Wildlife Capital of the Arctic... this 11 day small ship expedition aboard the Ocean Nova gives you a comprehensive Svalbard experience
If there is such a thing as a “classic Arctic” expedition cruise, this is it. You’ll get all the best of Spitsbergen, by exploring the western edge of the island and venturing to some northern outlying areas home to polar bears and Walrus. You’ll come across colonies of seabirds numbering into the thousands and watch for whales in the water. Packed with options for snowshoeing and sea-kayaking, this is the perfect expedition for exploring the 'wildlife capital of the Arctic.'
Rates and Share Bookings
Prices shown are per person in US Dollars on a shared basis. If you are travelling alone and wish to share, you will be matched with someone of the same gender and pay only the share rate. If desired, Single occupancy is available at 1.7 times the twin share rate.
Reservations require a deposit of 20% (minimum $1000 per person) at the time you receive a booking confirmation from Expeditions Online. A payment link will be sent to you and this may be paid by major credit card. Bookings within 120 days of departure require full payment.
Balances are due 120 days prior to departure and may be paid by bank transfer.
All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. Cancellations received 180 days or more prior to departure, are refunded less a fee of $1000 per person. If cancellation is received between 179 days and 120 days, the full deposit is forfeited. If cancellation occurs less than 120 days prior to departure, all payments are forfeited. If full payment has not yet been received, the full penalty will still apply and any unpaid balance is due immediately. We strongly recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance.
Please read carefully the Terms and Conditions for Expeditions Online (link at the bottom of this page). This voyage is operated by Quark Expeditions and you additionally travel under their terms and conditions as the operator as well as of the Shipping Company/transport carrier. Details will be forwarded to you at the time of booking.
Day 1 - Embarkation Day in Longyearbyen
Your Spitsbergen expedition itinerary 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 Arctic waters.
Days 2 to 10 - Circumnavigating Spitsbergen
We sail around this magical island, on a constant search for wildlife. Your expedition will cover western Spitsbergen as well as some stunning fjords and outlying islands to the north. From polar deserts to immense glaciers, the natural landscape here is just as varied as the wildlife.
Each expedition presents new opportunities, so we have no fixed itinerary, however we do have some favorite destinations, including 14th of July Glacier, Smeerenburg, Phippsoya, Alkhornet and the Hinlopen Straight.
The destinations visited on your voyage will be selected for optimum wildlife viewing and appreciation of the history and geology of Spitsbergen. Polar bear viewing is almost guaranteed, with Phippsoya being one of their preferred hunting areas and the towering cliffs of Alkefjellet providing many free bird egg meals for both them and the Arctic fox. Torellneset and Phippsoya are great places for walrus photography. Coming across a walrus haul-out is a moment you won’t forget either. These lumbering giants of the Arctic create quite a noisy scene, as each walrus vies for a choice spot of coastline.
If you’re itching to get a little closer to the action, then taking a sea-kayaking excursion to some of the more isolated pockets of Spitsbergen is highly recommended. Smeerenburg is a great place for an optional snowshoeing excursion (on selected voyages), as you can visit a memorial erected in 1906. This historical site remembers the whalers who lost their lives in the 17th and 18th centuries while working in extreme Arctic conditions.
There is no shortage of natural beauty in Spitsbergen. The tundra can be surprisingly colorful in summer, with wildflowers bursting for a taste of sunshine. Each day you’ll see something new, whether it is a rare bird species or an abandoned hut from centuries ago.
Day 11 - Disembarkation Day in Longyearbyen
Your adventure ends as it began, in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here we’ll transfer you to the airport for your flight home.
Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. When travelling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. The above is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.