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West Svalbard & Polar Ice Edge

Arctic Wildlife Safari - Example 10 Day Cruise aboard Sea Spirit
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Venture to the fascinating region of West Svalbard and the Ice Cap on this unique 10-day expedition on the Sea Spirit. Start and finish in Longyearbyen, Svalbard, which is a must for those who want to see the Arctic in all its wildness and splendor. Cruise and explore West Svalbard, a true High Arctic wilderness where polar bears and other quintessential Arctic wildlife can be spotted anytime, anywhere. The days are filled with memorable excursions, delicious meals, presentations by experts, and enough stunning scenery and wildlife to fill your camera and overwhelm your emotions.
A polar bear walks across the arctic landscape.Admire the colorful houses of LongyearbyenSpitsbergen excursionWalruses huddling together in Svalbard.Take a zodiac tour to see polar bears.
Highlights
  • Explore the spectacular fjords, coasts, & islands of Western Svalbard
  • Experience excellent wildlife viewing and discover incredible scenery
  • Walk in the footsteps of the historic polar expeditions
  • Observe polar bears hunting in their preferred habitat: the pack ice
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Welcome to Longyearbyen, the administrative center of Svalbard and starting point of our Arctic expedition. At the Longyearbyen airport, you will be greeted by our staff and transferred to a quality hotel, which has been arranged by us and is included in the price of the program. Since guests will be arriving on various flights during the day, we ask you to stop by our Poseidon Welcome Desk at the hotel where you will receive some preliminary information and suggestions for dining (on your own today). 
Depending on your flight’s arrival, you may have time to visit some of the town’s cafes, restaurants, shops and post office. If you notice that daytime has stretched well into the evening, get used to it! The sun won’t set for the entire duration our time in Svalbard!

Day 2: Longyearbyen | Embark

After breakfast at your hotel, the morning is yours to enjoy Longyearbyen. Take in the views of icy fjords and glaciated mountains surrounding this historic former coal-mining town. Take advantage of shopping for souvenirs or some last-minute necessities such as cold-weather gear. Just remember, you will soon receive your very own parka to keep and waterproof boots to borrow on board the ship. For lunch, Longyearbyen offers quick and easy meal options including the most northerly pizzas and kebabs in the world.
In the afternoon, you will be transferred to the pier where we will warmly welcome you aboard the deluxe expedition vessel M/V Sea Spirit. Get settled in your spacious suite and explore the ship that will be your comfortable home during the extraordinary adventure to come. After getting underway, a full schedule of events kicks off with informative briefings and introductions from your expedition staff. After the first of many delicious dinners on board, step out onto the open decks to admire the gorgeous scenery in 24-hour daylight as we pass through the wildlife-rich waters of Isfjorden.

Day 3-11: Svalbard and Polar Ice Edge

  • Ship
  • 9 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 9 Dinners
The itinerary for this voyage focuses on the spectacular fjords, coasts and islands of western Spitsbergen, the main island of the Svalbard archipelago. This area contains Svalbard’s most impressive scenery and some of the Arctic’s best wildlife viewing opportunities. Our exact schedule and route will be shaped by the weather and ice conditions we encounter. Polar bears and other iconic Arctic animals can be spotted at anytime, anywhere in our area of exploration.

One of the pristine natural areas on this itinerary is South Spitsbergen National Park, a vast region of varied landscapes including polar deserts and impassible mountain ranges. The centerpiece of this park is Hornsund, a picture-perfect fjord where countless mighty glaciers cascade from soaring mountaintops into icy inlets. At this time of year, we are sure to encounter fast ice—that is, sea ice that is fastened to the shore. This situation offers an excellent chance of observing polar bears on the hunt for ringed seals. The park also includes the southern shores of Bellsund, a picturesque bay where we find the remains of historical whaling operations, including wooden boats, cabins and thousands of whale bones—a scene from the distant past, literally frozen in time. This area also offers great hiking opportunities through landscapes rich with Arctic flora and birdlife, as well as fascinating geology.

Also on our route is Northwest Spitsbergen National Park, the crown jewel of Svalbard’s scenic wonders. Here we find deep fjords flanked by serrated mountain peaks and immense tidewater glaciers calving icebergs into turquoise waters. The whole area is alive with migratory Arctic seabirds. On this voyage, we are just in time to witness the return of millions of murres, guillemots and little auks to the small islands, mountainsides and sea cliffs where they breed within the park. This is also a great area to encounter marine mammals, including various kinds of whales and Arctic seals. Set among this incredible scenery and wildlife activity, we also find evidence of Svalbard’s earliest sealers and whalers.

Our area of exploration also includes gorgeous Forlandet National Park. Here we find Prins Karls Forland, one of the best places in Svalbard to observe herds of walrus hauled out on land. Also along the route is North Isforden National Park, where we have the chance to observe endemic Svalbard reindeer grazing and Arctic fox romping in lush tundra meadows.

Human habitation along our route can be found at Ny Ålesund, a former mining town and airship base that is now home to an international community of Arctic researchers. This is one of the world’s most northerly settlements where we find a museum, gift shop and post office.

In addition to exploring the terrestrial environment and inshore waterways of western Spitsbergen, we make a special effort to reach the edge of the polar pack ice. At this dynamic boundary between solid sea ice and open ocean, we have an unparalleled opportunity to witness the dramatic interplay between polar bears and seals. We will take the ship as close as safely possible to the jumbled and constantly shifting ice floes in the hope of observing polar bears hunting in their preferred habitat. At this time of year, the ice edge is not far from mainland Spitsbergen and our sailing time in open seas will be relatively short.

The West Svalbard and Polar Ice Edge route offers a stunning variety of Arctic landscapes and animals with minimal sailing time between excursions. Every day offers something new and exciting. We will not miss a single opportunity to encounter amazing Arctic wildlife, to witness incredible polar scenery, and to walk in the footsteps of historic expeditions that came before.

Day 12: Longyearbyen | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
After filling up with one last buffet breakfast on board, we bid you farewell in Longyearbyen. We provide transfers to the airport or to the town center in case you plan to stay longer in Svalbard. By this time, you may already be making plans for your next amazing trip with us into the polar worlds!

Ship/Hotel

Sea Spirit

Travelers board a Zodiac to get a closer look at the terrain and wildlife
Sea Spirit
Outdoor Bistro at the Jacuzzi area of the Sea Spirit

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$5,495
Sea Spirit
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Triple Classic
Averaging 226 sq ft. Two twin beds (convert to a King) and a sofa bed, picture window, two wardrobes and en suite facilities.
Sea Spirit
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Main Deck Suite
Averaging 248 sq ft. Two twin beds or a King Size bed, minimum two portholes, and en suite facilities.
Sea Spirit
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Classic Suite
Averaging 226 sq ft. Two twin beds or a King Size bed, picture window, two wardrobes, and en suite facilities.
Sea Spirit
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Superior Suite
Averaging 215 sq ft. Two twin beds or a King Size bed, picture window overlooking outside walkway, and en suite facilities.
Sea Spirit
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Deluxe Suite
Averaging 258 sq ft. Two twin beds or a King Size bed, private balcony, walk-in closet or wardrobe, and en suite facilities.
Sea Spirit
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Premium Suite
Averaging 323 sq ft. Two twin beds or a King Size bed, private balcony, lounge area, and en suite facilities.
Sea Spirit
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Owner's Suite
Averaging 463 sq ft. King size bed and sofa bed, separate living room with game and meeting area, private deck, and en suite facilities with jetted bathtub.

Notes

Please Note: 

Itinerary, landings and all other activities during the cruise depend strongly on ice and weather conditions and are subject to the decisions of the Expedition Leader and the Captain of the vessel. Encounters with any mentioned wildlife cannot be guaranteed.

Included in your cruise fare:
  • Pre-voyage nights on Day 1 & 2 in the Radisson Blu Polar Hotel Spitsbergen in Longyearbyen;
  • Group transfer from the airport to the hotel on Day 1;
  • Group transfer to the ship for embarkation on Day 3;
  • Shipboard accommodation;
  • All meals on board throughout the voyage;
  • Tea and coffee station 24 hours daily;
  • All scheduled landings/excursions (subject to weather and ice conditions);
  • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader & Expedition Team;
  • Branded Poseidon Expeditions parka;
  • Rubber boots for shore landings for the time of the cruise;
  • Welcome and Farewell cocktails;
  • All port fees;
  • Group transfer to airport or central location upon disembarkation;
  • Pre-departure materials;
  • Digital Voyage Log;
  • Wi-Fi on board.
Excluded in your cruise fare:
  • Airfare
  • Transfers from the airport to the hotel if arriving prior to Day 1 of the program;
  • Visa and passport fees (if applicable);
  • Luggage and trip cancellation insurance;
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages other than those for special events and celebrations;
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and telecommunication charges;
  • Mandatory Emergency Evacuation Insurance to a minimum benefit of US$ 200,000 per person;
  • Kayaking;
  • The cost of any applicable medical tests (such as COVID-19) or vaccinations required either by a national government or Poseidon Expeditions before, during or after the cruise;
  • Staff gratuities.
Included
  • 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners
  • 11 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Coffee, Tea and Cocoa Available Around the Clock
  • Port Fees
  • Complimentary Parka 
  • Loan of Waterproof Boots for Landings
  • Comprehensive Pre- and Post-voyage Information Materials
     
  • Wifi
  • Group Transfer to the Ship on Embarkation Day 
  • Group Transfer to Airport or Central Location Upon Disembarkation
  • Digital Voyage Log
  • Lecture programs by our experienced expedition team and guest speakers
  • Welcome and Farewell Cocktails   
  • Complimentary boot rental is available. However, due to the limited supply of boots available aboard the ship, it is recommended that you bring your own rubber boots for best fit and availability. Youth size boots are not available.
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Kayaking
  • Passport or Visa fees
  • Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages other than those for special events and celebrations;
  • Mandatory Emergency Evacuation Insurance to a minimum benefit of US$ 200,000 per person
  • The cost of any applicable medical tests (such as COVID-19) or vaccinations required either by a national government or Poseidon Expeditions before, during or after the cruise;
  • Soft Drinks and Alcoholic Beverages Other Than Those for Special Events and Celebrations

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