Arctic Cruise Norway: Polar Bears & Midnight Sun

Le Boreal Cruise Ship
Le Boreal
199 Passengers

Join this voyage aboard 'Le Boreal' to the islands of the Svalbard Archipelago, skirting the ice-edge less than 600 miles from the geographic North Pole, where the polar bear reigns supreme.

Day 1: Arrive Oslo, Norway

Arrive independently in Oslo, where you are met and assisted with baggage to your hotel located in the heart of Oslo’s city center. This afternoon, enjoy a leisurely guided walking tour of historic Oslo and then this evening, meet some of your expedition team and fellow explorers for a welcome cocktail reception.

Day 2: Oslo/Tromsø, Norway

This morning, transfer to the airport for your charter flight to the northern coastal city of Tromsø, located 217 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Tromsø was developed in the late 18th century when its harbor, noted for being ice-free year round due to the Gulf Stream, was a major center for fishing and trade. The town is situated on an island linked to the mainland by the striking Tromsø Bridge. Take a city tour that includes the Domkirke cathedral, the statue of polar explorer Roald Amundsen and the Tromsø Museum with its fascinating displays of both ancient and modern Norwegian life. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and then visit the striking Arctic Cathedral. This afternoon, board ‘Le Boreal’ to begin your Arctic adventure.

Day 3: Barents Sea/Bjørnøya

Today ‘Le Boreal’ heads north through the Barents Sea. This morning, spend time on deck with your expedition naturalists as you keep an eye out for whales and the many seabirds common in these waters. This afternoon, ‘Le Boreal’ reaches Bjørnøya (Bear Island), the southernmost island in the Svalbard Archipelago. Board a Zodiac to cruise along the southern tip of the island and its massive bird cliffs, home to kittiwakes, guillemots and the occasional puffin. Later, land at the island’s northern tip to view puffin colonies and visit the meteorological station.

Days 4-10: Svalbard Islands

‘Le Boreal’ serves as your maritime passport to adventure in this remote Arctic archipelago that very few people in the world ever have the opportunity to visit. Enjoy seven full days of expedition cruising around Spitsbergen Island. The captain and expedition team are on the lookout for the day’s best expeditionary options, and visits may include:

Hornsund is a stunning fjord on the southwest corner of Spitsbergen, with rugged rock walls surmounting blue-hued glaciers crisscrossed by crevasses and birds perching in the high cliffs. The “glacier coast” to the south provides magnificent views of slow-moving glaciers that travel toward the sea. Here Beluga whales as well as ringed seals are often seen feeding at the front of the glacier.

Halvmåneøya (Half Moon Island) was used as a hunting ground for over-wintering Russians and Norwegians in the late 17th century. Polar bears and arctic foxes were hunted for their meat and fur, and walruses for their blubber. Today, the island is a haven for birds including eider ducks, arctic terns, snow buntings and grey phalaropes. Also visit Bjorneborg (Bear Castle), an old hut used by hunters and trappers.

The islands of Barentsøya and Edgeøya off the southern tip of Spitsbergen provide excellent opportunities for tundra hikes that reveal the scenic beauty of Svalbard. The colors of the tundra are alive with blooming flowers, various birds and grazing reindeer.

Torrelnesset is located on the far southwestern coast of the island of Nordaustlandet, which is the highest arctic landmass in the Svalbard archipelago and predominantly ice-covered. Go ashore to view the walrus colonies that congregate on the barren coast.

Hinlopen Strait: ‘Le Boreal’ navigates this passageway between the main island of Spitsbergen and the island of Nordaustlandet. Here we will visit the alkefejellet or “auk cliffs,” which are sheer and stunning cliffs that drop directly into the sea and are home to colonies of auks.

Woodfjorden and Leifdefjorden are known for their unique and intriguing geological features. Jagged peaks and dormant volcanoes surround red sandstone hills and bubbling geothermal springs. These features create an ideal habitat for birds and other wildlife, including polar bears, foxes and reindeer.

Located on Spitsbergen’s northwest corner, Magdalenefjorden is one of the most scenic and iconic fjords in all of Svalbard.

Ny Alesund has a history stretching back to the early Arctic explorers. Today, a polar research station occupies the site where a Norwegian coal mind once operated. Here scientists study meteorology, seismology, atmospheric sciences and marine biology. Conditions permitting, go ashore to visit the small community, including the northernmost post office in the world and the small museum and art gallery.

Throughout your days of cruising in Spitsbergen, the Expedition Team is on the lookout for ice floes, which provide the optimal chance of observing polar bears in their natural habitat. Each landing is supervised by our bear guardians, ensuring that each and every encounter proceeds safely for both humans and bears

Day 11: Longyearbyen

This morning, bid farewell to your expedition team and crew of ‘Le Boreal’ as you disembark in Longyearbyen. Enjoy an orientation driving tour of Longyearbyen before transferring to the airport to board your return charter flight to Oslo, arriving this afternoon. The remainder of the day is yours to relax and reflect on your high Arctic adventure.

 

Day 12: Depart Oslo

This morning, depart for the airport for your flight home from Oslo.

 

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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Rates Arctic 2015
Cat 1 - Classic
Cat 2 - Deluxe
Cat 3 - Premier
Cat 4 - Superior
Cat 5 - Premier Suite
Cat 6 - Prestige
Cat 7 - Prestige 2-Room
Cat 8 - Owner's Suite
Charter
Air
Charter Air: Oslo to Longyearbyen
Triple Cat 5: $15,495, Cat 7: $17,495
Quad Cat 5: $13,495, Cat 7: $15,495

$1500 Discount Cat 1-3 Staterooms
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$14,495
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$15,995
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$16,995
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$17,995
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$21,995
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$22,995
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$24,995
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$27,995
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$395
 
Charter Air
Montreal to Kangerlussuaq
Anadyr to Vancouver

$3,000 Discount Cat 1-3 Staterooms
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$27,995
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$29,995
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$31,995
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$32,995
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$37,995
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$39,995
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$42,995
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$49,995
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$2,750
 
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