Arctic Cruise Adventure: In Search of the Polar Bear

Ship L'Austral tile
199 Passengers

Explore the Arctic on an all-encompassing expedition in search of the mighty polar bear. Travel alongside our expedition team and knowledgeable experts intimately familiar with the region, seeking out the sea bear in the Svalbard Islands and discovering the starkly beautiful lava fields and ice caves of Iceland’s Westfjords. Experience this thrilling destination through daily guided shore landings, as well as active excursions.

• Cruise for 13 nights through the Arctic’s wildest regions
• Enjoy active exploration of the Arctic’s varied landscapes, from sea kayaking through ice floes to epic volcanic hikes, all under the wing of an award-winning expedition team
• Experience a vast breadth of Arctic wildlife habitats, including the polar bear haven of Svalbard
• Cruise to the remote east coast of Greenland, where you may visit Kaiser Franz Josef Fjords, Scoresby Sound and the Inuit village of Ittoqqortoormiit
• Discover North Iceland and the whale-watching village of Husavik, where you experience a private, behind-the-scenes tour at the renowned Husavik Whale Museum
• Join photography lectures, hands-on-workshops and tips in the field led by a dedicated photo coach

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Oslo, Norway
Day 2 Norway | Oslo to Longyearbyen
Days 3 to 7 Norway | The Svalbard Archipelago
Day 8 At Sea | Cruising the Greenland Sea
Day 9 Jan Mayen | Glacier-Cloaked Volcano
Days 10 & 11 Greenland | Remote Ittoqqortoormiit Village
Day 12 At Sea | Cruising the Denmark Strait
Day 13 Iceland | Whale-Watching Haven
Day 14 Iceland’s Westfjords | Lava & Ice-Carved Lands
Day 15 Depart Reykjavik

Day 1 — Arrive Oslo, Norway

Arrive in Oslo, your gateway to the Arctic. On arrival, you are met and escorted to your hotel. This evening, meet fellow guests for a welcome cocktail reception and dinner.

Day 2 — Norway | Oslo to Longyearbyen

Board an early morning charter flight to Longyearbyen, the capital of Svalbard, also known as Spitsbergen, the sovereign Arctic archipelago of Norway. It is one of the most remote groups of islands on the planet, with nearly two-thirds of its surface covered in luminous glaciers. Tour the tiny town and its Arctic Museum. This afternoon, board your luxury expedition cruiser.

Days 3 to 7 — Norway | The Svalbard Archipelago

Very few people have the opportunity to view the remote wilderness of the Svalbard Islands. In the archipelago, polar bears, walruses, Svalbard reindeer and an incredibly rich variety of birds are abundant, as are cathedrals of ice, glaciers and craggy mountain peaks. An exquisite assortment of flora also peppers this barren landscape.

The primary objective of your voyage is to spot polar bears as they roam in their natural habitat. Cruising L'Austral grants you unrestricted access to every navigable area within the Svalbard archipelago — something ships with larger capacities cannot provide — allowing the ship to visit any locale favored by the bears. Your captain and expedition leader determine the day’s best sightseeing opportunities, which may include:

Ny Alesund: Home to a polar research station and the northernmost post office in the world.

Alkefjellet, or “auk cliffs”: Staggering cliffs that drop directly into the water and provide a home to vast colonies of auks, diving birds entirely dependent on the sea for their food.

Monacobreen: Formerly known as Monaco Bay, this glacier reaches down into Spitsbergen and is frequented by polar bears, harbor and bearded seals, walruses and a multitude of seabirds.

The Austfonna Icecap: One of the world’s largest icecaps spanning over 5,000 square miles.

Liefdefjorden (The Love Fjord): Named after a Dutch ship with the same name, this fjord is another excellent area for spotting polar bears and wildlife.

Sjuoyane (“Seven Islands”): The most northerly region of the Svalbard archipelago.

In every region, enjoy endless moments of discovery alongside a seasoned expedition team, who know intuitively where and when you’re most likely to see polar bears and wildlife — which you observe from the safety and comfort of your luxury expedition cruiser. These same experts also scout every landing site in advance of your arrival, assuring your safety and maximizing your experience ashore.

Day 8 — At Sea | Cruising the Greenland Sea

Cruise south through the Greenland Sea as your lecturers offer presentations on the wildlife, history and geology of Svalbard, and prepare you for visits to Jan Mayen and Greenland.

Day 9 — Jan Mayen | Glacier-Cloaked Volcano

At the confluence of the Greenland and Norwegian seas, arrive at Jan Mayen, a rugged island dominated by the 7,500-foot Beerenberg Volcano, the world’s northernmost active volcano. With special permission and conditions permitting, land on this rarely visited island to see its meteorological station Olonkinbyen and discover its phenomenal bird colonies. Designated by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area (IBA), Jan Mayen supports large breeding colonies of northern fulmars, little auks, thick-billed guillemots and black guillemots.

Days 10 & 11 — Greenland | Remote Ittoqqortoormiit Village

While crossing the Greenland Sea and cruising the Arctic ice edge, your expedition team prepares you for the world’s largest island: Greenland. Arrive at its rarely visited east coast and Scoresby Sound, the largest and longest fjord system in the world, all of which you enjoy exploring for the next two days. Embark on Zodiac excursions through the fjord’s intricate network, taking in its islands and icebergs, and searching for residents that include the musk ox and Arctic fox. Ice conditions permitting, disembark for a visit to the small settlement of Ittoqqortoormiit, one of the most isolated villages in Greenland.

Day 12 — At Sea | Cruising the Denmark Strait

Enjoy a relaxing day at sea cruising the strip of water that separates Greenland from Iceland and connects the Arctic Sea with the Atlantic Ocean. Watch for seabirds and whales from the deck in between insightful lectures presented by your expedition team.

Day 13 — Iceland | Whale-Watching Haven

Arrive in picturesque Husavik and visit the Husavik Whale Museum. The museum is one of the world’s foremost centers for research of whales and their habitat. Afterward, choose to embark on a scenic whale-watching tour followed by free time in Husavik, or else set off for Godafoss Falls and geothermal Lake Myvatn. Tonight, gather with your expedition team and fellow guests for a special farewell reception and dinner.

Day 14 — Iceland’s Westfjords | Lava & Ice-Carved Lands

The Westfjords of Iceland are more remote and much less visited than other parts of the country, with small settlements interspersed among spectacular mountains and coves. You might make a visit to Dynjandi Falls, the grandest waterfall in the Westfjords. Dynjandi is a spectacular sight, with water cascading down tiered ridges flanked by a green and brown façade. Enjoy leisurely walks up to a viewing platform or opt for something more vigorous, like a hike all the way to the top of the falls. You might also visit Red Sand Beach, one of the most beguiling shorelines in Iceland. Wander the reddish-hued sands as they subtly change color with the sunlight, shifting through a palette of reds, golds and grays.

Day 15 — Depart Reykjavik

This morning, disembark your luxury expedition cruiser in Reykjavik and transfer to the airport for your return flight home, or continue on in Iceland with a Reykjavik extension.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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Rates Arctic 2022
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Premier Two-Room Suite
Prestige Two-Room Suite
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Charter Air: Montreal/Kangerlussuaq & Nome/Anchorage

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   Owner's Suite — Deck 6
Cabin: 484 sq. ft. (45 sq. m.) Balcony: 97 sq. ft. (9 sq. m.)
Includes Butler Service
   Prestige Two-Room Suite — Deck 6
Cabin: 388 sq. ft. (36 sq. m.) Balcony: 86 sq. ft. (8 sq. m.)
Includes Butler Service
   Premier Two-Room Suite — Deck 5
Cabin: 388 sq. ft. (36 sq. m.) Balcony: 86 sq. ft. (8 sq. m.)
Includes Butler Service
   Prestige Suite — Deck 6
Cabin: 290 sq. ft. (27 sq. m.) Balcony: 54 sq. ft. (5 sq. m.)
Twin Beds or 1 King Bed.
Includes Butler Service
   Superior Stateroom — Deck 6
Cabin: 200 sq. ft. (18 sq. m.) Balcony: 43 sq. ft. (4 sq. m.)
Twin Beds or 1 King Bed
   Premier Stateroom — Deck 5
Cabin: 200 sq. ft. (18 sq. m.) Balcony: 43 sq. ft. (4 sq. m.)
Twin Beds or 1 King Bed
   Deluxe Stateroom — Deck 4
Cabin: 200 sq. ft. (18 sq. m.) Balcony: 43 sq. ft. (4 sq. m.)
Twin Beds or 1 King Bed
   Classic Stateroom — Deck 3
Cabin: 200 sq. ft. (18 sq. m.) Balcony: 43 sq. ft. (4 sq. m.)