Spitsbergen In Depth: Big Island, Big Adventure
An extended expedition encompasing Spitsbergen and smaller outlying islands
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Leisurely
Spitsbergen is the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago, and this voyage will attempt a circumnavigation of the island. Lying entirely within the Arctic Circle, Spitsbergen is rugged, wild, unspoiled—utterly unforgettable. When it comes to viewing Arctic wildlife, Spitsbergen is known as one of the most prolific destinations.The island and surrounding area offers one of the best opportunities to view Polar bears, and with luck we’ll be able to see the world’s largest carnivores in their natural habitat. Walrus populations love Spitsbergen as well, feeding in the food-rich icy waters around the island. Whales and seabirds will also entertain during the sailing portions of the expedition, and we may catch a sighting of reindeer or Arctic fox when taking Zodiac excursions to shore.
* All meals while on the ship
* All accommodation
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout and qualified Expedition Staff
* Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
Start in Oslo, Norway
Our 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.
Embarkation Day in Longyearbyen, Svalbard
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 theship sets sail, enjoy your first view of the island’s rugged, glacier-topped mountains rising majestically from icy waters.
Exploring Spitsbergen and the Svalbard Archipelago.
Expect a new adventure every day as we begin our circumnavigation by heading north and around the island of Spitsbergen, exploring smaller, outlying islands. We plan to circumnavigate Spitsbergen, but if conditions are favourable, we will also attempt a circumnavigation of the whole Svalbard archipelago. Every expedition will be different, depending on the weather and ice, but some of the places we may visit include the 14th of July Glacier, Ny London, Phippsøya, Alkefjellet and the seldom-visited Kvitøya.These names may seem strange to you, but each site has its own unique appeal. There is no shortage of natural beauty in Spitsbergen, where colourful tundra meadows are complemented by immense glaciers. For birders, the 14th of July Glacier is home to puffins, Purple sandpipers, Common eiders, Barnacle geese and Arctic terns, while Alkefjellet’s cliffs are teeming with nesting Brünnich’s guillemots (Thick-billed murres).Always on the lookout for wildlife, be sure to have your camera ready to capture reindeer when we visit sites like Ny London, Sundneset and Alkhornet. Searching for the iconic Polar bear is a constant activity for the Expedition Team. Phippsøya and Isbukta are two of the bears’ preferred places for hunting, which translates into great potential for you to view and capture them in action.A big part of appreciating Spitsbergen comes from understanding the culture—not just how people live today, but also how this land was first explored. Whaling was a key industry, and you will see remains of outposts from the 16th century, plus other evidence of whaling at landing sites such as Smeerenburg.
Disembark in Longyearbyen and fly to Oslo
The time to say goodbye has come. Our Arctic 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.