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Spitsbergen Explorer: Wildlife Capital of the Arctic

Duration
12 days
Departing From
  • Oslo, Norway
Starting Price
USD7,264 USD
Adventure Options
Paddling
Hiking

The largest island of the Svalbard archipelago, Spitsbergen is known as the “wildlife capital of the Arctic,” and on this unforgettable 12-day voyage, you will discover why. Building on our Spitsbergen Highlights and Introductory to Spitsbergen itineraries, this longer journey has been designed to maximize time on the west and northern/southern tips of the island, providing you optimal chances to witness the remarkable array of creatures who call this spectacular yet forbidding environment home—including whales, walruses, Svalbard reindeer, seabirds by the thousands, and that most iconic of Arctic residents, the polar bear.

In addition to giving you opportunities to observe this unique parade of wildlife, the longer itinerary also allows you more time to explore the vast tundra, appreciate the natural beauty of the surprisingly colorful Arctic wilderness, and benefit from our range of on-board lectures and educational programs. Come aboard with the most knowledgeable, experienced and passionate team in the industry for an extraordinary High Arctic adventure.

Available Itinerary

2021 Arctic Season
12Days
Starting inOslo, Norway
Prices from (per person) USD7,264 USD
Day 1
Arrive in Oslo, Norway

Your 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.

Day 2
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 your ship sets sail, enjoy your first view of the island’s rugged, glacier-topped mountains rising majestically from icy waters.

Days 3 to 11
Exploring Spitsbergen

Explore western Spitsbergen as well as 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. As you cruise around this magical island located above the Arctic Circle, your Expedition Team will constantly be searching for wildlife.

Each expedition presents new opportunities and different weather and ice, so we have no fixed itinerary; however, some of the places we may visit include the 14th of July Glacier, Smeerenburg, Phippsøya, Alkhornet
and the Hinlopen Strait. The destinations visited will be selected for optimum wildlife viewing with an appreciation of the history and geology of Spitsbergen.

The island offers multiple opportunities for wildlife photography. Since Svalbard’s legendary wildlife habitat is well-protected and almost entirely uninhabited, it’s one of the world’s best places to spot polar bears in their natural landscapes of ice, Arctic deserts and mountain scenery.

The towering cliffs of Alkefjellet provide homes to thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres). Coming across a walrus haul-out is a moment you won’t soon forget. These giant pinnipeds of the Arctic create quite a noisy scene as each walrus vies for a choice spot of coastline.

If you’re itching to experience a more intimate view from the water, you can book the sea kayaking or paddling excursion Adventure Options.

In Spitsbergen, there is no shortage of natural beauty. The tundra can be surprisingly colorful in summer, with wildflowers bursting for a taste of sunshine. Each day, you’ll see something interesting, whether it is an ever-changing gallery of spectacular icebergs, a polar bear resting between hunts, or abandoned historical site from centuries ago.

Day 12
Disembark in Longyearbyen & fly to Oslo

The time to say goodbye has come. Your 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.

Reminder

MANDATORY TRANSFER PACKAGE INCLUDES:

  • One night’s pre-expedition hotel night at Oslo airport hotel, with breakfast
  • Charter flight from Oslo to Longyearbyen
  • Arrival and departure transfers in Longyearbyen
  • Charter flight from Longyearbyen to Oslo

PACKAGE PRICE: $995 USD

Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy—and excitement—of expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.

  • Leadership throughout your voyage by our experienced Expedition Leaders, including shore landings and other activities
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • All shore landings per the daily program
  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
  • All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board throughout your voyage (Please inform us of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.)
  • Beer and wine during dinner; and coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
  • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled
  • A photographic journal documenting the expedition
  • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for landings and Zodiac cruising excursions
  • An official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep
  • Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • All luggage handling aboard the ship
  • Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person
  • Transfers between Longyearbyen town center and port on embarkation and disembarkation day
  • Mandatory Transfer Package*
  • International airfare
  • Arrival and departure transfers in Oslo
  • 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
  • Adventure Options not listed in Included Activities

Passenger Reviews

RICHARD J.

Verified Passenger

Score

June 06, 2019

Spitsbergen Explorer

The Quark reservation process was handled efficiently and the agent seemed well informed. Upon arrival on the Ocean Nova we were greeted with warm hospitality, good food and enthusiastic Quark staff members. Each staff person was a specialist in their own right and also showed a comprehensive knowledge of the flora and fauna, geologic and glacial features. The Quark staff was able to adjust to the daily changing conditions of ice and weather by providing other activity for the passengers.


The ship was comfortable, we enjoyed the panorama lounge and the cabins provided basic privacy and sleeping quarters.

The dining area was noisy at meal times and it was hard to hear table conversation even for those with good hearing. Hospitality staff was efficient, hard working and generous with their smiles.

We would recommend Quark to others and thank you for the opportunity to visit an area we have wanted to see for some time.

LAURENE H.

Verified Passenger

Score

June 06, 2019

Wonderful Arctic Experience

Our 10-day Arctic wildlife cruise was terrific. The expedition leaders knocked themselves out to find wildlife, educate us and provide memorable experiences. Polar bears, walruses, bulugas, two blue whales, puffins and caribou were all we could reasonably hope for. What thrills to see them all in their incredible environment.