Duration13 or 14 days
- Longyearbyen, Norway
- Oslo, Norway
Starting Price$8,794 USD
This 14-day journey offers the most extensive exploration of Spitsbergen in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, including the opportunity to witness iconic Arctic wildlife like walrus, reindeer and polar bears, a glimpse into 16th-century maritime culture at secluded landing sites, and the rare chance to appreciate breathtaking views at the birdwatching utopias 14th of July Glacier and Alkefjellet. If conditions allow, we will also attempt a full circumnavigation of Spitsbergen during this memorable voyage, including a visit to the remote, uninhabited Arctic desert of Nordaustlandet.
The wildlife-viewing opportunities on this trip will leave you with plenty of memories—and photos: the walrus with its long tusks and distinctive whiskers; Arctic birds in the thousands—in all their varied majesty; small herds of reindeer loping across the tundra; and that most iconic of Arctic creatures, the polar bear, especially as it prowls the edges of the pack ice on the perpetual hunt for food. Shore excursions by Zodiac will enable you to set foot in places only a few humans have walked before. This voyage truly is the big adventure you’ve been waiting for.
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.
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.
Expect a new adventure every day as we begin our journey by heading north and around the island of Spitsbergen, exploring smaller, outlying islands. We plan to circumnavigate Spitsbergen, but if conditions are favorable, we will also attempt a larger circumnavigation of the region, including many of the outer islands in the Svalbard archipelago. Every expedition will be different, depending on the weather and ice, but some of the places we may visit include the 14th of July Glacier, Ny London, Phippsøya, Alkefjellet and the seldom-visited Kvitøya.
These names may seem strange to you, but each site has its own unique appeal. There is no shortage of natural beauty in Spitsbergen, where colorful tundra meadows are complemented by immense glaciers. For birders, the 14th of July Glacier is home to puffins, purple sandpipers, common eiders, barnacle geese and Arctic terns, while Alkefjellet’s cliffs are teeming with nesting Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres).
Always on the lookout for wildlife, be sure to have your camera ready to capture reindeer when we visit sites like Ny London, Sundneset and Alkhornet. Searching for the iconic polar bear is a constant activity for your Expedition Team. Phippsøya and Isbukta are often home to sea ice, the bears’ preferred habitat for hunting, which translates into great potential for you to view and capture them in action.
A big part of appreciating Spitsbergen comes from understanding the history—not just how people live today, but also how this land was first explored. Whaling was a key industry, and you will see remains of outposts from the 16th century, plus other evidence of whaling at landing sites such as Smeerenburg.
Your adventure ends in the frontier-style settlement of Longyearbyen. From here, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your return group charter flight to Oslo.
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.
Due to local regulations in Svalbard, flightseeing and other helicopter-supported adventure options are not available on these voyages.
- Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader
- All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
- Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
- All shore landings per the daily program
- 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 special guests 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