JUNE - JULY
Spitsbergen Explorer: Wildlife Capital of the Arctic
If there is such a thing as a “classic” Arctic expedition, this is it. This 11-day itinerary is a bit more in-depth than our introduction itinerary, and you’ll see the best of the Spitsbergen archipelago by exploring the western edge of the island and venturing to outlying northern areas, home to polar bears and walrus. You’ll come across colonies of seabirds numbering in the tens of thousands and watch for whales from the deck of the ship. Packed with activity, this is the perfect expedition to explore the “wildlife capital of the Arctic.”
EXPEDITION IN BRIEF
- Encounter arctic wildlife: polar bears, walrus, reindeer
- Explore the polar desert
- Take advantage of continuous daylight
- Hike the tundra
- Cruise in a Zodiac
- Snowshoe on select expeditions
- Enjoy optional kayak adventure opportunities
DAY 1 Embarkation Day in Longyearbyen, Norway
Your Spitsbergen adventure begins when you board your ship in Longyearbyen, the island’s largest settlement. As you embark, you’ll enjoy great views of the mountainous landscape that serves as a backdrop for this seaside village.
DAYS 2 TO 10 Exploring Spitsbergen
Explore western Spitsbergen as well as stunning fjords and outlying islands to the north. From polar deserts to immense glaciers, the natural landscape here is just as varied as the wildlife. You’ll cruise around this magical island located above the Arctic Circle, and your Expedition Team will be constantly searching for wildlife.
Each expedition presents new opportunities, so we have no fixed itinerary; however, we do hope to visit some of our favorite destinations, including the 14th of July Glacier, Smeerenburg, Phippsøya, Alkhornet and the Hinlopen Straight.
The destinations visited will be selected for optimum wildlife viewing and appreciation of the history and geology of Spitsbergen. Polar bear viewing is almost guaranteed, with Phippsøya being one of their preferred hunting areas, since the towering cliffs of Alkefjellet provide many free bird egg meals for both them and the arctic fox. Torellneset and Phippsøya are great places for walrus photography. Coming across a walrus haul-out is a moment you won’t soon forget. These giant pinnipeds of the Arctic create quite a noisy scene as each walrus vies for a choice spot of coastline.
If you’re itching to get a little closer to the action, you can book the kayaking option and take an excursion to the more isolated pockets of Spitsbergen. Smeerenburg is a great place for snowshoeing (optional and complimentary on select voyages), where you can visit a memorial erected in 1906. This historic site honors the whalers who lost their lives in the 17th and 18th centuries while working in extreme arctic conditions.
There is no shortage of natural beauty in Spitsbergen. The tundra can be surprisingly colorful in summer, with wild owers bursting for a taste of sunshine. Each day, you’ll see something new, whether it is a rare bird species or an abandoned site from centuries ago.
DAY 11 Depart Longyearbyen
The time to say goodbye has come. Your adventure ends as it began, in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your flight home.
IMPORTANT REMINDER Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy— and excitement—of expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your expedition sta must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.
Ship Ocean Nova
- Departure June 23, 2017 > Return July 3, 2017
- Departure July 3, 2017 > Return July 13, 2017
From $6,495 USD per person in a 4 passengers cabin.
Ship Ocean Adventurer
- Departure June 28, 2017 > Return July 8, 2017
- Departure July 8, 2017 > Return July 18, 2017
From $6,295 USD per person in a 3 passengers cabin.