Discover the realm of the polar bear, a savagely beautiful land of ice and snow, glassy fjords, and expansive tundra on this exciting Arctic adventure. Cruising the Svalbard Archipelago aboard a comfortable, ice-strengthened vessel, you'll discover Spitsbergen, the largest island in Svalbard - known to Vikings, traders and early explorers. Enjoy prime viewing as you explore cliffs by ship and Zodiac and watch for polar bears, walruses, or beluga whales breaching in the icy water. No two trips are alike, but each one offers rare opportunities to experience the wild and wonderful Arctic.
Sail in comfort on an expedition in search of the majestic, awe-inspiring polar bear in a fantastically beautiful world of sea and ice landscapes surrounded by flocks of seabirds, singing whales, elusive narwhale, and massive walruses
Walk in one of the last true wilderness areas on earth on shore excursions varying from leisurely strolls to strenuous hikes
Enjoy zodiac cruises to best take advantage of wildlife viewing opportunities, getting up close and personal to ice and sea creatures
Step about the home vessel and head to Tromsø, nicknamed the "Paris of the North," an area rich with Norse and Sámi history. Explore this sub-Arctic Norwegian town, believed to be inhabited since the last ice age. Depart from Tromsø in the evening, sailing through Grøtsundet and Ullsfjorden toward the northeast.
Embark for Raudfjorden, on the north coast of Spitsbergen. Take in the spectacular expanse of the fjord, bordered with glaciers and frequented by ringed and bearded seals. Hike the cliffs and shoreline, home to thriving seabird colonies, rich vegetation, and polar bears.
Weather permitting, sail into Liefdefjorden and cruise within sight of the 5-kilometer (3.1 mile) face of the precipitous Monaco Glacier, a favorite feeding spot for kittiwakes, and hunting ground for polar bears. If weather is uncooperative, sail along the west coast of Spitsbergen as an alternate route.
Enter the Hinlopen Strait, home to bearded seals, ringed seals, polar bears and blue whales. Cruise among the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in the Zodiacs, and view the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with their thousands of Brünnich's guillemots. If conditions permit, make a landing on Nordaustlanden on the east side of the Strait, to look for reindeer, pink-footed geese, and walruses.
Get close to the North Pole at Nordaustlandet in the Seven Islands. Reach 80° north, just 870 km (540 miles) from the geographic North Pole. Park for several hours among the pack ice, watching for polar bears, before turning west again.
Retrace the route west, keeping watch for polar bears and elusive Greenland bowhead whales. Sail the edge of the continental shelf about 40 nautical miles west of Spitsbergen, where fin whales forage during the summer in the upwelling zones that run along the Spitsbergen banks. Scan the waters at the mouth of Kongsfjorden, for sightings of playful minke whales.
Watch for walruses in the approach to Forlandsundet, or sail into St. Johns Fjord or the mouth of Isfjorden, landing at the cliffs of Alkhornet, home of nesting seabirds. Enjoy views of Arctic foxes, searching for fallen eggs and chicks, and reindeer, grazing on the sparse vegetation. Arrive in Longyearbyen by evening.
The trip comes to and end upon disembarkation in Longyearbyen, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.
MT Sobek's Polar Value Promise means that we offer in-house services to help plan and execute you polar adventure for no added cost.
Over 30 years offering polar voyages we have built strong relationships with polar service providers and ships that cruise the High Arctic.
We choose ships and operators that maintain a high level of commitment to safety, people, value, quality, environment, well-being, and customer service.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Expert polar interpretation and presentations, professional navigation through Arctic waters, wildlife experiences, hiking, and Zodiac cruising.
Ice-strengthened and well-appointed polar expedition ships offer a comfortable and safe way to explore the Arctic. Enjoy healthy cuisine and wellness services onboard.
The air is very dry. Expect a mix of sun, clouds, wind, rain, and possible snow. Daytime temperatures are usually 38°- 50°F.
Programs may vary depending on weather conditions and opportunities to see wildlife so flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. We recommend packing your spirit of adventure!
Polar bears will wander all over the Arctic to find food but it's believed that they have feeding areas called, "home ranges" that they prefer. Any changes in the home range will compel polar bears to travel hundreds of miles in search of better fare, a journey that they are not accustomed to handle. Though polar bears are elusive, Spitsbergen offers the highest probability of sightings.
The Arctic, although a very inhospitable environment, is home to many amazing creatures including the arctic fox, reindeer, walrus, seals, whales, and birds.
No, transfers to/from the airport and vessel and pre-/post- arrangements are not included with the trip.
You'll need to make your way to the vessel on Day 1 for a 5:00 pm embarkation. You will disembark on Day 8 at approximately 9:00 am.
Instructions to reach the ship will be provided to you by our Adventure Coordinating team.
This itinerary is offered on three different ships, depending on the departure date. Each ship has a variety of cabin types, all at varying price points. Cabins range from Triple and Quadruple Portholes all the way to Grand suites with private balconies. Contact our Regional Specialist team to inquire after availability.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
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