Svalbard: A Polar Bear Quest
Experience the remoteness, beauty, and majesty of the High Arctic
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Leisurely / Moderate
Group Size Large Group
For majestic beauty and untamed wilderness, few places can rival the Svalbard Archipelago. The long days of summer allow for ample time to discover the abundant wildlife and stark natural beauty of the High Arctic as you explore during Zodiac cruises, by kayak, and on foot.
* Daily activity options including Zodiac cruises, nature walks, and
* All gratuities
* All accommodations
* World-class lecture and expedition team
* All onboard meals and group meals ashore, including soft drinks, beer, and
wine with lunch and dinner
* All entrance fees, taxes, and landing and port charges
* Arrival and departure transfers on group dates
* Gift certificates for recommended expedition gear
* Medical expense coverage and emergency evacuation insurance
Arrive in Oslo and transfer to our hotel.
Arrive in Oslo and transfer to our hotel. Lunch and the remainder of the day are at leisure to enjoy this fascinating and colorful city on your own. Gather this evening for a welcome reception followed by dinner and overnight at the /Radisson Blu Airport Hotel./*Accommodation*: Radisson Blu Airport Hotel
Transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Longyearbyen.
This morning, transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Longyearbyen. Enjoy some free time to explore this Arctic mining town and capital of Svalbard; the brightly colored buildings house a variety of small shops and restaurants, as well as the Svalbard Museum. Embark the /Ocean Adventurer/ in the late afternoon.*Accommodation*: The Ocean Adventurer
Spend nine days exploring the rugged coastline, spectacular narrow fjords,
and offshore islands of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard
Spend nine days exploring the rugged coastline, spectacular narrow fjords, and offshore islands of Spitsbergen, the largest island of the Svalbard Archipelago. The primary goal is to locate wildlife, which is found here in abundance during the short summer season. Many varieties of seabirds nest in great profusion along the steep cliffs surrounding the islands. In addition to walrus haul-outs, bearded, ringed, and harp seals can be seen basking on ice floes. Our team of experts will also keep an eye out for polar bears. The nature of polar expeditions requires flexibility regarding the daily schedule of activities, and landings may be dependent on weather, tide, and ice conditions. Though specific stops are not guaranteed, the following are places visited on past expeditions:*Fjortende Julibreen* – Named after the French Bastille Day (July 14 Glacier) by Prince Albert I of Monaco, this 10-mile-long glacier reaches more than 100 feet above sea level at its highest point. This is a wonderful opportunity for photography, with the blue-white glacier surrounded by dark, imposing mountains. The nearby cliffs are also prime breeding grounds for thick-billed murres and puffins. With luck, experience the drama of calving ice as it falls from the glacier wall into the surrounding water.*Amsterdamøya Island* – Go ashore to explore the remains of the 16th-century Dutch whaling station of Smeerenburg. Among the ruins you will find whale oil-cemented sands marked the sites of the blubber ovens which rendered down the whale catch and a memorial erected in 1906. This historic site honors the whalers who lost their lives in the 17th and 18th centuries while working in extreme Arctic conditions.*Phippsoya Island* – At the far northern edge of the Svalbard Archipelago, Phippsoya Island boasts a classic High Arctic environment—a barren, rocky landscape with some coastal plains, but otherwise mountainous, with steep slopes. The lowlands support mostly lichens and mosses, some of which are quite colorful, and small patches of Svalbard poppy and saxifrage are scattered among the jumble of rocks. This area is known as a popular haul-out for walrus, though sightings of these lumbering giants are never guaranteed. They often create quite a rowdy scene, as each walrus vies for a choice spot of coastline. There are also small colonies of seabirds including Atlantic puffins, dovekies, and rare ivory gulls.*Hinlopen Strait* – Glaciers, chiseled fjords, and icebergs hallmark this desolate and exquisitely beautiful region. Board Zodiacs to watch for, and photograph, bearded, harp, and ringed seals.*Alkefjellet* – These impressive, sheer basalt cliffs are a haven for breeding seabirds. Tens of thousands of thick-billed murres (Brünnich’s guillemots) raise their young here, as well as glaucous gulls and kittiwakes. Keep an eye out for opportunistic Arctic foxes hunting for eggs at the base of the cliffs.*Accommodation*: The Ocean Adventurer
Disembark this morning in Longyearbyen.
Disembark this morning in Longyearbyen. Transfer to the airport for your group charter flight to Oslo and connect with your independent homeward flight.