s largest settlement, where you’ll have some time to explore before embarkation. As your ship sets sail, enjoy your first view of the island’s rugged, glacier-topped mountains rising majestically from icy waters.

Day 3-13 Exploring Spitsbergen

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

Every expedition is unique, depending on the weather and ice conditions, but the cruise hopes to visit a few of the favorite landing sites, which will 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), the main goal will be to sail in a constant search for polar bears on the prowl. This means the ship may not move every day as on regular voyages, especially if abundant wildlife in one place is found. Like true explorers, let the wildlife and pack ice—not a set schedule—guide the route! The small expedition ship allows to navigate shallower waters and tighter spaces, so expect to explore the more hard-to-reach areas frequented by the elusive polar bear.

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

Day 14 Disembark in Longyearbyen | Fly to Oslo

  • 1 Breakfast
Your adventure ends in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, you'll be transferred to the airport for your return group charter flight to Oslo.
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Ultramarine

Oslo

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Deals

50% Reduced Deposit
Arctic Savings - Book until November 30, 2020 and pay 10% deposit instead of the regular 20% to confirm reservation. For new bookings after July 9, 2020 only. Some restrictions may apply. Contact us for details.
Applicable to all departures up to September 30, 2022

Save Additional 10%
Early Booking Savings - Pay in full until November 30, 2020 and save an additional 10% off per person. For new bookings after September 29, 2020. Select departures only. Contact us for details.
Applies to May 26, 2021 departure

Per person starting at
$11,495
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Solo Panorama
Located on Deck 6, approximately 132 sq. ft. Features a single bed, floor-to-ceiling window, desk, refrigerator, TV, a private bathroom with shower and heated floors.
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Explorer Triple
Located on Deck 3, approximately 285 sq. ft. Features three single beds (two of which can be combined into a double bed), sitting area, picture window, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower and heated floors.
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Explorer Suite
Located on Deck 3, approximately 285 sq. ft. Features one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, picture window, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower and heated floors.
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Balcony Suite
Located on Decks 4 and 6, with approximately 226 sq. ft. Features one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, private balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower and heated floors.
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Deluxe Balcony Suite
Located on Decks 4 and 6, with approximately 299 sq. ft. Features one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, private balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors.
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Terrace Suite
Located on Deck 6, with approximately 350 sq. ft. Features one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, private extra-wide balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors.
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Penthouse Suite
Located on Deck 7, with approximately 369 sq. ft. Features one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, private balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors.
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Owner's Suite
Located on Deck 6, with approximately 446 sq. ft. Features one double or two single beds in a private bedroom with walk-in closet, sitting area with sofa bed and additional closet, private balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors and separate powder room.
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Ultra Suite
Located on Deck 6, with approximately 563 sq. ft. Features one double or two single beds in a private bedroom with walk-in closet, sitting area with sofa bed and additional walk-in hallway closet, private balcony, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom.

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.

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

Rate Includes: 
  • Leadership throughout your voyage by our experienced Expedition Leaders, including shore landings and other activities
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • All shore landings per the daily program
  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
  • All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board throughout your voyage (Please inform us of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.)
  • Beer and wine during dinner; and coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
  • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled
  • A photographic journal documenting the expedition
  • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for landings and Zodiac cruising excursions
  • An official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle
  • Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • All luggage handling aboard the ship
  • Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person
  • Greenland voyages cruise passenger tax
Rate Exclusions: 
  • Mandatory Transfer Package* 
  • International airfare
  • Arrival and departure transfers, except where listed in the Mandatory Transfer Package
  • 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
  • Adventure Options not listed in Included Activities
Mandatory Transfer Package*
  • One night’s pre-expedition hotel night at Oslo airport hotel, with breakfast
  • Charter flight from Oslo to Longyearbyen
  • Arrival and departure transfers in Longyearbyen
  • Charter flight from Longyearbyen to Oslo
PACKAGE PRICE: $995 USD

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy—and excitement—of expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.
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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
Gale Cantor
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