Embark on an expedition cruise to the Arctic and experience a wilderness that is truly the stuff of legends, serving as an arena for adventure since the early days of world discovery.
During your expedition cruise, you can explore the Arctic by kayak, set out on shoreline snowshoeing treks, make invigorating inland hikes, or even partake in ski mountaineering outings for a perfect combination of the scenic and the exciting.
The Arctic is many things…
It is the deep Nordic forests and aurora-lit islands of Northern Norway. The glacial coastlines and mountainous fjords of eastern Greenland. The rugged tundra, berg-filled bays, and blazing white pack ice of the Svalbard archipelago.
The Arctic is polar bears, seabirds, walruses, whales, and scores of other animals. But most of all, the Arctic is an unforgettable expedition cruise experience.
Arrive Longyearbyen, Norway
Longyearbyen is the planet's most Northern city, where you will embark on the expedition ship to settle in before the cruise begins.
Located on the north coast of Spitsbergen, you will take in an expansive fjord spilling with glaciers – and maybe even visited by ringed and bearded seals. The cliffs and shoreline of this fjord also support thriving seabird colonies, rich vegetation, and the possibility of polar bears.
Depending on the weather, the ship could sail into Liefdefjorden and cruise within sight of the 5-kilometer-long (3.1 miles) face of the precipitous Monaco Glacier. The waters in front of this glacier are a favorite feeding spot for thousands of kittiwakes, and the base of the ice is a popular polar bear hunting ground. If ice conditions prevent sailing here early in the season, an alternate route along the west coast of Spitsbergen can be implemented.
Today you sail into Hinlopen Strait, home to bearded seals, ringed seals, and polar bears. At the entrance there is even the possibility to spot blue whales. After cruising among the ice floes of Lomfjordshalvøya in the Zodiacs, you can view the bird cliffs of Alkefjellet with their thousands of Brünnich’s guillemots. On the east side of Hinlopen Strait, you may attempt a landing on Nordaustlandet. Here reindeer, pink-footed geese, and walruses are likely sights. You can take an alternate route if ice prevents entry into Hinlopen.
The northernmost point of your voyage may be north of Nordaustlandet, in the Seven Islands. Here you reach 80° north, just 870 km (540 miles) from the geographic North Pole. Polar bears inhabit this region, so the ship may park for several hours among the pack ice before wheeling around west again.
While retracing your route west, keep watch for polar bears and elusive Greenland (bowhead) whales. About 40 nautical miles west of Spitsbergen, you sail the edge of the continental shelf. Here fin whales forage during the summer in the upwelling zones (where cold, nutrient-rich water wells up from below the sea’s surface) that run along the Spitsbergen banks. At the mouth of Kongsfjorden, you have a good chance of sighting minke whales.
Walruses sometimes haul out in Forlandsundet, your next stop. Alternatively, you might sail into St. Johns Fjord or south to the mouth of Isfjorden, landing at Alkhornet. Seabirds nest on these cliffs, Arctic foxes search below for fallen eggs and chicks, and reindeer graze the sparse vegetation. You arrive in Longyearbyen later at night.
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. You disembark in Longyearbyen, taking home memories that will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.
Depart for Home
Sadly this is your last day in the Arctic. Make your way back to LYR airport for flights onward.
Pricing and Accommodation
Expedition ships have a variety of decks and for 100-170 passengers. Guests can choose among suites with balconies, deluxe window cabins, or less expensive porthole cabins, including double, triple and quad sharing spaces.
2020 est. $3300 Quadruple occupancy or 5000- 7500 per person Double occupancy, full board, cruise portion only. Final pricing on customized proposal.