trip
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1
Discovery and Cruising
Activities
  • 8 days expedition cruising, optional kayaking
Accommodation
  • 1 night hotel Longyearbyen
  • 8 nights aboard Polar Pioneer
Meals
  • 8 Dinners
  • 7 Lunches
  • 9 Breakfasts

10 Days$7005USD

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Trip Code: SPW

Trip highlights


  • The most wildlife-rich part of the Arctic
  • Spectacular glaciers and fjords
  • 24 hours of sunshine
  • Above the Arctic Circle– only 600 miles from the North Pole

This voyage aboard the Polar Pioneer offers the opportunity to explore Spitsbergen, the largest of the Svalbard Islands - a spectacular ice-covered archipelago halfway between Norway and the North Pole. Famous for dramatic frozen landscapes and iconic wildlife, this remains a virtually unspoiled wilderness; a breathtaking world of pack ice and sweeping tundra, glacier-covered mountains, deep fjords and milky-blue icebergs. The region's abundant wildlife was once a huge draw for whalers and trappers, but the archipelago now provides safe haven for the huge seabird colonies, walrus, reindeer, Arctic foxes and polar bears that we'll be keeping watch for. Summer this far north of the Arctic Circle means ample daylight hours, providing many opportunities to explore this pristine environment on foot, by sea kayak and zodiac.


You will be met at the airport and transferred to the group hotel for your overnight stay. This evening you’ll meet your expedition leaders and other members of the group for a trip briefing.

Meals:  Nil

Today is yours to explore Longyearbyen. Recommendations include The North Pole Expedition Museum, the local brewery and a reindeer burger in one of the local restaurants. Board the Polar Pioneer in the late afternoon. Cruising out of the beautiful Isfjorden, we’ll be escorted by gliding fulmars and perhaps the occasional puffin. The sea kayakers will attend a briefing to distribute dry suits, poggies (paddling mitts for your hands), lifejackets and dry bag.

Meals:  B,D

Over the next seven days we will explore the amazing wilderness of Svalbard. Our aim is to experience as much time as possible outside, be it zodiac cruising, paddling, hiking or wildlife viewing or all four! Our experienced Arctic team will use their know-how to design a day-to-day itinerary that makes the best use of the weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities. Following are locations we’ll potentially visit. West Coast Spitsbergen We’ll spend hours out and about in the wild Arctic scenery exploring the glacier filled Kongsfjorden or Magdalenefjord, either zodiac cruising or kayaking along the coastline or walking the lush tundra, where we take extra care not to disturb delicate wildflowers. We may visit an old Dutch whaling station settled in the early 1600s, aptly named Smeerenburg (blubber town). Heading North We’ll encounter amazing vistas in places such as Woodfjorden and Leifdefjorden, where magnificent glaciers end their journey to the sea. Paddlers and zodiac cruisers will wind their way through ice floes while walkers will take to the mountains looking out for herds of reindeer and discovering old Russian trapper huts. We’ll be on alert for polar bear sightings! On board the Polar Pioneer, we may experience the pack ice of the Arctic Ocean, a favourite occupation is to stand at the bow and look below at the ice being parted by our sturdy ship. A highlight for all on board is the sight of a bobbing walrus feeding on clams or wallowing, slug like, on shore. East Coast We experience the variety of Svalbard along the east coast of Spitsbergen which can be described as a polar desert. If ice conditions allow, we pass south through the narrow Hinlopen Strait, flanked by rock slabs that are rich in fossils. A highlight for any amateur geologist is to discover these fossils when we go ashore. Wildlife viewing is at a premium at Alkafjellet, where one-hundred-metre-high dolerite towers are home to millions of Brunnich’s guillemots. On the ship and on land, eyes are peeled for an Arctic fox and birdlife such as Eider and beautiful ivory gulls. As Polar Pioneer passes between Spitsbergen and the smaller islands of Barentsøya and Edgeøya, we cross the main polar bear migration routes. The beautiful fertile plain of Sundeneset is richly covered with bright green mosses, a variety of delicate and colourful flowers, various fungi, clear bubbling streams and small tarns. We explore this beautiful terrain by kayak, zodiac and on foot, marvelling at the contrast between the colourful soft ground and the barren, rocky terrain from further north. South and then North West again We round South Cape, Spitsbergen’s most southerly point, before continuing northwards. Hornsund, 23km long and 8 -10 km wide, is the southernmost of the large fjords on Spitsbergen’s west coast. Towers of rock pierce the clouds, lush green slopes run down to the sea and crumbling glaciers surround us. It is a beautiful place. Bellsund, which we may visit on the west coast of Spitsbergen, is divided into two large fjords. The northernmost - Van Mijenfjorden - is separated from the main fjord by a long narrow island, Akseløya, which extends almost across the fjord. There are many different zodiac cruising, paddling and walking options available to us. We may be fortunate to spot Beluga whales in this area and in the skies, we’ll be treated to thousands of birds, including little auk colonies.

Meals:  B,L,D

As our journey draws to an end, we will have time to reflect on the amazing experiences we have shared, before we bid each other farewell. During the early morning, we will cruise back into Isfjorden returning to Longyearbyen. We will disembark on arrival where our trip concludes.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 9 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 8 dinners
  • 1 night twin share accommodation in Longyearbyen
  • Comfortable cabin accommodation and use of all public areas on cruise
  • Specialist expedition staff
  • All shore excursions from the ship including the use of Zodiacs
  • use of gumboots on the voyage free of charge (various sizes available)
  • Lectures, videos, slide and film shows and guide services
  • Medical services (there is a resident medical officer and infirmary on board)
  • Port taxes and port charges imposed by government authorities
  • Pre-departure information

  • Air transport and airport transfers before and after the cruises (other than group transfers to and from the ship)
  • Visa, passport and vaccination charges and airport departure taxes
  • Accommodation and meals or other services not included in the ship cruise itinerary
  • Laundry, postage, personal clothing, medical expenses, travel insurance and items of a personal nature such as bar charges, wine and phone calls
  • Emergency evacuation charges
  • Customary end of voyage tips

About Your Leader

Robyn Mundy and Gary Miller are lifelong polar professionals with decades of experience working in Svalbard.

Robyn is an acclaimed author of several books including her most recent, Cold Coast, a novel set in Svalbard, about the remarkable Wanny Woldstad, Svalbard's first female trapper. Robyn is an expert guide, historian and storyteller and a pleasure to travel with. According to Robyn, Svalbard is special because:

"To witness Arctic wildlife in its natural habitat is one of life’s great privileges—reindeer grazing on tundra, a family of Arctic fox kits romping in the sun, a polar bear mother and her young one tracking across pack ice in the hunt for seal. Nature doesn’t get any more elemental."

Gary, an acclaimed naturalist and expedition leader, is one of the most knowledgeable guides working in the industry to date. Gary has over 30 years of experience as a biologist and polar guide and was a consultant on penguin behaviour on the well-know movie Happy Feet. According to Gary, Svalbard is special because:

"It's the excitement of cruising the glaciers, which can be quite active and unpredictable, and the chance to see Arctic fox, reindeer and of course polar bears. You are always alert in Svalbard for the unexpected and that just keeps me coming back."


Cabins


Departure dates

* Guaranteed status denotes minimum trip numbers have been met, however the trips operation will be subject to there being no COVID-19 restrictions or other government travel advisories. Please contact us for further information.


Notes

K
Kayak

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Total Priceper person from

$7005USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Twin PublicUSD$7760
  • Twin PrivateUSD$8685
  • Mini SuiteUSD$11875
  • SuiteUSD$13600
  • KayakingUSD$750
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Spitsbergen Expedition trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.


Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

Thoughtful Travel

Responsible travel is at the heart of every program we offer as a fundamental and long held philosophy. When you book one of our 100% carbon offset adventures you’re supporting true sustainability in the protection of local communities, natural environments and wildlife.

Ultimate Value

 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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