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Spitsbergen Explorer

Journey to the Wildlife Capital of the Arctic aboard the Ultramarine

Overview

If there is such a thing as a “classic Arctic” expedition cruise, this is it. You’ll get all the best of Spitsbergen, by exploring the western edge of the island and venturing to some northern outlying areas home to polar bears and Walrus. You’ll come across colonies of seabirds numbering into the thousands and watch for whales in the water. This is the perfect expedition for exploring the “wildlife capital of the Arctic.”

Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive in Oslo, Norway

Your Arctic adventure begins in Oslo, Norway's vibrant capital city. If you arrive early, there are many museums, restaurants and green spaces to keep you busy before retiring at your included airport hotel.

Days 2 to 10
Embarkation Day in Longyearbyen, Svalbard

This morning, the group will transfer to the airport and board your private charter flight to Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen’s largest settlement, where you’ll have some time to explore before embarkation. As your ship sets sail, enjoy your first view of the island’s rugged, glacier-topped mountains rising majestically from icy waters.

Days 3-11
Disembarkation Day in Longyearbyen

Explore western Spitsbergen as well as some 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. As you cruise around this magical island located above the Arctic Circle, your Expedition Team will be on constant search for wildlife. 

Each expedition presents new opportunities and different weather and ice conditions, so there is no fixed itinerary, however there are some favorite destinations, including 14th of July Glacier, Smeerenburg, Phippsoya, Alkhornet and the Hinlopen Straight.

The destinations visited on your voyage will be selected for optimum wildlife viewing and appreciation of the history and geology of Spitsbergen. The island offers multiple opportunities for wildlife photography. Since Svalbard's legendary wildlife habitat is well-protected and almost entirely uninhabited, it's one of the worlds best places to spot polar bears in their natural landscapes of ice, Arctic deserts and mountain scenery. 

The towering cliffs of Alkefjellet provide homes to thousands of Brunnich guillemots (thick billed murres).  Coming across a walrus photography haul-out is a moment you won’t soon forget. These lumbering giants of the Arctic create quite a noisy scene, as each walrus vies for a choice spot of coastline.

There is no shortage of natural beauty in Spitsbergen. The tundra can be surprisingly colorful in summer, with wildflowers bursting for a taste of sunshine. Each day you’ll see something interesting, whether it is an ever-changing gallery of spectacular iceburgs, rare bird species or an abandoned historical site from centuries ago.

Day 12
Disembark in Longyearbyen / Fly to Oslo

Your adventure ends in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, a transfer brings you to the airport for your return group charter flight to Oslo.

Highlights

Highlights

Incredible wildlife including walrus, reindeer, and Arctic fox
The midnight sun and brilliant colors of the tundra in summer
Hiking, Zodiac cruises, optional sea kayaking

Details

Length: 12 days
Cost From: $10,490  
Arrive: Oslo, Norway
Depart: Oslo, Norway
Lodging: 10 nights aboard a vessel
Meals: All meals included aboard ship
Activity: Small Ship Cruising, Sea Kayaking, Wildlife & Natural History, Photography, Whale Watching
Trip Level:

11-day cruise, cultural explorations and walking tours, Zodiac cruises

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