Spitsbergen Highlights: Expedition in Brief
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2022 season commences: Oslo, Norway | 2023 season commences: Helsinki, Finland | 7 day itinerary | From £4,650pp
On this extraordinary journey, you will pack all the excitement of an epic Arctic cruise into just seven days, cruising through pack ice along the west coast of Spitsbergen, retracing the steps of explorers from centuries past. Though this rocky island is covered in mountains and glaciers, the towering cliffs and fjords play host to a thriving and diverse ecosystem. Exploring as much of the area as possible, you will enjoy maximum opportunities to spot, among other wildlife, the walrus with its long tusks and distinctive whiskers, the resilient and Arctic birds in all their varied majesty, and that most iconic of Arctic creatures, the polar bear.
Day 1: Oslo, Norway
Your Arctic voyage 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.
Day 2: Fly to Longyearbyen, Svalbard and Embark
This morning, the group will transfer to the airport and board our 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 great vistas of the mountainous landscape that serves as a backdrop for this historic frontier town.
Day 3 - 6: Exploring Spitsbergen
You’ll sail around the shores of this magical island, constantly searching for polar bears and other natural wonders. Covering western Spitsbergen, your expedition will afford ample opportunities to view immense glaciers, deep fjords, soaring mountains and unique flora and fauna.
Sailing north into Krossfjord, have your camera handy, ready to capture some of the best glacier calving in Spitsbergen. Deep in the fjord, the highly active Lilliehöök Glacier awaits. Listen in awe to the growling as big chunks break off into the icy waters below. A Zodiac excursion to nearby Ny London, an abandoned mining settlement, provides an ideal place for a guided walk. Encounters with wildlife, such as the endemic Svalbard reindeer, are possible here.
After cruising overnight, wake up to the stunning sight of the magnificent Monaco Glacier, another prolific iceberg producer. To make this even more thrilling, help your Expedition Team to scan the shorelines and ice edge for marine mammals. Possible landing sites include Texas Bar, Worsleyneset and the Andoyane Islands. If ice conditions permit reaching 80°N, you’ll reach a walrus sanctuary on the tiny, crescent-shaped Moffen Island. Watching from the water as large groups of these lumbering giants jockey for space is an unforgettable experience, so be ready with your binoculars.
At Smeerenburg you can see the remains of an abandoned settlement that was established by Dutch whalers nearly 400 years ago. Here, at one of Europe’s most northerly outposts, you’ll have time to explore ashore and learn about Spitsbergen’s whaling history. Afterwards, cruising to Magdalenafjord rewards you with panoramic vistas of snow-capped mountains and massive glaciers reflected in the crystal-clear waters.
During your last full day of your Arctic adventure, you may visit the Russian mining town of Barentsburg, home of Russia’s northernmost brewery. We hope to round out the day in Alkehornet, taking in the towering cliffs teeming with nesting seabirds, such as fulmars and Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres). Encounters with reindeer might be possible here too. Later, in the evening, swap stories with your shipmates and crew one last time, at the captain’s farewell dinner.
Day 7: Disembark in Longyearbyen and Fly to Oslo
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 return group charter flight to Oslo, included in the transfer package.
Important details and mandatory transfer package
Mandatory transfer package includes:
- One night’s pre-expedition hotel night at Oslo airport hotel, with breakfast
- Charter flight from Oslo to Longyearbyen
- Arrival and departure transfers in Longyearbyen
- Charter flight from Longyearbyen to Oslo
Package price: $995 USD
Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy—and excitement—of expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff 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.
Due to local regulations in Svalbard, flightseeing and other helicopter-supported adventure options are not available on these voyages.
This 7 day expedition starts at £4,650 per person and includes…
- Leadership throughout your voyage by our experienced Expedition Leaders, including shore landings and other activities
- All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
- All shore landings per the daily program
- Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
- All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board throughout your voyage (Please inform us of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.)
- Select beer and wine during dinner; and coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
- Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled
- A photographic journal documenting the expedition
- A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for landings and Zodiac cruising excursions
- An official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep
- Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
- All luggage handling aboard the ship
- Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person
- Transfers between Longyearbyen town centre and port on embarkation and disembarkation day
Price based on selected departures (please note prices & availability are subject to change).
Please enquire below and one of Quark Expedition’s destination experts will be in contact to discuss this trip.