Spitsbergen In Depth: Big Island, Big Adventure
» Jul 2 2018 – Jul 14 2018 (13 DAYS)
» EMBARKATION: Longyearbyen
» DISEMBARKATION: Longyearbyen
EXPEDITION IN BRIEF
- Encounter arctic wildlife: polar bears, walrus, reindeer
- View numerous arctic bird species
- Explore the polar desert
- Take advantage of continuous daylight
- Hike the tundra
- Cruise in a Zodiac
- Enjoy optional kayak adventure opportunities
- Day 1 – Embarkation Day in Longyearbyen, Norway
- Days 2 to 12 – Exploring Spitsbergen
- Day 13 – Depart Longyearbyen
Spitsbergen is the largest island of the Svalbard archipelago, and on this voyage we’ll 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 you’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 you during the sailing portions of the expedition, and you may catch a sighting of reindeer or fox when taking Zodiac excursions to shore.
ITINERARY DAY BY DAY
Day 1 – Embarkation Day in Longyearbyen, Norway
Your Spitsbergen arctic voyage begins when you board your ship in Longyearbyen, the island’s largest settlement. Enjoy your first view of the island’s rugged, glacier-topped mountains, rising majestically from icy waters.
Days 2 to 12 – Exploring Spitsbergen
Expect a new adventure every day as we begin our circumnavigation by heading north and around the island of Spitsbergen, exploring smaller, outlying islands. The variety of incredible wildlife and geological formations found here is astounding. We plan to circumnavigate the island of Spitsbergen, but if conditions are favorable, we will also attempt a circumnavigation of the whole Svalbard archipelago. Every expedition will be different, depending on the weather and ice, but we do hope to visit a few of our favorite landing sites, including the 14th of July Glacier, Ny London, Phippsøya, Alkefjellet and the seldom-visited Kvitøya.
The names may seem strange to you, but each has its own unique appeal. For birders, the 14th of July Glacier is home to purple sandpipers, common eiders, barnacle geese and arctic terns, while Alkefjellet is home to nesting Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres).
If you’re looking for confirmation that reindeer are real, then you’ll want to have your camera ready for visits to sites like Ny London, Sundneset and Alkhornet. As for the largest land carnivore in the world, searching for polar bears is a constant activity for our Expedition Team. Phippsøya and Isbukta are two of the bears’ preferred places for hunting, which translates into great potential for you to 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 old blubber ovens from the 16th century, plus other evidence of whaling at landing sites such as Smeerenburg. Colorful tundra meadows are complemented by glaciers, and sometimes there is a rare chance to spot beluga whales.
Day 13 – Depart Longyearbyen
Your adventure ends in the frontier- style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your flight home.
CABINS & PRICES
|Bridge Deck||USD 11,295|
|Upper Deck||USD 12,095|
All rates per person in USD
- Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
- All breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks on board
- All shore landings per the daily program
- Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader
- All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
- Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and special guests as scheduled
- Photographic journal documenting the expedition
- Waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
- Official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep
- Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
- Hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin
- Comprehensive predeparture materials, including a map and an informative Arctic Reader
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
- All luggage handling aboard the ship
- Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$500,000 per person
- Arrival transfer from Longyearbyen airport to your hotel if you arrive one day prior to embarkation
- Transfer from your hotel or Longyearbyen airport to the ship on embarkation day
- Group transfer from the ship to Longyearbyen airport or a local designated drop-off location on disembarkation day
- International airfare
- Passport and visa expenses
- Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above
- Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
- Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended
- Excess-baggage fees on international flights
- Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
- Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified
- Phone and Internet charges
- Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
- Additional overnight accommodation
- Optional kayaking activities