A Journey Into the Wild North

Overview

Embark on an expedition-style journey into the Arctic, allowing ice conditions, wildlife, and weather to dictate your landings and activities. On board a small expedition ship—either a 53-passenger vessel or an intimate 12-passenger vessel—you’ll enjoy access to remote coves, secluded islands, and pristine bays. Choose from a 9-day springtime adventure when wintry wonderlands still sparkle with ice formations, mountains are covered in snow, and wildlife is bursting with new life, or an 11-day summer journey in the glow of the midnight sun. In July and August, as the ice begins to loosen its grip, you’ll be able to explore the seldom visited eastern parts of the archipelago. During this time, a larger number of whales frequent the waters, you can take longer walks onto magnificent landscapes, and warm summer sunsets are perfect for photography. No matter which journey you choose, you’ll be in the company of excellent naturalists who will enrich your days and nights in this wild and wondrous northerly realm.

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
Longyearbyen

Arrive in Longyearbyen and transfer to your hotel.

Days 2-8
Exploring Svalbard

Board your ship and sail from Longyearbyen into the pristine waters of the Arctic. In true expedition style, locations and activities will depend entirely upon ice and weather conditions, with the goal of daily excursions by Zodiac and landings when possible. Your crew will navigate the western and northern coasts, islands, and coves of Svalbard, observing wildlife and exploring the flora and fauna of the area accompanied by guides. Each trip varies depending on weather, duration, etc., but some of the highlights may include:

Alkhornet: A towering cliff standing over 1,300 feet tall on the west coast of Spitsbergen and covered in mossy tundra. It’s also an Important Bird Area where thousands of seabirds seek shelter including barnacle geese, Brunnich’s guillemots, glaucous gulls, snow buntings, and tens of thousands of kittwakes. Arctic foxes can be seen here as well, scurrying in the rock crevices around the mountain.

Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden: Kongsfjorden hosts a mixture of Arctic flora and fauna and the mixing of warmer and colder waters that flow in here create an incredibly biodiverse region. Marine mammals found here include seals, walruses, whales, and even polar bears. Krossfjorden is known for its grand tidewater glacier as well as an abundance of relics scattered around the shores—the first whaling station on Spitsbergen was established here in 1611.

Prins Karls Forland: This narrow strip of land is covered by a magnificent and snow-covered mountain chain. The island is also home to many seabirds and harbor seals.

Raudfjorden: An area of immense natural beauty dominated by icy glaciers.

Virgohamna: Two of the most courageous attempts to reach the North Pole began here and there are still interesting remnants from these expeditions.

Bellsund: Little auks nest here by the tens of thousands. You may go ashore and walk across the tundra to get a closer look.

Liefdefjorden: Meaning, "the fjord of love," this is magnificent fjord is lined with snow-covered mountain peaks and you may cruise along the face of the spectacular Monaco Glacier here.

North Spitsbergen: Not many ships venture here and you can marvel at the silence and grandeur of this icy landscape. You have a much higher chance of sighting polar bears here.

Southwest Spitsbergen: The grand fjords of Hornsund have spectacular glaciers and a breathtaking landscape of towering mountain peaks. On a clear day, you can see the summit of the highest mountain, Hornsundtind. Hornsund is a favorite haunt for some of Svalbard's polar bears and bearded seals.

For those looking for more physical activity, there may be a chance to explore by snowshoe, depending on timing and weather.

Day 9
Longyearbyen / Depart

In the morning, disembark in Longyearbyen and transfer to the airport for your flight home.

11- Day Itinerary in Brief

Day 1: Longyearbyen, Svalbard
Days 2-10: Expedition (The 11-day itinerary will spend two extra days exploring the archipelago. Please call for details).
Day 11: Longyearbyen / Depart

Highlights

Highlights

Small expedtion ships allow for close-up views and access to more remote destinations than larger ships
Enjoy the expertise of knowledgeable guides during daily excurisions and evening presentations
Flexible itineraries allow for customized journeys—each departure is unique
Witness incredbile wildlife including whales, seals, seabirds, and even polar bears

Details

Length: 9 days
Cost From: $5290  
Arrive: Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen
Depart: Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen
Lodging: 7 or 10 nights on board an expedition vessel, depending on departure
Meals: All meals aboard ship included (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Wildlife & Natural History, Whale Watching, Small Ship Cruising, Special Interest, Photography
Trip Level:

9-day or 11-day cruise, nature walks, Zodiac cruises

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