Discover majestic fjords, icebergs, and glacier-filled bays
Ice-cruise by ship and by Zodiac
Cross the Arctic Circle
Search the shoreline for the king of the Arctic – the polar bear
Identify seabirds, seals, walrus and whales
Visit an Inuit settlement abandoned 200 years ago
See fascinating lava caves and rock formations
Departing from Oslo, fly to Longyearbyen and embark the Silver Explorer for your exciting 12-day Expedition. You will be introduced to your Expedition Team and attend a Zodiac briefing as well as an Arctic regulations refresher course that outlines the environmental policies we must all adhere to in order to enjoy the privilege of visiting this pristine region at the top of the world. Tonight we invite you to familiarise yourself with the elegant Silver Explorer, meet some of your fellow travellers and enjoy the first of many memorable meals in The Restaurant.
An expansive Arctic Ocean archipelago 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. Our goal is to explore Svalbard’s breathtaking and dramatic Spitsbergen Island. We will locate wildlife and spend the maximum amount of time possible walking on the tundra. Svalbard is home to approximately 3,000 polar bears and we hope to encounter a good number of them during our trip.
We will travel along the same routes as famous polar explorers such as Andrée, Nordenskiöld, Amundsen and Nobile. We will visit walrus haul-outs, get to see 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 Minke and beluga.
Our flexible itinerary allows us to take advantage of favourable ice and weather conditions. Whether cruising by Zodiac amongst floating icebergs or heading ashore for a guided walk, our adventures will bring us up close to mystical settings. Each day our Expedition Leader and Captain will determine our best course depending on changing weather, ice conditions and the wildlife we encounter. Here are a few of the places we hope to visit:
Hornsund – This is 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 these floating icebergs, 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 favourite 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.
Bellsund – About 50 miles (80 kilometres) 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 will 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 cragged 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.
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.
Our knowledgeable Lecture Staff members are experts in a variety of scientific fields. Gather in The Theatre to hear their fascinating tales of adventure and to learn more about the region’s endemic wildlife and remarkable nature. Other onboard diversions include spa treatments, a workout in the Fitness Centre, and, of course, exquisite dining experiences.
Scoresby Sund is named for the Arctic explorer and whaler William Scoresby who charted the region in 1822, an impressive undertaking considering the vastness of the area. We have three full days to explore the largest and longest fjord in the world, and our days will indeed be full – filled with discoveries of spectacular icebergs and fascinating wildlife. Our onboard ornithologist will point out a variety of bird species. Watch for pink-footed geese and whooper swans as well as ducks, guillemot, auk, puffin, fulmar, kittiwake and tern.
As this will be a maiden visit for Silversea, the excitement and anticipation will be high for everyone on board – Expedition Team members as well as guests. Together we will experience the best of the region. Our plans may include a cruise by Zodiac along the coastline to look for polar bear and musk ox, and a landing at Danmarksø to see the excellently preserved remains of an Inuit settlement, abandoned about 200 years ago. If we are very, very lucky, we may be able to add lemmings and narwhals to our growing list of animal and bird species seen on this voyage.
As we make our way toward Iceland, head out on deck to watch for seabirds and whales. When not attending an informative lecture, take some time to peruse the well-stocked Library, enjoy a fine cognac in the Connoisseur’s Corner or indulge in any of the other special amenities offered aboard ship.
This morning we will anchor along the Snæfellsnes Peninsula, just 60 miles (97 km) off the coast of Reykjavik, at the port of Grundarfjördur. The Snæfellsnes Peninsula is known for its rugged mountains, waterfalls, hot springs, lava caves and glaciers. Our adventure today takes us along the dramatic coastline to the Snaefellsjokull ice cap. The peninsula is dominated by the Snæffellsjokull glacier, which was made popular in the Jules Verne’s classic Journey to the Center of the Earth. We will first stop at Djúpalónssandur where we can admire the strange rock formations.
After a short drive past the cliffs of Londrangar, we arrive in the tiny fishing village of Arnarstapi. Here we will find an idyllic setting with interesting lava formations and an abundance of birdlife. A scenic drive takes us to Budir, famed not only for its dramatic, black lava surroundings but also for its yellow sand beach. We might be lucky enough to spot seals as they bask on the skerries out in the bay. Continuing over “The Old Hag’s Pass” or Kerlingarskard, we head towards Stykkisholmur, where we make a short stop at Helgafell – The Holy Mount. Even those not up to the climb are sure to enjoy listening to the guide tell of local heroines and the combination of spiritual forces attributed to this spiritual site. Our outing concludes with a brief visit to charming Stykkisholmur.
Following breakfast, disembark Silver Explorer.
* Itinerary may be subject to change
|Per Person USD|
Rates Arctic 2013
NOTE: If a Cabin Category is BLANK for a given date, it is waitlisted and not available at this time.
|Per Person USD|
Rates Arctic 2014