WEALTH OF WILDLIFE Svalbard boasts one of the Arctic’s highest concentrations of polar bears. They are the world’s largest land carnivores and have become a symbol of the imperiled Arctic wilderness. This is one of the best places in the world to view polar bears hunting in their preferred habitat: the pack ice.
Svalbard is home to impressive colonies of nesting seabirds, a variety of seal and whale species. This is a protected wilderness where we find flowering tundra and tidewater glaciers. You can also encounter a great abundance of nesting seabirds, and land mammals such as Arctic fox and reindeer.
In Greenland coastal plains are home to prehistoric-looking musk oxen and other wildlife.
Franz Josef Land, part of the Russian Arctic National Park, is a nature sanctuary. Polar bears, walrus, endangered bowhead whales, and other Arctic wildlife can be spotted anywhere, anytime in and around the archipelago.
PICTURESQUE SCENERY In Svalbard you will see a varied landscape of mountains, tidewater glaciers, and flowering tundra.
Greenland is the place where you will find some of the finest scenery in the world. Extensive fjord systems provide access to the mountainous interior of Greenland where tidewater glaciers create colossal icebergs. Each night in Greenland brings a new possibility to see incredible displays of northern lights, also known as aurora borealis.
Jan Mayen landscape is dominated by the heavily glaciated Beerenberg, an impressive stratovolcano considered to be the northernmost active volcano on the earth’s surface.
In Iceland, in the ruggedly beautiful Westfjords, we will visit the historic fishing port of Ísafjörður. This small town embodies Iceland’s trademark blend of contemporary charm and rich cultural heritage.
POLAR LEGENDS AND HISTORY Arctic is rich with historical sites. You may find here the staging areas for many historic expeditions to the North Pole, including those of Roald Amundsen and Walter Wellman.
In Svalbard, modern human endeavor can be experienced at Ny Ålesund, a former mining town that is now home to a multinational community of Arctic researchers. In addition to a museum, gift shop, and post office, visitors to this extreme northern settlement find a famous bust of Amundsen and a historic airship mast.
In Franz Josef Land we encounter a stark and enigmatic landscape steeped in the drama and heroism of early polar exploration. At places like Bell Island, Cape Flora, and Cape Tegetthoff we have the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Fridtjof Nansen, Frederick George Jackson, Julius von Payer, and other polar explorers.
Welcome to Longyearbyen, the Arctic adventure capital of the Norwegian territory of Svalbard and starting point of our expedition. After arriving via scheduled commercial flight, you are free to explore this small but fascinating settlement. Be sure to see the excellent Svalbard Museum and enjoy the shops, cafes and restaurants in the town center. Your hotel for the night has been arranged by us and is included in the price of the voyage.
In the afternoon we welcome you aboard the expedition ship M/V Sea Spirit; transfers from the hotel are included. Explore the ship and get comfortable in your home-away-from-home for the extraordinary adventure to come. The long days of summer sunlight illuminate our surroundings as we slip our moorings and sail into a true wilderness where wildlife abounds. The scenery as we sail through Isfjorden on our first evening is spectacular and there is already the possibility of marine mammal encounters.
Svalbard is a true High Arctic wilderness and this part of the voyage is a real expedition. Our route and exploration opportunities here are heavily dependent on the weather and sea ice conditions we encounter. Our experienced captain and expedition leader decide the itinerary and continually adjust plans as conditions and opportunities warrant. You can be sure that the best possible advantage will be taken of the circumstances presented to us by Nature in this wild and remote corner of the Arctic.
We anticipate exploring in the northwestern part of the island of Spitsbergen. This area contains the archipelago’s most impressive scenery and some of the Arctic’s best wildlife viewing opportunities. Deep fjords and narrow channels are flanked by jagged snowy mountain peaks. Immense tidewater glaciers calve icebergs into turquoise waters. Fields of flowering tundra are home to grazing reindeer and playful Arctic fox. Bountiful inshore and offshore waters are home to a wide variety of marine mammals. Polar Bears can be spotted anytime, anywhere in and around Svalbard.
Also in this area is Ny Ålesund, a former mining town that is now home to an international community of Arctic researchers, complete with museum, gift shop, and post office. This was also a staging area for historic attempts to discover the North Pole.
From Svalbard we head southwest across the Greenland Sea toward East Greenland. In these far northern latitudes it is possible to encounter sea ice any time of the year. All along the way we remain vigilant for sightings of marine mammals such as whales, seals, and the majestic polar bear. As we head south, darker nights create a high possibility of seeing aurora borealis.
This is expedition cruising at its most authentic. Our itinerary and exploration opportunities in East Greenland are dependent on weather and sea ice conditions. Again you can be sure that our experienced captain and expedition leader will take advantage of every opportunity to experience excellent wildlife viewing, to discover incredible scenery, and to go ashore wherever possible.
The Franz Josef Fjord and Kong Oscar Fjord systems are part of Northeast Greenland National Park, the world’s largest national park. Scoresby Sund is the largest and longest fjord system in the world. We anticipate exploring these fjord systems to the extent made possible by ever-changing ice conditions.
This whole area contains some of the Arctic’s most impressive scenery. Deep fjords and narrow channels, flanked by ice-clad peaks up to 2000 meters high, reach far into the mountainous heart of Greenland. Tidewater glaciers create colossal icebergs that float with wind and tide throughout the fjord system. On shore, fields of multicolored tundra are home to musk oxen and Arctic hare. The landscape—vast, open, and seemingly untouched since the beginning of time—is a hikers’ paradise. Throughout this area we also find ancient Thule archeological sites, historical trappers’ huts, and modern Inuit hunters’ cabins.
The Inuit village of Ittoqqortoormiit is the only permanent settlement in the region. The community boasts an excellent museum, a gift shop, a post office, an abundance of Greenlandic sled dogs, and of course the opportunity to meet Inuit people.
The days are filled with memorable excursions, sumptuous meals, presentations by our experts, and enough stunning scenery to fill your camera and overwhelm your emotions. Each night brings new possibilities for incredible displays of aurora borealis—the Northern Lights. This is the perfect time and one of the world’s best places to experience this otherworldly celestial phenomenon.
After our amazing time in East Greenland we cross Denmark Strait toward Iceland, crossing the Arctic Circle on the way. Presentations and workshops by our expert staff, as well as our range of onboard recreation facilities, ensure that this day at sea is not idly spent. Seabird viewing and whale sightings can be enjoyed from panoramic open decks as well as exterior stateroom windows and balconies.
The famous Snæfellsjökull volcano and picturesque Kirkjufell mountain are dominant features in the impressive landscape of the Snæfellsnes peninsula. A rich cultural and literary history and the success of fishermen and merchants are evident in local fishing villages.
After breakfast we say farewell in Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland and ending point of our expedition. We provide a transfer to the airport or to the city center if you wish to spend another day or more in Iceland before flying home.
Reykjavík is home to a wealth of cultural institutions such as museums, galleries, and the Hallgrímskirkja church. Leisure possibilities inside the city include parks, gardens, and thermal baths. You can also take advantage of Reykjavík’s wide range of shopping possibilities, excellent dining options, and famous nightlife. And of course the entire country of Iceland is accessible through day tours or longer journeys by rental car. The options for additional adventures are endless!
Itinerary, landings and all other activities during the cruise depend strongly on ice and weather conditions and are subject to the decisions of the Expedition Leader and the Captain of the vessel. Encounters with any mentioned wildlife cannot be guaranteed.
Like some of the birds we see in the Arctic and Antarctica, our m/v Sea Spirit is migratory and follows the sun, northbound in the summer and southbound in the winter, always ready for spontaneous discoveries – a pod of whales, a family of polar bears or a glaciated mountain vista. She is highly maneuverable and capable of navigating the narrow fjords of East Greenland and entering the small bays of Spitsbergen.
Onboard, we create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere for all our guests. They are united by one goal – to have a memorable wilderness experience and to become real polar adventurers. We believe that first-hand travel to such places makes one an ambassador for conservation, and helps strengthen our resolve to protect these natural environments for future generations.
Public areas include: Reception, Restaurant, Bar, Outdoor Bistro, Club Lounge, Library, Presentation Lounge, Infirmary, Gym, Bridge.
We have open Bridge policy. Talk to the Captain and officers. Watch landscapes from this special angle of view. Fix your location at a map of your expedition.
Sea Kayak Club is typically offered on voyages that include High Arctic destinations such as Greenland, Svalbard (Spitsbergen), Franz Josef Land, or a combination of these thrilling places. Experience calving glaciers in Svalbard, cathedral-like icebergs in Greenland, or labyrinthine expanses of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean, all from our sturdy and stealthy sea kayaks. Join us for an unscripted kayaking adventure as we explore rugged coastlines and remote waters that very few people have ever paddled.
Photography Workshops FREE
The Polar Regions are perhaps the most photogenic on earth, with countless beautiful scenes presenting themselves every day. Endless expanses of ice, beaches crowded with seals or penguins, sunsets over unbroken horizons, starlit skies, and even the majestic northern lights – they all present fantastic photographic opportunities – and in order to make sure that you come home with some spectacular images we offer you the chance to learn and practice your photography alongside an experienced professional.
Our expert Photographer will be on hand to answer your questions and give advice, both in the form of on-board lectures and workshops on shore. Explore the key elements of photography in a fun and relaxed setting, with plenty of opportunities for questions and feedback. Learn how to see light in a new way and experiment with the techniques of composition and framing.
• Group transfer to the ship on embarkation day • Voyage in selected cabin category • All meals while onboard the ship • Complimentary tea and coffee while on board • All scheduled landings and excursions (Subject to weather/ice conditions) • Experienced expedition leader and team • On board lectures held by Expedition team • Use of rubber boots for landings throughout the voyage • All port fees • Welcome and farewell cocktails • Pre-departure materials • Digital voyage log
• 1 pre-voyage night on Day 1 in Oslo; • Flight Oslo - Longyearbyen on the day of embarkation; • Group transfer to the ship for embarkation on Day 2;
• International or Domestic Airfares unless specified in the itinerary • Visa and Passport fees if applicable • Travel insurance including mandatory medical evacuation insurance • Beverages other than those listed in inclusions • Any items of a personal nature including any medical costs incurred onboard • Gratuities • Pre or post voyage accommodation unless specified in the itinerary • Meals while ashore unless specified in the itinerary • Optional Excursions (Eg Kayaking or camping where available)
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