• Cruise amidst pristine landscapes of glaciers and icebergs
• Explore deep fjords lined with rugged mountains
• Search for polar bear, walrus, reindeer, Arctic fox, and bearded seal
• Watch for whales including Minke and beluga
• Trek along the tundra
• Observe birds such as eiders, terns, skuas, sandpipers, auks and puffins
• Enjoy Zodiac cruises among remote bird cliffs
• Discover ruins of long-defunct whaling operations
|Day 1||Longyearbyen, Norway|
|Days 2–8||Cruise & Explore Svalbard|
|Day 9||Bear Island, Norway|
|Days 10–11||Tromsø, Norway (Overnight)|
Departing from Oslo, fly to Longyearbyen and embark the Silver Explorer for – “Expedition Svalbard”. You will be introduced to your Expedition Team and receive a Zodiac briefing. Tonight we invite you to attend a special Welcome Aboard cocktail party.
We 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, get to know the indigenous reindeer, and maybe even spot the Arctic fox or bearded seal. Seabirds, such as Ivory gulls, auks and puffins, will be our constant companions as we admire their playfulness and grace. We might even encounter a few whales. A variety of known species frequent the area, in particular the Minke and beluga.
Our flexible itinerary allows us to take advantage of favorable ice and weather conditions. We 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 our Expedition Leader and Captain will determine our best course, depending on changing weather, ice conditions and the wildlife we encounter. In the true spirit of adventure cruising, our Expedition Leader will provide daily updates. Here is a list of places we may visit:
- • Ice Cruising – With the strengthened hull of the Silver Explorer, we 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 us out in the Zodiacs for an even closer look.
- • Bellsund – Pushing about 50 miles (80 kilometers) into Spitsbergen is the more than 12-mile wide Bellsund. At the entrance of the fjord we are likely to encounter some Common eiders, Arctic terns, and Arctic skuas. Snow bunting and Purple sandpipers are also common in the area. Our plan is to explore the seldom-visited Van Keulenfjord, where we witness awe-inspiring landscapes as we trek along the tundra.
- • Prins Karls Forland – Off the west coast of Spitsbergen, we encounter the island home of Forland National Park with craggy mountains, massive glaciers and remarkable wildlife. The entire island and the surrounding seas make up Forland National Park. Members of the Expedition Team takes us ashore at Poolypnten, a well-known walrus haul out, where and our 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, we will go ashore at the hard to get to Diskobukta, where we will discover interesting fauna and flora and take a walk amongst thousands of Kittiwakes and Arctic foxes. The coastal waters often provide fantastic opportunities to see walrus and polar bear on the ice floe.
- • Barentsøya – Just north of Edgeøya lies the fourth largest island in Svalbard. Here we are immersed in a wide tundra landscape, perfect for long hikes and short walks. We 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 icebergs 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.
As we near this arctic island, now a nature reserve, we will see thousands of sea birds diving into and out of the island’s steep cliffs. With our Zodiacs, we 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. As we leave Bear Island (Bjørnøya), head out on deck to watch for whales that are known to frequent the area.
Tromsø has a proud tradition of being the starting point for many Polar expeditions. The Polar Museum opened on 18 June 1978 – 50 years to the day after Roald Amundsen left Tromsø on his last and fatal expedition to search for the missing Umberto Mobile and his airship. The Museum is housed in an historic customs warehouse dating back to 1830, and has an idyllic setting on the waterfront. Our museum visit allows us to view exhibitions that feature hunting and trapping in the Polar regions, and the famous Norwegian Polar explorers Roald Amundsen and Fridtjof Nansen.
The Arctic Alpine Garden is the world’s northernmost botanic garden. In fact, Tromsø lies at approximately at the same latitude as the northernmost point in Alaska, however Tromsø has a longer growing season thanks to the moderating effects of the Gulf Stream and the long daylight hours of summer. What makes the Arctic Alpine Garden remarkable is its ability to sustain delicate alpine plant life under the cold, stressful, and insular conditions of this region.
After breakfast on the morning of 26 June, disembark the Silver Explorer.
* Itinerary may be subject to change
|Per Person USD|
Rates Arctic 2014
|Per Person USD|
Rates Arctic 2015